Amplified: And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: No created thing can ever remain hidden from his sight; everything is naked to him and is compelled to meet the eyes of him with whom we have to reckon. (Westminster Press)
NLT: Nothing in all creation can hide from him. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes. This is the God to whom we must explain all that we have done. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: No creature has any cover from the sight of God; everything lies naked and exposed before the eyes of him with whom we have to do. (Phillips: Touchstone)
Wuest: And there is not a thing created which is hidden from His sight. But all things are naked and laid bare to His eyes, to whom we must give account. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and there is not a created thing not manifest before Him, but all things are naked and open to His eyes—with whom is our reckoning.
AND THERE IS NO CREATURE HIDDEN FROM HIS SIGHT: kai ouk estin (3SPAI) ktisis aphanes enopion autou: (1Samuel 16:7; 1Chronicles 28:9; 2Chronicles 6:30; Psalms 7:9; 33:13, 14, 15; 44:21; 90:8; 139:11; Psalms 139:12; Proverbs 15:3,11; Jeremiah 17:10,23,24; John 2:24; 21:17; 1Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 2:23) (Nothing is hidden from God - 2Ki 19:27; Mt 9:4; Jn 2:24, 25).
NO SECRET SINS BEFORE GOD!
Related Resource: Secret Sins - C H Spurgeon on Ps 19:12KJV
No (3756) (ou) means absolute negation. No exceptions here! The old saying is apropos - "You can run but you cannot hide"! Why not? Because God sees all, all our thoughts and all our actions, everything hidden in our heart and unknown to our mate!
No creature - No created thing or thing created. Contemplate what the writer is saying. Not a single created thing in the entire universe, in the whole of creation, is unexposed before God's omniscient eye!
ALL ARE GOD'S CREATION
Creature (2937) (ktisis from ktizo = create, form or found) stresses work of original formation of object and represents something which has undergone a process of creation. While all of mankind represents a creation of God, but not all of God's creations are God's children, contrary to popular teaching in many churches today. Remember that in God's sight there are only two families, the family of God (Jn 1:12, 13, 1Jn 3:7, 8, 9, 10) and (as unpopular as truth is) the family of the Devil (1Jn 3:10, Jn 8:44), children of light (Jn 12:36, Lk 16:8, Ep 5:8-note, 1Th 5:5-note, 1Th 5:6-note, Ro 13:12-note) and children of darkness (Col 1:13-note, 1Pe 2:9-note, cp 2Co 6:14, 15, 16, 17, 18), sons of obedience (Ro 6:16-note, He 5:9-note, 1Pe 1:2, 3-note) and sons of disobedience (Ep 2:2-note, Col 3:6KJV-note, Ro 2:8-note, 2Th 1:8, 9, 10, 1Pe 4:17-note - Note: Obedience per se does not save. Only faith in Christ results in genuine salvation. But the faith that is real and effective saving faith is a faith that shows itself real in one's grace enabled obedience. This obedience is not legalism, nor is it perfection, but instead it shows itself to be real by one's general "direction" toward the light, toward righteousness, toward heaven. 2Pe 1:10,11 -note; 2Co 13:5, 1Co 6:9, 10, 11). There is no middle ground!
Ktisis - 19x in 19v - Mark 10:6; 13:19; 16:15; Rom 1:20, 25; 8:19ff, 39; 2 Cor 5:17; Gal 6:15; Col 1:15, 23; Heb 4:13; 9:11; 1 Pet 2:13; 2 Pet 3:4; Rev 3:14. NAS = created thing(1), creation(14), creature(3), institution(1).
Hidden (852) (aphanes from a = without + phaino = to appear) means literally not appearing and so not manifest or non-apparent, concealed, invisible. Unable to be known about. God's microscope can lay bare the smallest microbe of doubt and sin.
As Jesus taught His disciples…
His… Him - Note the transition from the Word of God to the God of the Word as indicated by the writer's use of these personal pronouns. The living Word transitions to the living God.
Enopion - 94x in 86v - Luke 1:15, 17, 19, 75f; 4:7; 5:18, 25; 8:47; 12:6, 9; 13:26; 14:10; 15:10, 18, 21; 16:15; 23:14; 24:11, 43; John 20:30; Acts 2:25; 4:10, 19; 6:5f; 7:46; 9:15; 10:30f, 33; 19:9, 19; 27:35; Rom 3:20; 12:17; 14:22; 1 Cor 1:29; 2 Cor 4:2; 7:12; 8:21; Gal 1:20; 1 Tim 2:3; 5:4, 20f; 6:12f; 2 Tim 2:14; 4:1; Heb 4:13; 13:21; Jas 4:10; 1 Pet 3:4; 1 John 3:22; 3 John 1:6; Rev 1:4; 2:14; 3:2, 5, 8f; 4:5f, 10; 5:8; 7:9, 11, 15; 8:2ff; 9:13; 11:4, 16; 12:4, 10; 13:12ff; 14:3, 10; 15:4; 16:19; 19:20; 20:12. NAS = before(46), front(1), presence(20), sight(22).
Hughes - There is a natural transition from "the word of God" in the previous verse to "God" Himself here, for the word of God is not only the activity of God but also His revelation of Himself, whether it be in judgment or in salvation. As God is its source so also He is its fulfilment, and there is therefore the closest association between God and the word by which he effectively acts and reveals himself. "The author passes insensibly," says Spicq, "from the notion of the word of God to God himself, and finally identifies them, since the word was truly in the place of the omniscient and omnipresent God, and received its power and its qualities only from him." Clearly, as God is by his word the Creator and Sustainer of the whole order of creation, all, that is, all things which includes all men, are open and laid bare to Him. There is not and cannot be any part of reality which is unknown or incomprehensible to Him Who is the source of all being and the fount of all knowledge. Every creaturely covering and pretext is stripped away. There is no recess, no dark depth, that is not wide open before Him (cf. 1Co 4:5).This profound and solemn truth is one that man in his fallenness does not like to face. (Hebrews- An Anchor for the Soul, Volume 1 Preaching the Word)
In Genesis we read…
God's charge to Abraham was to walk before Him, in God's sight, indeed living in the consciousness and knowledge that the eyes of God were always upon him. What difference beloved would it make in our walk if we conducted ourselves continually with a conscious sense of God's presence? Would it not serve as a holy impediment to sin on one hand (cp Job 1:1, Ge 39:9) and a desire to walk worthy of our calling to please Him on the other hand (cp Ep 4:1-note, 1Th 2:12-note, Acts 24:16)?
BE SURE YOUR SIN WILL FIND YOU OUT!
Achan experienced the truth of this passage when he took some of the the banned spoil from defeated Jericho (the spoil was to be for God) and then hid it in his tent (hidden from man but not from God!)
BUT ALL THINGS ARE OPEN AND LAID BARE: panta de gumna kai tetrachlismena (RPPNPN): (Job 26:6; 34:21; 38:17)
See also: God's Omniscience
But - Always observe what is being contrasted (See contrasts) or what change of direction the writer is making. Here the contrast is dramatic - NO… hidden… BUT… ALL… open… laid bare!
All (pas) means all without exception and amplifies "no" exceptions mentioned in the first part of this verse. The all knowing God knows our actions, our locations, our thoughts, our words, our ways, and our even our motives (1Co 4:5). Remember that the context is the Word of God, which penetrates like a sharp sword the innermost part of our being which leaves no detail or aspect of our light hidden from His inexorable gaze!
We see the effects of this divine exposure in the book of beginnings where Moses writes that before the fall "the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (Ge 2:25)
After the fall we read "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." (Ge 3:7-10)
Richard Hughes remarks that "Anyone with any spiritual awareness is made very uneasy by the thought of God's searching gaze. Remember the scene in the garden after Adam and Eve had first sinned. In their original state, before they fell into sin, they were "naked and were not ashamed" (Ge 2:25). With no sin to condemn them, they delighted in the gaze of their loving Creator. But after the fall, they hid their shame even from one another, pathetically sewing on fig leaves for garments. Even more, they dreaded the presence of God, fleeing and hiding from him as he approached. This is how many Christians feel in their relationship with God. The thought of His gaze chills their bones. They are willing to do anything but deal with God Himself, skulking around the edges of his light rather than drawing near to Him. They struggle to pray and seldom do unless forced by circumstances. It is this paralyzing fear that the writer of Hebrews now addresses. As Philip Hughes explains: "Sinners are no longer commanded to keep their distance in fear and trembling, but on the contrary are now invited to draw near, and to do so with confidence." (Reformed Expository Commentary – Hebrews)
A W Tozer - God knows instantly and effortlessly all matter and all matters, all mind and every mind, all spirit and all spirits, all being and every being, all creaturehood and all creatures, every plurality and all pluralities, all law and every law, all relations, all causes, all thoughts, all mysteries, all enigmas, all feeling, all desires, every unuttered secret, all thrones, and dominions, all personalities, all things visible and invisible in heaven and in earth, motion, space, time, life, death, good, evil, heaven, and hell. (From Tozer, A. W., & Verploegh, H. The Quotable Tozer I: Wise Words with a Prophetic Edge. Includes index. Camp Hill, PA.: WingSpread annotated as from The Knowledge Of The Holy)
The prophet Daniel founded his prayer (the answer to which formed the very basis for God's plan for the ages!) on the truth that all things are open to the eyes of God affirming that "It is He who reveals the profound and hidden things; He knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with Him. (Daniel 2:22)
Jamieson rightly exhorts based on the truth in this passage "Show, O man, shame and fear towards thy God, for no veil, no twisting, bending, coloring, or disguise, can cover unbelief"
Open (1131) (gumnos cp our English "gym") means not covered, nude or naked but not necessarily descriptive of absolute nakedness as it was used of a person wearing only an under-tunic (descriptive of the mode of dress in the ancient gymnasiums in Greece and Rome). As such it could mean one who was comparatively naked or scantily dressed. It was used of one poorly dressed (Jas 2:15). Figuratively in this verse gumnos means uncovered, manifest, disclosed, exposed, not hidden and easy to be known. Gumnos can refer to being inadequately clothed (Mt 25:36, 38, 43,44) or lightly clothed (Jn 21:7)
Liddell-Scott (LS) says in secular Greek gumnos could mean unarmed so that parts are not covered by armor = the exposed parts. LS - of things - e.g., an uncovered bow, i.e. taken out of the case. LS = in common language meant lightly clad, i.e. in the tunic only without the mantle
The first use in the Septuagint describes Adam and Eve as "naked and were not ashamed." (Ge 2:25) but when sin entered through Adam (Ro 5:12), "they knew that they were naked," (Ge 3:7) and sought to cover themselves. Similarly because of his sin Adam realized he was naked and tried to hide from God (Ge 3:10-11). In one of the more famous uses of gumnos in the Lxx Job declared "Naked I came from my mother's womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21, cp Lxx use of gumnos in Eccl 5:15) "Naked is Sheol before" God alludes to His all seeing eye (Job 26:6).
Friberg - (1) literally; (a) naked, unclothed, bare; substantivally naked person (Mk 14.52); (b) poorly dressed, (partially) naked (James 2.15); (c) without an outer garment, thus unpresentable for public appearance (Jn 21.7); (2) figuratively; (a) without bodily form, without body (2Cor 5.3); (b) of things disclosed easy to be known, exposed, not hidden (Heb 4.13); (c) substantivally person spiritually unprepared (Rev 3.17)
Open - Stark naked! Stripped down! Without clothing! We can hide from others. We can even do a good job of hiding from ourselves. But how do we hide from the One before Whom all hearts are open and all desires known? We cannot -- We cannot hide from God. Given that we are naked before Him, there is nothing to hide in or behind.
Gumnos - 15x in 15v - NAS = bare(1), naked(11), open(1), stripped(1), without clothing(1).
Gumnos - 35v in Lxx - Gen 2:25; 3:7, 10f; 27:16; 1 Sam 19:24; 2Chr 28:15; Job 1:21; 22:6; 24:7, 10; 26:6; 31:19; Prov 23:31; Eccl 5:15; Isa 20:2ff; 32:11; 58:7; Ezek 16:7, 22, 39; 18:7, 16; 23:29; Dan 4:33; Hos 2:3; Amos 2:16; 4:3; Mic 1:8;
Both soul and body are effectively "naked" to the eyes of God. Remember that truth the next time you commit a willful, premeditated sin beloved. You are sinning against great grace, great light, a great God! (Ge 39:9) As it is the same sun that melts the wax which hardens the clay, so it is the same Word of God that leads some on to salvation, and turns others who will have none of it away into outer darkness (contrast these two reactions to truth - Jn 3:19, 20 versus Jn 3:21) Dear believer, are you in the Word daily that your thoughts, words and deeds might be exposed and shown for what they truly are? If not you need to be, for as Jesus said
Barclay explains that "What he is saying is that as far as men are concerned we may be able to wear our outward trappings and disguises; but in the presence of God these things are stripped away and we have to meet Him as we are. (Hebrews 4 Commentary)
Guzik writes that open or "Naked reminds us of the way God saw through Adam’s feeble hiding (Ge 3:7, 8, 9). God sees through our hiding the same way.
Even the pagan mind understood this concept of inability to hide from God, Seneca writing that "We ought always to so conduct ourselves as if we lived in public; we ought to think as if someone could see what is passing in our inmost breast; and there is one who does thus behold us. Of what avail is it, then, that any deed is concealed from man? Nothing can be hidden from God. He is present with our very souls, and penetrates our inmost thoughts, and, indeed, is never absent from us. (Seneca, Epistle 83)
Newell - At a great camp-meeting I attended many years ago, there was a great deal of prayer. Some 1500 Christians had come together from all over the United States and Canada. I remember Fanny Crosby sitting in the second seat from the front, a dear saint, with Heaven upon her face. One day some one had preached the Word with power in the afternoon, and the people were dispersing. But a man of color came running up to the altar, dropped on his knees, and began to cry mightily to God. I truly believe his voice could have been heard a mile. We gathered around him to comfort him, but it was as if we were not in existence. The Word of God had pierced even to the dividing of soul and spirit. Our singing, our talk, meant nothing to the man. He had been a backslidden church member, and as he afterwards told it, “I saw myself before God’s judgment bar! yea, slipping into hell, and the voices of earth meant nothing.” Alas, we forget that many come to meetings, enjoy the singing and the organ, yea, the eloquence of the preacher; but never experience dividing of soul and spirit. All is “soulical” to them. There is no direct dealing with God.
Laid bare (5136) (trachelizo from trachelos = neck) means to bend back the neck as the surgeon does for operating, as the anesthesiologist does that he might be able to see the vocal cords thus enabling him to insert the tube that conducts life giving oxygen thru the airway! Figuratively as used here (the only NT use), trachelizo means to lay bare or open and the perfect tense pictures this effect as enduring or permanent.
Trachelizo was also used to describes the bending back of the neck of an animal to be slaughtered for an offering in order to expose the throat. It may refer to the wrestler’s art of seizing one by the throat, rendering him limp and powerless.
Wuest writes that trachelizo "means “to seize and twist the neck or throat.” It was used of combatants who handled their antagonists in that way. It meant also “to bend back the neck of the victim to be slain, to lay bare or expose by bending back.” Hence the verb came to mean “to lay bare, to uncover, to expose.” (Hebrews Commentary)
Vincent - The exact metaphor, however, it is impossible to determine. The following are the principal explanations proposed: taken by the throat, as an athlete grasps an adversary; exposed, as a malefactor’s neck is bent back, and his face exposed to the spectators; or, as the necks of victims at the altar are drawn back and exposed to the knife. The idea at the root seems to be the bending back of the neck, and the last explanation, better than any other, suits the previous figure of the sword. The custom of drawing back the victim’s neck for sacrifice is familiar to all classical students. See Hom. Il. i. 459; ii. 422; Pindar, Ol. xiii. 114. The victim’s throat bared to the sacrificial knife is a powerful figure of the complete exposure of all created intelligence to the eye of him whose word is as a two-edged sword. (Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word Studies in the New Testament 4:429)
Friberg writes that trachelizo means "strictly take hold of by the neck; only passive in the NT, as a metaphor drawn from ancient custom, either of making an enemy face his conquerors by a sword fixed under his chin, of fastening a lock grip on an opponent in wrestling, or of bending back the head of a sacrificial victim, ready for the knife be exposed, i.e. be easily known. (Friberg, T., Friberg, B., & Miller, N. F. Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament. Baker Academic)
Vine writes that trachelizo "literally means to have the throat exposed. It is taken from the games, and signified to bend back the neck. Here the metaphor may be taken either from the sacrifice of a victim or from a mode of punishment. Whatever the metaphorical sense is, the warning is that there is no hiding oneself in any part of our being from God. (Vine, W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson)
MacArthur adds that trachelizo had two distinct uses in ancient times: "It was used of a wrestler taking his opponent by the throat. In this position the two men were unavoidably face to face. The other use was in regard to a criminal trial. A sharp dagger would be bound to the neck of the accused, with the point just below his chin, so that he could not bow his head, but had to face the court. Both uses had to do with grave face-to-face situations. When an unbeliever comes under the scrutiny of God’s Word, he will be unavoidably face-to-face with the perfect truth about God and about himself. (MacArthur, John: Hebrews. Moody Press)
Thayer has the following entry for trachelizo - 1. to seize and twist the neck or throat; used of combatants who handle thus their antagonists (Philo, Plutarch, Diogenes Laërt, others). 2. to bend back the neck of the victim to be slain, to lay bare or expose by bending back; hence, tropically, to lay bare, uncover, expose
God's sharp Word shows us where we are wrong not only in what we do, but in how we think and feel. We would like to hide our guilt but we cannot. God has perfect knowledge of what is going on in His world, even to the point of knowing the very thoughts of our hearts. This calls us to repent before we have to face the final judgment.
Barnes - The design of the remark here is, to guard those to whom the apostle was writing from self-deception --since they could conceal nothing from God. (Albert Barnes. Barnes NT Commentary)
Barclay summarizes the three potential meanings of trachelizo writing…
TO THE EYES OF HIM WITH WHOM WE HAVE TO DO: tois opthalmois autou pros on hemin ho logos: (Ecclesiastes 12:14; Matthew 7:21,22; 25:31,32; John 5:22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29; Acts 17:31; Romans 2:16; Romans 14:9, 10, 11, 12; 2Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:11, 12, 13, 14, 15)
PONDER THE PHRASE:
To the eyes (3788) (opthalmos) most often describes literal eyes which give sight, but occasionally is used figuratively to describe the eyes as the source of spiritual sight (or lack thereof). Thayer - metaph. the eyes of the mind, the faculty of knowing.
Here in Hebrews 4:13 eyes is an anthropomorphic description of God, Who sees all and knows all. You cannot hide, be you a saved or unsaved sinner. In a parallel OT use (in the Septuagint translation) Solomon reminds us that "The eyes (opthalmos) of the LORD are in every place, Watching the evil and the good." (Pr 15:3)
Jesus use opthalmos several times in the Sermon on the Mount - eye makes you stumble tear it out (Mt 5:29-note, 18:9, Mk 9:47), in reference to the saying "an eye for an eye, " (Mt 5:38-note), the eye as "the lamp of the body" (Mt 6:22-23-note, Lk 11:34), figuratively of judging another by looking at "the speck that is in your brother's eye" and not see the "log that is in your own eye," (Mt 7:3-5-note, Lk 6:41-42). Used of opening eyes of blind (Mt 9:30, Mk 8:25, Jn 9:6, 10-11 - "opened" = regained sense of sight - similar uses in context - Jn 9:14,17, 21, 26, 30, 32, 10:21, 11:37). Figuratively the Jews had "closed their (spiritual) eyes" (Mt 13:15, cp Mk 8:18, Acts 28:27, Ro 11:8, 10-note cp "He has blinded their [spiritual] eyes" Jn 12:40 - don't misunderstand for while blinding their eyes was part of God's sovereign plan, those blinded were still responsible - see Jn 8:24 - mysterious? Yes!) in contrast to the blessing of the "eyes" that see spiritual truth (in context understand who Jesus was). Now the great need for all who are spiritually blind is "eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see" (Rev 3:18-note). Even those who refuse the "eye salve" to see Christ for salvation, will yet see the Messiah at His Second Coming when "every (Greek means all without exception!) eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him." (Rev 1:7-note)
Jesus speaks figuratively of an envious "eye" an eye that is jealous. (Mt 20:15), with opthalmos actually translated as envy in Mk 7:21-note. "Eyes were heavy" refers to becoming sleepy or tired (Mt 26:43, Mk 14:40). "Lifted up His eyes" means to turn His gaze toward His disciples (Lk 6:20). The "tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven," expressive of his humility, brokenness, contrition over sin. (Lk 18:13) "Hidden from your eyes" is Jesus' figurative use, where the spiritual truth was hidden from the understanding of the Jews (Lk 19:42). The disciples on the road to Emmaus spiritual "eyes were prevented from recognizing Him." (Lk 24:16), but later "their eyes (spiritual understanding) were opened and they recognized" their resurrected Lord.
In Acts 1:9 as Jesus' disciples were looking on "a cloud received Him out of their sight (opthalmos)." Saul "eyes were open, he could see nothing." (Acts 9:8, he was "without sight" or blinded - Acts 9:9) until something like scales "fell from his eyes." (Acts 9:18) Tabitha's opening of "her eyes" was the first sign she had been brought back from the dead (Acts 9:40). Paul was chosen and sent by Jesus especially to the Gentiles "to open their eyes (of their heart, of their spiritual understanding) so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me (Jesus is speaking to Paul)." No fear of God "before their eyes" means before their spiritual eyes (which were really spiritually blind eyes) (Ro 3:18-note). Paul uses "eye" metaphorically to describe the different members of the body of Christ (1Cor 12:16, 17, 21). The eye blinks were rapidly and so Paul uses the phrase "In the twinkling of an eye" to depict the rapidity with which our glorification will occur. In one of Paul's great prayers (one with which we should all be continually interceding for one another) "Eyes full of adultery" is surely also a figure to describe their hearts full of adultery, the eye gate being the conduit to the heart. (2Pe 2:14-note).
John uses eye figuratively in the phrase "the darkness has (spiritually) blinded his eyes" (referring to the one who habitually hates his brother) (1Jn 2:11-note). In 1Jn 2:16-note) the "lust (epithumia) of the eyes" depicts man's natural eyes as the "open windows" that allow temptation to enter, which in turn is able to stimulate the evil cravings (lusts) that lodge in our fallen nature (our "anti-God" flesh). Hiebert adds that "the reference is not merely to physical sight but includes intellectual visualization." Eve fell prey to the "lust of her eyes" for she "saw the tree was good for food." (Ge 3:6 - Note the Lxx uses opthalmos three times, once in each verse - Ge 3:6-8 - It was our EYES which were critical in bringing about the first sin! And our eyes are still the main sense tempting us to sin against God!). In a related use of opthalmos in the Septuagint we read that Job declared "I have made a covenant with my eyes (Lxx = opthalmos). How then could I gaze (Hebrew = bin/biyn = not just a casual or accidental, unavoidable glance, but careful consideration. Lxx uses suniemi = to understand!) at a virgin?" (Job 31:1-see comment. See also a similar principle regarding the vital importance of guarding one's heart in Pr 4:23-note, cp Pr 4:25-27)
Eyes refers to God's eyes in only two passages - Heb 4:13-note, 1Pe 3:12-note. Eyes describes the four living creatures around the throne of God (Rev 4:8-note, Rev 5:6-note). In two of my favorite (albeit somewhat mysterious) passages in Revelation we read that "God will wipe every tear from their eyes." (Rev 7:17-note, Rev 21:4-note). Eyes like fire repeatedly describe the risen, glorified King (Rev 1:14-note, Rev 2:18-note, Rev 19:12-note).
L-S - Eyes were painted on the bows of ancient vessels. Phrases in secular Greek that use opthalmos - to have before one's eyes, what is before one's eyes, what was ridiculous to the eye, to get out of any one's sight, to tell one to one's face, to accuse him to his face; the eye of a master or ruler. Figuratively - the dearest, best, as the eye is the most precious part of the body, hence of men, eye or bud of a plant or tree, in Persia the king's eye was a confidential officer, through whom he beheld his kingdom and subjects.
Zodhiates - In phrases, ophthalmós haploús (haploús , single, without folds), meaning a sound eye, as contrasted to ophthalmós ponērós (ponērós , evil), an unsound, evil or diseased eye (Matt. 6:22, 23). With anoígō (455), to open, to open the eyes (Acts 9:8, 40), means either one’s own eyes or those of another, i.e., to cause to see, to restore sight (Matt. 9:30; 20:33; John 9:10, 14, 17, 21, 26, 30, 32; 10:21; 11:37; Sept.: Is. 35:5; 37:23; 42:7); metaphorically, it means to open the eyes of the mind, i.e., cause to perceive and understand (Acts 26:18). With dianoígō (1272), to open wide the eyes, means to cause to see what was not seen before (Luke 24:31; Sept.: 2 Kgs. 6:17); with exorússō (1846), to dig out, denotes entire devotedness (Gal. 4:15; Sept.: 1 Sam. 11:2); with epaírō (1869), to raise up, to lift up the eyes, means to look upon (Matt. 17:8; Luke 6:20; 16:23; 18:13; John 4:35; 6:5; 17:1; Sept.: Gen. 13:10; Ezek. 18:6); with kamnúō (2576), to shut down, to close the eyes so as not to see (Matt. 13:15; Acts 28:27, quoted from Is. 6:10). In 1 Pet. 3:12, “The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous” means the eyes of the Lord are directed upon the righteous implying affection, quoted from Ps. 34:15. In 2 Pet. 2:14 “eyes full of adultery” indicates one who looks at others with adulterous desire. Heb. 4:13, “naked and open in his eyes” (a.t.), means uncovered, manifest. See also Sept.: Job 27:19. (The Complete Word Study New Testament - Spiros Zodhiates)
Ophthalmos - 100x in 85v translated envy*(1), eye(29), eyes(68), gaze(1), sight(1).- Matt 5:29, 38; 6:22-23; 7:3-5; 9:29-30; 13:15-16; 17:8; 18:9; 20:15, 33; 21:42; 26:43; Mark 7:22; 8:18, 25; 9:47; 12:11; 14:40; Luke 2:30; 4:20; 6:20, 41f; 10:23; 11:34; 16:23; 18:13; 19:42; 24:16, 31; John 4:35; 6:5; 9:6, 10-11, 14-15, 17, 21, 26, 30, 32; 10:21; 11:37, 41; 12:40; 17:1; Acts 1:9; 9:8, 18, 40; 26:18; 28:27; Ro 3:18; 11:8, 10; 1Cor 2:9; 12:16f, 21; 15:52; Gal 3:1; 4:15; Eph 1:18; Heb 4:13; 1 Pet 3:12; 2 Pet 2:14; 1John 1:1; 2:11, 16; Rev 1:7, 14; 2:18; 3:18; 4:6, 8; 5:6; 7:17; 19:12; 21:4
Opthalmos in Lxx - over 500 times - Gen 3:5-7; 13:10, 14; Ge 18:2; 21:19; Ge 22:4, 13; 24:63f; 27:1; 29:17; 31:10, 12, 40; 37:25; 39:7; 43:29; 45:12, 20; 46:4; 48:10; 49:12; Exod 13:9, 16; 14:10; 21:24, 26; 23:8; Lev 4:13; 5:4; 20:4; 21:20; 24:20; 26:16; Num 5:13; 11:6; 14:14; 15:24, 39; 16:14; 22:31; 24:2, 4, 16; 33:55; Deut 3:21, 27; 4:3, 9; 6:8; 7:16, 19; 10:21; 11:7, 12, 18; 13:8; 14:1; 15:9; 16:19; 19:13, 21; 21:7; 25:12; 28:32, 34, 54, 56, 65ff; 29:3f; 32:10; 34:4, 7; Josh 5:13; 23:13; 24:7; Jdg 6:17, 21; 10:15; 14:3, 7; 16:21, 28; 17:6; 19:17, 24; Ruth 2:2, 9-10, 13; 1Sam 1:18, 23; 2:29, 33; 3:2; 4:15; 6:13; 8:6; 11:2; 12:16; 14:27, 29; 16:12, 22; 17:42; 18:8, 20, 23, 26; 20:3, 29; 24:4, 10; 25:8; 26:21, 24; 27:5; 29:6f, 9; 2 Sam 3:19; 6:20, 22; 10:12; 11:25, 27; 12:9, 11; 13:2, 5f, 8, 34; 14:22; 15:25f; 16:4, 22; 17:4; 18:4, 24; 19:6, 18, 27, 37f; 20:6; 22:25, 28; 24:3, 22; 1 Kgs 1:20, 48; 8:29, 52; 9:3; 10:7; 12:24; 20:6, 38, 41; 22:43; 2 Kgs 1:13f; 3:2, 18; 4:34f; 6:17, 20; 7:2, 19; 9:30; 10:5, 30; 13:2, 11; 14:3; 15:3, 9, 18, 24, 28, 34; 16:2; 17:2, 17; 18:3; 19:16, 22; 20:3; 21:2, 6, 9, 15f, 20; 22:2, 20; 23:16, 32, 37; 24:9; 25:7; 1 Chr 13:4; 19:13; 21:3, 16; 2 Chr 6:20, 40; 7:15f; 9:6; 16:9; 20:12; 29:8; 32:23; 34:28; Ezra 3:12; 5:5; 7:28; 9:8; Neh 1:6; 6:16; Esth 4:17; Job 3:10; 4:16; 7:7f; 10:18; 11:20; 13:1; 15:12; 16:10, 20; 17:5, 7; 19:27; 20:9; 21:8, 20; 22:29; 24:15; 27:19; 28:7, 10; 29:11, 15; 31:1, 7, 16; 36:7; 39:29; 40:24; 41:18; 42:5; Ps 5:5; 6:7; 10:8; 11:4; 13:3; 14:3; 17:2, 8, 11; 18:24, 27; 19:8; 25:15; 26:3; 31:9, 22; 32:8; 33:18; 34:15; 35:19, 21; 36:1; 38:10; 54:7; 66:7; 69:3, 23; 77:4; 79:10; 88:9; 90:4; 91:8; 92:11; 94:9; 101:3, 5ff; 115:5; 116:8; 118:23; 119:18, 37, 82, 123, 136, 148; 121:1; 123:1f; 131:1; 132:4; 135:16; 139:16; 141:8; 145:15; Prov 4:25; 5:21; 6:13, 17, 25; 10:10; 15:3, 15, 30; 16:30; 17:24; 20:8f, 12f; 22:12; 23:26, 29, 31, 33; 25:7; 27:20; 28:27; 30:13, 17; Eccl 1:8; 2:10, 14; 4:8; 5:11; 6:9; 8:16; 11:7, 9; Song 1:15; 4:1, 9; 5:12; 6:5; 7:4; 8:10; Isa 1:15f; 2:11; 3:16; 5:15; 6:5, 10; 10:12; 13:18; 17:7; 29:10, 18; 30:20; 33:15, 17, 20; 35:5; 37:23; 38:14; 40:26; 42:7; 43:8; 44:18; 49:18; 51:6; 52:8; 59:10; 60:4; 64:4; Jer 3:2; 4:30; 5:3, 21; 9:1, 18; 13:17, 20; 14:6, 17; 16:9, 17; 19:10; 20:4; 22:17; 24:6; 27:5; 28:1, 5, 10f; 29:21; 31:16; 32:4, 12f, 18, 30; 34:3, 15; 38:26; 40:4; 42:2; 43:9; 51:24; 52:10f; Lam 1:16; 2:4, 11, 18; 3:48f, 51, 63; 4:17; 5:17; Ezek 1:18; 4:12; 5:11; 6:9; 7:4, 9, 13; 8:5, 18; 9:5, 10; 10:12; 12:2, 4, 12; 16:5; 18:6, 12, 15; 20:7f, 14, 17, 22, 24, 41; 21:6; 22:16, 26; 23:16, 27, 40; 24:16, 21, 25; 36:23, 34; 40:4; 44:5; Dan 4:17, 34; 7:8, 20; 8:3, 5, 21; 9:18; 10:5f; Hos 13:14; Joel 1:16; Amos 9:3f, 8; Jonah 2:4; Mic 4:11; 7:10; Hab 1:13; Zeph 3:7; Zech 1:18; 2:1, 8; 3:9; 4:10; 5:1, 5, 9; 6:1; 9:8; 11:17; 12:4; 14:12; Mal 1:5
Here are just a few of the wonderful uses of opthalmos in the Septuagint (see also uses in Psalms below) - In one of the most fascinating uses of eye (Lxx = opthalmos) is all of Scripture Daniel 4 describes what I personally believe was the conversion of Nebuchadnezzar to the true and living God, the Most High God, this previously pagan king after a seven year period of humbling, making the choice (enabled by grace) to declare "At the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes (Lxx = opthalmos) toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom [endures] from generation to generation." (Da 4:34-note) From this testimony of Nebuchadnezzar, John Piper invokes the principle that when we raise our eyes Godward, our reason returns! Are you eyes fixed on your current turmoil, which is clouding your ability to reason clearly? Then look to Jesus and your reason will return. In another "eye raising" scene as he was about to slay his only son, the son of his love, Isaac, "Abraham raised his eyes (Lxx = opthalmos) and looked, and behold, behind [him] a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son." Again in Joshua 5:13-14 we read "Now it came about when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing opposite him with his sword drawn in his hand" and this one was the Captain of the Hosts, a pre-incarnate appearance of Christ (Christophany, see discussion of the Angel of the LORD). In Dt 32:10 says "He (the LORD) kept him (His Chosen People) as the apple (pupil) of his eye (opthalmos)." Ruth the Moabitess found favor in the eyes of Boaz (Ruth 2:2, 9-10, 13).
Here are the uses of opthalmos in the Psalms… this would make an interesting study!
God's eyes see all the facts in our inmost hearts. There is neither wall nor veil to God's eye, nor thinnest film of obscurity. Surely every servant of Christ today needs to gaze into this revealing mirror and be honest with himself and God, Who knows us better than we know ourselves!
In the Revelation, on the isle of Patmos the apostle John has a face to face encounter with the risen, glorified Christ writing…
Wiersbe - God uses the Word to enable us to see the sin and unbelief in our own hearts. The Word exposes our hearts; and then, if we trust God, the Word enables our hearts to obey God and claim His promises. This is why each believer should be diligent to apply himself to hear and heed God's Word. In the Word we see God, and we also see how God sees us. We see ourselves as we really are. This experience enables us to be honest with God, to trust His will, and to obey Him. ()
Hughes gives this illustration - God sees everything. This can be discomforting if we have something to hide. This was the experience of some boys who were stealing apples, because as they were in the act it so happened that the great American astronomer Samuel Alfred Mitchell was observing the sun through his telescope as it descended, and just as it set there came into view the crest of an orchard-covered hill some seven miles distant where Dr. Mitchell watched the two boys—one picking apples while the other stood guard making sure they were not seen! (from Walter Paxendale, Dictionary of Illustrations for Pulpit and Platform Chicago: Moody Press, 1949, p. 419)
To do (3056) (logos) means an account or something said. Literally the Greek reads "to whom the account is to us", "to whom is our word" or "with whom our matter is". The idea is with whom our final reckoning has to be made.
I think the ESV and the NIV renderings are much easier to understand reading "to whom we must give account."
Guzik exhorts us to "Remember the context. The writer to the Hebrews trusts that he has pierced the hearts of his audience, who were contemplating “giving up” on Jesus. In this passage, he has made it plain that they can’t give up on Jesus can keep it “hidden” from God. The word of God has discovered and exposed their condition. (David Guzik. The Enduring Word Commentary Series)
Ryrie writes that it is "A play on the Greek term for "word"; i.e., if our lives conform to "the word of God" (v. 12), then our word (account) in the day of judgment will be acceptable to God. (The Ryrie Study Bible: New American Standard Translation: 1995. Moody Publishers)
With whom we have to do - Other renderings…
Hughes applies this truth commenting that…
In the final words of Ecclesiastes, Solomon writes…
Phillip Hughes writes that "In that day of manifestation both the hypocritical and the hypercritical will be shown for What they really are. (Paul's Second Epistle to the Corinthians)
Spurgeon - However great a revealer the Word may be, however clear a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart, the God who gave the Word is even more so. We should earnestly labor to be right, for no deceptions will avail. The Lord’s word lays us bare and opens up our secret selves. Oh, to be clean before the Lord! This we can never be except by faith.
Newell - The Word of God brings everything out into the light: All things are naked and laid open before the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. As David said to Solomon, “Know thou the God of thy father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind; for Jehovah searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts” (1 Chron. 28:9). And Hannah, in her great prayer: “Jehovah is a God of knowledge, and by Him actions are weighed.” And Solomon, in his prayer of dedication: “Render unto every man according to all his ways, whose heart Thou knowest (for Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men).”
ULTIMATE, FINAL ACCOUNTABILITY
We must give a personal account to God for what we have said and done in our own lives (cp at the Bema Seat 2Cor 5:10, Ro 14:10, 11, 12-note, cp 1Co 3:11, 12, 13, 14, 15); non-believers at the Great White Throne Judgment - Re 20:11-note, Re 20:12-note, Re 20:13-note, Re 20:14-note, Re 20:15-note). A personal relationship to God requires personal responsibility. Every time you read the Word, you are exposed to His pure light and revelation always calls for a response. Do not be deceived, for dear Bible believing, Bible church attending Christian, to whom much is given, much is expected (Lk 12:48, cp the same principle in Jas 3:1)! Everyone, must render an account to God for the life they lived while on earth (cp the motivation in 1Pe 1:17-note). This is one appointment we will not be allowed to miss (even if we wanted to) and this certainty should motivate us to reverential, loving, obedience as we ponder the truth that nothing can be concealed from God.
We all should emulate C H Spurgeon who when ask for permission to write his life story replied, "You may write my life in the skies—I have nothing to hide!"
Holman Bible Commentary says that…
He's Watching - In this age of electronics, we have all become aware of bugging devices. A person's office, hotel room, or telephone can be monitored so that every sound is picked up. This is accomplished through highly sensitive microphones that are so small they can easily be hidden. Heads of state, government officials, and business people in strategic positions must be exceedingly careful of what they say, especially when entering a strange setting. The awareness that they might be overheard is sure to make them think twice before they speak.
There is no time of day or night,
Today in the Word (click here) has the following devotional…
Wednesday, April 8, 1998
In [Christ] and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. - Ephesians 3:12
TODAY IN THE WORD - The British pastor Charles Spurgeon once made this observation about our need for the application of the Scriptures: ""When a soldier is wounded in battle, it is of little use for him to know that there are those at the hospital who can bind his wounds and medicines there to ease all the pains which he now suffers. What he needs is to be taken there and the remedies applied. It is thus with our souls. To meet this need there is one, the Spirit of truth, who takes of the things of Jesus and applies them to us.""
Although the writer of Hebrews may not specifically have had the comforting power of God's Word in mind here, Spurgeon's point is helpful. Only the Word of God, applied with surgical precision by the Spirit of God, can meet the needs of the human heart.
Why did the author mention the Scriptures at this point (v. 12)? Because sin is so deceitful (Heb. 3:13) and the danger of drifting away so real that our only safe guide is the Word of God.
The Word is so potent that it can expose the deepest motives of our hearts. We need this penetrating work desperately, as did the Hebrews, because ""the heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"" (Jer. 17:9). God's Word can reveal our tendency toward waywardness and help keep us on the path of faithfulness to Christ.
We have another source of help and strength in our struggle. In addition to the living written Word, we have the living incarnate Word in the Person of Jesus Christ.
In verse 14, Jesus is presented in His ministering role as our great High Priest. Jesus took the blood of His sacrifice into the heavenly sanctuary, just as Israel's high priest took the blood of animal sacrifices into the inner sanctuary of the temple to make atonement for sin.
We are encouraged to approach Jesus in our weakness because He was tempted in every way that we are tempted (v. 15). The difference, of course, is that Jesus never succumbed to temptation. He never sinned.
Instead of Jesus' sinlessness being a barrier between Him and us, we are encouraged to come to Him for mercy and grace in our time of need (v. 16).
TODAY ALONG THE WAY - With today's passage we begin the second section of our study, the superiority of Christ's priesthood (see the April 1 study for our brief outline of the book of Hebrews).
We're in for several weeks of encouragement and blessing as we consider Christ's priestly work on our behalf. That ministry is available to you today, especially if you are facing a time of need. Bring your burden, problem, or sin to the Lord right now and thank Him for His mercy and grace to deal with it. (See Moody Bible Institute's Today in the Word)