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Hebrews Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.

Hebrews 2:2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward;

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

so great salvation. Salvation is indeed a great truth! The very name “Jesus” means “salvation.” It embraces many major doctrines of Scripture—including such doctrines as atonement (Leviticus 17:11), substitution (Isaiah 53:5), imputation (Romans 4:6-8), propitiation (xTerm 2:2), redemption (1 Peter 1:18), remission (Acts 10:43), justification (Romans 3:28), adoption (Ephesians 1:5), reconciliation (Romans 5:10-11), regeneration (Titus 3:5), sanctification (Hebrews 10:9-10, and glorification (Romans 8:30).

that heard him. The words of the gospel of salvation were first spoken by Christ, then confirmed in writing by His apostles. Also, note Hebrews 1:2.

Hebrews 2:4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

divers miracles. See Mark 16:20. These miracles attested the spoken word of the apostles before its inscripturation in written form. Note also 2 Corinthians 12:12.

Hebrews 2:5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

world to come. Although angels have considerable authority in this present world (Daniel 10:13; Matthew 18:10), the Lord Jesus Christ Himself will personally reign over the millennial world (Revelation 20:4) and the eternal world to come (Revelation 11:15).

Hebrews 2:6 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?

in a certain place. This passage, quoted from Psalm 8:4-5, confirms that the eighth psalm is indeed a prophetic psalm of the Messiah.

Hebrews 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:

lower than the angels. See also Hebrews 2:9. The Son of God became Jesus, Son of man, by divine incarnation (Hebrews 2:14-16). He who was “better than the angels” (Hebrews 1:4) was made a “little [that is, “for a little time”—thirty-three years] lower than the angels.” He who was the divine Word became flesh (John 1:14); He who was “equal with God” became “a servant” (Philippians 2:7).

glory and honour. Because, in His incarnation, He was “obedient unto death,” He has been given the “name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:8-9).

Hebrews 2:8 Thou hast put all things 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.

under his feet. Even the angels are to be in subjection to man (Hebrews 1:14; 2:8; 1 Corinthians 6:3). The first man, Adam, was given dominion over the earth and all its creatures (Genesis 1:26-28), but sin intervened and it remains for the Son of man, “the last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45) to regain man's lost dominion.

all in subjection. Jesus, as the perfect man and as Son of man, at times even during His first coming exercised His future dominion over the earth (e.g., Mark 4:41; Matthew 17:27). This was just a prophetic foreshadowing and evidence that He will exercise man's dominion in all its fullness in the age to come. First, however, He had to purge our sins and eventually remove the great curse from the earth.

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

for every man. Note that Jesus did not die merely for “the sin of the world” (John 1:29), but for “every man” individually. Furthermore, as Paul says, Christ “loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20)!

Hebrews 2:10 For 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.

all things. Compare Romans 11:36; Colossians 1:16-20; Hebrews 1:1-3.

captain of their salvation. “Captain” (Greek archegos) is translated “prince” in Acts 3:15 and 5:31 and “author” in Hebrews 12:2, speaking of Christ in all cases. These are its only occurrences. Thus, He is the “Prince of life,” the “captain of our salvation” and the “author ... of our faith.”

perfect through sufferings. 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. See Hebrews 5:8, 9.

Hebrews 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

sanctified. For “sanctified,” read “being sanctified.”

of one. That is, “of one Father.” Therefore, having been “born again” spiritually to become “sons of God” (John 3:3; 1:12), we are brothers in Christ.

Hebrews 2:12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

Saying. Here the writer quotes from Psalm 22:22, at the prophetic description of the very climax of Christ's crucifixion sufferings. See the notes on this great psalm for the context.

midst of the church. In the Hebrew Scriptures, this word is “congregation.” Thus the little “congregation” at the foot of the cross, consisting of John and Mary and the other women, is called here a church (compare Matthew 18:17-20).

Hebrews 2:13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.

again. Apparently these two references are referring to Isaiah 8:17-18.

Hebrews 2:14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

the devil. The devil has “the power of death” in the sense that through his primeval lie (continuing today in many forms of humanism and anti-theism), he tempted Adam to bring sin into the world, and therefore death into the world (Romans 5:12). Though he would seek to impose physical death on the whole human race if he could, he can only bring about a particular death when God allows it, for some greater purpose (note Job 2:4-6; 1 Corinthians 5:5).

Hebrews 2:15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

deliver them. Even though Satan may have thought he had gained victory over God when God's Son died on the cross, that very death assured his ultimate destruction (note Colossians 2:14, 15; Revelation 1:18).

fear of death. The redeemed child of God no longer need fear death, for to him “to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21; see also Philippians 1:23; 1 Thessalonians 4:13).

to bondage. This pertains to our deliverance from spiritual bondage. See also Romans 7:23-25; 8:15.

Hebrews 2:16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

seed of Abraham. Christ “took on Him the seed of Abraham” by taking up residence for nine months in the womb of Mary, who was truly of Abraham's seed. However, the inherent sin, as well as genetic defects, which had been transferred through Abraham's seed (originally from Adam and Eve) to all his descendants, including Mary, could not have been incorporated in “that holy thing” created and placed in her body, for He must be “without blemish and without spot” in order to qualify as our Savior from sin. See note on Romans 1:3; note on Luke 1:35; note on 1 Peter 1:19.

Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

like unto his brethren. Christ had to be a true man in all points, from conception to death, apart from innate sin. This required a miraculous, virginal, conception, but in every other respect he partook of true human flesh.

high priest. This is the first specific reference to Christ as our High Priest, a theme which is prominent throughout the rest of Hebrews.

Hebrews 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

tempted. See note on Hebrews 4:15.