Hebrews 2:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants.

New Living Translation
We also know that the Son did not come to help angels; he came to help the descendants of Abraham.

English Standard Version
For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.

Berean Study Bible
For surely it is not the angels He helps, but the descendants of Abraham.

Berean Literal Bible
For surely He helps not the angels, but He helps the seed of Abraham.

New American Standard Bible
For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

King James Bible
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For it is clear that He does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham's offspring.

International Standard Version
For it is clear that he did not come to help angels. No, he came to help Abraham's descendants,

NET Bible
For surely his concern is not for angels, but he is concerned for Abraham's descendants.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For death was not authorized over the Angels, but death was authorized over the seed of Abraham.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
So Jesus helps Abraham's descendants rather than helping angels.

New American Standard 1977
For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For verily he did not take the angels, but he took the seed of Abraham.

King James 2000 Bible
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the nature of Abraham.

American King James Version
For truly he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

American Standard Version
For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For no where doth he take hold of the angels: but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.

Darby Bible Translation
For he does not indeed take hold of angels [by the hand], but he takes hold of the seed of Abraham.

English Revised Version
For verily not of angels doth he take hold, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham.

Webster's Bible Translation
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

Weymouth New Testament
For assuredly it is not to angels that He is continually reaching a helping hand, but it is to the descendants of Abraham.

World English Bible
For most certainly, he doesn't give help to angels, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham.

Young's Literal Translation
for, doubtless, of messengers it doth not lay hold, but of seed of Abraham it layeth hold,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

2:14-18 The angels fell, and remained without hope or help. Christ never designed to be the Saviour of the fallen angels, therefore he did not take their nature; and the nature of angels could not be an atoning sacrifice for the sin of man. Here is a price paid, enough for all, and suitable to all, for it was in our nature. Here the wonderful love of God appeared, that, when Christ knew what he must suffer in our nature, and how he must die in it, yet he readily took it upon him. And this atonement made way for his people's deliverance from Satan's bondage, and for the pardon of their sins through faith. Let those who dread death, and strive to get the better of their terrors, no longer attempt to outbrave or to stifle them, no longer grow careless or wicked through despair. Let them not expect help from the world, or human devices; but let them seek pardon, peace, grace, and a lively hope of heaven, by faith in Him who died and rose again, that thus they may rise above the fear of death. The remembrance of his own sorrows and temptations, makes Christ mindful of the trials of his people, and ready to help them. He is ready and willing to succour those who are tempted, and seek him. He became man, and was tempted, that he might be every way qualified to succour his people, seeing that he had passed through the same temptations himself, but continued perfectly free from sin. Then let not the afflicted and tempted despond, or give place to Satan, as if temptations made it wrong for them to come to the Lord in prayer. Not soul ever perished under temptation, that cried unto the Lord from real alarm at its danger, with faith and expectation of relief. This is our duty upon our first being surprised by temptations, and would stop their progress, which is our wisdom.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 16, 17. - For verily, etc. The A.V. (following the ancient interpreters) takes this verse as referring to the Incarnation. But

(1) ἐπιλαμβάνεσθαι σπέρματος and, still more, ἐπιλαμβάνεσθαι ἀγγέλων, seems an awkward way of expressing "to assume the nature of." The usual sense of the verb, followed by a genitive, is "to take hold of," as ἐπιλαμβάνεσθαι χειρός (Acts 23:19; Mark 8:23); and especially in the sense of "succouring" (cf. Matthew 14:31; Hebrews 8:9; Isaiah 31:32, Ἐν ἡμέρα ἐπιλᾶμβομένου μου τῆς χειρὸς αὐτῶν; and Ecclus. 4:11, Ἡ σοφία ἐπιλαμβάνεται τῶν ζητούντων αὐτήν.

(2) The present tense of the verb is inappropriate to the past act of the Incarnation, which has, moreover, been sufficiently declared in ver. 14.

(3) The sequence of though+, in the following verse is not easily intelligible if the Incarnation be the subject of this:" Whence it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren;" - this does not follow from his having become incarnate; we should rather say that his incarnation was the means of his being made like them. Translate, therefore, observing the position of the substantives before the verbs, For not, I ween, angels cloth he lay hold of (to succor them), but the seed of Abraham he doth lay hold of. The allusion is to its being the human "children of promise," and not angels, that are denoted in prophecy as being, and acknowledged to be, the object of the Messianic redemption. The expression, "the seed of Abraham," is, of course, not intended to exclude the Gentiles: it is appropriately used in reference to the Messianic promises of the Old Testament (cf. Genesis 23:18; Isaiah 41:8): and the extension of its meaning to "all them that believe" would be as familiar to the first readers of the Epistle as to us (cf. Matthew 3:9; John 8:39; Romans 4:11, 16). The conclusion of ver. 17 (which repeats virtually what has been alleged before, after reason given) now naturally follows: Whence it behooved him in all things to be assimilated to his brethren; i.e. to the race which was the object of his redemptive succor. But, further, why the need of this entire assimilation, to the extent of participation in suffering unto death? That he might become a merciful (or, compassionate) high priest, in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. It was that he might be fully constituted as the High Priest of humanity. Here, according to the manner of the Epistle, the view of priesthood, to be afterwards set forth at length, is briefly hinted. It is taken up in Hebrews 5, after the conclusion that Christ is man's High Priest has been reached by another line of argument (see preceding summary). In Hebrews 5. one of the essentials of a true high priest (whose office is to mediate for man in things pertaining to God) is set forth as being that he should be of the same race and nature with those for whom he mediates, and able in all respects to sympathize with them: and this view is here foreshadowed.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For verily he took not on him the nature of angels,.... Good angels; for they are all along spoken of in this book; and it would have been impertinent to have said this of evil angels: and this is to be understood not of a denying help and assistance to the angels; for though they have not redemption from Christ, which they needed not, yet have they help from him; they are chosen in him, and are gathered together under him; and he is the head of them, and they are upheld and sustained by him in their being, and well being: but of a non-assumption of their nature; there was no need of it with respect to good angels, and there was no salvation designed for evil ones; and to have assumed the nature of angels, would have been of no service to fallen man; an angelic nature is not capable of death, which was necessary to atone for sin, save men, and destroy Satan: this negative proposition is very strongly put, "he never took", as the Vulgate Latin version more rightly renders it; at no time, in no place; nor is it said in any place of Scripture that he did; this is a certain truth, and not to be disputed. The Syriac and Arabic versions render it, "he took not of, or from angels"; he took not any individual from among them:

but he took on him the seed of Abraham; not all his posterity, but some individual, as the word seed is sometimes used, Genesis 4:25. Christ assumed human nature as derived from Abraham; for the Messiah was to spring from Abraham, and is promised, as that seed of his, in whom all nations should be blessed; and he was particularly promised to the Jews, the seed of Abraham, to whom the apostle was writing; and it was with a view to Abraham's spiritual seed, the children of the promise, that Christ partook of flesh and blood: the word here used signifies to catch hold of anyone ready to perish, or to lay hold on a person running away, and with great vehemence and affection to hold anything fast, that it be not lost, and to help persons, and do good unto them; all which may be observed in this act of Christ's, in assuming an individual of human nature, in Abraham's line, into union with his divine person; whereby he has saved those that were gone out of the way, and were ready to perish, and done them the greatest good, and shown the strongest affection to them: and from hence may be learned the deity and eternity of Christ, who was before Abraham, as God, though a son of his as man; and his real humanity, and that it was not a person, but a seed, a nature he assumed; and also the union and distinction of natures in him: and Christ's taking human, and not angelic nature, shows the sovereignty of God, and his distinguishing grace and mercy to men.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. For verily—Greek, "For as we all know"; "For as you will doubtless grant." Paul probably alludes to Isa 41:8; Jer 31:32, Septuagint, from which all Jews would know well that the fact here stated as to Messiah was what the prophets had led them to expect.

took not on him, etc.—rather, "It is not angels that He is helping (the present tense implies duration); but it is the seed of Abraham that He is helping." The verb is literally, to help by taking one by the hand, as in Heb 8:9, "When I took them by the hand," etc. Thus it answers to "succor," Heb 2:18, and "deliver," Heb 2:15. "Not angels," who have no flesh and blood, but "the children," who have "flesh and blood," He takes hold of to help by "Himself taking part of the same" (Heb 2:14). Whatever effect Christ's work may have on angels, He is not taking hold to help them by suffering in their nature to deliver them from death, as in our case.

the seed of Abraham—He views Christ's redemption (in compliment to the Hebrews whom he is addressing, and as enough for his present purpose) with reference to Abraham's seed, the Jewish nation, primarily; not that he excludes the Gentiles (Heb 2:9, "for every man"), who, when believers, are the seed of Abraham spiritually (compare Heb 2:12; Ps 22:22, 25, 27), but direct reference to them (such as is in Ro 4:11, 12, 16; Ga 3:7, 14, 28, 29) would be out of place in his present argument. It is the same argument for Jesus being the Christ which Matthew, writing his Gospel for the Hebrews, uses, tracing the genealogy of Jesus from Abraham, the father of the Jews, and the one to whom the promises were given, on which the Jews especially prided themselves (compare Ro 9:4, 5).

Hebrews 2:16 Additional Commentaries
Jesus Made Like His Brothers
15and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16For assuredly He does not give help to angels, but He gives help to the descendant of Abraham. 17Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.…
Cross References
Hebrews 2:15
and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:17
For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.
Treasury of Scripture

For truly he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.


Hebrews 6:16 For men truly swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation …

Hebrews 12:10 For they truly for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; …

Romans 2:25 For circumcision truly profits, if you keep the law: but if you be …

1 Peter 1:20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but …

took not, etc. Gr. taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold. the seed.

Genesis 22:18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because …

Matthew 1:1 The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the …

Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the …

Galatians 3:16,29 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, …

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Alphabetical: Abraham Abraham's angels assuredly but descendant descendants does For give gives he help helps is it not of surely the to

NT Letters: Hebrews 2:16 For most certainly he doesn't give help (Heb. He. Hb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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