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Hebrews Five

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Hebrews 5:1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

high priest. The high priest in Israel had, supposedly, three qualifications. He was “taken from among men,” must “have compassion” (Hebrews 5:2), and be “called of God” (Hebrews 5:4).

gifts and sacrifices. The “gifts” offered were for thanksgiving; the sacrifices were for repentance, to seek forgiveness.

Hebrews 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

Hebrews 5:3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Hebrews 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Hebrews 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

said unto him. Quoting Psalm 2:7, already quoted once in Hebrews 1:5, indicating the importance of this prophetic Messianic psalm.

Hebrews 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

in another place. This verse quotes Psalm 110:4 also quoted in Hebrews 5:10; 6:20; 7:17, 21. Christ met all requirements for the priesthood, except that of descent from Aaron. However, he was of another priestly order, greater even than that of Aaron and Levi.

Melchisedec. Melchizedec was the mysterious priest/king who met Abraham when he returned from defeating the marauding confederation of kings from the north (see Genesis 14:17-19). In the Genesis account, he is merely called “king of Salem” (meaning “peace”) and “priest of the most high God” (the Hebrew name is El Elyon, “highest God”). The identity of Melchizedec has been vigorously debated. He is discussed in greater detail in Hebrews 7:1-21.

Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

Hebrews 5:8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

learned he obedience. See note on Hebrews 2:10. What He knew by omniscience, He “learned” by experience, thus “being made perfect”—not as God (for as God He was eternally perfect, by definition), but as man.

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

eternal salvation. There are only three adjectives used in the New Testament to describe our salvation. It is “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), “eternal salvation” in this verse, and “the common salvation” (Jude 3).

Hebrews 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

order of Melchisedec. There are no less than six references in Hebrews to the “order” of Melchizedek, quoting Psalm 110:4. This term ordinarily would indicate a succession of priests holding this office. None are ever mentioned, however, in the long interval from Melchizedek to Christ, an anomaly which seemingly can be resolved only by assuming that Melchizedek and Christ are really the same person. Thus the order is eternally vested in Him and Him alone.

Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

ought. This is a strong word, meaning “have a duty.” The Jewish Christians to whom the author was writing were still involved in legalism and in speculations about the nature of Christ. They had professed faith in Christ, but were still “babes,” needing spiritual milk (1 Corinthians 3:1).

oracles of God. The “oracles of God” is a striking synonym for the Scriptures. See Romans 3:2; 1 Peter 4:11; Acts 7:38.

Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

useth milk. See 1 Peter 2:2. Babes in Christ need to feed on the milk of the Word, but they should not always remain babes.

Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

of full age. “Of full age” is literally “of mature maturity,” essentially the same as “perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).

senses. “Senses” here means “esthetic senses” (Greek aistheterion), used only this once in the New Testament. It implies a sort of spiritual intuition, by which the sensitive Christian can more or less automatically discern whether something is right or wrong. However, this sense is developed only by attaining real maturity in the Scriptures.