Hebrews 2

Listen to Hebrews 2

Warning Against Neglecting Salvation

1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
2 For since 1the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and 2every transgression or disobedience received a just 3retribution,
3 4how shall we escape if we 5neglect such a great salvation? It was 6declared at first by the Lord, and it was 7attested to us 8by those who heard,
4 9while God also bore witness 10by signs and wonders and various miracles and by 11gifts of the Holy Spirit 12distributed according to his will.

The Founder of Salvation

5 Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world 13to come, of which we are speaking.
6 It has been testified somewhere, 14"What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?
7 You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor,[a]
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet."Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, 15we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.
9 But we see him 16who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, 17crowned with glory and honor 18because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might 19taste death 20for everyone.
10 For it 21was fitting that he, 22for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons 23to glory, should make the 24founder of their salvation 25perfect through suffering.
11 For 26he who sanctifies and 27those who are sanctified 28all have one source.[b] That is why he is not ashamed to call them 29brothers,[c]
12 saying, 30"I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the 31congregation I will sing your praise."
13 And again, 32"I will put my trust in him."And again, 33"Behold, I and the children 34God has given me."
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise 35partook of the same things, that 36through death he might 37destroy 38the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
15 and deliver all those who 39through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he 40helps the offspring of Abraham.
17 Therefore he had 41to be made like his brothers in every respect, 42so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest 43in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For because he himself has suffered 44when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Hebrews 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The duty of stedfastly adhering to Christ and his gospel. (1-4) His sufferings are no objection against his pre-eminence. (5-9) The reason of his sufferings, and the fitness of them. (10-13) Christ's taking the nature of man, and not his taking the nature of angels, was necessary to his priestly office. (14-18)

Verses 1-4 Christ being proved to be superior to the angels, this doctrine is applied. Our minds and memories are like a leaky vessel, they do not, without much care, retain what is poured into them. This proceeds from the corruption of our nature, temptations, worldly cares, and pleasures. Sinning against the gospel is neglect of this great salvation; it is a contempt of the saving grace of God in Christ, making light of it, not caring for it, not regarding either the worth of gospel grace, or the want of it, and our undone state without it. The Lord's judgments under the gospel dispensation are chiefly spiritual, but are on that account the more to be dreaded. Here is an appeal to the consciences of sinners. Even partial neglects will not escape rebukes; they often bring darkness on the souls they do not finally ruin. The setting forth the gospel was continued and confirmed by those who heard Christ, by the evangelists and apostles, who were witnesses of what Jesus Christ began both to do and to teach; and by the gifts of the Holy Ghost, qualified for the work to which they were called. And all this according to God's own will. It was the will of God that we should have sure ground for our faith, and a strong foundation for our hope in receiving the gospel. Let us mind this one thing needful, and attend to the Holy Scriptures, written by those who heard the words of our gracious Lord, and were inspired by his Spirit; then we shall be blessed with the good part that cannot be taken away.

Verses 5-9 Neither the state in which the church is at present, nor its more completely restored state, when the prince of this world shall be cast out, and the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of Christ, is left to the government of the angels: Christ will take to him his great power, and will reign. And what is the moving cause of all the kindness God shows to men in giving Christ for them and to them? it is the grace of God. As a reward of Christ's humiliation in suffering death, he has unlimited dominion over all things; thus this ancient scripture was fulfilled in him. Thus God has done wonderful things for us in creation and providence, but for these we have made the basest returns.

Verses 10-13 Whatever the proud, carnal, and unbelieving may imagine or object, the spiritual mind will see peculiar glory in the cross of Christ, and be satisfied that it became Him, who in all things displays his own perfections in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings. His way to the crown was by the cross, and so must that of his people be. Christ sanctifies; he has purchased and sent the sanctifying Spirit: the Spirit sanctifies as the Spirit of Christ. True believers are sanctified, endowed with holy principles and powers, set apart to high and holy uses and purposes. Christ and believers are all of one heavenly Father, who is God. They are brought into relation with Christ. But the words, his not being ashamed to call them brethren, express the high superiority of Christ to the human nature. This is shown from three texts of Scripture. See ( Psalm 22:22 , Psalm 18:2 , Isaiah 8:18 ) .

Verses 14-18 The angels fell, and remained without hope or help. Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels, therefore he did not take their nature; and the nature of angels could not be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of man. Here is a price paid, enough for all, and suitable to all, for it was in our nature. Here the wonderful love of God appeared, that, when Christ knew what he must suffer in our nature, and how he must die in it, yet he readily took it upon him. And this atonement made way for his people's deliverance from Satan's bondage, and for the pardon of their sins through faith. Let those who dread death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace, and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death. The remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations, makes Christ mindful of the trials of his people, and ready to help them. He is ready and willing to succour those who are tempted, and seek him. He became man, and was tempted, that he might be every way qualified to succour his people, seeing that he had passed through the same temptations himself, but continued perfectly free from sin. Then let not the afflicted and tempted despond, or give place to Satan, as if temptations made it wrong for them to come to the Lord in prayer. Not soul ever perished under temptation, that cried unto the Lord from real alarm at its danger, with faith and expectation of relief. This is our duty upon our first being surprised by temptations, and would stop their progress, which is our wisdom.

Cross References 44

  • 1. See Acts 7:53
  • 2. [Hebrews 10:28; Numbers 15:30, 31; Deuteronomy 4:3; Deuteronomy 17:2, 5, 12; Deuteronomy 27:26]
  • 3. Hebrews 10:35; Hebrews 11:26
  • 4. [Hebrews 10:28, 29; Hebrews 12:25]
  • 5. Matthew 22:5(Gk.)
  • 6. Hebrews 1:2
  • 7. Mark 16:20; [Acts 5:32]
  • 8. [Luke 1:2]
  • 9. [See ver. 3 above]
  • 10. Acts 2:22, 43
  • 11. [1 Corinthians 12:4, 11]
  • 12. [Ephesians 1:5]
  • 13. Hebrews 6:5
  • 14. Cited from Psalms 8:4-6
  • 15. [1 Corinthians 15:25]
  • 16. ver. 7
  • 17. Acts 3:13; 1 Peter 1:21; See Acts 2:33
  • 18. Philippians 2:7-9; See John 10:17
  • 19. Matthew 16:28; John 8:52
  • 20. See John 12:32
  • 21. [Luke 24:26]
  • 22. Romans 11:36
  • 23. [Hebrews 3:1; Romans 8:30]
  • 24. [Hebrews 5:9]
  • 25. Hebrews 5:9; Hebrews 7:28; Luke 13:32; [Philippians 3:12]
  • 26. Hebrews 13:12
  • 27. Hebrews 10:10, 14, 29
  • 28. Acts 17:28
  • 29. Matthew 25:40
  • 30. Cited from Psalms 22:22
  • 31. Hebrews 12:23
  • 32. [Psalms 18:2; Isaiah 8:17; Isaiah 12:2]
  • 33. Cited from Isaiah 8:18
  • 34. See John 17:2
  • 35. See John 1:14
  • 36. See 1 Corinthians 15:54-56
  • 37. [Colossians 2:15; 2 Timothy 1:10]
  • 38. 1 John 3:8; [John 16:11]
  • 39. See Romans 8:15
  • 40. Isaiah 41:8, 9; [Hebrews 8:9]
  • 41. Philippians 2:7
  • 42. Hebrews 4:15, 16; [Hebrews 5:2, 7, 8]
  • 43. Hebrews 5:1; Romans 15:17
  • 44. Hebrews 4:15; Luke 22:28

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Some manuscripts insert and set him over the works of your hands
  • [b]. Greek all are of one
  • [c]. Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated "brothers") refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God's family, the church; also verse 12

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the apostle, from the superior excellency of Christ, by whom the Gospel revelation is come, discoursed of in the preceding, urges the believers he writes to, to a more diligent attention to the Gospel, and the doctrines of it; to which he adds another motive inducing thereunto, lest those things should be let slip, and be lost, Heb 2:1 and then, by another argument from the less to the greater, that if the law, which was given by angels, could not be broken with impunity, then how should such escape divine punishment that neglected and despised the Gospel, which is a doctrine of salvation, was delivered by the Lord himself, and confirmed by various testimonies and miracles, Heb 2:2-4. And besides the Gospel dispensation is not put into the hands of angels, but into the hands of Christ, to whom all things are subject, which is proved out of Ps 8:4-6 and which proof shows, that though Christ, on account of his sufferings and death, was for a while made lower than the angels, yet being now crowned with glory and honour, he is above them, and they are subject to him, since all things are, Heb 2:5-9. And this anticipates an objection that might be taken from hence against what the apostle had asserted in the foregoing chapter, concerning the superiority of Christ to angels; and this leads him on to observe the reason of the sufferings and death of Christ, and also of his incarnation; that the moving cause of Christ's sufferings and death was the grace and good will of God; that he did not suffer for himself, but for others, for everyone of those described in the context; that inasmuch as he was the surety of those persons, it was agreeable to the justice of God, and it could not be otherwise, but he must be made perfect through suffering; and this was the way to bring many sons to glory, Heb 2:9,10 and as for his incarnation, or his becoming man, that was necessary, that the sanctifier and the sanctified might be of the same nature, that he might be able to call them brethren and children, Heb 2:11-13 as he does, for which are cited \Ps 22:22 18:2 Isa 8:18\ and because the children he engaged to bring to glory were partakers of flesh and blood; and also that he might be capable of dying, and by dying destroy the devil, and deliver his timorous people, who, through fear of death, lived in a continual state of bondage, Heb 2:14,15 for which reason he did not take upon him the nature of angels, but of the seed of Abraham, Heb 2:16 And besides, it was necessary he should be in all things like unto his brethren, that he might be merciful to them, and faithful to God, and be in a state and condition capable of sympathizing with them, and succouring them under their temptations, which he was able to do by suffering through temptation himself, Heb 2:17,18.

Hebrews 2 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.