Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12 - The angels of God
Updated: Sep 28, 2021
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Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. But someone has testified somewhere,
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for them?
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.”
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters [“adelphous”], saying, “I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters [“adelphois”], in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.”
This is the Epistle reading to be read aloud on the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost [Proper 22], Year B, according to the lectionary for the Episcopal Church. It will follow one of two pairs of Old Testament and Psalm readings that will be either Track 1 or 2, depending on the church’s course set for Year B. Track 1 will focus on a reading from Job, which states, “One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came among them to present himself before Yahweh.” Psalm 26 sings, “I will wash my hands in innocence Yahweh, that I may go in procession round your altar.” The Track 2 Old Testament reading is from Genesis, stating, “A man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Psalm 8 then sings, “You have made him but little lower than the angels; you adorn him with glory and honor.” Whichever are chosen, all will accompany the Gospel reading from Mark, where Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”
I wrote about this reading and posted my views on my website the last time it came up in the lectionary cycle . That commentary can be read by clicking on this link. At that time, I went deeply into discerning this reading, because all of the Epistles are written in language that seems to make sense; but it is so much deeper than first caught that readers without the time (and devotion) of a true Christian will walk away, leaving much left behind. Because I went to such depth, I will not repeat that here now. I welcome all readers who would enjoy seeing how the depth rises to read that three-year old posting and send their comments, questions, suggestions and corrections to me. For today, I will take a different approach.
In the above English translation, you will note where I placed the repeated word “angels” in bold type. Any time that a word is repeated in Scripture [in the same text] it takes on greater importance. I have also stricken out the words not written (“and sisters”) as that is a distraction produced by modern slavers, who pander to the sexuality of humanity, not attempting to explain why men and women Christians are all “brothers.” Still, my primary focus now is on Paul having written about “angels.” These selected words, coming from two chapters in his epistle to the Hebrew-speaking people (Jews) of Rome, were so chosen because of the “angels” in both Old Testament readings of today; and, that is where I am going with this analysis today.
In the reading [Track 1 course] from Job, we read “One day the heavenly beings came to present themselves before Yahweh, and Satan also came among them to present himself before Yahweh.” [My adjustments replace “Lord” with the proper name written in the text.] In that, the Hebrew words translated as “heavenly beings” are [transliterated] “bə·nê hā·’ĕ·lō·hîm.” That Hebrew text actually says “sons of gods,” where the lower-g “gods” are “elohim.” It is vital for all who seek to become true Christians, those that Paul wrote of here [and in all his letters], to learn the word “elohim,” because “elohim” are “angels.” The meaning of “angels” is then eternal spirits that have no material form and are not confined within the parameters and limitations of a physical realm. We imagine them with wings; but that human view is an addition that makes “angels” have the ability to fly like birds.
In my analysis of the Job reading, I pointed out how “Satan also came among [the sons of elohim] to present himself before Yahweh” means Satan was not yet a “fallen angel.” That made me see [for the first time] that Job is actually Adam. In the Creation story of Genesis 1, there are thirty-two references to “elohim,” with zero references to “Yahweh.” The assumption has to be that Genesis 1:1a saying, “In the beginning created elohim” means an unnamed Yahweh first “created elohim,” or “angels.” The “elohim” are thus the ‘worker bees’ of the One God – Yahweh.
In the above English translation of Hebrews 1 and 2, I have underlined seven times where Paul wrote “God.” Of those seven, two in chapter one are assumptions deduced from “autou” having been written [“of him”] and three in chapter two are likewise leading translations, not what was actually written. Twice [once in chapter one and once in chapter two] are capitalized forms of “Theos” written, which clearly states “God.” The only point I wish to make about this is Greek is a different language than Hebrew. Although Paul was a Jew [obviously who spoke Hebrew], he wrote “Theos” ["God"] and “angelous” [“angels”], while meaning “Yahweh” and “elohim.” That is important to always keep in mind.
In the Genesis 2 reading, four times “Yahweh elohim” is translated as “Lord God.” That mistranslation keeps one from realizing that the making of Adam [“ha-a-dam”] means his soul was taken from the “elohim” and placed into a body formed from the earth. In the same way, divine creatures [beasts of the field and birds of the air] were made for Adam to have playmates. When Adam went into a “deep sleep” [metaphor for the removal of his angelic soul from his body of flesh, or death] a duplication of his DNA made a separate body of flesh that would be given the angelic soul of Eve. One has to see that the reason this Old Testament reading goes with this Epistle from Paul is because the “angels of God” were no longer only non-material. The creations of Yahweh in Eden were the first of the Sons of man, who are “Yahweh elohim.”
When Paul wrote, “he sustains all things by his powerful word,” this was referencing those in human form [“prophets”], including Jesus [“a Son”]. The aspect of Yahweh creating Adam [“a Son”] means that creation by the hand of God became the prototype for all who are sustained by the “word of God.” Thus, when Paul added, “having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited,” this “having become” is the divine possession that makes a “Yahweh elohim” or an “angel of God,” which is “superior” to being mere mortals [souls in flesh]. The “name inherited” is “Jesus,” which means “Yah[weh] Saves.”
Paul then wrote these words, which come from Psalm 8, which is the companion song of praise to the Genesis 2 reading option:
“What are human beings that you are mindful of them, or mortals, that you care for
You have made them for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned them
with glory and honor, subjecting all things under their feet.”
In that quote in Greek, of the Hebrew that was written by David, verse four shows “human beings” and “mortals” as translations from “anthrōpos” and “huios anthrōpou.” The Greek literally says, “human” and “son of man.” The transliterated Hebrew written by David is “’ĕ·nō·wōš” [“enosh”] and “ū·ḇen-‘ā·ḏām” [“ben adam”], literally saying "mankind" and "son of man". Because Jesus referred to himself as a “Son of man” [with a capitalized “Huios”], the Hebrew that states “son of Adam” should be read as “Yahweh elohim,” when the questions are on Yahweh being “mindful” and “caring” of those “sons of man.”
When David sang of those like himself, who was Anointed by Yahweh, thus one of Yahweh's Christs (as King of Israel-to-be), it was by the hand of Yahweh that he was “made for a little while” to be an “angel” in the flesh [Yahweh elohim]. The flesh, being from material substance, is lower than that of divine spirit, as are angles [elohim]. David’s use of “tə·‘aṭ·ṭə·rê·hū” [from “atar”], as “you have crowned,” and “tam·šî·lê·hū” [from “mashal”], as “you have made him to have dominion,” sings of the kingly presence of Jesus being resurrected within one’s body of flesh – as a Saint.
Seeing that as the reason Paul quoted David, as Paul was one whose soul had married Yahweh and was a resurrection of Jesus within, Paul then wrote: “We do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels.” That says Jesus was in the flesh, thus visible to human eyes. Jesus of Nazareth was a real human being that walked and talked like other real human beings. He was not invisible, as would be an “angel” or “elohim.” However, Jesus was an “elohim” that had been made by the hand of Yahweh to be in the flesh “for a little while.” After thirty-something years in the flesh, Jesus the elohim was freed from his flesh, so that elohim could be reborn in countless others of flesh, who submitted to Yahweh the King and Jesus His High Priest. That is the meaning of Paul writing, “so that by the grace of God [“Theou”] he might taste death for everyone.”
When Paul then wrote, “For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father,” that says: A. The elohim that is the angel of Jesus sanctifies sinful flesh; B. All who have been reborn with the elohim of Jesus have become Saints; and, C. The elohim of Jesus and all who are reborn as the elohim of Jesus come from the hand of Yahweh, so all have the same “Father.” This is then a mirror image of Genesis 2, when Adam stated, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; this one shall be called wife, for out of mankind this one was taken.” To become a Yahweh elohim means to become the wife of Yahweh, taken from being a mere mortal and transformed into Jesus Christ.
As the Epistle reading to be read aloud on the nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost, when one’s own personal ministry for Yahweh should already be well underway, the lesson that needs to be seen is to stop being a mere mortal and transform into an angel of God [a Yahweh elohim]. That means being a Saint; and, it means Jesus again entering ministry [in another's flesh] so others can be divinely led. It means being another in a long line of “prophets” who are “sustained by his word.” It means being an angel that can be seen, so others can believe and find faith.