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Hebrews 2

Warning Against Drifting Away

2:1 Therefore we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2:2 For if the message spoken through angels 1  proved to be so firm that every violation 2  or disobedience received its just penalty, 2:3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first communicated through the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 2:4 while God confirmed their witness 3  with signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed 4  according to his will.

Exposition of Psalm 8: Jesus and the Destiny of Humanity

2:5 For he did not put the world to come, 5  about which we are speaking, 6  under the control of angels. 2:6 Instead someone testified somewhere:

What is man that you think of him 7  or the son of man that you care for him?

2:7 You made him lower than the angels for a little while.

You crowned him with glory and honor. 8 

2:8 You put all things under his control. 9 

For when he put all things under his control, he left nothing outside of his control. At present we do not yet see all things under his control, 10  2:9 but we see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, 11  now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, 12  so that by God’s grace he would experience 13  death on behalf of everyone. 2:10 For it was fitting for him, for whom and through whom all things exist, 14  in bringing many sons to glory, to make the pioneer 15  of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 2:11 For indeed he who makes holy and those being made holy all have the same origin, 16  and so 17  he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 18  2:12 saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers; 19  in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.” 20  2:13 Again he says, 21  “I will be confident in him,” and again, “Here I am, 22  with 23  the children God has given me.” 24  2:14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, he likewise shared in 25  their humanity, 26  so that through death he could destroy 27  the one who holds the power of death (that is, the devil), 2:15 and set free those who were held in slavery all their lives by their fear of death. 2:16 For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham’s descendants. 2:17 Therefore he had 28  to be made like his brothers and sisters 29  in every respect, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest in things relating to God, to make atonement 30  for the sins of the people. 2:18 For since he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

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1 sn The message spoken through angels refers to the OT law, which according to Jewish tradition was mediated to Moses through angels (cf. Deut 33:2; Ps 68:17-18; Acts 7:38, 53; Gal 3:19; and Jub. 1:27, 29; Josephus, Ant. 15.5.3 [15.136]).

2 tn Grk “through angels became valid and every violation.”

3 tn Grk “God bearing witness together” (the phrase “with them” is implied).

4 tn Grk “and distributions of the Holy Spirit.”

5 sn The phrase the world to come means “the coming inhabited earth,” using the Greek term which describes the world of people and their civilizations.

6 sn See the previous reference to the world in Heb 1:6.

7 tn Grk “remember him.”

8 tc Several witnesses, many of them early and important (א A C D* P Ψ 0243 0278 33 1739 1881 al lat co), have at the end of v 7, “You have given him dominion over the works of your hands.” Other mss, not quite as impressive in weight, lack the words (Ì46 B D2 Ï). In spite of the impressive external evidence for the longer reading, it is most likely a scribal addition to conform the text of Hebrews to Ps 8:6 (8:7 LXX). Conformity of a NT quotation of the OT to the LXX was a routine scribal activity, and can hardly be in doubt here as to the cause of the longer reading.

9 tn Grk “you subjected all things under his feet.”

sn A quotation from Ps 8:4-6.

10 sn The expression all things under his control occurs three times in 2:8. The latter two occurrences are not exactly identical to the Greek text of Ps 8:6 quoted at the beginning of the verse, but have been adapted by the writer of Hebrews to fit his argument.

11 tn Or “who was made a little lower than the angels.”

12 tn Grk “because of the suffering of death.”

13 tn Grk “would taste.” Here the Greek verb does not mean “sample a small amount” (as a typical English reader might infer from the word “taste”), but “experience something cognitively or emotionally; come to know something” (cf. BDAG 195 s.v. γεύομαι 2).

14 tn Grk “for whom are all things and through whom are all things.”

15 sn The Greek word translated pioneer is used of a “prince” or leader, the representative head of a family. It also carries nuances of “trailblazer,” one who breaks through to new ground for those who follow him. It is used some thirty-five times in the Greek OT and four times in the NT, always of Christ (Acts 3:15; 5:31; Heb 2:10; 12:2).

16 tn Grk “are all from one.”

17 tn Grk “for which reason.”

18 tn Grk “brothers,” but the Greek word may be used for “brothers and sisters” as here (cf. BDAG 18 s.v. ἀδελφός 1, where considerable nonbiblical evidence for the plural ἀδελφοί [adelfoi] meaning “brothers and sisters” is cited). The context here also indicates both men and women are in view; note especially the collective τὰ παιδία (ta paidia) in v. 14.

19 tn Here, because of its occurrence in an OT quotation, τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς (tois adelfois) has been translated simply as “brothers” rather than “brothers and sisters” (see the note on the latter phrase in the previous verse).

20 sn A quotation from Ps 22:22.

21 tn Grk “and again,” as a continuation of the preceding.

22 tn Grk “behold, I,” but this construction often means “here is/there is” (cf. BDAG 468 s.v. ἰδού 2).

23 tn Grk “and.”

24 sn A quotation from Isa 8:17-18.

25 tn Or “partook of” (this is a different word than the one in v. 14a).

26 tn Grk “the same.”

27 tn Or “break the power of,” “reduce to nothing.”

28 tn Or “he was obligated.”

29 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 2:11.

30 tn Or “propitiation.”

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