Hebrews 2:8-10 Commentary

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Charts from Jensen's Survey of the NT - used by permission
Hebrews - Charles Swindoll - Chart on right 

The Epistle
to the Hebrews

Hebrews 1-10:18
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Superior Person
of Christ
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Superior Priest
in Christ
Hebrews 4:14-10:18
Superior Life
In Christ
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Heb 4:14-7:28
Heb 8:1-13
Heb 9:1-10:18



ca. 64-68AD

Hebrews 2:8 YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET." For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: panta hupetaxas (2SAAI) hupokato ton podon autou. en to gar hupotaxai (AAN) [auto] ta panta ouden apheken (3SAAI) auto anupotakton. nun de oupo oromen (5719) auto ta panta hupotetagmena; (RPPNPA)

Amplified: For You have put everything in subjection under his feet. Now in putting everything in subjection to man, He left nothing outside [of man's] control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him [man]. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: (Westminster Press)

BBE: You put all things under his feet. For in making man the ruler over all things, God did not put anything outside his authority; though we do not see everything under him now.

NLT: You gave him authority over all things." Now when it says "all things," it means nothing is left out. But we have not yet seen all of this happen. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: Notice that the writer puts "all things" under the sovereignty of man: he left nothing outside his control. But we do not yet see "all things" under his control. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: All things thou didst put in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all in subjection under Him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Young's Literal: all things Thou didst put in subjection under his feet,' for in the subjecting to him the all things, nothing did He leave to him unsubjected, and now not yet do we see the all things subjected to him

The writer of Hebrews quotes verbatim from the OT Greek rather than the Hebrew.

Septuagint (LXX) of Psalm 8:6: kai katestesas auton epi ta erga ton cheiron sou panta hupetaxas hupokato ton podon autou (Emboldened text from the Greek translation of the OT is used here in Hebrews 2:7)

THOU HAST PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET:panta hupetaxas (2SAAI) hupokato ton podon autou:

Click for comments by F B Meyer on Hebrews 2:8 (from The Way into the Holiest)

William Barclay comments that "This is by no means an easy passage of which to grasp the meaning; but when we do, it is a tremendous thing. The writer begins with a quotation from Ps 8:4-6. If we are ever to understand this passage correctly we must understand one thing—the whole reference of Ps 8:1-9 is to man. It sings of the glory that God gave to man. There is no reference to the Messiah. There is a phrase in the psalm which makes it difficult for us to grasp that. This is the son of man. We are so used to hearing that phrase applied to Jesus that we tend always to take it to refer to him. But in Hebrew a son of man always means simply a man. We find, for instance, that in the book of the prophet Ezekiel, more than eighty times God addresses Ezekiel as son of man. "Son of man, set your face toward Jerusalem" (Eze 21:2). "Son of man, prophesy and say." (Eze 30:2).In the psalm quoted here the two parallel phrases: "What is man that you remember him?" and "Or the son of man that you visit him?" are different ways of saying exactly the same thing. The psalm is a great lyric cry of the glory of man as God meant it to be. It is in fact an expansion of the great promise of God at creation in Gen 1:28." (Hebrews 2 Commentary)

Remember that in this verse the writer is still referring to man as the primary subject, even as he prepares us for the contrast of the God Man in the next verse. This passage is the NT echo from Genesis 1:26-28 

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

All things - means no exceptions including the angels are to be in subjection to man. Adam, was given dominion over the earth and all its creatures, but sin intervened and "the last Adam" (1Cor 15:45), redeems and thus regains for man his forfeited dominion. 

Man's sovereignty was meant to be all-inclusive including the administration of "the world to come." He was crowned king of nature, invested with a divine authority over creation but oh how far short of this destiny has we come! When Adam sinned, he in effect forfeited his rule over creation. "G. K. Chesterton said, whatever else is or is not true, this one thing is certain—man is not what he was meant to be." (Barclay)

Subject (5293) (hupotasso from hupó = under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner) means literally to place under in an orderly fashion. In the active voice hupotasso means to subject, bring under firm control, subordinate as used in (see note Romans 8:20). Hupotásso means to submit (to yield to governance or authority), to place in subjection. Hupotásso was a military term meaning to draw up in order of battle, to form, array, marshal, both troops or ships. Hupotásso meant that troop divisions were to be arranged in a military fashion under the command of the leader. In this state of subordination they were now subject to the orders of their commander. Thus, it speaks of the subjection of one individual under or to another. Hupotasso was also used to describe the arrangement of military implements on a battlefield in order that one might carry out effective warfare!

Under his feet - The king’s throne was always elevated, and everyone who came into his presence bowed down before him and sometimes even kissed his feet. His subjects, therefore, were often spoken of as being under his feet. When man is one day given the right to rule the earth, all God’s creation will be put under man’s feet. That is man’s destiny and will reveal and restore his glory and honor and rule over God's creation.

Under (5270) (hupokato from hupó = under, + káto = down) means down under, beneath, underneath.

FOR IN SUBJECTING ALL THINGS TO HIM HE LEFT NOTHING THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO HIM: gar hupotaxai (AAN) auto ta panta ouden apheken (3SAAI) auto anupotakton:

For (gar) term of explanation. What is he explaining? Is he not emphasizing how total man's dominion was over the creation?

Subjecting (5293)(hupotasso) means they were brought under Adam's firm control, made subordinate to him.

MacArthur adds that hupotassō is "primarily a term that referred to arranging soldiers in order under a commander. It also came to be used for any system of administration. God will not turn over the administration of the world to come to angels. This will be the great and glorious world, the world of perfection. Whoever reigns in that world will be glorious indeed. But it will not be angels. Their present superiority over men is temporary.' (MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Hebrews)

Left (863) (aphiemi) conveys the basic idea of an action which causes separation. It means that which is sent away or let go of.

Nothing (3762) (oudeis from ou = not + = but + heis = one) means not even one (thing). Absolutely nothing that man was not given rule over!

Not subject (506) (anupotaktos from a = without, + hupotasso = to subject, sit under in an orderly manner)

BUT NOW WE DO NOT YET SEE ALL THINGS SUBJECTED TO HIM : nun de houpo oromen (1PPAI) auto ta panta hupotetagmena (RPPNPA):

But now - a very sad note!

Not yet - a very hopeful note!

Not yet (3768) (houpo) is an adverb an adverb negating an extension of time beyond a certain point. Not even today in the day of internet and technology capable of putting a man on the moon has man reached the goal intended by God for him - the real "human potential"! Such is the costly price of sin! Not yet as alluded to above is a good time phrase for it it indicates the delay is not permanent but temporary. The writer's use of not yet projects an optimistic outlook he desires to pass on to his struggling, tempted readers. It is as if he is saying "not yet… but just wait, because the best is yet to come!" One day this subjection of all things will be a reality.

Subject (5293) (hupotasso from hupó = under + tasso = arrange in orderly manner) means we don't see all thing placed under man's foot and in an orderly fashion.

Wuest notes that "now comes a sad note. The words, “But now we see not yet all things put under him,” point to the fact that Adam through his fall into sin, lost the dominion he had before enjoyed. He was no longer master of himself. He had become a fallen creature, with a totally depraved nature. He was a slave to sin. The animal kingdom was subservient to him not now through affection but fear. The ground, instead of yielding only good things, now produced also thorns, weeds, and other harmful things. Extremes of heat and cold, poisonous reptiles, earthquakes, typhoons, hurricanes, all conspired to make his life a constant battle to survive. He had lost the dominion over all these things." (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)

William MacDonald - Everything will be put under man’s authority in that coming day —the angelic hosts, the world of animals, birds, and fishes, the planetary system—in fact, every part of the created universe will be put under his control. This was God’s original intention for man. He told him, for instance, to “fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Gen. 1:28). Why then don’t we see all things in subjection under him? The answer is that man lost his dominion because of his sin. It was Adam’s sin that brought the curse on creation. Docile creatures became ferocious. The ground began to bring forth thorns and thistles. Man’s control over nature was challenged and limited. (MacDonald, W & Farstad, A. Believer's Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)

LOOK UP - The disasters, heartbreaks, and injustices all around us prove the truth of Hebrews 2:8. We live in an imperfect world in which many things are beyond our control. A thirty-year-old farmer, unable to make his mortgage payments, wishes something could be done to prevent drought. A young mother of three children, widowed by the crash of a commercial airplane, can't understand why modern tech­nology can't prevent such tragedies. A well-educated, successful pro­fessional man, convinced that we are headed for a nuclear holocaust, talks about suicide.

It is obvious that we humans are not properly exercising dominion over the earth, as we were created to do. But knowing this does not fill Christians with dismay and hopelessness. We look up and "see" Jesus at God's right hand. We know that He possesses "all authority" in heaven and on earth because of what He did almost 2,000 years ago. He lived here as a man, overcame sin, paid the price for our transgres­sions on the cross, and broke death's power. He is in ultimate control of everything—even now. Someday He will return to earth and make everything right. Now, however, we see Him through the eye of faith, and we experience inner joy and peace no matter what happens.—H. V. Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When we can't see out, we can still look up.

Hebrews 2:9 But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: ton de brachu ti par' aggelous elattomenon (RPPMSA) blepomen (1PPAI) Iesoun dia to pathema tou thanatou doce kai time estephanomenon, (RPPMSA) hopos chariti theou huper pantos geusetai (3SAMS) thanatou.

Amplified: But we are able to see Jesus, Who was ranked lower than the angels for a little while, crowned with glory and honor because of His having suffered death, in order that by the grace (unmerited favor) of God [to us sinners] He might experience death for every individual person. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: (Westminster Press)

NLT: What we do see is Jesus, who "for a little while was made lower than the angels" and now is "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death for us. Yes, by God's grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone in all the world. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: What we actually see is Jesus, after being made temporarily inferior to the angels (and so subject to pain and death), in order that he should, in God's grace, taste death for every man, now crowned with glory and honour. (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: But Jesus, made for a little time lower than the angels with the design that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man, we see crowned as victor with glory and honor because of the suffering of death.

Young's Literal: and him who was made some little less than messengers we see -- Jesus -- because of the suffering of the death, with glory and honour having been crowned, that by the grace of God for every one he might taste of death.

BUT WE DO SEE HIM WHO HAS BEEN MADE FOR A LITTLE WHILE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS NAMELY, JESUS: blepomen (1PPAI) ton de brachu ti gar aggelous elattomenon (RPPMSA) Iesoun :


But (term of contrast) - What is the writer contrasting? What has he just stated about the dominion of the first Adam? Now he contrasts the last Adam, Jesus. So while we do not yet see everything under man's control in this age, we see Jesus Who is the key to restoring man's dominion over the earth. 

More literally it could be rendered "And Him who was made some little less than messengers we see -- Jesus -- because of the suffering of the death, with glory and honour having been crowned, that by the grace of God for every one he might taste of death.

Click for comments by F B Meyer on Hebrews 2:9 (from The Way into the Holiest)

Spurgeon explains that…

The text begins with “but,” because it refers to some things which we do not yet see, which are the objects of strong desire. “We do not yet see all things subjected to him.” We do not as yet see Jesus acknowledged as King of kings by all mankind, and this causes us great sorrow, for we would gladly see Him crowned with glory and honor in every corner of the earth by everyone of woman born. He is to many quite unknown, by multitudes rejected and despised, and by comparatively few is He regarded with reverence and love. Sights surround us which might well make us cry with Jeremiah, “Oh that my head were waters, and my eyes a fountain of tears” (Jer 9:1), for blasphemy and rebuke, idolatry, superstition, and unbelief prevail on every side. “But,” says the apostle, “we see Jesus.”

We see not yet man the master of everything, not even Christ, the model man, the Head of all men. While He was here below, He was not a ruling Lord, but a suffering Servant. He said to His disciples, “I am among you as He that serveth.” Yet it is in Him that the dominion once given to man is to be seen most clearly displayed. Man does not yet rule the world. Wild beasts defy him. Storms vanquish him. There are a thousand things not at present submissive to his control.

Here is the representative Man who is supreme over all: “We see Jesus,”

We see that by faith. We see Jesus, not merely as God, but as the God-man exalted “far above all principality and power, and might, and dominion.”

Oh, how glorious it is to realize our position in Christ, and to see how He has lifted us up, not merely to the place froze which the first Adam fell, but He has made us stand so securely there that we shall not again descend around the ruins of the Fall! Glory be to His holy Name!

See (991) (blepo) means to see frequently in the sense of becoming aware of or taking notice of something. Blepo denotes voluntary observation. The writer uses it in the sense of urging his readers to "take care" (see to it) later in the letter writing…

Take care, brethren, lest there should be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, in falling away from the living God. (see note Hebrews 3:12)

In another usage of blepo that somewhat parallels the sense of the use in Hebrews 2:8 (note) the writer exhorts his readers to not forsake their…

own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near. (see note Hebrews 10:25) (Comment: What day do they "see" drawing nigh? The return of Christ, at which time we will also "see" Him Who tasted death for all).

In Hebrews 11 he uses blepo in the well known definition of "faith" (and illustrates it with Noah building the ark despite never having seen rain) writing that…

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (blepo)( see note Hebrews 1:1)

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, (blepo) in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. (see note Hebrews 11:7)

Spurgeon on Jesus - He is not, indeed, in this text referring to any seeing of the Lord by mortal eyes at all; he is speaking of faith. He means a spiritual sight of the Lord Jesus Christ. Sight is very frequently used in Scripture as a metaphor, an illustration, a symbol, to set forth what faith is. Faith is the eye of the soul. It is the act of looking unto Jesus. In that act, by which we are saved, we look unto him and are saved from the very ends of the earth. We look to Him, and we find salvation. It does not say, “We can see Jesus”—that is true enough; the spiritual eye can see the Savior. Nor does it say, “We have seen him”—that also, glory be to God, is a delightful fact. We have seen the Lord, and we have rejoiced in seeing Him. Nor does the text say, “We shall see him,” though this is our pride and our hope, that “whenever he is revealed we will be like him, because we will see him just as he is” (1 John 3:2). But the text says, “We see Jesus.” We do see Him now and continually. This is the common habit of the Christian. It is the element of his spiritual life; it is his most delightful occupation; it is his constant practice. We see Jesus, for we are sure of His presence, we have unquestionable evidence of His existence, we have an intelligent and intimate knowledge of His person. Our soul has eyes far stronger than the dim optics of the body, and with these we actually see Jesus.

Made lower (1642) (elattoo from from elattôn = less) means to lessen, to decrease in status or rank, to make less. There are only three NT uses, the present verse and the following two verses…

He must (dei = an obligation, not an option = it is necessary; present tense - = continually!!!) increase, but I must (added by translators) decrease (elattoo in the present tense = continually) (John 3:30)

Comment: John the Baptist gives us the "secret" to a powerful, purposeful life. Observe the order - Jesus first and foremost. Why? When we see Him in this manner, we have but one choice if we are rightly related to Him - to bow, to fall on our face, to submit to His will rather than our own. If we "invert" the order and it's us "decreasing", the trap is that "we" become the focus rather than Jesus. And we can begin to "try to decrease" by setting up rules, etc (and fall into the subtle trap of legalism). The verb decreased here is in the middle voice, indicates the special interest {reflexive = "I myself decreased"} John had in his own decrease, e.g., in authority and popularity.

But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower (elattoo) than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. (See note Hebrews 2:7)

We do not see man triumphant, but we do see Jesus. How? Moses gives us a clue…

By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. (see note Hebrews 11:26)

Jesus (He 8:3 10:5 Ge 3:15 Isa 7:14 11:1 53:2-10 Ro 8:3 Ga 4:4 Php 2:7, 8, 9) - as noted by Vincent "the use of the human name, Jesus, at this point, is significant. In this epistle that name usually furnishes the key to the argument of the passage in which it occurs. See notes Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 12:2)

Also imagine yourself as a Jewish reader and here for the first time you encounter the name Jesus.

Wuest goes on to add that a Jewish reader "would say to himself that the name Jesus in the Greek text is just the transliteration of the Hebrew name Jehoshua, the name of the God of Israel that points to His distinctive nature as the One who saves. The idea of Deity would come to his mind. But as he read on, he would see incarnation in the words, “who was for a little time made lower than the angels.” And that would lead him to the Person who in the Gospels was spoken of as Jesus of Nazareth. Up to this point, the writer has not mentioned the name Jesus to his Jewish readers. He was well aware of the fact that they were in a frame of mind in which they would be hard to handle. The controversy centered around the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to the Messiahship. At one time some of these Jewish recipients of this letter had acknowledged Him as such, with an intellectual assent to the fact, but not a heart acceptance of His Person and Work. Now, they were drifting away from their former position. The writer up to this point had spoken of the Son as superior to the prophets and the angels. Now, he suddenly says that the Son is the Jehoshua of the Old Testament and the Jesus of Nazareth of the New. The vision of Jesus which the writer wishes to bring to his readers is that of the Son incarnate, glorified, crowned with glory and honor, seated at the right hand of God, a position of glory and honor which the saved of the human race will share with Him in His future Millennial glory and earth dominion. That is the glorious ray of light which the writer brings into the dark picture of man’s present estate. (Hebrews - Wuest's word studies from the Greek New Testament)

BECAUSE OF THE SUFFERING OF DEATH CROWNED WITH GLORY AND HONOR: dia to pathema tou thanatou doxa kai time estephanomenon (RPPMSA):

Because - term of explanation

Suffering (3804) (pathema from páscho = suffer. The suffix –ma = that which is suffered, experience a sensation/suffer pain) describes what happens to a person and must be endured (misfortune, calamity). It is almost always plural (sufferings).

Jesus was crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death. Christ’s exaltation and preeminence over the angels was won through humiliation and death.

Vincent writes that…

Exaltation was the logical result of Christ’s humiliation (comp. note Philippians 2:9), not simply its recompense (comp. Matt. 23:12; Luke 14:11; 18:14). He was glorified in humiliation. “The humiliation is only the glory not yet begun.”

Christ's suffering was not an accident but foreknown and preordained by God, Peter declaring to the Jews on his first post-Pentecost sermon that…

this Man, (Jesus) delivered up by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge (prognosis) of God (God's sovereignty), you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death (Men's responsibility). (Acts 2:23)

But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled. (Acts 3:18)

For truly in this city there were gathered together against Thy holy servant Jesus, whom Thou didst anoint, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Thy hand and Thy purpose predestined (proorizo) to occur. (Acts 4:27-28)

In the KJV of the Revelation John writes that Jesus was…

the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (see note Revelation 13:8)

Death (2288) (thanatos) is literally a physical separation of the soul from the body. Every form of death in the NT is treated not as a natural process but always as a destroying power related to sin and its consequences. This is certainly true in the case of the sinless God Man…

He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus the Son) Who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)

Crowned (4737) (stephanoo from stephanos = crown - see word study) literally meant to adorn one with an honorary wreath which served as the "crown" of the victor in the Greek public games. It is fitting that crowned is in the perfect tense which signifies the permanence of this crown.

This particular Greek verb emphasizes Christ finishing the course and receiving the stephanos, the Victor's crown ("oh death where is your victory"). Paul's famous passage records this exaltation.

And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, of those who are in heaven, and on earth, and under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (See notes Philippians 2:8; 2:9; 2:10; 2:11)

It follows that Christ is our example to follow "in His steps" that we receive a stephanos! Peter expands this idea writing…

For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, (See note 1 Peter 2:21)

Comment: Peter is speaking in context to slaves and so illustrates his words by citing Christ's example of suffering unjustly. By way of application all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. The "cross" always precedes the "crown" in God's economy!

THAT BY THE GRACE OF GOD HE MIGHT TASTE DEATH FOR EVERYONE: hopos chariti theou huper pantos geusetai (3SAMS) thanatou:


Spurgeon says He tastes death - Thus lifting man back into the place where he first stood so far as this matter of dominion is concerned. Oh, how glorious it is to realize our position in Christ, and to see how He has lifted us up, not merely to the place from which the first Adam fell, but He has made us stand so securely there that we shall not again descend among the ruins of the Fall! Glory be to His holy name!

That (3704) (hopos) means in order that (see discussion of terms of purpose or result) and introduces a purpose clause which is pregnant with meaning. The author puts Christ's death in behalf of (huper) or even better instead of (we were guilty and condemned to die eternally) every man as the motive for His incarnation and death on the Cross.

By (dia) defines the instrumentality or channel.

On the phrase by the grace of God, Octavius Winslow's words are so apropos "Who delivered up Jesus to die? Not Judas, for money; not Pilate, for fear; not the Jews, for envy; but the Father, for love!

Grace (5485) (charis) (Click word study on charis) refers to God's unmerited favor (Acrostic = God's Riches At Christ's Expense). Grace is costly. There is no room for a philosophy or theology of "cheap grace". Grace made it possible for Jesus to taste death for you and for me!

As D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said "The ultimate test of our spirituality is the measure of our amazement at the grace of God."

Oswald C. Hoffman rightly spoke of the Son of God's love and the grace bestowed on Him "Grace is love that gives, that loves the unlovely and the unlovable."

Thomas Adams said that "Grace comes into the world as the morning sun into the world; first a dawning, then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness.'

Thomas Brooks - Grace is a ring of gold, and Christ is the sparkling diamond in that ring.

Vincent writes that "God manifested His grace in giving Christ the opportunity of tasting death for every man, and so abolishing death as a curse. The same thought of glory in humiliation is expressed in John 1:14. To be called to the office of “apostle and high-priest of our confession” (Hebrews 3:1), an office which involved personal humiliation and death, was to be “crowned with glory and honour,” and was a signal token of God’s favour. Note John 12:23, 28; 13:31, 32, in which Jesus speaks of his approaching passion as itself his glorification. Compare Hebrews 3:3 (note). It was desirable to show to Jews who were tempted to stumble at the doctrine of a crucified Messiah (Gal. 3:13), that there was a glory in humiliation (Hebrews 2: Word Studies)

Francis Burkitt said it well that "Grace is glory begun, and glory is grace consummated. Grace is glory in the bud, and glory is grace in the fruits. Grace is the lowest degree of glory, and glory the highest degree of grace.

Great God of wonders!
All Thy ways
Are matchless,
Godlike, and divine;
But the fair glories of Thy grace,
More Godlike and unrivalled shine.
Samuel Davies

Don't miss what the writer is saying here -- it is of profound theological (and practical) importance in this life and the life to come. He is describing Jesus' death in our place. We have all been born with Adam's "sin gene" and thus we deserve to die eternally (Ro 5:12-note). Jesus, as the last (second) Adam, was sent by His Father to die in our place (cf Jn 3:16), which is in its very essence the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. All the OT animal sacrifices had as one of their major purposes to show sinful men that they needed a substitute to die in their place for their sins. Every OT sacrifice pointed to the ultimate sacrifice of the Lamb of God at Calvary. When Jesus tasted death, it was not without purpose. He tasted death so that those who believe in His sacrificial death, His death in their place as their substitute, will not have to taste eternal death! Yes, it says "for everyone" which might suggest universalism to some, but the Bible is abundantly clear that no one is born again and enters into the Kingdom of God or heaven without believing in Jesus (cf Acts 16:30-31+). Christ's once and for all time payment has been made (See Paid in Full) and is offered as a gift of grace (cf Ro 3:24+) to all who would receive it, also by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9+). Have you received His incredible gift of eternal life? He died for you, but you must place your faith in Him to have His perfect righteousness imputed or reckoned to your "spiritual bank account" (so to speak). When that "wire transfer" (so to speak) is made, the Father looks at you, and He is satisfied that the price has been Paid in Full, because He sees that you are in covenant with His Son. You are in Christ, safe and secure eternally. To use an OT analogy, you are "safe in the Ark" (of Christ), so that when the flood waters of God's final wrath come, you will be rescued from eternal punishment. O taste and see that the Lord is good (Ps 34:8), because He tasted death for you and for me!

Related Resources:

Taste (1089) (geuomai) means to taste with one's mouth and is a figure of speech meaning to "come to know" something, not with just to sample but to partake fully. It was used idiomatically to mean "to experience something to the full". When used in this connection, it gives prominence to what is really involved in dying. It means here that Jesus died, with all that that entails. It even makes one thing of the "sour wine" the soldiers gave him.

Moffatt observed that this taste was "a bitter experience, not a rapid sip."

Was it for crimes that I had done,
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!
--Isaac Watts
(Play Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed?)

Spurgeon writes of His tasting of death - Thus lifting man back into the place where he first stood so far as this matter of dominion is concerned.

Death (2288) (thanatos) it is worth reiterating signifies a physical separation of the soul from the body. Every form of death in the NT is treated not as a natural process but always as a destroying power related to sin and its consequences.

As Puritan writer Stephen Charnock stated "The doctrine of the death of Christ is the substance of the gospel."

As John Murray says "He humbled himself to the accursed death of the cross. There were no lower depths possible, for the cross bespeaks the whole curse of God upon sin. It is humiliation inimitable, unrepeated, unrepeatable.

A. Sapir writes that "the Lord tasted death. A man may die in a moment, and then he does not taste death. But all that was in death was concentrated in the cup which the Lord Jesus Christ emptied on the cross. He was made a curse for us; He was left alone with the power of darkness. But though He emptied the cup of wrath, though all the waves and billows of death went over Him, He continued to live, to trust, to love, to pray. He gained the victory in the lowest depth of His agony. (Expository Lectures on the Hebrews)

For (huper) means for the benefit of. It speaks of substitution, in this context of Christ's substitutionary death for everyone.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

For everyone - Note the truth that Jesus tasted of death for every man is clear testimony to the universality of His atonement (in contrast to the aberrant theology of a "limited" atonement taught by some).

As J. H. Vincent phrased it "He himself was forsaken that none of his children might ever need to utter his cry of loneliness.

He died that we might be forgiven,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to heaven,
Saved by his precious blood.
--Cecil Frances Alexander

Paul wrote that Messiah…

gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony borne at the proper time. (1Ti 6:2)

In Him (Christ) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and insight (See notes Ephesians 1:7; 1:8)

and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. (2Cor 5:15)

Jesus Himself testified that…

And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself. (John 12:32)

John spoke of the sufficiency of Christ's sacrifice writing…

The next day he saw Jesus coming to him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1John 2:2)

His death was in behalf of every one (not everything as the early Greek theologians took it).

On the other hand, the writer of Hebrews is not teaching universalism (that everyone will be saved) as is commonly taught in many liberal Protestant pulpits today! To reiterate, what this truth teaches is the death of Christ was sufficient for all, and efficient for some (for the "some" who come and drink the water of life by grace through faith).

Octavius Winslow's Devotional…

But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; - Hebrews 2:9

There was an honoring, but not a glorifying of our humanity, when the Son of God assumed it. Its union with the Deity-its fullness of the Spirit-its spotless holiness-its deep knowledge of, and intimate fellowship with, God-conspired to invest it with a dignity and honor such as no creature had ever before, or ever shall again attain. But not until its ascension into heaven was it glorified. Oh, through what humiliation did it pass, what indignity did it endure, when below! What sinless weaknesses, imperfections, and frailties clung to it! It hungered, it thirsted, it labored, it sorrowed, it wept, it suffered, it bled, it died! "The poor man's scorn, the rich man's ridicule," what indignities did it endure! It was scourged, it was bruised, it was mocked, it was smitten, it was spit upon, it was nailed to the tree, it was pierced, it was slain! Oh, what eye, but that of faith, can, through all this degradation, behold the person of the incarnate God?

But now "we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor." Even after His resurrection, it must be acknowledged that a change, approximating to that state of glory, had already passed over Him. So spiritualized was He, that even His disciples, when they saw Him, knew Him not. What, then, must be the glory that encircles Him now that He has passed within His kingdom, and is exalted at the right hand of God, "far above all heavens, that He might fill all things"! John, during his banishment at Patmos, was favored with a view of His glorified humanity, and thus describes its dazzling appearance-"I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the breasts with a golden girdle. His head and His hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire, and His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and His voice as the sound of many waters. And He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shines in his strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. And He laid His right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am He that lives, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death." Sublime description of the "glory and honor" which now crown the exalted humanity of our adorable Redeemer! Did the awe-stricken and prostrate evangelist entertain any doubt of the glorious person who thus appeared to him? That doubt must all have vanished the moment he felt the "right hand" of Jesus laid upon Him, and heard His own familiar voice saying unto him, "Fear not." Oh, what a tangible evidence and what a near view did he now have of the exalted and glorified humanity of his Lord! At that instant he saw Him to be divine, and he felt Him to be human!

Yes! The very tabernacle of flesh in which He dwelt, the identical robe of humanity that He wore, He carried up with Him into heaven, and sat down with it upon the throne. There it is, highly exalted. There it is, above angels, and higher than saints, in close affinity and eternal union with the Godhead. There it is, bathing itself in the "fullness of joy," and drinking deeply of the satisfying "pleasures" which are at God's "right hand for evermore." Oh, what must be the holy delight which the human soul of Jesus now experiences! Sin presses upon it no more; sorrow beclouds it no more; the hidings of God's face distress it no more; infirmity clings to it no more: it exults in the beams of God's unveiled glory, and it swims in the ocean of His ineffable love. If the vision upon Mount Tabor was so glorious-if the splendors there encircling that form which yet had not passed through the scenes of the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension, were so overpowering-if the attractions of that spot were so great, and the ecstasy of that moment was so ravishing-what, oh, what must be the glory, the joy, the bliss of heaven, where we shall no longer see Him "through a glass darkly," but "as He is," and "face to face"!

F B Meyer writes (in The Call and Challenge of the Unseen)

Heb. 4:15, 2:9-10

WHAT is God doing at this moment? He may be creating new worlds; may be work-ing up into new and beautiful shapes what we should account as waste products; or may be preparing to unveil the new heavens and the new earth. But there is one thing of which we may be sure: He is bringing many sons unto glory! In order to help these to the uttermost, the Son of God was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. It was real temptation, for He suffered being tempted; but being perfected through the terrible ordeal, He has become the Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Let us learn His talisman of victory!

This bringing of many sons unto glory is a long and difficult process, for three reasons:

(1) It is necessary that we should be created as free agents, able to say "No" as well as "Yes."

(2) We have to choose between the material world, which is so present and very attractive to our senses, and the eternal, spiritual, and unseen. But the choice is inevitable if we are to really know things. We can only know a thing by contrast with its opposite:

(3) There is a realm of evil spirits constantly regarding us with envious hatred, and bent on seducing us from the paths of goodness and obedience. They are adepts at their art.

If it be asked why we are placed in circumstances so perilous, so trying, the answer, so far as we can formulate it, is that we are being tested with a view to the great ministries awaiting us in the next life. We are to be priests and kings! There are vast spaces in the universe that may have to be evangelized or ruled or influenced for righteousness. It may be that important spheres of ministry are needing those to fill them who have learned the secret of victory over materialism on the one hand, and over the power of Satan on the other. We know that there was war in heaven before Satan and his angels were cast down to earth, and there may be another, and yet another. Therefore earth may be the school, the training-ground, the testing-place for the servants and soldiers of the hereafter. This thought need not be in conflict with, the ideals of rest and worship which we are wont to associate with the future life. Eternity will give opportunities for all I But, if it became Him of whom and through whom are all things to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through the suffering of temptation, it stands to reason that His comrades and soldiers must pass through the same, that they may become more than conquerors, and, having overcome, may sit with Him on His throne, as He overcame and is set down with His Father on His throne.

The first temptation on record is that of our first parents in Eden. It is a masterpiece of psychology. The experience of all after-time has added nothing to this marvellous analysis.

1. Temptation is more formidable when we are alone f Solitude is full of peril, unless it is full of Christ!

2. Some outward object, or some fancy of the mind, attracts our attention. It may be an apple, a face, a gratification, the lure of popularity, or money. The longer we look at it the stronger the fascination grows. Some birds are mesmerized by the fixed gaze of their foe at the foot of the tree. The longer we gaze at something forbidden, the stronger its mesmeric power. While we continue to look, the tempter covers the walls of imagery with more definite and attractive colors, and his ideals imperiously demand realization in act. Our only hope is to tear ourselves away from those basilisk eyes; to hasten from the haunted chamber; to escape, as Joseph did in the house of Potiphar.

3. If we linger, many thoughts will gather to ply us--all of them suggested by the tempter, who speaks through the voice of our own soul. These suggestions will question the love and wisdom which have forbidden. "Perhaps we have placed an exaggerated interpretation on our limitations and prohibitions. Are they not rather arbitrary? Would it not be good to know evil just once, that it might be avoided ever after? Besides, is it not necessary to know evil in order to realize good? Perhaps it would be better to satisfy the inner craving for satisfaction by one single act; then the hungry pack of wolves would at least be silenced! After all, is it not probable that if one were to know the forbidden thing it would be so much easier to warn others?" Such are the reasonings in which the tempted shelter themselves, not realizing that the only certain way of knowing evil is not by committing, but by resisting it.

4. Finally, we take the forbidden step, eat the/or-bidden fruit; the garment of light which veiled our nakedness drops off; the tempter runs laughing down the forest glade; a shadow falls on the sunshine, and a cold blast whistles in the air. Our conscience curses us, and we die, i.e. we cease to correspond to our proper environments, which are God, purity, and obedience. Eve ought to have dropped that apple like a burning coal, and hurried from the spot; but, no; she lingered, ate, and gave to "her husband; so sin entered into the world; and sin opened the door to pain, travail, sorrow, the loss of purity, the loss of God's holy fellowship in the cool of the day, the fad-hag of the garden, and the reign of death and the grave.

The Temptation of our Lord.

1. It came after the descent of the Spirit as a dove. We may always expect deep experience of the tempter to follow close on the highest moments of spiritual exaltation. Where you have mountains you must look for valleys!

2. He was led of the Spirit to be tempted; clearly, then, temptation is not sin. A holy nature might go through hell itself, assailed by clouds of demons, and come out on the farther side untainted. So long as the waves of evil break on the outward bulwarks of the spirit they are innocuous. Jesus was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.

3. The sword of the Spirit and the shield, against which the darts of evil fall blunted to the ground, are the words of the ever-blessed God, and the upward glances of a steadfast faith. Remember how Jesus said, "it is written "; "it is written again." He is also the Pioneer and Perfection of faith!

4. Each temptation which He overcame seemed to give Him power in the very sphere in which it had sought His overthrow.

He was tempted to use His power to satisfy His own hunger; but, having refused to use it selfishly, He was able to feed five thousand; and four thousand men, besides women and children.

He was tempted to cast Himself from the wing of the temple to the dizzy depth below, in order to attract attention to Himself; but having refused, He was able to descend into Hades, and then ascend to the Father's throne; to lay down His life and take it again for a world of sinners.

He was tempted to adopt Satan's method of gaining adherents by pandering to their passions; but He refused, and adopted the opposite policy of falling into the ground to die, of treading the winepress alone, of insisting that it is not by yielding to passion, but by self-denial, self-sacrifice, and the Cross that salvation is alone to be obtained. Therefore, a great multitude, which no man can number, have washed their robes and made them white in His blood, and stand before the throne.

Having, therefore, met temptation in the arena, and mastered it in its threefold spheres--the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--Jesus is able to succor them that are being tempted; and if they should fail He is able to understand, because He has gone every step of the way Himself, and is well acquainted with its perils. He can easily trace the lost sheep on the mountains, because He has The Fiery Ordeal of Temptation marked every pitfall and the lair of every enemy. He has looked over the cliff-brink to the bottom, where those who have missed the track "in the cloudy and dark day" may be lying; and when He has found them He brings them home on His shoulder rejoicing.

Our Own Temptations. We all have to pass through the wilderness of temptation, the stones of which blister our feet, and the air is like a sirocco breath in our faces.

1. All God's sons are tempted. As we have seen, we only know light by darkness, sweet by bitter, health by disease, good by evil resisted and overcome.

"Oh, where is the sea?" the fishes said,

As they swam through the crystal waters blue! ""

They had never been out of it, and .so were in ignorance of that which had always been their element.

2. The pressure of temptation is strictly limited. When Satan approached God with regard to Job, he was on two occasions restricted to a fixed barrier, beyond which he might not go. In the case of Peter also, when he obtained permission to approach him, he could only go so far as to sift him as wheat; he might rid him of chaff, but not hurt anything essential. Remember also that glorious announcement "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13).

3. As you live near God the temptation gets deeper down in your nature. You are aware of it in subtler forms and disguises. It attacks motives rather than the outward habits and actions.

One summer afternoon, when I came down to the Auditorium at Northfield, Massachusetts, I found Mr. Moody and his brother on the platform, and between them a young apple tree, just digged up and brought from the neighboring orchard. There were about a thousand people in the audience. When I reached the platform the following dialogue took place:

Mr. Moody to his brother: "What have you here?" "An apple tree," was the reply. "Was it always an apple tree?"

"Oh no, it was a forest sapling, but we have inserted an apple graft."

Mr. Moody to me: "What does that make you think of?"

"You and I were forest saplings," said I, "with no hope of bearing fruit, but the Jesus-nature has been grafted into us by the Holy Spirit."

To his brother: "Does the forest sapling give you trouble?"

"Why, yes," said the gardener. "It is always sending out shoots under the graft, which drain off the sap."

"What do you do with them?"

"We pinch them off with our finger and thumb; but they are always coming out lower down the tree."

Then he turned to me and asked if there was anything like it in the spiritual life, to which I replied: "It is a parable of our experience. The old self-life is always sending out its shoots, and we can have no mercy on them; but if we deal with the more superficial sins on the surface of our life, as we get older we realize their deeper appeals, and to the end of life shall be more and more aware of their sinister power. The quick sensitiveness of age must not be ignored or overlooked. It may be as strong a shoot in the old forest sapling as the manifestations of passion in earlier life. Old men, for instance, may be jealous of young ones, and quick to take offence if there are symptoms of their being put aside."

4. Temptation is not in itself sin, but we cannot say, as our Saviour could, "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." We cannot appropriate those last words. We know that all the inner gunpowder magazines are not emptied. Therefore it is just as well, after a severe time of testing, as the demons leave us, to ask ourselves if there has been some subtle response in the depths of our nature it may be forgiven. We must not risk the loss of ship or cargo because the combustion is so slow and so deep in the hold.

5. In the hour of temptation affirm your union with your all-victorious and exalted Saviour! Stand in His victory! You are part of" His mystical Body; take your rightful position! God has set Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies; be sure to come down on your foe from the heights of the throne. It is always easier to fight down from the mountain slope than up from the lowland valleys. You can be more than a conqueror through Him that loved you; but abide in Him.

6. Always ask the Saviour to hold the door on the inside. Satan will burst it open against your feeble strength; but when Jesus stands within all hell will be foiled. Though ten thousand demons are at you, in your patience possess your soul!

7. One other point is of immense importance. Be sure to claim the opposite grace from Christ. The fact that an attack is being made at a certain position in your fortifications proves that you are weakest there. When therefore the tempter advances to the attack, and you are aware of his strategy, take occasion to claim an accession of Christ's counterbalancing strength. When tempted to quick temper, "Thy patience, Lord!" To harsh judgment, "Thy gentleness, Lord!" To impurity, "Thy purity, Lord!"

"By all hells hosts withstood,
We all hews hosts o'erthrow;
And conquering ,till by Jesus" blood,
We on to victory go.'"

Sometimes temptation will come upon us in the hatred and opposition of man, and we shall be strongly tempted to use force against force, strength against strength, and to employ weapons of flesh and blood. This is not the best. The raging foe is best encountered by the quiet faith and courage which enable a man to go boldly forward, not yielding, not daunted, not striking back. Hand the conflict over to the Captain of your salvation. It is for you simply to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Love the truth more than all, and go on in the mighty power of God, as good soldiers of Jesus Christ; in nothing daunted by your adversaries, but witnessing a good confession, whether man will bear or forbear. "Greater is he who is in you than he that is in the world."

It may be that this earth on which we find ourselves is the Marathon or the Waterloo of the universe. We are as villagers who were born on the site and are implicated in the issues of the war. We are not merely spectators but soldiers, and whether in single combat or in the advance of the whole line, it is for us to play a noble part. Full often in the history of war the achievements of a single soldier have changed the menace of defeat into the shout of victory. Think of David's conflict with Goliath; of the three that held the bridge in the brave days of old; and of the Guards at Waterloo! From their high seats the overcomers, who in their mortal life fought in the great conflict for the victory of righteousness and truth, are watching us. Are they disappointed at our handling of the matter? Are we worthy to call ourselves of their lineage, or to be named in the same category? Fight worthily of them, whether in private secret combat, or in the line of advance, that you may not be ashamed at the grand review!

Fight first against the wicked spirits that antagonize your own inner life. Repeat the exploits of David's mighties: of Benaiah, who slew a lion in a pit in time of snow; of the three who broke through the Philistines' lines and drew water from Bethlehem's well for their king; of Amasai and his host, the least of whom was equal to a hundred. Every lonely victory gained in your closet and in your most secret sacred hour is hastening the victory of the entire Church. Listen! Are not those the notes of the advancing conquering host? Are not the armies of heaven already thronging around the Victor on His white horse?

It is high time to awake out of sleep I The perfecting of God's purpose is at hand! The return of the Jews to Palestine; the budding of the fig tree; the bankruptcy of politicians and statesmen; the threatened overthrow of European civilization; the rise of Bolshevism; the new grouping of the nations for war, notwithstanding the appeals of the League of Nations; the awful havoc of Spiritism; the waning of love; all these are signs that we stand at the junction of two ages. The one is dying in the sky, tinting it with the sunset; the other is breaking in the East, and the cirrus cloudlets are beginning to burn. Let us then put off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, that when He shall come in His glorious majesty to receive the kingdom of the world, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him who liveth and reigneth with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, blessed for evermore!

"Fight the good fight with all thy might,
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right;
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
Thy joy and crown eternally."

From - The Call and Challenge of the Unseen

J C Philpot has the following devotional thoughts on Hebrews 2:9

How wondrous that he who, as the Son of God, made the angels, should be made inferior to them, and even need and receive their ministering aid and support. O the depths of humiliation to which the blessed Redeemer stooped, carrying down into their lowest point that pure, spotless, holy humanity which he had assumed into union with his divine Person as the Son of God! And let us ever bear carefully in mind that humiliation is not degradation. Our blessed Lord "humbled himself" by a voluntary act of surpassing grace; and it was no more in the power of men or circumstances to debase him of his glory than of lying witnesses to strip him of his innocency. The spotless purity of his sacred humanity, as in union with his divine nature, and as filled with and upheld by the Holy Spirit, preserved it from degradation in its lowest humiliation. The crown of thorns and the purple robe, the mocking knee of the Roman soldier and the taunting scoff of the Jewish priest, though they called forth the grace, did not tarnish the glory of our suffering Lord. His holy obedience to his Father's will in drinking the bitter cup, his meek dignity amid the worst of insults, and his calm resignation to all the weight of suffering which God or man laid upon him, all shone forth the more conspicuously under every attempt to dishonor him.

It is most sweet and blessed to look down, as it were, into some of those depths of humiliation into which the Redeemer sank, and to see that in the lowest depths of his soul travail, when he was poured out like water, and his heart, broken with grief and sorrow, was melted within him like wax, he was, in the midst of all, the glorious Son of God, though then the suffering Son of man; and that he was the same Jesus yesterday when hanging on the cross, as he is today at the right hand of his Father, and will be forever in the realms of heavenly bliss. (J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers)

Hebrews 2:10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the Author of their salvation through sufferings. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: Eprepen (3SIAI) gar auto, di' on ta panta kai di' ou ta panta, pollous huious eis doxan agagonta (AAPMSA) ton archegon tes soterias auton dia pathematon teleiosai. (AAN)

Amplified: For it was an act worthy [of God] and fitting [to the divine nature] that He, for Whose sake and by Whom all things have their existence, in bringing many sons into glory, should make the Pioneer of their salvation perfect [should bring to maturity the human experience necessary to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest] through suffering (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

Barclay: For, in his work of bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that he for whom everything exist and through whom everything exist, should make the pioneer of salvation fully adequate for his destined work through suffering. (Westminster Press)

NLT: And it was only right that God--who made everything and for whom everything was made--should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Phillips: It was right and proper that in bringing many sons to glory, God (from whom and by whom everything exists) should make the leader of their salvation a perfect leader through the fact that he suffered (Phillips: Touchstone)

Wuest: For it was fitting for Him, for whose sake all things exist, and through whose agency all things came into existence, when bringing many sons into glory, to make complete (as to His Saviour-hood) the file-leader of their salvation through sufferings. 

Young's Literal: For it was becoming to Him, because of whom are the all things, and through whom are the all things, many sons to glory bringing, the author of their salvation through sufferings to make perfect,

FOR IT WAS FITTING FOR HIM FOR WHOM ARE ALL THINGS AND THROUGH WHOM ARE ALL THINGS: Eprepen (3SIAI) gar autôi di on ta panta kai di ou ta panta pollous:

For (gar) (term of explanation) - gives the reason why "the grace of God" required that Jesus "should taste death."

It was fitting (4241) (prepo) means to be fitting or right, suitable, appropriate proper. It was appropriate that action taken to help man should include suffering, since suffering is mankind's common lot. Prepo does not describe a logical necessity or an obligation growing out of circumstances but an inner fitness so to speak in God's dealings.

For Him - The Father not the Son. Here the writer refers to the sovereign God, even offering up a doxology of sorts.

For Whom - This indicates that God is the objective or goal of all creation. In other words all things were made for His glory and pleasure.

Spurgeon writes that…

Here you have God set forth as being both the beginning and the end of everything. All things are for him,— to do His bidding, to accomplish His purpose, to act forth His glory; and this because all things are by Him,— in their first creation, in their subsequent preservation, and in all that is yet to come of them. Of Whom speaks the apostle this but of the Triune God, to Whom be glory for ever and ever? Of whom speaks he this — if we would be still more exact,— but of the Father Who has made His Son perfect in bringing many sons unto glory? It is the Father “for whom are all things, and by whom are all things.”…

Sometimes, in prayer, men call God by one or another of His names, and each name may be correct, yet it may not be well chosen for that special occasion. But you will notice that, if the Holy Spirit describes either God the Father or the Lord Jesus by any term other than His usual name, the title is always very wisely chosen, and is most appropriate in that place.

Now, in the matter of our salvation, we need One, “by Whom are all things,” for none but the Creator can create us anew in Christ Jesus. No one who has less power than the Divine Preserver of men can keep us from falling; and none but the Divine Being, Who encompasses all things within the range of His infinite mind, can guard us against the many terrible perils on the way to heaven. If ever we are to be brought to glory, it must be by the God “by Whom are all things;” and certainly, if we are brought there, as I pray that we all may be,— it will be by Him “for Whom are all things,” and we shall for ever adore the mystery of His grace which landed us safely on the heavenly shore.

Every part of the great plan of salvation sets forth the splendor of the grace of the Most High God. What do we see in our election but his grace? What do we see in our redemption but his grace? What do we see in our conversion but his grace? What do we see in our justification, sanctification, adoption, and anal preservation, but his grace? By him, in grace as well as in nature, are all things; and for him, in grace as well as in nature, are all things; unto him belong both the power and the glory, the two must ever go together. He works all our works in us, and unto him be all the praise, world without end!

We start, then, with this as a sort of key-note,— that the great Father, who has purposed our salvation, is able to fully carry out what he has planned, for by him are all things; and he also has an admirable reason for accomplishing it, because it will bring to him glory, and for him are all things. If our salvation would degrade his name in any sense or respect, if the salvation of sinners would even obscure the severity of his justice, it might be a question whether it would ever be accomplished; but, since there is nothing about this work but what will bring to him honor and glory, we rest assured that, having put his hand to it, he will not withdraw his arm until he has fully accomplished his eternal purpose to the praise of the glory of his grace. (The Captain of Our Salvation)

Through Whom - God is also the Source or Originator of all creation and nothing was made apart from Him. It also indicates that the sufferings and death of Jesus are not accidental for they form part of the eternal world purpose of God and facilitates the great purpose of the God Who works all things after the counsel of His will (see note Ephesians 1:11)

Wuest explains it this way - The fact that God the Father decreed that it must be through the blood of Christ’s Cross that the Captain of our salvation would become the Saviour of sinners, did not find its origin in a divine fiat, but in the very constitution of the nature of God. A holy God cannot look upon sin with any degree of allowance. A righteous God cannot but require that the demands of the violated law be satisfied. And a loving God cannot but provide the very payment of the penalty which His law demands. Thus, the writer shows the sweet reasonableness of the Cross. And because only God can satisfy the demands of God, so only the Messiah who is one of the Persons of the Godhead, could in the great plan of salvation, provide the sacrifice. God the Father provides the salvation, God the Son procures it, and God the Holy Spirit applies it.

IN BRINGING MANY SONS TO GLORY: ta panta pollous huious eis doxan agagonta (AAPMSA):

Bringing (71) (ago) means leading along, bringing, carrying. The Son precedes the saved on the road to heaven, clearly declaring to all who have ears to hear…

I am the way (the specific and only road), and the truth (the specific and only truth), and the life (the specific and only eternal life); no one (absolutely no one) comes to the Father, but through (the channel through which we enter eternal life - this speaks of Christ's role as our Mediator and Great High Priest) Me. (John 14:6)

The writer of Hebrews in a parallel passage states that the blood of Jesus has open our way into the Holy of holies…

by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh. (see note Hebrews 10:20) (Comment: Our blessed Lord is, therefore, not only the leader on the road to God, but the road itself, and that by reason of His precious blood.)

To glory - Understand what this means. We should stop and ponder what the writer has said in this short phrase. We should remember that we were sinners and spiritually helpless ones who were hostile and alienated to God and yet who have now been reconciled to God through the blood of His Son and are being prepared for the final redemption of our bodies in glory, bodies that are fully conformed to the image of His Son! The thought that the Almighty Who had everything and needed nothing even bothered with us should shock us out of our spiritual lethargy and laziness so that we are motivated to be diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing us as His own possession, His very sons who are His inheritance forever in glory. This calls not just for a "Praise the Lord" but for a veritable "Hallelujah Chorus"! Amen. The writer will now proceed to explain the cost of our glorification. God found a way of saving us that was worthy of Himself. He sent His only begotten Son to die in our place.

Regarding the believer's new sonship in the family of God, Paul writes that…

all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (See notes Romans 8:14; 8:15; 8:16; 8:17; 8:18)

In Ephesians Paul explained that we were in the heart and on the mind of God before the foundation of the world, Paul recording…

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined (cf "before the foundation of the world") us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. (See notes Ephesians 1:4; 1:5; 1:6)

TO PERFECT THE AUTHOR OF THEIR SALVATION: ton archegon tes soterias auton dia pathematon teleiosai (AAN):

Regarding the phrase to perfect the Author, E F Harrison emphasizes that "Since His sinlessness is an accepted fact, it is clear that the perfection is viewed as a fitness for the fulfilling of the office assigned to Him (The Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews. In Bibliotheca Sacra 121:484 October-December 1964:338.)

Spurgeon - Not that Christ needed to be made perfect in nature, but perfect in his capacity to be the Captain of our salvation, complete in all the offices which He sustains toward His redeemed people. He must be a Sufferer that He may be a Sympathizer; and hence His sufferings made Him perfect. Is it not wonderful that the Christ, Who is the Head over all things, could not be perfected for this work of ruling, or for the work of saving, except by sufferings? He stooped to conquer. Not because there was any sin in Him, but that He might be a sympathetic Ruler over His people, He must experience sufferings like those of His subjects; and that He might be a mighty Savior, He must be Himself compassed with infirmity, that He might “have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.” Brothers and sisters, do you expect to be made perfect without sufferings? It will never be so with you.

The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown.

We shall never be fit for the Heavenly Canaan unless we first pass through the wilderness. There are certain things about us which require this, so thus it must be. (Ed: See notes and quotes on suffering and trials - 1 Peter 1:6; 1:7)

To perfect (5048) (teleioo related to teleios from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal, consummate soundness, idea of being whole) means to accomplish or bring to an end or to the intended goal (telos). It means to be complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness or in good working order. It does not mean simply to terminate something but to carry it out to the full finish which is picked up in the translation "perfected".

Teleioo signifies the attainment of consummate soundness and includes the idea of being made whole. Interestingly the Gnostics used teleios of one fully initiated into their mysteries and that may have been why Paul used teleios in this epistle.

In Hebrews 12:2 (see note) Jesus is designated as "the author and perfecter of faith" where perfecter is teleiotes, the Completer, the One Who reached the goal so as to win the prize so to speak.

Wuest has this note on the NT word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes)…

Teleios the adjective, and teleioo the verb. The adjective is used in the papyri, of heirs being of age, of women who have attained maturity, of full-grown cocks, of acacia trees in good condition, of a complete lampstand, of something in good working order or condition. To summarize; the meaning of the adjective includes the ideas of full-growth, maturity, workability, soundness, and completeness. The verb refers to the act of bringing the person or thing to any one of the aforementioned conditions. When applied to a Christian, the word refers to one that is spiritually mature, complete, well-rounded in his Christian character.

Richards commenting on the word group (telos, teleioo, teleios, teleiosis, teleiotes) writes that

These words emphasize wholeness and completeness. In the biological sense they mean "mature," or "full grown": the person, animal, or plant achieved the potential inherent in its nature. The perfect is the thing or person that is complete, in which nothing that belongs to its essence has been left out. It is perfect because every potential it possesses has been realized. (Richards, L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)

NIDNTT has an excellent discussion of the Greek background of this word group noting that…

(1a)The noun telos is derived from a root tel-, which means to turn round (telos = tax; Dem., Or. 20, 19). Originally it meant the turning point, hinge, the culminating point at which one stage ends and another begins; later the goal, the end. Marriage is in this sense a telos (Artemidorus, Onirocriticus 2, 49; the spouse is teleios, complete, Pausanias 8, 22, 2), as also is death (Xen., Institutio Cyri 8, 7, 6; Plato, Leg. 4, 717e). telos can mean the completion of intellectual development (Plato, Menexenus 249a) and physical (Plato, Leg. 8, 834c) development, as the use of the term teleios also makes clear (Hdt. 1,183,2). telos can have dynamic character, and is used, for example, of the ratification of a law (Aristot., Pol. 6, 8p, 1322b, 13; cf. teleo, to bring to a telos, to complete, e.g. to make his word come true [Hom. Il. 14, 44]).

This dynamic character is also clear in the religious sphere, where sacrifices and religious rites are called tele; their intention is to bring men nearer to God (Soph., Ant. 143). Also of significance is the religious description of God as the arche kai telos, the beginning and end of all things (cf. K. Preisendanz, Papyri Graecae Magicae, IV, 2836 f.). He alone embraces beginning and end (Scythinos; cf. Diels I, 189, 32 f.). The function of the formula is thus to make a statement which embraces totality.

(1b) Anything that has reached its telos is teleios, complete, perfect (e.g. unblemished sacrifical animals, Hom., Il. 1, 66). Both a doctor and a thief can be perfect (Aristot. Metaph. 4, 16p, 1021b, 15 ff.). One brings something to completion, to perfection (teleioo, e.g. Aristot., Eth. Nic. 3p, 1174a, 15 f.). The pass. of teleioo, to be made perfect, i.e. to reach perfection, is used equally of human adulthood (Plato, Symp. 192a) and of fully-grown plants (Aristot., Gen. An., 776a, 31). The noun teleiotes occurs only rarely. It denotes a state of completeness or perfection (e.g. Aristot., Phys., 8, 7p, 261a, 36). teleiosis is the carrying out of the teleioun, the realization, execution, conclusion (e.g. of some work [cf. W. Dittenberger, Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum 3 II, 799, 1, 29]). A teleiotes is one who effects the teleioun, the perfecter. This word is hitherto only once attested in Christian literature (Heb. 12:2).

(2) In Greek. philosophy telos has the primary meaning of goal. For the pre-Socratics the goal of life was delight in the beautiful (Leucippus), contentment (euthymia, Democritus; cf. F. Copleston, A History of Philosophy, I, 1946, 125 f.), and contemplation (theoria, Anaxagoras, Frag. 29; cf. Diels II, 13,11). In Plato and Aristotle the telos to which one aspires is an ethical goal (Plato, Rep. 2 introduction; Aristot., Eth. Nic. introduction), and ultimately happiness and bliss (eudaimonia). In the realm of ethics, therefore, Plato can equate the concept of the perfect (teleios) with that of the good (agathos) (Phlb. 61a).

In gnosticism “perfection” is a technical term in the myth of the “redeemed Redeemer.” He is the “perfect man” (cf. Hippol., Haer. 5, 7, 37). Anyone who is saved by him through true knowledge is the “perfect” gnostic (cf. Hippol., Haer. 5, 8, 30). Whether teleios was a technical term for initiates in the Hellenistic mystery religions is disputed (cf. the literature referred to by Arndt, 817). (Brown, Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)

Telioo is used 19 times of 24 total NT uses in Hebrews, often in the sense of to make perfect or fully cleanse from sin in contrast to ceremonial (Levitical) cleansing. The writer is emphasizing the importance of perfection… (which should cause any Jew who is contemplating the worth of Christ and the New Covenant to realize his utter hopelessness to every attain perfection under the Old Covenant).

Hebrews 2:10 (note) For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things, and through Whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. (Comment: This does not imply any moral imperfection in the Lord Jesus, but speaks of the consummation of the human experience of suffering the death of the Cross, through which He must pass if He is to become the Author or Captain of our salvation.)

Hebrews 5:9 (note) And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,

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 God. (Comment: This means to carry through completely, to make complete, to finish, bring to an end. The old covenant could bring nothing to conclusion. The Mosaic economy could reveal sin but it could never remove sin, and so it had to be removed. It gave no security. It gave no peace. A man never had a clean conscience.)

Hebrews 7:28 (note) For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Hebrews 9:9 (note) which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience,

Hebrews 10:1 (note) For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near. (Contrast with Jesus in Hebrews 5:9 above. The idea in Hebrews 10:1 is that the ceremonial law could not actually save the believer. Its work was always short of completeness.)

Hebrews 10:14 (note) For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. (Comment: Wuest writes "Here, the completeness of the state of salvation of the believer is in view. Everything essential to the salvation of the individual is included in the gift of salvation which the sinner receives by faith in Messiah’s sacrifice. The words “for ever” here are to be construed with “perfected.” It is a permanent state of completeness in salvation to which reference is made. The words “them that are sanctified” are descriptive of the believer. He is one set apart for God) (ibid)

Hebrews 11:40 (note) because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Hebrews 12:23 (note) (But you have come… ) 23 to the general assembly and church of the first-born who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect,

In sum the fundamental idea of telioo is the bringing of a person or thing to the goal fixed by God.

It is interesting and doubtless no mere coincidence that in the Septuagint (LXX) teleioo is translated numerous times as consecrated or consecration, especially speaking of consecration of the priests (cf Jesus our "great High Priest") (Ex 29:9, 29, 33, 35 Lv 4:5; 8:33; 16:32; 21:10; Nu 3:3). The LXX translators gave the verb teleioo a special sense of consecration to priestly service and this official concept stands behind the writer's use in this passage in Hebrews 5:9 (note). It signifies that Jesus has been fully equipped to come before God in priestly action.

Study the other 15 NT uses of telioo (other than the 9 in Hebrews)

Luke 2:43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were unaware of it,

Luke 13:32 And He said to them, "Go and tell that fox, 'Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I reach My goal.'

Comment: "Today and tomorrow and the third day" means that God's timetable is unfolding for Jesus, and no king like Herod could shorten the time. When His work is accomplished or has reached its intended goal, His death and resurrection will be its perfection.)

John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.

Comment: Teleioo does mean just to bring to an end but to perfect it. The work He had been sent to do was finished on the Cross, and thus He cried "It is finished! [ = related verb teleo]" John 19:30. Note that Jesus is not saying that He refrained from eating food but that the great goal of His life was not to cater to His body but rather to the will of His Father! Which do you cater to? Are you accomplishing His work in and through you? see note Ephesians 2:10)

John 5:36 "But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.

Comment: The Old Testament testifies to the mission and ministry of Jesus precisely what God said He would do in Scripture and what God told Jesus to do as He ministered.)

John 17:4 "I glorified Thee on the earth, having accomplished the work which Thou hast given Me to do.

Comment: Jesus had finished His work of teaching and witness, but His work of redemption had yet to be accomplished on the cross. He would then shout the great victory cry: "It is finished!" John 19:30) (J C Ryle explains how the Cross accomplished God's perfect will "The crucifixion brought glory to the Father. It glorified His wisdom, faithfulness, holiness, and love. It showed Him wise, in providing a plan whereby He could be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly.—It showed Him faithful in keeping His promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head.—It showed Him holy, in requiring His law’s demands to be satisfied by our great Substitute.—It showed Him loving, in providing such a Mediator, such a Redeemer, and such a Friend for sinful man as His co-eternal Son.")

John 17:23 I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that Thou didst send Me, and didst love them, even as Thou didst love Me.

Comment: "In unity" is literally “unto oneness” and represents the goal of the perfecting action, that goal being believers might be in a state of having achieved the unity intended for them; one which reflects the unity between the Father and the Son)

John 19:28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished (related verb teleo), in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled (teleioo), said, "I am thirsty."

Comment: Here Scripture "reaches it's goal" or is fulfilled in Jesus.)

Acts 20:24 "But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course (dromos = race, the course of one's life), and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

2 Corinthians 12:9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient (IS = It already is - we don't need to ask Him for more. We need to abide in the sufficiency of what He has already provided) for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.

Philippians 3:12 (note) Not that I have already obtained it, or have already become perfect (perfect tense) (reached my goal, accomplished), but I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.

Comment: He was not yet perfectly conformed to Christ. The process was still going on. Note that perfect tense speaks of an action that was completed in past time, having results that exist in present time. The past completed action of teleioo would refer to the work of the Holy Spirit bringing the saint to that place of spiritual maturity in which the sanctifying process would have done its work so well that nothing needed to be added. In other words, the saint would be brought to a place of absolute spiritual maturity beyond which there is no room for growth and the results of this work would be permanent, and there would be no possibility of slipping back into a state of spiritual immaturity again. Obviously this perfection will only be fully achieved when we are glorified).

James 2:22 You see that faith was working with his works, and as a result of the works, faith was perfected;

1 John 2:5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:

1 John 4:12 No one has beheld God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

Comment: Wuest writes that "If saints have this agape love habitually for one another, that shows that this love which God is in His nature, has accomplished its purpose in their lives. It has made us loving and self-sacrificial in our characters. This love has been brought to its human fulness in the lives of the saints. The verb “is perfected” is perfect in tense, speaking of a past completed act having present results.) (ibid)

1 John 4:17 By this, love is perfected with us, that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Morris writes that "To the question as to how the holy God could be "made perfect," the answer is that if He would also be perfect man, He must learn obedience to the will of the Father, and true obedience can only be tested if it involved suffering (Hebrews 5:8,9). (Defenders Study Bible)

Believer's Study Bible - To make Jesus "perfect through sufferings" does not mean that any imperfection, spiritual or moral, existed in Christ's nature. Rather, He fully experienced the suffering of humanity through complete identification with humanity. The word "perfect" has the idea of "completion." (Criswell, W A. Believer's Study Bible: New King James Version. 1991. Thomas Nelson)

To make Jesus fully qualified as the "Pioneer of their salvation" the training required involved passing "thru suffering". Why then should we expect any less? (see notes Romans 5:3; 5:4; 5:5).

Vincent - To make perfect does not imply moral imperfection in Jesus, but only the consummation of that human experience of sorrow and pain through which he must pass in order to become the leader of his people's salvation.

The Author - The pioneer, pathfinder, founder, originator, captain of a company of followers, file leader.

Author (747) (archegos form arche = beginning/rule + ágo = lead) can denote a leader, a ruler, or one who begins something as the first in a series. The term was used for both human and divine heroes, founders of schools or those who cut a path forward for their followers and whose exploits for humanity were rewarded by exaltation.

See the similar picture of Jesus as our Forerunner in (Hebrews 6:20)

where (within the veil, into heaven itself) Jesus has entered as a Forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (NASB: Lockman) (See note Hebrews 6:20)

In Greek writings archegos was used of a "hero" who founded a city, gave it a name, and became its guardian. It also denoted one who was "head" of a family or "founder" of a philosophic school. The term also had distinct military connotation referring to a commander of an army who went ahead of his men and blazed the trail for them!

Archegos always refers to someone who involves others in his endeavor. For example, it is used of a man who starts and heads a family, into which others are born or married. It is used of a man who founds a city, in which others come to live. It was commonly used of a pioneer who blazed a trail for others to follow. The archegos never stood at the rear giving orders. He was always out front, leading and setting the example. As the supreme Archegos, Christ does not stand at the rear giving orders. He is always before us, as perfect Leader and perfect Example.

Archegos is variously translated as “Author” (NASB, NIV) “Captain” (KJV), “Pioneer” (NRSV), “Leader” (cf. TEV) or “Champion.”

See F B Meyer's devotional - Our Captain

Archegos is used 4 times in the NT, here in Hebrews 2:10 and in the verses below, every use speaking of Jesus…

Acts 3:15 (Peter speaking to the Jews declared that they) but put to death the Prince (archegos) of life (the originator or leader of life), the One Whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

Acts 5:31 (Peter speaking boldly before the Jewish council, the Sanhedrin declared) "He (Jesus) is the one Whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince (archegos) and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author (archegos) and Perfecter (teleiotes - compare with God perfecting Jesus in Heb 2:10) of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (See notes Hebrews 12:1; Hebrews 12:2)

Archegos describes the one leading off or blazing the trail as a pioneer. Jesus has led the way to life. Real life begins with death of our old man on the Cross, rendering his power inactive in our lives.

Vincent feels that the rendering of archegos as "author, which misses the fact that the Son precedes the saved on the path to glory. The idea is rather leader, and is fairly expressed by captain."

Alford - He who has thus been shown to be the “Captain of salvation” (KJV) to the “many sons,” by trusting and suffering like them, must therefore become man like them, in order that His death may be efficacious for them.

Salvation (4991) (soteria from soter = Savior in turn from sozo = save, rescue, deliver) (Click here or here for in depth discussion of the related terms soter and sozo) describes the rescue or deliverance from danger, destruction and peril. "Salvation" is a broader term in Greek than we often think of in English. Other concepts that are inherent in soteria include restoration to a state of safety, soundness, health and well being as well as preservation from danger of destruction. It means to save a suffering one from perishing, to make them well or heal them and to restore them to health.

The idea of salvation is that the power of God rescues people from the penalty of sin, which is spiritual death which is followed by eternal separation from the presence of His Glory. Salvation delivers the believer from the power of sin (see discussion on Romans 6-8 beginning at Romans 6:1-3)

Salvation carried tremendous meaning in Paul’s day, the most basic being “deliverance,” and it was applied to personal and national deliverance. The emperor was looked on as a "savior" as was the physician who healed you of illness.

It is interesting that Collin's (secular) dictionary defines "salvation" as

"the act of preserving or the state of being preserved from harm… deliverance by redemption from the power of sin and from the penalties ensuing from it."!

In short, this "so great a salvation" is not just escape from the penalty of sin but includes the ideas of safety, deliverance from slavery and preservation from danger or destruction.

In addition, this "so great a salvation" includes the idea of what is often referred to as the Three Tenses of Salvation (justification = past tense salvation = deliverance from sin's penalty, sanctification = present tense salvation = deliverance from sin's power and glorification = future tense salvation = deliverance from sin's presence). It follows that the discerning student will check the context to determine which of the three "tenses" a given use of soteria is referring to.

Mankind has continually looked for salvation of one kind or another. Greek philosophy had turned inward and begun to focus on changing man’s inner life through moral reform and self-discipline. The Greek Stoic philosopher Epictetus called his lecture room “the hospital for sick souls.” Epicurus called his teaching “the medicine of salvation.” Seneca taught that all men were looking ad salutem (“toward salvation”) and that men are overwhelmingly conscious of their weakness and insufficiency in necessary things and that we therefore need “a hand let down to lift us up”. Seneca was not far from the truth as Scripture testifies

"(Jehovah speaking) Is My hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?… Behold, the LORD'S hand is not so short that it cannot save… (Jeremiah speaking) 'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee" (Isa50:2… Isaiah 59:1… Jeremiah 32:17)

Salvation through Christ is God’s powerful hand extended down to lost souls to lift them up.

In context of Hebrews 1, this great salvation has first of all such a great Savior, Who has completed the purification for our sins (which deserved death) & has furnished us with His ministering angels to help those who will inherit salvation. This salvation was first spoken thru the Lord Jesus (it not so clearly spoken in the OT)

THROUGH SUFFERINGS: dia pathematon:

Through (1223) (dia) speaks of the instrument by which salvation was made available. The way to the Crown is through the Cross. This basic principle is still true today for His followers, who are called to take up His cross in this life with the sure hope of glory in the next life. Why do we chaff at this clear (powerful) Biblical teaching in the modern evangelical church? You've heard it - God's desire is not our happiness but our holiness. It's not about our glory but His.

Puritan John Owen sounds the right chord in light of this profound truth "We are never nearer Christ than when we find ourselves lost in a holy amazement at his unspeakable love.

And as William Penn rightly reminds us "Though our Saviour's passion is over, His compassion is not.

Suffering (3804) (pathema from páscho = suffer. The suffix –ma = that which is suffered, experience a sensation/suffer pain) describes what happens to a person and must be endured (misfortune, calamity). It is almost always plural (sufferings).

If one recoils at the idea of God making Christ perfect, he should bear in mind that Hebrews 2 emphasizes the humanity of Jesus. The writer does not say that Jesus was sinful but simply that "by means of sufferings" God perfected His Son in His human life and death for his task as Redeemer and Saviour. One cannot know human life without living it. There was no moral imperfection in Jesus, but he lived His human life in order to be able to be a sympathizing and effective leader in the work of salvation.

Warren Wiersbe aptly observed that 'Calvary is God's great proof that suffering in the will of God always leads to glory."

Adam Clarke explains this passage as "Without suffering he could not have died, and without dying he could not have made an atonement for sin. The sacrifice must be consummated, in order that he might be qualified to be the Captain or Author of the salvation of men, and lead all those who become children of God, through faith in him, into eternal glory.

In his book The Way Into the Holiest, F B Meyer entitles Chapter 6…


"It became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings." Hebrews 2:10.

THERE is no book which can stand the test of sorrow and suffering as the Bible can. Other books may delight us in sunny hours, when the heart is gay; but in dark and overcast days we fling them aside, and eagerly betake ourselves to our Bibles. And the reason for this is in the fact that this Book was born in the fires. It is soaked with the tears, either of those who wrote or of those addressed. Take, for instance, this Epistle. It was intended to solace the bitter anguish of these Hebrew Christians, who were exposed to the double fury of the storm. In the first place, there was the inevitable opposition and persecution to be encountered by all followers of the Nazarene; not only from the Gentiles, but specially from their fellow-countrymen, who accounted them apostates. Next, there was the pain of excommunication from the splendid rites of the Temple, with its daily service, its solemn feasts, its magnificent ceremonial. Only those amongst our-selves who from childhood have been wont to worship in some splendid minster, with its pealing organ, full-voiced choir, and mystery of architecture, arresting and enchaining every sense of beauty, but who have felt constrained to join the worship of an obscure handful in some plain meetinghouse, can realize how painfully those who were addressed in these words missed the religious associations of their early days. And then this suffering, thorn-crowned, dying Messiah! It seemed almost impossible to realize that he was the Christ of national desire. The objections that baffled the faith of the two travelers to Emmaus arose in almost irresistible force: "The chief priests and our rulers have crucified him; but we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel" (Luke 24:20).

No attempt is made in these words to minimize the sufferings of Christ. That were impossible and superfluous. He is King in the realm of sorrow; peerless in his pain; supreme in his distress. Though earth be full of sufferers, none can vie with our Lord in his. Human nature is limited. The confines of its joys or sorrows are soon touched. The pendulum swings only hither and thither. But who shall estimate the capacity of Christ's nature? And because of it, he could taste the sweets of a joy beyond his fellows, and of sorrow so excessive as to warrant the challenge: "Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger." If it be true, as Carlyle says, that our sorrow is the inverted image of our nobility, how deep must the sorrow have been of the noblest of our race! Well may the Greek liturgy, with infinite pathos, speak of his "unknown sorrows."

Shall the sufferings of Christ cause us to reject Christ? Ah, strange infatuation! As well reject the heaven because of its sun, or night because of the queenly moon; or a diadem because of its regal gem; or home because of mother. The sufferings of Christ are the proudest boast of the Gospel. He himself wears the insignia of them in heaven; as a general, on the day of triumph, chooses his choicest order to wear upon his breast. Yes, and it was the deliberate choice of him, "for whom are all things, and by whom are all things "-and who must, therefore, have had every expedient at his command-that the path of suffering should be his Son's way through our world. Every track through creation is as familiar to Omniscience as the tracks across the hills to the gray-haired, plaided shepherd. Had he wished, the Father might have conducted the Son to glory by another route than the thorny, flint-set path of suffering. But the reasons for this experience were so overwhelming that he could not evade them. Nothing else had been becoming. Those reasons may be stated almost in a sentence.

Our Father has on hand a work greater than his original creation. He is "bringing many sons unto glory." The way may be rugged and tedious; but its end is glory. And it is the way along which our Father is bringing us; for, since we believe on the Son, we have the right to call ourselves sons (John 1:12). And there are many of us. Many sons, though only one Son. We do not go solitarily along the narrow way. We are but part of a multitude which no man can number. The glory of which we have already spoken, and into which Jesus has entered, is not for him alone, but for us also. "Many sons" are to be his joint-heirs; reigning with him on his throne, sharing his unsearchable riches and his everlasting reign.

But all these sons must tread the path of suffering. Since the first sin brought suffering to our first parents, and bloodshed into the first home, there has been but one lot for those who will live Godly. Their road leads to glory; but every inch of it is stained with their blood and watered by their tears. It climbs to Hermon's summit; but it descends immediately into somber and devil-haunted plains. It conducts to the Mount of Olives, with its ascension light; but it first traverses the glades of Gethsemane, the wine-press of Golgotha, the solitude and darkness of the grave.

The path of sorrow, and that path alone,
Leads to the land where sorrow is unknown

What true soul has not its wilderness of temptation; its conflicts with Sadducees and Scribes; its hour of weariness and watching; its tears over cities full of rebellious men; its disappointments from friends; its persecutions from foes; rejection, agony, friendlessness, loneliness, denials, trial, treacheries, deaths, and burials? Such is the draught which the noblest and saintliest have drunk from the golden chalice of life.

Foreseeing our needs, our Father has provided for us a Leader. It is a great boon for a company of pilgrims to have a Great-heart; for an army to have a captain; for an exodus to have a Moses. Courageous, sagacious, and strong leaders are God's good gifts to men. And it is only what we might have expected that God has placed such a One as the efficient Leader at the head of the long line of pilgrims, whom he is engaged in bringing to glory. The toils seem lighter and the distance shorter; laggards quicken their pace; wandering ones are recalled from by-paths by the presence and voice of the Leader, who marches, efficient, royal, and divine, in the van. O heirs of glory, weary of the long and toilsome march, remember that ye are part of a great host: and that the Prince, at the head of the column, has long since entered the city; though he is back again, passing as an inspiration along the ranks as they are toiling on.

Our Leader is perfect. Of course this does not refer to his moral or spiritual attributes. In these he is possessed of the stature of the perfect Man, and has filled out, in every detail, God's ideal of manhood. But he might have been all this without being perfectly adapted to the work of leading many sons through suffering to glory. He might have been perfect in character, and desirous to help us; but, if he had never tasted death, how could he allay our fears as we tread the verge of Jordan? If he had never been tempted, how could he succor those who are tempted? If he had never wept, how could he stanch our tears? If he had never suffered, hungered, wearied on the hill of difficulty, or threaded his way through the quagmires of grief, how could he have been a merciful and faithful High-Priest, having compassion on the ignorant and wayward? But, thank God, our Leader is a perfect one. He is perfectly adapted to his task. His certificate, countersigned by the voice of inspiration, declares him fully qualified.

But this perfect efficiency, as we have seen, is the result of suffering. In no other conceivable way could he have been so effectively qualified to be our Leader as he has been by the ordeal of suffering. Every pang, every tear, every thrill, all were needed to complete his equipment to help us. And from this we may infer that suffering is sometimes permitted to befall us in order to qualify us to be, in our poor measure, the leaders and comforters of our brethren, who are faltering in the march. When next we suffer, let us believe that it is not the result of chance, or fate, or man's carelessness, or hell's malevolence; but that perhaps God is perfecting our adaptability to comfort and succor others. Are there not some in your circle to whom you naturally betake yourself in times of trial and sorrow? They always seem to speak the right word, to give the very counsel you are longing for; you do not realize, however, the cost which they had to pay ere they became so skillful in binding up gaping wounds and drying tears. But if you were to investigate their past history you would find that they have suffered more than most. They have watched the slow untwisting of some silver cord on which the lamp of life hung. They have seen the golden bowl of joy dashed to their feet, and its contents spilt. They have stood by ebbing tides, and drooping gourds, and noon sunsets; but all this has been necessary to make them the nurses, the physicians, the priests of men. The boxes that come from foreign climes are clumsy enough; but they contain spices which scent the air with the fragrance of the Orient. So suffering is rough and hard to bear; but it hides beneath it discipline, education, possibilities, which not only leave us nobler, but perfect us to help others. Do not fret, or set your teeth, or wait doggedly for the suffering to pass; but get out of it all you can, both for yourself and for your service to your generation, according to the will of God. Suffering educates sympathy; it softens the spirit, lightens the touch, hushes the tread; it accustoms the spirit to read from afar the symptoms of an unspoken grief; it teaches the soul to tell the number of the promises, which, like the constellations of the arctic circle, shine most brilliantly through the wintry night; it gives to the spirit a depth, a delicacy, a wealth of which it cannot otherwise possess itself. Through suffering he has become perfected. His sufferings have purchased our pardon. He tasted death for every man. But his sufferings have done more in enabling him to understand experimentally, and to allay, with the tenderness of one who has suffered, all the griefs and sorrows that are experienced by the weakest and weariest of the great family of God. So far, then, from rejecting him because of his sorrows, this shall attract us the more quickly to his side. And, amid our glad songs, this note shall predominate: "It behooved Christ to suffer." "In the midst of the throne, a Lamb as it had been slain."

The Way Into the Holiest