The Meaning of Hebrews 2:14 Explained

Hebrews 2:14

KJV: Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

YLT: Seeing, then, the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself also in like manner did take part of the same, that through death he might destroy him having the power of death -- that is, the devil --

Darby: Since therefore the children partake of blood and flesh, he also, in like manner, took part in the same, that through death he might annul him who has the might of death, that is, the devil;

ASV: Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

What does Hebrews 2:14 Mean?

Study Notes

took part
The word trans. "took part" is not the same as the trans. "partakers," but implies taking part in something outside one's self.

Verse Meaning

We children share in flesh and blood with one another; we share the limitations of humanity. To free us from these limitations the Son had to assume the same limitations, which He did at the Incarnation. Jesus Christ broke Satan"s power over believers by His death. Obviously Satan still exercises great power, but Jesus Christ broke his power to enslave believers (cf. Romans 6:1-14). Furthermore Jesus Christ defeated Satan in the area of his greatest strength: his power to inflict death.

Context Summary

Hebrews 2:10-18 - "made Like Unto His Brethren"
Captain reminds us of Acts 3:15. It means file-leader. The Church follows its Leader, Jesus Christ, in single file through this world, the cross and the grave, to the glory. But notice that God Himself is engaged in bringing us through; and He cannot lose one. See John 10:29. But He is not only our Captain, He is our Brother. We also are born of God. He is sanctifying us and we are being sanctified for a marvelous future, John 17:19. How great is His love, that He is not ashamed of us!
Our Elder Brother has encountered our foes, and won deliverance for all who believe. Death remains, but its teeth are drawn and its power is annulled. We need not fear what men call death; to us it is only as falling asleep. He has taken hold of us with a grasp that will never let us go again, Hebrews 2:16. He has been tempted that He might be able to succor us in our temptations. He has suffered that He might tread our darkened paths at our side. He has made reconciliation for our sins, and as our merciful and faithful High Priest, pleads the cause of our souls. [source]

Chapter Summary: Hebrews 2

1  We ought to be obedient to Christ Jesus;
5  and that because he condescended to take our nature upon himself;
14  as it was necessary

Greek Commentary for Hebrews 2:14

Are sharers in flesh and blood [κεκοινωνηκεν αιματος και σαρκος]
The best MSS. read “blood and flesh.” The verb is perfect active indicative of κοινωνεω — koinōneō old verb with the regular genitive, elsewhere in the N.T. with the locative (Romans 12:13) or with εν — en or εις — eis “The children have become partners Second aorist active indicative of μετεχω — metechō to have with, a practical synonym for κοινωνεω — koinōneō and with the genitive also That he might bring to naught Purpose of the incarnation clearly stated with ινα — hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of καταργεω — katargeō old word to render idle or ineffective (from κατα αργος — kata class="normal greek">κρατος — argos), causative verb (25 times in Paul), once in Luke (Luke 13:7), once in Hebrews (here). “By means of death” (his own death) Christ broke the power (τουτ εστιν — kratos) of the devil over death (paradoxical as it seems), certainly in men‘s fear of death and in some unexplained way Satan had sway over the realm of death (Zechariah 3:5.). Note the explanatory tout' estin (that is) with the accusative after it as before it. In Revelation 12:7 Satan is identified with the serpent in Eden, though it is not done in the Old Testament. See Romans 5:12; John 8:44; John 14:30; John 16:11; 1 John 3:12. Death is the devil‘s realm, for he is the author of sin. “Death as death is no part of the divine order” (Westcott). [source]
Partook [μετεσχε]
Second aorist active indicative of μετεχω — metechō to have with, a practical synonym for κοινωνεω — koinōneō and with the genitive also That he might bring to naught Purpose of the incarnation clearly stated with ινα — hina and the first aorist active subjunctive of καταργεω — katargeō old word to render idle or ineffective (from κατα αργος — kata class="normal greek">κρατος — argos), causative verb (25 times in Paul), once in Luke (Luke 13:7), once in Hebrews (here). “By means of death” (his own death) Christ broke the power (τουτ εστιν — kratos) of the devil over death (paradoxical as it seems), certainly in men‘s fear of death and in some unexplained way Satan had sway over the realm of death (Zechariah 3:5.). Note the explanatory tout' estin (that is) with the accusative after it as before it. In Revelation 12:7 Satan is identified with the serpent in Eden, though it is not done in the Old Testament. See Romans 5:12; John 8:44; John 14:30; John 16:11; 1 John 3:12. Death is the devil‘s realm, for he is the author of sin. “Death as death is no part of the divine order” (Westcott). [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Hebrews 2:14

John 8:44 Murderer [ἀνθρωποκτόνος]
Only here and 1 John 3:15. Literally, a manslayer; from ἄνθρωπος , man, and κτείνω , to kill. The epithet is applied to Satan, not with reference to the murder of Abel, but to the fact of his being the author of death to the race. Compare Romans 7:8, Romans 7:11; Hebrews 2:14. [source]
John 1:14 And the Word became flesh [και ο λογος σαρχ εγενετο]
See John 1:3 for this verb and note its use for the historic event of the Incarnation rather than ην — ēn of John 1:1. Note also the absence of the article with the predicate substantive σαρχ — sarx so that it cannot mean “the flesh became the Word.” The Pre-existence of the Logos has already been plainly stated and argued. John does not here say that the Logos entered into a man or dwelt in a man or filled a man. One is at liberty to see an allusion to the birth narratives in Matthew 1:16-25; Luke 1:28-38, if he wishes, since John clearly had the Synoptics before him and chiefly supplemented them in his narrative. In fact, one is also at liberty to ask what intelligent meaning can one give to John‘s language here apart from the Virgin Birth? What ordinary mother or father ever speaks of a child “becoming flesh”? For the Incarnation see also 2 Corinthians 8:9; Galatians 4:4; Romans 1:3; Romans 8:3; Philemon 2:7.; 1 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 2:14. “To explain the exact significance of εγενετο — egeneto in this sentence is beyond the powers of any interpreter” (Bernard). Unless, indeed, as seems plain, John is referring to the Virgin Birth as recorded in Matthew and Luke. “The Logos of philosophy is, John declares, the Jesus of history” (Bernard). Thus John asserts the deity and the real humanity of Christ. He answers the Docetic Gnostics who denied his humanity. Dwelt among us First aorist ingressive aorist active indicative of σκηνοω — skēnoō old verb, to pitch one‘s tent or tabernacle First aorist middle indicative of τεαομαι — theaomai (from τεα — thea spectacle). The personal experience of John and of others who did recognize Jesus as the Shekinah glory John employs τεαομαι — theaomai again in John 1:32 (the Baptist beholding the Spirit coming down as a dove) and John 1:38 of the Baptist gazing in rapture at Jesus. So also John 4:35; John 11:45; 1 John 1:1.; 1 John 4:12, 1 John 4:14. By this word John insists that in the human Jesus he beheld the Shekinah glory of God who was and is the Logos who existed before with God. By this plural John speaks for himself and all those who saw in Jesus what he did. As of the only begotten from the Father Strictly, “as of an only born from a father,” since there is no article with μονογενους — monogenous or with πατρος — patros In John 3:16; 1 John 4:9 we have τον μονογενη — ton monogenē referring to Christ. This is the first use in the Gospel of πατηρ — patēr of God in relation to the Logos. Μονογενης — Monogenēs (only born rather than only begotten) here refers to the eternal relationship of the Logos (as in John 1:18) rather than to the Incarnation. It distinguishes thus between the Logos and the believers as children John clearly means to say that “the manifested glory of the Word was as it were the glory of the Eternal Father shared with His only Son” (Bernard). Cf. John 8:54; John 14:9; John 17:5. Full Probably indeclinable accusative adjective agreeing with δοχαν — doxan (or genitive with μονογενους — monogenous) of which we have papyri examples (Robertson, Grammar, p. 275). As nominative πληρης — plērēs can agree with the subject of εσκηνωσεν — eskēnōsen Of grace and truth Curiously this great word χαρις — charis (grace), so common with Paul, does not occur in John‘s Gospel save in John 1:14, John 1:16, John 1:17, though αλητεια — alētheia (truth) is one of the keywords in the Fourth Gospel and in 1John, occurring 25 times in the Gospel and 20 in the Johannine Epistles, 7 times in the Synoptics and not at all in Revelation (Bernard). In John 1:17 these two words picture the Gospel in Christ in contrast with the law of Moses. See Epistles of Paul for origin and use of both words. [source]
Romans 12:13 Distributing [κοινωνοῦντες]
Rev., communicating to. The meaning is sharing in the necessities; taking part in them as one's own. So Romans 15:27; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:11; Hebrews 2:14; 1 Peter 4:13. See on partners, Luke 5:10; see on fellowship, Acts 2:42; see on 1 John 1:3; see on 2 John 1:11. [source]
1 Corinthians 10:17 Who are many [οι πολλοι]
The many. We all (οι παντες — hoi pantes). We the all, the whole number, οι παντες — hoi pantes being in apposition with the subject we (ημεις — hēmeis unexpressed). Partake Have a part with or in, share in. See 1 Corinthians 9:12; Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 5:13 (partaking of milk). Of the one bread (του ενος αρτου — tou henos artou). Of the one loaf, the article του — tou referring to one loaf already mentioned. One body Here the mystical spiritual body of Christ as in 1 Corinthians 12:12., the spiritual kingdom or church of which Christ is head (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23). [source]
1 Corinthians 10:17 Partake [μετεχομεν]
Have a part with or in, share in. See 1 Corinthians 9:12; Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 5:13 (partaking of milk). Of the one bread (του ενος αρτου — tou henos artou). Of the one loaf, the article του — tou referring to one loaf already mentioned. One body Here the mystical spiritual body of Christ as in 1 Corinthians 12:12., the spiritual kingdom or church of which Christ is head (Colossians 1:18; Ephesians 5:23). [source]
Galatians 6:6 Communicate [κοινωνείτω]
Hold fellowship with; partake with. Not impart to. The word is used of giving and receiving material aid (Philemon 4:15): of moral or spiritual participation (Romans 15:27; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 1:11): of participation in outward conditions (Hebrews 2:14): in sufferings (1 Peter 4:13). [source]
2 Timothy 1:10 Who abolished death [καταργησαντος μεν τον τανατον]
First aorist active participle of καταργεω — katargeō the very phrase in 1 Corinthians 15:26; Hebrews 2:14. [source]
2 Timothy 1:10 By the appearing [δια της επιπανειας]
Only here of the Incarnation (except the verb, Titus 2:11; Titus 3:4), but for the second coming see note on Titus 2:13. Who abolished death (καταργησαντος μεν τον τανατον — katargēsantos men ton thanaton). First aorist active participle of καταργεω — katargeō the very phrase in 1 Corinthians 15:26; Hebrews 2:14. Brought to light First aorist active participle of πωτιζω — phōtizō literary Koiné{[28928]}š word for which see note on 1 Corinthians 4:5; Ephesians 1:18, to turn the light on. Life and incorruption (ζωην και απταρσιαν — zōēn kai aphtharsian). The opposite of τανατος — thanatos “life and immortality” (unchangeable life). [source]
Hebrews 5:13 Useth [μετέχων]
Rend. partakes of. See on Hebrews 1:9; see on Hebrews 2:14; see on Hebrews 3:1, Hebrews 3:14. [source]
Hebrews 3:1 Partakers of a heavenly calling [κλήσεως ἐπουρανίου μέτοχοι]
Μέτοχοι partakersonly in Hebrews except Luke 5:7. See on μετέσχεν tookpart, Hebrews 2:14. The phrase heavenly calling N.T.oComp. τῆς ἄσω κλήσεως theupward calling, Philemon 3:14. The expression points to the lordship of the world to be (Hebrews 2:5); and the world to be is the abiding world, the place of realities as contrasted with types and shadows. The calling comes from that world and is to that world. See Hebrews 13:14. [source]
Hebrews 12:9 Fathers of our flesh [τοὺς μὲν τῆς σαρκὸς ἡμῶν πατέρας]
Up to this point the suffering of Christians has been explained by God's fatherly relation to them. Now the emphatic point is that their fathers, with whom God is compared, were only earthly, human parents. The phrase πατέρας τῆς σαρκὸς N.T.obut kindred expressions are found Romans 4:1, Romans 9:3; Galatians 4:29; Hebrews 2:14. [source]
Hebrews 7:13 Belongeth to another tribe [πυλης ετερας μετεσχηκεν]
See Hebrews 2:14 for μετεχω — metechō perfect active indicative here. A different Perfect active indicative (watch perfects in Hebrews, not “for” aorists) of προσεχω — prosechō old verb, here with either νουν — noun (mind) or self (εαυτον — heauton) understood with dative case (τωι τυσιαστηριωι — tōi thusiastēriōi the altar, for which word see Matthew 5:23; Luke 1:11). [source]
Hebrews 2:9 Even Jesus [Ιησουν]
We do not see man triumphant, but we do see Jesus, for the author is not ashamed of his human name, realizing man‘s destiny, “the very one who has been made a little lower than the angels” But this is not all. Death has defeated man, but Jesus has conquered death. Because of the suffering of death The causal sense of δια — dia with the accusative as in Hebrews 2:14. Jesus in his humanity was put lower than the angels “for a little while” Because of the suffering of death we see That by the grace of God he should taste death for every man This purpose clause His death was in behalf of every one (not everything as the early Greek theologians took it). The death of Christ (Andrew Fuller) was sufficient for all, efficient for some. It is all “by the grace (χαριτι — chariti instrumental case) of God,” a thoroughly Pauline idea. Curiously enough some MSS. read χωρις τεου — chōris theou (apart from God) in place of χαριτι τεου — chariti theou Nestorian doctrine whatever the origin. [source]
Hebrews 2:11 He that sanctifieth [ο αγιαζων]
Present active articular participle of αγιαζω — hagiazō Jesus is the sanctifier (Hebrews 9:13.; Hebrews 13:12). They that are sanctified Present passive articular participle of αγιαζω — hagiazō It is a process here as in Hebrews 10:14, not a single act, though in Hebrews 10:10 the perfect passive indicative presents a completed state. Of one Referring to God as the Father of Jesus and of the “many sons” above (Hebrews 2:10) and in harmony with Hebrews 2:14 below. Even before the incarnation Jesus had a kinship with men though we are not sons in the full sense that he is. He is not ashamed Present passive indicative of επαισχυνομαι — epaischunomai old compound (Romans 1:16). Because of the common Father Jesus is not ashamed to own us as “brothers” (αδελπους — adelphous), unworthy sons though we be. [source]
1 Peter 4:13 Ye are partakers of [κοινωνειτε]
Present active indicative of κοινωνεω — koinōneō old verb (from κοινωνος — koinōnos partner), to share in either with genitive (Hebrews 2:14) or dative as here Purpose clause with ινα — hina and second aorist passive subjunctive of χαιρω — chairō with the present middle participle of αγαλλιαω — agalliaō to exult (1 Peter 1:8), “that ye may rejoice exulting.” See 1 Peter 1:6-8 for this same idea associated with the second coming of Christ as here. [source]
1 John 1:3 Fellowship [κοινωνίαν]
This word introduces us to one of the main thoughts of the Epistle. The true life in man, which comes through the acceptance of Jesus as the Son of God, consists in fellowship with God and with man. On the word, see on Acts 2:42; see on Luke 5:10. The verb κοινωνέω tocome into fellowship, to be made a partner, to be partaker of, occurs 1 Peter 4:13; 2 John 1:11; Hebrews 2:14, etc. The expression here, ( ἔχειν κοινωνίαν ) is stronger, since it expresses the enjoyment or realization of fellowship, as compared with the mere fact of fellowship. See on John 16:22. [source]

What do the individual words in Hebrews 2:14 mean?

Since therefore the children have partaken of blood and of flesh also He likewise took part in the same things so that through [His] death He might destroy the [one] the power holding - of death that is the devil
Ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ παιδία κεκοινώνηκεν αἵματος καὶ σαρκός καὶ αὐτὸς παραπλησίως μετέσχεν τῶν αὐτῶν ἵνα διὰ τοῦ θανάτου καταργήσῃ τὸν τὸ κράτος ἔχοντα τοῦ θανάτου τοῦτ’ ἔστιν τὸν διάβολον

Ἐπεὶ  Since 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἐπεί  
Sense: when, since.
παιδία  children 
Parse: Noun, Nominative Neuter Plural
Root: παιδίον  
Sense: a young child, a little boy, a little girl.
κεκοινώνηκεν  have  partaken 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: κοινωνέω  
Sense: to come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, be made a partner.
αἵματος  of  blood 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Neuter Singular
Root: αἷμα  
Sense: blood.
σαρκός  of  flesh 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: σάρξ  
Sense: flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts.
καὶ  also 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: καί  
Sense: and, also, even, indeed, but.
παραπλησίως  likewise 
Parse: Adverb
Root: παραπλησίως  
Sense: similarly, in like manner, in the same way.
μετέσχεν  took  part  in 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: μετέχω  
Sense: to be or become partaker.
αὐτῶν  same  things 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Genitive Neuter 3rd Person Plural
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
ἵνα  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
διὰ  through 
Parse: Preposition
Root: διά  
Sense: through.
τοῦ  [His] 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
θανάτου  death 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θάνατος 
Sense: the death of the body.
καταργήσῃ  He  might  destroy 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: καταργέω  
Sense: to render idle, unemployed, inactivate, inoperative.
τὸν  the  [one] 
Parse: Article, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κράτος  power 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Neuter Singular
Root: κράτος  
Sense: force, strength.
ἔχοντα  holding 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: ἔχω  
Sense: to have, i.e. to hold.
τοῦ  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
θανάτου  of  death 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Masculine Singular
Root: θάνατος 
Sense: the death of the body.
τοῦτ’  that 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Nominative Neuter Singular
Root: οὗτος  
Sense: this.
διάβολον  devil 
Parse: Adjective, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: διάβολος  
Sense: prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely.