|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:5-9 Neither the state in which the church is at present, nor its more completely restored state, when the prince of this world shall be cast out, and the kingdoms of the earth become the kingdom of Christ, is left to the government of the angels: Christ will take to him his great power, and will reign. And what is the moving cause of all the kindness God shows to men in giving Christ for them and to them? it is the grace of God. As a reward of Christ's humiliation in suffering death, he has unlimited dominion over all things; thus this ancient scripture was fulfilled in him. Thus God has done wonderful things for us in creation and providence, but for these we have made the basest returns.
Verse 7. - Thou madest him a little lower than the angels. Here the LXX. takes Elohim (being a plural form) to mean "angels;" as also in Psalm 97:7 and Psalms 138:1. The more correct rendering of the Hebrew may be, "thou reddest him a little short of God," with reference to his having been made "in God's image," "after God's likeness," and having dominion over creation given him. But, if so, Elohim must be understood in its abstract sense of "Divinity" (so Genesis), rather than as denoting the Supreme Being. Otherwise, "thyself" would have been the more appropriate expression, the psalm being addressed to God. The argument is not affected by the difference of translation. Indeed, the latter rendering enhances still more the position assigned to man. Thou crownedst him with glory and worship, and didst set him over the works of thy hands. The latter clause of this sentence, which is found in the LXX., but not in the Hebrew, is omitted in several codices. It is not wanted for the purpose of the argument.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thou madest him a little lower than the angels,.... In the Hebrew text it is, "than Elohim", which some render, "than God"; but it is rightly rendered by the apostle, "than angels"; and so the Targum, Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret it. Christ was made a little lower than the angels, through the assumption of the human nature, which is inferior to angels, especially the corporeal part of it, and in this Kimchi makes the lessening to be; and more especially as that was assumed by Christ, with the infirmities of it; and by reason of the straits and indigencies he was brought into in it; besides, he was in it made under the law, which was given by angels, and to some parts of which they are not subject; and sometimes he stood in need of the ministry and support of angels, and had it; particularly he was made lower than they, when he was deprived of the gracious presence of God, and in the time of his sufferings and death; and which seem chiefly to be respected, as appears from Hebrews 2:9 and the word "little" may not so much intend the degree of his humiliation, as the duration of it; for it may be rendered, "a little while"; in which sense it is used in Acts 5:34 as the Hebrew word is in Psalm 37:10 and so may respect the time of his suffering death; and at most the time from his incarnation to his resurrection; for he could not continue long in this low estate, which is matter of joy to us; he could not be held by the cords of death, but must rise, and be exalted above angels, as he is: and he was made so low by God, Jehovah the Father, whose name is excellent in all the earth, Psalm 8:1 he preordained him to this low estate; he prepared a body for him, and had a very great hand in his sufferings and death; though neither of these were contrary to his will:
thou crownest him with glory and honour; with that glory he had with the Father before the world was, and which followed upon his sufferings and death; for through them he entered into it, and upon his resurrection had it, and he is ascended on high, where he has the honour to sit at the right hand of God, which none of the angels have; and therefore is now above them, though once for a while below them, and they are now subject to him:
and didst set him over the works of thy hands: over angels, principalities, and powers; over the kings of the earth, and all the inhabitants of it, and all things in it, and made him higher than the heavens, and gave him a name above every name.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. a little—not as Bengel, "a little time."
than the angels—Hebrew, "than God," "Elohim," that is, the abstract qualities of God, such as angels possess in an inferior form; namely, heavenly, spiritual, incorporeal natures. Man, in his original creation, was set next beneath them. So the man Jesus, though Lord of angels, when He emptied Himself of the externals of His Divinity (see on Php 2:6, 7), was in His human nature "a little lower than the angels"; though this is not the primary reference here, but man in general.
crownedst him with glory and honour—as the appointed kingly vicegerent of God over this earth (Ge 1:1-2:25).
and didst set him over the works of thy hands—omitted in some of the oldest manuscripts; but read by others and by oldest versions: so Ps 8:6, "Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands."
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