Notes on Hebrews 1:7-9


And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire1.  But unto the Son [he saith], Thy throne2, O God, [is] for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom3Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity4; therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed5 thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

  • (1) Ps 104:4
  • (2) Heb 8:1, 12:2, Rev 22:1
  • (3) Ps 45:6
  • (4) Ps 40:6-10
  • (5) Is 61:1

Who maketh his angels spirits…

  • The writer continues showing how that the Son is superior to angels – the highest of God’s created beings
  • Psalm 104:4 is used as a proof text to show that, unlike the Son, angels are made/created beings.
      • Ps 104:4 quoted from Septuagint.  It is probably an interpretation of the Hebrew text:

    Who maketh winds his messengers;
    Flames of fire his ministers.

  • It is Christ who created them – “he made the worlds” (vs 2)
    • Not simply ‘the’ angels, but ‘His’ angels

…his ministers a flame of fire

  • “fire” – the ministers (angels) are executioners of divine judgement (Mt 13:31-42)

Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever…

  • Quote from Ps 45:6 (LXX) – a Psalm about the love of the Messiah and His church
  • This quote is a contrast to the last one
    • The angels are spirits, but the Son is called ‘God’
    • The angels execute the judgement, the one on the throne decrees it
  • One of the greatest attestations to Christ’s deity – the Father calls Him ‘God’
  • Christ’s throne is that of very God – “the throne of God and of the Lamb” (Rev 22:1)
  • Christ is presently seated on the throne at the Father’s right hand (Heb 8:1, 12:2) – “I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. (Rev 3:21 – compare with Rev 7 and 12:5)
  • Christ’s throne (kingdom) has no end! (Is 9:6; Lk 1:33)

…a sceptre of righteousness [is] the sceptre of thy kingdom…

  • The scepter is the symbol of royal authority
  • Hebrews 7 describes Melchisedec as a type of Christ.
    • Melchisedec was the “King of righteousness” (Heb 7:2)
    • Melchisedec was also the “King of Peace” (Heb 7:2)
    • Christ’s Kingdom of righteousness and peace will have no end (Is 9:6)
  • Vss 7-8 testify to Christ’s Kingdom. These verses mention His ‘throne’, ‘kingdom’, and ‘scepter’

Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity…

    • The Father is still addressing the Son here
    • This highlights the Son’s moral perfection during the days of his humiliation
    • Because Christ loved righteousness, He hated iniquity; these cannot be separated (Amos 5:15)
    • Christ hates evil (Rev 2:15)
    • We, too, are to hate evil – Ps 97:10, Pr 8:13, Jn 3:20

The more we enjoy fellowship with Him, the more we are conformed to His image, the more shall we love the things He loves, and hate the things He hates
(AW Pink)

…therefore God, [even] thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

  • End of the quotation from Ps 45:6
  • Unitarians ask how Christ could be God and yet the Father be His God. Answer: Christ is, in His incarnation, both Creature and Creator – man and God. This verse shows his role as representative man (Jn 20:17, Ps 22:10) – the second Adam. In verse 8 (“Thy throne O God”) addresses Christ in His Divine nature
  • This is another reference to Christ’s Kingdom. The custom of ancient Israel was for kings to be anointed with oil – 1 Sam 10:1, 16:13; 1 Ki 1:39.
  • Kings were often called “the anointed” – 2 Sam 19:21, Lam 4:20
  • The title Christ (χριστός) means ‘anointed’
  • χριστός (LSJ) – “of persons, anointed …esp. of the Kings of Israel”
  • ‘oil of gladness’ = reference to the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:38, Is 61:1-3)
  • ‘fellows’ = ‘believers’, see Rom 8:29
  • As Christ has been anointed, so have believers – 1 Jn 2:20, 2 Cor 1:21

Summary

These verses show Christ in His glory – high above all angels and powers. He is anointed by the Holy Spirit and sits on the throne of Heaven. He wields a righteous scepter.

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