Hebrews 5

The Perfect High Priest

1 For every high priest 1taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in 2things pertaining to God, in order to 3offer both gifts and sacrifices 4for sins;
2 5he can deal gently with the 6ignorant and 7misguided, since he himself also is 8beset with weakness;
3 and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices 9for sins, 10as for the people, so also for himself.
4 And 11no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even 12as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ 13did not glorify Himself so as to become a 14high priest, but He who 15said to Him, "16YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU";
6 just as He says also in another passage, "17YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO 18THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."
7 In the days of His flesh, 19He offered up both prayers and supplications with 20loud crying and tears to the One 21able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His 22piety.
8 Although He was 23a Son, He learned 24obedience from the things which He suffered.
9 And having been made 25perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
10 being designated by God as 26a high priest according to 27the order of Melchizedek.
11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you 28the 29elementary * principles of the 30oracles of God, and you have come to need 31milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an 32infant.
14 But solid food is for 33the mature, who because of practice have their senses 34trained to 35discern good and evil.

Hebrews 5 Commentary

Chapter 5

The office and duty of a high priest abundantly answered in Christ. (1-10) The Christian Hebrews reproved for their little progress in the knowledge of the gospel. (11-14)

Verses 1-10 The High Priest must be a man, a partaker of our nature. This shows that man had sinned. For God would not suffer sinful man to come to him alone. But every one is welcome to God, that comes to him by this High Priest; and as we value acceptance with God, and pardon, we must apply by faith to this our great High Priest Christ Jesus, who can intercede for those that are out of the way of truth, duty, and happiness; one who has tenderness to lead them back from the by-paths of error, sin, and misery. Those only can expect assistance from God, and acceptance with him, and his presence and blessing on them and their services, that are called of God. This is applied to Christ. In the days of his flesh, Christ made himself subject to death: he hungered: he was a tempted, suffering, dying Jesus. Christ set an example, not only to pray, but to be fervent in prayer. How many dry prayers, how few wetted with tears, do we offer up to God! He was strengthened to support the immense weight of suffering laid upon him. There is no real deliverance from death but to be carried through it. He was raised and exalted, and to him was given the power of saving all sinners to the uttermost, who come unto God through him. Christ has left us an example that we should learn humble obedience to the will of God, by all our afflictions. We need affliction, to teach us submission. His obedience in our nature encourages our attempts to obey, and for us to expect support and comfort under all the temptations and sufferings to which we are exposed. Being made perfect for this great work, he is become the Author of eternal salvation to all that obey him. But are we of that number?

Verses 11-14 Dull hearers make the preaching of the gospel difficult, and even those who have some faith may be dull hearers, and slow to believe. Much is looked for from those to whom much is given. To be unskilful, denotes want of experience in the things of the gospel. Christian experience is a spiritual sense, taste, or relish of the goodness, sweetness, and excellence of the truths of the gospel. And no tongue can express the satisfaction which the soul receives, from a sense of Divine goodness, grace, and love to it in Christ.

Cross References 35

  • 1. Exodus 28:1
  • 2. Hebrews 2:17
  • 3. Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 10:11
  • 4. 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 10:12
  • 5. Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15
  • 6. Ephesians 4:18; Heb 9:7 mg
  • 7. James 5:19; 1 Peter 2:25
  • 8. Hebrews 7:28
  • 9. 1 Corinthians 15:3; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 10:12
  • 10. Hebrews 9:7">Lev Hebrews 9:7; Leviticus 16:6; Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:7
  • 11. Numbers 16:40; Numbers 18:7; 2 Chronicles 26:18
  • 12. Exodus 28:1; 1 Chronicles 23:13
  • 13. John 8:54
  • 14. Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:10
  • 15. Hebrews 1:1, 5
  • 16. Psalms 2:7
  • 17. Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 7:17
  • 18. Hebrews 5:10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:11, 17
  • 19. Matt 26:39, 42, 44; Mark 14:36, 39; Luke 22:41, 44
  • 20. Matthew 27:46, 50; Mark 15:34, 37; Luke 23:46
  • 21. Mark 14:36
  • 22. Hebrews 11:7; Hebrews 12:28
  • 23. Hebrews 1:2
  • 24. Philippians 2:8
  • 25. Hebrews 2:10
  • 26. Hebrews 2:17; Hebrews 5:5
  • 27. Hebrews 5:6
  • 28. Galatians 4:3
  • 29. Hebrews 6:1
  • 30. Acts 7:38
  • 31. 1 Corinthians 3:2; 1 Peter 2:2
  • 32. 1 Corinthians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 14:20; 1 Peter 2:2
  • 33. 1 Corinthians 2:6; Ephesians 4:13; Hebrews 6:1
  • 34. 1 Timothy 4:7
  • 35. Romans 14:1f

Footnotes 9

Chapter Summary


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 Commentaries

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