King James Version (KJV)
Hebrews 1.14, Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation? (Last Verse from previous chapter).
The writer wraps up his position that not only is Christ Jesus Greater than the Angels, but that the Angels are to be Ministers to Us, Joint Heirs of Salvation with Jesus. Thus further evidence that the Angels were subordinate to Jesus. Remember this Letter is addressed to the Hebrews, most likely those of James, in Jerusalem, who by the time of the writing of this letter, were also known as the Ebionites, and the Nazarenes. These followers of Christ were Jewish Assemblies that had accepted Jesus as Messiah. Also very strict adherents to the Law of Moses.
They had a strong disrespect for the Apostle Paul, and a distinct dislike for his teaching concerning the Law of Moses. History shows that it is very likely, sometime shortly before the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem 70 AD, the Essenes, could have possibly began to assimilate with the Ebionites. The Essenes were representatives of one of the Three major philosophies, or schools of thought, within Judaism both before, and during the First Century. For more on the Essenes, See Articles on the Home-Page of this Blog.
Angelology was at the Forefront of Essene Theology, and their role within every aspect of daily life, for they had 7 morning communions, and 7 evening communions with Angels one for each day of the week. See Below:
“The Essene Tree of Life represented fourteen positive forces, seven of them heavenly or cosmic forces and seven earthly or terrestrial forces. The Tree was pictured as having seven roots reaching down into the earth and seven branches extending up toward the heavens, thus symbolizing man’s relationship to both earth and heaven.
Man was pictured in the center of the tree half-way between heaven and earth. The use of the number seven is an integral part of the Essene tradition which has been transmitted to Western cultures in various outer ways, such as the seven days of the week.
Each root and branch of the tree represented a different force or power. The roots represented earthly forces and powers, the Earthly Mother, the Angel of Earth, the Angel of Life, the Angel of joy, the Angel of the Sun, the Angel of Water and the Angel of Air. The seven branches represented cosmic powers, The Heavenly Father, and his Angels of Eternal Life, Creative Work, Peace, Power, Love, and Wisdom. These were the Essene angels of the visible and invisible worlds.” Note in this description above, the similarity with The Revelation of John, chapter 1. More concerning the Essenes, Ebionites, and the Nazarenes
The letter to the Hebrews reveals to us in an indirect way that this assimilation between the Ebionites, and the Essenes, was already taking place, and that a syncretism of mutual doctrines was developing. This is why the writer to the Hebrews, opens up his discussion in Chapter 1 and 2, with the Superiority of Christ Jesus, to the Angels! The Essenes were highly restricted from ever revealing the Secret Knowledge of, and the Names of the Angelic Hosts, to outsiders. This purports then further that an assimilation of beliefs was, and had taken place with this community. It should be noted here that the Importance of the Role of Angels, apparently developed while those of Judah were captive in Babylon, 605-538 BC. For after their return there is written evidence of the Subject coming to the Forefront within Judaism, and by the First Century the Angels were very much involved within every-day life as we see in the New Testament.
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.
Here the writer shifts from attempting to Prove his case from without, and instead he uses their positions to justify his argument! This writer is very sharp, and very talented. “….give the More earnest heed to….” He doesn’t say for them to stop heeding the role of Angels, but to give more heed to the things of Christ Jesus, lest they lose their focus on His influence, and before you know it, He has become a Subordinate part of their belief system. Now below, the writer uses the Angels word to suggest the necessity of a more earnest heed to exalt Christ Jesus.
2 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
Two points here, one being that the writer knows the Angels Heralded the arrival of Christ Jesus, and that their word is stedfast from God. If they do not give all the more heed to Christ Jesus, then they are guilty before Christ, and the Angels! For the Angels are His Ministers. If that is not enough, The Very Law came by the disposition of Angels, as spoken of above. So if the Law was embraced, how much more should the Words of Jesus be embraced?
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;
In other words, We have got it from the One In Charge! If we ignore Christ Jesus, then we are all the more condemned.
Now let’s further discuss this verse. “…was confirmed unto US by THEM that HEARD HIM…”
Most of Tradition has this Epistle attributed to the Apostle Paul, and perhaps dictating it to Luke. I must admit that the Logic, and Syntax, of this writer is similar to Paul’s, using the Epistle to the Romans, as a comparison. Both equally fantastic masterpieces. If you were to read however, the letter to the Galatians, and then read Hebrews you would have to admit, that this document does not contain the Pauline style. It is certainly apparent though, that it has Lucan Style! But if Luke put down in writing what Paul spoke, then because of the verse above, and below, I have to believe that Luke redacted his notes at a later time. Most probably after Paul’s demise.
The verse above speaks of being confirmed unto Us which includes the writer too, and by Them that Heard Him! Speaking of the Disciples. Not Paul, nor does it make sense that He would even say such, for he received the Gospel, not by man, but by revelation from Jesus himself! The Apostle Paul would never say, the Gospel was confirmed to me by those that Heard Him, “…immediately I did not confer with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were Apostles before me….” Paul to the Galatians, 1.14-17. Perhaps because Luke knew this, he made the document look even less possible to have come from Paul, so that it would be accepted by the Hebrews.
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?
In other words, …Whose Will?????, His will, not the Angels will! Jesus is the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost, and Fire. Jesus Baptized the 120 disciples of His (not Paul yet) when the Day of Pentecost was Fully Come. To the Hebrews the feast of Pentecost, is known as the feast of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks. The Day of Pentecost had fully come on the 50th day. This is important because of the promise by God through Jeremiah, in ch 31. 30-33. God promises to give a New Covenant, one He would write in the Heart of Man by the power of His Spirit. On the 50th day from Passover, the same day that God Gave His 10 Commandments to Moses (or the Former Covenant), the Heavenly Father Poured Out of His Spirit By, and Through, His Son Jesus. Jesus Baptized his 120 followers with the Holy Ghost, and through the Holy Ghost came the New Covenant into the hearts of the 120, and many, many, more! From that moment forward God bears witness with them, and through them, of many miracles, and gifts from the Holy Ghost, signs, and wonders. He is still the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost and Fire Today! It will not stop until the End of the Church Age!
5 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
The Angels have their place in God, and Mankind has his.
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?
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Notice it is almost exact!) KJV, OT from the Masoretic Text (MT).
*4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? (Exact Match) Septuagint (LXX).
I am sure that you have probably asked this very question as well as I. After all what is Man in the overall scheme of things, as compared to the vastness of the Universe, and all of it’s intricate details? Yet God truly Loves Us, sometimes I wonder Why? Yet He is as a Father, and the Holy Spirit as a Mother if you will, and through Christ Jesus, they watch over, walk with, guide, and comfort us in the presence of God.
This phrase is very interesting. First I can be assured that if it were Paul, he would not have said “…one in a certain place testified..!” He has been quoting Psalm, after Psalm, after Psalm. He would have stated the Psalms, and most likely David too. This makes me wonder, is this writer quoting the Tanakh from memory in this document? If not, what happened to the Scroll He was using in the first chapter?
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:
5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. (MT) (Close, not Exact).
*5 Thou madest him a little less than angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honour; (LXX) (Close but not exact).
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: (Notice now it’s a little different!) (MT).
*6 and thou hast set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things under his feet: (LXX) (Very Close).
In our Humanity we are a little lower than the Angels, but He has crowned us! God always loves and lifts up the weaker, and the lesser, and in his own way exalts them. He has made Man for the husbandry of the Earth, and all that is in it.
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.
6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: ( we know He is not quoting the Psalms directly, or He may be using a very early copy of the Septuagint, it is a good bit closer to the writers scriptures, than the MT is).
*6 …. thou hast put all things under his feet: (LXX)
Though man is given authority over the Earth, it is a gradual process for everything to come into his subjection. A little at a time.
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.
Jesus took the Lower position by becoming Man, and through humbling himself to accept the most awful treatment by Man, He is Highly Exalted. He that Humbleth himself shall be Exalted. Jesus is the Greatest example to Man of the ironic ways of God. A minister said something to me when I was a very young man, and I never forgot it. He said, “The way UP in God is Down!” How true that little statement was, and is. For the willingness of Christ Jesus to subject himself to the tortures, and death at the hands of the very ones he came to help, God Hath Highly Exalted Him above All at His Right Hand!
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.
Or he became Humanity, and all things that were made, were for Him, and by Him. He for Humanity is made Perfect, or in other words through the sufferings, and death on the cross, He makes the Mission Complete, thus bringing many sons unto glory. Our Captain of Salvation has tasted the full darkness of our sinfulness to the point of death, while ironically we owe him our very existence. Furthermore No One Can Say standing before him, “yes, but you don’t understand what I was up against.” There will be no Excuse on that day! For our Judge has been there, and done that, Without Blemish!
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,
We are ever One with Him, we are bought, and paid for by Him through his Blood, and Death, both for us, and by us. What Irony!
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (MT) (Once again, very, very close!).
*22 I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I sing praise to thee. (LXX) ( Interesting, the first half of the verse is Exact with the MT, while the second half is Exact with the LXX)! After our close review of the verses so far, and especially this one, it reveals that this document is being transmitted Orally to a Writer. It is as if this is a Sermon, with quotations from memory! Just briefly here, the MT as we have it today was formed between the 7th and 10th centuries. It’s origins however are from 3 Torah Scrolls kept in the Temple at Jerusalem in the 1st century. It is considered by the Jewish people as the Authorized Text. The Septuagint, or LXX, was produced during the 3rd century BC, through to the late 2nd century BC. It was produced primarily for the Jews of Alexandria, and the whole mediterranean region, who spoke, and read Greek. There were many who were not fluent in Hebrew. Of importance here is to understand also that the LXX, the Roman Numeral for 70, was produced by 70 or 72 scholars of the Hebrew Tanakh. Also, the LXX is as much an Interpretation, as it is a Translation. The Apostle Paul used the LXX a great deal. In this transmission of Psalms 22.22 the speaker quotes both, the MT, and the LXX! Paul would undoubtedly, and necessarily know both, being schooled by Gamaliel.
The word Church here is actually, the Greek word for Assembly, or Congregation, Ekklesia .
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
“…I will put my trust in Him…” There are many Psalms that He may have quoted here.
The second statement is from 8.18 Isaiah.
18 Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion. (MT) (Very close, but abbreviated.)
*18 Behold I and the children which God has given me: and they shall be for signs and wonders in the house of Israel from the Lord of hosts, who dwells in mount Sion. (LXX) (Exact Match, except for Hath in place of Has, but abbreviated).
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;
Through His Death and Resurrection, the Stronghold of Death held by Satan over Man, was broken. Man no longer had to grieve, and fear Death, because through Jesus, it is no longer the end, but a New beginning. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, Man could, and would, go on into life eternal! “Oh Death, where is thy Sting?” The Apostle Paul to the Romans.
15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
Fear in many ways is bondage. Fear of Death, and the end, for which man did not have in his power to change, was always in the background of all the thoughts of man through his life. That no longer has to be so, if we are one with the One who sanctified us! We shall not taste the finality of death, but shall have life everlasting through, and with the One who broke the stronghold of death.
16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
He chose the lesser nature, and the harder path. He humbled Himself for us.
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.
Because Jesus paid the price that satisfied the judgement of the Father, he is also able to be our high priest, or the one who makes atonement for our corruption. God accepted the willing sacrifice of His Son, and therefore honours his authority to atone for man.
18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
The age old reasoning seems to be apparent here, and that is, how can one who had never been there, help or advise, one who is there?
Therefore Jesus who put himself through the worst of this life by humbling himself, and because He knows the very pain of human life, he is quite able to sustain those who are suffering in this life.