Saturday Bible Class: The Person of Christ–The Son of God (Part 2)
The Glory of the Son Revealed in the OT
READ Hebrews 1:5-14
This Bible Class takes a passage of scripture and shows how to methodically study verse by verse. We hope to do so without losing the scope of the Epistle. In the previous class, we remembered that ch1-4 concern the Person of Christ. We interpreted remembering that Chapter 1 presents the Christ as the manifestation of God to men. He is God Himself, the Son of God. Finally, when looking at some of the details in the verses, we also saw that verses 1-4 has the focus of Communications from Heaven: The Final Revelation in the Son.
Verses 5-14 – Communications in Heaven: The Glory of the Son Revealed in the OT
Angels were highly regarded by the Jewish people, but they do not compare to the Son who is God and Creator. V1-4 include seven excellencies of the Son. These verses use seven quotations from the Old Testament to show that the Scriptures themselves detail how the Son is so much better than angels. These quotations are not communications from heaven, but communications between the Father and Son to prove His superiority. These verses expand on verse 4, showing that the Son has “by inheritance a more excellent name” than the angels.
V5-6 – Unchallenged Relationship of the Son – Angels worship the Son
The writer shows the superiority of the Son to the angels because He is the Son by relationship. Three Old Testament quotations demonstrate this, showing that the relationship between God and the Son is not something new, but was spoken of by the prophets of old. It is a vastly different relationship than that of God and the angels.
First, Psalm 2:7 is quoted. No angel has ever been declared as the Son. This Psalm is also quoted in Acts 13:33 where it is used of a Saviour being raised up. Notice there the distinction between a Saviour raised up and being raised up from the dead. It is also found in Hebrews 5:5 showing that the One who called Christ “Son,” is the same who glorified Him as High Priest. The point of this quotation is simply to demonstrate relationship in that God has declared that the glorious One of v1-4 His Son.
Secondly, 2 Samuel 7:14 is quoted, where Samuel is confirming a covenant between God and David. David will have a son, to whom God will be His Father. The writer highlights this verse from the OT and shows that this was spoken of the Son of God, the One greater than Solomon. Not only would the glorious One of v1-4 be declared a Son, but God would also be His Father.
Lastly, Deuteronomy 32:43 (Septuagint only - Greek Translation of the OT Hebrew Scriptures) is quoted in which God declares that the angels must worship the Son. This will occur when He comes again in glory. The Greek New Testament word order at the beginning of verse 6 is different than in many English translations. The NET Bible follows the proper word order and translates, “And when He again bringeth...”. Hebrews 10:5 thinks of His first coming into the world, but here the Hebrew writer points to a coming day when the angels of God will worship the Son when He comes again in glory. He was greater and remains greater than angels.
V7-12 – Unending Kingship of the Son – Angels created by the Son
Notice that the Son is greater because of His right to rule eternally. Three more quotations are chosen by the writer, each from the Psalms. The first is concerning angels, and the last two are about the Son.
First, Psalm 104:4 is quoted to show that the purpose of creating angels was for service. The reference to spirits, or “winds,” shows their changeability and ability to take on the necessary form to meet the changing work which God has for them. This is in contrast to the Son whose throne is “forever and ever,” (v8) and who is “the same” (v12). The reference to fire reminds us of the dependence upon other elements such as fuel, heat and oxygen – so they are dependent creatures. The Son, however, is the LORD, in the beginning, who is without need.
Secondly, Psalm 45:6-7 is chosen to emphasize the Deity of the Son and His eternal right to rule, in stark contrast to the serving angels. Notice that the Son is God, being directly addressed as “God” in the Psalm. He also has a throne, and therefore is a King. This looks forward to the Millennium when the “King shall reign in righteousness,” (Isa 32:1) and foreshadows what is to come in the letter in relation to being a Melchizedekian priest. This King’s rule contrasts greatly to politics of this world, where corruption and self-assertion reign.
Lastly, Psalm 102:25-27 demonstrates that He is the Creator and unchanging, unlike the creation. We have already noted that angels are dependent, changeable creatures whose purpose is reliant upon God. The Son differs in that He was at the beginning, He laid the foundations of the earth and created the heavens. He is independent of the decaying creation, which will be folded up, put away, and changed; He remains the same. Notice in both the first and last chapters of the book, God – the Son, Jesus is the same; a necessary realization for the Hebrew reader.
V13-14 – Unrivaled Lordship – Angels sent by the Son
The final quotation of the chapter is from Psalm 110:1. It demonstrates that authority and acceptance which the Son has as Lord. He is the One who is seated at the right hand of God, whereas the angels are sent forth and do not occupy such a place with God.
Angels also serve the believer. They are servants appointed to do the bidding of God for the sake of the heirs of salvation. The Son is a co-ruler as God at the right hand, yet angels do work for God. Angels’ ministry is a benefit for all those who are to be saved from the presence of sin at the manifestation of our Saviour in glory.