Hebrews 2:1-4

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.

Hebrews 2:1-4 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS 2

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 2:1-4 In-Context

1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.
2 For since the message declared by angels proved to be reliable, and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution,
3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard,
4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
5 Now it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking.
6 It has been testified somewhere, "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,
8 putting everything in subjection under his feet."Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.

Cross References 12

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