Hebrews 5:4
Parallel Verses
New International Version
And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, just as Aaron was.

New Living Translation
And no one can become a high priest simply because he wants such an honor. He must be called by God for this work, just as Aaron was.

English Standard Version
And no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

New American Standard Bible
And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was.

King James Bible
And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
No one takes this honor on himself; instead, a person is called by God, just as Aaron was.

International Standard Version
No one takes this honor upon himself but he is called to it by God, just as Aaron was.

NET Bible
And no one assumes this honor on his own initiative, but only when called to it by God, as in fact Aaron was.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And it was not for himself that a man took the honor, but he who was called by God, just as Aaron.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
No one takes this honor for himself. Instead, God calls him as he called Aaron.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And no one takes this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

King James 2000 Bible
And no man takes this honor unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

American King James Version
And no man takes this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

American Standard Version
And no man taketh the honor unto himself, but when he is called of God, even as was Aaron.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was.

Darby Bible Translation
And no one takes the honour to himself but [as] called by God, even as Aaron also.

English Revised Version
And no man taketh the honour unto himself, but when he is called of God, even as was Aaron.

Webster's Bible Translation
And no man taketh this honor to himself, but he that is called by God, as was Aaron:

Weymouth New Testament
And no one takes this honourable office upon himself, but only accepts it when called to it by God, as Aaron was.

World English Bible
Nobody takes this honor on himself, but he is called by God, just like Aaron was.

Young's Literal Translation
and no one to himself doth take the honour, but he who is called by God, as also Aaron:
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

5:1-10 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?

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 4. - And no man taketh this honor unto himself, but being called of God (the 5 of Textus Receptus before καλούμενος ( "he that is called," as in A.V. - has very slight authority), even as was Aaron. This verse expresses the second essential of a high priest, Divine appointment, for assurance of the efficacy of his mediation. Of course Aaron's successors derived their Divine commission from his original one (cf. Numbers 21:26; Numbers 26:10-14).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And no man taketh this honour to himself,.... That is, the honour of the priesthood: the office of the high priest was a very honourable one; it was a peculiar honour to Aaron, and his sons, to be separated unto it; their instalment into it was very grand and solemn; at that time they were anointed with oil, and clothed with glorious garments, and sacrifices were offered for them; they had an honourable maintenance assigned them, and a large retinue of priests and Levites to attend them; great respect and reverence were shown them: but their principal honour lay in the work they performed; in representing the whole body of the people; in offering gifts and sacrifices for them; in blessing them; and in the resolution of difficult cases brought unto them; in all which they were types of Christ, the high priest. Now no man might take this honourable office upon himself, or intrude himself into it, or obtain it by any unjust method, or in any other way than by a call from God; nor did any man dare to do it, until of late, when some got into it of themselves, and were put in by the Roman governors, and even purchased it of them (a): so Joshua ben Gamla became an high priest (b); and some have thought the apostle has some respect to these wicked practices, and tacitly reproves them, as what ought not to be: for no one ought to be in this office,

but he that is called of God, as was Aaron; whose call was immediately from the Lord, and was unquestionable: Moses was ordered to separate him, and his sons, from the children of Israel, and install them into this office; they were destroyed by fire, or swallowed up by the earth, that disputed his call; and this was confirmed by a miracle, by his dry rod budding, blooming, and bringing forth almonds: and the apostle instances in him, because his call was so remarkable and authentic; and because he was the first high priest of the Jews, and from whence the rest descended, who were lawful ones.

(a) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 8. 2. Bartenora in Misn. Yoma, c. 1. sect. 1. & Maimon. in ib. sect. 3.((b) Misn. Yebamot, c. 6. sect. 4. & Gloss. in T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 18. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

4. no man—of any other family but Aaron's, according to the Mosaic law, can take to himself the office of high priest. This verse is quoted by some to prove the need of an apostolic succession of ordination in the Christian ministry; but the reference here is to the priesthood, not the Christian ministry. The analogy in our Christian dispensation would warn ministers, seeing that God has separated them from the congregation of His people to bring them near Himself, and to do the service of His house, and to minister (as He separated the Levites, Korah with his company), that content with this, they should beware of assuming the sacrificial priesthood also, which belongs to Christ alone. The sin of Korah was, not content with the ministry as a Levite, he took the sacerdotal priesthood also. No Christian minister, as such, is ever called Hiereus, that is, sacrificing priest. All Christians, without distinction, whether ministers or people, have a metaphorical, not a literal, priesthood. The sacrifices which they offer are spiritual, not literal, their bodies and the fruit of their lips, praises continually (Heb 13:15). Christ alone had a proper and true sacrifice to offer. The law sacrifices were typical, not metaphorical, as the Christian's, nor proper and true, as Christ's. In Roman times the Mosaic restriction of the priesthood to Aaron's family was violated.

Hebrews 5:4 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Perfect High Priest
3and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. 4And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. 5So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU";…
Cross References
Exodus 28:1
"Have Aaron your brother brought to you from among the Israelites, along with his sons Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, so they may serve me as priests.

Numbers 16:40
as the LORD directed him through Moses. This was to remind the Israelites that no one except a descendant of Aaron should come to burn incense before the LORD, or he would become like Korah and his followers.

Numbers 18:7
But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary is to be put to death."

1 Chronicles 23:13
The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the LORD, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.

2 Chronicles 26:18
They confronted King Uzziah and said, "It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honored by the LORD God."

John 3:27
To this John replied, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.
Treasury of Scripture

And no man takes this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Exodus 28:1 And take you to you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from …

Leviticus 8:2 Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing …

Numbers 3:3 These are the names of the sons of Aaron, the priests which were …

Numbers 16:5,7,10,35,40,46-48 And he spoke to Korah and to all his company, saying, Even to morrow …

Numbers 17:3-11 And you shall write Aaron's name on the rod of Levi: for one rod …

Numbers 18:1-5 And the LORD said to Aaron, You and your sons and your father's house …

1 Chronicles 23:13 The sons of Amram; Aaron and Moses: and Aaron was separated, that …

2 Chronicles 26:18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said to him, It appertains …

John 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given …

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