Summary: Exposition of Hebrews 2:5-9

November 10, 2002

First Church of the Brethren

H. Kevin Derr

Hebrews 2:5-9

“Humiliation and Glory”

5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are

speaking. 6But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is man that you are

mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? 7You made him a little lower than

the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor 8and put everything under his feet.” In

putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Yet at present we

do not see everything subject to him. 9But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than

the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the

grace of God he might taste death for everyone.


I. Review of Last week:

A. Last week we will be looking at Vs. 1-4 of Chapter 2 where we are given a

warning. To pay careful attention to the message delivered to us. Why

because if the message delivered by the angels was binding, the message

delivered by the unique Son of God is even more demanding.. It may be

helpful to recall the parable of the Tenants in Matthew 21:33-46, Mark 12:1-

12 or Luke 20:9-19. In essence, a son should demand more respect than the


1. Last week’s text includes a warning, it is the first of five warnings that

you will find in Hebrews (2:1-4; 3:7-4:14; 5:11-6:12; 10:19--39; &


2. It is good to remember the large role that angels played in the inter-

testamental period.

II. This week:

A. We will continue to see the comparison between Jesus and the angles

1. We will see that Jesus being made lower than the angels does not

question his pre-existence, or his preeminence over the angels.

2. We will see here in this paragraph the writer move from admonition to

exposition of a quotation from Psalm 8

B. We will begin to hear a sense of Jesus solidarity with humanity, this will be

more evident later in chapter two, but we find its foundation laid here in these

verses that make up our text for today.


I. The comparison with angels again is focused here for us, the author speaks with an

eschatological tone in Vs. 5. The writer tells us that the world to come, has not been subject

to angels, but rather to the Son

A. As we have mentioned before, angels played a large role in the first century

understanding of the world and how things were ordered.

1. For example Deuteronomy 32:8 from the NRSV reads, “When the Most High

apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the

boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods;”

A. Both the NIV and KJV end this with “according to the number of the

sons of Israel”

B. The LXX reads “according to the number of the angels of God”

1. It is from this source that Hebrews draws his quotations, and it

is likely that this is one of the passages he had in mind when

speaking of the subjugation of the current world to the rule of

the angels

2. There are many other reference along these lines in the OT, but

the idea that the world is administered by the angels is what is


C. However the Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls reads “according to the

number of the sons of God”

1. Remember at times the angels are refereed to as the sons of God

2. So it would be in line with the LXX reading of this passage

2. Now, recall verse 5, 5It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to


A. The world to come, the age to come (6:5), the city to come (13:14) has

been subjected to the Son

1. We looked at the starting point of this in 1:6, when we talked

about the Son seated at the right hand of God

A. It was part of the progression of Pre-existent, to

incarnate to exulted Son of God

B. And it was when he came into the heavens that he was

exalted, the world to come carries that same sense here,

a new creation that will be subject to Son, not the


1. Think if you will of the imagery of Revelation

where the dwelling of God is with humanity, the

new Jerusalem

2. It is this type of imagery that we are working

with at this point, the Son ruling, the dwelling of

God with humanity

2.. Consider if you will Psalm 93:1 The LORD is king, he is

robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with

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