Hebrews 2:5-18 - Outline of Hebrews (MENU page)
Chapter 1: The Son is God - better than the angels.
Chapter 2: The Son is Man - lower than the angels.
2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
the world- GK=oikoumene, inhabited earth.
The future earthly millennial Kingdom of Christ, rather than a heavenly kingdom, is in view here.
not angels- Angels are not meant to be rulers, but servants. (cp. 1:7,14)
Who, then, will rule?
2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying,
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?
or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
The ''certain place,'' well known to the Hebrew readers, is Psalm 8,
which speaks of man's position before God and of God's purpose for man. (cp. Psa 8:4-6)
(See the Book Notes study on the Psalms of Messiah for Psalm 8.)
mindful {GK= mimnesko, recall to mind, remember}- cp. the English word ''mnemonic.''
Since man's significance is as nothing before the greatness of God's creation (cp Psa 8:1,3,4), it is amazing that God even remembers him. Yet, the Creator has innumerable thoughts toward man. (Psa 139:17,18) In fact, He has:
visited- GK=episkeptomai, to inspect, to look upon, ''to scope out'' because He cares for us.
Luk 1:68,78; 7:16; 19:10
2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels;
thou crownedst him with glory and honour,
and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
a little lower- may also be trans. ''for a little while lower...''
glory- Man was made ''in the image and likeness of God.''
honor- Man was given dominion over the earth.
Although man was created inferior to angels, God's purpose is that man will rule over creation (Gen 1:26). This was never His purpose for angels. Lucifer rebelled against God's purpose & sought to establish his own throne, and thereby, fell from the purpose for which God created him (Isa 14:12-14). Under Satan's influence, man also fell & demonstrated himself to be incapable of ruling due to sin & godless self-confidence.
2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet.
For in that he put all in subjection under him,
he left nothing [that is] not put
{in subjection} under him.
But now we see not yet all things put
{in subjection} under him.
in subjection- the GK is emphatic with multiple use of the word {as above}.
Man's dominion will include ''all'' and exclude ''nothing.''
see not- GK=horao, to observe with the physical eye.
The ''facts on the ground'' do not yet satisfy the promise.
Man, in his present ungodly state, does not fulfill the prophecy of this Psalm.
Man's governance is in disarray on every level (at home & in the throne).
Under man's hand we see injustice, corruption, deception & destruction.
The prophecy will be fulfilled in the future reign of Christ. But not until then. As Jesus said, ''Without me, ye can do nothing.'' Joh 15:5; 1Cor 15:24-28
2:9 But we see Jesus,
who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death,
crowned with glory and honour;
that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man
{lit., for every thing}.
we see- GK=blepo, to discern with the mind's eye, to see with understanding (cp. v.8).
Jesus- the first occurrence (in Hebrews) of the human name of God the Son.
Ch. 1 emphasized His deity (He is superior to prophets & angels. He is the Creator & the Closer of creation). Here we see Him as man.
crowned with glory & honor- The eye of faith perceives that because the man,
Jesus, has been exalted to God's right hand (1:13), the promise of man's dominion is both secure & in process. Rev 5:9-12
Now we consider the process: God the Son became Jesus, a man-
-who was made...lower than the angels for the suffering of death, Php 2:6-8.
-to taste death (in all its bitterness) for every ''thing,'' 1Pet 3:18; Rom 8:18-21.
-by the grace of God- not because any man deserved His intervention.
2:10 For it became him,
{ie., it was fitting, in harmony with His person & purpose}
for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things,
Whom?- God the Father & God the Son (cp. 1:2,3; Col 1:17).
For what purpose?-
in bringing many sons unto glory,
Rom 8:17,29
To do what?-
to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
the captain- ie., the author, the originator, of our salvation. Heb 12:2
perfect- Christ was always the perfect man, without sin.
But His virgin birth, sinless life, authoritative teaching & supernatural powers... did not fully equip Him to save us.
through sufferings- only through His suffering & death could Jesus
purchase our salvation, since the penalty for sin is death (Rom 6:23; Heb 5:8,9).
Because the Life of the God/Man is eternal, His death is sufficient to pay the debt of every man who will believe. Heb 9:28
2:11 For both he that sanctifieth {ie., Christ}
and they who are sanctified {ie., the many sons, v.10}
[are] all of one:
for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
sanctified- GK=hagiazo, to make holy, to purify, to set apart for God.
In much of the NT, 'sanctification' refers to the process by which the Holy Spirit changes our 'condition,' causing us to grow more like our Savior, who is completely holy and undefiled. Here the word refers to what Christ has accomplished on the cross which establishes our 'position'-- in Him, we are Holy, we belong to God, we are set apart for Him. Joh 17:19
all of one- ie., in Christ, we belong to one Father and one family.
In contrast, the false doctrines of the Universal Fatherhood of God & the Universal Brotherhood of Men hold that all men are accepted by God & belong to God's family. This passage teaches that to become God's children, men must be made holy, through the salvation which Christ provided, at the expense of His own death.
not ashamed- an intensive form of the word for shame-
God cannot fellowship with those who are unholy. For Him to do so would be ''shame upon shame.'' Only those whom He has sanctified are included among the ''brethren'' of God the Son.
2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren,
in the midst of the church
{ie., congregation} will I sing praise unto thee.
Quote: Psa 22:22- vs.1-21 of this Psalm provide a detailed & intimate look at the sufferings of Christ on the cross.
At v.22, the tone changes from sorrow to joy due to deliverance from death (ie., the resurrection).
It is at this point, after His work of salvation was completed, that He refers to believers as His brethren. cp. Joh 20:17
As the Author of Salvation, this Man leads His brethren in worship.
(See the Book Notes study on the Psalms of Messiah for Psalm 22.)
2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him.
Quotes: Isa 8:17,18
As the Author of Salvation, this Man, walked by faith.
In the context of Isa 8, Isaiah is both a prophet declaring God's Word and a man of faith awaiting its fulfilment. This foreshadowed the life of Christ & also the lives of those who are in fellowship with Him.
And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
As the Author of Salvation, this Son of God & Son of Man,
is accompanied by many ''sons of men,'' who through Him have become like Him, sons of God. In the context of Isa 8, Isaiah & his sons, who had significant names, were ''for signs and wonders in Israel.'' (cp. Isa 7:3; 8:3,4; 10:21). So, Christ and His 'children' show forth the grace of God to the unsaved of Israel & the gentile world. Isa 8:17,18; 53:10; Joh 17:6-12; Eph 2:4-7; 1Tim 1:16; 1Pet 2:9
2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood,
partakers- GK=koinoneo, to have in common.
he also himself likewise took part of the same;
likewise- GK-in a similar manner (not identical).
took part- GK=metecho, lit. ''to have with.''
These words limit His ''partaking.'' His nature was fully human, but it was not fallen human nature. cp. Luk 1:35
The purpose for the incarnation of God the Son was for Him to die.
that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death,
that is, the devil;
power- GK=kratos, dominion, strength-
The power behind death is sin. Rom 5:12,18,19; 1Cor 15:55-57
the devil- Satan who instigates sin, also demands that sin's penalty be paid.
destroy- GK=katargeo, to render ineffective or powerless Joh 12:24,31-33; 2Tim 1:9,10
In His death & resurrection,
Christ (A) destroyed Satan's power over men. Heb 9:15,25-26; 1Joh 3:8; Rev 1:18
2:15 And deliver them who through fear {ie., terror, dread} of death
were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
bondage- ie., in slavery.
fear of death- provides motivation for -
  • Worldly wisdom: ''Eat, drink, be merry, tomorrow we die.''
    ''You only go around once. Get what you can, while you can.''
  • Fleshly religion: which attempts to merit God's favor, but cannot. Rom 7:7-25
In His death & resurrection,
Christ (B) delivered sin's slaves. 1Cor 15:55-57
2:16 For verily he took not {hold} on [him the nature of] angels;
but he took
{hold} on [him] the seed of Abraham.
took hold- ie., for the purpose of helping them.
Read the above verse without the words in [brackets].
Christ came, not to save fallen angels, but to save fallen men.
Therefore, He became a man, in fulfilment of promises made first to Adam and later to Abraham & the patriarchs. Gen 3:15; 22:18; Isa 41:8,9
2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren,
in all things- He came into a world of sin & came under its effects:
eg., poverty, temptation, sorrow, pain, death.
that he might be {ie., become} a merciful
and faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God,
a high priest- is the representative-
(1) of God before man- God the Son is obviously qualified for this role.
(2) of man before God- the Son of Man is fit for this role, since He is both...
merciful- compassionate toward those whose woes He shares (cp. 5:1,2).
faithful- toward God. He was obedient even unto death (cp. 5:7-9; Php 2:8).
to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
reconciliation- GK=hilaskomai, expiation, propitiation.
The word is used of the ''Mercy Seat'' on the Ark of the Covenant in the Temple. Here, the High Priest presented the blood of sacrifice once each year (on the Day of Atonement) symbolizing that the sentence of the Law was met.
Propitiation (A) satisfies God's righteousness by execution of His judgment upon sin (ie., death),
     and (B) enables God to look favorably upon the sinner whose sins are thus put away.
Christ, our High Priest, by His sacrifice, transformed the judgment seat of God into the Mercy Seat for us. (This will be explained more fully in ch. 9 & 10.) cp. Luk 18:13 (where 'be merciful' is a plea that his sins 'be propitiated' at the Mercy Seat); Rom 3:23-26
2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted,
he is able to succour them that are tempted.
suffered- GK=pascho, to endure suffering.
succour- ie., to help, to come to the aid of.
tempted- ie., tested.
The test may be (A) the opportunity for evil doing, or (B) the opposition of evil foes. Jesus proved Himself in both cases. Through His provision and enabling, His own are also ''able to withstand in the evil day.'' 1Pet 4:1,2; Eph 6:10-13; Gal 2:20; 2Cor 1:3-5

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