Interestingly Origen, considered by many to be the first theologian of the Yeshua movement, stated that his view on Biblical interpretation was adapted from Jewish tradition which he learned from a man he called “The Hebrew”. According to that tradition, the Bible resembles a series of locked rooms. Outside each room is a key, but not necessarily the key that fits the lock to that particular room. All the keys are available, thus obscure texts of the Bible can be properly understood by comparing them with other texts. This is exactly the opinion of 1 Corinthians 2:13 “These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
As we progress we will find many keys from the Tanach to unlock Hebrews 1:1-14.
The writer to the Hebrews wasted no time and gets right into the fundamental issue between Yeshua rejecting Judaism and Yeshua affirming Messianic Jews. Is Yeshua, or is he not, the Son of God?
It doesn’t take much imagination to see the situation that the early Messianic Jews were faced with when confronted by the religious intelligentsia of their day. Yeshua was not crucified because He claimed to be Messiah, that claim was quite acceptable, He was crucified on a charge of blasphemy (question 1) “Are you God’s anointed (ο χριστος ο υιος του ευλογητου), (question 2) the son of the Blessed One?” Mark 14:61. When Yeshua answered in the affirmative to question 2 it is declared as blasphemy in Mark 14: 64. This is still the position taken by the Rabbinic authorities today.
What is “The Son”? – Ontological usage.
What does “The Son” mean to the writer of Hebrews? It is an ontological reference, that is an explanation of origins and nature. Son of God was used by the New Testament writers to explain the divine nature of Messiah. The concept of Messiah had become and still is often just a socio-political term to many people. The writer to the Hebrews sees another dimension to Messiah in the Tanach.
The Son possesses all things as an inheritance
- Verses 2-3 “he took his seat at the right hand of the divine majesty” (Psalm 110:1).
- Verse 4, is “highly exalted above the angels…” Just on this it is obvious that “The Son” has a higher cosmic meaning.
- Psalm 110:1 Yahweh says to Adonai “sit at my right hand”. God is speaking to Himself.
Hebrews reflects this in the Father-Son language of verse 5. Psalm 2:7 is quoted here בְּנִ֥י אַ֑תָּה אֲ֝נִ֗י הַיֹּ֥ום יְלִדְתִּֽיךָ׃ “you are my son, today I have begotten you.” This is not the New Testament denying The Shema –Deuteronomy 6:4, a declaration of the oneness of God cf 1 Timothy 2:5 “there is one God”, “but as God has gone on speaking throughout the centuries… it has become apparent that God’s unity is not monolithic.” (D. Gooding.)
‘The Son’ refers to the divine origins of The Messiah, not that God had sex with Mary and they had a son in the way all other parents naturally do, other passages in the Tanach are accessed by the writer to the Hebrews to shed light on where he is getting this concept from:
- Verse 5b be a father. 2 Samuel 7:14.
- Verse 6b angels (‘gods’) pay homage. Psalm 97:7.
- Verse 7 angles serve Him. Psalm 104:4.
- Verse 8 cf. Psalm 45:6ff.
- Verse 10 cf. Psalm 102:25-27 which refers to the son in Hebrews but in Psalm 104:24 the subject is God.
- Verse 13 cf. Psalm 110:1.
Who is “The Son”? – His work on earth
Hebrews 1:1: The final revelation of God, fulfilling the prophetic office, superseding even Moses. This must have been a staggering concept to the early followers of Yeshua who were devote Jews, one objection was “we know Moses, but we don’t know where this man comes from” (John 9:29). His work on earth was creation and redemption. His work in creation reflects His high position, The Son is more than an angel, (in the Tanach Angels are sometimes called sons of god).
In Creation: Hebrews1:10, the pre-incarnate Messiah was God’s Word of creation, He radiates God’s glory verse 3 (The Shekinah Glory). Yeshua, Messiah and Lord was not created, He was begotten into this world, Heb 1:6. He existed before His en-fleshment, Heb1:2b “He created…”
So before Messiah was begotten (γεγεννηκα σε - יְלִדְתִּֽיךָ ) He created the world. Genesis 1:1 cf John 1:1 εν αρχη ην ο λογος (In the beginning was the Word) verse 3 all things came into being through him. Yeshua the Messiah was the λογος (logos) of creation.
In Redemption: This is the work of the en-fleshed λογος (logos) of creation, Yeshua the Messiah. verse 3b he accomplished the purging of sin. He could only do this because He was Yahweh. Only God can keep God’s standards. No angel or mere man could do that. His death was not a mistake, that is the reason for his incarnation. God has spoken in these closing days through His Son, He wants us to hear Him. Yeshua said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except by me.” John 14:6.
Where is “The Son”? – His work in heaven.
He is at the right hand of God verse 3b. People claim that Yeshua visits them to give them new revelation, that is not true because Yeshua the Son is now interceding for us before the Father. He sat down, signifying a completion of His work of redemption and liberation on earth, this is why we reject ideas of a special priesthood to offer special kinds of sacrifices. In Messiah we are all Priests by virtue of what Messiah has done for us, we are accepted by The Father because of The Son, not because we are any better than others.
While many in the tele-evangelist world are overly fascinated by demonology, the doctrine of angels is overlooked, however Heb 1:14 The Son is better than them, we should not worship them, they have their place as ministering spirits. This teaching was a great encouragement to the 1st Century believers facing great persecution. The Son has provided our redemption and salvation as well as extra special help in distressing times.
We don’t believe a man became God, we believe God became man. Yeshua is the precise counterpart of His very being. Yeshua is Lord, κυριος (kurios) Yahweh/Jehovah/YHWH יְ֭הוָה.