Hebrews 2:5
For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
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(5-18) It was needful that Jesus, as Author of salvation to man, should in all points be made like to those whom He saves, and in their likeness suffer and die; thus He becomes for them a merciful and faithful High Priest.

(5) For.—There is a very clear connection between this verse and Hebrews 1:14. “Angels are but ministering spirits, serving God in the cause of those who shall inherit salvation; for not to angels is the world to come made subject.” But the connection with Hebrews 2:2-3, is equally important: “the salvation that is now given has been proclaimed not by angels but by the Lord, and it is God Himself who works with the messengers of the Lord; for not unto angels,” &c. The word “salvation” binds together this section and the first. (See Hebrews 1:14; Hebrews 2:2; Hebrews 2:10.)

Hath he not put in subjection.—Better, did He subject; for the reference is to the passage quoted in the following verses, which is already in the writer’s thought. “He:” God, speaking in the prophetic Scripture.

The world to come.—The same expression occurs in the English version of Hebrews 6:5, but in the Greek “world” is represented by entirely different words. Here, as in Hebrews 1:6, the meaning is “inhabited earth,” “world of man”; there, the word properly relates to time, “age.” Is “the world to come” still future, or is it here looked at from the Old Testament point of view? (See Hebrews 1:2.) The following verses (especially Hebrews 2:9) make it clear that the period referred to is that which succeeds the exaltation of Christ. We ourselves cannot but markedly distinguish the present stage of Messiah’s kingdom from the future; but in the perspective of prophecy the two were blended. The thought of this kingdom amongst men has been present from the first verses of the Epistle onwards; hence, “whereof we speak.”

Hebrews 2:5. For, &c. — This verse contains a proof of the third: the greater the salvation is, and the more glorious the Lord whom we despise, the greater will be our punishment. Unto the angels hath he (God) not put in subjection the world to come — That is, as most commentators have understood the clause, the dispensation of the Messiah; which, being to succeed the Mosaic, was usually styled by the Jews, The world to come; although it is still, in a great measure, to come: whereof we speak — Of which I am now speaking. In this last great dispensation, the Son alone presides. Macknight, however, objects to this interpretation of the words, observing, “The gospel dispensation is called αιωνος μελλοντος, the age to come, (Hebrews 6:5,) but never οικουμενην μελλουσαν, the habitable world to come. That phrase, if I mistake not, signifies the heavenly country promised to Abraham, and to his spiritual seed. Wherefore, as οικουμενην, the world, (Luke 2:1, and elsewhere,) by a usual figure of speech, signifies the inhabitants of the world, the phrase οικουμενην μελλουσαν, may very well signify the inhabitants of the world to come, called, (Hebrews 1:14,) them who shall inherit salvation. If so, the apostle’s meaning will be, that God hath not put the heirs of salvation, who are to inhabit the world to come, the heavenly Canaan, in subjection to angels, to be by them conducted into that world, as the Israelites were conducted into the earthly Canaan, by an angel, Exodus 23:20. They are only ministering spirits, sent forth by the Son to minister for the heirs of salvation, but not to conduct them. The heirs who are to inhabit the world to come, God hath put in subjection to the Son alone. Hence he is called the Captain of their salvation, Hebrews 2:10. And having introduced them into the heavenly country, he will deliver up the kingdom to God the Father, as we are told 1 Corinthians 15:24.”

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.For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection - In this verse the apostle returns to the subject which he had been discussing in Hebrews 1:1-14 - the superiority of the Messiah to the angels. From that subject he had been diverted Hebrews 2:1-4, by showing them what must be the consequences of defection from Christianity, and the danger of neglecting it. Having shown that, he now proceeds with the discussion, and shows that an honor had been conferred on the Lord Jesus which had never been bestowed on the angels - to wit, the "supremacy over this world." This he does by proving from the Old Testament that such a dominion was given to "man" Hebrews 2:6-8, and that this dominion was in fact exercised by the Lord Jesus; Hebrews 2:9. At the same time, he meets an objection which a Jew would be likely to make. It is, that Jesus appeared to be far inferior to the angels. He was a man of a humble condition. He was poor, and despised. He had none of the external honor which was shown to Moses - the founder of the Jewish economy; none of the apparent honor which belonged to angelic beings. This implied objection he removes by showing the reason why he became so. It was proper, since he came to redeem man, that he should be a man, and not take on himself the nature of angels; and for the same reason it was proper that he should be subjected to sufferings, and be made a man of sorrows; Hebrews 2:10-17. The remark of the apostle in the verse before us is, that God had never put the world in subjection to the angels as he had to the Lord Jesus. They had no jurisdiction over it; they were mere ministering spirits; but the world had been put under the dominion of the Lord Jesus.

The world to come - The word rendered here "world" - οἰκουμένη oikoumenē - means properly the "inhabited," or "inhabitable" world; see Matthew 24:14; Luke 2:1; Luke 4:5; Luke 21:26 (Greek); Acts 11:28; Acts 17:6, Acts 17:31; Acts 19:27; Acts 24:5; Romans 10:18; Hebrews 1:6; Revelation 3:10; Revelation 12:9; Revelation 16:14 - in all which places, but one, it is rendered "world." It occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. The proper meaning is the world or earth considered as inhabitable - and here the jurisdiction refers to the control over man, or the dwellers on the earth. The phrase "the world to come," occurs not unfrequently in the New Testament; compare Ephesians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 10:11; Hebrews 6:5. The same phrase "the world to come," צולם ‛owlaam הבּא habaa' - occurs often in the Jewish writings. According to Buxtorf (Lexicon Ch. Talm. Rab.) it means, as some suppose, "the world which is to exist after this world is destroyed, and after the resurrection of the dead, when souls shall be again united to their bodies." By others it is supposed to mean "the days of the Messiah, when he shall reign on the earth." To me it seems to be clear that the phrase here means, "the world under the Messiah" - the world, age, or dispensation which was to succeed the Jewish, and which was familiarly known to them as "the world to come;" and the idea is, that that world, or age, was placed under the jurisdiction of the Christ, and not of the angels. This point the apostle proceeds to make out; compare notes on Isaiah 2:2.

Whereof we speak - . "Of which I am writing;" that is, of the Christian religion, or the reign of the Messiah.

5. For—confirming the assertion, Heb 2:2, 3, that the new covenant was spoken by One higher than the mediators of the old covenant, namely, angels. Translate in the Greek order, to bring out the proper emphasis, "Not the angels hath He," &c.

the world to come—implying, He has subjected to angels the existing world, the Old Testament dispensation (then still partly existing as to its framework), Heb 2:2, the political kingdom of the earth (Da 4:13; 10:13, 20, 21; 12:1), and the natural elements (Re 9:11; 16:4). and even individuals (Mt 18:10). "The world to come" is the new dispensation brought in by Christ, beginning in grace here, to be completed in glory hereafter. It is called "to come," or "about to be," as at the time of its being subjected to Christ by the divine decree, it was as yet a thing of the future, and is still so to us, in respect to its full consummation. In respect to the subjecting of all things to Christ in fulfilment of Ps 8:1-9, the realization is still "to come." Regarded from the Old Testament standpoint, which looks prophetically forward to the New Testament (and the Jewish priesthood and Old Testament ritual were in force then when Paul wrote, and continued till their forcible abrogation by the destruction of Jerusalem), it is "the world to come"; Paul, as addressing Jews, appropriately calls it so, according to their conventional way of viewing it. We, like them, still pray, "Thy kingdom come"; for its manifestation in glory is yet future. "This world" is used in contrast to express the present fallen condition of the world (Eph 2:2). Believers belong not to this present world course, but by faith rise in spirit to "the world to come," making it a present, though internal. reality. Still, in the present world, natural and social, angels are mediately rulers under God in some sense: not so in the coming world: man in it, and the Son of man, man's Head, are to be supreme. Hence greater reverence was paid to angels by men in the Old Testament than is permitted in the New Testament. For man's nature is exalted in Christ now, so that angels are our "fellow servants" (Re 22:9). In their ministrations they stand on a different footing from that on which they stood towards us in the Old Testament. We are "brethren" of Christ in a nearness not enjoyed even by angels (Heb 2:10-12, 16).

For unto the angels: the Spirit having applied the doctrine of the great gospel Minister, exceeding the prophets of old, and having a more excellent name and office than angels, in respect of his Deity, pursues to show these Hebrews, that he is so likewise in respect of his humanity, the other nature in his person. This he proves negatively in this verse. The rational particle introducing, shows it to be a demonstration of his excelling angels, having a world to come subjected to him, which they have not; for so none of these incorporeal, intellectual, spiritual substances, so often diminished before, have; because those Hebrews were more addicted to esteem of them, and the law ministered by them, than of God the Son incarnate and his gospel.

Hath he not put in subjection; this God the Father, Son, and Spirit, the Creator who formed all things, and had right of disposing all things under their proper Lord, hath not put under their ordering or government; he never decreed, foretold, or promised that it should be under their authority.

The world to come, must be interpreted by that scripture, where it is asserted and proved that it was subjected to the great gospel Minister, and that is in Psalm 8:5-8. It is a world that must consist of heaven and earth; compare Hebrews 2:3,6,7. It was a world not come when Paul wrote this Epistle to the Hebrews, see Hebrews 2:8. It is a world distinct from this present world, Ephesians 1:21, in which God-man must eminently reign; a world between this world and a heavenly one which is to come, in respect of us, Luke 18:30 1 Timothy 4:8. A world to come, which the angels have nothing to do with, as they have with this, which is greatly under their administration; such as consists of a new heaven and a new earth, in which dwelleth righteousness, 2 Peter 3:13; for Peter asserts, that Paul, according to the revelation given him of it, had written to these Hebrews, and eminently in this text. And unto this do the prophets give witness, Isaiah 65:17,18 66:22: and of his day of rest and sabbath in it, as Hebrews 4:7,9,10; so Isaiah 66:23. And for their restitution in this world to come do the creatures groan, Romans 8:19-23, that they may be therein under the happy administration of the Second Adam, the Lord from heaven. And of this the 8th Psalm {Psalm 8:1-9} doth assure us; for it is not, as some have imagined, a representation of the state of the first Adam, but of God-man, the Second Adam, and his world; for Christ applieth it to himself, and testifieth it was written of him, and it is not compatible in itself to any other, Matthew 21:16. This world to come is a heavenly world, begun by Christ to be created when he commenced to preach the gospel covenant, which angels were not to meddle with, as they did the law, but was only to be ministered by men, Psalm 8:2; through whose ministry of the word by the Spirit, is ingrafted into the sinful nature of the elect a new creature, whereby they are delivered from this present evil world, Galatians 1:4, and fitted for being inhabitants of this new one, 2 Corinthians 4:6 5:17; compare Ephesians 4:22-24; which hath been preparing by Christ’s casting down heathenism and Judaism by the gospel, Luke 10:18 Hebrews 12:26, and bringing them into a new world of ordinances and church privileges, fitted for them, and called by the Spirit, the kingdom of heaven, it surpassing the Sinai church state as much as heaven doth earth. And he is now proceeding to cast down papism, or Roman Christian paganism, and Mahometism, Revelation 19:19-21, and to subdue the generality of men, both Jews and Gentiles, to himself, Zechariah 14:9 Romans 11:25,26; when this Christian heavenly frame shall be advanced to a higher degree by the descent of the new Jerusalem from God out of heaven, Revelation 21:1,2 22:1-5; in the which the kingdom of Christ shall be most peaceable, glorious, and prosperous. And to the rendering of it eminently so, Scripture seems to intimate, that the bodies of the martyrs of Jesus shall be raised, and their souls united to them, and so be made conformable to Christ’s glorified person, Philippians 3:21; compare Revelation 20:4-6. These will their Lord send down into this new world, and to have the same state in it, and to perform the same offices to the saints, as the angels had and did in the world past, Mark 12:25; there to be kings, and reign as the angelical thrones and principalities did before, Revelation 5:10 20:4. As priests, help on the saints’ duties, and instruct them in the matters of the kingdom of God, and so answer in conformity to their Head, as he was forty days after his resurrection; during whose reign in this new world the devil shall be chained up, so as they shall not be infested, nor the nations deceived, as formerly they were by him, Revelation 20:1-3, so as there shall be no need of good angels to oppose or restrain him. At the close of which thousand years the devil will be loosed for a little while, as Hebrews 2:3,7,8, and infest the world, when the great Lord and King of it shall in the greatest solemnity descend into the air with all his hosts of angels; and by the trumpet of God sounded by the arch-angel, the dead in Christ shall first be raised, and the living changed in the twinkling of an eye; and being openly owned and acknowledged by the Supreme Judge, shall be assessors with him; when the judgment shall proceed by the angels bringing devils and all impenitent mankind to the bar of Christ, where the vast accounts of them shall be cast up and audited, and on the charge against them they shall be found speechless and convict, so as the great Judge shall solemnly sentence them, and it be assented to and applauded by all the saints, Revelation 20:2,11,12,15, compare 1 Corinthians 6:2,3, and be as gloriously executed by the ministering angels, Matthew 13:41-43. And so this great King and Lord, having thus shut up the scene of this world, shall return in triumph into the heaven of heavens, and there in the height of his glory deliver up his kingdom to the Father, that God may be all in all, 1 Corinthians 15:22-28.

Whereof we speak; we describe it further in the following testimony, and in this Epistle, as to some part of it.

For unto the angels,.... Though angels were concerned in the giving of the law, and were frequently employed under the former dispensation, in messages to men, and in making revelations of God's mind and will to them, yet to them

hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak: by which is meant, not the future state of eternal glory and happiness in heaven, as opposed to this world, and the present state of things; though there may be much truth in this sense, as that the present world is in subjection to angels, and the world to come is not; the present world is much in subjection, though it is not put into subjection, to evil angels, who usurp a power over it, hence Satan is called the god and prince of this world; and it is in some sense in subjection to good angels, as they are used by God in the execution of his providential care and government, in influencing and assisting at the councils of princes, in inflicting God's judgments on kingdoms and nations, and in the special care of his own people: but the world to come, as opposed to this, is not at all subject to them; they are employed in carrying the souls of departed saints thither, and shall be with them there, and join with them in their service; but they will not be as kings, nor even as children, but as servants; much less is heaven at their dispose to give to whomsoever they please; it is only in this sense in subjection to Christ, the Prince of life, who has power to give eternal life to as many as the Father has given to him: but it is not of this world the apostle is speaking; he is speaking of something now, which bears this name, and in proof of it cites a passage out of Psalm 8:1 where mention is made of sheep, and other things, which cannot refer to the world of glory: rather it designs the new heavens and new earth at the resurrection, and day of judgment, for these will not be put in subjection to angels; though of these the apostle is not speaking in the context: it seems therefore to intend the Gospel, and the Gospel dispensation and church state, in opposition to the Jewish state, and legal dispensation, which was called a world, and had in it a worldly sanctuary, and worldly ordinances, which is now at an end; and at the end of which Christ came, and then another world took place, here called "the world to come", as the times of the Messiah are frequently called by the Jews , "the world to come", the Gospel dispensation, the apostle was treating of in the preceding verses, in distinction from the law, the word spoken by angels; for the Gospel was not spoken by them, but by the Lord: the Gospel state is very properly the world to come, with respect to the Old Testament saints, who were looking for it, and in which old things are past away, and all things are become new; angels desire to look into the mysteries of it, and learn from the church the manifold wisdom of God; but not they, but men, are the dispensers of the doctrines of it; and Christ, he is the Head, King, Governor, and Father of this new world: so instead of "everlasting Father", the Septuagint render the clause , in Isaiah 9:6 "the Father of the age", or "world to come"; and hence mention is made in the Jewish writings of , "the world to come of the Messiah" (d).

(d) Targum in 1 Kings 33.

{3} For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the {f} world to come, whereof we speak.

(3) If it was an atrocious matter to condemn the angels who are but servants, it is much more atrocious to condemn that most mighty King of the restored world.

(f) The world to come, of which Christ is Father, Isa 9:6 or the Church, which as a new world, was to be gathered together by the gospel.

Hebrews 2:5. The author has brought into relief the fact, Hebrews 2:3, that it was the Son of God, or the Lord, according to chap. 1, highly exalted above the angels, by whom the Messianic salvation was proclaimed, and from whose immediate disciples it was handed down to Christendom. He now justifies this order of things as founded in a higher divine decree, and already foretold in the Scriptures of the Old Covenant. That order of things is, however, justified, in conformity to the comparison of Christ with the angels, which is begun with Hebrews 1:4, first, e contrario or negatively, Hebrews 2:5, and then, Hebrews 2:6, positively. The emphasis lies in Hebrews 2:5 upon ἀγγέλοις, and this then finds its antithesis in ἄνθρωπος and υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου, Hebrews 2:6. For when the author first in an absolute form of expression says: For not unto the angels has He put into subjection the world to come, and then continues: But one in a certain place testifies, etc., the sense—on account of the close connectedness of Hebrews 2:6 (see on that verse) with Hebrews 2:5—is certainly this: for, according to the testimony of Scripture, the world to come is put in subjection, not to angels, but to Christ, the Son of man.

ἀγγέλοις] without article. For it stands generically: beings who are angels, who have the nature of angels (Bleek). [Owen: nature angelical.] De Wette supposes the reason for the anarthrous form to be in the possibility that only a part of the angels are to be thought of. Unsuitably, because in connection with οὐκ ἀγγέλοις already the definite antithesis: “but to the Son of man,” was present to the mind of the author (comp. Hebrews 2:6).

ὑπέταξεν] sc. ὁ θεός, which naturally follows from the τοῦ θεοῦ of Hebrews 2:4. The verb expresses the notion of making dependent, or of the placing in a position of subjection, and is chosen because the same expression is employed in the citation presently to be adduced (comp. Hebrews 2:8).

τὴν οἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν] the world to come. This mode of designating it is explained from the well-known Biblical phraseology, according to which the Messianic period was distinguished as the αἰὼν μέλλων, from the pre-Messianic as the αἰὼν αὗτος.[43] What is meant, consequently, is not something purely future (Theodoret: ὁ μέλλων βίος; Oecumenius: ὁ ἐσόμενος κόσμος; Schulz: the new order of the world which is approaching; Bleek II. the blessings of the kingdom of God which will first be manifested and conferred upon believers at the return of the Lord in glory; Grotius, Maier, and others: heaven, as the future dwelling-place of the Christians also), but the new order of things in the Messianic kingdom, which in its first manifestations has already appeared, but as regards its completion is still a future one. Calvin: apparet non vocari orbem futurum dumtaxat, qualem e resurrectione speramus, sed qui coepit ab exordio regni Christi, complementum vero suum habebit in ultima redemptione. τὴν οἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν is itself without emphasis; on the contrary, only resumes under another form the τηλικαύτης σωτηρίας of Hebrews 2:3. It results from this, that the opinion according to which the tacit contrast is to be supplied in thought to the declaration, Hebrews 2:5 : “the present world is indeed” to be regarded as “subjected to the angels, by them swayed and governed” (Cameron, Bleek, Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 656, al.), is a baseless one. For it must then have been written οὐ γὰρ τὴν μέλλουσαν οἰκουμένην ἀγγέλοις ὑπέταξεν.

περὶ ἧς λαλοῦμεν] does not go back to Hebrews 1:6 (Theophylact, Zeger, Grotius, Schlichting, Schulz, Böhme; comp. also Delitzsch),—against which the present λαλοῦμεν, in place of which a preterite must have been expected, and not less the addition τὴν μέλλουσαν to τὴν οἰκουμένην, is decisive,—nor is λαλοῦμεν put in place of a future: “de quo in sequenti testimonio loquemur” (Vatablus); but the relative clause is to be taken quite generally: which is the subject of our discourse (our epistle). Too specially Kurtz: “of which we are speaking just now, in this section of our epistle,” which would have called for the addition of a νῦν. The plural λαλοῦμεν, moreover, has reference merely to the writer. Comp. Hebrews 5:11, Hebrews 6:9; Hebrews 6:11, Hebrews 13:18. Without good reason does Bengel supplement nos doctores; while even, according to Hofmann, “all who believe the promise, the apostle and his readers,” are the subject of λαλοῦμεν, inasmuch as it is only a question of an “additional explanatory clause, when the apostle adds that that world to come is intended, of which the Christians speak!”

[43] We have not to seek the origin of the addition τὴν μέλλουσαν in the fact that at the time of the Psalmist (ver. 6), that which was promised belonged as yet to the purely future (so, along with the right explanation this likewise in Bleek I.).

Hebrews 2:5-18. Further investigation of the relation of Christ to the angels, and demonstration of the necessity for the death of Christ. Not to angels, but to Christ, the Son of man, has, according to the testimony of Scripture, the Messianic world been subjected. Certainly Christ was abased for a short time lower than the angels; but so it must be, in order that mankind might obtain salvation; He must suffer and die, and become in all things like unto men, His brethren, in order to be able as High Priest to reconcile them to God.

Hebrews 2:5-18. Having sufficiently brought out the permanence and sovereignty of the Son by contrasting them with the fleeting personality and ministerial function of angels, the author now proceeds to bring the supremacy of the Son into direct relation to the Messianic administration of “the world to come,” the ideal condition of human affairs; and to explain why for the purposes of this administration it was needful and seemly that “the Lord” should for a season appear in a form “a little lower than the angels”. The world of men as it was destined to be [ἡ οἰκουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα] was a condition of things in which man was to be supreme, not subject to any kind of slavery or oppression. And if the Jew asked why, in order to bring this about, the appearance of the Son in so apparently inglorious a form was necessary; if he asked why suffering and death on His part were necessary, the answer is, that it was God’s purpose to bring, not angels, but many human sons to glory and that as there is but one path, and that a path of suffering, by which men can reach their destiny, it was becoming that their leader should act as pioneer in this path. His path to glory must be a path in which men can follow Him; because it is from the human level and as man that He wins to glory. More particularly His sufferings accomplish two objects: they produce in Him the sympathy which qualifies Him as High Priest, while His death breaks the power which kept them enslaved and in fear. [On this section Robertson Smith’s papers in the Expositor, 1881–2, should be consulted.]

5–13. The voluntary humiliation of Jesus was a necessary step in the exaltation of Humanity

5. For] The “for” resumes the thread of the argument about the superiority of Jesus over the Angels. He was to be the supreme king, but the necessity of passing through suffering to His Messianic throne lay in His High-Priesthood for the human race. To Him, therefore, and not to Angels, the “future age” is to belong.

unto the angels hath he not put into subjection the world to come] Lit. “for not to Angels did He subject the inhabited earth to come.” In this “inhabited earth” things in their pre-Christian condition had been subjected to Angels. This is inferred directly from Psalms 8 where the “little” of degree is interpreted as “a little” of time. The authority of Angels over the Mosaic dispensation had been inferred by the Jews from Psalm 82:1, where “the congregation of Elohim” was interpreted to mean Angels; and from Deuteronomy 32:8-9, where instead of “He set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel,” the LXX. had “according to the number of the Angels of God.” From this passage, and Genesis 10, Daniel 10:13, &c. they inferred that there were 70 nations of the world, each under its presiding Angel, but that Israel was under the special charge of God, as is expressly stated in Sir 17:17 (comp. Isaiah 24:21-22, LXX.). The notion is only modified when in Daniel 10:13; Daniel 10:20, Michael “the first Prince,” and in Tob 12:15, “the seven Archangels,” are regarded as protectors of Israel. But now the dispensational functions of Angels have ceased, because in “the kingdom of God” they in their turn were subordinated to the man Christ Jesus.

the world to come] The Olam habba or “future age” of the Hebrews, although the word here used is not aion but oikoumenç, properly the inhabited world. In Isaiah 9:6 the Theocratic king who is a type of the Messiah is called “the Everlasting Father,” which is rendered by the LXX. “father of the future age.” In the “new heavens and new earth,” as in the Messianic kingdom which is “the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ,” man, whose nature Christ has taken upon Him, is to be specially exalted. Hence, as Calvin acutely observes, Abraham, Joshua, Daniel are not forbidden to bow to Angels, but under the New Covenant St John is twice forbidden (Revelation 19:10; Revelation 22:9). But, although the Messianic kingdom, and therefore the “future age,” began at the Resurrection, there is yet another “future age” beyond it, which shall only begin when this age is perfected, and Christ’s kingdom is fully come.

whereof we speak] i.e. which is my present subject.

Hebrews 2:5. Οὐ γὰρ ἀγγέλοις, for not to angels) The Ætiology [assigning of a reason; Append.], referring to Hebrews 2:3, where the terms salvation and Lord are skilfully introduced, serves the purpose of beginning a new paragraph. The greater the salvation, and the more glorious the Lord, that are despised, the more aggravated is the offence of them who despise them. God subjected both angels and all things, not to the angels, of whom nothing was written to that effect [implying any such intention], but to man, or the Son of Man, Jesus Christ. The angels had more to do in the Old Testament; but in the New Testament, when human nature was exalted by Christ, the angels are our fellow-servants. I ventured to say, more to do; and it may be also supposed from the antithesis, that greater reverence was due to the angels in the Old Testament than in the New Testament, where they are now our fellow-servants. And from this very circumstance, that they are our fellow-servants, we understand that they are not inactive under the New Testament, but merely that they act under a different relation from that under which they acted under the Old Testament. As in this passage angels are opposed to the Lord, so Hebrews 2:16, they are opposed to the brethren [Hebrews 2:11-12]. The apostle couples believers alone with Christ alone.—ὑπέταξε, subjected) This verb is now brought forward at once from the eighth verse. God subjected; for the language refers to ch. Hebrews 1:1.—τὴν οἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν, the world to come) There is but one earth, οἰκουμένη, belonging to all times, ch. Hebrews 1:6. Therefore the expression, the world to come, is used as we say to-morrow’s sun, although there is but the one sun of all days. הבא in Hebrew is expressed by μέλλουσα in Greek. The world is one (and the same world), under grace and under glory; the epithet, to come, is added to it, not because it is not already existing, but because it was formerly predicted. The newness which was introduced by Christ in the New Testament is considered of so much importance in Scripture, that there arises from it a twofold division (dichotomia), viz. between the times of the Old and those of the New Testament, with one and the same eternity depending upon them. These latter taken together are called ἡ οἰχουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα, the world to come. They are ever and anon μέλλοντα, about to come, when regarded from the Old Testament point of view, which prophetically looks forward to the New Testament; but in the New Testament they are present Good things, obtained by Christ; which commence while the world to come is in the course of being subjected to Him, at the time when first He was crowned with glory and honour. Concerning this expression of Paul, comp. note at Romans 3:30. Although, even in reference to the time of this epistle, it is to come, μέλλουσα, in its own way, viz. at the time when all things shall be made subject to Christ, even including death, 1 Corinthians 15:24-25. Consider the not yet, Hebrews 2:8, and the actual description of “the world to come,” ch. Hebrews 12:26, etc. The noun, world, is of very wide meaning. See the psalm which is presently quoted. Πατὴρ τοῦ ΜΕΛΛΟΝΤΟΣ αἰῶνος, Pater futuri seculi, Isaiah 9:6, in the Greek and Latin versions; the Father of the world to come; in our translation, “the everlasting Father.”—περὶ ἧς λαλοῦμεν, of which we speak) We speak, we teachers, ch. Hebrews 5:11, note. By this clause the force of a proposition is obtained for [is imparted to] this short verse. And the proposition is, all things shall be subjected to Jesus Christ.

Verse 5. - Here the second division of the first section of the argument, according to the summary given above (Hebrews 1:2), begins. But it is also connected logically with the interposed exhortation, the sequence of thought being as follows: "How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?" - For (as an additional reason) not to angels (but to the Son, as will be seen) did he (God) subject the world to come, whereof we speak, "The world to come (ἡ οἰκουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα)" must be understood, in accordance with what has been said above in explanation of" the last of these days" (Hebrews 1:1), as referring to the age of the Messiah's kingdom foretold in prophecy. The word μέλλουσαν does not in itself necessarily imply futurity from the writer's standpoint though, according to what was said above, the complete fulfilment of the prophetic anticipation is to be looked for in the second advent, whatever earnest and foretaste of it there may be already under the gospel dispensation. The word οἰκουμένην (sub γὴν) is the same as was used (Hebrews 1:6) in reference to the Son's advent, denoting the sphere of created things over which he should reign. And it is suitably used here with a view to the coming quotation from Psalm 8, in which the primary idea is man's supremacy over the inhabited globe. The whole phrase may be taken to express the same idea as the "new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (cf. 2 Peter 3:13). Hebrews 2:5The writer's object is to show that the salvation, the new order of things inaugurated by Christ, is in pursuance of the original purpose of creation, to wit, that universal dominion was to pertain to man, and not to angels. The great salvation means lordship of the world to be. This purpose is carried out in Christ, who, in becoming man, became temporarily subject to the earthly dispensation of which angels were the administrators. This was in order that he might acquire universal lordship as man. Being now exalted above angels, he does away with the angelic administration, and, in the world to come, will carry humanity with him to the position of universal lordship. This thought is developed by means of Psalm 8:1-9. Having set Christ above the angels, the writer must reconcile that claim with the historical fact of Christ's humiliation in his incarnate state. The Psalm presents a paradox in the antithesis of lower than the angels and all things under his feet. From the Psalm is drawn the statement of a temporary subordination of Christ to angels, followed by his permanent exaltation over them.

Hath - put in subjection (ὑπέταξεν)

The word suggests an economy; not merely subjecting the angels, but arranging or marshaling them under a new order. See 1 Corinthians 15:27, 1 Corinthians 15:28; Ephesians 1:22; Philippians 3:21.

The world to come (τὴν οἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν)

See on Hebrews 1:2. For ἡ οἰκουμένη the inhabited (land or country) see on Luke 2:1. The world to come means the new order of things inaugurated by the sacrifice of Christ.

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