Hebrews 1

1:1 In the past [the age of promise] God [the agent of the revelation described in these verses] spoke [Gr. “lalesas” indicates a process that continued over a period of time; progressive revelation (each truth adding to the preceding ones) that culminated in Jesus Christ] to our forefathers [Israelite ancestors, the patriarchs, those who lived before Christ] through the prophets [Gr. “prophetes” means “to speak in front of or for someone else”; the human channels of God’s revelation; cf. 2 Pet. 1:20-21 re: trustworthiness of the prophets’ words] at many times [throughout the span of OT history] and in various ways [such as: dreams, visions, angels, events],

Note: Some of the various ways in which God spoke include…
• visions (Isaiah) — Isa. 6
• dreams (Jacob) — Gen. 28:10-22
• personally (Abraham and Moses) — Gen. 18; Ex. 31:18
• object lessons — Jeremiah
• a failed marriage — Hosea
• pillar of cloud and pillar of fire — Ex. 13:21
• Urim and Thummim (decision-making) — Ex. 28:30; Num. 27:21

1:2 but in these last days [the age of fulfillment; the period between the incarnation and Second Coming] has spoken [Gr. “elalesen” indicates a process that is finished, sufficient, never to be added to; in a final and complete manner; four hundred years since Malachi was written] to us [contrast with “forefathers” in v. 1] by his Son [contrast with “prophets” in v. 1; superior to the prophets; God’s full and final revelation; God’s revelation moved from promise to fulfillment in Jesus Christ], whom he [note seven descriptions of Jesus and affirmations of His deity…] [1] appointed [to place] heir [cf. Ps. 2:8; Mk. 12:1-12] of all things, and [2] through whom he made [created; cf. Jn. 1:1-3; Col. 1:15-18] the universe.

1:3 The Son is [3] the radiance [reflection] of God’s glory [Jesus reflects God’s glory and reveals God’s character; Jn. 1:18; 10:30] and [4] the exact representation [character; imprint, image; Jesus explains God] of his being [Gr. hypostasis = the very substance of God; cf. Jn. 14:9], [5] sustaining all things by his powerful word [cf. Col. 1:17]. After he had [6] provided purification for sins [Jesus’ sacrifice eliminated the need for any other sacrifices for the atonement or cleansing from sins], [7] he sat down [His work was finished (as opposed to earthly priests whose work was never finished)] at the right hand [the place of authority, honor, power, prestige; cf. Ps. 110:1; Matt. 26:64] of the Majesty [this reference to God used only here and in Heb. 8:1] in heaven.

Note: Seven descriptions of Jesus and affirmations of His deity…
• heir of all things — Heb. 1:2
• agent of creation — Heb. 1:2
• radiance of God’s glory — Heb. 1:3
• exact representation of God — Heb. 1:3
• sustainer of the universe — Heb. 1:3
• purifier of people’s sins — Heb. 1:3
• ascended and exalted Lord — Heb. 1:3

1:4 So he became
[He has always been superior to angels] as much superior [term occurs 13 times in Hebrews] to the angels [created beings subject to God’s authority] as the name [“Son” (Heb. 1:2)] he has inherited is superior [cf. Acts 4:12; Phil. 2:9-11] to theirs [the name “angel”; Gabriel (Dan. 8:16; 9:21; Lk. 1:19,26; name means “man or strength of God”) and Michael (Dan. 10:13,21; 12:1; Jude 1:9; Rev. 12:7; name means “Who is like God?”) are specifically named in Scripture; angels called “the sons of God” in Job. 1:6; 2:1 but never “the” Son of God].

Note: The work of angels in the Bible includes…
• Encouragement — Genesis 16:7ff
• Guidance — Exodus 14:19
• Punishment — 2 Samuel 24:16
• Exalt God — Isaiah 6:3
• Protection — Daniel 6:22; Matt. 18:10
• Patrol the Earth — Zechariah 1:9-14
• Fight Evil — 2 Kings 6:16-18; Revelation 20:1-2
• Messengers — Luke 1:26; Rev. 14:6-12
Praise God — Revelation 7:11-12

Caution: Angels are not to be worshiped Col. 2:18; Rev. 19:1-10

1:5 [note seven OT quotations used to demonstrate Jesus’ superiority to angels…] For to which of the angels did God ever say, [1] “You are [describes an ongoing relationship] my Son [by contrast, angels are servants or “ministering spirits” (Heb. 1:14)]; today I have become your Father [Ps. 2:7]“? [2] Or again, “I will be his Father, and he [Jesus, not an angel] will be my Son [2 Sam. 7:14 (1 Chron. 17:13)]“?

1:6 And again, when God brings his firstborn [Gr. protokos; firstborn children had greater privileges and inheritance than siblings; does not mean Jesus was a created being] into the world [the incarnation; Jesus’ birth], he says, [3] “Let all God’s angels worship him [Deut. 32:43; Ps. 97:7; see also Lk. 2:13-14; Rev. 5:11-12].”

1:7 In speaking of the angels he says, [4] “He makes his angels [wind and fire are metaphors that illustrate angels status as created beings…] winds, his servants flames of fire [Ps. 104:4].”

1:8 But about the Son he says [Ps. 45:6-7], [5] “Your throne [no angel ever had a throne], O God [affirmation of Christ’s deity], will last for ever and ever, and righteousness will be the scepter [no angel ever had a scepter; symbol of authority] of your kingdom.

1:9 You have loved righteousness [cf. Amos 5:24; Acts 10:35] and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing [the noun “Christ” or “Messiah” derived from verb translated “anointed”] you with the oil of joy.”

1:10 [Ps. 102:25-27 cf. Heb. 1:10-12] He also says, [6] “In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

1:11 They will perish [all created things are temporary], but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment.

1:12 You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed [all created things are subject to change]. But you remain the same, and your years will never end.”

1:13 [cf. Ps. 110:1] To which of the angels did God ever say, [7] “Sit at my right hand [the place of authority, honor, power, prestige; Jesus quoted this verse in reference to Himself (Matt. 22:44, cf. Acts 2:33-36)] until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

Note: Seven OT quotations that affirm Jesus’ superiority to angels…
• Heb. 1:5a — Ps. 2:7
• Heb. 1:5b — 2 Sam. 7:14 (1 Chron. 17:13)
• Heb. 1:6 — Deut. 32:43 or Ps. 97:7
• Heb. 1:7 — Ps. 104:4
• Heb. 1:8-9 — Ps. 45:6-7
• Heb. 1:10-12 | Ps. 102:25-27
• Heb. 1:13 | Ps. 110:1

1:14 Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve [angels are servants; cf. Acts 12:7-10 re: Peter’s rescue from prison; cf. Ps. 34:7] those who will inherit salvation [Christians]?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s