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HAVING BECOME AS MUCH BETTER THAN
THE ANGELS: tosouto kreitton genomenos (AMPMSN) tôn aggelôn:
Preciousness of Christ,
in depth ISBE Article on Angels) (See
excellent booklet from RBC
What Can We Learn From The Angels?)
- note; Rev 5:12
BETTER THAN THE ANGELS:
SEVEN OT QUOTATIONS
Septuagint - LXX)
Jesus is God's only begotten Son
God is His Father
Jesus is the Son
Jesus is to be worshipped by
Angels are His
Hebrews 1:8, 1:9
Jesus Christ is God
Forever and ever
Hebrews 1:10, 11,12
Immutable and Eternal
Victor over All
*Psalm 97:7 - Some scholars favor this quotation as from Deut 32:43
which in the Greek (LXX)
reads "Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels
of God worship him". Either quote substantiates the writer's
having become so much
better than the messengers (YLT)
thus proving himself, by the more glorious name that he has won
far greater than all the angels of God
having become by
so much superior to the angels
Being made so much
better than the angels
as far superior to
the angels (NAB)
[Taking a place and rank by
which] He Himself became as much superior to angels
Thus he became so far
better than the angels
The Son became much
greater than the angels
John MacArthur's introductory comments to Hebrews 1:4-14...
In this chapter we are going to be
dealing with meat as opposed to milk. I cannot remember a passage on which
I have spent more time. To some extent, it is like an iceberg. You can see
the top clearly enough, but it may not appear too impressive or
meaningful. We will be looking below the surface of this passage into its
deep truths. In that sense, verses 4 through 14 are not easy to
understand. If, even in a small measure, I can help make these truths more
understandable, I have succeeded in what I asked God to help me do.
Keep in mind that the book of Hebrews
is written to Jewish people, primarily to Jewish believers but also to
Jewish unbelievers. Both groups are pressed with the truth that the New
Covenant is better than the Old—that Jesus Christ is the better Priest,
and the better Mediator, and that He is the final Priest and the final
Sacrifice at the same time. Throughout the book we have comparisons
between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant and between Jesus Christ and
everyone else, to show that Jesus is superior in every way.
In the first three verses Jesus is
shown as superior to everything and everyone. After unfolding all of the
human "everyones" Christ is superior to, the Holy Spirit teaches us that
Jesus Christ is also superior to angels. (MacArthur,
John: Hebrews. Moody Press
NOTE: Do not confuse this discussion of Jesus better than the angels
with the Angel of the LORD a term found only in the Old
Testament and referring not to a created angel but almost certainly to
preincarnate appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Click for a Scriptural analysis of the Angel of the LORD.
It is very interesting to note that the term the Angel of the Lord
does not appear in the New Testament after the incarnation of Christ He
becomes a man, for their was no longer any need for a "pre-incarnate"
theophany (appearance in the form of God) for the God-Man Christ Jesus.
So you perceive that Christ is no
created angel. He is sometimes compared to an angel. He is sometimes
called the angel of the covenant, but he is not a created angel. He is
higher in nature, higher in rank, higher in intellect, and higher in power
than they. He is nothing less than very God of very God. The very man who
suffered on Calvary.
Paul had warned Timothy
the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from
the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1Ti
That these later
times had already arrived in the first century
church is clear for writing to the church at Colossae Paul warned the
saints to reject false angelogly saying
Let no one keep defrauding you
of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the
angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without
cause by his fleshly mind and not holding fast to the Head (Christ), from
Whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and
ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. (Colossians 2:18; 2:19-note)
Many people in the first century apparently believed that angels served as
mediators between God and men and it was tempting to focus more on angels
than upon the sufficiency of Christ as the Great High Priest and Mediator.
Basing his arguments upon familiar Old Testament verses, specifically
quoting from the Greek translation, the
Septuagint (LXX), the author in
eleven verses (Hebrews 1:4-14) brilliantly constructs a convincing contrast
between Christ the Creator and the created angels, conclusively
demonstrating that Christ is far superior to the angels and He Alone
warrants the readers (and our) adoration, worship and obedience.
Christianity enamored with widespread Scripturally "shallow" teaching on
angels, is in desperate need of this sound doctrine which
alone is able to nourish our faith (1Ti 4:6)
and cause us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ" (2Pe 3:18-note)
considerable teaching on the topic of angels with some 108 direct
references in the OT and 165 in the NT. Study of these passages reveals
that God's primary purpose for creating the angels was to render worship
and service to God and in turn serve as God's messengers and ministers to
men. For a synopsis of "angelology" I would recommend taking an hour or so
and reading through the passages in Torrey's topic on
Don't just read Torrey's conclusions (as good as I think they are) but as
"you have an anointing from the Holy One" (1Jn 2:20), read the passages
in context and allow your Teacher the Holy Spirit to lead you into all
truth (i.e., Be a Berean - Acts 17:11-note).
Remember you can download
and hold your pointer over
Torrey's references to read the passages in context (KJV and ESV are
available at no charge).
James Townsend in Emmaus Journal
(Vol 9. Page 97. 2000) writes the following summary of Jesus and angels...
Superior to the Invisible Agents of
Old Testament Revelation - Angels (Hebrews 1:1-2:18)
A lot of modern people have caught the
disease of angelitis (spawned from TV shows such as “Touched by an
Angel”). When angels are promoted to the extent that God’s Son is demoted,
then such obsessions amount to “the worship of angels” (see note
Angels were the invisible intermediaries involved in God’s giving the Old
Testament revelation of the law (see Acts 7:38, 53 and Gal. 3:19). In
order to show that God’s New Testament revelation in His Son is superior
to the Old Testament revelation at Sinai, the author of Hebrews (Heb
1:1-2:18) cites evidence to show the Son’s superiority above all angels
(who are unseen law-givers).
In Hebrews 1:1-3 the author forges seven scintillating statements about
God’s Son, who is God’s supreme revelation (Heb 1:1–3). In Heb 1:4-14 he
shows, by seven Scriptural citations, that He is “superior to the angels”
because no angel has ever been singled out as “the” Son (He 1:5-note;
or addressed as “God” (He 1:8-note) or has had an eternal existence (He
He 1:11, 12-note).
The word “angels” appears twelve times in Hebrews 1:4-2:18. The law
(or past revelation) was “spoken by angels” (He 2:2-note), but this
last revelation (He 1:2-note)
was spoken by God’s superior Son, so no one dare neglect the message
“announced by” God’s Son (He 2:3-note) and attested by
God the Father (He 2:4-note).
Angels were not only agents of the law-giving (Hebrews 2:2-note), but administrators over nations (He
2:5-note; Da. 10:13, 20, 21;
11:1, where angels are called “princes” ruling over nations). Yet God has
not “subjected the world to come…to angels” (Hebrews 2:5-note), but eventually the
world is to be subjected to the Son...
(ginomai) is a word the meaning of which is in contrast to that of poieo (poieo)
which means “to make.” The latter means “to construct or fashion something
out of existing materials.” The former is the word used of the universe
coming into existence. It means “to become.” The Son became better than
the angels, inferring that at one time He was lower than the angels. 2:7,
9 during His incarnation.
A number of cults and other unorthodox religious organizations
deity of Christ on the basis of the KJV translation of Jesus “being
made” incorrectly interpreting this out of
usually lead to an erroneous interpretation) to mean that Jesus was created
Greek verb however is not poieo, meaning to “to make or create,” but
ginomai, which means “to become” and is the
meaning conveyed by most modern translations. Jesus Christ always
existed, but He became better than the angels in His exaltation, a
statement which is better understood when we learn that in His incarnation on
earth He was
made for a little while lower than the angels...that
by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (see note
(kreitton from kratos = strong which denotes
power in activity and effect) is the comparative degree of
agathos meaning good (intrinsically good).
"by how much more".
is here indicative
of a higher position or rank.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
As Wuest puts it Jesus is so
much superior to the angels.
is a KEYWORD (see
key words) in Hebrews. This repetition of
beyond all doubt to the Jewish reader that the New
is better than the Old system. Study the uses below. What is better?
You will need to read the surrounding context to answer this question.
A "Better" Book
Uses of "Better"
Hebrews 1:4 (note) having become as much better
than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
Hebrews 6:9 (note) But, beloved, we are convinced of better things concerning
you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this
Hebrews 7:19 (note) (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there
is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to
Hebrews 7:22 (note) so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a
Hebrews 8:6 (note) But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as
He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been
enacted on better promises.
Hebrews 9:23 (note) Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the
heavens to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves with
better sacrifices than these.
Hebrews 10:34 (note) For you showed sympathy to the prisoners, and accepted joyfully
the seizure of your property, knowing that you have for yourselves a
better possession and an abiding one.
Hebrews 11:4 (note) By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain,
through which he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God
testifying about his gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still
Hebrews 11:16 (note) But as it is, they desire a better country, that is a
heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He
has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:35 (note)
Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were
tortured, not accepting their release, in order that they might obtain a
Hebrews 11:40 (note) because God had provided something better for us, so that
apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Hebrews 12:24 (note) and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the
sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
(aggelos or angelos) is the Greek word used to describe a messenger
sent in order to announce, teach or perform anything in place of one who has
sent him. In Scripture aggelos refers to
transcendent (exceeding usual limits) celestial spirit beings, messenger,
superior in power and intelligence to man, who are
sent out (by God)
to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation. (Heb 1:14-note)
Angels are often referred to as the hosts
more discussion click here) of God (LORD
of hosts or Sabaoth) and equate with His
"army" in heaven. God is represented as surrounded by a host of beings of a
higher order than man. As to their number, the writer of Hebrews says there
are "myriads (murias =
indefinite large number that cannot be counted) of angels"
The writer of Hebrews writes that in the Old Testament God spoke
"the word...through angels
" and that word "proved unalterable and every transgression and
disobedience received a just recompense,
Why would the writer even need to address
the issue of Jesus as much
better than the angels? For
one thing, from the very fact the writer had to address this issue implies
that ancient Jews, even those who were now believers in the Messiah held
angels in high regard. It is not surprising that Jews might have a high regard for angels,
because Scripture teaches that the law had been given through angels (Acts
Paul writes that
"God gave his laws to
angels to give to Moses, who was the
mediator between God and the people" (Gal 3:19NLT).
Wuest feels that...
The informal and
abrupt introduction of angels, shows that the writer was addressing
Jews, who were familiar with the important part the angels played in the
Old Testament, particularly in the giving of the law.
Cherubim were woven into the veil
of the tabernacle, and cherubim were fashioned of gold for the mercy seat.
Furthermore, in the OT, angelic beings had made frequent appearance to the
Jewish people (eg Da 8:16-note,
Finally, it is evident from Paul's letter to the Colossians
that those with a strong Jewish background (Col 2:16, 17-note)
were being tempted to "delight in false humility and the
worship of angels" (Col 2:18-note).
Those to whom this
letter is sent were either already entertaining or being encouraged to
entertain, teaching which elevated angels to a position rivaling that of
Thomas Aquinas explains that...
Angels mean messengers and ministers.
Their function is to execute the plan of divine providence, even in
Angels are the dispensers and
administrators of the divine beneficence towards us.
Graham rightly declared...
Of one thing we can be sure: Angels
never draw attention to themselves but ascribe glory to God and press His
message upon the heavens as a delivering and sustaining word of the
AS HE HAS INHERITED A MORE
EXCELLENT NAME THAN THEY: hoso diaphoroteron par autous kekleronomeken (3SRAI) onoma:
(Ps 2:7,8; Php 2:9, 2:10, 2:11)
God gave him a name that is much
greater than theirs (ICB)
thus proving himself, by the more glorious name
that he has won far greater than all the angels of God (Phillips)
the name God gave him is far greater than their names (NLT)
as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and
more excellent than theirs. (Amp)
as the Name He possesses by inheritance is more excellent than theirs
[word study] from
kleros = a lot + nemomai = to possess) is in the perfect tense which conveys the
idea in context of the permanence of His inherited Name. The verse could be
more literally translated
He inherited in times past with the present result that the inheritance is
in His permanent possession.
perfect tense of kleronomeo
speaks of a past completed action and of the present abiding results. Jesus is
the Heir Who forever possesses the more excellent name.
(tosoutos) refers to a high degree of quantity and thus means so
much, so great
(1313)(diaphoros from diaphéro = be different, superior)
pertains to that which is different and in the present context the focus is on
different in "value" and thus His
Name is outstanding,
exceptional (forming an exception, not ordinary), superior (of
extraordinary worth or merit, of higher rank, quality, or importance),
surpassing (greatly exceeding others, of very high degree) and excellent.
Diaphoros signifies more distinguished, more eminent and
is used elsewhere only (He 8:6-note)
describing the Son's “more
excellent ministry, by as much
as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on
Diaphoros - 4x in 4v - Ro 12:6; Heb
1:4; 8:6; 9:10. NAS = differ(1), more excellent(2), various(1).
Diaphoros - 5x in
- Lev 19:19; Deut 22:9; Ezra 8:27;
Dan 7:7, 19)
(onoma) is the
distinctive designation of a person or thing and includes the ideas of
title, character, reputation or authority.
In antiquity the name
meant much more than it does today. We use a name as little more than a
distinguishing mark or label to differentiate one person from other people.
But in the NT "the name" concisely sums up all that a person is. One's whole
character was somehow implied in the name.
Jesus (Greek Iesous, Hebrew =
= Jehovah is Salvation)...Who will save His people from their sins" (Mt
which is above every name"
for as Peter declared...
there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name
under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved."
they (par autous)
is more literally “alongside of them” which expresses the idea that the Son has a name more
excellent in comparison to the angels. The writer has already shown that
the "Son" is superior to
the prophets and now presents Him as superior to the angels, a conclusion
he proceeds to substantiate in the remainder of the chapter relying
primarily on the reliable testimony of the Old Testament Scriptures, which
again directly addresses the concerns of his Jewish audience.
B Meyer in the Way Into the Holiest has the following chapter on
OF CHRIST'S OFFICE
"He hath by inheritance obtained a
more excellent name." Hebrews 1:4.
Scripture, we should have been disposed to infer the existence of other
orders of intelligent and spiritual beings besides man. As the order of
creation climbs up to man from the lowest living organism through many
various stages of existence, so surely the series must be continued beyond
man, through rank on rank of spiritual existence up to the very steps of
the eternal throne. The divine mind must be as prolific in spiritual as it
has been in natural forms of life.
But we are not left to conjecture. From every part of Scripture come
testimonies to the existence of angels. They rejoiced when the world was
made, and they are depicted as ushering in with songs that new creation
for which we long. They stood sentries at the gate of a lost paradise; and
at each of the twelve gates of the New Jerusalem an angel stands (Rev
21:12-note). They trod the plains of Mamre, and sang over the fields of
Bethlehem. One prepared the meal on the desert sands for Elijah; another
led Peter out of gaol and a third flashed through the storm to stand by
the hammock where the Apostle Paul was sleeping (Acts 27:23,24).
But in the mind of the pious Hebrew the greatest work which the angels
ever wrought was in connection with the giving of the law. The children of
Israel received the law "as it was ordained by angels" (Acts 7:53, R.v.).
It was necessary, therefore, in showing the superiority of the Gospel to
the Law, to begin by showing the superiority of him through whom the
Gospel was given, over all orders of bright and blessed spirits, which, in
their shining ranks and their twenty thousand chariots, went and came
during the giving of the decalogue from the brow of Sinai (Psalm 68:17).
It is not difficult to prove the Lord's superiority to angels. It is
twofold: in Nature and in Office.
In Nature. "He hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name
than they" (Heb 1:4). In verse 7, quoted from Psalm 104:4 (R.v. marg.),
where they are distinctly spoken of as messengers and ministers, they are
compared to winds and flames.-winds, for their swiftness and invisibility;
flames, because of their ardent love. But how great the gulf between their
nature, which may thus be compared to the elements of creation, and the
nature of that glorious Being whom they are bidden to worship, and who is
addressed in the sublime title of Son! (Heb 1:6-note; Psalm 97:7)
In Office. In Heb 1:14 they are spoken of as ministering spirits,
"sent forth to do service for the sake of them that shall inherit
salvation" (RV). This liturgy of service is a literal fact. When
struggling against overwhelming difficulties; when walking the dark, wild
mountain-pass alone; when in peril or urgent need-we are surrounded by
invisible forms, like those which accompanied the path of Jesus,
ministering to him in the desert, strengthening him in the garden,
hovering around his cross, watching his grave and accompanying him to his
home. They keep pace with the swiftest trains in which we travel. They
come unsoiled through the murkiest air. They smooth away the heaviest
difficulties. They garrison with light the darkest sepulchers. They bear
us up in their hands, lest we should strike our foot against a stone. Many
an escape from imminent peril; many an unexpected assistance; many a
bright and holy thought whispered in the ear, we know not whence or how-is
due to those bright and loving spirits. "The good Lord forgive me," says
Bishop Hall, "for that, amongst my other offenses, I have suffered myself
so much to forget the presence of his holy angels." But valuable as their
office is, it is not to be mentioned in the same breath as Christ's, which
is set down for us in this chapter.
He Is The Organ of Creation. "By whom also he made the worlds." To
make that which is seen out of nothing, that is creation: it is a divine
work; and creation is attributed to Christ. "By him were all things
created that are in heaven and that are in earth." "All things were made
by him; and without him was not anything made that was made" (Col 1:16-note;
John 1:3). But the word here and in xi. 3 translated worlds means ages.
Not only was the material universe made by him, but each of the great ages
of the world's story has been instituted by Jesus Christ.
When genius aspires to immortality, it leaves the artist's name inscribed
on stone or canvas: and so Inspiration, "dipping her pen in indelible
truth, inscribes the name of Jesus on all we see-on sun and stars, flower
and tree, rock and mountain, the unstable waters and the firm land; and
also on what we do not see, nor shall, until death has removed the veil-on
angels and spirits, on the city and heavens of the eternal world."
This thought comes out clearly in the sublime quotation made in Psalm
102:10. That inspired poem is obviously inscribed to Jehovah: "Thou,
Jehovah, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the
heavens are the work of thy hands." But here, without the least apology,
or hint of accommodating the words to an inferior use, it is applied
directly to Christ. Mark the certainty of this inspired man that Jesus is
Jehovah! How sure of the Deity of his Lord! And what a splendid tribute to
Mark how the Epistle rings with the unchangeableness of Jesus, in
his human love (He 13:8), in his priesthood (Heb 7:24-note), and here in his
divine nature (He 1:10, 11, 12-note). We live in a world of change. The earth
is not the same today as it was ages ago, or as it will be ages on. The
sun is radiating off its heat. The moon no longer as of yore burns and
glows; she is but an immense opaque cinder, reflecting the sunlight from
her disk. Stars have burnt out, and will. The universe is waxing old, as
garments which from perpetual use become threadbare. But the wearing out
of the garment is no proof of the waning strength or slackening energy of
the wearer. Nay, when garments wear out quickest, it is generally the time
of robustest youth or manhood. You wrap up and lay aside your clothes when
they have served their purpose; but you are the same in the new suit as in
the old. Creation is the vesture of Christ. He wraps himself about in its
ample folds. Its decay affects him not. And, when he shall have laid it
all aside, and replaced it by the new heavens and the new earth, he will
be the same forevermore.
With what new interest may we not now turn to the archaic record, which
tells how God created the heavens and the earth. Those sublime syllables,
"Light, be!" were spoken by the voice that trembled in dying anguish on
the cross. Rolling rivers, swelling seas, waving woods, bursting flowers,
caroling birds, innumerable beasts, stars sparkling like diamonds on the
pavilion of night-all newly made; all throbbing with God's own life; and
all very good: but, mainly and gloriously, all the work of those hands
which were nailed helplessly to the cross, which itself, as well as the
iron that pierced him, was the result of his creative will.
He Is The God of Providence. "Upholding all things by the word of
his power" (He 7:3-note). He is the prop which underpins creation. Christ, and
not fate. Christ, and not nature. Christ, and not abstract impersonal law.
Law is but the invariable method of his working. "In him all things live,
and move, and have their being." "By him all things consist." He is ever
at work repeating on the large scale of creation the deeds of his earthly
life. And if he did not do them, they must be forever undone. At his word
rainwater and dew become grape-juice; tiny handfuls of grain fill the
autumn barns; storms die away into calm; fish are led through the paths of
the sea; rills are sent among the mountains; and stars are maintained in
their courses, so that "not one faileth."
All power is given unto him in heaven and on earth. Why, then, art
thou so sad? Thy best Friend is the Lord of Providence. Thy Brother is
Prime Minister of the universe, and holds the keys of the divine
commissariat. Go to him with the empty sacks of thy need; he will not only
fill them, but fill them freely, without money and without price; as
Joseph did in the old story of the days of the Pharaohs.
He Is The Saviour of Sinners. "He purged our sins." We shall have
many opportunities of dwelling on this glorious fact. Jesus is Saviour,
Redeemer, and the High-Priest. This is his proudest title; in this work no
angel or created spirit can bear him rivalry. In the work of salvation he
is alone. No angel could atone for sin, or plead our cause, or emancipate
us from the thrall of evil.
But notice the finality of this act. "He made purging of sins "
(see Greek). It is finished; forever complete; done irrevocably and
finally. If only we are one with him by a living faith, our sins, which
were many, are washed out; as an inscription from a slate, as a stain from
a robe, as a cloud from the azure of heaven. Gone-as a stone into the
bottomless abyss! Gone-never to confront us here or hereafter! "Who is he
that condemns? It is Christ that died, yea, rather, that is risen again;
who is even at the right hand of God; who also makes intercession for us"
He Is Also King. And on what does his kingdom rest? What is the
basis of that Royalty of which we constantly sing, in the noble words of
the primitive Church? "Thou art the King of Glory, Christ." It is a double
He is King by right of his divine nature. "Thy throne, O God, is
forever and ever." Well might Psalm xlv. be entitled the poem of the
lilies, as if to denote its pure and choice and matchless beauties. It
celebrated the marriage of Solomon: but, after the manner of those
inspired singers, its authors soon passed from the earthly to the
heavenly; from the transient type of the earthly realm to the eternal and
imperishable realities of the divine royalty of Christ.
He is also King as the reward of his obedience unto death. "He
became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross: wherefore, God
also hath highly exalted him" (Php 2:8,9-note). Satan offered him sovereignty
in return for one act of homage, and Christ refused, and descended the
mountain to poverty and shame and death; but through these things he has
won for himself a Kingdom which is yet in its infancy, but is destined to
stand when all the kingdoms of this world have crumbled to dust.
As Christ emerged from the cross and the grave, where he had purged our
sins, it seemed as if words were addressed to him which David had caught
ages before: "The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit on my right hand, until I
make thine enemies thy footstool" (He 1:13-note; Psalm 110:1). This is the
interpretation which the Apostle Peter, in the flush of Pentecostal
inspiration, put upon these words (Acts 2:34). And, accordingly, we are
told, "He was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God "
(Mark 16:19). "He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (He
"He sat down." Love is regnant. The Lamb is in the midst of the
Throne. Behold his majesty, and worship him with angels and archangels,
and all the throng of the redeemed. Prostrate yourself at his feet,
consecrating to him all you are and all you have. Comfort yourself also by
remembering that he would not sit to rest from his labors in redemption,
and in the purging away of sins, unless they were so completely finished
that there was nothing more to do. It is all accomplished; and it is all
very good. He has ceased from his works, because they are done; and
therefore he is entered into his rest. And that word "until" is full of
hope. God speaks it, and encourages us to expect the time when he shall
have put down all rule and all authority and power; and when death itself,
the last enemy, shall be destroyed (1Co 15:24, 25, 26).
which of the
angels did He
TODAY I HAVE
again, "I WILL BE
FATHER TO HIM AND
HE SHALL BE
SON TO ME"?
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this
day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he
shall be to me a Son?
For to which of the angels did he ever say such words as these: 'You are
my Son, today I have begotten you?' Or, again 'I will be to him a Father,
and he shall be to me a Son?' (Phillips:
Wuest: For to
which of the angels did He say at any time, Son of mine you are, I this
day have begotten you? and again, I will be to Him as a Father, and He
himself shall be to me as a Son? (Eerdmans)
For to which of the messengers said He ever, 'My Son thou art -- I today
have begotten thee?' and again, 'I will be to him for a father, and he
shall be to Me for a son?'
FOR TO WHICH OF THE ANGELS DID HE EVER SAY: Tini gar eipen (3SAAI) pote ton
This is because God never said to any of the angels
The conjunction for (gar) ties the two halves of the chapter tightly
together indicating the cause or reason for something just stated, here
reason that Jesus is superior to the angels. He then proceeds to interweave
seven OT quotations to testify to the fact that Jesus is better.
1:5-14 emphasizes the superiority of the Son to the angels. The author
already announced that the Son is superior to both the prophets and the
angels. Now in Hebrews 1:5-14 this theme of superiority of the Son to the
angels is further developed in three series of contrasts between
the Son and the angels.
In the first (Heb 1:5,6) the
author argued for the superiority of the Son from the standpoint of His
position: The Son is the begotten of God, and all the angels are commanded
to worship Him.
In the second (Heb 1:7-12) the
description of the Son is more vivid. The angels are briefly described as
winds and flaming fire (Heb 1:7). Then the author described some of the
Son’s characteristics in Heb 1:8-12: The Son’s throne is eternal, He loves
justice, He is the Creator, and He is eternal.
In the third (Heb 1:13,14)
emphasis is placed on the role of the Son and the angels. The Son is
commanded to sit at the right hand of God (Heb 1:13), but the angels are
described as the ministering spirits for those who will inherit salvation
three series of argument the author clearly demonstrates that the Son is
superior to the angels in His position, His attributes, and His role.
And so beginning
with Hebrews 1:5 there is a series of 7 quotations from the Old Testament, six from the Psalms which
has much to say about the Messiah.
J Vernon McGee comments that Psalms (Songs) is
book—it was the
hymn book of the temple, but it is all about Him; it is praise
to Him. You have a more complete picture of Christ in the Psalms than you
have in the Gospels.
first Scripture is quoted from the
of Psalm 2:7
a coronation psalm when kings took their throne and a psalm widely accepted by
the Old Testament Jewish rabbis as Messianic (a psalm that prophesied
of the coming Messiah) and that it would be fulfilled through the lineage of
King David (and so it was).
THOU ART MY SON. TODAY I HAVE
BEGOTTEN THEE: Huios mou ei
(2SPAI) su ego semeron gegenneka (1SRAI): (Heb 5:5; Ps 2:7; Acts
13:33) (2Sa 7:14; 1Chr 17:13; 22:10; 28:6; Ps 89:26, 27)
today I have begotten You [established You
in an official Sonship relation, with kingly dignity]? (Amp)
You are my Son. Today I have become your
For to which of the angels did He say at
any time, Son of mine you are (Wuest)
Be wary of how some versions translate this verse. For example the normally
well worded NET, translates it as Today I have fathered You, a translation that could
be used to "justify" a very erroneous interpretation. Some cults for example teach that
Father went in to Mary and "fathered" the Son. Virgin Birth of Christ
One of the Mormon founders, Brigham Young, commenting on the Virgin Birth has
When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in
his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who was the
Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle
[body], it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the
tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and
Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were
originated by the Father, and so on in succession. Jesus, our elder brother,
was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of
Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven” (Journal of Discourses, 1:50–51).
Mormon doctrine also teaches that
When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a
celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He is our FATHER
and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do.
The Mormons could appeal to the NET
translation (out of context of course) as a potential substantiation of this
(huios) - Son is mentioned 4x in chapter 1. His name Son
conveys the revelation of what and Who He is, the Son of God in contrast
to the angels who in Job are spoken of as the "sons of God" (Job
in a different context and with a different meaning. In both of these
verses in Job the phrase "sons of God" is translated by the
Greek Septuagint using aggelos, the same word translated
The NASB translates Job1:6 as
the sons of God came
to present themselves before the LORD" whereas the corresponding
translation translates it as "the angels of God came to stand
before the Lord (Job 1:6)
In summary, the angels of God were called "sons" in the OT
but they are never referred to as "My
Wiersbe adds that
While the angels
collectively may be termed “the sons of God” (Job 1:6), no angel would be
given this title individually. It belongs uniquely to our Lord Jesus Christ.
art My Son - A perennial objection of the Jews to Jesus
has been that God has no son since He is one God (Dt 6:4), so the writer begins
by showing that their own Scriptures prove God to be both Father and Son. The
idea of Jesus as the Son of God is woven throughout the NT.
Luke quoting a message from the angel Gabriel to Mary says of Jesus that
He will be great, and will be called the
of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father
David and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom
will have no end. (Lk 1:32 33)
He goes on to relate that
The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the
power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy
offspring shall be called the
of God. (Luke 1:35)
Notice that even thought this announcement was less than a year before His birth, His sonship
was still referred to as future.
The sonship of Christ is inextricably connected with His incarnation and only after Christ’s incarnation did God say, “This is My Son.”
The gospel of Mark records that when Jesus was baptized by John in the
Jordan River and the Spirit like a dove descended upon Him,
a voice came out of the heavens" declared "Thou
art My beloved Son, in Thee
I am well-pleased. (Mk 1:9 10, 11)
Later in His Ministry at
a cloud formed and began to overshadow them...and a voice came out of the
cloud, saying, "This
is My Son, My Chosen One; listen
to Him!" (Lk 9:34; 35)
In his introductory comments in Romans, Paul wrote that the "Gospel
of God" was about
Son, Who was born of a
descendant of David according to the flesh, Who was declared the Son of God
with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of
holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord."
(Ro 1:1, 2, 3, 4-see notes
Here we see that the resurrection is the event that ultimately "declared"
Jesus to be the Son
of God because if He had been just any man, He could not have been
resurrected from the grave, but He was the Son of God
and death could not hold Him.
God raised Him up again, putting an end
to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in
its power. (Acts 2:24)
Even the venerated
patriarch David...both died and was buried and his
tomb is with us to this day. (i.e., he was not resurrected as was the
have begotten Thee - When
was Jesus begotten
by God? When is "Today"?
In Acts Luke records a sermon by Paul in the Jewish synagogue at Pisidian
Antioch where he says...
we preach to you the good news of the promise made
to the fathers, (Jesus is the fulfillment of all the promises the prophets
had spoken) that God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, 'THOU
ART MY SON; TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN THEE.' (thus equating His
resurrection with "begotten")
(Acts 13:32, 33)
To be sure, Jesus became (or was "begotten")
at birth. He was declared to be a
in resurrection. "Today"
then began with His incarnation and extended up to the resurrection, which
flung open the gates of salvation making possible the redemption of any who
would enter through Him.
What angel has been resurrected from the dead and
brought about redemption? Jesus is the Son not only because He was virgin-born
into humanity, at that time being "made for a little while lower than the
angels" (see note
but also because He was begotten again from the
dead. Just as you and I become "sons of God" (Gal 3:29,
Ro 8:14, 19-
in the fullest sense not by being born once but by being born twice, so Jesus
Christ became Son
in the fullest sense by being born not once, but twice. Jesus is
in His resurrection (the first-born from the dead) as well as in His birth.
John MacArthur wrote that
Christ is never called the Son until His incarnation. Before that He was
eternal God. It is therefore incorrect to say the Jesus Christ is eternally
inferior to God because He goes under the title of Son. He is no “eternal son”
always subservient to God, always less than God, always under God. Sonship is
an analogy to help us understand Christ’s essential relationship and willing
submission to the Father for the sake of our redemption. As already mentioned,
of verse 5 shows that His sonship began in a point of time, not in eternity.
His life as Son began in this world. (MacArthur,
John: Hebrews. Moody Press
As a result of Dr MacArthur's preceding
comments, critics questioned his belief in the deity of Jesus, and he was
prompted to review his original statement made in 1983. Here is an excerpt of
his comments regarding his correction and retraction...
Controversy continued to swirl around my
views on "incarnational sonship," prompting me to reexamine and rethink the
pertinent biblical texts. Through that study I have gained a new appreciation
for the significance and the complexity of this issue. More important, my
views on the matter have changed. Here are two major reasons for my change of
1. I am now convinced that the title "Son of God" when applied to Christ in
Scripture always speaks of His essential deity and absolute equality with God,
not His voluntary subordination. The Jewish leaders of Jesus' time understood
this perfectly. John 5:18 says they sought the death penalty against Jesus,
charging Him with blasphemy "because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but
said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God."...
2. It is now my conviction that the
begetting spoken of in Psalm 2 and Hebrews 1 is not an event that takes place
in time. Even though at first glance Scripture seems to employ terminology
with temporal overtones ("this day have I begotten thee"), the context of
Psalm 2:7 seems clearly to be a reference to the eternal decree of God. It is
reasonable to conclude that the begetting spoken of there is also something
that pertains to eternity rather than a point in time. The temporal language
should therefore be understood as figurative, not literal. (Click
to read the full text of Dr MacArthur's retraction)
AND AGAIN I WILL BE A FATHER TO HIM
AND HE SHALL BE A SON TO ME: kai palin Ego esomai (1SFMI) auto eis patera kai
autos estai (3SFMI) moi eis huion:
Key Words in Hebrews: Son - 25x in
22v (not all refer to God's Son) - Heb 1:2, 5 (2x), He 1:8; 2:6, 10; 3:6;
4:14; 5:5, 8; 6:6; 7:3, 5, 28; 10:29; 11:17, 21, 22, 24; 12:5 (2x), He 12:6,
7, (2x), He 12:8
Speaking to David God makes a promise that 2Sa 7:12-13
When your days are complete and
you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your descendant after you, who
will come forth from you, (Near fulfillment of course refers to
Solomon) and I will
establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will
establish the throne of his kingdom forever. (Future fulfillment:
- this could not be fully fulfilled in Solomon who died but to Messiah
who will receive a Kingdom from the Ancient of Days and that Kingdom [Da 7:13,
will endure forever - Da 2:44-note) 14 I will be
a father to him and he will be a son to Me; when he commits iniquity, I will
correct him with the rod of men and the strokes of the sons of men (Messiah of
course did not commit iniquity so the last part of this verse cannot apply to
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