2 1For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? 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 miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
5 For He did not subject to angels 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 FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN ANGELS;
YOU HAVE CROWNED HIM WITH GLORY AND HONOR;
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 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 originator of their salvation through sufferings.11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are 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 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 give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore, in all things He 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 propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
I begin this Gem with two reader questions. The first relates to the portion I have given you above. One person said to me, “Ian do you realise that you have given us the breakdown of Hebrews 2 already? You gave it to us in Gem 2032.”
“Yes I do.” I used Gem 2032 to clip the above portion for you. I didn’t draw attention to it because I decided to leave it open ended and give the two groups the option of approaching it the way they chose. I gave a little clue in my comments about using the NASB translation, figuring you may remember that I had given you the full account of the writer’s comparison of the Son with angels in the NASB version before. I am delighted that some of you spotted that.
The second question relates to the quote I gave you at the end of the previous Gem. Two people drew attention to that by asking:
- Was there deep significance to the colour change in the quote by Terrie Marie or was that a mistake?
- Ian, why are the words (and His Word) greyed out in Terrie Marie’s quote in Gem 2041?
When you are in alignment with God (and His Word), everything happens with the speed of Angels Wings.Terrie Marie
Simply because I added “and His Word” to the quote from Terrie Marie. I figured the easiest way to signal that those three words were not part of Terrie Marie’s original quote was to use the same technique as the Bible publishers use for portions that have been added and are not found in the original. I wondered if anyone would comment and two indeed did. It reassures me that people are actually reading the Gem and Nuggets while paying attention to the detail. I tell participants in Deeper Bible to ‘pay attention to the detail’.
Now for the nitty gritty of our investigation into the Letter to the Hebrews. I told you in Gem 2032 that the writer was very familiar with the Old Testament and quoted from it often. He builds his argument and the things he wanted to say by quoting the Old Testament. Not only that he interspersed his argument with warnings along the way to not neglect this Gospel message which came through the SON and not prophets or angels. This is all part of the discussion as to why THIS SON is so much greater than other leaders and institutions of Judaism . I mentioned that feature of the Letter to the Hebrews in Gem 2024. Did you spot that element in this first section related to the comparison between Son and angels? If not, focus your attention on it now! That will be the first section we investigate in the next Gem.
1For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every violation and act of disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? 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 miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.Hebrews 2:1-4
What title would you give to this section?
Think about it for a moment. I am sure you often pay attention to the pericope titles in your Bible, especially when you are looking for something. I have told you before, the Pericope Titles are not anointed. They were not put there by the author and they were not added by Robert Estienne. They have been the work of the publishers of the various Bible versions and they vary widely.
How did your choice of title measure up?
The A-Z of Pericope Titles
- An Exhortation (Jerusalem Bible)
- A Warning Not to Drift From Truth (TPB)
- A Warning Against Drifting Away (NLT)
- Dominion of the World Given To Christ (Thompson’s Chain Reference – KJV Version)
- Give Heed (NASB)
- The angels had authority in the past ages: today the Son is the authority (J. B. Phillips)
- The Great Salvation (TEV)
- The Peril of Disobedience to the Saviour’s Message (Weymouth Bible)
- The Pre-eminence of Christ’s Message (Weymouth NT)
- The Role of Christ in Salvation (RV)
- The Role of Christ in Salvation (KJV)
- The Salvation Pioneer (The Message)
- The Son is Higher Than Angels (Message)
- This Great Way of Being Saved (CEV)
- Warning Against Neglecting Salvation (E-Sword)
- Warning to Pay Attention (NIV)
You will pick up a few things from a glance at this list of pericope titles for Hebrews 2:1-4.
Have you noticed that Hebrews 2:5 also starts with a For? That’s interesting. It seems that it is all connected. Your challenge is to work out how. Pay attention to the little words – “for“, “because“, “so that“, “if“, “therefore” etc. These words and others like them are the connectors. They help us to work out how the total passage goes together. I have highlighted angels for you. I hope it is clear to you now that the writer is continuing his comparison of the Son and angels. The first four verses of Chapter 2 are the bridge to our understanding of the whole passage. Crack the code of why the writer wrote those first four verses as he did and it will open up the meaning of the larger passage for you. Pay attention to the connections in Bible!
The Bible is amazing: 66 books, written over a time span of 1500 years, by 40 different authors, in three languages, across three continents and yet it is One Book.Ian
Expect all of the Bible to make sense and to be connected. Not one verse of Scripture was included by mistake or without purpose.Dr Basil Brown
A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one.Heraclitus of Ephesus
The Bible is the only book you can read on planet earth where the author is with you and available every time you read it.Ian
Use your connection with the Author of the Bible to better understand it. Ask Him what He meant.Ian