10/07/16 Hebrews 2:10-18 “Our High Priest made like His brethren to save them”

All too often calvinists try to limit the atonement to the elect only, without any scriptural justification whatsoever – note “The answer is simple: The "all" are the Christians.” (1 Timothy 2:4) (http://www.calvinistcorner.com/all-men-saved.htm) from last week! (They probably prefer to call themselves “reform”, or even refer to their beliefs as “the doctrines of grace”, possibly in an effort to mislead those who might think that calvinism is too extreme. Although grace is something calvinism is seriously lacking!)

Psalm 8 was written about mankind in general, yet I’m sure they’d claim that it was only about the elect, in order to bolster their false assumption that Hebrews 2:9 was just for believers only! However, Psalm 8 was clearly written about mankind in general as can be noted that the only reason to limit it in any way rests upon a false interpretation of Hebrews 2:9, with something like taste death for everyone. Everyone who believes, that is. So as we go through this study, put aside any cultural and other beliefs that might influence our interpretations, and read only what is in the Bible, taking context and consistency into account, of course.


Note that Vs 9 (last week) commenced with “but” which provides a contrast with the previous statement in Vs 8 concerning man – “now we do not yet see all things put under him.” Vs 9 went on to say “But” Jesus achieved what man was not achieving, nor would ever achieve on his own. Note the key word for Hebrews is “better”. Now onto Vs 10:


Hebrews 2:10For it became Him, for whom {are} all things, and by whom {are} all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.


This clearly follows on from Jesus tasting death for everyone in Vs 9.

For – but; moreover; and. It is a conjunction; thus it is connecting two parts of a statement. It is a continuative word; thus it continues on from the verse before.

it became (Him) – seemly; fitting. It was the right thing to do, especially if He desired to make redemption available for all mankind, as spoken of in …..

1 Timothy 2:3-43 For this {is} good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.


And, of course, the same teaching may be found consistently throughout the Bible, both O.T. and N.T. Thus, it became Him (it was fitting) that Jesus should do that which should bring about the payment for the sins of all people (to “taste death for every man”). Nowhere in the Bible does it say that we go to hell to pay for our sins. We die in our sins and because of our sins, but we do not die to make payment for even one of them. Logically it is impossible to pay for even one sin in hell, or else, given all eternity (infinite time available), we could pay for all our sins! We go to hell because our works are not sufficient to pay for our acceptance into God’s presence.

Revelation 20:12bthe dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. (Also see Romans 4:4-5)


for whom are all things – Jesus is the one who is all in all, who created all things by His will for His pleasure.

Revelation 4:11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.

pleasure – translated “will” 62 times, “desire” 1 time, “pleasure” 1 time.

Colossians 1:16-1716 For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether {they be} thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him: 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist.


bringing many sons unto glory – see Romans 8:17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with {Him}, that we may be also glorified together.

Note “many”, not the “few”! “many” here means “many; much; large” that is, a lot! “many” here can only mean a portion of the whole group if the context cannot allow it to mean the whole group.


captain – the chief leader; prince (esp. Christ); one that takes the lead in anything and thus affords an example; the author. A term of prestige and authority, also used of one who goes first that others may follow. Note:

1 Peter 2:21For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps:

Also chief leader as first-born from the dead:

Colossians 1:18And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all {things} He might have the preeminence.

That is, to make the first-born, or leader by example, of the salvation of mankind perfect (complete, brought to an end, accomplished) through sufferings. And those who suffer with Him will reign with Him – 2 Timothy 2:12. Also see:

Romans 8:18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time {are} not worthy {to be compared} with the glory which shall be revealed in us.


Hebrews 2:11For both He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified {are} all of one: for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren,


That is, both Jesus who sanctifies (makes holy; consecrates; sets apart for God) and those being sanctified (made holy etc) are all of one. Many sons, one Father.

John 17:21That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, {art} in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.

That is, we are one with the One who sanctifies, we are in Christ, part of His body.

Colossians 3:3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

1 Corinthians 12:13aFor by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body,

Also see Colossians 1:18 above – And He is the head of the body, the church:

Note however Luke 9:26For whosoever shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He shall come in His own glory, and {in His} Father's, and of the holy angels.

and 1 John 2:28And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.


brethrenadelphos (brothers, countrymen, all men, brothers in Christ) Thus this word could signify either mankind in general, or fellow-Christians in particular. The quote from Psalm 8 suggests that it can be taken as mankind in general, all men. However, it could also mean particularly fellow-Christians. I believe that at one level it means Christ has become as man to share their form and living, in order to identify with them (John 1:14). Christ calls mankind His brethren rather than the angels (Hebrews 2:16). However, in particular, Christ calls those who follow Him (that is, Christians) His brethren; this is the main idea of “brethren” here – for these are the “sanctified” ones. Context clearly supports these brethren being particularly brothers in Christ.


Hebrews 2:12Saying, “I will declare Thy name unto My brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto Thee.” (Psalm 22:22)


This is a messianic psalm which has a number of messianic prophecies.

Psalm 22:16-1816 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17 I may tell all my bones: they look {and} stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

So the Messiah will declare (proclaim; make openly known) God’s name to the joint-heirs of salvation with the Messiah (see Romans 8:17), those who are called brethren in Vs 11.


churchekklesia (translated “church” 115 times, “assembly” 3 times)

This appears to be clearly teaching that Jesus the Messiah will be united in praise with His brethren (Christians) in the assembly of His people (the church). I wonder just how many “Christians” in Australia today actually take note that the presence (or lack?) of the Messiah in their midst worshipping the Father with them is a measure of the value God puts upon our worship each Sunday morning? Note that “sanctifieth” and “sanctified” (Vs 11) appear to be continuous, that is, ongoing.


Hebrews 2:13And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again, “Behold I and the children which God hath given me.


Psalm 18:2The Lord {is} my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, {and} my high tower.

Isaiah 8:18Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me {are} for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.


John 17:11-1211 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as We {are}. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Thy name: those that Thou gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.


trust – confidence. This is self-explanatory; note also “faith” in Hebrews 11:6.


the children which God hath given Me – It does appear as if a set number of people are given to Jesus and the calvinist eagerly declares this to be the elect. However, three points must be noted:

(a) clear teaching shows that God chooses His elect using foreknowledge (1 Peter 1:2aElect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father), and that these children (according to God’s foreknowledge) are then given by the Father to the Son.

(b) the primary application of John 17 is for the disciples; thus to apply it to the church, while applicable, is secondary only.

(c) one of those given to the Son (John 17:12) is actually lost (Judas), so being given to Jesus cannot be taken as a guarantee of salvation as calvinists would like it to be!


Also note John 6:70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? (chosen = eklegomai; elect = eklektos – a form of eklegomai)

The primary meaning of “the children” in Vs 13 is those who have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved, although it can also be put that God has given all to the Son! Remember that Hebrews refers in general to all mankind and in particular to Christians (believers).


Hebrews 2:14Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;


Because the children (of Vs 13) are flesh and blood humans (not spirit beings like angels – this is leading toward a conclusion in Vs 16), Jesus Himself had to become flesh and blood (that is, human, incarnate) to share our nature. As such He could die as a man in our place, something He couldn’t do if He remained in the form of God.

John 1:14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Philippians 2:8And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.


As man He could experience our lives and thus demonstrate sympathy for us.

Hebrews 4:15For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as {we are, yet} without sin.


And as God who was man, Jesus, by dying as a perfectly righteous man, destroyed the works of the one who had the power of death, that is, the devil.

Romans 6:9Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.

John 12:31Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

Revelation 1:18I {am} He that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.


destroy – render inoperative; deprive of force, influence, or power; bring to nothing; annul; render impotent.

power – force; strength; dominion

flesh and blood – literally “blood and flesh” – as also in Ephesians 6:12.


The first Adam brought death into the world; the last Adam (Christ) brought life.

1 Corinthians 15:45-4745 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam {was made} a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that {was} not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man {is} of the earth, earthy: the second Man {is} the Lord from heaven.

Romans 5:15But not as the offence, so also {is} the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, {which is} by one Man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (Note that both “many”s are the same word.)

Romans 5:21That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.


Hebrews 2:15And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.


fearphobos (fear; dread; terror) Where we get our word “phobia” from.

This is more of an irrational fear, in the same way that we can be afraid of heights, spiders, enclosed spaces, etc. It is a fear that literally puts us under its bondage. It is the fear that a condemned man feels when he is waiting for the act of execution to be carried out. He might be given a good last meal, but it will lack any good taste because of the fear of what is coming next. Such people cannot enjoy anything of life because they have too much dread of encroaching death. People in general have a fear of death. It is either the end of life as they know it, or it is a gateway into the unknown, yet probably fearful after-world.


Could people really be fearful of the after-world in today’s world? They would if they could see what was coming! As the saying goes: ignorance is bliss! But for those who have been given the knowledge of most high God (such as the Hebrew audience of this epistle), ignorance of what the Scriptures taught was not possible. The writer to Hebrews says to not neglect so great salvation. Some may have been saved (released from bondage), but this is teaching about those who have heard the Word of truth, yet still remain under the bondage of the condemnation of death. Even the pharisees kept their “law” in an irrational effort to work their way into heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:54-5754 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where {is} thy sting? O grave, where {is} thy victory? 56 The sting of death {is} sin; and the strength of sin {is} the law. 57 But thanks {be} to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


Hebrews 2:16For verily He took not on {Him the nature of} angels; but He took on {Him} the seed of Abraham.


Jesus came, not as an angel, but as a man, in order to assist (that is, save) mankind. That is, angels cannot be saved, yet man can be saved, simply because Jesus came in the form of a man, not an angel. Saving grace, and therefore justification, redemption, eternal life, was in the form of a man, not an angel.


It mentions the seed (descendants) of Abraham, so some could suggest that this was only for the elect nation of Israel. Being written to the Hebrews, it is logical that such a statement might have been made relevant to them. However, Paul in Romans teaches that the true spiritual children of Abraham are those by faith, not necessarily by birth, and that this included both Gentiles and Jews. Benson’s commentary says it means “believers of the human species” and Matthew Poole says “it is the one singular, eminent Seed of Abraham, in and by whom, himself, his seed, and all nations were to be blessed”.


Hebrews 2:17Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be made like unto {His} brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things {pertaining} to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.


Thus, Jesus had to become like (in the same form as) His brethren (those who could become joint-heirs with Him in glory, the Church). That is, He had to take on the form of a man in order to be qualified to be their High Priest. He couldn’t be their High Priest without being one with them, to share in their human-ness, and to take their place as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. “His brethren” here are once again in general those who require a Saviour (that is, all mankind) and in particular those who have accepted His sacrifice by faith (that is, Christians). Thus He can be merciful because He has suffered with them (Vs 18) by having a nature like ours.


He is faithful because He has kept (and will continue to keep) all His promises.

2 Peter 1:4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Also note 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us {our} sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


A faithful High Priest would save to the uttermost all those who trust in Him.

Hebrews 7:25-2625 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them. 26 For such an High Priest became us, {who is} holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Note faithfulness in the following: Luke 22:42Saying, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me: nevertheless not My will, but Thine, be done.”


to make reconciliation forhilaskomai (be merciful; make reconciliation; make propitiation for) Note its translation as “be merciful” in the following:

Luke 18:13And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as {his} eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”

The noun form of this is used in 1 John 2:2And He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for {the sins of} the whole world.


people –a people; people group; tribe; nation; all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere.

It doesn’t say “the whole world” as per 1 John 2:2. but consistency requires that it cannot oppose this meaning. So “people” here is used in a general sense, not a particular people but people in general. If you are classed as “people”, then you are included.


Hebrews 2:18For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.


There are two words that need to be compared here: “sympathy” and “empathy”. Sympathy is being able to relate to another’s feelings but from without. Empathy is the placing of yourself in the other person’s shoes, so to speak. This is empathy, rather than sympathy. If He understands because He has experienced it, then He can relate to our needs concerning temptation (and trials and tribulations – see (c) below).


Note: (a) When Jesus was tempted in Matthew 4:1-11, He didn’t sin by giving into the temptation. However, the question still stands: could He have sinned, or was it impossible for Him as God to sin? One side (the majority) says that as God, Jesus could not have sinned. The other side (the minority) says that if He couldn’t have sinned, then how could He have been tempted?

(b) Temptation to sin comes upon all Christians, but dissatisfaction causes them to fall. Satisfied Christians cannot really be tempted, for if they are satisfied, then what can be offered to them that they could desire more than they already have? If only Christians could stop seeing the grass on the other side as being greener!

(c) tempted – to solicit sin or entice to sin; to try or to test one’s faith, virtue, character; to be tried, tested. Thus “tempted” could mean not only being enticed to sin, but also having your faith tested by trials and tribulations. Both these aspects are acceptable in the context of Vs 18 above.


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