Hebrews 6:5


King James Version (KJV)

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

American King James Version (AKJV)

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

American Standard Version (ASV)

and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come,

Basic English Translation (BBE)

With knowledge of the good word of God, and of the powers of the coming time,

Webster's Revision

And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

World English Bible

and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come,

English Revised Version (ERV)

and tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the age to come,

Clarke's Hebrews 6:5 Bible Commentary

And have tasted the good word of God - Have had this proof of the excellence of the promise of God in sending the Gospel, the Gospel being itself the good word of a good God, the reading and preaching of which they find sweet to the taste of their souls. Genuine believers have an appetite for the word of God; they taste it, and then their relish for it is the more abundantly increased. The more they get, the more they wish to have.

The powers of the world to come - Δυναμεις τε μελλοντος αιωνος. These words are understood two ways:

1. The powers of the world to come may refer to the stupendous miracles wrought in confirmation of the Gospel, the Gospel dispensation being the world to come in the Jewish phraseology, as we have often seen; and that δυναμις is often taken for a mighty work or miracle, is plain from various parts of the gospels. The prophets had declared that the Messiah, when he came, should work many miracles, and should be as mighty in word and deed as was Moses; see Deuteronomy 18:15-19. And they particularly specify the giving sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf, strength to the lame, and speech to the dumb; Isaiah 35:5, Isaiah 35:6. All these miracles Jesus Christ did in the sight of this very people; and thus they had the highest evidence they could have that Jesus was this promised Messiah, and could have no pretense to doubt his mission, or apostatize from the Christian faith which they had received; and hence it is no wonder that the apostle denounces the most awful judgments of God against those who had apostatized from the faith, which they had seen thus confirmed.

2. The words have been supposed to apply to those communications and foretastes of eternal blessedness, or of the joys of the world to come, which they who are justified through the blood of the covenant, and walk faithfully with their God, experience; and to this sense the word γευσαμενους have tasted, is thought more properly to apply. But γευομαι, to taste, signifies to experience or have full proof of a thing. Thus, to taste death, Matthew 16:28, is to die, to come under the power of death, fully to experience its destructive nature as far as the body is concerned. See also Luke 9:27; John 8:52. And it is used in the same sense in Hebrews 2:9 of this epistle, where Christ is said to taste death for every man; for notwithstanding the metaphor, which the reader will see explained in the note on the above place , the word necessarily means that he did actually die, that he fully experienced death; and had the fullest proof of it and of its malignity he could have, independently of the corruption of his flesh; for over this death could have no power. And to taste that the Lord is gracious, 1 Peter 2:3, is to experience God's graciousness thoroughly, in being made living stones, built up into a spiritual house, constituted holy priests to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God; see 1 Peter 2:5. And in this sense it is used by the purest Greek writers. See several examples in Schleusner.

It seems, therefore, that the first opinion is the best founded.

Barnes's Hebrews 6:5 Bible Commentary

And have tasted the good word of God - That is, either the doctrines which he teaches, and which are good, or pleasant to the soul; or the Word of God which is connected with good, that is, which promises good. The former seems to me to be the correct meaning - that the Word of God, or the truth which he taught, was itself a good. It was what the soul desired, and in which it found comfort and peace; compare Psalm 119:103; Psalm 141:6. The meaning here is, that they had experienced the excellency of the truth of God; they had seen and enjoyed its beauty. This is language which cannot be applied to an impenitent sinner. He has no relish for the truth of God; sees no beauty in it; derives no comfort from it. It is only the true Christian who has pleasure in its contemplation, and who can be said to "taste" and enjoy it. This language describes a state of mind of which every sincere Christian is conscious. It is that of pleasure in the Word of God. He loves the Bible; he loves the truth of God that is preached. He sees an exquisite beauty in that truth. It is not merely in its poetry; in its sublimity; in its argument; but he has now a "taste" or "relish" for the truth itself, which he had not before his conversion. Then he might have admired the Bible for its beauty of language or for its poetry; he might have been interested in preaching for its eloquence or power of argument; but now his love is for "the truth;" compare Psalm 19:10. There is no book that he so much delights in as the Bible; and no pleasure is so pure as what he has in contemplating the truth; compare Joshua 21:45; Joshua 23:15.

And the powers of the world to come - Or of the "coming age." "The age to come" was a phrase in common use among the Hebrews, to denote the future dispensation, the times of the Messiah. The same idea was expressed by the phrases "the last times," "the end of the world," etc. which are of so frequent occurrence in the Scriptures. They all denoted an age which was to succeed the old dispensation; the time of the Messiah; or the period in which the affairs of the world would be wound up; see the notes on Isaiah 2:2. Here it evidently refers to that period, and the meaning is, that they had participated in the special blessings to be expected in that dispensation - to wit, in the clear views of the way of salvation, and the influences of the Holy Spirit on the soul. The word "powers" here implies that in that time there would be some extraordinary manifestation of the "power" of God. An unusual energy would be put forth to save people, particularly as evinced by the agency of the Holy Spirit on the heart. Of this "power" the apostle here says they of whom he spake had partaken. They had been brought under the awakening and renewing energy which God put forth under the Messiah. in saving the soul. They had experienced the promised blessings of the new and last dispensation; and the language here is such as appropriately describes Christians, and as indeed can be applicable to no other. It may be remarked respecting the various expressions used here Hebrews 6:4-5,

(1) that they are such as properly denote a renewed state. They obviously describe the condition of a Christian; and though it may be not certain that any one of them if taken by itself would prove that the person to whom it was applied was truly converted, yet taken together it is clear that they are designed to describe such a state. If they are not, it would be difficult to find any language which would be properly descriptive of the character of a sincere Christian. I regard the description here, therefore, as what is clearly designed to denote the state of those who were born again, and were the true children of God; and it seems plain to me that no other interpretation would have ever been thought of if this view had not seemed to conflict with the doctrine of the "perseverance of the saints."

(2) there is a regular gradation here from the first elements of piety in the soul to its highest developments; and, whether the apostle so designed it or not, the language describes the successive steps by which a true Christian advances to the highest stage of Christian experience. The mind is:

(a) enlightened; then.

(b) tastes the gift of heaven, or has some experience of it; then.

(c) it is made to partake of the influences of the Holy Spirit; then.

(d) there is experience of the excellence and loveliness of the Word of God; and,

(e) finally there is a participation of the full "powers" of the new dispensation; of the extraordinary energy which God puts forth in the gospel to sanctify and save the soul.

Wesley's Hebrews 6:5 Bible Commentary

6:5 And have tasted the good word of God - Have had a relish for, and a delight in it. And the powers of the world to come - Which every one tastes, who has an hope full of immortality. Every child that is naturally born, first sees the light, then receives and tastes proper nourishment, and partakes of the things of this world. In like manner, the apostle, comparing spiritual with natural things, speaks of one born of the Spirit, as seeing the light, tasting the sweetness, and partaking of the things "of the world to come."

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