Hebrews Chapter 1
1 God, having in the past spoken to the fathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways,
2 has at the end of these days spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds.
3 His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, who, when he had by himself purified us of our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high,
4 having become as much better than the angels as the more excellent name he has inherited is better than theirs.
5 For to which of the angels did he say at any time, "You are my Son. Today I have become your father?" and again, "I will be to him a Father, and he will be to me a Son?"
6 When he again brings in the firstborn into the world he says, "Let all the angels of God worship him."
7 Of the angels he says, "He makes his angels winds, and his servants a flame of fire."
8 But of the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of your Kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows."
10 And, "You, Lord, in the beginning, laid the foundation of the earth. The heavens are the works of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you continue. They all will grow old like a garment does.
12 You will roll them up like a mantle, and they will be changed; but you are the same. Your years won't fail."
13 But which of the angels has he told at any time, "Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies the footstool of your feet?"
14 Aren't they all serving spirits, sent out to do service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?
- Verse 5
- Psalm 2:7
- Verse 5
- 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chronicles 17:13
- Verse 6
- Deuteronomy 32:43 Septuagint
- Verse 7
- Psalm 104:4
- Verse 9
- Psalm 45:6-7
- Verse 12
- Psalm 102:25-27
- Verse 13
- Psalm 110:1
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Hebrews Chapter 1 Guide
The first words of this epistle plunge to the heart of the subject. Two truths are revealed: the first, God; the second, that God has revealed Himself. Two periods of revelation are referred to, that "of old time," and that "at the end of these days." These periods are contrasted. The first was characterized by diversity. The new is characterized by unity. The whole argument is to show the superiority of the speech that has come through the Son.
His glories are set forth in a sevenfold description. He is "Heir of all things," Creator of the ages, Effulgence of the glory of God, "the very Image of His Substance," the Upholder of all things, the Purifier of sins, joint Ruler with "the Majesty on high."
His superiority to all that had preceded Him is first shown with reference to angels. The argument occupies this and most of the next chapter. The subject is introduced by seven quotations from the Old Testament in which His relationship to God as Son, His superiority in the matter of the divine service, and His sharing of the divine throne, are set forth. The majority of the quotations are from the Psalms.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.
Hebrews Chapter 1 Commentary
- The surpassing dignity of the Son of God in his Divine person, and in his creating and mediatorial work. -- (1-3)
- And in his superiority to all the holy angels. -- (4-14)
God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father, Joh 14:7; the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, or in a figure, but really, in him. When, on the fall of man, the world was breaking to pieces under the wrath and curse of God, the Son of God, undertaking the work of redemption, sustained it by his almighty power and goodness. From the glory of the person and office of Christ, we proceed to the glory of his grace. The glory of His person and nature, gave to his sufferings such merit as was a full satisfaction to the honour of God, who suffered an infinite injury and affront by the sins of men. We never can be thankful enough that God has in so many ways, and with such increasing clearness, spoken to us fallen sinners concerning salvation. That he should by himself cleanse us from our sins is a wonder of love beyond our utmost powers of admiration, gratitude, and praise.
Many Jews had a superstitious or idolatrous respect for angels, because they had received the law and other tidings of the Divine will by their ministry. They looked upon them as mediators between God and men, and some went so far as to pay them a kind of religious homage or worship. Thus it was necessary that the apostle should insist, not only on Christ's being the Creator of all things, and therefore of angels themselves, but as being the risen and exalted Messiah in human nature, to whom angels, authorities, and powers are made subject. To prove this, several passages are brought from the Old Testament. On comparing what God there says of the angels, with what he says to Christ, the inferiority of the angels to Christ plainly appears. Here is the office of the angels; they are God's ministers or servants, to do his pleasure. But, how much greater things are said of Christ by the Father! And let us own and honour him as God; for if he had not been God, he had never done the Mediator's work, and had never worn the Mediator's crown. It is declared how Christ was qualified for the office of Mediator, and how he was confirmed in it: he has the name Messiah from his being anointed. Only as Man he has his fellows, and as anointed with the Holy Spirit; but he is above all prophets, priests, and kings, that ever were employed in the service of God on earth. Another passage of Scripture, Ps 102:25-27, is recited, in which the Almighty power of the Lord Jesus Christ is declared, both in creating the world and in changing it. Christ will fold up this world as a garment, not to be abused any longer, not to be used as it has been. As a sovereign, when his garments of state are folded and put away, is a sovereign still, so our Lord, when he has laid aside the earth and heavens like a vesture, shall be still the same. Let us not then set our hearts upon that which is not what we take it to be, and will not be what it now is. Sin has made a great change in the world for the worse, and Christ will make a great change in it for the better. Let the thoughts of this make us watchful, diligent, and desirous of that better world. The Saviour has done much to make all men his friends, yet he has enemies. But they shall be made his footstool, by humble submission, or by utter destruction. Christ shall go on conquering and to conquer. The most exalted angels are but ministering spirits, mere servants of Christ, to execute his commands. The saints, at present, are heirs, not yet come into possession. The angels minister to them in opposing the malice and power of evil spirits, in protecting and keeping their bodies, instructing and comforting their souls, under Christ and the Holy Ghost. Angels shall gather all the saints together at the last day, when all whose hearts and hopes are set upon perishing treasures and fading glories, will be driven from Christ's presence into everlasting misery.
From the "Concise Commentary on the Bible" by Matthew Henry.