HEBREWS CHAPTER ONE

I) INTRODUCTION

A) OPENING NOTE

The once for all time sacrifice of the Messiah Jesus Christ is in view throughout the book of Hebrews - depicted as all that is required for God to be propitiated and all that is necessary for the believer in this fact to enter eternal rest in the Kingdom. Jewish believers of ancient times and for that matter all believers, are exhorted to keep faith alone in Christ alone in view relative to attaining eternal kingdom life and not to add personal acts such as Mosaic Law sacrifices in order to secure salvation unto eternal life. Grace verses Law is the issue, any law = any system of personal acts. Such personal acts are portrayed as useless toward entering eternal rest and even cause one to be at enmity with God. Thus the book of Hebrews demonstrates over and over the absolute superiority -

of the Messiah Jesus Christ over the angels

of our Lord's Melchizedek priesthood over the Levitical priesthood

of His once for all time sacrifice over any personal acts of sacrifice -

the latter in each comparison being totally ineffective to providing eternal life.

This superiority negates in all cases anything man or angels can contribute toward entering God's eternal rest.

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, NT Edition, Walvoord & Zuck, Editors, Victor Books, USA, p. 777]:

"The Epistle to the Hebrews is a rich part of the New Testament canon. In a unique fashion it exalts the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In doing so, it makes immensely valuable contributions to the doctrines of His Incarnation, His substitutionary death, and His Priesthood. Among the other truths to which the epistle effectively contributes are those involving the relationship between the New Covenant and the Old, the interpretation of the Old Testament, and the life of faith. The church would indeed be incalculably poorer without the teaching of this inspired book."

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

"The aim of this letter is to strengthen the faith and hope of the readers. It also includes a plea for strong patience and a joyous holding fast to the Christian confession. There are three major sections of the letter's message. First, the core of the Christian faith is founded on the Old Testament. Second, it is centered in Christ. Third, it is marked by an intense consciousness of the fact that all days since the coming of the Christ are to be seen as the last days. The pastoral intent of the writer dictates the structure of his letter; instruction alternates with words of admonition, warning and appeal. The statements which expound the surpassing significance of Jesus the Son of God's last Word to man are followed by imperatives which summon men to heed that very Word."

B) ORIGINAL LANGUAGE OF THE LETTER

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

"The use of Greek rather than Hebrew is doubtless due to the Epistle being intended, not merely for the Hebrew, but for the Hellenistic Jew converts, not only in Palestine, but elsewhere; a view confirmed by the use of the Septuagint. BENGEL thinks, probably (compare 2 Pe 3:15, 16, explained above), the Jews primarily, though not exclusively, addressed, were those who had left Jerusalem on account of the war and were settled in Asia Minor.

The notion of its having been originally in Hebrew arose probably from its Hebrew tone, method, and topics....

[The author's] Hebraeo-Grecian education would enable him to write in a style attractive to the Hebrews at Alexandria, where Greek philosophy had been blended with Judaism. The Septuagint translation framed at Alexandria had formed a connecting link between the latter and the former; and it is remarkable that all the quotations from the Old Testament, excepting two (Hbr 10:30; 13:5), are taken from the Septuagint. The fact that the peculiarities of the Septuagint are interwoven into the argument proves that the Greek Epistle is an original, not a translation; had the original been Hebrew, the quotations would have been from the Hebrew Old Testament. The same conclusion follows from the plays on similarly sounding words in the Greek, and alliterations, and rhythmically constructed periods. CALVIN observes, 'If the Epistle had been written in Hebrew, Hbr 9:15-17 would lose all its point, which consists in the play upon the double meaning of the Greek 'diathece', a 'covenant,' or a 'testament,' whereas the Hebrew means only 'covenant.'

C) DESTINATION OF THE LETTER

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

'''The title 'To the Hebrews' is not part of the original letter, but was probably added latter when New Testament letters were gathered into a collection (called the canon). -There is no salutation which would identify the readers of this letter. The destination of the letter must therefore be inferred from the letter itself. It is not as personal as a letter of Paul's. It is more on the order of a sermon (see 13:22, 'my word of exhortation'). Still, this book is found to be in a genuine letter form. It grows out of a personal relationship between the author and his readers. The author has lived among the people whom he is now addressing, and though he is at the time of writing separated from them he hopes to be restored to them soon (13:18-19, 23). The content of the letter indicates that the readers were Jewish Christians, so that the title given by the men of the second century is not unfitting. The readers seem to be Jewish Christians in danger of relapsing into Judaism, thus lapsing back into apostasy. Where these Jewish Christians lived cannot be made out clearly. Italy is the most likely place, and within Italy, Rome. The letter contains greetings to the church from 'those who come from Italy' (13:24), evidently from members of the Jewish Christian church who are now with the author and are sending greetings to their home church....

It plainly was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, which would have been mentioned in the Epistle had that event gone before, compare Hbr 13:10; and probably to churches in which the Jewish members were the more numerous, as those in Judea, and perhaps Alexandria. In the latter city were the greatest number of resident Jews next to Jerusalem. In Leontopolis, in Egypt, was another temple, with the arrangements of which, WIESELER thinks the notices in this Epistle more nearly corresponded than with those in Jerusalem. It was from Alexandria that the Epistle appears first to have come to the knowledge of Christendom. Moreover, "the Epistle to the Alexandrians," mentioned in the Canon of Muratori, may possibly be this Epistle to the Hebrews. He addresses the Jews as peculiarly "the people of God" (Hbr 2:17 4:9 13:12), "the seed of Abraham," that is, as the primary stock on which Gentile believers are grafted, to which Rom 11:16-24 corresponds; but he urges them to come out of the carnal earthly Jerusalem and to realize their spiritual union to "the heavenly Jerusalem" (Hbr 12:18-23; 13:13).'''

D) OCCASION AND PURPOSE OF THE LETTER

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

"These Christians had in the past given evidence of their faith and love (6:10). They had stoutly endured persecution and had courageously aided others under persecution (10:32-34). Their courage and faith had not failed them in times of crisis; but it was failing them in the long drawn, unending struggle with sin (12:4). They were growing dispirited and slack (12:12) the continuous pressure of public contempt, particularly the contempt of their fellow Jews (13:13) had revived in them the old temptation to be offended at the weakness of the Christ they believed in, at His shameful death, and at the fact that the Christ did not fulfill their Judaic expectation and 'remain forever' on earth (cf. John 12:34) but was removed from sight in the heavens. These Christians had ceased to progress in their faith (5:11-14) and were neglecting the public assembly of the church which could strengthen them in their faith (10:25). Some had perhaps already apostatized (6:4-8); all were in danger of falling away (3:12) and reverting back into Judaism (13:9-14). Judaism, with its fixed and venerable institutions, its visible and splendid center in the Jerusalem temple and its form of worship, its security and exemption from persecution as a lawful religion under Roman law (at the time Christianity did not know of such protection) must have had for them an almost overwhelming fascination. The letter is therefore basically just what its author calls it, a 'word of exhortation' (13:22), an appeal to 'hold fast the confession...without wavering' (10:23; cf. 10:38; 3:14). The author points his readers to Jesus as he urges them to look to Jesus, 'the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.' (12:2) The author urges the readers to consider Jesus with the eyes of faith and find in Him the strength to overcome their weariness and faintheartedness (12:3). The author is a leader like the leaders whom he describes in his letter (13:17); he is keeping watch not over the theology of his people but over their souls as one who will have to give an account of his leadership."

E) DATE

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

"Since Hebrews is quoted by Clement of Rome in his letter : to the Corinthians in the year 96 A.D. the letter must be earlier than that date. We also know that Timothy is still alive at the time of the writing (13:23). But since he was a young man when Paul first took him as his companion in 49 A.D. (Acts 16:1-3), he may have lived to the end of the first century or even beyond.

The readers have been converted by personal disciples of the Lord (2:3) and considerable time has elapsed since their conversion. They have had time for development and growth (5:12). Some of their leaders are already dead (13:7).

We also know that they have endured one persecution which is probably the Neronian persecution of 64 A.D. and are apparently facing another one according to 10:36. Since the author dwells on the fact that the old system of the priesthood and sacrifice was destined to be superseded by a greater and more perfect priesthood and sacrifice, it would seem strange that he does not mention the fall of Jerusalem which took place in the year 70 A.D. All this taken into account leads us to believe that the letter to the Hebrews was written in the latter half of the first century between the years 65-69 A.D."

[BKC, cont.]:

"In considering the background of Hebrews, it is reasonable to begin with the question of its date. This can be fixed within fairly good limits. The epistle can hardly be later than about A.D. 95 since it was known to Clement of Rome and quoted by him in 1 Clement. In addition it can scarcely be dated after A.D. 70, since there is no reference to the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Had this event already occurred, it would have given the author a definitive argument for the cessation of the Old Testament sacrificial system. Instead he seems to regard this system as still in operation (cf. 8:4, 13; 9:6-9; 10:1-3).

There is no need to regard 2:3 as a reference to second-generation Christians, and the epistle was obviously written during the lifetime of Timothy, whom the author knew (13:23). If the author is not Paul (and on the whole it seems likely he is not; see the following discussion on Authorship), then 13:23 may suggest he had already died. Otherwise, Timothy might have been expected to join Paul on his release from prison. On balance, a date somewhere around A.D. 68 or 69 seems most likely."

F) AUTHORSHIP

1) INTRODUCTION

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

'''The letter does not name its author, and there is no consistent tradition in the early church concerning its authorship. In the East the letter was regarded either as directly written by Paul or in some sense owing its origin to Paul. The Western church did not attribute the letter to Paul. Tertullian of Carthage (an early church father) assigned it to Barnabas, while in Rome and elsewhere the letter was anonymous. The fact that the author counts himself and his readers among those who received the Word of salvation second hand compared to those who had heard the Lord is conclusive evidence that the author is not Paul (2:3). Paul appeals repeatedly to the fact that he has seen the Lord and had received the Gospel directly from Him (1st Corinthians 9:1; 1st Corinthians 15:8; Galatians 1:11-12). The general character of the theology of the letter and the authors acquaintance with Paul's companion Timothy (13:23) point to someone who moved in the circle of Paul's friends and co-workers. Whoever the author might be we know that the author must have been in all probability a Greek speaking Jewish Christian, thoroughly at home in the Old Testament in its Greek translation, and intimately acquainted with the whole worship and culture of the Jews. He was one capable, moreover, of the most finished and literary Greek in the New Testament. The man Origen probably sums up the issue of authorship best when he says 'Who wrote the epistle God only knows certainly!' '''

2) LUKE PROPOSED AS THE AUTHOR

[Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871),

http://blueletterbible.org/Comm/jfb/Hbr/Hbr000.html]:

'''As to the similarity of style to that of Luke's writings, this is due to his [Luke's] having been so long the companion of Paul. CHRYSOSTOM, comparing Luke and Mark, says, 'Each imitated his teacher: Luke imitated Paul flowing along with more than river fulness; but Mark imitated Peter, who studied brevity of style.' Besides, there is a greater predominance of Jewish feeling and familiarity with the peculiarities of the Jewish schools apparent in this Epistle than in Luke's writings. There is no clear evidence for attributing the authorship to him..."

3) APOLLOS PROPOSED AS THE AUTHOR

[Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871),

http://blueletterbible.org/Comm/jfb/Hbr/Hbr000.html]:

"or to Apollos, whom ALFORD upholds as the author. The grounds alleged for [this] view are its supposed Alexandrian phraseology and modes of thought. But these are such as any Palestinian Jew might have used; and Paul, from his Hebraeo-Hellenistic education at Jerusalem and Tarsus, would be familiar with PHILO'S modes of thought, which are not, as some think, necessarily all derived from his Alexandrian, but also from his Jewish, education. It would be unlikely that the Alexandrian Church should have so undoubtingly asserted the Pauline authorship, if Apollos, their own countryman, had really been the author. The eloquence of its style and rhetoric, a characteristic of Apollos' at Corinth, whereas Paul there spoke in words unadorned by man's wisdom, are doubtless designedly adapted to the minds of those whom Paul in this Epistle addresses."

4) PAUL PROPOSED AS AUTHOR

[http://www.zionfriedheim.org/biblestudies/New%20Testament/hebrews.htm]:

"The fact that the author counts himself and his readers among those who received the Word of salvation second hand compared to those who had heard the Lord is conclusive evidence that the author is not Paul (2:3). Paul appeals repeatedly to the fact that he has seen the Lord and had received the Gospel directly from Him (1st Corinthians 9:1; 1st Corinthians 15:8; Galatians 1:11-12)."

[Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871),

http://blueletterbible.org/Comm/jfb/Hbr/Hbr000.html]:

"The eloquence of its style and rhetoric, a characteristic of Apollos' at Corinth, whereas Paul there spoke in words unadorned by man's wisdom, are doubtless designedly adapted to the minds of those whom Paul in this Epistle addresses. To the Greek Corinthians, who were in danger of idolizing human eloquence and wisdom, he writes in an unadorned style, in order to fix their attention more wholly on the Gospel itself. But the Hebrews were in no such danger. And his Hebraeo-Grecian education would enable him to write in a style attractive to the Hebrews at Alexandria, where Greek philosophy had been blended with Judaism. The Septuagint translation framed at Alexandria had formed a connecting link between the latter and the former; and it is remarkable that all the quotations from the Old Testament, excepting two (Hbr 10:30 13:5), are taken from the Septuagint. The fact that the peculiarities of the Septuagint are interwoven into the argument proves that the Greek Epistle is an original, not a translation; had the original been Hebrew, the quotations would have been from the Hebrew Old Testament. The same conclusion follows from the plays on similarly sounding words in the Greek, and alliterations, and rhythmically constructed periods. CALVIN observes, 'If the Epistle had been written in Hebrew, Hbr 9:15-17 would lose all its point, which consists in the play upon the double meaning of the Greek 'diathece', a 'covenant,' or a 'testament,' whereas the Hebrew means only 'covenant.'

Internal evidence favors the Pauline authorship. Thus the topic so fully handled in this Epistle, that Christianity is superior to Judaism, inasmuch as the reality exceeds the type which gives place to it, is a favorite one with Paul (compare 2 Cr 3:6-18; Gal 3:23-25; 4:1-9, 21-31, wherein the allegorical mode of interpretation appears in its divinely sanctioned application--a mode pushed to an unwarrantable excess in the Alexandrian school). So the Divine Son appears in Hbr 1:3, &c., as in other Epistles of Paul (Phl 2:6; Col 1:15-20), as the Image, or manifestation of the Deity. His lowering of Himself for man's sake similarly, compare Hbr 2:9, with 2 Cr 8:9; Phl 2:7, 8. Also His final exaltation, compare Hbr 2:8; 10:13; 12:2, with 1 Cr 15:25, 27. The word 'Mediator' is peculiar to Paul alone, compare Hbr 8:6, with Gal 3:19, 20. Christ's death is represented as the sacrifice for sin prefigured by the Jewish sacrifices, compare Rom 3:22-26; 1 Cr 5:7, with Hbr 7:1-10:39. The phrase, 'God of Peace,' is peculiar to Paul, compare Hbr 13:20; Rom 15:33; 1Th 5:23. Also, compare Hbr 2:4; 1 Cr 12:4. Justification, or 'righteousness by faith.' appears in Hbr 11:7; 10:38, as in Rom 1:17; 4:22; 5:1 Gal 3:11; Phl 3:9. The word of God is the 'sword of the Spirit,' compare Hbr 4:12, with Eph 6:17. Inexperienced Christians are children needing milk, that is, instruction in the elements, whereas riper Christians, as full-grown men, require strong meat, compare Hbr 5:12, 13; 6:1, with 1 Cr 3:1, 2; 14:20 Gal 4:9; Col 3:14. Salvation is represented as a boldness of access to God by Christ, compare Hbr 10:19, with Rom 5:2; Eph 2:18; 3:12. Afflictions are a fight, Hbr 10:32; compare Phl 1:30; Col 2:1. The Christian life is a race, Hbr 12:1; compare 1 Cr 9:24; Phl 3:12-14. The Jewish ritual is a service, Rom 9:4; compare Hbr 9:1, 6. Compare 'subject to bondage,' Hbr 2:15, with Gal 5:1. Other characteristics of Paul's style appear in this Epistle; namely, a propensity 'to go off at a word' and enter on a long parenthesis suggested by that word, a fondness for play upon words of similar sound, and a disposition to repeat some favorite word. Frequent appeals to the Old Testament, and quotations linked by 'and again,' compare Hbr 1:5; 2:12, 13, with Rom 15:9-12. Also quotations in a peculiar application, compare Hbr 2:8, with 1 Cr 15:27; Eph 1:22. Also the same passage quoted in a form not agreeing with the Septuagint, and with the addition 'saith the Lord,' not found in the Hebrew, in Hbr 10:30; Rom 12:19.

The supposed Alexandrian (which are rather Philon-like) characteristics of the Epistle are probably due to the fact that the Hebrews were generally then imbued with the Alexandrian modes of thought of Philo, & c., and Paul, without coloring or altering Gospel truth 'to the Jews, became (in style) as a Jew, that he might win the Jews' (1 Cr 9:20). This will account for its being recognized as Paul's Epistle in the Alexandrian and Jerusalem churches unanimously, to the Hebrews of whom probably it was addressed. Not one Greek father ascribes the Epistle to any but Paul, whereas in the Western and Latin churches, which it did not reach for some time, it was for long doubted, owing to its anonymous form, and generally less distinctively Pauline style. Their reason for not accepting it as Paul's, or indeed as canonical, for the first three centuries, was negative, insufficient evidence for it, not positive evidence against it. The positive evidence is generally for its Pauline origin. In the Latin churches, owing to their distance from the churches to whom belonged the Hebrews addressed, there was no generally received tradition on the subject. The Epistle was in fact but little known at all, whence we find it is not mentioned at all in the Canon of Muratori. When at last, in the fourth century, the Latins found that it was received as Pauline and canonical on good grounds in the Greek churches, they universally acknowledged it as such. The personal notices all favor its Pauline authorship, namely, his intention to visit those addressed, shortly, along with Timothy, styled 'our brother,' Hbr 13:23; his being then in prison, Hbr 13:19; his formerly having been imprisoned in Palestine, according to English Version reading, Hbr 10:34; the salutations transmitted to them from believers of Italy, Hbr 13:24. A reason for not prefixing the name may be the rhetorical character of the Epistle which led the author to waive the usual form of epistolary address....

[The author's mode of address] is... hortatory rather than commanding, just as we might have expected from Paul addressing the Jews. He does not write to the rulers of the Jewish Christians, for in fact there was no exclusively Jewish Church; and his Epistle, though primarily addressed to the Palestinian Jews, was intended to include the Hebrews of all adjoining churches. He inculcates obedience and respect in relation to their rulers (Hbr 13:7, 17, 24); a tacit obviating of the objection that he was by writing this Epistle interfering with the prerogative of Peter the apostle of the circumcision, and James the bishop of Jerusalem. Hence arises his gentle and delicate mode of dealing with them (Hbr 13:22). So far from being surprised at discrepancy of style between an Epistle to Hebrews and Epistles to Gentile Christians, it is just what we should expect. The Holy Spirit guided him to choose means best suited to the nature of the ends aimed at. WORDSWORTH notices a peculiar Pauline Greek construction, Rom 12:9, literally, "Let your love be without dissimulation, ye abhorring... evil, cleaving to... good," which is found nowhere else save Hbr 13:5, literally, "Let your conversation be without covetousness, ye being content with," &c. (a noun singular feminine nominative absolute, suddenly passing into a participle masculine nominative plural absolute). So in quoting Old Testament Scripture, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews quotes it as a Jew writing to Jews would, "God spoke to our fathers," not, "it is written." So Hbr 13:18, "We trust we have a good conscience" is an altogether Pauline sentiment (Act 23:1; 24:16; 2 Cr 1:12; 4:2; 2 Ti 1:3). Though he has not prefixed his name, he has given at the close his universal token to identify him, namely, his apostolic salutation, "Grace be with you all"; this "salutation with his own hand" he declared (2 Th 3:17, 18) to be "his token in every Epistle": so 1 Cr 16:21, 23; Col 4:18. The same prayer of greeting closes every one of his Epistles, and is not found in any one of the Epistles of the other apostles written in Paul's lifetime; but it is found in the last book of the New Testament Revelation, and subsequently in the Epistle of CLEMENT OF ROME. This proves that, by whomsoever the body of the Epistle was committed to writing (whether a mere amanuensis writing by dictation, or a companion of Paul by the Spirit's gift of interpreting tongues, 1 Cr 12:10, transfusing Paul's Spirit-taught sentiments into his own Spirit-guided diction), Paul at the close sets his seal to the whole as really his, and sanctioned by him as such. The churches of the East, and Jerusalem, their center, to which quarter it was first sent, received it as Paul's from the earliest times according to Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem (A.D. 349). JEROME, though bringing with him from Rome the prejudices of the Latins against the Epistle to the Hebrews, aggravated, doubtless, by its seeming sanction of the Novatian heresy (Hbr 6:4-6), was constrained by the force of facts to receive it as Paul's, on the almost unanimous testimony of all Greek Christians from the earliest times; and was probably the main instrument in correcting the past error of Rome in rejecting it. The testimony of the Alexandrian Church is peculiarly valuable, for it was founded by Mark, who was with Paul at Rome in his first confinement, when this Epistle seems to have been written (Col 4:10), and who possibly was the bearer of this Epistle, at the same time visiting Colosse on the way to Jerusalem (where Mark's mother lived), and thence to Alexandria. Moreover, 2 Pe 3:15, 16, written shortly before Peter's death, and like his first Epistle written by him, "the apostle of the circumcision," to the "Hebrew" Christians dispersed in the East, says, "As our beloved brother Paul hath written unto you" (2 Pe 3:15), that is, to the Hebrews; also the words added, "As also in all his Epistles" (2 Pe 3:16), distinguish the Epistle to the Hebrews from the rest; then he further speaks of it as on a level with "other Scriptures," thus asserting at once its Pauline authorship and divine inspiration. An interesting illustration of the power of Christian faith and love; Peter, who had been openly rebuked by Paul (Gal 2:7-14), fully adopted what Paul wrote; there was no difference in the Gospel of the apostle of the circumcision and that of the apostle of the uncircumcision. It strikingly shows God's sovereignty that He chose as the instrument to confirm the Hebrews, Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles (Rom 11:13); and on the other hand, Peter to open the Gospel door to the Gentiles (Act 10:1, &c.), though being the apostle of the Jews; thus perfect unity reigns amidst the diversity of agencies.

Rome, in the person of CLEMENT OF ROME, originally received this Epistle. Then followed a period in which it ceased to be received by the Roman churches. Then, in the fourth century, Rome retracted her error. A plain proof she is not unchangeable or infallible. As far as Rome is concerned, the Epistle to the Hebrews was not only lost for three centuries, but never would have been recovered at all but for the Eastern churches; it is therefore a happy thing for Christendom that Rome is not the Catholic Church.

It plainly was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, which would have been mentioned in the Epistle had that event gone before, compare Hbr 13:10; and probably to churches in which the Jewish members were the more numerous, as those in Judea, and perhaps Alexandria. In the latter city were the greatest number of resident Jews next to Jerusalem. In Leontopolis, in Egypt, was another temple, with the arrangements of which, WIESELER thinks the notices in this Epistle more nearly corresponded than with those in Jerusalem. It was from Alexandria that the Epistle appears first to have come to the knowledge of Christendom. Moreover, "the Epistle to the Alexandrians," mentioned in the Canon of Muratori, may possibly be this Epistle to the Hebrews. He addresses the Jews as peculiarly "the people of God" (Hbr 2:17; 4:9; 13:12), "the seed of Abraham," that is, as the primary stock on which Gentile believers are grafted, to which Rom 11:16-24 corresponds; but he urges them to come out of the carnal earthly Jerusalem and to realize their spiritual union to "the heavenly Jerusalem" (Hbr 12:18-23; 13:13).

[BKC, cont.]:

'''Many names have been conjectured for the authorship of Hebrews, but the question remains unsolved. The tradition of Pauline authorship is very old and has never been decisively disproved. From the time of Pantanenus (died ca. A.D. 190) it was held in Alexandria that the epistle was in some sense Pauline. Clement of Alexandria thought Paul had written it originally in the Hebrew language and that Luke had translated it into Greek.

On the basis of style, Origen doubted the Pauline authorship but was not willing to set the tradition aside. In a famous statement he admitted that only God knew who had written the book.

The belief in the Pauline authorship of Hebrews belonged chiefly to the East until a later time. Jerome and Augustine seem to have been responsible for popularizing it in the West. In modern times it has usually been felt that the style and internal characteristics of Hebrews rule out Paul as the author. But arguments built on such considerations are notoriously subjective and have also been used to prove highly untenable propositions. Still it must be admitted that when Hebrews is read in Greek and compared with the known letters of Paul, the total impression is that here one meets a spiritual mind clearly attuned to Paul but in subtle ways quiet different. This subjective impression, however, would not have prevailed if the early church's tradition had only mentioned Paul.

5) BARNABAS PROPOSED AS THE AUTHOR

[BKC, cont.]:

"In fact the other name with early support is that of Paul's former missionary partner, Barnabas. This tradition appeared first in the West in Tertullian (ca. 160/170-215/220). In a polemical passage he quoted from Hebrews and assigned the quotation to an Epistle by Barnabas. Moreover, he did not talk as if this were his own opinion but simply a fact which his readers would know. The view that Barnabas wrote Hebrews was referred to at a later time by Jerome and reappeared in Gregory of Elvira and Filaster, both writers of the fourth century. There is reason to think that in the ancient catalog of canonical books found in the Western manuscript called Codex Claremontanus, the Book of Hebrews went under the name of the Epistle of Barnabas.

The evidence is not extensive, but the fact that it came from the West is perhaps significant. The only geographical reference in Hebrews is to Italy (13:24), and if the tradition about Barnabas is true it is not surprising that it comes from that part of the world. In other respects, Barnabas fits the requirements for authorship of this epistle. Since he was a Levite (Acts 4:36), an interest in the Levitical system, such as the author of Hebrews displayed, would be natural for him. Since he had close ties with Paul, resemblances in Hebrews to Paul's thought would be naturally explained. Moreover, Timothy had been converted in the area of Paul's first missionary journey (Acts 16:1-3) and was therefore most probably known to Barnabas. If Paul were dead at the time of the writing of Hebrews, it would not be surprising if Timothy were to join Paul's former companion (Heb 12:23). The rift between Paul and Barnabas (Acts 15:37-39) had long since healed and Paul had later spoken warmly of Barnabas' cousin Mark (cf. Col 4:10; 2 Tim 4:11).

Of course authorship by Barnabas cannot be proved, any more than authorship by Paul can be disproved. But it has more to commend it than the other alternative suggestions. Among these it may be mentioned that at one time or another the names of Clement of Rome, Luke, Silvanus, Philip the Evangelist, Priscilla, and Apollos have been offered as possible authors. In particular the name of Apollos has found favor with some modern writers. The suggestion is often traced to Martin Luther, but the evidence is tenuous and does not include the early traditional support that the proposal Hebrews was written by Barnabas does. On balance this seems like the best conjecture. If Hebrews were actually authored by Barnabas, then it can claim apostolic origin since Barnabas was called an apostle (Acts 14:4, 14). In any case its divine authority is manifest.'''

6) PRISCILLA (WITH AQUILLA) PROPOSED AS THE AUTHOR

There is some speculation that due to Priscilla's knowledge of the Scriptures having taught Apollos, (Acts 18:26), that she was the author of Hebrews but consider that Hebrews 11:32 in the Greek refers to an author of masculine gender.

a) [Heb 11:32]:

"And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell

[= "diEgoumenon" = lit. "relating, masculine] about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets."

II) PROLOGUE

A) INTRODUCTION

[The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol XII, 1998, Abingdon Press, Nashville, Fred B. Craddock, p. 21]:

"With a literary artistry unmatched in the NT, the writer of Hebrews begins addressing the readers. Verses 1-4 consist of one carefully composed sentence called a ‘period’ - that is, a sentence that makes a complete circle around the track (pEriodos). So rich and full is this sentence that it is understandable why English translations would aid the reader by making of it three (NRSV) or four (NIV) more manageable statements. Before attending to its details, let us appreciate the author’s remarkable achievement in this one sentence. The reader’s attention is captured and held by a number of rhetorical devices: alliteration (five words in verse 1 begin with the letter (p); contrast (long ago/in these last days; to our ancestors/to us; by the prophets/by a son); repetition (of relative pronouns and participles); and temporal sequence (pre-existence, incarnation, exaltation). But artistry also serves substance; the sentence expresses the faith held in common with the readers. The passage is not at all polemic, seeking to correct errant views, or pedagogical, pressing new and additional ideas on the recipients. In fact, the writer may be quoting in entirety or in part, from the liturgy of the church addressed. Whether these verses contain the ‘confession’ often mentioned (3:1; 4:14; 10:23) cannot be determined. We can, however, appreciate the strategic importance of creating an atmosphere of trust by beginning on common ground. And finally, the writer accomplishes several practical ends in the opening sentence: (1) With a theocentric beginning, arguments of both continuity and discontinuity between Judaism and Christianity have room. God is the subject of both testaments. (2) The categories of speaking and hearing are appropriate to a ‘word of exhortation’; (13:22) and anticipate the oral quality of the entire discourse. (3) The opening sentence is also programmatic in that it introduces most of the major themes to be developed in the ‘sermon,’ even using the language of two OT texts very central to all that follows, Psalm 2 and Psalm 110. And (4) the final clause (v. 4) allows the authro to introduce the subject of the first major unit (1:5-2:18), Christ and the angels."

B) [Heb 1:1]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways"

1) IN THE PAST REFERS TO WHAT GOD HAD DONE IN THE PAST IN A UNIQUE WAY

"In the past" = "palai" =

It is interesting to note that this phrase 'In the past' introduces God's working through a unique means at certain times and in various ways which is not today His continual practice, (notice the past tense), namely that of speaking to mankind through the prophets. Then came the pinnacle of this revelation which is portrayed as replacing this past method of revelation: through and in His Son, (v. 2). In view of this context then, the past method of revelation via prophets in various ways would not be expected to be God's continual practice in present times as some maintain, especially re: prophecy and miraculous sign and wonder gifts. For to return to the past ways of revelation which were a shadow not the reality and only served to point to the reality of Christ Himself would be a step backwards.

[Expositors Bible Commentary, NIV, Vol. 12, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Mich, 1981, p. 12]:

"(palai" means 'of old,' rather than simply 'formerly.' The revelation the writer is speaking of is no novelty but has its roots deep in the past. He is not referring here to what God does continually but to what He did in days of old, in the time of 'our forefathers.'

2) GOD HAS BEEN ACTIVE IN THE PAST FROM THE BEGINNING

"In the past God" =

[Expositors, p. 12]:

"It is significant that the subject of the first verb is 'God,' for God is constantly before the author; he uses the word sixty-eight times, an average of about once every seventy-three words all through his epistle. Few NT books speak of God so often. Right at the beginning, then, we are confronted with the reality of God and the fact that He has been active."

B cont.) [Heb 1:1 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways"

3) GOD SPOKE IN THE PAST SINCE THE BEGINNING TO BELIEVERS THROUGH THE PROPHETS - IN THEIR LIVES AND IN WHAT THEY SAID

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets" =

[Expositors, p. 12]:

"The expression ['forefathers'] is usually translated 'fathers' and is normally used in the NT of the patriarchs (cf. KJV, John 7:22; Rom 9:5, et al.), but here the contrast to 'us' in v. 2 shows that the term 'forefathers' is a shorthand way of referring to OT believers in general....

The construction [of 'through the prophets' = 'en tois prophEtais'] is parallel to that in v. 2 ['by His Son' = 'en huiO', (dative of possession case = His)]

God was in Christ and before that He was in the prophets (in loc.).

[The former is in an absolute sense of the Son having the qualities of God, considering the dative of possession and absence of the article and the latter is in a finite sense of God operating through the prophets]

It seems best to see the meaning in some way as this. God not only used the prophets as His voice but was 'in' them. The 'prophets' here may mean more than the canonical prophets and may include the men of God, like Abraham, who preceded them."

4) GOD HAS BEEN ACTIVE SINCE THE BEGINNING AND AT MANY TIMES AND IN VARIOUS WAYS

"In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways" =

[The New Interpreter’s Bible, Vol XII, 1998, Abingdon Press, Nashville, Fred B. Craddock, p. 22]:

"God’s speaking in the past was ‘in many parts or segments’ and ‘in many forms.’ Such sweeping introductory statements characterizing the past were fairly common among Greek rhetoricians. Here the writer describes God’s past revelation in three ways. First, it was in segments or episodes, not continuous. Second, God’s speaking took many forms, and the OT bears witness to these forms: voices, events, visions, dreams, stories, and theophanies, among others. Third, revelation came through the prophets. There is no reason to understand prophets here in a restrictive sense, as distinct from the Laws and the Writings. In the broader sense, the term ‘prophets’ was used to refer to those who spoke for God, for the writer of Hebrews certainly included Moses and David. God’s speaking begins in Genesis (Heb 11:3).

[Expositors, p. 12]:

"The first divine activity commented on is that God has spoken in a variety of ways. He spoke to Moses in the burning bush (Exod 3:2ff.), to Elijah in a still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12ff.), to Isaiah in a vision in the temple (Isa 6:1ff.), to Hosea in his family circumstances (Hos 1:2), and to Amos in a basket of summer fruit (Amos 8:1). God might convey His message through visions and dreams, through angels, through Urim and Thummim, through symbols, natural events, ecstasy, a pillar of fire, smoke, or other means. He could appear in Ur of the Chaldees, in Haran, in Canaan, in Egypt, in Babylon. There is no lack of variety, for revelation is not a monotonous activity that must always take place in the same way. God used variety."

C) [Heb 1:1-3]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the universe.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

1) THE LAST DAYS OF THE CHURCH AGE ARE IN VIEW

"But in these last days" = The days of the church age, especially those days of declension & apostasy at the end.

[Footnotes in THE NEW SCOFIELD STUDY BIBLE (NIV, C. I. Scofield, D.D., Oxford Univ. Press, New York, 1967, p. 1132)]:

"A distinction should be observed between 'the last days' when the prediction [of Acts 2:17] relates to Israel (Isa 2:2; Mic 4:1, '''latter''' in some versions; see also Num 24:14; Dt 31:29; Jer 23:20; 30:24; 49:39; Ezek 38:16; Dan 2:28; 10:14; Hos 3:5), and the '''last days''' when the prediction relates to the Church (2Tim 3:1-8; Heb 1:1-2; Jas 5:3; 2 Pet 3:1-9; see also such passages as 1 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 1:5, 20; 1 Jn 2:18, Jude 18). While Acts 2:17 is part of this [Church Age] context and therefore relates to the Church, it should be remembered that it has reference to Israel as well and, therefore, points to a future day.... When '''last days''' is used of the Church, the plural form ('''days''') should be distinguished from the singular ('''day'''). The '''last day''' (Jn 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 11:24) in this usage refers to the resurrection. (In Jn 12:48 it is used of the time when unbelievers will be judged.) The '''last days,''' as related to the Church, began with the advent of Christ (Heb 1:2), but the expression has special reference to the time of declension and apostasy at the end of the [Church] age (2 Tim 3:1). The '''last days,''' as related to Israel, are the days which, though begun in sorrow, issue in Israel's exaltation and blessing (cp. Jer 30:4-10), i.e., the Kingdom Age (Isa 2:2-4; Mic 4:1-7). They are '''last days,''' not with reference to this dispensation [Church Age] but in respect to the whole of Israel's history."

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the universe.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

2) IN THESE LAST DAYS OF THE CHURCH AGE GOD HAS SPOKEN TO US 'IN SON'

"but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son"

["lit., spoken to us in Son"]=

ep eschatou tOn hEmerOn toutOn elalEsen ......hEmin en huiO

in the last ...........of days .....these ....He spoke ....to us ....in .Son

The "But" in this phrase contrasts the previous phrase which pictured God having spoken through and in the prophets "in the past" as if to say, 'Now, we dispense with the old way to a new way.' And that new way completely supplanted the old way, which old way was a foretelling, a preview in shadow form of the new way: the reality of the Son.

[NIB, op. cit., p. 22]:

"As a general rule, in Greek the presence of the definite article serves to identify, and its absence serves to qualify. In other words, what is the quality or nature of God’s speaking? It is through the Person of a Son and through the relationship of that Son to God."

[Expositor's, p. 13]:

"In essence the writer is saying God spoke 'in one who has the quality of being Son.' It is the Son's essential nature that is stressed. This stands in contrast to 'the prophets' in the preceding verse. The consummation of the revelatory process, the definitive revelation, took place when He Who was not one of 'the goodly fellowship of the prophets' but the very Son of God came. Throughout the epistle we shall often meet such thoughts. The writer is concerned to show that in Jesus Christ we have such a Divine Person and such Divine activity that there can be no going back from Him"

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the universe.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

3) SEVEN GREAT POINTS ABOUT THE SON OF GOD

a) INTRODUCTION

[BKC, cont., p. 781]:

"And it is this Person Who has 'provided purification for sins' and taken His seat 'at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven' (cf. 8:1; 10:12; 12:2). In doing so it is obvious He has attained an eminence far beyond anything 'the angels' can claim. As might easily be expected in the Prologue, the writer struck notes which will be crucial to the unfolding of his argument in the body of the epistle. He implied that God's revelation in the Son has a definitive quality which previous revelation lacked. Moreover the sacrifice for sins which such a One makes must necessarily be greater than other kinds of sacrifices. Finally the Son's greatness makes preoccupation with angelic dignities entirely unnecessary. Though the Prologue contains no warning - the writer reserved those for later - it carries with it an implicit admonition: This is God's supremely great Son; hear Him! (cf. 12:25-27)....

In a series of subordinate constructions which are part of a single sentence in the Greek, the author set forth the Son's greatness. The unified structure of the writer's sentence is hidden by the NIV which breaks it down into several sentences.

[The Expositor's Bible Commentary, NIV, Vol. 12, Zondervan Pub., Grand Rapids, Mich., op. cit., p. 13]:

"This emphasis on the Son leads to a series of seven propositions about Him (eight if we include v. 4)."

b) POINT #1: GOD APPOINTED THE SON HEIR OF ALL THINGS

"Whom He appointed Heir of all things" =

Notice that our Lord's humanity is in view here, not His diety, for He being God the Son is eternally Heir of all things.

[Expositors, op. cit., p. 13]:

"The term ['appointed Heir'] points to lawful possession but without indicating in what way that possession is secured. 'Heir of all things' then is a title of dignity and shows that Christ has the supreme place in all the mighty universe. His exaltation to the highest place in heaven after His work [in His humanity] on earth was done did not mark some new dignity but His reentry to His rightful place."

i) [Compare Phil 2:5-9]:

(v. 5) "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

(v. 6) Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped [i.e., held onto],

(v. 7) but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

(v. 8) And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross!

[Notice that our Lord made Himself nothing, i.e., set aside the expression of His attributes as God and made Himself nothing in comparison, i.e., added to Himself human likeness & expressed Himself as such even to the point of the ultimate humility of suffering an ignominious death on the cross for the sins of the whole world. And as a result of this obedience He was exalted in His humanity to the highest place in the universe]:

(v. 9) Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name."

c) POINT #2: THROUGH THE SON GOD ALSO MADE THE UNIVERSE - THE SON IS CREATOR

"and through Whom He also made all things" =

"all things" = "tous aiOnas", (lit. "the ages") =

"[http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?search=165&version=nas&type=grk&submit=Find]:

i) for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity

ii) the worlds, universe

iii) period of time, age

[BKC, p. 781]:

"To begin with (v. 2b), the Son is the designated 'Heir of all things.' This is obviously as it should be since He is also their Maker - the One 'through Whom He made the universe' ('tous aiOnas', lit., 'the ages,' also rendered 'the universe' in 11:3). The reference to the Son's heirship anticipates the thought of His future reign, of which the writer will say much."

iv) [Compare Col 1:14-20]:

(v. 13) "For He [God, (v. 12)] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves,

(v. 14) in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

(v. 15) He [the Son, (v. 13)] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

(v. 16) For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.

(v. 17) He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

(v. 18) And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy.

(v. 19) For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him,

["fullness" = "plErOma" =

Note that only God Himself can be described as having the fullness of God dwell in Him - for that is a fullness in an absolute sense. So the Son of God is God Himself.]

(v. 20) and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross."

So God the Father appointed His Son Heir of all things for He is Creator and Savior of all things and firstborn, i.e., supreme over all of His creation.

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the all things.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

d) POINT #3: BEING THE RADIANCE OF GOD'S GLORY

i) THE GLORY OF GOD DEFINED

"God's glory" =

"doxEs... autou" =

"glory... His"[= "theos" = "God", (v. 1)] = The expression of the honor, power & holiness of God, such expression being a demonstration of God's infinite and absolute attributes, especially including His absolute holiness and righteousness; and His omnipotent power, omnipresence and omniscience.

i_a) [Ez 10:4]:

(v. 4) "Then the glory of the LORD rose from above the cherubim and moved to the threshold of the temple. The cloud filled the temple, and the court was full of the radiance of the glory of the LORD."

ii) CERTAIN MEN AT CERTAIN TIMES HAVE REFLECTED THE GLORY OF GOD

ii_a) [Compare Ex 34:33-35]:

(v. 33) "When Moses finished speaking to them, he put a veil over his face.

(v. 34) But whenever he entered the LORD's presence to speak with him, he removed the veil until he came out. And when he came out and told the Israelites what he had been commanded,

(v. 35) they saw that his face was radiant. Then Moses would put the veil back over his face until he went in to speak with the LORD."

iii) THE SON IS THE RADIANCE OF GOD'S GLORY

"The Son is the radiance of God's glory" =

"hos ....................On ...apaugasma tEs ...........................................doxEs"

"Who [the Son] being radiance ....His [article, genitive= God's] glory"

The Son, Jesus Christ, is stipulated here as existing as, not just reflecting, the radiance, the brightness of God’s incomparable glory. Notice that "apaugasma" = "radiance" having no article stresses quality, i.e., that of being the radiance of God's glory as opposed to reflecting it. So God's glory is the Son's glory.

Therefore the Son existing as the radiance of the glory of God as opposed to one reflecting or participating in the radiance of God's glory is in view - the former testifying to the diety of the Son of God, for only God can exist as the radiance of the glory of God.

That our Lord did not just reflect but actually has always had the quality of the Glory of God is demonstrated here in a preview of our Lord when He comes again with His glory, the glory of God fully demonstrated and in full view to the universe:

iii_a) [Compare Lk 9:26-32]:

(v. 26) "If anyone is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

(v. 27) I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.

(v. 28) About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.

(v. 29) As he was praying, the appearance of His face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning.

(v. 30) Two men, Moses and Elijah,

(v. 31) appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Jesus. They spoke about His departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem.

(v. 32) Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw His glory and the two men standing with him."

iii_b) [Compare Mt 16:28-17:2]:

(v. 28) "I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.

(v. 17:1) After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

(v. 17:2) There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light.

iii_c) [Compare Mt 16:27]:

"For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done."

iii_d) [Compare Mt 25:31]:

"When the Son of Man [Jesus Christ] comes in His glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on His throne in heavenly glory."

Note that our Lord especially demonstrated the glory of God in His humanity in a very key way: living in absolute holiness and righteousness - sinless perfection in all of His thoughts, words and deeds, perfectly fulfilling the requirements of the Law as a perfect human being so that He could perfectly fulfill His mission to pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world. That was His mission and that was a demonstration of His glory, the glory of God Himself.

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the all things.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

e) POINT #4: BEING THE EXACT REPRESENTATION OF THE ESSENCE OF GOD, I.E., BEING GOD HIMSELF, GOD THE SON

"and the exact representation of [the] essence

"kai.......charaktEr...................tes........hupostadeOs

His [God's, (v. 1)] being" =

autou....................pherOn" =

"exact representation" = "charaktEr" =

[http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/strongs/1009846149.html]:

"2b) the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e facsimile

"essence" = hupostaseOs" = [http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/strongs/1009846149.html]:

"2b) the substantial quality, nature, of a person or thing"

Note that the Diety of our Lord is affirmed by the phrase "exact representation of His [God's] being". Since God's being is an eternal, infinite one, and since Jesus Christ, the Son is an exact representation of God's eternal infinite essence, and since no one can have such an expression unless He were to be God Himself, then Jesus Christ is God.

i) [Compare Phil 2:5-6]:

(v. 5 NAS) "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

(v. 6 NAS) Who, although subsisting in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped"

["form" = "morphu" = while this word does mean form it is more than that. The word form in English is limited to some physical shape - some outside structure in a physical sense. But the Greek word which is translated into the English word "form" = "morphu" is a philosophical word which refers to the essential being of someone - an internal quality as well as an external one - the essential quality that characterizes that person and which is reflected by the external. The English word metamorphosis which contains a transliteration of the Greek word "morphu" refers to, for example, the complete change of form - both external and internal of a caterpillar to a butterfly.

[The New Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, Joseph Henry Thayer, editor, Hendrickson Pub., Peabody, Ma, 1981, pp. 445, 610)]:

This word "morphu" was chosen by author John as inspired by God over other words such as schema which means "that which strikes the senses, the figure, the bearing, discourse, actions, manner of life, etc., i.e., the external" or = omoiomati = "external form, shape, figure, likeness, representation."

[C. I. Scoffield states in reference to Phil 2:6, (Oxford NIV Scoffield Study Bible, C. I. Scoffield, Editor, New York, Oxford University Press, 1984, p. 1243]:

"This [Phil 2:6] is one of the strongest assertions in the N.T. of the Deity of Jesus Christ. The Greek word....["morphu"]... here translated "very nature," literally means form, and refers to the external appearance by which a person or thing strikes the vision; yet it is an external form truly indicative of the inner nature from which it springs. Nothing in this passage teaches that the eternal Word (Jn. 1:1) emptied Himself of either His divine nature or His attributes, but only of the outward and visible manifestation of the Godhead. God may change form, but He cannot cease to be God. At all times His divine attributes could be exercised according to His will."

[http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/choice/1009845676.html

Vine's Expository Dictionary Of New Testament Words]:

"Strong's Number: 3444 Greek: morphe

"denotes 'the special or characteristic form or feature' of a person or thing; it is used with particular significance in the NT, only of Christ, in Phl 2:6,7, in the phrases 'being in the form of God,' and 'taking the form of a servant.' An excellent definition of the word is that of Gifford: 'morphe is therefore properly the nature or essence, not in the abstract, but as actually subsisting in the individual, and retained as long as the individual itself exists.... Thus in the passage before us morphe Theou is the Divine nature actually and inseparably subsisting in the Person of Christ.... For the interpretation of 'the form of God' it is sufficient to say that (1) it includes the whole nature and essence of Deity, and is inseparable from them, since they could have no actual existence without it; and (2) that it does not include in itself anything 'accidental' or separable, such as particular modes of manifestation, or conditions of glory and majesty, which may at one time be attached to the 'form,' at another separated from it.... The true meaning of morphe in the expression 'form of God' is confirmed by its recurrence in the corresponding phrase, 'form of a servant.' It is universally admitted that the two phrases are directly antithetical, and that 'form' must therefore have the same sense in both.' * [* From Gillford, 'The Incarnation,' pp. 16,19,39.]"

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the all things.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

f) POINT #5: SUSTAINING ALL THINGS BY THE WORD OF HIS POWER

"sustaining all things by the word of His power" = Jesus Christ as Creator and sustainer of all things, holds all things together, a testimony to His power as God. No one but God has this capacity.

i) [Compare Gen 1:1]:

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."

ii) [Compare Col 1:15-17]:

(v. 15) "He [Jesus Christ, (vv. 13-14)] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

(v. 16) For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him.

(v. 17) He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."

Since God is Creator according to Gen 1:1 and since Jesus Christ created all things, then He is God - the God in Whom all things hold together, i.e., are sustained by Him, by the word of His power.

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the all things.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

g) POINT #6: HAVING MADE PURIFICATION FOR OUR SINS

"having made purification for our sins" =

"di .eautou ..katharismon poiEsamenos tOn hamartiOn EmOn" =

"by Himself purification ..having made ........for sins ........our

"purification" =

[Lexicon for Strong's Number 2512:

http://www.blueletterbible.org/tmp_dir/strongs/1009864986.html]:

"1c) a cleansing from the guilt of sins wrought by the expiatory sacrifice of Christ"

i) [Compare 1 Jn 2:2]:

"and He Himself [Jesus Christ] is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world."

"propitiation" = "hilasmos" = satisfaction, satisfactory payment for.

[Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, (W. E. Vine, Fleming H. Revell Co., Old Tappan, N.J., 1981, p. 224)]:

"Hilasmos [is] akin to hileos (= merciful, propitious), [which] signifies an expiation, a means whereby sin is covered and remitted. It is used in the N.T. of Christ Himself as "the propitiation," in 1 John 2:2 and 4:10, signifying that He Himself, through the expiatory sacrifice of His Death, is the Personal means by Whom God shows mercy to the sinner who believes on Christ as the One thus provided."

ii) [Compare Ro 3:25]:

"Whom [Jesus Christ, (v. 24)] God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith"

"propitiation" = "hilasterion" = "mercy seat" = the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant which was in the Temple inside the area called the 'Holy of Holies'. It signifies the Atonement, the Propitiatory, i.e. that which satisfies for the penalty for sins - the covering or removal of sins via an atoning sacrifice. Hence most translations like the NIV or KJV translate "mercy seat" as "sacrifice of atonement". An animal sacrifice was performed once a year for that year's sins by the nation Israel as a picture of the future once for all time propitiation by Jesus Christ, (Ref. Heb 10:11-12).

C cont.) [Heb 1:1-3 cont.]:

(v. 1) "In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,

(v. 2) but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, Whom He appointed Heir of all things, and through Whom He also made the all things.

(v. 3) The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven."

h) POINT #7: HE SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY IN HEAVEN

"He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven." =

'at the right hand of the Majesty" =

[http://www.olivetree.com/cgi-bin/EnglishBible.htm]:

"New Testament Greek for ' of the Majesty' 3172 megalosune {meg-al-o-soo'-nay} from 3173; TDNT - 4:544,573; n f AV - Majesty 2, majesty 1; 3 1) majesty 1a) of the majesty of God (strong's number 3172)"

i) [Col 3:1]:

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

[i.e., at the right hand of the Majesty]"

ii) [Compare 1 Ch 29:11]:

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all."

iii) [Ps 104:1]:

"Praise the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, you are very great; you are clothed with splendor and majesty."

iv) [Ps 104:4-5]:

(v. 4) "One generation will commend Your works to another; they will tell of Your mighty acts.

(v. 5) They will speak of the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works."

So our Lord's position at the right hand of God = 'the Majesty' is a preeminate One, one of eternal honor, glory and power.

D) [Heb 1:3-4]:

(v. 3) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

(v. 4) So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs."

1) THE SON'S SUPERIORITY TO ANGELS ESTABLISHES OUR LORD'S ABSOLUTE SUPREMACY & ELIMINATES ANY REASON FOR ANGEL WORSHIP

There is good reason why the author of Hebrews begins with a comparison between our Lord and angels before moving on to comparisons with Moses, (chapt. 3); the superiority of the Melchisidek priesthood, (chapt. 5) vs the Levitical priesthood, (chapt. 7); with the Old Covenant vs the New, (chapt. 9); the superiority of the way of faith, (chapt. 11), etc. Since angelic beings are the most supreme created beings in the universe, then declaring the Son's superiority to them in His humanity, establishes His supremacy over all the universe. Furthermore, this eliminates any reason to include angels in worship or associate our Lord with being an angel.

2) SO OUR LORD IN HIS HUMANITY BECAME MUCH SUPERIOR TO THE ANGELS AS THE NAME HE HAS INHERITED IS SUPERIOR TO THEIRS

"So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs" =

The Son became in His humanity as the GodMan much superior to the angels as indicated by the seven great points just stipulated. No 'son of God', i.e., angel exemplified such things. The name "The Son of God" with the definite article is far superior as the unique Son of God Who is Diety and sits in Kingly glory at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven as opposed to the angels whom are at times referred to as sons of God or a son of God, (Job 1:2; 2:1; 38:7), but never The Son of God, and never in such a supreme Kingly role.

[BKC, op. cit. p. 781]:

"The King-Son exalted (1:5-14)

Drawing heavily on the witness of Old Testament revelation, the writer demonstrated the uniqueness of the Son. The title of Son, and the prerogatives it entails, elevate Him above all comparison with the angels.... These verses offer an effective rebuttal against any tendency to give excessive prominence to angels...

The two questions in this verse show that the name Son belongs to Messiah in a sense in which it never belonged to the angels. Obviously 'Son' is the superior name which Jesus 'has inherited' (v. 4). But it is clear that the special sense of this name, in its Kingly ramifications, is what basically concerns the writer...

As might easily be expected in the Prologue, the writer struck notes which will be crucial to the unfolding of his argument in the body of the epistle. He implied that God's revelation in the Son has a definitive quality which previous revelation lacked. Moreover the sacrifice for sins which such a One makes must necessarily be greater than other kinds of sacrifices. Finally the Son's greatness makes preoccupation with angelic dignities entirely unnecessary."

III) GOD'S KING-SON IS SUPERIOR TO ALL

A) INTRODUCTION

[BKC, NT, p. 781]:

"The first major unit of the body of the epistle begins at this point and extends through the dramatic appeal of 4:14-16 for the readers to avail themselves of the resources available to them at 'the throne of grace' (4:16). The emphasis of the whole unit is on the sonship of Jesus Christ which the writer viewed as a Kingly sonship in accord with the Davidic Covenant."

B) THE KING-SON EXALTED ABOVE EVEN THE ANGELS (1:5-14)

1) [Heb 1:3-5]:

(v. 3) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

(v. 4) So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs.

(v. 5) For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son' "?

a) THE DAY THE SON IN HIS HUMANITY ASCENDED TO THE RIGHT HAND OF THE MAJESTY, THE FATHER DECLARED 'YOU ARE MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BECOME YOUR FATHER'

"You are My Son, Today I have become Your Father" =

In view of verses 1-4 which culminate in the Son sitting down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven, (v. 3e), the author of Hebrews declares from Psalm 2:7 that the Father declares Jesus Christ to be His Son, that He has become His Father, in the sense of an affirmation of His ascendancy to the glory & power of God in heaven, (v. 3e), as a culmination of 'having made purification for our sins, (v. 3e)."

i) [Compare Psalms 2:1-9]:

(v. 1) "Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?

(v. 2) The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against His Anointed One.

(v. 3) 'Let us break their chains,' they say, 'and throw off their fetters.'

[The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Old Testament, Walvoord & Zuck Editors, Victor Books, USA, 1987, pp. 791-792]:

["The first three verses express the psalmist's amazement at the plans of 'the nations' to overthrow the Lord and 'His Anointed One (Hebrew = 'machioch' = 'Messiah', which in Gr. is 'christos' = christ). Every king anointed by a prophet was a 'machioch,' an anointed one. If he obeyed God his rule had the authenticity of God's election and the support of God's power. This often made the plans of other nations futile.

Verse 1 expresses the psalmist's amazement in the form of a rhetorical question. He cannot believe 'the nations' would 'plot' something destined to fail. These earthly 'kings' actually were taking a 'stand...against the LORD (v. 2) when they stood against His anointed one. Verse 3 records the nations' resolution: they wished to be free of the political control of this king. Their expression describes their bondage to this king as if they were tied down. This they could not tolerate."]

(v. 4) The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

[BKC, OT, cont.]:

["The psalmist turned from his description of the nations (vv. 1-3) to portray the Lord's response to their plan. In a bold description he envisioned God laughing at it. 'The LORD' sits 'enthroned' (cf. 9:11; 22:3; 29:10; 55:19; 102:12; 113:5: Isa 6:1) high 'in heaven' and discerns how foolish is their plan to oppose Him. The description is anthropomorphic; God's reaction is stated in human terms."]

(v. 5) Then He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying,

(v. 6) 'I [God, (v. 4)] have installed my King on Zion, My holy hill.'

[BKC, OT, cont.]:

["Based on His contempt for their evil plan God will speak in 'His' burning 'wrath' against them. Probably verse 6 summarizes what He says, for His resolution to install His 'king' in Jerusalem will be the end of their rebellion. 'Zion,' referred to 40 times in the Book of Psalms, was originally a Canaanite city conquered by David (2 Sam 5:7). Later Zion referred to the temple area and then to the entire city of Jerusalem (cf... Lam 1:4; Zech 8:3). 'Holy hill' is a synonym for the temple mount (cf. Pss 3:4; 15:1; 24:3; 78:54; Dan 9:16, 20; Obad 16; Zeph 3:11). When God establishes His king, He also subjugates those who oppose His king. It was true with David; it will also be true at the end of the age with David's greater Descendant, Jesus Christ."]

(v. 7) I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He [God] said to me, 'You are My Son; today I have become Your Father. [lit. "have begotten You"]

[BKC, OT, cont.]:

["The psalmist now spoke of God's affirmation of the king to show by what right the king rules. 'The decree' refers to the Davidic Convenant in which God declared that He would be 'Father' to the king, and the king would be His son. So when David became king, God described their affiliation as a Father-son relationship. So the expression 'son' took on the meaning of a messianic title.

'You are My son'... quoted from the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam 7:14), is appropriated here by the king to show his legitimate right to rule. 'Today' then refers to the coronation day, and the expression 'I have begotten you'... refers not to physical birth but is an extended metaphor describing his becoming God's 'son.' "]

(v. 8) Ask of Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth Your possession.

(v. 9) You will rule them with an iron scepter; You will dash them to pieces like pottery.' "

"I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth Your possession" = this verse has Messianic end times implications = the Millennial Rule of the Messiah Jesus Christ Himself as does verse 9.

[The New Scofield Study Bible, NIV, C.I. Scofield, Editor, 1984, Oxford Univ. Press, New York, p. 541]:

"The 2nd Psalm gives the order of the establishment of the kingdom. It is in six parts:

(1) The rage and the vain imagination of the Jews and Gentiles against the LORD and His anointed One (vv. 1-3). The inspired interpretation of this is in Acts 4:25-28, which asserts its fulfillment in the crucifixion of Christ.

(2) The derision of the LORD (v. 4), that men should suppose it possible to set aside His covenant (2 Sam 7:8-17) and oath (Ps 89:34-37).

(3) His rebuke (v. 5), fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, and the dispersion of the Jews at the time; yet to be fulfilled more completely in the tribulation (Mt 24:29) which immediately precedes the return of the King (Mt 24:30).

(4) The establishment of the rejected King upon Zion (v. 6).

(5) The subjection of the earth to the King's rule (vv. 7-9).

(6) The present appeal to the world powers (vv. 10-12)."

[BKC, OT, cont.]:

["The significance of this adoption of the king as God's anointed son is seen in his 'inheritance'. As a son inherits from his father, so the king inherits the kingdom from his 'Father.' The verse continues the quotation from the Lord's decree, extending an invitation to the king to 'ask' for his inheritance, which someday will encompass 'the ends of the earth.' People living in these 'nations,' including the rebellious nations (v. 1), will be subjugated by the Lord's anointed."

i_a) AT OTHER TIMES IN SCRIPTURE GOD DECLARED JESUS CHRIST TO BE HIS SON BUT WITH DIFFERENT EMPHASES

i_ai) [Compare Mt 3:13-17]:

(v. 13) "Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.

(v. 14) But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?"

(v. 15) Jesus replied, 'Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.' Then John consented.

(v. 16) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him.

(v. 17) And a voice from heaven said, 'This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.' "

So God declares His Son in His humanity, 'This is My Son, Whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.' He declares this right after our Lord was baptized by John the Baptist, at the beginning of His 3 year ministry. Such baptism represented the identification of our Lord's mission as John spoke it, 'Look the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the whole world,' = to die for the sins of the whole world.

ii_aii) [Compare Mt 17:1-5]:

(v. 1) "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.

(v. 2) There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

(v. 3) Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

(v. 4) Peter said to Jesus, 'Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.'

(v. 5) While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!' "

Here the Father declares His Son at a time when the Son revealed His glory to three disciples, Peter, James and John.

1 cont.) [Heb 1:3-5 cont.]:

(v. 3) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

(v. 4) So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs.

(v. 5) For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son' "?

i_a cont) AT OTHER TIMES IN SCRIPTURE GOD DECLARED JESUS CHRIST TO BE HIS SON BUT WITH DIFFERENT EMPHASES, CONT.

[BKC, NT, op. cit., p. 781]:

"The quotation in verse 5a is drawn from Psalm 2:7... Psalm 2 is an enthronement psalm in which God 'adopts' the Davidic King as His 'Son.' [Ultimately pointing to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself] That this is what the writer to the Hebrews understood is confirmed in Hebrews 1:5a by the quotation from the Davidic Covenant. No doubt the 'today' in the expression 'today I have become Your Father' was understood by the author of Hebrews to refer to Messiah's sitting at the right hand of God (cf. v. 3).

Of course the Lord Jesus Christ has always been the eternal Son of God [with the definite article 'the' signifying uniqueness]. In a collective sense, the angels are called 'sons of God' in the Old Testament (Job 38:7..), but the writer was thinking of the title 'the Son' in the sense of the Davidic Heir who is entitled to ask God for dominion over the whole earth (cf. Ps 2:8). In this sense the title belongs uniquely to Jesus and not to the angels [or any previous king who sat on the throne of David]."

iii_aii) [Compare Rev 19:15-16]:

(v. 15) "He [Jesus Christ, (v. 13)] will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

(v. 16) On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS."

iii_aiii) [Compare Heb 5:1-5]:

(v. 1) "Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

(v. 2) He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.

(v. 3) This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

(v. 4) No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was.

(v. 5) So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father."

1 cont.) [Heb 1:3-5 cont.]:

(v. 3) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

(v. 4) So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs.

(v. 5) For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son' "?

b) THE PROMISE OF THE EVERLASTING DAVIDIC COVENANT IS THROUGH THE SON: 'I WILL BE HIS FATHER AND HE WILL BE MY SON'

" 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son' " =

[BKC, NT, pp. 781]:

"The quotation in Hebrews 1:5b comes either from 2 Samuel 7:14 or 1 Chronicles 17:13.

i) [Compare 2 Sam 7:11-14]:

[(v. 11) "The LORD declares to you [David, (v. 8)] that the LORD himself will establish a house for you:

(v. 12) When your days are over and you rest with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish his kingdom.

(v. 13) He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.

(v. 14) I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men."]

[BKC, OT, p. 464]:

"Since the Exodus 'the LORD' had resided among the [Israelite] people in a temporary structure [the Tabernacle]. There was no need now for anything different. In fact it was not God's will for 'David' to 'build' Him a 'house;' instead God would build 'a house' for David! (v. 11) God had called 'David' from inauspicious beginnings 'to be' a shepherd of God's 'people' (v. 8). Likewise, God had gathered 'Israel' to Himself and would 'plant them' securely in their own land. The house to be built for David would be a royal house, a dynasty of kings. It would originate with him but would never end (v. 16). The 'kingdom' and its 'throne' would be permanent, a realm over which the Son of David would reign 'forever' (cf. 23:5).

The promise that David and his seed would be kings fulfilled the even more ancient Abraham Covenant blessing that the patriarchs would be the fathers of kings (Gen 17:6, 16; 35:11). To Judah, great-grandson of Abraham, was given the explicit pledge that a promised ruler would come from Judah (Gen 49:10). Samuel anointed this one from Judah, David himself, of whom the Lord said, 'He is the one' (1 Sam 16:12). David was aware of his election by God and of the theological significance of that election as part of the messianic line that would result in a divine Descendant and King (Pss 2:6-7; 110; cf. Ethan's words in Ps 89:3-4). The prophets also attested to the Davidic Messiah, the One Who would rule over all and forever on His throne (Isa 9:1-7; 11:1-5; Jer 30:4-11; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25; Amos 9:11-15).

The promise that the people of the Lord, David's kingdom Israel, would have an enduring land of their own was also based on earlier commitments of the Lord. The seed of Abraham, God said, would be given Canaan as a home forever (Gen 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; Deut 34:4).

As for a temple, David would not be allowed to 'build' it, but his son after him would have the honor of doing so (2 Sam 7:12-13). That this refers to a literal house and not a dynasty is clear from the context, which speaks of the results that would follow if the 'son' would be disobedient to the Lord (vv. 14-15). This could not be true of the King Who is spoken of as the climactic figure of the Davidic dynastic line. These verses, then, are a good example of an Old Testament passage in which some elements find fulfillment in the immediate future (Solomon and other strictly human descendants of David), while other elements will be realized only in the more distant future (Jesus Christ, the Son of David; cf. Luke 1:31-33)."

1 cont.) [Heb 1:3-5 cont.]:

(v. 3) "The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by the word of His power. Having made purification for our sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

(v. 4) So He became as much superior to the angels as the name He has inherited is superior to theirs.

(v. 5) "For to which of the angels did God ever say, 'You are my Son; today I have become your Father'? Or again, 'I will be his Father, and he will be my Son' "?

b cont.) THE PROMISE OF THE EVERLASTING DAVIDIC COVENANT IS THROUGH THE SON: 'I WILL BE HIS FATHER AND HE WILL BE MY SON'

[NIB, p. 28-29]:

"1:5 This verse flows directly from two affirmations in the opening confession of faith: God has spoken through a Son (v. 2), and the name ‘Son’ excels that of the angels (v. 4). It is the name ‘Son’ that joins the two quotations, the one from a royal psalm idealizing the king as God’s Son (Ps 2:7), the other from Nathan’s prophecy, not only establishing David’s house forever but also announcing that David’s son would be God’s Son (2 Sam 7:14).

The joining of these two texts was not unique to the early church, in which they were important foundation texts in developing thinking at Qumran. Elsewhere in the NT..... as a prophecy fulfilled in God’s raising of Jesus from the dead (Acts 13:33-34). That Ps 2:7 would be used by Christians as appropriate at Jesus’ baptism and at His resurrection raised for some the question, ‘When did Jesus become Son of God? At birth, at baptism, or at resurrection?’ John and Paul would join the Hebrews writer in adding, 'Or in pre-existence?' New Testament writers show no interest in the question; rather, they employ a number of available categories and images to affirm the unique relation between Christ and God. For example, the writer of Hebrews has just declared the Son pre-existent, the One through Whom God created the worlds (v. 2), and now he uses a text portraying the Son as begotten. We may feel Christological discontinuity here, but apparently the writer did not. Perhaps it should be said here that of the several ways to express Christ’s Sonship, the one most recurring in Hebrews is pre-existence, the essential first phase of the formula: pre-existence, humiliation, exaltation (2:8-13; 7:3; 10:5; 11:26). Two general observations about this verse need now to be made. First, any discussion of the christology expressed here needs to be subordinated to the primary assertion of Hebrews – namely, God is the initiator of all that follows. God speaks, and the king is ‘Son’; God speaks, and David’s son is God’s own Son. Christology must flow out of theology. Second, if there is among the readers any serious angel worship, then the writer missed an excellent opportunity to counter it with Psalm 2. The context for Ps 2:7 is inter-monarchical rivalry in which kings and rulers will be subordinated to him. This context of the quoted Ps 2:7 would have been a sure weapon against any angels pretending rivalry with God’s Son, where such thinking a problem among the readers."

2) [HEB 1:6]:

"And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, 'Let all God's angels worship him.' "

a) THE SON IS THE FIRSTBORN OF GOD WHO IS TO BE WORSHIPPED BY ANGELS

"hotan de .palin .eisagagE .ton .....prOtotokon eis ..tEn

"when but again He brings in the Firstborn ....into the

oikoumenEn"

world"

b) [Compare Ps 97:1-9]:

(v. 1) "The LORD reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice.

[BKC, OT, p. 864]:

"97:1 The psalmist introduced the record of his vision of the Lord by calling on the earth (i.e., people in it; cf. 96:1; 98:4; 100:1) to rejoice over the establishment of the Lord's kingdom. The LORD reigns is also stated in 47:8; 93:1; 96:10; 99:1; 146:10."

(v. 2) Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.

(v. 3) Fire goes before him and consumes his foes on every side.

(v. 4) His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles.

(v. 5) The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.

[BKC, OT, p. 864]:

"97:2-5 The psalmist described the Lord's magnificent reigning appearance. In her worship Israel no doubt understood that these verses spoke figuratively of the presence of the Lord's glory. In their fullest meaning, however, they describe the coming of the Lord to reign over the earth.

The Lord's coming is accompanied with clouds and thick darkness, often a picture of awesome judgment (cf. Deut. 4:11; 5:22-23; Ps 18:9, 11; Jer 13:16; Ezek 30:3, 18; 32:7-8; 34:12; Joel 2:2; Amos 5:18-20; Zeph 1:15). God's rule is based on righteousness (cf. Ps 96:13). A consuming fire is also a manifestation of His appearance, for by it He in His wrath destroys His foes (cf 21:9; 50:3; 79:5; 89:46; Heb 12:29; Rev 20:9). Lightning flashes terrify the world. Mountains melt like wax (cf. Micah 1:4). The elements of nature that men fear, and the parts of Creation considered the most solid, all announce the coming of the LORD of all the earth (cf. Micah 4:13; Zech 4:14). Often in Scripture such phenomena accompany the appearance of the LORD."

(v. 6) The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.

(v. 7) All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols - worship Him, all you gods [=angels, (LXX)]!

(v. 8) Zion hears and rejoices and the villages of Judah are glad because of your judgments, O LORD.

(v. 9) For you, O LORD, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods."

[BKC, OT, p. 864]:

"The psalmist described the effects of this epiphany. The heavens declare His righteousness and glory. In other words His appearance to establish righteousness on earth will be announced to the world.

Pagan idol-worshipers will be put to shame for they will know instantly that they have been wrong. This thought prompted the psalmist to call even the idols to worship the Lord! So the people of God rejoice because of the triumphant exaltation of their righteous LORD. Since He is over all the earth (cf. v. 5), He is higher than all false gods (cf. 96:4-5), and deserves people's praise."

[BKC, NT, p. 781-2]:

"1:6 The prerogatives of the One Who bears this superlative title [Firstborn] are set forth beginning with this verse....[Verse 6] would be preferable to translate, 'and when He again brings the Firstborn into the world.' The reference is to the Second Advent when the Kingly prerogatives of the Son will be recognized with open angelic 'worship (cf. Ps 97:7 where the LXX rendering 'angels' correctly renders the text)."

c) [Ex 20:4-5]:

(v. 4) "You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

(v. 5) You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me."

d) [Mt 4:10]:

'''Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.' " '''

[NIB, p. 29]:

"1:6. This verse consists of two parts: the writers’ introductory comment and the quotation of Deut 32:43, each full of ambiguities. For the author to speak of the Son as ‘firstborn’ is not awkward here; he has already spoken of Him as begotten (1:5) and as heir (1:2). The term ‘firstborn’ (.. prOtokokos), implying authority, privilege, and inheritance, had been used of David (Ps 89:27), of Israel (Num 11:12; Hos 2:1), and elsewhere of Christ (Rom 8:29; Col 1:15, 18). But to what even or Christological moment does the writer refer with the expression ‘when He [God] brings the firstborn into the world’? Technically the adverb ‘again’ may modify the verb, hence ‘bring again’ could refer to the parousia, the Second Coming. Some interpreters prefer this reading, but it is more likely that ‘again’ is simply a connective (as at 1:5; 2:13; 4:5; 10:30). Thus understood, the bringing of the firstborn into the world is without chronological clues and, therefore, may refer to the incarnation, to the parousia, to the world to come (2:5), or to the exaltation into the ‘world’ of the angels, who are commanded to worship Him. The quotation itself speaks directly to the subject of the unit: Christ and the angels. Although the citation is very similar to Ps 97:7 (‘all gods bow down before Him’ [‘angels,’ LXX]), most likely the writer has in mind Deut 32:43.

e) [Compare Deut 32:43]:

"Rejoice, O nations, with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants; he will take vengeance on his enemies and make atonement for his land and people... (Masoretic text, septuagint & dead sea scrolls have the following at the end): and let all the angels worship Him."

Originally the text called for all the sons of God to worship God. A version of the LXX changed ‘sons’ to ‘angels.’ Obviously preferred by the writer [of Hebrews]. The other alteration, directing angelic praise to the Son rather than to God, is the writer’s own modification. However, the author may be citing Deut 32:43 not directly but from the odes attached to the psalter in some manuscripts of the LXX or from a Christian liturgy that made use if the Song of Moses in its own worship (Rev 15:3)."

3) [Heb 1:7]:

(v. 7) "In speaking of the angels he says, 'He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire.' "

"He makes his angels winds, his servants flames of fire." =

a) [Compare Ps 104:4]:

"He makes winds His messengers, flames of fire His servants."

[NIB. p. 29]:

"1:7. The fourth of the seven quotations is Ps 104:4, and again the writer uses the LXX translation. The Hebrew reads, ‘who makes winds to be His messengers and fire the flame His servants,’ while the LXX reverses the expressions: ‘who makes His messengers [angels] to be winds and His servants to be fire and flame.’ The writer’s point about angels is clear only when read in conjunction with vv. 8-9. The point is not that God harnesses the forces of nature to serve the Creator’s purpose (Heb text) but that angels are as transient and temporary as wind and fire (LXX text). This will be abundantly clear momentarily. As to the identity of the ‘who makes’ (ho poiOn), it is not necessary to assume the writer has Christ, and not God, in mind. Even though the Son is Agent of creation (1:2), the contrast between Christ and the angels is not that of creator/creature but of permanent/transient."

4) [Heb 1:8-9]:

(v. 8) "But about the Son he says, 'Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter of your kingdom.

(v. 9) You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.' "

a) [Compare Ps 45:6-7]:

(v. 6) "Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.

(v. 7) You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy."

[BKC, OT, p. 827]:

"The king was righteous in his administration. In a surprising extravagance of language, the psalmist addressed the king as God (elOhim). This is not entirely unique; judges in Moses' day were designated in this way as God's just representatives (cf. Ex 21:6; 22:8-9; Ps 81:1). As God's representative, this king would have an everlasting throne and a righteous reign (a scepter of justice). Because he loved righteousness and hated wickedness, God had blessed him with abundant joy.

Psalm 45:6-7 undoubtedly refers to the promise of an eternal throne for the house of David (cf. 2 Sam 7:16) which will be fulfilled in Jesus Christ when He returns to reign forever. Hebrews 1:8-9 quotes this passage in reference to the exaltation and dominion of Christ. Whether the psalmist used thee word elOhim to mean God or His human representative, the writer of Hebrews demonstrated that it points up the essential difference between the Son and the angels (cf. Heb 1:5, 7)."

[NIB, p. 29-30]:

"1:8-9 The writer introduces Ps 45:6-7 by saying that what follows applies to the son. Psalm 45 is a marriage song praising the king as bridegroom and calling on the bride, a princess from Tyre, to abandon all loyalties in recognition of the superior status of the groom. The Hebrews writer does not develop the marriage theme, which would have served well in another context (e.g., Christ and the church). Rather, Psalm 45 yields other themes appropriate to the Christ/angels discussion. First, as the adversative ‘but’ indicates, there is a sharp contrast with the portrayal of the angels in the preceding verse. The angels are changing and transient; the throne of the son is forever and ever (13:8). Second, because the Son is a king Whose reign is marked by righteousness, the writer anticipates the discussion of Melchizedek, king of righteousness, beginning at 7:1. Third, that God ‘has set You above Your companions’ has clear implications for the issue of Christ’s relation to the angels. It is striking that the writer gives no special attention to the most shocking feature of the quotation: the king, and hence the Son, is called God. Although many interpreters have devised ways to avoid the direct address, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever’ seems to be the unavoidable sense. As awkward as it is to many Christians, references to the Son as God can be found in early liturgical texts (John 1:1; 20:28; Rom 9:5; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet 1:1). The second apparent reference to the king (Son) as God is not so persuasive: ‘therefore God, Your God, has anointed You’ could be read as nominative, not a vocative. This is to say, it could be read, ‘God; that is, your God has anointed you.’ But, as stated above, referring to the Son as God seems not to have been the reason for the author’s attraction to this psalm. And so, almost incidentally and from a text not listed among the messianic psalms, comes the strongest attribution of divinity to the Son, even stronger than 1:1-4. If any doubt remained of the Son’s superiority to angels, that doubt has surely been removed."

[BKC, NT, p. 782]:

"1:7-9. In a pair of contrasting quotations, the author juxtaposed the servanthood of 'the angels' (v. 7) and the eternal dominion of 'the Son' (vv. 8-9). It is possible that, in line with one strand of Jewish thought about angels (cf. Esdras 8:21-22), the writer understood the statement of Psalm 104:4 (quoted in Heb 1:7) as suggesting that angels often blended their mutable natures with 'winds' or 'fire' as they performed that tasks God gave them. But in contrast with this mutability, the Son's 'throne' is eternal and immutable (v. 8).

The quotation found in verses 8-9 is derived from Psalm 45:6-7 which describes the final triumph of God's messianic King. The writer extended this citation further than the previous ones, no doubt because the statements of the psalmist served well to highlight truths on which the author of Hebrews desired to elaborate. The King the psalmist described had 'loved righteousness and hated wickedness.' This points to the holiness and obedience of Christ while He was on earth, to which reference will be repeatedly made later (cf. Heb 3:1-2; 5:7-8; 7:26; 9:14). And though this King thus deservedly enjoys a superlative 'joy,' still He has 'companions' in that joy. The reference to 'companions' is likewise a significant theme for the writer. The same word 'metochoi' ('companions or sharers') is employed in 3:1, 14 of Christians (it is also used in 12:8). Since the King has attained His joy and dominion through a life of steadfast righteousness, it might be concluded that His companions will share His experience by that same means. This inference will later become quite clear (cf. 12:28)."

5) [Heb 1:10-12]:

(v. 10) "He also says, "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

(v. 11) They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.

(v. 12) You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

[NIB, p. 30]:

"1:10-12 Psalm 102 is a lament of a person ill and dying, reflecting on the brevity of life, mortality, and vulnerability. The psalmist then contrasts his own condition with the abiding nature of a never-changing God. The Hebrews writer presents this description of God as God’s words concerning the Son. There is no doubt, therefore, that the one addressed as Lord is the Son. What, then, does the quotation of Ps 102:25-27 contribute to the discussion concerning Christ and the angels? Several themes are underscored. The role of the Son as creator and sustainer of the universe (1:2-3) is here elaborated to highlight the contrast between Christ as Creator and angels as creatures. This leads to a second contrast between the Son, Who never changes, and creation, which perishes. In vivid imagery the psalmist pictures creation as old clothes that wear out, as a cloak rolled up and put away. In addition, Ps 102:25-27 contributes beyond this unit to discussions yet to be developed. One observes here the writer’s practice of anticipating future ideas by dropping words and phrases that will receive fuller attention later. For example, just as creation grows old and wears out like clothing, so also the old covenant grows old, soon to disappear (8:13). Again, just as the Son remains the same forever, so also will this unchanging quality characterize Christ’s priesthood (5:6; 6:20; 7:3, 17). Or again, just as creation perishes, so also will there be shaking and an end to all things in the eschaton, leaving only the kingdom that cannot be shaken (12:26-28). Telegraphing ahead themes yet to be developed is sound rhetoric and effective pedagogy."

[BKC, NT, p. 782]:

"1:10-12. The immutability of the King-Son is further stressed by the statements now quoted from Psalm 102:25-27. A simple 'and' (kai, disguised a bit by NIV's He also says) links the quotation in these verses with that in Hebrews 1:8-9. That the author construed the words of Psalm 102 as likewise addressed to the Son cannot be reasonably doubted. The Son, then, is Lord and has created both earth and the heavens (cf. Heb 1:2). But even when the present creation wears out like an old garment and is exchanged for a new one, the Son will remain unchanged. The reference here of course is to the transformation of the heavens and earth which will occur after the Millennium and will introduce the eternal state (2 Peter 3:10-13). Yet even after those cataclysmic events the Son's years will never end. This certainly points to His personal eternality, but it is also likely that the word 'years' stands for all that they contain for the Son, including an eternal throne and scepter as well as unending joy with His companions. The writer definitely taught that Messiah's kingdom would survive the final 'shaking' of the creation (cf. Heb 12:26-28)."

6) [Heb 1:13-14]:

(v. 13) "To which of the angels did God ever say, "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?

(v. 14) Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?"

"Those who will inherit salvation" = refers to believers who have possession of eternal of eternal life, (Jn 3:16), and are sealed to eternal security in that possession, (Eph 1:13-14), but have not yet inherited all the benefits therein, (cp Phil 3:20-21). Believers are thus being addressed here as this verse would not be of any understanding or value to unbelievers.

[BKC, NT, p. 782]:

"1:13-14. The writer drew this section to a climax with a final Old Testament quotation, one which is crucial to the entire thought of the epistle. It is taken from Psalm 110 which the author later employed in his elaboration of the Melchizedek priesthood of the Lord Jesus. Here he cited verse 1 of the psalm to highlight the final victory of the Son over His enemies. If the Son is to have an eternal throne (Heb 1:8), such a victory obviously awaits Him. But the victory is His and not the angels'. Their role, by contrast, is to serve those who will inherit salvation.

It should not be automatically assumed that 'salvation' here refers to a believer's past experience of regeneration. On the contrary it is something future as both the context and the words 'will inherit' suggest. As always, the writer of Hebrews must be understood to reflect the ethos of Old Testament thought, especially so here where a chain of references to it form the core of his argument. And it is particularly in the Psalms, from which he chiefly quoted in this chapter, that the term 'salvation' has a well-defined sense. In the Psalms this term occurs repeatedly to describe the deliverance of God's people from the oppression of their enemies and their consequent enjoyment of God's blessings. In the Septuagint, the Greek Bible so familiar to the writer, the word 'salvation' (sOtEria) was used in this sense in Psalms 3:2, 8; 18:2, 35, 46, 50; 35:3; 37:39; 71:15; 118:14-15, 21; 132:16, and elsewhere. This meaning is uniquely suitable here where the Son's own triumph over enemies has just been mentioned.

That the readers were under external pressure there is little reason to doubt. They had endured persecution in the past and were exhorted not to give up now (Heb 10:32-36). Here the writer reminded them that the final victory over all enemies belongs to God's King and that the angels presently serve those who are destined to share in that victory, that is, to 'inherit salvation.' "

[NIB, p. 31]:

"The catena in vv. 5-13 ends as it began, with a rhetorical question.: ‘To which of the angels has God ever said’ The writer now quotes the text to which he alluded in v. 3, Ps 110:1... Psalm 110 is God’s address to the king, and it contains two oracles: the offer of a place of power at God’s right hand (Ps 110:1) and the declaration of the king’s priestly office after the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110:4). Only Hebrews in the NT develops Ps 110:4 as a Christological text. In fact, later in the epistle the writer drew upon more of the psalm than these two verses. In the present context, only Ps 110:1 is quoted, and it is presented as the words of God to the Son. For what immediate purpose? In addition to the affirmation of the supremacy of the Son, the psalm predicts the final subordination of all enemies of the Son. Later in the epistle the writer will discuss the Son’s victory over the two great enemies, sin and death (2:14-15; 10:27). But within 1:5-2:18 are the enemies the angels? This is very strong language, much stronger than that of Ps 45:7 in 1:9: God ‘has set You above your companions’ (NIV). If angels are Christ’s enemies, then the language here is reminiscent of Paul, who regarded angels among the principalities and powers finally to be brought under subjection to Christ (1 Cor 15:24-28; Phil 2:9-11). Apparently, however, the writer realized that the quotation , while serving his purpose, said more than he wanted to say. Therefore, in his own words, without further quotation, he softens, in fact alters, the impact of Ps 110:1 by appending a concluding statement."

Hebrews Chapter 2: