Our Focus Passage – Hebrews 1:5 to 2:18
Chapter 1 beginning with verse 5:
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say,
“You are My Son,Psalm 2:7
Today I have fathered You”?
“I will be a Father to Him2 Sam 7:14
And He will be a Son to Me”?
“And let all the angels of God worship Him.”Deut 32:43
7 And regarding the angels He says,
“He makes His angels winds,Psalm 104:4
And His ministers a flame of fire.”
8 But regarding the Son He says,
“Your throne, God, is forever and ever,Psalm 45:6-7
And the scepter of righteousness is the scepter of [c]His kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your companions.”
“You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,Psalm 102:25-27
And the heavens are the works of Your hands;
11 They will perish, but You remain;
And they all will [d]wear out like a garment,
12 And like a robe You will roll them up;
Like a garment they will also be changed.
But You are the same,
And Your years will not come to an end.”
13 But to which of the angels has He ever said,
“Sit at My right hand,Psalm 110:1
Until I make Your enemies
A footstool for Your feet”?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to provide service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
2 1For this reason we must pay much closer attention to [e]what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved [f]unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just [g]punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? [h]After it was at first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also testifying with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various [i]miracles and by [j]gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
5 For He did not subject to angels [k]the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But someone has testified somewhere, saying,
“What is man, that You think of him?Psalm 8:4-6
Or a son of man, that You are concerned about him?
7 You have made him [l]for a little while lower than angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor[m];
8 You have put everything in subjection under his feet.”
For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
9 But we do see Him who was made [n]for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of His suffering death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the [o]originator of their salvation through sufferings.11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are [p]sanctified are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,
“I will proclaim Your name to My brothers,Psalm 22:22
In the midst of the assembly I will sing Your praise.”
13 And again,
“I will put My trust in Him.”Isaiah 8:17
“Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”Isaiah 8:18
14 Therefore, since the children share in [q]flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, so that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.16 For clearly He does not [r]give help to angels, but He gives help to the [s]descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He [t]had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make [u]propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was [v]tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are [w]tempted.
Yes, I know it’s complicated but stay with me. I need to explain what I have done FOR you. Firstly, I wonder if there were any of my readers who picked up on what I was hinting at the end of the last Gem. I have given you with the above verses the writer of Hebrews’ complete argument as to why Jesus is greater than the angels. (Hebrews 1:5 to 2:18)
Did you notice what the divisions are based on?
Do you see what the writer is doing and why?
Just read it a number of times and let the argument settle on you. I think you will see the key to understanding his argument and see why he has structured it in the way he has.
Did you notice that the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews is quoting the TANAKH, the Old Testament. The TANAKH is a mnemonic for:
- TorAh – The LAW
- Nevi’im – The PROPHETS
- KHethuvim – The WRITINGS
Effectively, he is saying: “God said”, “did He ever say”, “and He says”, “but He says”, “has He ever said”, “but someone has testified somewhere saying”, “He is not ashamed . . . saying”. The writer it taking his argument straight from quotes God Himself said.
Now allow me to explain what I have done for you above. When we sat down to plan this website I did not have this passage of Hebrews in mind when I told my son-in-law Josh all the detail of what I needed captured in the website design. All of the above is Hebrews 1:5-2:18 – the author’s argument related to Jesus being greater than the angels. But I have had to handle this passage in the above way to show you the structure of what we have before us. Usually I would turn the Scripture we are dealing into a Scripture quote block. But given the complication above the features on the website don’t allow for that. The author has quoted from the TANAKH, the major portions of the whole of the Old Testament Scriptures. Notice that we have quotes from the TORAH (Deuteronomy), the PROPHETS (Samuel and Isaiah1) and the WRITINGS (Psalms). To really understand this you will have to do Deeper Bible, the course I offer which explains this more fully. Suffice to say, when a writer quotes from all major divisions of the Old Testament that is incontrovertible evidence that God said what He meant and meant what He said. i.e. All of Scripture, the Bible, the TANAKH agrees.
1 The Prophets from a Hebrew perspective include both the Historical books and the Prophets (Major and Minor – not distinguished for their importance but by the length of their book.)
To give you all of the above information I used the New American Standard Bible [NASB] text because it capitalises quotes from the Old Testament and I have added the references for each OT quote given from the NASB footnotes. The other way of finding this valuable information is to use a Study Bible with good footnotes or use something like Thompson’s Chain Reference Bible. Now I have given you everything you need to thoroughly understand what the writer was doing when he wrote the Letter to the Hebrews. Mixed in with the quotes he took from the TANAKH are the words he wrote in the letter which I have italicised for you so that you know clearly when the writer is quoting from the Old Testament and when he is freely writing his own text.
I have for now left in the NASB [footnotes]. They may be useful for us as we examine the text; they may not. For now they are available but I may remove them later from all related Gems where they appear if they should not prove useful to our detailed investigation.
Did you notice my little word play in the last Gem? I gave you the quote from Dr Basil Brown
“To understand any book of the Bible you have to read it in one sitting at least seven times.”
and then added my quote or question I often ask in Deeper Bible:
Why would my Greek professor tell us to read a book, a passage or an argument seven times? Why tell us to read it SEVEN times?
I don’t imagine any of you readers noticed that there are SEVEN (7) quotes in Hebrews chapter one which have been selected by the author to cover the whole of the TANAKH. That is deliberate. Paul often does that too, quoting from all three sections of the TANAKH to emphasise his point and make it clear that God says this across the whole of Scripture. Why SEVEN (7)? Because 7 is God’s perfect number. Well actually because it is the number symbolising completion or perfection. There are times when the depth and subtlety of the Bible just confuses us. It both confuses and excites us at the same time. This is a KEY Gem which prepares you for the work we have ahead of us. The letter to the Hebrews is good training for learning to read the Bible like a Hebrew, in the correct way.
Why read a passage or an argument seven times? In order to perfect it.
What should you do now?
Read the argument of the writer to the Hebrews concerning Jesus being greater than the angels again. Whether you read it seven times in one sitting or not is up to you. But like Dr Basil Brown told us, I recommend that you do read it repetitively seven times. You will find you begin to see what the writer is doing. I promise, through the Gems to come on Hebrews, to lead you by the hand through what the writer has given us in the book of Hebrews.
There is one more thing to tell you in order to turn you into students of the WORD of GOD or the TANAKH. But that will have to wait for the next Gem. I have said enough for now. Following the next Gem we will begin our detailed look at the text of the Letter to the Hebrews.
There are times when the depth and subtlety of the Bible just confuse us when actually it should excite us to realise the depth of what is hidden in the text.Ian Vail
God takes us into deep waters, not to drown us but to cleanse us.Jussar Badudu
My relationship with God is only as deep as my relationship to His Word.Robb Thompson
Jesus taught profound truth in simple ways. We do the opposite. Many “deep” teachers are actually just muddy!Rick Warren
Run after the thing that scares you the most; God is in the deep end.Judah Smith
Do you drink deeply at the fountain of living water or just rinse and spit?Ian Vail
(S)he who finds their own Gems comes alive to Bible study. Capture the thrill of digging deeper in God’s Word and you will never be the same.Ian Vail