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Hebrews 1:5-14

Context
The Son Is Superior to Angels

1:5 For to which of the angels did God 1  ever say, “You are my son! Today I have fathered you”? 2  And in another place 3  he says, 4 I will be his father and he will be my son.” 5  1:6 But when he again brings 6  his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all the angels of God worship him! 7  1:7 And he says 8  of the angels, “He makes 9  his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire,” 10  1:8 but of 11  the Son he says, 12 

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, 13 

and a righteous scepter 14  is the scepter of your kingdom.

1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness.

So God, your God, has anointed you over your companions 15  with the oil of rejoicing. 16 

1:10 And,

You founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, 17 

and the heavens are the works of your hands.

1:11 They will perish, but you continue.

And they will all grow old like a garment,

1:12 and like a robe you will fold them up

and like a garment 18  they will be changed,

but you are the same and your years will never run out. 19 

1:13 But to which of the angels 20  has he ever said, “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”? 21  1:14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those 22  who will inherit salvation?

1 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Grk “I have begotten you.”

sn A quotation from Ps 2:7.

3 tn Grk “And again,” quoting another OT passage.

4 tn The words “he says” are not in the Greek text but are supplied to make a complete English sentence. In the Greek text this is a continuation of the previous sentence, but English does not normally employ such long and complex sentences.

5 tn Grk “I will be a father to him and he will be a son to me.”

sn A quotation from 2 Sam 7:14 (cf. 1 Chr 17:13).

6 tn Or “And again when he brings.” The translation adopted in the text looks forward to Christ’s second coming to earth. Some take “again” to introduce the quotation (as in 1:5) and understand this as Christ’s first coming, but this view does not fit well with Heb 2:7. Others understand it as his exaltation/ascension to heaven, but this takes the phrase “into the world” in an unlikely way.

7 sn A quotation combining themes from Deut 32:43 and Ps 97:7.

8 sn The Greek correlative conjunctions μέν and δέ (men and de) emphasize the contrastive parallelism of vs. 7 (what God says about the angels) over against vv. 8-9 and vv. 10-12 (what God says about the son).

9 tn Grk “He who makes.”

10 sn A quotation from Ps 104:4.

11 tn Or “to.”

12 tn The verb “he says” (λέγει, legei) is implied from the λέγει of v. 7.

13 tn Or possibly, “Your throne is God forever and ever.” This translation is quite doubtful, however, since (1) in the context the Son is being contrasted to the angels and is presented as far better than they. The imagery of God being the Son’s throne would seem to be of God being his authority. If so, in what sense could this not be said of the angels? In what sense is the Son thus contrasted with the angels? (2) The μένδέ (mende) construction that connects v. 7 with v. 8 clearly lays out this contrast: “On the one hand, he says of the angels…on the other hand, he says of the Son.” Thus, although it is grammatically possible that θεός (qeos) in v. 8 should be taken as a predicate nominative, the context and the correlative conjunctions are decidedly against it. Hebrews 1:8 is thus a strong affirmation of the deity of Christ.

14 tn Grk “the righteous scepter,” but used generically.

15 sn God…has anointed you over your companions. God’s anointing gives the son a superior position and authority over his fellows.

16 sn A quotation from Ps 45:6-7.

17 sn You founded the earthyour years will never run out. In its original setting Ps 102:25-27 refers to the work of God in creation, but here in Hebrews 1:10-12 the writer employs it in reference to Christ, the Lord, making a strong argument for the essential deity of the Son.

18 tc The words “like a garment” (ὡς ἱμάτιον, Jw" Jimation) are found in excellent and early mss (Ì46 א A B D* 1739) though absent in a majority of witnesses (D1 Ψ 0243 0278 33 1881 Ï lat sy bo). Although it is possible that longer reading was produced by overzealous scribes who wanted to underscore the frailty of creation, it is much more likely that the shorter reading was produced by scribes who wanted to conform the wording to that of Ps 102:26 (101:27 LXX), which here lacks the second “like a garment.” Both external and internal considerations decidedly favor the longer reading, and point to the author of Hebrews as the one underscoring the difference between the Son and creation.

sn The phrase like a garment here is not part of the original OT text (see tc note above); for this reason it has been printed in normal type.

19 sn A quotation from Ps 102:25-27.

20 sn The parallel phrases to which of the angels in vv. 5 and 13 show the unity of this series of quotations (vv. 5-14) in revealing the superiority of the Son over angels (v. 4).

21 sn A quotation from Ps 110:1.

22 tn Grk “sent for service for the sake of those.”



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