Hebrews I & 2
July 11, 2009
1:1 IN MANY separate revelations [each of which set forth a portion of the Truth] and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets,
2[But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son, Whom He appointed Heir and lawful Owner of all things, also by and through Whom He created the worlds and the reaches of space and the ages of time [He made, produced, built, operated, and arranged them in order].
1. The Gospel dispensation, called the last days because it is not followed by any other dispensation.
3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high,
1. KJ: upholding all things by the word of his power: This shows the infinite power of God
2. He spoke, and all things were created
3. He speaks, and all things are sustained.
4. The Hebrews, to whom this letter is written, would, from this and other circumstances, fully understand that the apostle believed Jesus to be truly and properly God.
5. The right hand is the place of the greatest eminence.
a. The king himself, in eastern countries, sits on the throne; the next to him in the kingdom, and the highest favorite, sits at his right and the third greatest personage, on his left.
4[Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs.
1. So much better than the angels] Another argument in favor of the Divinity of our Lord.
a. The Jews had the highest opinion of the transcendent excellence of angels; they even associate them with God in the creation of the world, and suppose them to be of the privy council of the Most High;
b. The Jews considered them next to God; on their own ground the apostle proves Jesus Christ to be God, because God commanded all the angels of heaven to worship him.
c. He, therefore, who is greater than the angels, and is the object of their adoration, is God. But Jesus Christ is greater than the angels, and the object of their adoration; therefore Jesus Christ must be God.
d. Christ is superior to the angels in his person, name, function, power, and dignity.
e. He along can save the lost and his is the name above every name.
f. By his name his reputation is established, for his is a mighty name.
5 For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, You are My Son, today I have begotten You [established You in an official Sonship relation, with kingly dignity]? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son? [2 Sam 7:14; Ps 2:7.]
1. These words are quoted from Ps 2:7, a psalm that seems to refer only to Messiah; and they are quoted by Paul in Acts 13:33, as referring to the resurrection of Christ.
2. Christ was put to death as a malefactor, but by his resurrection his innocence is demonstrated because God could not work a miracle to raise a wicked man from the dead.
6 Moreover, when He brings the firstborn Son again into the habitable world, He says, Let all the angels of God worship Him.
1. Greek: But when he brings again, or the second time, the first-born, into the habitable world: This refers to the resurrection.
2. To worship any creature is idolatry, and God resents idolatry more than any other evil.
3. Jesus Christ can’t be a creature, but He is God, or else the angels would be in idolatry by worshipping Him. (The Jews understood this)
7 Referring to the angels He says, [God] Who makes His angels winds and His ministering servants flames of fire; [Ps 104:4.]
1. The angels are far inferior to Christ who was made in the image and likeness of God; even made inferior to man; but of the angels, even the highest order of them, this is never spoken.
2. God makes his angels spirits, and sometimes he makes them fire.
3. It’s probable that those who are termed angels are not confined to any specific form or shape, but assume various forms and appearances according to the nature of the work given them. (This seems to have been the ancient Jewish doctrine on this subject.
8 But as to the Son, He says to Him, Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (to the ages of the ages), and the scepter of Your kingdom is a scepter of absolute righteousness (of justice and straightforwardness).
1. Jesus, the Son, is here referred to as God; A proof of the divinity of Christ.
2. Matt 28:18 Jesus says “All power is given to me, both in heaven and earth.
a. Jesus said that he shall have the same unlimited power and authority which he had with the Father before the world began.
3. A scepter of your kingdom: a scepter of righteousness The scepter, which is sort of a staff, was the ensign of government, and is here used for government itself.
a. The ancient Jewish writers understand this refers also to Messiah.
4. Righteousness: Gr. Euthus: straight, level, true (Only place this Gr. Word is used)
9 You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action] and You have hated lawlessness (injustice and iniquity). Therefore God, [even] Your God ( Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions. [Ps 45:6,7.]
1. The ancient kings, priests, and prophets were consecrated to their several offices by anointing, and this signified the gifts and influences of the divine Spirit.
2. None but Messiah, Christ, held all three offices: King over the universe, a Prophet to all intelligent beings, and a priest of the whole human race; thus he is infinitely exalted beyond his companions.
3. Joy or gladness: is used to express the festivities which took place on the inauguration of kings, etc.
4. Righteousness: Gr. Dikaiosune: equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification.
a. Notice that it’s a different word from vs. 8!!!!!
b. This Greek word when used (The righteousness of God) refers to the righteousness which has been imputed on us by Jesus.
c. Rom 3:22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
10 And [further], You, Lord, did lay the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the works of Your hands.
1. Jesus is the creator, Heb 1:2, this is implied in laying the foundation of the earth.
2. The heavens, which are the work of his hands, point out his infinite wisdom & skill.
11 They will perish, but You remain and continue permanently; they will all grow old and wear out like a garment.
1. As permanent as this physical realm seems to be, time will come when they shall be dissolved, and afterward a new heaven and a new earth shall be formed, in which righteousness alone shall dwell. (2 Pet 3:10-13)
2. Everything, visible things, shall wear out and must be renewed.
a. Our word world is a contraction of “wear old”.
12 Like a mantle [thrown about one's self] You will roll them up, and they will be changed and replaced by others. But You remain the same, and Your years will never end nor come to failure. [Ps 102:25-27.]
1. Will be changed: not destroyed ultimately, or annihilated; they shall be changed and reviewed.
2. Only God stays the same and with Him there is no time, but eternity.
13 Besides, to which of the angels has He ever said, Sit at My right hand [associated with Me in My royal dignity] till I make your enemies a stool for your feet? [Ps 110:1.]
1. If Christ could be proved to be greater than the angels, it would follow that he was God: this the writer proves from the Scriptures.
2. While Jesus is supreme and absolute Sovereign, angels are no more that his messengers and servants, and even servants to His servants, mankind.
14 Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation?
1. Who will inherit salvation: Soteria: rescue or safety: physically or morally
Heb. 2:1 SINCE ALL this is true, we ought to pay much closer attention than ever to the truths that we have heard, lest in any way we drift past [them] and slip away.
1. We should let them slip: Gr. Pararrhueo: to flow by, carelessly pass (miss)
2 For if the message given through angels [the Law spoken by them to Moses] was authentic and proved sure, and every violation and disobedience received an appropriate (just and adequate) penalty,
1. The law, which was delivered by the mediation of angels, or possibly other messages which God sent by angels: Lot (Gen 19).
2. A just penalty which the law prescribed for those who broke it.
3 How shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak].
1. If they, (previous verse) who had fewer privileges than we were severely disciplined, how shall those of this Christian dispensation escape (eternal damnation) if they reject the salvation that Christ and those who came after Him preached.
a. There will be no excuse for their unbelief.
4[Besides this evidence] it was also established and plainly endorsed by God, Who showed His approval of it by signs and wonders and various miraculous manifestations of [His] power and by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit [to the believers] according to His own will.
1. God did not leave the confirmation of these great truths to the testimony of men, He bore His own testimony by signs & wonders and the power to work these gifts of the Holy Spirit to accredit the ministry of His servants.
2. Various miracles: Gr. Dunamis: force, miraculous power
3. Gifts: Gr. Merismos: a separation or distribution.
5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the habitable world of the future, of which we are speaking.
1. In this verse, the apostle returns to the subject of Heb 1, the superiority of Jesus, the Messiah to the angels.
2. He diverted from this subject in Heb 2:1-4 showing them the consequences of defection, and the danger of neglecting Christianity.
3. Now he shows the honor conferred on the Lord Jesus which had never been bestowed to the angels, “supremacy over this world.
a. He does this by showing from the Old Testament that such dominion was given to “man” and that this dominion was in fact exercised by the Lord Jesus.
b. He, at the same time, meets an objection which a Jew would be likely to make: It appeared that Jesus was inferior to the angels, since He became a humble man, poor and despised and had none of the external honor shown to Moses-the founder of the Jewish economy, and none of the apparent honor which belonged to angelic beings.
c. He removes this objection by showing the reasons why Jesus became so.
4. Since He came to redeem man, He had to become man.
5. “World” here means the inhabited, or “inhabitable” world.
a. It refers to the control over man, or the dwellers on the earth.
6 It has been solemnly and earnestly said in a certain place, What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You graciously and helpfully care for and visit and look after him?
1. The apostle is saying that in the sacred Scriptures there stood a declaration that all things were placed under the control and jurisdiction of “Man”.
2. Man lost this dominion when he rebelled and it was found complete only in the “second man the Lord from heaven, the Lord Jesus:
3. What is man: Why has God conferred on him these honors? Why has he placed him over the works of his hands?
4. Son of man: refers to Christ in His human form.
7 For some little time You have ranked him lower than and inferior to the angels; You have crowned him with glory and honor and set him over the works of Your hands, [Ps 8:4-6.]
1. Man and Jesus when He was man.
2. Adam was originally made higher than the angels, but by sin is now brought low, and subjected to death; for the angelic nature is not mortal.
3. Jesus Christ, as the eternal Logos, or God with God could not die, therefore a body was prepared for Him for a short while, He was made lower than the angels, that He might be capable of suffering death.
4. Therefore this whole passage suits him (Jesus) better than it does the children of men, or even that Adam himself in a state of innocence; for it is only under the feet of Jesus that all things are put in subjection.
5. As a consequence of His humiliation that he had a name above every name, and that at the name of Jesus all would bow, including the angels, for they, as well as all things in heaven, bow in subjection to Him.
6. What was never true of the first Adam, even in his most exalted state, is true of the second Adam, the Lord Jesus Christ is crowned with glory and honor.
8 For You have put everything in subjection under his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to man, He left nothing outside [of man's] control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him [man].
1. Man has a general dominion over the works of God, but the control is not universal: the elements are not entirely under his control; the dominion of man is a broken dominion.
2. The world is not yet wholly under his dominion, but enough has been done to constitute a pledge that it will be done.
9 But we are able to see Jesus, Who was ranked lower than the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of His having suffered death, in order that by the grace (unmerited favor) of God [to us sinners] He might experience death for every individual person.
10 For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering.
1. God Himself provided a perfect scheme of salvation-even though it involved the humiliation and death of his own Son.
2. God is the cause of all things, and He is the object or end of them.
3. The Jews believed “the Messiah is never to be conquered, or die; but will be victorious and endure forever” therefore they had difficulty believing this “Great Salvation.”
4. Salvation: Gr. Soteria: rescue or safety (physically or morally).
5. Suffering: Gr. Pathema: something undergone, hardship or pain.
6. Perfect: Gr. Teleioo: to complete, consummate.
7. Jesus had to die to make atonement for sin.
11 For both He Who sanctifies [making men holy] and those who are sanctified all have one [Father]. For this reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren;
1. He that sanctifies is he that makes atonement; and they who are sanctified are they who receive that atonement, and, being reconciled to God, become His children by adoption, through grace.
12 For He says, I will declare Your [the Father's] name to My brethren; in the midst of the [worshiping] congregation I will sing hymns of praise to You. [Ps 22:22.]
1. This is quoting Ps 22 which refers to the Messiah; since the whole Psalm is so descriptive of Jesus condition and sufferings, there can be no reasonable doubt that it refers to Jesus.
2. It would be a part of Messiah’s work to make known to his disciples the character and perfections of God-or to make them acquainted with God.
3. Before this time, the perfections of God were not properly known or declared, until the manifestation of Christ.
4. Luke 10:21-22 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes Father, for this was your good pleasure, etc.
13 And again He says, My trust and assured reliance and confident hope shall be fixed in Him. And yet again, Here I am, I and the children whom God has given Me. [Isa 8:17,18.]
1. The language is used of the Messiah in another place, indicating the confidence He put in God and that he shared in the feelings of the children of God, and regarded Himself as one of them.
14 Since, therefore, [these His] children share in flesh and blood [in the physical nature of human beings], He [Himself] in a similar manner partook of the same [nature], that by [going through] death He might bring to nought and make of no effect him who had the power of death — that is, the devil —
1. Destroy: Gr. Katargeo: to be rendered entirely idle, or useless.
2. Death, which was intended by the devil, who was a murderer from the beginning, to be the final ruin of mankind, becomes the instrument of their exultation, (by Christ’s own death), and thus death brought in by Satan is counterworked and rendered ineffectual by the death of Christ.
3. There is an opinion prevalent among the Jews, that there was a certain fallen angel who was called mal’ak hamawet, the angel of death, who had the power of separating the soul from the body.
a. There were two of these according to some of the Jewish writers; one was the angel of death to the Gentiles, the other to the Jews.
b. T those who die out the land of Israel, his name is Sammael; those in Israel is Gabriel.
c. Sammuel is a common name for the Devil among the Jews, and there is a tradition among them that the angel of death would be destroyed by Messiah.
15 And also that He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the [haunting] fear of death were held in bondage throughout the whole course of their lives.
1. We, Christians, have the assurance of God’s love, and the fear of death is removed; and by the purification of our hearts through faith, the sting of death is extracted.
16 For, as we all know, He [Christ] did not take hold of angels [the fallen angels, to give them a helping and delivering hand], but He did take hold of [the fallen] descendants of Abraham [to reach out to them a helping and delivering hand]. [Isa 41:8,9.]
1. Christ did not assume the angelic nature, because an angel can’t die, but was made man, coming directly from the seed of Abraham; who had the original covenant, or promise from God: that to his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed.
2. The rebel angels, who sinned and fell from God, were permitted to fall down until they fell into perdition.
3. Man sinned and fell, and was falling down, but Jesus laid hold on him and prevented him from falling into endless perdition, preventing him from falling into the bottomless pit, hell.
4. Man was falling from heaven, and Jesus caught hold and prevented its endless ruin; in this respect He prefers men to angels, and probably for this simple reason, human nature was more excellent that the angelic.
17 So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people's sins.
18 For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of (assist, relieve) those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering].
1. It was necessary that Jesus Christ should become human, be exposed to trials, persecutions, and various sufferings, that he might be compassionate and understanding to those that are afflicted and tried.
2. Temted: Gr. Peirazo: to test