Hebrews – Chapter 2

Hebrews 2:1-18 from the Commentary in Translation Version

(1)  For this reason, it is necessary to more exceedingly hold to those things, which we have heard, lest at any time we drift away.
(2)  For if the word having been spoken by angels was proved sure, and every transgression and refusal to hear received a just retribution,
(3)  How is it possible that we, yes we!, should escape, having ignored so great a salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was proven sure unto us by those that heard him?

The writer here begins his warning against apostasy by Christians. In the previous chapter, he gives a small reminder of just who Christ is and now he turns his attention to warning his readers that because Christ is who He is, then turning on Him causes eternal separation. We are told to hold to the things of Christ unless we drift away. This is not merely a hypothetical action, but clearly a reality – the writer says ‘we’, including himself. The ‘we’ is emphatic.

He then compares the words of the angels to the Words of the Lord. If disobedience to the words brought by angels brought retribution, then what will the avenue of escape (salvation) be to those that drift away from the word of the Lord? Remember, to drift away means that you were there once. This is statement refers to those Christians that are negligent in holding to the things of Christ.

(4)  God also bore witness, both with signs and wonders, and with various works of divine power, and according to his will, the distributions of the holy spirit,
(5)  For he did not subject the world to come concerning which we speak to angels.
(6)  But one, somewhere, fully testified saying: what is man that you remember him, or the son of man that you come to his aid?
(7)  You made him a little lower than the angels, gave him a victor’s crown with glory and honor, and set him over the works of your hands; you have put all things in subjection under his feet.
(8)  For in subjecting all things to him, he left nothing not subjected. Yet, at present, we do not see everything subject to him.
(9)  Moreover we see Jesus, the one who for a short while was made lower than the angels so that he, by the grace of God should experience death for every man, we see him crowned as victor with glory and honor because of the suffering of death.
(10)  For it was fitting for him, for whose sake all things exist and by whom all things came into existence, in bringing as he did many sons unto glory, to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
(11)  For both he that sacrifices and they who are sanctified are out of one—for this reason, he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
(12)  Saying: I will declare the name of God to my brethren; in the middle of the assembly, I will sing praise unto God.
(13)  And again: Behold, I and the children that God has given me.
(14)  Seeing then that the children share in common flesh and blood, he also in like manner took hold of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had dominion of death, that is, the devil,
(15)  And release those, who through the fear of death were subjects of slavery, throughout their life.
(16)  It is well known that he does not give aid to angels, but he gives aid to the seed of Abraham.
(17)  Therefore, it was an obligation to become like his brethren that he be compassionate, and so a faithful high priest in the things pertaining to God, in order to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
(18)  For in that he suffered, himself being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

This thought ends with a plea that if Christ suffered such things, then He is able to help us through our temptations. In doing this, the writer shows first that Christ is here to help us, and secondly that we can indeed be tempted and if tempted, then tempted to what? Apostasy.

Post By Joel L. Watts (10,153 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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