Hebrews 2:5 MEANING

Hebrews 2:5
(5-18) It was needful that Jesus, as Author of salvation to man, should in all points be made like to those whom He saves, and in their likeness suffer and die; thus He becomes for them a merciful and faithful High Priest.

(5) For.--There is a very clear connection between this verse and Hebrews 1:14. "Angels are but ministering spirits, serving God in the cause of those who shall inherit salvation; for not to angels is the world to come made subject." But the connection with Hebrews 2:2-3, is equally important: "the salvation that is now given has been proclaimed not by angels but by the Lord, and it is God Himself who works with the messengers of the Lord; for not unto angels," &c. The word "salvation" binds together this section and the first. (See Hebrews 1:14; Hebrews 2:2; Hebrews 2:10.)

Hath he not put in subjection.--Better, did He subject; for the reference is to the passage quoted in the following verses, which is already in the writer's thought. "He:" God, speaking in the prophetic Scripture.

The world to come.--The same expression occurs in the English version of Hebrews 6:5, but in the Greek "world" is represented by entirely different words. Here, as in Hebrews 1:6, the meaning is "inhabited earth," "world of man"; there, the word properly relates to time, "age." Is "the world to come" still future, or is it here looked at from the Old Testament point of view? (See Hebrews 1:2.) The following verses (especially Hebrews 2:9) make it clear that the period referred to is that which succeeds the exaltation of Christ. We ourselves cannot but markedly distinguish the present stage of Messiah's kingdom from the future; but in the perspective of prophecy the two were blended. The thought of this kingdom amongst men has been present from the first verses of the Epistle onwards; hence, "whereof we speak."

Verse 5. - Here the second division of the first section of the argument, according to the summary given above (Hebrews 1:2), begins. But it is also connected logically with the interposed exhortation, the sequence of thought being as follows: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" - For (as an additional reason) not to angels (but to the Son, as will be seen) did he (God) subject the world to come, whereof we speak, "The world to come (ἡ οἰκουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα)" must be understood, in accordance with what has been said above in explanation of" the last of these days" (Hebrews 1:1), as referring to the age of the Messiah's kingdom foretold in prophecy. The word μέλλουσαν does not in itself necessarily imply futurity from the writer's standpoint though, according to what was said above, the complete fulfilment of the prophetic anticipation is to be looked for in the second advent, whatever earnest and foretaste of it there may be already under the gospel dispensation. The word οἰκουμένην (sub γὴν) is the same as was used (Hebrews 1:6) in reference to the Son's advent, denoting the sphere of created things over which he should reign. And it is suitably used here with a view to the coming quotation from Psalm 8, in which the primary idea is man's supremacy over the inhabited globe. The whole phrase may be taken to express the same idea as the "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (cf. 2 Peter 3:13).

2:5-9 Neither the state in which the church is at present, nor its more completely restored state, when the prince of this world shall be cast out, and the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of Christ, is left to the government of the angels: Christ will take to him his great power, and will reign. And what is the moving cause of all the kindness God shows to men in giving Christ for them and to them? it is the grace of God. As a reward of Christ's humiliation in suffering death, he has unlimited dominion over all things; thus this ancient scripture was fulfilled in him. Thus God has done wonderful things for us in creation and providence, but for these we have made the basest returns.For unto the angels,.... Though angels were concerned in the giving of the law, and were frequently employed under the former dispensation, in messages to men, and in making revelations of God's mind and will to them, yet to them

hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak: by which is meant, not the future state of eternal glory and happiness in heaven, as opposed to this world, and the present state of things; though there may be much truth in this sense, as that the present world is in subjection to angels, and the world to come is not; the present world is much in subjection, though it is not put into subjection, to evil angels, who usurp a power over it, hence Satan is called the god and prince of this world; and it is in some sense in subjection to good angels, as they are used by God in the execution of his providential care and government, in influencing and assisting at the councils of princes, in inflicting God's judgments on kingdoms and nations, and in the special care of his own people: but the world to come, as opposed to this, is not at all subject to them; they are employed in carrying the souls of departed saints thither, and shall be with them there, and join with them in their service; but they will not be as kings, nor even as children, but as servants; much less is heaven at their dispose to give to whomsoever they please; it is only in this sense in subjection to Christ, the Prince of life, who has power to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given to him: but it is not of this world the apostle is speaking; he is speaking of something now, which bears this name, and in proof of it cites a passage out of Psalm 8:1 where mention is made of sheep, and other things, which cannot refer to the world of glory: rather it designs the new heavens and new earth at the resurrection, and day of judgment, for these will not be put in subjection to angels; though of these the apostle is not speaking in the context: it seems therefore to intend the Gospel, and the Gospel dispensation and church state, in opposition to the Jewish state, and legal dispensation, which was called a world, and had in it a worldly sanctuary, and worldly ordinances, which is now at an end; and at the end of which Christ came, and then another world took place, here called "the world to come", as the times of the Messiah are frequently called by the Jews , "the world to come", the Gospel dispensation, the apostle was treating of in the preceding verses, in distinction from the law, the word spoken by angels; for the Gospel was not spoken by them, but by the Lord: the Gospel state is very properly the world to come, with respect to the Old Testament saints, who were looking for it, and in which old things are past away, and all things are become new; angels desire to look into the mysteries of it, and learn from the church the manifold wisdom of God; but not they, but men, are the dispensers of the doctrines of it; and Christ, he is the Head, King, Governor, and Father of this new world: so instead of "everlasting Father", the Septuagint render the clause , in Isaiah 9:6 "the Father of the age", or "world to come"; and hence mention is made in the Jewish writings of , "the world to come of the Messiah" (d).

(d) Targum in 1 Kings 33.

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