Hebrews 5:1
For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(1) Taken.—Rather, being taken, since he is taken, from among men.

Gifts and sacrifices.—The former is in itself perfectly general; but when thus contrasted with “sacrifices” it denotes the “unbloody offerings” of the Law. On the Day of Atonement (which, as we shall see, is almost always in the writer’s thoughts as he refers to the functions of the high priest) the “offerings” would consist of the incense and of the “meat-offerings” connected with the burnt-sacrifices for the day. On that day all offerings, as well as all sacrifices, had relation to “sins.”

Hebrews 5:1. The priesthood and sacrifice of the Son of God, and the pardon procured for sinners thereby, together with the many happy effects of the pardon thus procured, being matters of the greatest importance to mankind, the apostle in this chapter, and in what follows to Hebrews 10:19, hath stated at great length the proofs by which they are established. And it was very proper that he should be copious, not only in his proofs of these important subjects, but also in his comparison of the priesthood of Christ with the Levitical priesthood, that while he established the merit of the sacrifice of Christ, he might show the inefficacy of the Levitical atonements, and of all other sacrifices whatever. For as the unbelieving Jews, and probably many of those who believed, did not acknowledge his apostleship, St. Paul knew that his affirmation of these matters would not be held by them as sufficient evidence. His proof of the priesthood of Christ he begins in this chapter, in the course of which he shows, that whatever was excellent in the Levitical priesthood, is in Christ, and in a more eminent manner. And whatever excellence was wanting in those priests, is in him. For — Or now; every high-priest — As if he had said, To show that Christ is a real High-Priest, I will describe the designation, the duties, and the qualifications of a high-priest, by which it will appear that all the essential parts of that office are found in him; taken from among men — Being, till he is taken, of the same rank with them; is ordained — Appointed, set apart for that office; for men — For their benefit; in things pertaining to God — To bring God near to men, and men to God; that he may offer both gifts — Out of things inanimate; and sacrifices — Of animals; to atone for sins “Gifts, or freewill-offerings, as distinguished from sacrifices for sins, were expressions of gratitude to God for his goodness in the common dispensations of his providence. And because the priests offered both kinds, Paul speaks of himself, (Romans 15:16,) as exercising the priesthood according to the gospel, by offering the Gentiles in an acceptable manner, through the sanctification of the Holy Ghost.”

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?For every high priest - That is, among the Jews, for the remarks relate to the Jewish system. The Jews had one high priest who was regarded as the successor of Aaron. The word "high priest" means "chief priest;" that is, a priest of higher rank and office than others. By the original regulation the Jewish high priest was to be of the family of Aaron Exodus 29:9, though in later times the office was frequently conferred on others. In the time of the Romans it had become venal, and the Mosaic regulation was disregarded; 2 Macc. 4:7; Josephus, Ant. xv. 3. 1. It was no longer held for life, so that there were several persons at one time to whom was given the title of high priest. The high priest was at the head of religious affairs, and was the ordinary judge of all that pertained to religion, and even of the general justice of the Hebrew commonwealth; Deuteronomy 17:8-12; Deuteronomy 19:17; Deuteronomy 21:5; Deuteronomy 27:9-10.

He only had the privilege of entering the most holy place once a year, on the great day of atonement, to make expiation for the sins of the people; Leviticus 16. He was to be the son of one who had married a virgin, and was to be free from any corporeal defect; Leviticus 21:13. The "dress" of the high priest was much more costly and magnificent than that of the inferior order of priests; Exodus 39:1-7. He wore a mantle or robe - מציל me ̀iyl - of blue, with the borders embroidered with pomegranates in purple and scarlet; an "ephod" - אפוד ‛ephowd - made of cotton, with crimson, purple, and blue, and ornamented with gold worn over the robe or mantle, without sleeves, and divided below the arm-pits into two parts or halves, of which one was in front covering the breast, and the other behind covering the back. In the ephod was a breastplate of curious workmanship, and on the head a mitre. The breastplate was a piece of broidered work about ten inches square, and was made double, so as to answer the purpose of a pouch or bag. It was adorned with twelve precious stones, each one having the name of one of the tribes of Israel. The two upper corners of the breastplate were fastened to the ephod, and the two lower to the girdle.

Taken from among men - There maybe an allusion here to the fact that the great High Priest of the Christian dispensation had a higher than human origin, and was selected from a rank far above people. Or it may be that the meaning is, that every high priest on earth - including all under the old dispensation and the great high priest of the new - is ordained with reference to the welfare of people, and to bring some valuable offering forman to God.

Is ordained for men - Is set apart or consecrated for the welfare of people. The Jewish high priest was set apart to his office with great solemnity; see Exodus 29:p>In things pertaining to God - In religious matters, or with reference to the worship and service of God. He was not to be a civil ruler, nor a teacher of science, nor a military leader, but his business was to superintend the affairs of religion.

That he may offer both gifts - That is, thank-offerings, or oblations which would be the expressions of gratitude. Many such offerings were made by the Jews under the laws of Moses, and the high priest was the medium by whom they were to be presented to God.

And sacrifices for sin - Bloody offerings; offerings made of slain beasts. The blood of expiation was sprinkled by him on the mercyseat, and he was the appointed medium by which such sacrifices were to be presented to God; see the notes at Hebrews 9:6-10. We may remark here:

(1) that the proper office of a priest is to present a "sacrifice" for sin.

(2) it is "improper" to give the name "priest" to a minister of the gospel. The reason is, that he offers no sacrifice; he sprinkles no blood. He is appointed to "preach the word," and to lead the devotions of the church, but not to offer sacrifice. Accordingly the New Testament preserves entire consistency on this point, for the name "priest" is never once given to the apostles, or to any other minister of the gospel.

Among the Papists there is "consistency" - though gross and dangerous error - in the use of the word "priest." They believe that the minister of religion offers up" the real body and blood of our Lord;" that the bread and wine are changed by the words of consecration into the "body and blood, the soul and divinity, of the Lord Jesus" (Decrees of the Council of Trent), and that "this" is really offered by him as a sacrifice. Accordingly they "elevate the host;" that is, lift up, or offer the sacrifice and, require all to bow before it and worship, and with this view they are "consistent" in retaining the word "priest." But why should this name be applied to a "Protestant" minister, who believes that all this is blasphemy, and who claims to have no "sacrifice" to offer when he comes to minister before God? The great sacrifice; the one sufficient atonement, has been offered - and the ministers of the gospel are appointed to proclaim that truth to men, not to offer sacrifices for sin.


Heb 5:1-14. Christ's High Priesthood; Needed Qualifications; Must Be a Man; Must Not Have Assumed the Dignity Himself, but Have Been Appointed by God; Their Low Spiritual Perceptions a Bar to Paul's Saying All He Might on Christ's Melchisedec-like Priesthood.

1. For—substantiating Heb 4:15.

every—that is, every legitimate high priest; for instance, the Levitical, as he is addressing Hebrews, among whom the Levitical priesthood was established as the legitimate one. Whatever, reasons Paul, is excellent in the Levitical priests, is also in Christ, and besides excellencies which are not in the Levitical priests.

taken from among men—not from among angels, who could not have a fellow feeling with us men. This qualification Christ has, as being, like the Levitical priest, a man (Heb 2:14, 16). Being "from men," He can be "for (that is, in behalf of, for the good of) men."

ordained—Greek, "constituted," "appointed."

both gifts—to be joined with "for sins," as "sacrifices" is (the "both … and" requires this); therefore not the Hebrew, "mincha," "unbloody offerings," but animal whole burnt offerings, spontaneously given. "Sacrifices" are the animal sacrifices due according to the legal ordinance [Estius].Hebrews 5:1-4 Concerning the office of high priests taken from

among men,

Hebrews 5:5-10 wherewith Christ’s priesthood is compared, and its

privileges set forth.

Hebrews 5:11-14 A further account of which is deferred, and for what reason.

For every high priest taken from among men: for is a rational particle, enforcing the truth of what was asserted concerning the gospel High Priest before, that he was the most sensible and tender-hearted of all other, beyond what all his types were, even Aaron himself: how did it therefore behove those Hebrews to cleave to him and his religion, as to desert the Levitical priesthood which he had perfected in himself; he being more excellent for rise, qualities, office, call, than his preceding types, and the permanent truth of them all! For every one of that order in God’s institution, and according to his law, ought to be selected out of the numbers of men for whom he was to minister, and therefore to be a man. He was not to be an angel, nor to minister for them; and being separated from men, is to be put into another and higher rank and order, Exodus 28:1, than he was in before: no person was to usurp it, but to be designed to it according to the Divine law settled in that behalf. This was accomplished in Christ’s person, and he hath not since selected out of men any such order of priests properly so called in the Christian church. His officers being so far from being high priests, that they are not so much as in the enumeration of their titles styled iereiv, priests; and as far is it from truth, that there are now as priests, so altars, sacrifices, temples in the Christian church properly so called; since it is expressly against the New Testament, and if so spoken of by the fathers, it must be understood figuratively and metaphorically, or else it is untrue.

Is ordained for men in things pertaining to God; kayistatai, the designed person, is constituted and set over others for their good, to seek either temporal or spiritual good, as the office is: compare Hebrews 8:3. By this ordination is power conveyed to this officer, and an obligation laid on him by a charge to exert it about things wherein men are concerned with God: he is a religious officer. Ta is imperfect, as Hebrews 2:7, for en toiv, in things, or kata ta, about things. A sinner can undertake to manage nothing towards God immediately, or by himself, but with a mediating priest, who must know God’s mind and perform it; and it was infinite mercy for God to institute such a help to sinners. The common sense of mankind about it since the fall doth evince it; no nation being without a religion, a temple, a place of worship, or a priest.

That he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; who may bring home to God, the supreme Lord and King of all, gifts, which were those free-will offerings, as of things inanimate, the first-fruits of corn, wine, and oil, &c., or of sacrifices, such whereby they were to atone and propitiate God for their sins, they being guilty, and he just; those were necessary to satisfy his justice, remove his wrath, and procure his blessing. What those sacrifices were which would please him, God only could reveal, as who should offer them both for himself and others: and this he did reveal to Adam, Noah, and Abraham, and to Moses fully in his law given him about them on the mount, and of which he hath written in his last four books.

For every high priest taken from among men,.... Every one that was an high priest under the law was a man, and not an angel; and it was proper he should be so, that he might be a priest for men, have compassion on them, and offer for them; and he was among the number of common men, and was taken out from them, and chosen and separated from the rest of men, as Aaron and his sons were from the children of Israel, Exodus 28:1. And such an one

is ordained for men; in their room and stead, and for their good; and above them, as the word sometimes signifies; he was exalted unto, and invested with a superior office, to which he was ordained according to the law of a carnal commandment, by anointing with oil, and without an oath.

In things pertaining to God; in things in which God had to do with men; and so he presided over them in the name of God, and declared the will of God unto them, and blessed them; and in things in which men had to do with God; and so he appeared in their name, and represented their persons, and presented their sacrifices to God, as follows:

that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; freewill offerings, peace offerings, burnt offerings, sin and trespass offerings, all kind of sacrifice.

For {1} every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, {2} that he may offer both {a} gifts and {b} sacrifices for sins:

(1) The first part of the first comparison of Christ's high priesthood with Aaron's: Other high priests are taken from among men, and are called after the order of men.

(2) The first part of the second comparison: Others though weak, are made high priests, to the end that feeling the same infirmity in themselves which is in all the rest of the people, they should in their own and the peoples name offer gifts and sacrifices, which are witnesses of common faith and repentance.

(a) Offering of things without life.

(b) Beasts which were killed, but especially in the sacrifices for sins and offences.

Hebrews 5:1-2. Justification of the δύνασθαι συμπαθῆσαι ταῖς ἀσθενείαις ἡμῶν, Hebrews 4:15, as a necessary qualification in the case of Christ, since it is an indispensable requirement even in every earthly high priest. γάρ does not glance back to Hebrews 4:16, as is maintained by Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 395) and Delitzsch. for Hebrews 5:1-3 can in point of contents be taken neither as enforcement nor as elucidation of the admonition, Hebrews 4:16. The supposition of Hofmann and Delitzsch, however, that γάρ logically controls the whole section, Hebrews 5:1-10, is arbitrary, inasmuch as Hebrews 5:4 ff. is logically and grammatically bounded off from Hebrews 5:1-3, and the assertion that the aim in the section, Hebrews 5:1-10, is to enforce the exhortation, Hebrews 4:16, by a reminder “of the nature of the high-priesthood of Jesus, how on the one hand it bears resemblance to that of Aaron, and on the other hand to the priesthood of Melchisedec” (Hofmann), or of the “blending of Aaronitic humanity (tenderness) with the Melchisedecian dignity in the person of Jesus” (Delitzsch), is entirely erroneous; because, Hebrews 5:5-10, Aaron and Melchisedec are not yet at all distinguished from each other as the lower and the higher; but, on the contrary, this relation—in which the one stands to the other—is for the present left wholly in abeyance, and all that is insisted on is the fact that Christ, even as Aaron, was called by God to the high-priesthood, and that a high-priesthood after the manner of Melchisedec.

πᾶς] refers, as is evident from ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος, and from Hebrews 5:3, to the earthly, i.e. the Levitical, high priest. Wrongly, because going beyond the necessity of the case and the horizon of the epistle, Grotius (comp. also Peirce): Non tantum legem hic respicit, sed et morem ante legem, quum aut primo geniti familiarum aut a populis electi reges inirent sacerdotium. But neither is ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος a part of the subject (“every high priest taken from among men, in opposition to the heavenly One;” Luther, Seb. Schmidt, Wittich, Akersloot, Peirce, Wetstein, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Storr, Abresch, Kuinoel, Paulus, Stengel, comp. also Tholuck).—for then the order πᾶς γὰρἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος ἀρχιερεύς would have been chosen,—nor is it intended “to lay stress upon the phenomenon, in itself remarkable, that the high priest has to represent men, who are thus his equals, in their relation to God” (Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 396, 2 Aufl.),—for thereby a reference altogether foreign to the connection is introduced, and the thought thus presupposed is itself a singular one, because, so far from its being remarkable, it is, on the contrary, natural and appropriate that like should be represented by its like; it would be remarkable and unnatural if, for instance, a man should represent angels,—but it contains a note of cause to ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται. The twice occurring ἀνθρώπων stands full of emphasis, and presents a correspondence between the two. By the ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος the ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται is explained and justified. For the very reason that the high priest is taken from among men, is he also appointed or installed in his office as mediator with God.

καθίσταται] not middle, so that τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν were accusative of object thereto (Calvin: Curat pontifex vel ordinat, quae ad Deum pertinent; Kypke), but passive, so that τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν, as Hebrews 2:17, is to be taken as an accusative absolute.

ἵνα κ.τ.λ.] epexegetic amplification of ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν.

δῶρα—[קָרְבָּן מִנְחָה] and θυσίαι are properly distinguished as gifts and sacrifices of every kind, and bloody sacrifices. The distinction, however, is not always observed. Comp. e.g. LXX. Leviticus 2:1 ff., Numbers 5:15 ff., Genesis 4:3; Genesis 4:5, where θυσία is used of unbloody sacrifices; and Genesis 4:4, Leviticus 1:2-3; Leviticus 1:10, al., where δῶρα is used of bloody sacrifices. In our passage the author has, without doubt, specially the bloody sacrifices in mind; as, accordingly, in the course of the epistle he opposes the sacrifice presented by Christ to the Levitical victims in particular.

ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν] i.e. for the expiation thereof. It belongs not merely to θυσίας (Grotius, Limborch, Bengel, Dindorf) or to δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας (Owen, Alford), but to the whole clause of the design.

Hebrews 5:2 is to be coupled with Hebrews 5:1 without the placing of a comma, in such wise that the participial clause: μετριοπαθεῖν δυνάμενος, connects itself immediately with the preceding clause of the design. The purpose of the author is not to mention the bare fact that the high priest presents gifts and sacrifices for the expiation of sins, but to dwell on the fact that he presents them as one who is capable of μετριοπαθεῖν.[71] ΜΕΤΡΙΟΠΑΘΕῖΝ ΔΥΝΆΜΕΝΟς is therefore neither to be resolved into ἽΝΑ ΔΎΝΗΤΑΙ ΜΕΤΡ. (Heinrichs), nor is it connected, by reason of a negligent participial construction, like ΛΑΜΒΑΝΌΜΕΝΟς with ἈΡΧΙΕΡΕΎς (Stengel), nor is it added merely “appendicis loco” (Böhme).

ΜΕΤΡΙΟΠΑΘΕῖΝ] stands not in opposition to ΣΥΜΠΑΘῆΣΑΙ, Hebrews 4:15, for the indication of a difference between the human high priest and the divine one (Tholuck); it is not, however, identical in meaning with ΣΥΜΠΑΘΕῖΝ (Oecumenius, Calvin, Seb. Schmidt, Baumgarten, Semler, Storr, Abresch, al.), but expresses a kindred notion. It is by virtue of its composition equivalent to μετρίως or ΚΑΤᾺ ΤῸ ΜΈΤΡΟΝ ΠΆΣΧΕΙΝ, and is accordingly used of the moderating of one’s passions and feelings, as opposed to an unbridled surrender thereto, but also as opposed to that absolute ἈΠΆΘΕΙΑ which the Stoics demanded of the sage. Comp. Diogen. Laert. 5:31: ἜΦΗ ΔΈ (sc. Aristotle), τὸν σοφὸν μὴ εἶναι μὲν ἀπαθῆ, μετριοπαθῆ δέ. Further instances in Wetstein and Bleek. Here the moderation or tenderness in the judgment formed upon the errors of one’s neighbour is intended, as this is wont to arise from a sympathy with the unhappiness of the same which is produced by sin. Thus: to be tenderly disposed or equitable.

τοῖς ἀγνοοῦσιν καὶ πλανωμένοις] Dativus commodi: in consideration of the ignorant and erring. Lenient designation of sinners. Perhaps, however, designedly chosen (comp. also Hebrews 9:7 : ὑπὲρ ἑαυτοῦ καὶ τῶν τοῦ λαοῦ ἀγνοημάτων) in order to bring into relief only one species of sins, the sins of precipitancy and without premeditation, inasmuch as according to the Mosaic law the sacrificial expiation extended only to those who had sinned ἈΚΟΥΣΊΩς; those, on the other hand, who had sinned deliberately and with forethought were to be cut off from the congregation of Jehovah, Numbers 15:22-31; Leviticus 4:13 ff.

ἘΠΕῚ ΚΑῚ ΑὐΤῸς ΠΕΡΊΚΕΙΤΑΙ ἈΣΘΈΝΕΙΑΝ] Confirmation of the ΔΥΝΆΜΕΝΟς: since he indeed himself is encircled (as with a garment) by weakness (altogether beset with it). ἀσθένεια is to be understood, as Hebrews 7:28, of the ethical weakness, thus also actual sin, comprehended under this expression; comp Hebrews 5:3.

The construction περίλειμαί τι, which in the N. T. occurs likewise Acts 28:20, is genuine Greek; comp. Theocrit. Idyll. xxiii. 14: ὕβριν τᾶς ὀργᾶς περικείμενος Kühner, Gramm. II. p. 231; Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 215.

[71] When for the rest Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 396, 2 Aufl.) supposes that for the expression of this relation of thought only καθίσταταιἵνα προσφέρῃ Could be chosen, and not καθίσταταιεἰς τὸ προσφέρειν, since the latter would “only be a declaration of the vocation” of the high priest, while the former “can take to itself the participial clause μετριοπαθεῖν δυνάμενος, and thereby signify to what end it serves in the exercise of his office, that he has been in this way appointed thereto,” this is grammatically altogether baseless. Either turn of discourse was equally open to the choice of the author. Only, in case the latter was chosen, the nominative δυνάμενος must naturally be changed into the accusative δυνάμενον.

Hebrews 5:1-3. The first qualification: the capacity, as man, who himself is subject to human weakness, to deal leniently with erring humanity. To what extent and under what modification this characteristic of the earthly high priest is applicable also to Christ, is not discussed by the author in our passage. This might appear remarkable, since with respect to the second necessary qualification of the earthly high priest, further added Hebrews 5:4, the parallel relation in the case of Christ is expounded in detail from Hebrews 5:5 onwards. But yet there was no need of an express application to Christ, of that which was observed Hebrews 5:1-3. What the author had had to say with regard to this was already clear to the readers from the earlier disquisitions of the epistle itself. The element of the homogeneity of Christ with the Jewish high priest, namely, that He, like the Jewish high priest, can have sympathy with sinful man, since He had become in all points like unto men His brethren, had been fully traced out in the second chapter, and attention is called anew to it in Hebrews 4:15 by the δυνάμενον συμπαθῆσαι ταῖς ἀσθενείαις ἡμῶν and πεπειρασμένον κατὰ πάντα καθʼ ὁμοιότητα. The element of the dissimilarity, on the other hand, namely, that while the Jewish high priest had to offer for his own sins, Christ was without sin, is first brought prominently forward in Hebrews 4:15 by means of χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας, and, besides this, followed already from the exalted position the author had, in the opening chapters of the epistle, assigned to Christ as the Son of God.

That, in reality, also the paragraph Hebrews 5:7-10, no less than Hebrews 5:5-6, is subordinate to the second main consideration, expressed Hebrews 5:4, has been denied, it is true, by Beza, Schlichting, Hammond, Limborch, Storr, Delitzsch, Maier, Moll, and others. They are of opinion that from Hebrews 5:5Hebrews 5:1. Πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺςγὰρ introduces the ground of the encouraging counsel of Hebrews 4:16, and further confirms Hebrews 4:15. [But cf. Beza: “Itaque γὰρ non tam est causalis quam inchoativa, ut loquuntur grammatici”; and Westcott: “the γάρ is explanatory and not directly argumentative”.] The connection is: Come boldly to the throne of grace; let not sin daunt you, for every high priest is appointed for the very purpose of offering sacrifices for sin (cf. Hebrews 8:3). This he must do because he is appointed by God for this purpose, and he does it readily and heartily because his own subjection to weakness gives him sympathy. πᾶς ἀρχιερ. “Every high priest,” primarily, every high priest known to you, or every ordinary Levitical high priest. There is no need to extend the reference, as Peirce does, to “others who were not of that order”. ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος, “being taken from among men,” not, “who is taken from etc.,” as if defining a certain peculiar and exceptional kind of high priest. It might almost be rendered “since he is taken from among men”; for the writer means that all priesthood proceeds on this foundation, and it is this circumstance that involves what is afterwards more fully insisted upon, that the high priest has sympathy. For λαμβ. cf. Numbers 25:4; Numbers 8:6. On the present tense, see below. Grotius renders “segregare, ut quae ex acervo desumimus”. Being taken from among men every high priest is also appointed not for his own sake or to fulfil his own purposes, but ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται, “is appointed in man’s behalf”; not with Calvin, “ordinat ea quae ad Deum pertinent,” taking καθ. as middle. The word is in common use in classical writers. “The customariness [implied in λαμβ. and καθ.] applies not to the action of the individual member of the class, but to that of the class as a whole”. Burton, M. and T., cxxiv. τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν, “in things relating to God”; an adverbial accusative as in Romans 15:17. See Blass, Gram., p. 94; and cf. Exodus 18:19, γίνου σὺ τῷ λαῷ τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν. In all that relates to God the high priest must mediate for men; but he is appointed especially and primarily, ἵνα προσφέρῃἁμαρτιῶν, “that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins”. Were there no sins there would be no priest. The fact that we are sinners, therefore, should not daunt us, or prevent our using the intercession of the priest. προσφέρειν, technical term, like our “offer”; not so used in the classics. δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας, the same combination is found in Hebrews 8:3 and Hebrews 9:9 with the same conjunctions. Δῶρα as well as θυσίαι include all kinds of sacrifices and offerings. Thus in Leviticus 1 passim, cf. Hebrews 5:3 : ἐὰν ὁλοκαύτωμα τὸ δῶρον αὐτοῦ. It is best, therefore, to construe ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτ. with προσφέρειν and not with θυσίας; cf. Hebrews 5:3 and Hebrews 10:12. So Bleek and Weiss against Grotius and others; e.g., Westcott, who says: “The clause ὑπὲρ ἁμ. is to be joined with θυσίας and not with προσφέρῃ as referring to both nouns. The two ideas of eucharistic and expiatory offerings are distinctly marked.”

1. For every high priest taken from among men] Rather, “being taken,” or “chosen as he is” (comp. Exodus 28:1). The writer now enters on his proof that in order to fit Him for the functions of a High Priest for men it was necessary that Christ should become Man. He has already called attention to the subject in a marked manner in Hebrews 2:7, Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 4:14-15.

is ordained for men] “Is appointed on men’s behalf.”

in things pertaining to God] Hebrews 2:17. It is his part to act as man’s representative in the performance of the duties of worship and sacrifice.

both gifts and sacrifices] We have the same phrase in Hebrews 8:3, Hebrews 9:9. In O. T. usage no distinction is maintained between “gifts” and “sacrifices,” for in Genesis 4:4, Leviticus 1:2-3, “gifts” is used for animal sacrifices; and in Genesis 4:3; Genesis 4:5, “sacrifices” is used (as in Hebrews 11:4) for bloodless gifts. When, however, the words are used together the distinction between them is that which holds in classical Greek, where “sacrifices” is never used except to mean “slain beasts.” The word “offer” is generally applied to expiatory sacrifices, and though “gifts” in the strict sense—e.g. “freewill offerings” and “meat offerings”—were not expiatory, yet the “gift” of incense offered by the High Priest on the Day of Atonement had some expiatory significance.

for sins] To make atonement for sins (Hebrews 2:17).

Hebrews 5:1. Πᾶς) Every priest of the house of Levi. An antithesis to Christ; for the apostle is speaking of the Levitical priesthood, Hebrews 5:1-3 : and the Apodosis is not added, because it is included (contained virtually) in the antecedent observations. But in Hebrews 5:4, there is a Protasis in a new part of the comparison with the Apodosis subsequently following it. This is the sum. Whatever is excellent in the Levitical priests, that is in Christ, and indeed in a more eminent degree; whatever is defective in them, that however is also in Christ.—ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος, taken from among men) A part of the predicate. Before they were taken, they were evidently of the same condition.—ὑπὲρ, for) from among men, for men, an elegant (neat) expression.—καθίσταται, is ordained) The present; is usually ordained.—τὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεὸν, in things pertaining to God) So the LXX., Deuteronomy 31:27.—δῶρα, gifts) referring to things without life.—θυσίας ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν, sacrifices for sin) consisting of animals.

Hebrews 5:1Every high priest (πᾶς ἀρχιερεὺς)

Every Levitical high priest. Αρχιερεὺς oP.

Taken (λαμβανόμενος)

Rend. being taken, or since he is taken: not who is taken. The point is that the high priest's efficiency for men depends on his being taken from among men.

Is ordained (καθίσταται)

Constituted priest. See on Titus 1:5.

For men (ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων)

On behalf of men.

In things pertaining to God (τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεόν)

As respects his relation to God. See on Hebrews 2:17.

That he may offer (ἵνα προσφέρῃ)

Προσφέρειν, lit. to bring to (the altar). Comp. Matthew 5:23. oP., who, however, has the kindred noun προσφορὰ offering. Very often in lxx; nineteen times in Hebrews, and always, with one exception (Hebrews 12:7), in the technical sense, as here.

Gifts - sacrifices (δῶρα - θυσίας)

Δῶρα offerings generally: θυσίας bloody sacrifices. The distinction, however, is not constantly observed. Thus, θυσὶαι, of unbloody offerings, Genesis 4:3, Genesis 4:5; Leviticus 2:1; Numbers 5:15; δῶρα, of bloody offerings, Genesis 4:4; Leviticus 1:2, Leviticus 1:3, Leviticus 1:10.


Hebrews 5:1 Interlinear
Hebrews 5:1 Parallel Texts

Hebrews 5:1 NIV
Hebrews 5:1 NLT
Hebrews 5:1 ESV
Hebrews 5:1 NASB
Hebrews 5:1 KJV

Hebrews 5:1 Bible Apps
Hebrews 5:1 Parallel
Hebrews 5:1 Biblia Paralela
Hebrews 5:1 Chinese Bible
Hebrews 5:1 French Bible
Hebrews 5:1 German Bible

Bible Hub

Hebrews 4:16
Top of Page
Top of Page