So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said to him, You are my Son, to day have I begotten you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Christ.—Better, the Christ (See Hebrews 3:14.) It is important to note that in passages of the Pentateuch where the high priest receives a special designation (usually “the priest” is sufficiently distinctive) his title is almost always “the anointed priest.” Hence in the one designation, “the Christ,” are united the two testimonies of Scripture which follow. He is the Anointed King (Psalm 2:7), addressed by Jehovah as His Son (see Notes on Hebrews 1:2; Hebrews 1:4-5); by the same Jehovah He is addressed as Priest for ever after the order of one who was both priest and king (Psalm 110:4).John 8:54. The meaning is, that Jesus was not ambitious; that he did not obtrude himself into the great office of high priest; he did not enter upon its duties without being regularly called to it. Paul claimed that Christ held that office; but, as he was not descended front Aaron, and as no one might perform its duties without being regularly called to it, it was incumbent on him to show that Jesus was not an intruder, but had a regular vocation to that work. This he shows by a reference to two passages of the Old Testament.
But he that said unto him - That is, he who said to him "Thou art my Son," exalted him to that office. He received his appointment from him. This was decisive in the case, and this was sufficient, if it could be made out, for the only claim which Aaron and his successors could have to the office, was the fact that they had received their appointment front God.
Thou art my Son - Psalm 2:7. See this passage explained in the notes on Acts 13:38. It is used here with reference to the designation to the priestly office, though in the Psalm more particularly to the anointing to the office of king. The propriety of this application is founded on the fact that the language in the Psalm is of so general a character, that it may be applied to "any" exaltation of the Redeemer, or to any honor conferred on him. It is used here with strict propriety, for Paul is saying that Jesus did not exalt "himself," and in proof of that he refers to the fact that God had exalted him by calling him his "Son."
but he that said—that is, the Father glorified Him or appointed Him to the priesthood. This appointment was involved in, and was the result of, the Sonship of Christ, which qualified Him for it. None but the divine Son could have fulfilled such an office (Heb 10:5-9). The connection of Sonship and priesthood is typified in the Hebrew title for priests being given to David's sons (2Sa 8:18). Christ did not constitute Himself the Son of God, but was from everlasting the only-begotten of the Father. On His Sonship depended His glorification, and His being called of God (Heb 5:10), as Priest.
So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an High Priest: he begins the parallel in his call to it: God-man, the, great gospel High Priest, anointed to this office in the flesh with the Holy Ghost, was not tainted with ambition, neither did usurp this honour and dignity, John 8:54, though there never was person qualified for it, or deserved it, like him. He never did intrude himself upon the office, or take the sacerdotal power to him, whatever others have done, and usurped it.
But he that said unto him; but God the Father bespeaketh him, and calleth him to this high office, as he did Aaron: he chose him, separated, sent, and anointed him for it. No less person than the eternal Jehovah could constitute and invest him in what was so high for dignity, so glorious for power; he did by speaking commission him for it, and did publish and testify the constitution, glorifying him in it, as is testified, Psalm 2:7.
Thou art my Son: Thou, is not David, but Christ, as is interpreted, Hebrews 1:5 Acts 13:33. Art my only begotten Son, my natural Son, John 1:14,18; the first-born of God, Psalm 89:27; compare Romans 8:29 Colossians 1:18. As his Son, the Father could appoint him to what calling he pleased. By his primogeniture he had right to the priesthood and kingship; and to these doth the Father call him, as who would not be denied by him.
To-day have I begotten thee; from eternity he had a right and title to this office, but his solemn investiture in it was on the resurrection day, then was he begotten to it; not only dedicated, as Hannah did Samuel to the priesthood, but solemnly, after his consecration by his own blood to it, Hebrews 9:10-12,23,24, compare Romans 1:4, was he by the Father proclaimed to be the Son-mediator, King, Priest, and Prophet, and made to enter the holy of holiest in heaven, and to sit down there on his Father’s right hand, invested with glory and power for the execution of his offices, and this of his priesthood in special, which tie is daily fulfilling with him by his intercession: see Hebrews 7:25,28 9:24; compare Psalm 2:8.
but he that said unto him, thou art my Son, today have I begotten thee; he appointed him to this office; he sent him to execute it; he anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows; he consecrated and established him in it with an oath; and prescribed to him what he should do, suffer, and offer; and declared to him what he might expect as the reward thereof. These words are taken out of Psalm 2:7; see Gill on Hebrews 1:5, and they are not to be considered as constitutive of Christ's priesthood, as if that was intended by the begetting of him as a Son; but as descriptive of the person, who called him to it, who stood in the relation of a Father to Christ, and Christ in the relation of a Son to him; therefore the one was very proper to call, and the other a very fit person to be called to this office, being every way capable of executing it, to the glory of God, and to the good of men.So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Hebrews 5:5. In like manner also Christ appointed not Himself to be High Priest, but God the Father has appointed Him. The main emphasis in the verse falls upon οὐχ ἑαυτὸν … ἀλλʼ ὁ λαλήσας. With Hofmann for the rest (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 398, 2 Aufl.), to take the opening words of the verse: οὕτως καὶ ὁ Χριστός, separately as an independent clause, is not warranted on any ground. οὐχ ἑαυτὸν ἐδόξασεν γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα] He did not glorify (comp. John 8:54) Himself (arbitrarily encircle Himself with honour and glory) in order to be made a high priest.
ἐδόξασεν] is to be taken quite generally, so that it first acquires its nearer definition and completion, under the form of the intention, by means of γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα. See Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 298. The referring of the verb, with de Wette, specially to the glorification, mentioned Hebrews 2:9, is forbidden by the parallel relation to Hebrews 5:4, in that οὐχ ἑαντὸν ἐδόξασεν γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα manifestly corresponds exactly to the foregoing statement, οὐχ ἑαυτῷ τις λαμβάνει τὴν τιμήν. On account of this parallel relationship in itself, clearly indicated as it is above by the οὕτως καί, is the view of Hofmann too (Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 398 f. 2 Aufl.) entirely erroneous, namely, that οὐχ ἑαυτὸν ἐδόξασεν acquires its nearer defining of signification from Hebrews 5:7-8, in that this relative clause denotes the same thing as that negative clause, and consequently is to be brought into relief; not a path of self-glorification was it, but a path of anguish and suffering, by which Christ attained to glory. The violence done in this explanation is already shown, in the fact that the relative clause, Hebrews 5:7 ff., is logically subordinate to the οὐχ ἑαυτὸν ἐδόξασεν, as a farther demonstration of the truth thereof; and, moreover, in this relative clause the mention of the suffering of Christ forms not the main element, but only a subsidiary member.
ἀλλʼ ὁ λαλήσας πρὸς αὐτὸν κ.τ.λ.] sc. αὐτὸν ἐδόξασεν γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα. The participle aorist λαλήσας is anterior in point of time to the ἐδόξασεν. Thus ὁ λαλήσας: He who had said, sc. before the creation of the world; comp. Hebrews 1:1-3. Inasmuch as the connection with that which precedes, and the opposition οὐχ ἑαυτὸν ἀλλʼ ὁ λαλήσας, place it beyond doubt that the author can here only design to mention the person or authority by virtue of which Christ possesses His high-priesthood, it results that in the words υἱός μου εἰ σὺ κ.τ.λ. a proof for the fact that Christ is High Priest is not to be sought. Against Schlichting, Grotius, Hammond, Limborch, Whitby, Peirce, Stengel, Ebrard, Maier, and others. If it were here already a question with the author of adducing a proof, he would have written without an article ἀλλʼ ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας (“but God, in saying to Him,” etc.), instead of writing with the article ἀλλʼ ὁ λαλήσας. But why does not the author simply say ὁ θεός? Why does he employ the periphrasis of the idea of God by means of the words (already cited, Hebrews 1:5) from Psalm 2:7? In order to render already apparent, by this designation of God, how little ground can exist for surprise that He who occupies the rank of the Son of God should, moreover, also of God be appointed High Priest.
Hebrews 5:5-10. Demonstration of the presence of the qualification, mentioned Hebrews 5:4, in the case of Christ also.Hebrews 5:5. οὕτω καὶ ὁ Χριστὸς.… “So even the Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest.” [“So hat auch der Christus nicht sich selbst die Herrlichkeit des Hohenpriestertums zugeeignet,” Weizsäcker.] The designation, “the Christ,” is introduced, because it might not have seemed so significant a statement if made of “Jesus”. It was not personal ambition that moved Christ. He did not come in His own name, nor did He seek to glorify Himself. See John 8:54; John 5:31; John 5:43; John 17:5, and passim. ἀλλʼ ὁ λαλήσας … Μελχισεδέκ. “but He [glorified Him to be made a priest] who said, Thou art My Son, I this day have begotten Thee; as also in another place He says, Thou art a priest for ever after the order Melchizedek”. The question here is: Why does the writer introduce the quotation from the 2nd Psalm at all? Why does he not directly prove his point by the quotation from the Messianic 110th Psalm? Does he mean that He who said, Thou art my Son, glorified Christ as priest in saying this? Apparently he does, otherwise the καὶ in καθὼς καὶ ἐν ἐτέρῳ would be unwarranted. By introducing the former of the two quotations and designating God as He that called Christ Son, or nominated him to the Messianic dignity, which involved the priesthood, he shows that the greater and more comprehensive office of Messiahship was not assumed by Christ at His own instance and therefore that the priesthood included in this was not of His own seeking, but of God’s ordaining; cf. Weiss. Bleek says the reference to Psalms 2 is made to lessen the marvel that God should glorify Christ as priest. Similarly Riehm “dass Christus in einem so unvergleichlich innigen Verhältnisse zu Gott steht, dass seine Berufung zum Hohepriesteramt nicht befreundlich sein kann;” and Davidson, “It is by no means meant that the priesthood of Christ was involved in His Sonship (Alford), an a priori method of conception wholly foreign to the Epistle, but merely that it was suitable in one who was Son, being indeed possible to none other (see on Hebrews 1:3).” Bruce thinks the writer wishes to teach that Christ’s priesthood is coeval with His Sonship and inherent in it. κατὰ τὴν τάξιν “after the order;” among its other meanings τάξις denotes a class or rank, “ordo quâ dicitur quispiam senatorii ordinis, vel equestris ordinis”. Thus in Demosthenes, οἰκέτου τάξιν οὐκ ἐλευθέρου παιδὸς ἔχων, in Diod. Sic., iii. 6, οἱ περὶ τὰς τῶν θεῶν θεραπείας διατρίβοντες ἱερεῖς, μεγίστην καὶ κυριωτάτην τάξιν ἔχοντες. In the subsequent exposition of the Melch. priesthood it is chiefly on εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα that emphasis is laid.
Hebrews 5:7. ὃς … ἔμαθεν … καὶ ἐγένετο. In these verses the writer shows how much there was in the call to the priesthood repugnant to flesh and blood; how it was through painful obedience, not by arrogant ambition he became Priest. The main statement is, He learned obedience and became perfect as Saviour. ὃς ἐν τ. ἡμέραις τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ “who in the days of His flesh,” and when therefore He was like His brethren in capacity for temptation and suffering; cf. Hebrews 2:14. δεήσεις … προσενέγκας “having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death”. προσενέγκας has sometimes been supposed to refer to the προσφἐρειν of Hebrews 5:3, and to have a sacrificial sense. It was such an offering as became His innocent ἀσθένεια. As the ordinary high priest prepared himself for offering for the people by offering for himself, so, it is thought, Christ was prepared for the strictly sacrificial or priestly work by the feeling of His own weakness. There is truth in this. Weiss’ reason for excluding this reference is “dass ein Opfern mit starkem Geschrei und Thranen eine unvollziehbare Vorstellung ist”. Cf. Davidson, p. 113, note. προσφ. is used with δέησιν in later Greek writers: instances in Bleek. δεήσεις τε καὶ ἱκετηρίας, these words are elsewhere combined as in Isocrates, De Pace, 46; Polybius, iii. 112, 8; cf. Job 40:22. The relation of the two words is well brought out in a passage from Philo quoted by Carpzov: γραφὴ δὲ μηνύσει μου τὴν δέησιν ἣν ἀνθʼ ἱκετηρίας προτείνω. Cf. Eurip., Iph. Aul., 1216. ἱκετηρία [from ἵκω I come, ἱκέτης one who comes as a suppliant] is originally an adjective = fit for suppliants, then an olive branch [sc. ἐλαία, or ῥάβδος] bound with wool which the suppliant carried as a symbol of his prayer. The conjunction of words in this verse is for emphasis. These supplications were accompanied μετὰ κραυγῆς ἰσχυρᾶς καὶ δακρύων “with strong crying and tears,” expressing the intensity of the prayers and so the keenness of the suffering. The “strong crying” is striking. Schöttgen quotes: “There are three kinds of prayers, each loftier than the preceding: prayer, crying, and tears. Prayer is silent, crying with raised voice, tears overcome all things.” It is to the scene in Gethsemane reference is made, and although “tears” are not mentioned by the evangelists in relating that scene, they are implied, and this writer might naturally thus represent the emotion of our Lord. The prayer was addressed πρὸς τὸν δυνάμενον σώζειν αὐτὸν ἐκ θανάτου “to Him that was able to save Him from death,” which implies that the prayer was that Christ might be saved from death [“Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me”] but also suggests that the prayer was not formally answered—else why emphasise that God had power to answer it? σώζειν ἐκ θανάτου. The prayer recorded in Mark 14:36, and the anticipation of Gethsemane alluded to in John 12:27 [Πάτερ σῶσόν με ἐκ τῆς ὥρας ταύτης] are sufficient to show that it is deliverance from dying that is meant. Milligan, however, says: “Christ is thus represented as praying not that death may be averted, but that He may be saved ‘out of it,’ when it comes.” Westcott thinks the word covers both ideas and that in the first sense the prayer was not granted, that it might be granted in the second. It is preferable to abide by the simple statement that the passion of Christ’s prayer to escape death was intensified by the fact that He knew God could deliver Him by twelve legions of angels or otherwise. His absolute faith in the Father’s almighty power and infinite resource was the very soul of his trial. καὶ εἰσακουσθεὶς ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας “and having been heard on account of His godly reverence”. εὐλάβεια [from εὖ λαβεῖν to take good hold, or careful hold] denotes the cautious regard which a wise man pays to all the circumstances of an action. Thus Fabius Cunctator was termed εὐλαβὴς. And in regard to God εὐλάβεια means that reverent submission to His will which caution or prudence dictates. [See Proverbs 28:14 and the definitions by Philo. Quis. Rer. Div. Haer., 6.] That ἀπό following εἰσακουσθεὶς means in Biblical Greek “on account of” we have proof in Job 35:12 and Luke 19:3, as well as from the frequent use of ἀπό in N.T. to denote cause, John 21:6; Acts 12:14, etc. In classical Greek also ἀπό is used for propter, see Aristoph., Knights, 1. 767 ὡς ἀπὸ μικρῶν εὔνους αὐτῷ θωπευματίων γεγένησαι. See also the Birds, 1. 150. The cautious reverence, or reverent caution—the fear lest He should oppose God or seem to overpersuade Him—which was heard and answered was expressed in the second petition of the prayer in Gethsemane, “Not my will but thine be done”. And ἀπό is used in preference to διά, apparently because the source of the particular petition is meant to be indicated, that we may understand that the truest answer to this reverent submission was to give Him the cup to drink and thus to accomplish through Him the faultless will of God. To have removed the cup and saved Him from death would not have answered the εὐλάβεια of the prayer. The meaning of the clause is further determined by what follows.5. So also Christ] Rather, “So even the Christ.” Jesus, the Messiah, the true Anointed Priest, possessed both these qualifications.
glorified not himself] He has already called the High Priesthood “an honour,” but of Christ’s Priesthood he uses a still stronger word “glory” (Hebrews 2:9; John 12:28; John 13:31).
but he that said unto him] God glorified Him, and the writer again offers the admitted Messianic Prophecies of Psalm 2:7; Psalm 110:4, as a sufficient illustration of this. The fact of His Sonship demonstrates that His call to the Priesthood was a call of God. “Jesus said If I honour myself, my honour is nothing; it is my Father that honoureth me, of whom ye say that He is your God,” John 8:54.Hebrews 5:5. Ἀρχιερέα, High Priest) So Christ is often called; and yet at the same time often, and presently at Hebrews 5:6, He is termed a priest (simply). He is a priest absolutely, because He stands alone in that character without an equal. He is High Priest in respect of the Aaronic type, and in respect of us, whom He has made priests by His access to God and guidance of us.—ὁ λαλήσας πρὸς αὐτον, He who spoke to Him) יְהֹוָה אָמַר אֵליַ, Psalm 2:7.—ὑιός μου, my Son) The apostle does not mean that the Father conferred the honour of the priesthood on the Son at the time, when the Father said, Thou art my Son; for the generation of the Son is certainly prior to His priesthood: but declares, that the Son, who can do nothing of Himself, and who is always under the authority of the Father and does only what the Father wills, and receives only what the Father gives, has also received from the Father the honour of the priesthood, of which none but the Son Himself was capable. Hence the connection, καθὼς, as, in the following verse. In this manner David had (treated) his sons (as) priests [Engl. Vers., chief rulers], i.e. admitted to terms of closest intimacy. 2 Samuel 8:18, with the Scholia of Michaelis: and the name of Son and Priest, quoted from the Psalms in Hebrews 5:5-6, is presently afterwards repeated Hebrews 5:8, and ch. Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 7:28.Verses 5, 6. - So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a High Priest. Here begins the proof that Christ fulfils the two requirements, that mentioned second in the previous statement being taken first in the proof - chiastically, as is usual in this Epistle. The expression, ἑαυτὸν ἐδόξασε, rather than τὴν τιμὴν ἔλαβε, may have reference to the glory wherewith Christ is crowned in his exalted position as Priest-King (cf. Hebrews 2:9). But he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. These two texts (Psalm 2:7; Psalm 110:4) must be taken together for the proof required. The first (commented on under Hebrews 1:5) shows the Lord's appointment of Christ to his kingly office as Son; the second shows that this kingly office carries with it, also by Divine appointment, an eternal priesthood. Christ's entry into this kingly priesthood is best conceived as inaugurated by his resurrection, after accomplishment of human obedience, whereby he fitted himself for priesthood. Before this he was the destined High Priest, but not the "perfected" High Priest, "ever living to make intercession for us." It is not during his life on earth, but after his exaltation, that he is spoken of as the High Priest of mankind. In his sufferings and death he was consecrated to his eternal office. This appears from vers. 9, 10, and also from Psalm 110, quoted in this verse, where the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek and the exaltation to the right hand of God are regarded together. See also what was said under Hebrews 1:5, of the application to Christ of the other text quoted, "This day have I begotten thee." The Messianic reference and general drift of Psalm 110. has been considered under Hebrews 1:13. It was there seen to be more than a typical prophecy, David having in it a distinct view of One far greater than himself - of the Son to come, whom he calls his LORD. But even had it, like other Messianic psalms, a primary reference to some theocratic king, the remarkable import of ver. 4 would in itself point beyond one. For, though David organized and controlled the priesthood and the services of the sanctuary, though both he and Solomon took a prominent part in solemn acts of worship, yet neither they nor any other king assumed the priestly office, which, in its essential functions, was scrupulously confined to the sons of Aaron. The judgment on Uzziah (2 Chronicles 26:16-22) is a notable evidence of the importance attached to this principle. Yet the verse before us assigns a true priesthood to the future King. For Melchizedek, as he appears in Genesis, is evidently a true priest, though prior to the Aaronic priesthood, uniting in himself, according to the system of the patriarchal age, the royalty and the priesthood of his race: as a true priest, he blessed Abraham, and received tithes from him. But of him, historically and symbolically regarded, the consideration must be reserved for Hebrews 7, where the subject is taken up. Enough here to observe that in Psalm 110. a true and everlasting priesthood is assigned to the SON in union with his exalted royalty at the LORD'S right hand, and this by Divine appointment, by the "voice" or "oracle" of the Load (ver. 1), confirmed by the LORD'S oath (ver. 4).
Ἐδόξασεν glorified is general, and is more specifically defined by γενηθῆναι ἀρχιερέα to be made high priest.
But he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, etc.
Supply glorified him. He did not glorify himself, but God who styled him "son" glorified him. Thou art my Son is introduced thus in close connection with the call to the priesthood, in recognition of the fact that the priesthood of Christ had its basis in his sonship. "Christ's priestly vocation ceases to be an accident in his history, and becomes an essential characteristic of his position as Son: sonship, christhood, priestliness, inseparably interwoven" (Bruce).
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