For while we live in this fallen world we have faith, hope and love but in the world to come we have need of love alone (1 Cor. 13:13). Thus, faith is belief against doubt, in the Olam Haba there will be no doubt. Hope is the assurance of things unseen, in the Olam Haba all will be revealed. But love, love is eternal. God is love.
The sum of this passage is almost too simple to accept. That, for a little while (a short time) Yeshua became lower (not less than God, but God with us [Immanuel] that is, God within Himself) than the messengers: both the prophets of old [as stipulated in Hebrews 1:1], and the Malakhim (messengers, angels, aggelos[G], elohim[H]) who had participated as mediators of the Torah (Instruction) of God prior to Yeshua’s having been born into time.
Yeshua, Who is ha-Davar (the living Word, Essence, Substance) is the sole mediator between God and man, in that His sacrificial suffering unto death, His resurrection and ascension bring those who believe, face to face with God. In short, if we want to hear from God, we must accept His gracious offer and speak directly with Him. If we are in Messiah, we now have no need of chasing angels and prophets to mediate on your behalf. God wants to engage with us intimately and personally through His Son Yeshua. Our modern propensity for seeking to hear from God through human and angelic mediators is anti-Messiah. Yeshua the Messiah has come to speak to us directly, God loves us that much. He doesn’t want to be fobbed off to some prophetic intermediary. We spit in His face when we seek out mediocre substitutes.
The death from which Messiah resurrected, cancels out the power of death (previously held by Satan), and gives hope to those who live with the physical reality of death on a daily basis). The conclusion being, that because He has suffered, we can be free from the fear of death (the power of death) because the power of death is not death itself but rather fear of the second death. In Messiah we need not fear what comes next because what comes next is, as the text states, the Olam Haba (world to come) which is, through Messiah Yeshua, subject once more under His reign, to humanity, just as the earth once was, before we (humanity) invited death into the world through sin via its agent, Satan.
In Messiah we are assured of life everlasting, not because we won’t die but because having died, we will live in Him (John 11:25). Therefore (which is how this chapter begins) we need no longer surrender to the power of death because the power of death is the fear of the unknown but the promise of God is that we are known in Him and that through His Son we will exist in right relationship with Him for all eternity. In addition to all this future hope, we have the assurance that He has suffered in every way as a human being and has endured. Why is this reassuring? Because we know that He identifies with us and is suffering in us when we suffer and like Him, we are being brought to eternal completion, made perfect in what we suffer, just as He was. We now know His Glory, though our eyes fail us, our hearts (the convergence of our entire being) see beyond the power of death to the Olam Haba (world to come). This is love, this is what remains. For while we live in this fallen world we have faith, hope and love but in the world to come we have need of love alone (1 Cor. 13:13). Thus, faith is belief against doubt, in the Olam Haba there will be no doubt. Hope is the assurance of things unseen, in the Olam Haba all will be revealed. But love, love is eternal. God is love.
As is the case with all Scripture (scrolls of the original texts), there are no chapter breaks or verse markers (or punctuation for that matter) in the scroll of the Book to the Hebrews. It’s important to see the text of this chapter as a continuation of the previous chapter, the last verses of chapter 1 being:
‘13 Moreover, to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I set Your enemies as a footstool for Your feet”? [Psalm 110:1] 14 Are they not all ministering, serving spirits, sent out appointed to help those who will receive salvation?’
Therefore, we carry the theme of Messiah’s supremacy and the role of His angelic servants with us as we read on…
BOOK TO THE HEBREWS Chapter 2 (Author’s translation)
1 For this reason, upon this precept we must continually pay more heed to that which we have heard, received, understood in spoken words, essences, substances so that we don’t carelessly drift away. 2 For if the word, essence, substance spoken through angels/messengers was made unalterable, and every violation, individual, and collective an act of disobedience which receives a just punishment, by the rod of judgement 3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? If we hate the things which are our life? After it was in the beginning received, spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various and numerous powerful miracles and by gifts of His Holy Spirit according to His own will. 5 For He did not make subject to angels the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But someone has testified in a certain place, saying, “What is man, that You are mindful of him? Or a son of man, that You have visited him? 7 You have made him for a little while lower than angels; You have crowned him with glory and honour; 8 You have put everything, individually and collectively in subjection under his feet.”[ Psalm 8:4-6] For in subjecting all things, individually and collectively to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things individually and collectively subjected to Him. 9 But now we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels /messengers, Yeshua, through His suffering death crowned with glory and honour, splendour, so that by the grace, unmerited favour, practical love of God He might eat death for everyone, individually and collectively. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things individually and collectively and through Whom are all things individually and collectively, in bringing many sons into glory, splendour, genius, the Author, Originator, Prince of their salvation through sufferings, to perfect, consecrate, fulfil, complete. 11 For both He who sanctifies, consecrates, atones and those who are sanctified, consecrated, atoned for, are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying, “I will proclaim, show, tell Your name to My brothers, In the midst of the assembly I will sing Your praise.” [Psalm 22:22] 13 And again, “I will put My trust, hope, confidence, belief in Him.” And again, “Behold, pay attention, now I and the young children whom My God has given Me.” [Isaiah 8:17-18] 14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself similarly also became a partaker of the same, so that through death He might do away with, abolish, cause to cease the one who had the dominion of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free, deliver those who through fear of death were all the days of their lives guilty, subject to bondage. 16 For doubtless He does not take hold of angels, messengers, but He takes hold of the seed, issue of Abraham. [re. Isaiah 41:8-9] 17 Therefore, in all things individually and collectively He had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful, true high priest in things pertaining, before the face of God, to make atoning reconciliation upon the sins [missing the mark set by God’s holiness] of the people. 18 Now since He Himself suffered temptation, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
HEBREWS 2 (line by line)
1 For (dia[G]) this reason (alt. Upon this mitzvah[H]) we must (dei[G]) pay more (perissos[G]) heed (prosechō[G]) (ad-meod[H] perpetually more) to that which we have heard, received, understood (akouō[G]) [alt. Badevariym asher shamanu[H] in the spoken words, essences, substances] so that we don’t (mēpote[G]) carelessly drift away (pararrhueō[G]).2 For if the word, essence, substance (logos[G], ha davar[H]) spoken through angels/messengers (aggelos[G]) (alt. al-piy malakhiym[H] upon the face of angels) was made (ginomai[G]) unalterable (bebaios[G]), and every violation, individual, collective (pas[G]) an act of disobedience (parakoē[G]) which receives a just (endikos[G]) punishment, (misthapodosia[G]), (alt. besheivet mishpat[H] with the rod of judgement)
1 For this reason, upon this precept we must continually pay more heed to that which we have heard, received, understood in spoken words, essences, substances so that we don’t carelessly drift away.
This is the first of five warnings placed throughout the book, exhorting these early Jewish believers not to “drift away”.
1.Having received Yeshua as superior to all powers and His Gospel as superior to the Torah, and having understood that the angelic beings are His servants sent to help you, be intentional in paying heed to the Gospel message so that you don’t drift away.
“For this reason, upon this precept…” For what reason? For the reason that Yeshua is not merely another angel but is the Son of God and the promised King Messiah, and for the reason that God has defeated all enemies of Messiah and the people over whom He reigns and has made the ultimate enemy His footstool, and for the reason that Yeshua the King Messiah is superior to all mediators of God’s redemptive purposes being the Author and Goal of the Torah (given upon the face of angels), and finally, for the reason that the angelic forces are present to serve God under the reign of Messiah by helping those who are receiving Yeshua’s saving work and have become His “brothers” and sisters (v.12).
“we must continually pay more heed to that which we have heard, so that we don’t carelessly drift away.” This admonishment expresses to the early believing Jewish community the need to be intentional in perpetuating the message given to them by those who received that message directly from Yeshua. That message being that Yeshua God’s Son as both Author and Goal of the Torah is superior to the Torah.
Throughout this chapter the writer of Hebrews uses the familiar historical circumstances of the giving of the Torah, and the traditions of angelic facilitation, both Biblical and extra-Biblical, to make a correlation with the importance of the revelation of the Gospel of the King Messiah Yeshua, which is superior by nature of its ability to free its recipients from the just punishment for sin, required by the Torah indictment against sin.
The need to “pay more heed” means that they were not paying enough attention to the Gospel of Yeshua, and the purpose of “paying more heed” was to prevent “carelessly drifting away” from the Gospel of Yeshua, and the greater illumination of God’s redemptive purposes in Him.
2 For if the word, essence, substance spoken through angels
/messengers was made unalterable, and every violation, individual, and collective an act of disobedience which receives a just punishment, by the rod of judgement
“For if the Word (Yeshua) spoken through angels/messengers was made unalterable” The Word (Yeshua) ministered His essence through His servants both angelic and human, and in particular at Sinai in the giving of the Torah, and that word (the moral laws of written Torah Instruction) was made “unalterable” (something that proponents of rejecting Torah entirely fail to comprehend). The moral law of Torah is said to be “unalterable”. Therefore, Yeshua has not come to remove Torah but to bring resolution to the problem of sin which the Torah exposes.
The angelic forces are subject to Messiah and ultimately those same forces will be subject to redeemed humanity (1:14). However, as servants of God they were present in the giving of the Torah at Sinai and are acknowledged by the rabbis as having an important role to play in God’s work. The fact that this was general knowledge among observant Jews of the first century is evident elsewhere in the Brit HaChadashah (NT) [Acts 7:53].
“The Lord came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone from Mount Paran,
And He came from the midst of myriads of holy ones;
At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.” -Deuteronomy 33:2 NASB
“The chariots of God are myriads, thousands upon thousands;
The Lord is among them as at Sinai, in holiness.” -Psalms 68:17 (18) NASB
“This is the one who was in the [y]assembly in the wilderness together with the angel who spoke to him at length on Mount Sinai, and who was with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to you…
"you who received the Law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.”
-Acts 7:38, 53 NASB
“Why the Law then? It was added on account of the violations, having been ordered through angels at the hand of a mediator, until the Seed would come to whom the promise had been made.” -Galatians 3:19 NASB
“and every violation, individual, and collective an act of disobedience which receives a just punishment, by the rod of judgement” This is in the present continuous sense and therefore continues to be applicable to those who act in disobedience to the Word (written Torah).
The Torah continues to be the measure by which right and wrong actions are accessed (Exodus 20:22-23:33). The superiority of Yeshua over Torah does not negate the moral imperatives set by Torah, which, as the text says, have been “made unalterable”. In fact, they are unalterable because Yeshua is superior, His Word being the very essence of Torah.
Ultimately every violation of Torah demands just punishment which can be mitigated only by the atoning blood of the King Messiah Yeshua in Whose book the righteous are written (Rev. 20:11-15).
3 how (eiykh[H]) will we escape (ekpheugō[G]) if we neglect (ameleo[G]) so great (tēlikoutos[G], rav[H]) a salvation (sōtēria[G], l’yesha[H]) [alt. “if we hate the things which are our life”[A] re. Deut. 32:45-47]? After it was in the beginning (archē[G], meirosh[H]) received (lambanō[G]), spoken (laleō[G]) through the Lord (kurios[G], ha-Adon[H]), it was confirmed (bebaioō[G], vayeiamein[H]) to us by those who heard (akouō[G]), 4 God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]) also bearing witness (sunepimartureō[G]) with them, both by signs (sēmeion[G], beotot[H]) and wonders (teras[G], uvmopetiym[H]), and by various and numerous (poikilos[G]) powerful miracles (dunamis[G], veniflaot[H]) and by gifts (merismos[G]) of His Holy Spirit (pneuma hagios[G], Ruach kadsho[H]) according to His own will (thelēsis[G]).
3 how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? If we hate the things which are our life? [Deut. 32:45-47] After it was in the beginning received, spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, 4 God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various and numerous powerful miracles and by gifts of His Holy Spirit according to His own will.
“how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” This question regards a correlation between the revelation of Torah at Sinai and the superior revelation of Yeshua. If those who witnessed the giving of the Torah at Sinai are accountable for how they responded to the Instruction God had given, how much more so those who have received the salvation from the just punishment of the Torah through Yeshua the King Messiah.
“So great a salvation” refers to both Yeshua and the salvation He has purchased in His blood. In short, the Torah (in particular the moral law of Torah applicable to all humanity) makes the indictment against sin clear and Yeshua is the One Who has purchased our freedom from the just result of that indictment, therefore, “How will we escape if we neglect Yeshua?” Given that He is the only means of our being set free from the consequences of our sin (missing the mark set by God’s holiness). This is spoken to Jewish believers as a reminder so that they do not turn back from faith in Yeshua due to the false teaching concerning Him which was being proliferated by fellow Jews of the developing rabbinical order. This same warning is spoken to Messiah following Jews today, “Do not return to the bondage of Law keeping, but stand firm in Messiah Yeshua, in Whose blood we have received freedom and by whose Torah (written on our core being) we are kept.”
“10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati—whom you had crucified, whom God raised from the dead—this one stands before you whole. 11 This Yeshua is ‘the stone—rejected by you, the builders—that has become the chief cornerstone.’ 12 There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved!” -Acts 4:10-12 TLV
“If we hate the things which are our life?” This translation of the Aramaic text is helpful because it clarifies the connection to Torah. It is a quotation of the Torah:
“45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you will command your sons to follow carefully, all the words of this Law. 47 For it is not a trivial matter for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess.” -Deuteronomy 32:45-47 NASB
“After it was in the beginning received, spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard,” This makes a further correlation between the Gospel of Yeshua and the Torah. Like the Torah the Gospel was given by God, only the message of the Gospel is brought directly by Yeshua Who is God with us, and speaks directly to first century (C.E) Israel. Having heard Yeshua speak the Gospel in person the disciples had passed on what they had heard directly from God and not by the facilitation of angelic beings as was the case with the Torah.
“God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders, and by various and numerous powerful miracles and by gifts of His Holy Spirit according to His own will.” Just as God had affirmed the Instruction given at Sinai in signs, wonders, and miracles (Exodus. 7:3; Deut. 4:34; 6:22), so too He had come by His Spirit to affirm the superior Word of Yeshua to those who received Him. God Himself bearing witness to the authority given to Yeshua and the superiority of His Gospel of sacrificial, atoning, substitutionary reconciliation (Acts 2:4-12, 43; 3:7-9, 11-12; 15:12; 1 Cor. 12:4-11; Rom. 12:6-8; Eph. 4:11).
5 For He did not make subject to angels (aggelos[G], ha-malakhiym[H]) the world to come (oikoumenē mellō[G], et-haolam heatiyr lavo[H]), about which we are speaking. 6 But someone has testified (diamarturomai[G]) in a certain place, saying (legō[G], haomeir[H]), “What is man (anthrōpos[G], mah-anosh[H]), that You are mindful of him (mimnēskō[G])? Or a son (uihos[G], ben[H]) of man (anthrōpos[G], adam[H]), that You have visited (episkeptomai[G]) him?
5 For He did not make subject to angels the world to come, about which we are speaking.
The “world to come” is used here to describe not only the Olam Haba but also the inception of the Messianic age as it pertains to Yeshua’s first coming. Therefore, there is a progression of manifestation of the Messianic Kingdom. The Gospel of Yeshua is in no way mitigated by or subject to angelic beings as the Torah was, rather both the Gospel and its manifestation upon the earth brings a sacrificial, atoning reconciliation to the sin affected earth (creation) that will return dominion to humanity through the Greater Son of David, the promised King Messiah Yeshua, Who, being the last Adam (1 Cor. 15:45), will return to rule (Psalms 110:1) and give the role of caretakers of creation back to humanity in her redeemed state (Gen. 1:28).
“So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” -1 Corinthians 15:45 TLV
6 But someone has testified in a certain place, saying, “What is man, that You are mindful of him? Or a son of man, that You have visited him?
This begins the writer’s exposition of Psalms 8:4-6 which continues to follow the theme of Yeshua’s supremacy over all creation.
The writer is quoting a Psalm known to all observant Jews of the day and as was the custom of Yeshua, he need only reference it as being Scripture in order to denote its authority. Where Yeshua said “It is written”, the writer of the Book to the Hebrews says “It is testified to in a certain place” (cf. Heb. 7:17). Which is in keeping with rabbinic Jewish tradition (Talmud Bavliy Sanhedrin, fol. 37. 1. Maimon. Hilchot Yesode Hattorsh, 3. 7. sect. 6. & Melachim, c. 11. sect. 1. Vid. Iben Ezra in Lev. xvi. 8.) The “someone” who “has testified” is king David the writer of the Psalm in question.
This Psalm speaks of the King Messiah as the son of mankind (Adam) in Whom God visits humanity.
7 You have made him for a little (brachus[G]) while lower (elattoō[G]) than angels (aggelos[G], malakhiym[H]); You have crowned him with glory (doxa[G], vekhavod[H]) and honour (time[G], hadar[H]); 8 You have put everything, individually and collectively (pas[G], kol[H]) in subjection (hupotassō[G]) under his feet (ragelayv[H]).”[ Psalm 8:4-6] For in subjecting (hupotassō[G]) all things, individually and collectively (pas[G]) to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see (horaō[G]) all things individually and collectively (pas[G]) subjected (hupotassō[G]) to Him.
7 You have made him for a little while lower than angels; You have crowned him with glory and honour;
The Hebrew text reads “elohim” rather than “malakhim”, however, elohim in this context refers to angels and not gods, as testified to by numerous ancient Jewish commentators (the Targum Yonatan, Yarchi, Iben Ezra, Kimkhi, and Ben Melekh)
This speaks of Yeshua entering time and space born to Miriyam by the seed of the Holy Spirit. His earthly ministry of sacrificial reconciliation and His resurrection and ascension returning Him to His rightful place as Heir to all things. His earthly ministry being a “little while” in respect to eternity. He allows Himself to be made temporarily lower than the angelic beings with regard to being confined to time and space. Now, He has been crowned with glory and honour by God the Father.
8 You have put everything, individually and collectively in subjection under his feet.”[ Psalm 8:4-6]
The nearest subject is Messiah. David by the Holy Spirit had prophesied the humanity and deity of the promised Messiah, His defeat of the sin affected order and the death that resulted and the subjecting of all creation to Him (1 Peter 3:22).
For in subjecting all things, individually and collectively to Him, He left nothing that is not subject to Him. But now we do not yet see all things individually and collectively subjected to him.
In short, the redemptive work of Yeshua has been completed in His death, resurrection and ascension and the future perfected outside time and space from an act of sacrificial love made within time and space. However, from within time and space, and post resurrection, the Kingdom of God is being made holy in preparation for the return of Messiah and the judgement, after which the manifest transcendent recreation will become eternal reality for all who receive the Messiah.
This concept is very similar, in fact, intertwined with the present nature of the outworking of the faith of Messiah followers.
“For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” -Hebrews 10:14 NIV
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” - Philippians 2:12 NIV
9 But now (de[G], aval[H]) we do see (blepō[G], roeym[H]) Him Who was made (elattoō[G]) for a little while lower (brachus[G]) than the angels/messengers (aggelos[G], malakhiym[H]), Yeshua[H] (Iesous[G], Jesus, YHVH is salvation), through (dia[G]) His suffering (pathēma[G]) death (thanatos[G]) crowned (stephanoō[G]) with glory (doxa[G], khavod[H]) and honour, splendour (time[G], hadar[H]), so that by the grace, unmerited favour, practical love (charis[G], chesed[H]) of God (Theos[G], meiElohiym[H]) He might eat (geuomai[G], ta’am ta’am[H]) death (thanatos[G], hamavet[H]) for everyone, individually and collectively (pas[G], kulam[H]).
9 But now we do see Him Who was made for a little while lower than the angels /messengers, Yeshua, through His suffering death crowned with glory and honour, splendour, so that by the grace, unmerited favour, practical love of God He might eat death for everyone, individually and collectively.
The writer explains the purpose of Yeshua being made lower than the angelic beings for a “little while”.
“But now we do see Him” Means, if we see Him now, we see all things made subject to Him forever, even though we live in a world that is yet to be fully subjected to Him.
He had come in the unmerited favour of God to suffer death, to consume death on behalf of all who deserve death but will be delivered from death in Yeshua. This is something a created angelic being could not do. Yeshua is the all existing God born into creation, whereas the angelic beings are created beings who serve God as helpers to creation.
Through Messiah’s substitutionary death, Death, the by-product of sin itself becomes a by-word.
“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” – Philipians 2:8 KJV
“12 So then, just as sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, in the same way death spread to all men because all sinned. 13 For up until the Torah, sin was in the world; but sin does not count as sin when there is no law. 14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in a manner similar to the violation of Adam, who is a pattern of the One to come. 15 But the gracious gift is not like the transgression. For if many died because of the transgression of one man, how much more did the grace of God overflow to many through the gift of one Man—Yeshua the Messiah. 16 Moreover, the gift is not like what happened through the one who sinned. For on the one hand, the judgment from one violation resulted in condemnation; but on the other hand, the gracious gift following many transgressions resulted in justification. [a] 17 For if by the one man’s transgression, death reigned through the one,[b] how much more shall those who receive the overflow of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Messiah Yeshua. 18 So then, through the transgression of one, condemnation came to all men; likewise, through the righteousness of one came righteousness of life to all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of one man, many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of one man, many will be set right forever.[c] 20 Now the Torah came in so that transgression might increase. But where sin increased, grace overflowed even more— 21 so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness, to eternal life through Messiah Yeshua our Lord.” -Romans 5:12-21 TLV
10 For it was fitting (prepo[G]) for Him, for Whom are all things individually and collectively (pas[G], hakol[H]) and through Whom are all things individually and collectively (pas[G], hakol[H]) in bringing many (rabiym[H]) sons (uihos[G], baniym[H]) into (eis[G]) glory, splendour, genius (doxa[G], ligeon[H]), the Author, Originator, Prince (archēgos[G], sar[H]) of their salvation (sōtēria[G], yeshuatam[H]) through sufferings (pathēma[G]) to perfect, consecrate, fulfil, complete (teleioō[G]). 11 For both He who sanctifies, consecrates, atones (hagiazō[G], chafeir[H]) and those who are sanctified, consecrated, atoned for (hagiazō[G], yechafeir[H]) are all from one Father (heis[G], meiAv echad[H]); for this reason He is not ashamed (ou epaischunomai[G]) to call (kaleo[G]) them brothers and sisters (adelphos[G], achiym[H]),
10 For it was fitting for Him, for Whom are all things individually and collectively and through Whom are all things individually and collectively, in bringing many sons into glory, splendour, genius, the Author, Originator, Prince of their salvation through sufferings to perfect, consecrate, fulfil, complete.
The justice of God demanded that God Himself must enter creation in order to live as man, identifying fully with all the sufferings and temptations of humanity but remaining sinless and thus, able to sacrifice Himself in order to satisfy His justice and provide the means for humanity to be reconciled to Him.
“Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” -Isaiah 59:1-2 KJV
Yeshua has bridged the gap of separation between sinful humanity and God and through His suffering has become the Author and perfector of our faith.
“looking only at Yeshua, the originator and perfecter of the faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” -Hebrews 12:2
“12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but of God.” -John 1:12-13 NASB
11 For both He who sanctifies, consecrates, atones and those who are sanctified, consecrated, atoned are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,
“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” -John 17:19 KJV
We note that “both He who sanctifies, and those who are sanctified, are all from one Father”, meaning that only those who receive Yeshua’s sanctifying work are of One Father. The text is not make a connection between all human beings and Yeshua, rather it is speaking of the adoption of those who receive Yeshua’s atoning work.
Those who receive Messiah’s atoning work show themselves to belong to the One Father of Creation, not only as children of creation but also as children of God redeemed by the blood of the Son of God, begotten of God, all existing, not created. Yeshua is not ashamed to call the repentant “brothers and sisters” because in Him they reflect the relationship between the Redeemer and the redeemed.
“when the King Messiah shall be revealed to the congregation of Israel, the children of Israel shall say unto him, Come, be thou with us, be thou our brother".” -Targum on Song of Songs 8:1
12 saying, “I will proclaim, show, tell (apaggellō[G]) Your name (onoma[G], shimeicha[H]) to My brothers (adelphos[G], le’echay[H]), In the midst of the assembly (ekklēsia[G]) I will sing Your praise (humneō[G]).” [Psalm 22:22] 13 And again, “I will put My trust, hope, confidence, belief (peithō[G], vekireiytiy[H]) in Him.” And again, “Behold, pay attention, now (hineih[G]) I and the young children (paidion[G], yiladiym[H]) whom My God (ho Theos[G], YHVH[H]) has given Me (didōmi[G], natan-liy[H]).” [Isaiah 8:17-18]
12 saying, “I will proclaim, show, tell Your name to My brothers, In the midst of the assembly I will sing Your praise.” [Psalm 22:22]
The writer quotes Psalms 22:22. This Psalm is one concerning the triumphant King Messiah, sometimes referred to as the Mashiach Ben David. The “brothers” of the Messiah are fellow Jews to whom He proclaims the Name of YHVH (Mercy). “The assembly” is the community of faithful Jews, in relation to whom Yeshua is both brother and King.
In Jewish tradition an assembly, congregation, minyan, must be made up of no less than 10 men of age (Mishnah Sanhedrin, c. 1. sect. 6.)
NB: The 10 man minyan is based on the scripture concerning the 12 spies sent to survey the land of Israel by Moses. 10 returned with a bad report, HaShem says "listen to this community of wicked men" (Numbers 14:27). Thus, 10 men are a community for prayer etc. However, it was the 2 righteous men Joshua and Caleb (Numbers 14:38; 32:12; ) who God honoured along with Moses. Thus Joshua and Caleb were the only ones of their generation who entered the promised land. This is why Yeshua (contradicting the teaching of the rabbis concerning the minyan) says, "Wherever two (Joshua & Caleb) or three (Joshua, Caleb & Moses) are gathered in My Name (that is, gathered in Salvation), there I am in the midst of you" (Matthew 18:20).
13 And again, “I will put My trust, hope, confidence, belief in Him.” And again, “Behold, pay attention, now I and the young children whom My God has given Me.” [Isaiah 8:17-18]
The writer of Hebrews connects Yeshua with the prophet Isaiah and explains that like Isaiah, Yeshua trusts in YHVH and that like Isaiah, Yeshua’s spiritual progeny are a testimony to humanity of the love of God.
The text and context of Isaiah 8:17-18
Isa 8:17 And I will wait for HaShem (YHVH: Mercy), Who hides His face from the house of Yaakov (Jacob: Judah & Ephraim-Israel), and I will look for Him.
Isaiah waits upon the Lord. The true prophet understands that the future redemption he sees in the spiritual may not be made manifest in his lifetime. Thus, he ultimately places trust in Hashem rather than in what he can see with his physical sight. The true prophet accepts that the promises of Hashem are eternal and that the prophet will yet rise at the last day to behold what he has faithfully prophesied within time and space.
The phrase, “Hides His face from” means that HaShem has intentionally withheld His manifest countenance from wrestling Jacob (Israel united: prior to his redemption). However, although Hashem’s face is hidden from the one who denies Him, the prophet will seek Him out.
Isa 8:18 Hinei, Now, Behold, I and the children whom HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) has given me are for le’otot signs and for ul’mofetiym wonders in Yisrael from HaShem (YHVH: Mercy) Tzevaot (Of heaven’s armies, going to war), Who dwells in mount Tziyon (Parched land).
Isaiah proclaims his family’s identity as living representations of God’s Word to His people. Yeshua proclaims the same concerning those who have become His followers and therefore Sons of the Living God. We are to be living examples of God’s Word to the world we live in.
14 Therefore, since the children (paidion[G], yiladiym[H]) share (koinōneō[G) in flesh (sarx[G], basar[H]) and blood (aima[G], dam[H]), He Himself similarly (paraplēsiōs[G]) also became a partaker (metechō[G]) of the same, so that through (dia[G]) death (thanatos[G], bemoto[H]) He might do away with, abolish, cause to cease (katargeō[G]) the one who had (echō[G]) the dominion (kratos[G]) of death (thanatos[G], hamavet[H]), that is, the devil (ho diabolos[G], haSatan[H]),
14 Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself similarly also became a partaker of the same, so that through death He might do away with, abolish, cause to cease the one who had the dominion of death, that is, the devil,
God the Son chose to enter time and space to share in the flesh of humanity so that in overcoming in life, death and resurrection He might afford human beings the opportunity to overcome in Him.
In Jewish tradition Samael also named Satan, is sometimes referred to as malakh hamavet (Angel of the death) [Targum Jon. in Gen. iii. 6. & in Hab. iii. 5; Talmud Bavliy Sukkah, fol. 53. 1. & Avoda Zara, fol. 5. 1. & 20. 2; Zohar in Gen. fol. 27. 1, 2. Tzeror Hammor, fol. 6. 2. & 22. 4. Caphtor, fol 26. 2. & alibi.]
One particular tradition says that Satan will cease in the Olam Haba (world to come), the days of the Messiah, Who, having come will destroy the power of Satan. (Baal Hatturim in Numb. iv. 19.)
15 and free, deliver (apallassō[G], veshilach lachafshiy[H]) those who through fear (phobos[G], mei’eiymat[H]) of death (thanatos[G], mavet[H]) were all the days (kol yemeiy[H]) of their lives (zaō[G], chayeiyhem[H]) guilty, subject (enochos[G]) to bondage (douleia[G]). 16 For doubtless (dēpou[G]) He does not take hold of (epilambanomai ou[G]) angels, messengers (aggelos[G], malakhiym[H]), but He takes hold of (epilambanomai[G]) the seed, issue (sperma[G], lezerah[H]) of Abraham (Avraham[H] father of a great number of people). [re. Isaiah 41:8-9]
15 and free, deliver those who through fear of death were all the days of their lives guilty, subject to bondage.
Messiah has come to free all who will accept Him from the just punishment for their sin.
While those who deny any culpability with regard to their immoral lifestyles may have deluded themselves that they do not fear death, the truth is that in the end death holds all unrepentant human beings in bondage. We note that the text says “guilty”, thus, the guilt of sin exposes the reality of the fruit of sin, death.
In one sense the fear of death is a healthy acknowledgement of the need for deliverance from it. Those religions that, devoid of Messiah, nonetheless claim death as a simple transition of matter and spirit, are in greater danger than those who live in the fear of death.
In Messiah we need not fear death, not the temporal death of the present world, nor the eternal death (perpetual fire) assigned to the wicked, because He has purchased our freedom in His blood.
16 For doubtless He does not take hold of angels, messengers, but He takes hold of the seed, issue of Abraham. [re. Isaiah 41:8-9]
This means that Yeshua has come not to take hold of and redeem angelic beings but to take hold of and redeem the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob:
“But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth
And called from its remotest parts,
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” -Isaiah 41:8-9 NASB
Alternatively this refers to Messiah Yeshua, Who has not become convergent with angelic beings but has taken hold of humanity being born of God into humanity through Miriyam. And then, not into just any ethnicity but into the seed of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, being both Jewish by bloodline and Abrahamic in faith.
“15 Then the angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, 16 and said, “By Myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 indeed I will greatly bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand, which is on the seashore; and your seed shall possess the gate of their enemies. 18 And in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” -Genesis 22:15-18 NASB
17 Therefore (hothen[G]), in all things individually and collectively (pas[G], bakol[H]) He had to be made like (homoioō[G]) His brothers (adelphos[G], le’ehayv[H]) so that He might become a merciful (eleēmōn[G], berachamayv[H]) and faithful, true (pistos[G], uve’emunatiy[H]) high priest (archiereus[G], kohen gadol[H], rav kumrea[A]) in things pertaining, before the face of (lifneiy[H]) God (Theos[G], Elohiym[H]), to make atoning reconciliation (hilaskomai[G], lechafeir[H]) upon the sins (hamartia[G], al-chatot[H]) [missing the mark set by God’s holiness] of the people (laos[G], ha’am[H]).
17 Therefore, in all things individually and collectively He had to be made like His brothers so that He might become a merciful and faithful, true high priest in things pertaining, before the face of God, to make atoning reconciliation upon the sins [missing the mark set by God’s holiness] of the people.
Yeshua has been made like His fellow Jewish brothers in respect to humanity, ethnicity, religion, culture, and according to the requirements of the Torah given to His brothers He has walked in sinless perfection. Thus, He is best qualified to show mercy as the faithful Kohen Gadol High Priest appearing on behalf of sinful people before the face of the Holy God of Israel, able to do so because of the shedding of His blood as the atonement over the sins of His people.
“make atoning reconciliation upon the sins of the people.” This correlates to the Yom Kippur sacrifice of two goats the one (for the people: Azazel, the escaping goat) being delivered by the other (the goat for YHVH).
Ref. Yom Kippur, Messiah and the Escaping Goat
18 Now (gar[G]) since He Himself suffered (paschō[G]) temptation (peirazō[G]), He is able (dunamai[G]) to come to the aid (boētheō[G]) of those who are tempted (peirazō[G]).
18 Now since He Himself suffered temptation, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.
“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.” -Hebrews 4:15
“Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” -Isaiah 53:12 KJV
“Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.” -Hebrews 7:25
Copyright 2021 Yaakov Brown
Founder of the Beth Melekh International Messiah Following Jewish Community,