Hebrews 5:1-3

Jesus the Great High Priest

1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.
3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

Hebrews 5:1 in Other Translations

KJV
1 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
ESV
1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
NLT
1 Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins.
MSG
1 Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins
CSB
1 For every high priest taken from men is appointed in service to God for the people, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 5:1-3 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS 5

The apostle having made mention of Christ as an high priest, in the preceding chapter, proceeds in this to give an account of an high priest, and applies the character of him to Christ; and shows that he is of another order of priesthood than that of Aaron, even of the order of Melchisedec; of whom he could say many things, but the Hebrews were dull of hearing them; which leads him to blame them for their rudeness, and non-proficience. The description of the high priest is taken from his relation to men, separation from them, and ordination for them; from his oblation of their gifts and sacrifices; from his sympathy with them, and from his call of God, Heb 5:1-4 all which are accommodated to Christ; as his vocation of God, Heb 5:5,6 confirmed by two testimonies out of Ps 2:7, 110:4 his being a man, and having infirmities, though sinless ones, and his sympathy with men, and compassion on them, Heb 5:7 his obedience and sufferings, and the oblation of himself, whereby he became the author of salvation to his people, which is the main thing in his priesthood, Heb 5:8,9 and which was not of the order of Aaron, though in some things there was an agreement with it, but of the order of Melchizedek, Heb 5:10 of whom the apostle could say many surprising things; but these Hebrews were dull of apprehension, and incapable of receiving them, Heb 5:11. And then he proceeds to blame them for their dulness, which he aggravates by the time they had been in the school of Christ, when it might have been expected they would have been teachers of others; by their being yet scholars, and of the lowest class, who had need to be taught the first rudiments of the Christian religion; yea, by their being as babes that stood in need of milk, and could not bear meat, Heb 5:12. And then follows a description both of babes, and of adult persons; such as are unskilful in the word of righteousness are babes, and use milk; but those who exercise their spiritual senses, to discern between good and bad doctrine, are adult, and can digest strong meat, Heb 5:13,14.

Hebrews 5:1-3 In-Context

1 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness.
3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.
4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”
6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Cross References 6

  • 1. Hebrews 2:17
  • 2. Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:9
  • 3. Hebrews 7:27
  • 4. Isaiah 29:24; Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15
  • 5. Hebrews 7:28
  • 6. Hebrews 9:7">Lev Hebrews 9:7; Leviticus 16:6; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:7
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.