The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, , at sacred-texts.com
heb 2:1Therefore (1) we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which (a) we have heard, lest at any time we (b) should let [them] slip.
(1) Now pausing to show to what end and purpose all these things were spoken, that is, to understand by the excellency of Christ above all creatures, that his doctrine, majesty and priesthood, is most perfect, he uses an exhortation taken from a comparison.
(a) He makes himself a hearer.
(b) They are said to let the word run out, who do not hold it securely and remember the word when they have heard it.
heb 2:2For if the (c) word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
(c) The Law which appointed punishment for the offenders: and which Paul says was given by angels, (Gal 3:19) and by Stephen also in, (Act 7:53).
heb 2:3How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; (2) which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by (d) them that heard [him];
(2) If the neglect and disobedience of the word spoken by angels was not left unpunished, much less will it be tolerated if we neglect the gospel which the Lord of angels preached, and was confirmed by the voice of the apostles, and with so many signs and wonders from heaven, and especially with great and mighty working of the Holy Spirit.
(d) By the apostles.
heb 2:4God also bearing [them] witness, both with (e) signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
(e) This is the true purpose of miracles. Now they are called signs, because they appear as one thing, and represent another: and they are called wonders, because they represent some strange and unaccustomed thing: and powers because they give us a glimpse of God's mighty power.
heb 2:5(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.
heb 2:6(4) But one in a certain place testified, saying, (g) What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the (h) son of man, that thou visitest him?
(4) He shows that the use of this kingly dignity exists in this, that men might not only in Christ recognise the dignity which they have lost, but also might be through him advanced above all things, which dignity of men David describes most excellently.
(g) What is there in man that you should have such a great regard for him, and do him that honour?
(h) He refers to all the citizens of the heavenly kingdom as they are considered to be, before God gives them the freedom of that city in Christ, man, and sons of man.
heb 2:7Thou (i) madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with (k) glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
(i) This is the first honour of the citizens of the world to come, that they are beside the angels.
(k) For they will be greatly honoured when they partake of the kingdom. He speaks of the thing that will be, as though it were already, because it is so certain.
heb 2:8Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing [that is] not put under him. (5) But now we see not yet all things put under him.
(5) An objection: But where is this great rule and dominion?
heb 2:9(6) But we (l) see Jesus, who was made a little (m) lower than the angels (7) for the (n) suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should (o) taste death for (8) every man.
(6) The answer: this is already fulfilled in Jesus Christ our head, who was temporarily for our sakes inferior to the angels, being made man: but now is advanced into most high glory.
(l) By his virtue and power which appears revealed in the Church.
(m) Who abased himself for a time, and took the position of a servant. (7) He shows the cause of this subjection, that is, to taste death for our sakes, that in so doing the part of a redeemer, he might not only be our Prophet and King, but also our High Priest.
(n) That he might die.
(o) Feel death. (8) In this exists the force of the argument: for we could not eventually be glorified with him, unless he was abased for us, even for all the elect. By this event the apostle comes to the other part of the declaration of Christ's person, in which he proved him to be God and also man.
heb 2:10(9) For it became (p) him, for whom [are] all things, and by whom [are] all things, (10) in bringing many sons unto glory, (11) to make the (q) captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
(9) He proves moreover by other arguments why it suited the Son of God who is true God (as he proved a little before) to become man nonetheless, subject to all miseries, with the exception of sin.
(10) First of all because the Father, to whose glory all these things are to be referred, purposed to bring many sons to glory. How could he have men for his sons, unless his only begotten son had become a brother to men?
(11) Secondly the Father determined to bring those sons to glory, that is, out of that shame in which they existed before. Therefore the son should not have been seen plainly to be made man, unless he had been made like other men, that he might come to glory in the same way, he would bring others: indeed rather, it suited him who was prince of the salvation of others, to be consecrated above others through those afflictions, Prophet, King, and Priest, which are the offices of that government, for the salvation of others.
(q) The Chieftain who as he is chiefest in dignity, so he is first begotten from the dead, among many brethren.
heb 2:11(12) For both he that (r) sanctifieth and they who are sanctified [are] all of (s) one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
(12) The basis for both of the former arguments, for we could not be sons through him, neither could he be consecrated through afflictions, unless he had been made man like us. But because this sonship depends not only on nature, for no man is accounted the son of God, unless he is also a son of a man, he is also Christ's brother, (which is by sanctification, that is, by becoming one with Christ, who sanctifies us through faith) therefore the apostle makes mention of the sanctifier, that is, of Christ, and of them that are sanctified, that is, of all the elect, who Christ condescends to call brethren.
(r) He uses the time to show us that we are still going on, and increasing in this sanctification: and by sanctification he means our separation from the rest of the world, our cleansing from sin, and our dedication wholly to God, all which Christ alone works in us.
(s) One, of the same nature of man.
heb 2:12(13) Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
(13) That which he taught before about the incarnation of Christ, he applies to the prophetic office.
heb 2:13(14) And again, I will put my (t) trust in him. And again, (u) Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
(14) He applies the same to the kingly power of Christ, in delivering his own from the power of the devil and death.
(t) I will commit myself to him, and to his defence.
(u) This Isaiah speaks of himself and his disciples but signifying by this all ministers, as also his disciples signify the whole Church. Therefore seeing Christ is the head of the prophets and ministers, these words are more rightly confirmed by him, than by Isaiah.
heb 2:14Forasmuch then as the children are (x) partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the (y) power of death, that is, the (z) devil;
(x) Are made of flesh and blood, which is a frail and delicate nature.
(y) The devil is said to have the power of death, because he is the author of sin: and from sin comes death, and because of this he daily urges us to sin.
(z) He speaks of him as of a prince, placing over all his angels.
heb 2:15And deliver them who through fear of (a) death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
(death) you must understand here, that death which is joined with the wrath of God, as it must be if it is without Christ, and there can be nothing devised that is more miserable.
heb 2:16(15) For verily he took not on [him the (b) nature of] angels; but he took on [him] the (c) seed of Abraham.
(15) He explains those words of flesh and blood, showing that Christ is true man, and not by changing his divine nature, but by taking on man's nature. He names Abraham, regarding the promises made to Abraham in this behalf.
(b) The nature of angels.
(c) The very nature of man.
heb 2:17(16) Wherefore in (d) all things it behoved him to be made like unto [his] brethren, that he might be a (e) merciful and (f) faithful high priest in things [pertaining] to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
(16) He applies the same to the priesthood, for which he would not have been suited, unless he had become man, and like us in all things, sin being the exception.
(d) Not only concerning nature, but qualities too.
(e) That he might be truly touched with the feeling of our miseries.
(f) Doing his office sincerely.
heb 2:18For in that he himself hath suffered being (g) tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
(g) Was tried and urged to wickedness by the devil.