Christ Greater Than Angels and Prophets.
SUMMARY.--The Message Spoken by the Son.
The Glory of the Son.
His Superiority to the Angels.
1-4. God, who. Instead of the introductory greetings usual in an
Epistle, the apostle plunges into the midst of his subject by a grand
At sundry times. Rather, "In divers portions," as in the
Revision. The Old Testament was give in "portions," not all at once,
and at wide intervals.
Spoke. Though prophets might be chosen as the instruments, the
message was that of God. While God spoke through them, the prophets
were only men.
2. Hath in these last days. "At the end of these days"
(Revision). At the end of the Jewish dispensation.
Spoken unto us by his Son. "Last of all he sent his Son."
The importance of the message is shown by the messenger. No longer an
inspired prophet, but, instead, the Son of God is the speaker.
Whom he hath appointed heir of all things. The Father delivered
all things into the hands of the Son
(Acts 2:36; John 17:10).
"The heir is lord of all"
By whom also he made the worlds. Through his agency or
instrumentality. Christ, the Logos, is represented as God's medium in
creation. See note on
3. Who being the brightness of his glory. A manifestation of the
glory of God.
The very image of his substance. In Christ we have a tangible,
visible representation of the substance of God. We see God in him. "He
that hath seen me hath seen the Father"
By the word of his power. The Son hath all power, and his power
was always manifested by his word. He spoke and it was done, whether it
was to still the winds or to raise the dead. So in creation, the word
was spoken and it was done.
When he had by himself purged our sins. Made an atonement for
Sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Of God. The
right hand was always the place of honor. See note on
4. Having become so much better. Superior to the angels. His
superiority is shown in the greater name, which he received by
inheritance; that of the Son. Our Savior has other names, but this name
only is received by inheritance. This superiority is shown by the
manner in which God addresses the Son. The apostle particularly shows
Christ's superiority to the angels, because through angels the Jewish
law was given. See
Acts 7:53; Gal. 3:19; Heb. 2:3.
5-12. For to which of the angels. To none of them did he ever
use such language as follows. The style in which the Father addresses
Christ shows his superiority to the angels.
Thou art my Son. See
was regarded by the Jews as a prophecy of the Messiah.
This day have I begotten thee. What day is referred to in the
Acts 13:32, 33
answers the question by quoting this very passage and declaring that it
was fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ from the dead. He was born
from the dead and God, who raised him, thus demonstrated that he was
I will be to him a Father, etc. Quoted from
2 Sam. 7:14.
They were spoken originally of David's son Solomon, chosen to be king
after him, but he was in a certain sense a type of Christ. Expression
"Son of David," "Seed of David," while applicable to Solomon,
pre-eminently refers to Christ.
6. When he again bringeth the first born into the world.
Macknight thinks that Christ was brought into the world the first time
when he was born at Bethlehem; that the time referred to here is when
he comes again to judge the world. Whatever the time referred to,
shows his superiority to the angels for it says,
"Let all the angels of God worship him."
7. But of the angels he saith. The quotations made show how God
speaks to and of the Son, but quite different are the words used of the
He maketh his angels spirits. In the Revision we have "winds"
instead of "spirits." The Greek word is Pneumata, a word which
uniformly in the New Testament means spirit, and spirits
in the plural, and I believe that "spirits" is the better rendering.
The passage is quoted from
and means that he maketh spirits his messengers, or angels, and flaming
ones (the burning seraphs) his ministers. It is incongruous with the
thought to introduce into the passage winds and lightnings, natural
phenomena, when the theme is the status of angel intelligences.
8. But to the son. The quotation is from
Thy throne, O God. Then the Son has an eternal throne, and is
The sceptre, etc. He then has a kingdom, and rules it with a
righteous scepter. The point is that he is a Divine King with an
9. Therefore God, even thy God, etc. Because of the holiness of
the Son, God the Father hath anointed him. The exaltation of the Son
cometh from the Father. He is the Anointed, and above all other
anointed kings, priests, and prophets.
10. And thou Lord in the beginning. From
A part of the
preceding part of the Psalm
speaks of the Messiah's Kingdom, and hence these verses may well apply
to the Messiah, especially as they harmonize with what we are told
elsewhere of his glory. See notes on
11. They shall
perish. All created things shall grow old and pass away.
12. As a vesture shalt thou fold them up. The heavens shall be
rolled away. They are rolled up to be put away like a worn out garment.
But thou art the same. The Son is eternal, the same yesterday,
to-day and forever.
13, 14. Sit thou on my right hand. Quoted from
Make thy enemies thy footstool. The custom is alluded to of
putting the feet on the necks of conquered enemies. See
Josh. 10:24, 25.
This passage is applied to Christ in
Acts 2:35, and in 1 Cor. 15:25.
14. Are they not all ministering spirits? The real office of the
angels is indicated. It is to give service in working out the plans of
God for the salvation of the elect. The passage does not teach that
each heir of salvation has a guardian angel, but that the angels do
service in working out the Divine plans in behalf of the saved.
The work of angels can be learned in the Scriptures from the missions
in which they are engaged. It is to aid in carrying out the plans of
God for the government and salvation of our race. Under the rule of
Christ they are his ministers to aid in the work of redeeming man. For
examples of their work, see
19:1-26; 2 Kings 19:35; Acts 12:23; Jude 6; Acts 10:1-8; Matt. 18:10; Acts 5:19,
etc. Christ is Lord; they are servants.