Notes on Hebrews 1:4-6


Being made so much better than the 1angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent 2name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my 3Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a 4Son? And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten5 into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him 6“.

  • (1)Eph 1:21; Matt 4:6
  • (2) Phil 2:9
  • (3) Ps 2:7; Acts 13:37; Matt 3:17, 17:5; 2 Pet 1:17
  • (4) 2 Sam 7:12-17; Lk 1:35
  • (5) Lk 2:7
  • (6) Ps 97:7 (LXX 96:7)

Being made so much better than the angels

  • ‘Being made’ (γενόμενος, ptc. of γίνομαι). γίνομαι means “to become”, but it can also mean “to appear” in the historical sense. ASV/ESV = “having become”.
  • Angels are higher than men, but the man Christ Jesus is higher than they.
  • ‘…glorious as the angels are …they are nevertheless, in subjection to the Lord Jesus as Man’ (AW Pink)
  • Angels are the most excellent of all Creatures, and yet Christ is more excellent than they. Therefore, His holy nature is higher than that of a Creature.
  • Angels are “around the throne” of glory; Christ is seated “on” the throne (Rev 5:1,11)

he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

  • Phil 2:9 – “God highly exalted him, and gave unto him the name which is above every name”
  • The ‘name’ is a representation of all the person is (‘Hallowed by thy name’ – Matt 7:9). Christ’s name is above angels as His essential nature is above theirs.
  • Christ has received his ‘excellent name’ by inheritance
  • κληρονομέω means to ‘receive an inheritance’. It’s etymology is rooted in two words: κλῆρος (alloted portion) and νόμος (law).

For unto which of the angels said he at any time…

  • Answer: None
  • The Holy Spirit now supplies the proof of Christ’s superiority over angels and draws His evidence from the Old Testament.
  • The writer demonstrates a thorough familiarity with the Hebrew Scriptures
    • In the rest of this chapter, the author quotes 7 Old Testament verses to support his argument

Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?

  • Quoted from Ps 2:7, also quoted in Acts 13:33.
  • “Thou art my beloved Son…” (Mk 1:11)
  • This is another verse affirming the Virgin Birth of Christ – begotten of God (Lk 1:32-35)
  • Though Christ is Son of Man, He was begotten of the Father
    • “at the day of his incarnation, but eminently at the day of his resurrection, was he declared and published to be his only begotten Son with power (Rom 1:4, see also Acts 13:33, Rev 1:5, and Col 1:18)

I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son

  • This verse is taken from 2 Sam 7:13-14. In its near context it refers to David’s son Solomon, but ultimately to David’s Son – the Messiah (Compare Rom 1:3 with Lk 1:68)
  • This quotation confirms Jesus as the promised One.

when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world

  • firstbegotten (πρωτοτόκος) = “first born”, see Lk 2:7
  • first born – In Ps 89:27 applied to King David as higher than kings of the Earth
  • Abel’s acceptable sacrifice was τῶν πρωτοτόκων τῶν προβάτων (of the firstborn of the sheep”, Gen 4:4, LXX)
  • Christ is “only-begotten”, but he is firstbegotten with “respect to the saints, who are …partakers of the divine nature, and are adopted into the family of God, though they are not in the same class of sonship with him” (Gill)
  • See Col 1:15-16 for another view on firstbegotten, Christ is firstbegotten, but yet He is uncreated and the creator of all

“And let all the angels of God worship him”

  • LXX Ps 96:7 (Ps 97:7 in MT): “προσκυνήσατε αὐτῷ πάντες οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτοῦ” – Worship Him all His angels
  • So far is Christ above the angels that they are commanded to worship Him
  • Worship can *only* be given to God (Lk 4:8), yet angels commanded to worship Him
  • Angles worshiping the son in Rev 5:11-12

Summary

These verses affirm the Virgin Birth and the deity of Christ. Christ’s high exalted nature is so far above any created being that he is commanded to be worshiped and served by even the highest.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s