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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Hebrews: Chapter 2)

2:1 {Therefore} (dia touto). Because Jesus is superior to prophets and angels and because the new revelation is superior to the old. The author often pauses in his argument, as here, to drive home a pungent exhortation.
{Ought} (dei). It is necessity, necessity rather than obligation (chrˆ).
{To give heed} (prosechein). Present active infinitive with noun (accusative singular of nous) understood as in Ac 8:6.
{More earnest} (perissoter“s). Comparative adverb, "more earnestly," "more abundantly" as in 1Th 2:7 {To the things that were heard} (tois akoustheisin). Dative plural neuter of the articular participle first aorist passive of akou“.
{Lest haply we drift away} (mˆ pote pararu“men). Negative clause of purpose with mˆ pote and the second aorist passive subjunctive of pararre“, old verb to flow by or past, to glide by, only here in N.T. (cf. Pr 3:21). Xenophon (Cyrop. IV. 52) uses it of the river flowing by. Here the metaphor is that "of being swept along past the sure anchorage which is within reach" (Westcott), a vivid picture of peril for all ("we," hˆmas).

2:2 {For if ... proved steadfast} (ei gar ... egeneto bebaios). Condition of first class, assumed as true.
{Through angels} (di' aggel“n). Allusion to the use of angels by God at Sinai as in Ac 7:38,53; Gal 3:19, though not in the O.T., but in Josephus ("Ant". XV. 156).
{Transgression and disobedience} (parabasis kai parakoˆ). Both words use para as in pararu“men, refused to obey (stepping aside, para-basis as in Ro 2:23), neglect to obey (par-akoˆ as in Ro 5:19), more than a mere hendiadys. {Recompense of reward} (misthapodosian). Late double compound, like misthapodotˆs (Heb 11:6), from misthos (reward) and apodid“mi, to give back. The old Greeks used misthodosia. {Just} (endikon). Old compound adjective, in N.T. only here and Ro 3:8.

2:3 {How shall we escape?} (p“s hˆmeis ekpheuxometha;). Rhetorical question with future middle indicative of ekpheug“ and conclusion of the condition.
{If we neglect} (amelˆsantes). First aorist active participle of amele“, "having neglected." {So great salvation} (tˆlikautˆs s“tˆrias). Ablative case after amelˆsantes. Correlative pronoun of age, but used of size in the N.T. (Jas 3:4; 2Co 1:10).
{Which} (hˆtis). "Which very salvation," before described, now summarized.
{Having at the first been spoken} (archˆn labousa laleisthai). Literally, "having received a beginning to be spoken," "having begun to be spoken," a common literary "Koin‚" idiom (Polybius, etc.). {Through the Lord} (dia tou kuriou). The Lord Jesus who is superior to angels. Jesus was God's full revelation and he is the source of this new and superior revelation.
{Was confirmed} (ebebai“thˆ). First aorist passive indicative of bebaio“, from bebaios (stable), old verb as in 1Co 1:6.
{By them that heard} (hupo t“n akousant“n). Ablative case with hupo of the articular first aorist active participle of akou“. Those who heard the Lord Jesus. Only one generation between Jesus and the writer. Paul (Ga 1:11) got his message directly from Christ.

2:4 {God also bearing witness with them} (sunepimarturountos tou theou). Genitive absolute with the present active participle of the late double compound verb sunepimarture“, to join (sun) in giving additional (epi) testimony (marture“). Here only in N.T., but in Aristotle, Polybius, Plutarch.
{Both by signs} (sˆmeiois te kai) {and wonders} (kai terasin) {and by manifold powers} (kai poikilais dunamesin) {and by gifts of the Holy Ghost} (kai pneumatos hagiou merismois). Instrumental case used with all four items. See Ac 2:22 for the three words for miracles in inverse order (powers, wonders, signs). Each word adds an idea about the erga (works) of Christ. Teras (wonder) attracts attention, dunamis (power) shows God's power, sˆmeion reveals the purpose of God in the miracles. For poikilais (manifold, many-coloured) see Mt 4:24; Jas 1:2. For merismos for distribution (old word, in N.T. only here and Heb 4:12) see 1Co 12:4-30.
{According to his own will} (kata tˆn autou thelˆsin). The word thelˆsis is called a vulgarism by Pollux. The writer is fond of words in -is.

2:5 {For not unto angels} (ou gar aggelois). The author now proceeds to show (2:5-18) that the very humanity of Jesus, the Son of Man, likewise proves his superiority to angels.
{The world to come} (tˆn oikoumenˆn tˆn mellousan). The new order, the salvation just described. See a like use of mell“ (as participle) with s“tˆria (1:14), ai“n (6:4f.), agatha (9:11; 10:1), polis (13:14).
{Whereof we speak} (peri hˆs laloumen). The author is discussing this new order introduced by Christ which makes obsolete the old dispensation of rites and symbols. God did not put this new order in charge of angels.

2:6 {But one somewhere} (de pou tis). See 4:4 for a like indefinite quotation. Philo uses this "literary mannerism" (Moffatt). He quotes Ps 8:5-7 and extends here to 8a.
{Hath testified} (diemarturato). First aorist middle indicative of diamarturomai, old verb to testify vigorously (Ac 2:40). {What} (Ti). Neuter, not masculine tis (who). The insignificance of man is implied.
{The son of man} (huios anthr“pou). Not ho huios tou anthr“pou which Jesus used so often about himself, but literally here "son of man" like the same words so often in Ezekiel, without Messianic meaning here. {Visited} (episkeptˆi). Second person singular present indicative middle of episkeptomai, old verb to look upon, to look after, to go to see (Mt 25:36), from which verb episcopos, overseer, bishop, comes.

2:7 {Thou madest him a little lower} (elatt“sas auton brachu ti). First aorist active of old verb elatto“ from elatt“n (less), causative verb to lessen, to decrease, to make less, only here, and verse 9 and Joh 3:30 in N.T. Brachu ti is accusative neuter of degree like 2Sa 16:1, "some little," but of time in Isa 57:17 (for a little while).
{Than the angels} (par' aggelous). "Beside angels" like para with the accusative of comparison in 1:4,9. The Hebrew here has "Elohim" which word is applied to judges in Ps 82:1,6 (Joh 10:34f.). Here it is certainly not "God" in our sense. In Ps 29:1 the LXX translates "Elohim" by huoi theou (sons of God).
{Thou crownedst} (estephan“sas). First aorist active indicative of old verb, stephano“, to crown, in N.T. only here and 2Ti 2:5 The Psalmist refers to God's purpose in creating man with such a destiny as mastery over nature. The rest of verse 7 is absent in B.

2:8 {In that he subjected} (en t“i hupotaxai). First aorist active articular infinitive of hupatass“ in the locative case, "in the subjecting."
{He left} (aphˆken). First aorist active indicative (kappa aorist) of aphiˆmi.
{Nothing that is not subject to him} (ouden aut“i anupotakton). Later verbal of hupotass“ with a privative. Here in passive sense, active sense in 1Ti 1:9. Man's sovereignty was meant to be all-inclusive including the administration of "the world to come." "He is crowned king of nature, invested with a divine authority over creation" (Moffatt). But how far short of this destiny has man come! {But now we see not yet} (nun de oup“ hor“men). Not even today in the wonderful twentieth century with man's triumphs over nature has he reached that goal, wonderful as are the researches by the help of telescope and microscope, the mechanism of the airplane, the submarine, steam, electricity, radio.

2:9 {Even Jesus} (Iˆsoun). We do not see man triumphant, but we do see Jesus, for the author is not ashamed of his human name, realizing man's destiny, "the very one who has been made a little lower than the angels" (ton brachu ti par' aggelous ˆlatt“menon), quoting and applying the language of the Psalm in verse 7 to Jesus (with article ton and the perfect passive participle of elatta“). But this is not all. Death has defeated man, but Jesus has conquered death.
{Because of the suffering of death} (dia to pathˆma tou thanatou). The causal sense of dia with the accusative as in 1:14. Jesus in his humanity was put lower than the angels "for a little while" (brachu ti). Because of the suffering of death we see (blepomen) Jesus crowned (estephan“menon, perfect passive participle of stephano“ from verse 7)
, crowned already "with glory and honour" as Paul shows in Php 2:9-11 (more highly exalted, huperups“sen) "that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow." There is more glory to come to Jesus surely, but he is already at God's right hand (1:3).
{That by the grace of God he should taste death for every man} (hop“s chariti theou huper pantos geusˆtai thanatou). This purpose clause (hop“s instead of the more usual hina) is pregnant with meaning. The author interprets and applies the language of the Psalm to Jesus and here puts Christ's death in behalf of (huper), and so instead of, every man as the motive for his incarnation and death on the Cross. The phrase to taste death (geuomai thanatou) occurs in the Gospels (Mt 16:28; Mr 9:1; Lu 9:27; Joh 8:52), though not in the ancient Greek. It means to see death (Heb 11:5), "a bitter experience, not a rapid sip" (Moffatt). His death was in behalf of every one (not everything as the early Greek theologians took it). The death of Christ (Andrew Fuller) was sufficient for all, efficient for some. It is all "by the grace (chariti, instrumental case)
of God," a thoroughly Pauline idea. Curiously enough some MSS. read ch“ris theou (apart from God) in place of chariti theou, Nestorian doctrine whatever the origin.

2:10 {It became him} (eprepen aut“i). Imperfect active of prep“, old verb to stand out, to be becoming or seemly. Here it is impersonal with telei“sai as subject, though personal in Heb 7:26. Aut“i (him) is in the dative case and refers to God, not to Christ as is made plain by ton archˆgon (author). One has only to recall Joh 3:16 to get the idea here. The voluntary humiliation or incarnation of Christ the Son a little lower than the angels was a seemly thing to God the Father as the writer now shows in a great passage (2:10-18) worthy to go beside Php 2:5-11.
{For whom} (di' hon). Referring to aut“i (God) as the reason (cause) for the universe (ta panta). {Through whom} (di' hou). With the genitive dia expresses the agent by whom the universe came into existence, a direct repudiation of the Gnostic view of intermediate agencies (aeons) between God and the creation of the universe. Paul puts it succinctly in Ro 11:36 by his ex autou kai di' autou kai eis auton ta panta. The universe comes out of God, by means of God, for God. This writer has already said that God used his Son as the Agent (di' hou) in creation (1:2), a doctrine in harmony with Col 1:15f. (en aut“i, di' autou eis auton) and Joh 1:3.
{In bringing} (agagonta). Second aorist active participle of ag“ in the accusative case in spite of the dative aut“i just before to which it refers.
{The author} (ton archˆgon). Old compound word (archˆ and ag“) one leading off, leader or prince as in Ac 5:31, one blazing the way, a pioneer (Dods) in faith (Heb 12:2), author (Ac 3:15). Either sense suits here, though author best (verse 9). Jesus is the author of salvation, the leader of the sons of God, the Elder Brother of us all (Ro 8:29).
{To make perfect} (telei“sai). First aorist active infinitive of teleio“ (from teleios). If one recoils at the idea of God making Christ perfect, he should bear in mind that it is the humanity of Jesus that is under discussion. The writer does not say that Jesus was sinful (see the opposite in 4:15), but simply that "by means of sufferings" God perfected his Son in his human life and death for his task as Redeemer and Saviour. One cannot know human life without living it. There was no moral imperfection in Jesus, but he lived his human life in order to be able to be a sympathizing and effective leader in the work of salvation.

2:11 {He that sanctifieth} (ho hagiaz“n). Present active articular participle of hagiaz“. Jesus is the sanctifier (9:13f.; 13:12).
{They that are sanctified} (hoi hagiazomenoi). Present passive articular participle of hagiaz“. It is a process here as in 10:14, not a single act, though in 10:10 the perfect passive indicative presents a completed state.
{Of one} (ex henos). Referring to God as the Father of Jesus and of the "many sons" above (verse 10) and in harmony with verse 14 below. Even before the incarnation Jesus had a kinship with men though we are not sons in the full sense that he is.
{He is not ashamed} (ouk epaischunetai). Present passive indicative of epaischunomai, old compound (Ro 1:16). Because of the common Father Jesus is not ashamed to own us as "brothers" (adelphous), unworthy sons though we be.

2:12 {Unto my brethren} (tois adelphois mou). To prove his point the writer quotes Ps 22:22 when the Messiah is presented as speaking "unto my brethren."
{Congregation} (ekklˆsias). The word came to mean the local church and also the general church or kingdom (Mt 16:18; Heb 12:23). Here we have the picture of public worship and the Messiah sharing it with others as we know Jesus often did.

2:13 {I will put my trust in him} (Eg“ esomai pepoith“s ep' aut“i). A rare periphrastic (intransitive) future perfect of peith“, a quotation from Isa 8:17. The author represents the Messiah as putting his trust in God as other men do (cf. Heb 12:2). Certainly Jesus did this constantly. The third quotation (kai palin, And again) is from Isa 8:18 (the next verse), but the Messiah shows himself closely linked with the children (paidia) of God, the sons (huioi) of verse 10.

2:14 {Are sharers in flesh and blood} (kekoin“nˆken haimatos kai sarkos). The best MSS. read "blood and flesh." The verb is perfect active indicative of koin“ne“, old verb with the regular genitive, elsewhere in the N.T. with the locative (Ro 12:13) or with en or eis. "The children have become partners (koin“noi) in blood and flesh."
{Partook} (metesche). Second aorist active indicative of metech“, to have with, a practical synonym for koin“ne“ and with the genitive also (t“n aut“n). That he might bring to nought (hina katargˆsˆi). Purpose of the incarnation clearly stated with hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of katarge“, old word to render idle or ineffective (from kata, argos), causative verb (25 times in Paul), once in Luke (Lu 13:7), once in Hebrews (here). "By means of death" (his own death) Christ broke the power (kratos) of the devil over death (paradoxical as it seems), certainly in men's fear of death and in some unexplained way Satan had sway over the realm of death (Zec 3:5f.). Note the explanatory tout' estin (that is) with the accusative after it as before it. In Re 12:7 Satan is identified with the serpent in Eden, though it is not done in the Old Testament. See Ro 5:12; Joh 8:44; 14:30; 16:11; 1Jo 3:12. Death is the devil's realm, for he is the author of sin. "Death as death is no part of the divine order" (Westcott).

2:15 {And might deliver} (kai apallaxˆi). Further purpose with the first aorist active subjunctive of appallass“, old verb to change from, to set free from, in N.T. only here, Lu 12:58; Ac 19:12.
{Through fear of death} (phob“i thanatou). Instrumental case of phobos. The ancients had great fear of death though the philosophers like Seneca argued against it. There is today a flippant attitude towards death with denial of the future life and rejection of God. But the author of Hebrews saw judgement after death (9:27f.). Hence our need of Christ to break the power of sin and Satan in death.
{All their lifetime} (dia pantos tou zˆin). Present active infinitive with pas and the article in the genitive case with dia, "through all the living."
{Subject to bondage} (enochoi douleias). Old adjective from enech“, "held in," "bound to," with genitive, bond-slaves of fear, a graphic picture. Jesus has the keys of life and death and said: "I am the life." Thank God for that.

2:16 {Verily} (de pou). "Now in some way," only here in N.T. {Doth he take hold} (epilambanetai). Present middle indicative and means to lay hold of, to help, like boˆthˆsai in verse 18.
{The seed of Abraham} (spermatos Abraham). The spiritual Israel (Ga 3:29), children of faith (Ro 9:7).

2:17 {Wherefore} (hothen). Old relative adverb (ho and enclitic then, whence of place (Mt 12:44), of source (1Jo 2:18), of cause as here and often in Hebrews (3:1; 7:25; 8:3; 9:18; 11:19).
{It behoved him} (“pheilen). Imperfect active of opheil“, old verb to owe, money (Mt 18:28), service and love (Ro 13:8), duty or obligation as here and often in N.T. (Lu 17:10). Jesus is here the subject and the reference is to the incarnation. Having undertaken the work of redemption (Joh 3:16), voluntarily (Joh 10:17), Jesus was under obligation to be properly equipped for that priestly service and sacrifice.
{In all things} (kata panta). Except yielding to sin (Heb 4:15) and yet he knew what temptation was, difficult as it may be for us to comprehend that in the Son of God who is also the Son of man (Mr 1:13). Jesus fought through to victory over Satan.
{To be made like unto his brethren} (tois adelphois homoi“thˆnai). First aorist passive infinitive of homoio“, old and common verb from homoios (like), as in Mt 6:8, with the associative instrumental case as here. Christ, our Elder Brother, resembles us in reality (Php 2:7 "in the likeness of men") as we shall resemble him in the end (Ro 8:29 "first-born among many brethren"; 1Jo 3:2 "like him"), where the same root is used as here (hoi“ma, homoios). That he might be (hina genˆtai). Purpose clause with hina and the second aorist middle subjunctive of ginomai, to become, "that he might become." That was only possible by being like his brethren in actual human nature.
{Merciful and faithful high priest} (eleˆm“n kai pistos archiereus). The sudden use of archiereus here for Jesus has been anticipated by 1:3; 2:9 and see 3:1. Jesus as the priest-victim is the chief topic of the Epistle. These two adjectives (eleˆm“n and pistos) touch the chief points in the function of the high priest (5:1-10), sympathy and fidelity to God. The Sadducean high priests (Annas and Caiaphas) were political and ecclesiastical tools and puppets out of sympathy with the people and chosen by Rome.
{In things pertaining to God} (ta pros ton theon). The adverbial accusative of the article is a common idiom. See the very idiom ta pros ton theon in Ex 18:19; Ro 15:17. This use of pros we had already in Heb 1:7f. On the day of atonement the high priest entered the holy of holies and officiated in behalf of the people.
{To make propitiation for} (eis to hilaskesthai). Purpose clause with eis to and the infinitive (common Greek idiom), here present indirect middle of hilaskomai, to render propitious to oneself (from hilaos, Attic hile“s, gracious). This idea occurs in the LXX (Ps 65:3), but only here in N.T., though in Lu 18:13 the passive form (hilasthˆti) occurs as in 2Ki 5:18. In 1Jo 2:2 we have hilasmos used of Christ (cf. Heb 7:25). The inscriptions illustrate the meaning in Heb 2:17 as well as the LXX.

2:18 {In that} (en h“i). Literally, "In which" (=en tout“i en h“i, in that in which), a causal idea, though in Ro 14:22 en h“i means "wherein."
{Hath suffered} (peponthen). Second perfect active indicative of pasch“, permanent part of Christ's experience.
{Being tempted} (peirastheis). First aorist passive participle of peiraz“. The temptation to escape the shame of the Cross was early and repeatedly presented to Christ, by Satan in the wilderness (Mt 4:8-11), by Peter in the spirit of Satan (Mt 16:22f.), in Gethsemane (Mt 26:39), and caused intense suffering to Jesus (Lu 22:44; Heb 5:8).
{He is able} (dunatai). This word strikes the heart of it all. Christ's power to help is due not merely to his deity as God's Son, but also to his humanity without which he could not sympathize with us (Heb 4:15).
{To succour} (boˆthˆsai). First aorist active infinitive of the old compound verb boˆthe“ (boˆ, a cry, the“, to run), to run at a cry or call for help (Mt 15:25). {Them that are tempted} (tois peirazomenois). Dative plural of the articular participle (present passive) of peiraz“. These Jewish Christians were daily tempted to give up Christ, to apostatize from Christianity. Jesus understands himself (autos) their predicament and is able to help them to be faithful.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Hebrews: Chapter 2)

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