[a]For this reason [that is, because of God’s final revelation in His Son Jesus and because of Jesus’ superiority to the angels] we must pay much closer attention than ever to the things that we have heard, so that we do not [in any way] drift away from truth. For if the message given [b]through angels [the Law given to Moses] was authentic and unalterable, and every violation and disobedient act received an appropriate penalty, how will we escape [the penalty] if we ignore such a great salvation [the gospel, the new covenant]? For it was spoken at first by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us and proved authentic by those who personally heard [Him speak], [and besides this evidence] God also testifying with them [confirming the message of salvation], both by signs and wonders and by various miracles [carried out by Jesus and the apostles] and by [granting to believers the] gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.
Earth Subject to Man
It was not to angels that God subjected the [inhabited] world of the future [when Christ reigns], about which we are speaking. But one has [solemnly] testified somewhere [in Scripture], saying,
“What is man, that You are mindful of him,
Or the son of man, that You graciously care for him?
“You have made him for a little while lower [in status] than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
[c]And set him over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things in subjection under his feet [confirming his supremacy].”
Now in putting all things in subjection to man, He left nothing outside his control. But at present we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
Jesus Briefly Humbled
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while [by taking on the limitations of humanity], crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering of death, so that by the grace of God [extended to sinners] He might experience death for [the sins of] everyone.
For it was fitting for God [that is, an act worthy of His divine nature] that He, for whose sake are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the [d]author and founder of their salvation perfect through suffering [bringing to maturity the human experience necessary for Him to be perfectly equipped for His office as High Priest]. Both Jesus who sanctifies and those who are sanctified [that is, spiritually transformed, made holy, and set apart for God’s purpose] are all from one Father; for this reason He is not ashamed to call them [e]brothers and sisters, saying,
“I will declare Your (the Father’s) name to My brethren (believers),
In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.”
And again [[f]He says],
“My trust and confident hope will be placed in Him.”
“Here I am, I and the children whom God has given Me.”
Therefore, since [these His] children share in flesh and blood [the physical nature of mankind], He Himself in a similar manner also shared in the same [physical nature, but without sin], so that through [experiencing] death He might make powerless (ineffective, impotent) him who had the power of death—that is, the devil— and [that He] might free all those who through [the haunting] fear of death were held in slavery throughout their lives. For, as we all know, He (Christ) does not take hold of [the fallen] angels [to give them a helping hand], but He does take hold of [the fallen] descendants of Abraham [extending to them His hand of deliverance]. Therefore, it was essential that He had to be made like His brothers (mankind) in every respect, so that He might [by experience] become a merciful and faithful High Priest in things related to God, to make atonement (propitiation) for the people’s sins [thereby wiping away the sin, satisfying divine justice, and providing a way of reconciliation between God and mankind]. Because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted, He is able to help and provide immediate assistance to those who are being tempted and exposed to suffering.
- Hebrews 2:1 This refers back to all of ch 1, not just the final verse.
- Hebrews 2:2 It was a tradition in Judaism that angels, whom the Jews highly regarded, had an important role in God’s giving of the Law to Moses. See Acts 7:38; Gal 3:19.
- Hebrews 2:7 Two early mss do not contain “And...hands.”
- Hebrews 2:10 Or pioneer, originator, champion.
- Hebrews 2:11 Lit brethren.
- Hebrews 2:13 By placing these two OT quotations on the lips of Jesus the author illustrates: 1) his high view of Scripture, and 2) that he views even written Scripture as the words of Jesus.