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Hebrews 1:4-6 by Robert Dean
Series:Ascension and Session of Christ (2005)
Duration:1 hr 1 mins

Hebrews Lesson 17    June 23, 2005


NKJ Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path


We're in Hebrews 1:4. We are working our way through the prologue. The prologue sets the stage for everything in Hebrews. Hebrews 1:4 serves as a conclusion to the prologue and provides a transition into the next section. 


NKJ Hebrews 1:4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.


This is a conclusion of the writer's opening remarks. He is primarily hitting two ideas. The first idea is the grammatical subject and predicate of the sentence. Once he mentions the Son, he goes through a list of seven things that emphasize the superiority of the Son. Jesus as the Son is not emphasizing His Sonship as the eternal Son of God; but His Messianic Sonship, which we also refer to as His Davidic Sonship. That will come out clearly in this particular verse. He emphasizes His future destiny as the heir of all things in verse 2. That will be picked up again at the end of verse 4 that He has now inherited a more excellent name than the angels. 


Now we come to this last statement. We recognize that the writer has been driving to this particular point. We know that because the rest of the chapter from verse 5 down through verse 14 is designed to explain or give the basis for this final statement in verse 4. That is that Jesus Christ has inherited a name that is more excellent than that of the angels. Now this is a very complex verse grammatically in the Greek because the writer wants to make sure that we get the point that Jesus Christ is superior to the angels. That is a point of comparison. It is a point of excellence. Jesus Christ is superior to the angels. So He is making this comparison. There is a contrast between Jesus Christ on the one hand and the angels on the other hand. To do that, he sets up four or five comparatives in the sentence. It is very unusual. You don't catch a sense of that in the English because it would almost lose sense if you translated it literally. The grammar emphasizes this comparison. He doesn't want the readers to miss the point. 


I want to begin this by highlighting the comparatives that are in the verse and then come back and hit the more substantive words. He begins with the phrase "having become." Then you have "so much" in the English. It is the translation of the Greek intensifier tous outo. It means so great, so much, or so much more. It is linked to the genitive of comparison of the Greek adjective kreiton.  It is the genitive of comparison. The core meaning has the idea of something that is more prominent or higher in rank. The idea is that Jesus Christ is superior in rank to the angels. So tous outo indicates His superiority and brings in the idea of so much. Then the word greater indicates higher in rank. 


Literal translation:  He is so much higher in rank. 


Then we have a comparative genitive of the word diaphorateron. The teron ending indicates that it is a comparative. There are very few superlatives in Koine Greek. It means outstanding or more excellent or superior. This is our third sense of comparison in this – so much, the better, and now the more excellent. Then you have your comparisons that come in – than the angels and than they. The point that is made here is that the Son is superior to the angels. If we were to break this down into a very simple paraphrase in English, what the writer is saying that the Son is greater than the angels because God gave Him a higher status than they. It is a very simple idea. But the grammar that he uses is very complex in order to make sure that you get the comparative point – that the Son is greater than the angels. The basic sense of the passage is that the Son is greater than the angels because God gave Him a greater status than they.


Now let's go back to the first word in the verse. I know this is out of order but I wanted to emphasize the comparatives stuff first so that you would get the point that the writer is making in the Greek. 


The first word in the verse is the aorist middle participle of ginomai. This is an interesting word to use here. It has some meanings that aren't readily apparent to an English reader. In English we translate this "having become." We have the word "become". We also have the word "is".  We call these existential verbs. That is a fancy word for something that talks about something that is or exists, something that happens or something that becomes. The word "is" emphasizes on-going existence. We go to John 1:1. 


NKJ John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.


"Was" is the past tense of the Greek eimi.  That is the verb we would use for "is". It is the past tense. It indicates ongoing existence in John 1:1. 


In contrast you get down to verse 6 and it says there came a man named John. 


NKJ John 1:6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.


The difference is that the logos in John 1:1 is eimi in verse 6.  He continually exists. But in verse 6 you have this shift to John the Baptist as a man who came into existence. The writer shifts from eimi to ginomai. Ginomai indicates a change in status, something that comes into existence that wasn't in existence before or something that changes its status. It becomes something that it was not. When we talk about God the Son and we are talking about change, we have to recognize that it has to be talking about what? His deity or His humanity? In His deity He is the same yesterday, today and forever. So immediately we have to conclude that this can't be discussing a title or qualification that relates to the deity of Christ but qualities that relate to His humanity. The reason we have to make this point is because throughout this section there is an emphasis on His Sonship of Christ. 


Vs. 2 He has in these last days spoken to us by means of His Son whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom He also made the ages;


In verse 5 we will read a quote from Ps 2:7.


NKJ Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

Then in the second part of verse 5 we have a quote from II Sam 7:14.


NKJ 2 Samuel 7:14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.


As we go through this we see "the Son" again and again. We are talking about which Sonship?  Remember there are the different Sonships of Jesus. He is the Son of Man. He is the Son of Adam. He is the Son of Mary. He is the Son of God. He is the Son of David. Which Sonship are we talking about? The other titles all relate to His humanity but the Son of God relates to His deity. So which is in focus? A human title. So what the emphasis is if you want to get beneath the surface of the text (I am not talking about a hidden allegorical super spiritual meaning. I am talking about being able to read the passage in light of what happened in the Old Testament.) is that we are talking about the Davidic Sonship of Jesus. He is that promised Messiah. 


The verse begins by saying that He has become something that He was not. In His humanity in the First Advent He was born a human being lower than the angels. We'll get into this again in Hebrews 4 or 5. We go back to the Psalm that He was created lower than the angels then He was elevated above the angels. He is incarnate as a human being. During the incarnation period that He is on earth, He is lower than the angels and the angels are ministering to Him in His humanity. 


"Become" is the aorist participle sense of the verb. He sat down because He had become so much better than the angels. That event took place at the ascension of Christ. He became so much better than the angels. We studied that last time and showed some cross-references in Ephesians 1 and some other places. At the ascension Jesus Christ ascended over the angles. He was put in authority over all the angels – all the principalities and powers in heaven. This is what is referred to here. 


Literal translation:  Having become so much better than the angels as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.


This is the Greek comparative of para autos. It is simply another form of comparison. You have two places of comparison here. The key idea in the middle of the text is the verb klyronmeo. He inherits. 


He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.


We see a contrast here between verse 2 where Jesus Christ is appointed heir of all things (That inheritance is yet future.) and the inheritance spoken of in of verse 4. That is an inheritance that took place at the resurrection when He received a more excellent name than the angels. 


That next phrase "name" is important. What does it mean to receive a name more excellent that they? The change of name in the ancient world indicates a change in position, a change of privilege, and a change in status. The more excellent name, even though the writer doesn't indicate it, is that name that applies to Sonship. We'll see that as we get into the next verse.  So that is the more excellent name. 


So if we were to translate this more literal fashion we would translate it this way.


 Literal translation:  Having become as much greater than the angels, as the name which He has inherited, is superior to theirs. 


Notice that you have one comparison as "much greater" and another comparison as "the name" and then a final which is "superior to theirs". It's the very complicated if you take a strict literal translation. The point is that at the ascension Jesus Christ is elevated in His humanity to a position of authority over the angels. He already had that authority in His deity, as the eternal Son of God.  As the human Son of David, as the human Messiah, He is now elevated to a position higher than the angels. This concept is loaded with implications not only for the Church Age today but also for the ultimate working out of God's kingdom plan on planet earth. 


Having said that, the writer feels the need to explain this a little bit. He made a simple statement that Jesus Christ is elevated over the angels. He has a name that is superior to theirs. Then the writer moves into an explanation in verses 5 that extends down to verse 14. This is the first major exposition in Hebrews. I pointed out in the beginning that there would be five expositions and five warning passages. This is the first major exposition. It's a development of the factual data related to who Jesus is in the Old Testament. In fact, as you look at these verses from verse 5 down through verse 14 you will probably notice in your Bible that they are in small caps or in some versions italics to indicate that they are taken from the Old Testament. These are all quotes from the Old Testament. In these ten verses there are 8 quotations from the Old Testament.  Seven of these come out of the Psalms and one comes out of Isaiah 61. We will go back and look at these verses in their original context. This is one of the great things about studying Hebrews is that if you don't know the Old Testament you're lost in the study because the writer uses so many illusions, illustrations, and direct quotes from the Old Testament. So we'll take a look at how the writer used the Old Testament in the book of Hebrews. It is very important to understand the use of the Old Testament in this book.


  1. In the book of Hebrews the writer quotes 29 Old Testament passages. Actually there are 35 but the other six are repetitious. He quotes Psalm 110:1 several times. He quotes from Psalm 2:7 a couple of times. He quotes from Psalm 110:4 several times. So you can see right off the bat that Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 are crucial for understanding the thrust of what the writer of Hebrews is trying to get across to us. The interesting thing is that those are the same verses that are foundational to understanding the ascension and session of Jesus Christ. As I pointed out last time in our review of the ascension of Christ, this doctrine of the ascension and session underlies the entire epistle. So the writer is developing for us the implications of that doctrine as he challenges us with that reality that we need to grow and mature as believers because we understand what Christ is doing at the session. It's not simply that He is there as our defense attorney. He is not simply that He is there as our High Priest. He is doing other things during this period of time related to our future ministry as kings and priests during the Millennial Kingdom.  So 29 Old Testament passages are quoted in the course of the book. Of these, 23 of them come out of the Psalms or the Pentateuch. That tells us that we need to understand the first 5 books of the Old Testament and the Psalms in order to get through some of this. One of the reasons he uses these passages is that among the Jews these were the most widely read and most widely known Old Testament books. He is a good preacher in the sense that he's going to build his message on known Old Testament passages. He goes to the Pentateuch because that is where the law is stated. In the law there is a tremendous amount of Christology. It has to do with why the old covenant is no longer in effect. He goes to the Psalms because they also provide us a tremendous amount of information through prophecy related to the Lord Jesus Christ. 
  2. The second point that we ought to observe in his use of the Old Testament is that for every reference to Jesus Christ with reference to prophecy he goes to the Psalms. For example in the first chapter they're all from the Psalms except for the one in verse 10 that is from Isaiah 61.
  3. A third point that is another interesting observation is that it relates to the canon of Scripture and the authority of the Word of God. He doesn't use the formulaic expressions that Paul used. He doesn't say, "As it is written".  He doesn't say, "As the Scripture says." He just quotes it as if it comes right from the mouth of God. He never mentions the original writer. He never talks about Jeremiah or Isaiah or David. That is what you find in Acts, Romans, and other New Testament books. The implication of that is that he recognizes that there is a human author but that isn't relevant. What is important is that it is straight from the mouth of God. If you look at how he uses the Old Testament he uses it as if he expects his audience to recognize that this is authoritative. This is God speaking to us.  It isn't just men writing down their experiences with God. This is how many Christians think of the Bible today. The writer of Hebrews quotes from the Old Testament as if it's authoritative. Human authorship is not significant. It is the very Word of God.
  4. He doesn't make a distinction between the past written word and the present spoken word. (His present not ours.)  He doesn't make a distinction between the Old Testament that is written (It was completed and closed canon.) and the present written and spoken Word that is coming under inspiration. When he moves through the passages, he recognized that the Holy Spirit is the author of both. And so they have equal authority. 
  5. A fifth point also related to the canon, is that when he quotes all of these Old Testament passages he doesn't quote the Hebrew Old Testament He quotes from the LXX.  The LXX was a translation.  The LXX doesn't always agree with the Hebrew Old Testament.  That is an interesting thing to think about when you are trying to work your way through an understanding of the inspiration of Scripture.  It tells you a number of things about language.  First, even when the translators of Scripture didn't get it quite right, the Word of God is dynamic enough for the Holy Spirit to still use it. And so the LXX has a number of flaws in it. There are a number of places where it changes the word meaning here or there. They would get graded down for any translation class. Nevertheless the Holy Spirit can still use it. Another point especially relevant now after all of the nonsense on television related to allegations about the Koran ran getting flushed down the commodes in Guantanamo is that in Islam Allah's Word can only be accurately understood in the original Arabic. They have a truncated and rigid view of language. You can't truly understand Allah other than in the Arabic.  Moslems have to learn Arabic or they can't understand what god said. But in the Bible you have this picture of God who is the author of all language. He is the one who scattered all the languages at the Tower of Babel.  God is the ultimate architect of all human language so that He designs human language in such a way that He is not restricted in His communication of His word to one language.  He can communicate it in Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic; but it can be translated and the truth of it can be maintained in another language – English, German, Latin, French, Chinese, or any of the thousands of human languages.  They can accurately communicate and translate what the Word of God says. You do not have that in Islam. When they talked about the flushing of the Koran, they weren't talking about the English translations that you pick up at Barnes and Nobel. That has no value in the eyes of a Moslem. It is only the Arabic translation. They have made an idol out of the Koran and they worship that as having its own aspect of deity. But the writer here quotes from the LXX. That gives us an interesting theory of language. It also indicates that there was a set and stable canon of the Old Testament understood at this time. He is quoting from these books as authoritative. If some books are authoritative, what does that imply?  That other books are not authoritative. There was a strict accepted canon. That indicates that by the third century BC the Jews recognized that God was no longer speaking and that the canon was closed. You will usually hear the human viewpoint critics say that the Old Testament canon was decided by the rabbis at the Council of Yamnia in 95 AD. But that isn't what they did at all. They weren't deciding the canon, they were deciding certain administrative and organizational issues with relation to the canon. They weren't making decisions as to what was included and what was excluded. There is evidence from Josephus and Philo and Jesus and statements made by rabbis earlier in the inter-testamental period that the canon was clearly set and finalized. In the transmission of the canon, God was overseeing its preservation. In the fifth point, the writer quotes from the LXX. It indicates a fixed authority. It recognizes that God can still communicate truth in translations. Some of the translations we have today are a little far fetched. You get "The Message" and the "Cotton Patch Gospel". Some of these are extreme paraphrases. I am not sure that they work but it applies to a fairly decent translation. 
  6. In the course of the epistle, he challenges Christians by exposing God's patterns of history. He is a master of going back into Old Testament history and looking at the patterns that you find in the Old Testament and then bringing those over to show how they foreshadowed various aspects about the person and work of the Jesus Christ. He specifically does that in relationship to events surrounding the Exodus and the giving of the Mosaic Law and secondly in relationship to David and the Davidic Covenant.


All of this relates to his use of the Old Testament. Right away we know that we will have to dig around in the Old Testament to figure out what is going on. 


NKJ Hebrews 1:5 For to which of the angels did He ever say: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You"? And again: "I will be to Him a Father, And He shall be to Me a Son"?


We begin with the Greek word gar that indicates that you are explaining the reason behind something you have already stated. He explains why Jesus is elevated over the angels. He doesn't do this from an abstract theological perspective. He is going to do it by going back into the Old Testament and taking these 8 scriptures and is going to base his argument on these 8 scriptures and then he weaves them together in a fantastic pattern of doctrinal development. In some of these cases as we'll see, if you read those passages in their original context you wouldn't necessarily get this application. He takes them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and weaves these points together in order to substantiate the superiority of Christ and His Davidic Messiahship over the angels. 


Then he quotes Ps 2:7


NKJ Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.


NKJ 2 Samuel 7:14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men.


Now we need take some time and to go back and look at what is going on in Ps 2:7 and II Samuel 7:14.


What we are going to do is a slight diversion to Daniel 7. We talked about the ascension and session last week by way of introduction. We are going to Psalm 2 by way of Daniel 7. 


There are four key passages in the Old Testament that New Testament writers go to understand what's happening in the ascension and session of Christ. The first is Psalm 68 specifically verse 18 which is quoted and applied by the Apostle Paul in Eph 4:7. 


He takes the Old Testament situation where David is writing a victory psalm as the Ark of the Covenant as the dwelling place of God in the Old Testament is taken up on Mt. Zion, the temple mount in Jerusalem. This was the result of the final victories that David had over the last stronghold of the Canaanites. There are still pockets of Canaanites around. They will be a problem for several more years. In terms of major strongholds, the final stronghold in Jerusalem, the place where the Jebusites dwelt, was defeated by David. This is described in II Samuel 5.  Then in II Samuel 6, they take the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem and have an incredible ceremony. David is dressed like a priest. He is not a priest. He is not from the tribe of Levi. He's from the tribe of Judah. He is not acting in line with the Levitical priesthood; but with an even more ancient priesthood, that of Melchizedek. What is happening here is that we are tying elements together from Genesis and as we will see elements from Revelation. Psalm 68 is a picture of the ascension taken from the Old Testament as a victorious ascent. As a result of His victory over sin and over Satan and the angels at the cross, Jesus Christ is elevated to a position of the authority as indicated by the quote from Psalm 68:18. 


Then Daniel 7:14 gives us information about why He had to ascend in relationship to His future kingdom. In our review last time I pointed out that the ascension and session relates to the idea of the kingdom. You have to keep that in focus. Jesus Christ came offering the kingdom to Israel.  John the Baptist's message was repent for the kingdom was at hand. The message of the disciples was repent for the kingdom was at hand. What was about to happen? The kingdom of heaven was going to happen. But it didn't happen because they rejected Jesus. It was postponed to the future.


In Daniel 7:14 we see what happens in the future.  He doesn't get that kingdom until the future.  Psalm 2 tells us what's going on now and what will again happen in the future. Then we have Psalm 110:1. Psalm 110:1 is also quoted here in the first chapter of Hebrews. So Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 are both part of the argument in Hebrews 1. I want you to see how the author weaves these different passages together in order to make his case.


We come to Daniel 7. Daniel 7 is filled with all kinds of images of various beasts who represent the kingdoms of man. These beasts all come out of the sea. The sea represents the tumultuous chaos of human history. The first beast is the lion with the wings of an eagle that represents the empire of Babylon, the Neo-Caledonian Empire. Then you have the lopsided bear with three ribs in his mouth. That is Media-Persian Empire. Then you have the four-headed leopard. That is the Greek Empire under Alexander and then it's division into the four smaller empires after his death.  Then you have the arrival of the last empire that is represented by a great and horrible beast that has ten horns. That represents the Roman Empire, ancient Roman Empire, and its future manifestation as the Revived Roman Empire centered around ten powerful kings or ten nations. That's the flow of human history. 


In Daniel, God represents the best and the brightest of human history as bestial. This is not a compliment to human empire building or nation building. This is an insult. This pictures us as being bestial. The picture of the beautiful image of gold, silver, and brass in Daniel 2 is a picture of human empires from man's perspective. We think it is something valuable. But God looks at it as something bestial. Man is not what God intended him to be. Sin has distorted his nature. These bestial kingdoms are going to be destroyed by the One who comes like the Son of Man. 


NKJ Daniel 7:9 " I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;


The Ancient of Days is the first personality that we run into here. This is God the Father. I want you to see if you recognize anything in this description. Does anything sound familiar? 


The white hair is also found in Rev 1. When John is on Patmos and the Lord Jesus Christ appears to him with hair white like wool.


NKJ Revelation 1:14 His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;


Burning fire is the Judgment Seat of Heaven, the Supreme Court of Heaven.


NKJ Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.


We have a parallel passage and description in Revelation 4 and 5.  Let's stop and pull this altogether.  This is one of those great global lessons where you tie a lot of threads together.  In Revelation 4 and 5 you see a picture of the throne room of God. Around the throne room of God you have the living beasts, the angels, and the 24 elders. John appears and is caught up into the third heaven. He is before the throne of God and he looks around and sees the angels coming out. The angels are bemoaning the fact that they have a scroll or title deed that written on the inside and on the outside. It is sealed. There were 7 seals on this document. That was standard practice in the legal practice of the Roman world. They would take the title deed that had private information that was not to be observed on the inside and then the outside would have public information that people could read. It was public and available to everyone. They would seal it up with seven seals. They looked for someone who could open the seven seals. Opening the seven seals is indicative of taking ownership of what is in the scroll. The scroll contains the title to planet earth and to royalty and leadership over the human race. That's our picture. We see an element of that here in Daniel 7. 


NKJ Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.


NKJ Daniel 7:13 " I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him. 14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.


The same imagery is picked up in Revelation 1. Here we have a special term "One like the Son of Man". He is not a beast like these other kingdoms. He is a human. He represents pure and true humanity. This is a title that the Lord Jesus Christ picks up and uses some 70 times in the gospels to refer to Himself. The only place it's used before the gospels is this passage. Jesus Christ constantly identifies Himself with this figure. This is the Messiah. 


He is presented before the throne of God. It is at this point in time that is still in the future that He receives dominion, glory, and a kingdom. He is given ownership of the planet earth.


What did we learn from Daniel 7? First of all, that the goal is that every nation serves Him in the kingdom. It is not simply a Jewish kingdom. That was part of the problem that the Jews had when Jesus came. They thought that the kingdom was only going to be made up of Jews. But what we see from Daniel 7 is that it is comprised of every tribe of every nation. It expands the concept of the kingdom.


Secondly, we see from the phrase "to Him was given" that at this particular point in time the Messiah is given the kingdom. Five minutes before that He doesn't have the kingdom. There is no kingdom. Five years before that He doesn't have the kingdom. There is no kingdom. Five centuries before that He doesn't have the kingdom. The point is that the giving of the kingdom occurs right before He comes back at the Second Coming. He comes to destroy all of the human nations. That occurs at the end of the tribulation period. That means that right now there is no kingdom. We are not in a form of the kingdom. We are not living in a spiritualized form of the kingdom. We can't bring in the kingdom. That is what the postmillennialists want to do. The kingdom doesn't happen until the God the Father gives it to the Son. 


NKJ Daniel 7:18 'But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.'


Saints is a term that is not restricted to just Jews from the Old Testament or Church Age believers. It simply means holy ones or believers. It can be an umbrella term that encompasses both Old Testament saints and New Testament Church Age believers. 


That is what happens at the end of the tribulation period. There is a period prior to that when there is no kingdom. And the Son doesn't receive the kingdom. That's what is happening in Psalm 2. What we are getting out of Daniel 7 is the recognition that there is a point in the future that the Son of Man, a title that's related to His Son of David title, that He is given the kingdom. That is at some future time.


NKJ Psalm 2:1 Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing?


Psalm 2 is a royal Messianic Psalm. In the first three verses, we get a picture of the nations on the earth shaking their fists in rage at God in a conspiracy and a coalition to prevent the coming of the Millennial Kingdom or the Messiah. It is a picture of all humanity that has aligned themselves together in order to prevent the inauguration of the Millennial Kingdom. 


The picture you see here is that everybody is franticly trying to come up with some plan or strategy in order to prevent the Messiah from coming. All of humanity is united against Him. 


NKJ Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."


This is all the nations, not just the Revived Roman Empire. The kings of the east, the kings of the south, the kings of the north, and all of the kings of the earth all take their stand. Where does that ultimately lead to? Armageddon, that great plain of Esduron in Israel. 


The first two lines are in synonymous parallelism.  The focus of their conspiracy is the Lord.  Who's the Lord here?  The Lord is God the Father.  His Anointed is the Messiah.  All the rulers take their stand against God the Father and God the Son who is the Messiah.


Now this is what the rulers of the earth say.


NKJ Psalm 2:3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."

Fallen man looks on God's authority as nothing more than negative restrictions. God doesn't want us to be all that we can be.  God wants to destroy all of our party time. He does not want us to have any fun. All of His mandates and all of His laws are nothing more than fetters, chains, and bonds. These are the words of the rebellious kings of the earth. 


This is God's response. He laughs at them in derision. They are nothing more than ants trying to lead a rebellion against Him. He sits in the heavens and laughs. 


NKJ Psalm 2:4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The LORD shall hold them in derision.


NKJ Psalm 2:5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:


He is the Father. The wrath of God is the outworking of His justice. 


Then is a temporal adverb. When does this take place? It takes place after they rebel. It is after they come together in a coalition. Has this happened in history? No, it hasn't. The events of verse 5 and following don't take place until after you have this worldwide coalition in rebellion against God.


NKJ Psalm 2:6 "Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion."


God the Father speaks. In Psalm 2 you have to pay attention to who is speaking or you will get confused. 


Who is the king? The king is the Messiah. 


Where does the king come from? The king that is going to be on Mt. Zion? This is the same Mt Zion in Psalm 68:18 where the ark was taken up on the mountain. The king goes back to the Davidic Covenant. The Hebrew word for install is nasak means to set install or to inaugurate a leader.  It implies that until He puts the king on planet earth, on the mountain; He is not the king.  He is not inaugurated yet. We are not in some spiritual form of the kingdom. There is no a king yet. It is not until God installs or inaugurates the Lord Jesus Christ on Zion that we have a king and a kingdom. It all goes back to understanding the Abrahamic Covenant that we have gone over many times. There are three key ideas.


  1. Land The land aspect was expanded in the Israel Land or Palestinian covenant.  Deut 30
  2. Seed.  This is the Davidic covenant in II Sam 7.
  3. Blessing  Jeremiah 31


II Samuel 7:14 is quoted in the second part of Hebrews 1:5. The first part of Hebrews 1:5 is Psalm 2:7. The writer of Hebrews pulls this verse out of Psalm 2:7 and another verse out of II Samuel 7:14 and connects them to make sure that we understand that the Son who is installed on Mt. Zion in Ps 2:5 is the Davidic Sonship, the Messianic Sonship that is explained in II Samuel 7.  The third dimension is the Abrahamic Covenant is the New Covenant that is not part of our study.


NKJ 2 Samuel 7:12 " When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 "He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.


Here we have the Davidic Covenant. There is the same terminology of seed that is in the Abrahamic Covenant. 


If you are going to establish somebody's throne forever, what do you have to have?  Either you have to have an ongoing succession of father to son to grandson and on and on that goes on for all eternity or a line end that ends with someone who is eternal. Embedded here is the idea that the king has a divine dimension. He is going to be eternal. Because He is from the line of David He has a human aspect. So embedded here if you really think about it is the implication of a God-man. The perfect ideal king for Israel is not just a human, He has to be divine. He can't be human because the human race is fallen. There has to be a unity of humanity and deity.

NKJ 2 Samuel 7:14 "I will be his Father, and he shall be My son. If he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men and with the blows of the sons of men. 15 "But My mercy shall not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I removed from before you.


That's the phrase that is picked up and quoted in Heb 2:5b. 


There is a near fulfillment in relationship to Solomon. It applied to Solomon and the Davidic kings. It was not applied to the ultimate figure, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Let's go back to Psalm 2.


NKJ Psalm 2:7 "I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, 'You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.


Who is speaking here? The Lord is God the Father. The "I" is the Son. The Son is being installed on Mt. Zion.


The word "begotten" is in an interesting form in the Hebrew. The vowel points were added later by the Masorites. If you can look at the consonants it could be either a qal stem or a hiphel.  The reason that is important is that the hiphel stem is a causative or declarative stem. That would shift the meaning from simply saying, "Today I have begotten you" to the idea that "today I declare that you are my begotten one". It is a declaration.


The Lord Jesus Christ makes a statement at the time that He is installed on the mountain. He looks back to an earlier time when a decree was made. At that future date, at the Second Coming, He will tell us about a decree that was made earlier. This word decree is an interesting little word.  It's the Hebrew word is choq. It refers to a written decree, something that was engraved, usually a statute or a law or some kind of legal document. It was used in many contexts to indicate a written title deed. For example in Genesis 47:22 it refers to certain portion of the land allotted or apportioned to Joseph. Think about this a minute. The writer of Psalm 2 under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit chooses a word that has a specific concept of relating to something allotted or apportioned. 


NKJ Psalm 2:8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth for Your possession.


What is He receiving when He is receiving all of that? He is receiving a title deed. 


Remember what I said a little while ago? I said that there is an allusion in Daniel 7. The imagery is similar to Rev 4 and 5 in the throne room of God. In the throne room of God, what is happening? The angels are looking for someone to open that scroll. They are desperate to find someone worthy to open the scroll. They are so desperate. The scene is so intense that it says that John who has been taken to heaven bursts into tears. He is weeping. It is a strong Greek word for weeping. He isn't sitting up there crying a little bit. He is bawling. He is at his wits end because he realizes that no one is worthy to take the scroll. Then comes in the Lamb in one of the most dramatic scenes in the Scripture. The Lamb steps forward and takes the scroll and starts to cut the seals. The seals are the first seven seal judgments in Revelation. It pictures that all of the Great Tribulation is the wrath of the Lamb and the wrath of God being poured out on the earth to prepare the earth for His final coming to take His rightful place as the Davidic son as the Messianic heir who will take possession of the earth. This is why He has been elevated to such a position.


When you think about all of this, the picture that you have in your head is a picture of the glories of the Lord Jesus Christ that goes far beyond anything most Christians think about in terms of who Jesus is. This is a picture of a mighty glorious ruler who comes back to the earth and will take possession away from the kings of the earth through an entire series of horrendous judgments that take place in the Great Tribulation. That's why we're not going to be here. He is not going to take that wrath out on the bride. We're the bride of Christ. You don't beat up the bride before you get married. You purify the bride. The bride will be removed and then He will come back.


Next time we will go over Psalm 2:7 again to make sure that we understand its implications and tie it into II Samuel. Then we will move on into the rest of Hebrews 1. The main point here talks about the new position of Christ over the angels. Hebrews 1:5-6 develop that whole theme of His current position. You have to have a position before you have power. 


Then from verse 7 down through the end of the chapter is the development of His authority and His power. That is what the rest of the chapter is all about – the position of Christ over the angels and His power or authority. Then when we get to chapter 2 it develops the implications of this and why it needs to radically change what you think about your spiritual life.