The Book of Hebrews



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Hebrews: Introduction

Hebrews 1

Hebrews 2

Hebrews 3

Hebrews 4

Hebrews 5

Hebrews 6

Hebrews 7

Hebrews 8

Hebrews 9

Hebrews 10

Hebrews 11

Hebrews 12

Hebrews 13


Hebrews Chapter 5

Jesus Christ our Perfect High Priest

Qualifications for High-Priest

Verses 1-4

1 For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.

2 He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.

3 Because of this he is required as for the people, so also for himself, to offer sacrifices for sins.

4 And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.


High Priest: The office of High Priest was first given to Aaron and his sons, following the establishment of the Mosaic Covenant on Mt. Sinai. (Exodus 28-29).  They were to administer the sacrifices with the articles described by God to Moses on the mountain (Exodus 25-27). The High Priest was a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah, who would ultimately fulfill the office.  The High Priest was the Human representative to God, administering sacrifices on his and the nation’s behalf.  He was over the other Priests, and  he alone would enter the Holy of Holies, once a year.

            The Tent of Meeting and its articles were copies of their Heavenly counterparts (Hebrews 9:23) revealed in the Book of Revelation. (Exodus 25:40).



Mosaic High-Priest


Son of man

Aaron was of the tribe of Levi.

Jesus was of the tribe of Judah.

Daniel 7:13, Matthew 25:31

Appointed by God

Aaron and his sons were selected for the priesthood (Exodus 28:1)

The Father proclaimed the Son

Matthew 3:17

Offering sacrifice

The High Priest offered a sacrifice for himself and the people.

(Leviticus 16)

Christ offered Himself as sinless sacrifice for the sins of man. (Isaiah 53)

Chief Priest

He was the only priest who could enter the Holy of Holies, He alone would make atonement for Israel once a year. (Leviticus 16)

Upon the death of Christ the curtain in the Temple was ripped from top to bottom. He entered Heaven for us. The Bible describes those who trust Christ as kings and priests (Revelation 1:6, 5:10, 20:6) Christ is the Chief Priest

Representing humanity to God

Aaron and his sons administered the offerings and gifts before the altar. Including both obligations for sin(Leviticus 1), voluntary gifts of thanksgiving. (Leviticus 3, 7:11-34)

Through Christ death, man is reconciled to God and has access to the throne in Heaven. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Bearing Israel on his shoulders

The High Priest wore the names of Israel on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord. (Exodus 28:6-14)

Christ came bearing witness of himself to Israel. Following Israel’s rejection of Christ. (Matthew 10:6,23) The Gentiles are grafted into God’s Covenant with Israel (Romans 11:17).

12 Stones

The High Priest had a breastplate with 12 stones, each engraved with one of the tribes of Israel, over his heart as he entered the presence of the Lord. (Exodus 28:21)

The New Jerusalem, the future dwelling of the Saints, is made of 12 different stones, engraved with names of the 12 tribes of Israel, and the 12 apostles. (Revelation 21:12-14)

Relationship with God

The High Priest was to strive for perfection, to be sinless. He was set aside, from the people. He wore on his turban a gold plate stating.

“Holy to the LORD” (Exodus 28:36)

Christ attained the righteousness sought in the Mosiac Priesthood.

(Isaiah 53:9)



Among men: Since the High-Priest represented man to God, he had to be of Human offspring.  (Isaiah 59:16) 

He may offer: The High Priest was not limited to sacrifices for sins in his representation, but also served represent thanksgiving to God.  For example, Hannah came to the Temple to pray for a child, and at the birth of Samuel she offered him as gift for God’s service. (I Samuel 2-3)

Compassion: The Greek word used here is metriopaqevw Metriopatheo (met-ree-op-ath-eh'-o);  which means to be affected moderately, not in either extreme. To understand, without being apathetic or too sympathetic to be of any good.  The High Priest would understand those who came before him because he was like them, having their nature.

Ignorant: There were different types of sins represented in the Mosaic law, both intentional and un-intentional.  The un-intentional were due to ignorance or not being aware of the sin.

'Or if a person touches any unclean thing, whether it is the carcass of an unclean beast, or the carcass of unclean livestock, or the carcass of unclean creeping things, and he is unaware of it, he also shall be unclean and guilty.

Leviticus 5:2

Going astray: The other type of sin one of intent, to intentionally go away from the path, to wander from the right way, such as by lying or stealing. (Leviticus 6:1-8)

Weakness: Israel’s High Priest was also a sinner, he was not above the sins of the people but was subject to the very same sins. Aaron’s two sons Nadab and Abihu, who along with Moses and Aaron and the 70 elders of Israel approached God on the mountain (Exodus 24:9), were later killed before the Lord for intentional disobedience of the Law. (Leviticus 10) Aaron in his role of High Priest was not allowed to mourn for the death of his sons.

He is required: Because of his sin, the High Priest was also required to offer sacrifices for himself as well as for the people.

And Moses said to Aaron, "Go to the altar, offer your sin offering and your burnt offering, and make atonement for yourself and for the people. Offer the offering of the people, and make atonement for them, as the Lord commanded."

Hebrews 9:7

Called by God: Aaron and his sons were appointed by God to the role of Priesthood.

The story of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Numbers 16) demonstrated God did not tolerate self-appointments or rebellion. Korah, a Levite, along Dathan and Abiram, Reubenites, rebelled against  Aaron being assigned the Priesthood. They designated themselves priest also, God demonstrated his choice by allowing the ground to open and swallow the rebels and the ground to cover them up. Fire then fell on the 250 people who tried to assume the role of priesthood.



The Order of Melchizedek

Verses 5-10

5 So also Christ did not glorify Himself to become High Priest, but it was He who said to Him: "You are My Son, Today I have begotten You."

6 As He also says in another place: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek";

7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear,

8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,

10 called by God as High Priest "according to the order of Melchizedek,"


You are My Son: Quoting from Psalm 2:7, The writer of Hebrews distinguishes Jesus from Aaron.  Jesus was not just a “Son of Man”, but also “Son of God”.  Christ took the title “Son of God” at the incarnation.   He was sent from God the Father, to fulfill the role which no human priest could accomplish. 


have begotten You:  Jesus is the “Only begotten” which means his incarnation is unique, God took on Human flesh, not in appearance only but in reality. Only through human flesh could the Messiah represent man to God.


Priest forever:  The Messiah has the dual roles of “Priest” and “King”.  The Messiah would rule forever as King of Humanity as foretold by the prophets.  (Isaiah 9:6-7, Daniel 7:14, Zechariah 14:16). Messiah would also be a Priest forever, representing Man to God, as he bears our sins.


Order of Melchizedek: The name Melchizedek is mentioned 14 times in the Bible, and only 2 times in the Old Testament. (Genesis 14:18, Psalm 110:4). Melchizedek is another foreshadowing of the role of the Messiah. He demonstrates a greater “Priesthood” then Aaron’s. The greater priesthood foreshadows a greater covenant (Jeremiah 31:31)


18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;  20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he gave him a tithe of all.

Genesis 14:18-20




Melchizedek Gen 14:18-20


Priest to Abraham

Abraham offered tithes to Melchizedek

Abraham saw Christ and rejoiced at his day. (John 8:54-59)

King and Priest in Jerusalem

Melchizedek was both the King and Priest of Salem, (Jerusalem.)

Jesus was both King and Priest of Jerusalem. Jesus was presented as King from birth to death. He prayed and interceded for the city.

He will return as both King and Priest.

Matthew 24:30,

Matthew 27:37, Matthew 23:37-39,

Offers to  Bread Abraham

Melchizedek offered bread, to Abraham after his victories of the

Jesus offered himself as the bread of life to Abraham’s descendents. (John 6:33,53-58, Luke 22:19)

Offered Wine

Melchizedek offered wine to Abraham.

Jesus offered his blood as wine to Abraham’s offspring (John 6:55, Luke 22:20-22)

Greater then Abraham

Melchizedek was greater then Abraham, because he received Abraham’s offering for God.

Jesus was greater then Abraham (John 8:58)

Blessed Abraham

Melchizedek blessed Abraham

Abraham was blessed by Messiah (John 8:56)

King of Peace (salem)

The name for Jerusalem is Pease (Salem). Melchizedek is King of Peace

One of the titles for Messiah is Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6). Christ as King of Jerusalem fulfills the foreshadowing of Melchizedek. (Zechariah 14)


Days of flesh: Christ took on human flesh in humility for 33 years, prior to and during his days of flesh He was fully God. (Philippians 2:6-9)


Offered up:  Christ during his earthly life interceded for mankind, at the grave of Lazarus Christ cried, (John 11:35) before his dead body came back to life.  Jesus at anytime could stopped the whole program, but choose to suffer for humanities sake. He submitted His will to the Father’s. Offering Himself, as our sacrifice, He redeemed us from our sins and became our intercessor.

38 Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."

39 He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will."

Matthew 26:38-39

Godly fear: Christ unlike the priesthood of Aaron was heard because of His own righteousness. Christ won the right through His righteousness to be heard, as our intercessor.

He was a Son: Even though Jesus was the Son of God, in his humiliation he was tempted and suffered like the rest of humanity.  No aspect of humanity was withheld from Him, except he was without sin, (Hebrews 4:15) God perfect sacrifice.

Learned obedience:  Jesus went through all aspects of Humanity, including growing in wisdom and obedience.

52And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

Luke 2:52

Perfected:  The Greek work translated perfected is teleiooô  ôåëåéüù  meaning to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character):—consecrate, finish, fulfill, (make) perfect. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to complete or perfect the law, to consummate its purpose. (Matthew 5:18).

18For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:18-20


Author of eternal salvation: Without Christ there is no redemption for sin, only through the righteousness of Jesus Christ can man be saved.  He perfected (Completed) the law, which foreshadowed his coming.   Thus, He became the “Cause” or author of salvation.


Obey Him: The road to Heaven is straight and narrow; just as in the days of Moses God required obedience to his “Way”. We do not have the option of rejecting Christ or choosing to our own form or variety of salvation.  There is only His way.

 7:22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'

 7:23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Matthew 7:22-23


Joh 6:28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?"

Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

John 6:28-29


We are saved through a relationship with Christ, be accepting and believing in Him we attain salvation.



Staying Babes in Salvation

Verses 11-14


11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.

12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food.

13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe.

14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.


Of whom: The writer of Hebrews, is frustrated with the spiritual growth of his readers, He has more to say about Melchizedek, the Jewish believers are stagnant in their ability to understand deeper teachings. 


Hard to explain: The ability to understand deeper Christian teaching corresponds to spiritual maturity, through spiritual growth.  Though the Hebrew believers had accepted Christ, their growth was little if any.  Some question the salvation of those being addressed, because they are at the first stage, being taught simple principles.  But this group is later referred to in Hebrews 6:9 as being saved.

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner.

Hebrews 6:9


Become dull of hearing: Those who fail to grow become dull, only through continual use of God’s word do we grow. Failure to advance in our walk, causes us to become dull or lazy in hearing. Time is a commodity to all who live, we can choose to invest our time in the spiritual or the earthly. The spiritual yield an eternal reward but the earthly a temporary reward. “Dull of hearing” was the problem Israel faced when Christ came, they could not understand his message, except for some.


Mt 13:15 For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.'

Mt 13:16 "But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear;

Mt 13:17 "for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.

Matthew 13:15-17


Teachers: The Hebrew Christians had enough time since their conversion, to be  teachers. Teaching is the next step from conversion, to be able to teach others is a gift, but also a step in spiritual growth.

The Samartian women in John chapter 4, spent a little time with Jesus, but she quickly used her limited knowledge of Christ to go and tell the people of Sychar about the savior. She was teaching them about Christ.  She was yielding a harvest with limited knowledge but with spiritual eagerness.




First principles:  The first principles referred to here are referenced in Hebrews 6:1-  


  • Elementary principles of Christ
  • foundation of repentance from dead works 
  • faith toward God
  • doctrine of baptisms
  • laying on of hands
  • resurrection of the dead
  • Eternal judgment.


Solid food: There are different levels of growth in the Christian walk, different levels of understanding. The writer of Hebrews is using the picture of Human growth to illustrate this point.  A child when first born is unable to eat solid food, but needs to be fed milk by the mother. Only when the child matures does he develop the ability to eat solid food. Solid food requires spiritual maturity, the product of growth.



Unskilled in the word: If a Christian can only consume milk after an extended period, then the Christian remains a spiritual baby. The Christian should strive for spiritual maturity, to go beyond first principles; the writer of Hebrews takes his reader beyond first principles.

Full age: The Greek word for “full age” means (ôÝëåéïò teleios) completeness brought to its end, wanting nothing.


Reason of use:  Wisdom from God is available to those who seek it.  Daniel and his three friends were not the only captives from Judah, but they are the most prominent. God used Daniel because he made himself available. God also equipped him for the job at hand.  In the same way, God will equip the believer, who wants to be used, even if he/she does not feel they capable.


As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Daniel 1:17


Eph 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

Eph 1:18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,.