Jesus, the Language of God
1Throughout our history God has spoken to our ancestors by his prophets in many different ways. The revelation he gave them was only a fragment at a time, building one truth upon another. # 1:1 The Greek is “God spoke in different times in different parts.” That is, he reveals one piece and then another, like pieces of a puzzle, with one piece complementing the other. The Aramaic can be translated “God spoke to our ancestors by all methods and at any price” or “in every way, shape, and form.” That is, by sample and by example God reveals his ways progressively, building on previous understandings, leading us into Christ’s fullness. 2But to us living in these last days, # 1:2 This phrase, often used by the prophets of the Old Testament, speaks of our current time in human history between Acts 2 (Pentecost) and the coming again of Christ. God now speaks to us openly in the language of a Son, # 1:2 Or “he has spoken through a Son.” We speak in English; God speaks in “Son,” for Jesus is the language of God. The Sonship of Jesus is the language he now uses to speak to us. the appointed Heir of everything, for through him God created the panorama of all things and all time. # 1:2 Or “the complete period of all existence.” The Aramaic can be translated “universes.” Both the concept of “all things,” and “all time” (the ages), are implied in the text.
3The Son is the dazzling radiance of God’s splendor, # 1:3 Or “the out-shining [effulgence] of God’s glory.” The Aramaic can be translated “He is the Sprout of God, the image of his glory.” the exact expression of God’s true nature—his mirror image! # 1:3 Or “the Son is God’s mirror image and exact expression” (the reflection of God). He holds the universe # 1:3 The Aramaic can be translated “He is almighty.” together and expands it # 1:3 The Greek word phero, has as its primary meaning “to carry along” or “to move [something] forward.” Forward motion is implied. (See Strong’s Concordance, Gr. 5342.) by the mighty power of his spoken word. # 1:3 This is the Greek word rhema, which is the sayings of the Son, or “his spoken word.” He accomplished for us the complete cleansing of sins, # 1:3 Or “Because he had accomplished our purification from sins” (atonement). and then took his seat on the highest throne at the right hand # 1:3 That is, the place of highest honor and authority. See Ps. 110:1. Some have proposed that v. 3 is an ancient Christian hymn that summarizes our faith. of the majestic One. # 1:3 Or “the Majesty,” a periphrasis for God.
Jesus, Greater than Angels
4He is infinitely greater than angels, for he inherited a rank and a Name # 1:4 This is Ha-Shem, in the Aramaic, the common title for God. This elevates the meaning of the passage much clearer than Greek, for Jesus is now given the “Name,” that is, he has the title of God (Ha-Shem, the Name). far greater than theirs. 5For God has never said to any angel what he said to Jesus:
“You are my favored Son, today I have fathered you.” # 1:5 The Aramaic can be translated “Every day I beget you.” See Ps. 2:7, 12.
“I will be the Father to him, and he will be the Son to me.” # 1:5 See 2 Sam. 7:14; 1 Chron. 17:13.
6And again, when he brought his firstborn Son into the world:
“Let all my angels bow down before him
and kiss him in worship.” # 1:6 See Ps. 97:7. The Greek word used for worship, proskuneo, includes three concepts: “to bow,” “to kiss,” and “to pay homage (worship).” All three are included here. This seems to be referring to Christ’s birth, however, some interpret this to be when Jesus was exalted and ascended into heaven.
7And about his angels he says,
“I make my angels swift winds,
and my ministers # 1:7 The Greek word leitourgos means “those who read the liturgy” or “priests.” fiery flames.” # 1:7 See Ps. 104:4.
8But about his Son, he called him “God,” # 1:8 Clearly implied in the text and made explicit. saying,
“Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever
and you will rule your kingdom
with justice and righteousness, # 1:8 The Greek used here can mean either justice or righteousness; this translation includes both. The text is literally “the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.”
9For you have cherished righteousness
and detested lawlessness.
For this reason, God, your God, has anointed you # 1:9 The word Messiah means “Anointed One.” There is a clear and unmistakable poetic play on words by reading the Aramaic (Mashkhakh Alaha Alahakh Meshka, almost a complete reversing of the sounds of the first into the second), that is lost in the Greek.
and poured out the oil of bliss on you # 1:9 Or “the oil of rejoicing.” See Ps. 45:6–7.
more than on any of your friends.”
10And he called him Lord, # 1:10 Clearly implied in the text and made explicit. saying,
“Lord, you formed the earth in the beginning # 1:10 See Ps. 102:25–27.
and with your own hands you crafted the cosmos. # 1:10 See Ps. 8:1–3.
11They will both one day disappear,
but you will remain forever!
They will all fade like a worn-out garment,
12And they will be changed like clothes,
and you will fold them up and put them away.
But you are ‘I AM.’ # 1:12 As translated from the Aramaic, which is literally “you are as you are.” This is a variation of the name of God revealed to Moses in Ex. 3:14, “I AM who I AM.” There is an obvious connection here to that incident and endorses the truth that the preincarnate Christ was the One who appeared in the burning bush.
You never change, years without end!” # 1:12 The Aramaic can be translated “the years will not age you.”
13And God has never said this to any of his angels:
“Take your seat next to me at my right hand
until I force your whispering enemies # 1:13 As translated from the Aramaic.
to be a rug under your feet.” # 1:13 Or “a footstool for your feet.” See Ps. 110:1. Placing the feet on a defeated enemy was a gesture of triumph. See Josh. 10:24; 1 Kings 5:3.
14What role then, do the angels have? The angels are spirit-messengers sent by God to serve those who are going to be saved. # 1:14 The Aramaic can be translated “The angels are spirit-winds-of-ministry sent to minister to those destined to receive salvation.” The angels are glad to minister to us, for they see us “in Christ.”