The Meaning of Hebrews 2:5 Explained

Hebrews 2:5

KJV: For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.

YLT: For not to messengers did He subject the coming world, concerning which we speak,

Darby: For he has not subjected to angels the habitable world which is to come, of which we speak;

ASV: For not unto angels did he subject the world to come, whereof we speak.

What does Hebrews 2:5 Mean?

Study Notes

world
"oikoumene" = inhabited earth.
(Greek - οἰκουμένη = "inhabited earth)." This passage is noteworthy as defining the usual N.T. use of oikoumene as the sphere of Roman rule at its greatest extent, that is, of the great Gentile world-monarchies Daniel 2:7 . That part of the earth is therefore peculiarly the sphere of prophecy.

Verse Meaning

In this respect, too, Jesus is superior to the angels. The phrase "concerning which we are speaking" indicates that the writer was resuming his exposition and continuing his thought from Hebrews 1:5-14.

Context Summary

Hebrews 2:1-9 - The Author Of Our Salvation
Drifting away, Hebrews 2:1-4. The r.v. gives this solemn rendering. Unless we watch, the strong currents of the world will drift us away from God's great harbor of Salvation; and sins against His offered love are even more to be dreaded than those under the ancient Law. To neglect is the equivalent of to reject. Notice in Hebrews 2:4 how God co-operates with His messengers. See John 15:27; Acts 5:32.
Jesus crowned, Hebrews 2:5-9. How can Jesus be greater than angels? He did for man what they could not do. It is through His death that humanity may be lifted to a supreme position in the universe of being. Man failed to realize his original Magna Charta in Genesis 1:26; but the divine purpose could not be frustrated, and there was a needs-be for the manger, the Cross and the Ascension mount. As we look around, Psalms 8:1-9 seems a mockery; as we look up, we discover in Jesus the psalmist's dream more than realized. They who are one with Him will share His glory and honor. [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 2:5

For not unto angels [ου γαρ αγγελοις]
The author now proceeds to show (Hebrews 2:5-18) that the very humanity of Jesus, the Son of Man, likewise proves his superiority to angels. The world to come The new order, the salvation just described. See a like use of μελλω — mellō (as participle) with σωτηρια — sōtēria (Hebrews 1:14), αιων — aiōn (Hebrews 6:4.), αγατα — agatha (Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 10:1), πολις — polis (Hebrews 13:14). Whereof we speak The author is discussing this new order introduced by Christ which makes obsolete the old dispensation of rites and symbols. God did not put this new order in charge of angels. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Hebrews 2:5

Luke 2:1 The world [τὴν οἰκουμένην]
Lit., the inhabited (land )The phrase was originally used by the Greeks to denote the land inhabited by themselves, in contrast with barbarian countries; afterward, when the Greeks became subject to the Romans, the entire Roman world; still later, for the whole inhabited world. In the New Testament this latter is the more common usage, though, in some cases, this is conceived in the mould of the Roman empire, as in this passage, Acts 11:28; Acts 19:27. Christ uses it in the announcement that the Gospel shall be preached in all the world (Matthew 24:14); and Paul in the prediction of a general judgment (Acts 17:31). Once it is used of the world to come (Hebrews 2:5). [source]
John 1:9 The world [τὸν κόσμον]
As in John 1:3, the creation was designated in its several details by πάντα , all things, so here, creation is regarded in its totality, as an ordered whole. See on Acts 17:24; see on James 3:6. Four words are used in the New Testament for world: (1) γῇ , land, ground, territory, the earth, as distinguished from the heavens. The sense is purely physical. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(2) οἰκουμένη , which is a participle, meaning inhabited, with γῆ , earth, understood, and signifies the earth as the abode of men; the whole inhabited world. See on Matthew 24:14; see on Luke 2:1. Also in a physical sense, though used once of “the world to come” (Hebrews 2:5). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(3) αἰών , essentially time, as the condition under which all created things exist, and the measure of their existence: a period of existence; a lifetime; a generation; hence, a long space of time; an age, era, epoch, period of a dispensation. On this primary, physical sense there arises a secondary sense, viz., all that exists in the world under the conditions of time. From this again develops a more distinctly ethical sense, the course and current of this world's affairs (compare the expression, the times ), and this course as corrupted by sin; hence the evil world. So Galatians 1:4; 2 Corinthians 4:4. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
(4) κόσμος , which follows a similar line of development from the physical to the ethical sense; meaning (a) ornament, arrangement, order (1 Peter 3:3); (b) the sum-total of the material universe considered as a system (Matthew 13:35; John 17:5; Acts 17:24; Philemon 2:15). Compare Plato. “He who is incapable of communion is also incapable of friendship. And philosophers tell us, Callicles, that communion and friendship and orderliness and temperance and justice bind together heaven and earth and gods and men, and that this universe is therefore called Cosmos, or order, not disorder or misrule” (“Gorgias,” 508). (c) That universe as the abode of man (John 16:21; 1 John 3:17). (d) The sum-total of humanity in the world; the human race (John 1:29; John 4:42). (e) In the ethical sense, the sum-total of human life in the ordered world, considered apart from, alienated from, and hostile to God, and of the earthly things which seduce from God (John 7:7; John 15:18; John 17:9, John 17:14; 1 Corinthians 1:20, 1 Corinthians 1:21; 2 Corinthians 7:10; James 4:4). -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
This word is characteristic of John, and pre-eminently in this last, ethical sense, in which it is rarely used by the Synoptists; while John nowhere uses αἰών of the moral order. In this latter sense the word is wholly strange to heathen literature, since the heathen world had no perception of the opposition between God and sinful man; between the divine order and the moral disorder introduced and maintained by sin. -DIVIDER-
-DIVIDER-
[source]

1 Corinthians 15:27 He put [υπεταχεν]
First aorist active of υποτασσω — hupotassō to subject. Supply God See Hebrews 2:5-9 for similar use. Cf. Psalm 8:1-9. [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 1:2 In these last times [ἐπ ' ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων]
Lit. at the last of these days. The exact phrase only here; but comp 1 Peter 1:20and Judges 1:18. lxx, ἐπ ' ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν atthe last of the days, Numbers 24:14; Deuteronomy 4:30; Jeremiah 23:20; Jeremiah 25:18; Daniel 10:14. The writer conceives the history of the world in its relation to divine revelation as falling into two great periods. The first he calls αἱ ἡμέραι αὗται thesedays (Hebrews 1:2), and ὀ καιρὸς ὁ ἐνεστηκώς thepresent season (Hebrews 9:9). The second he describes as καιρὸς διορθώσεως theseason of reformation (Hebrews 9:10), which is ὀ καιρὸς ὁ μέλλων theseason to come: comp. ἡ οἰκουμένη ἡ μέλλουσα theworld to come (Hebrews 2:5); μέλλων αἰών theage to come (Hebrews 6:5); πόλις ἡ μέλλουσα thecity to come (Hebrews 12:14). The first period is the period of the old covenant; the second that of the new covenant. The second period does not begin with Christ's first appearing. His appearing and public ministry are at the end of the first period but still within it. The dividing-point between the two periods is the συντέλεια τοῦ αἰῶνος theconsummation of the age, mentioned in Hebrews 9:26. This does not mean the same thing as at the last of these days (Hebrews 1:2), which is the end of the first period denoted by these days, but the conclusion of the first and the beginning of the second period, at which Christ appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. This is the end of the καιρὸς ἐνεστηκώς thepresent season: this is the limit of the validity of the old sacrificial offerings: this is the inauguration of the time of reformation. The phrase ἐπ ' ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων therefore signifies, in the last days of the first period, when Christ was speaking on earth, and before his crucifixion, which marked the beginning of the second period, the better age of the new covenant. [source]
Hebrews 2:5 For not unto angels [ου γαρ αγγελοις]
The author now proceeds to show (Hebrews 2:5-18) that the very humanity of Jesus, the Son of Man, likewise proves his superiority to angels. The world to come The new order, the salvation just described. See a like use of μελλω — mellō (as participle) with σωτηρια — sōtēria (Hebrews 1:14), αιων — aiōn (Hebrews 6:4.), αγατα — agatha (Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 10:1), πολις — polis (Hebrews 13:14). Whereof we speak The author is discussing this new order introduced by Christ which makes obsolete the old dispensation of rites and symbols. God did not put this new order in charge of angels. [source]

What do the individual words in Hebrews 2:5 mean?

Not for to angels did He subject the world that is coming of which we are speaking
Οὐ γὰρ ἀγγέλοις ὑπέταξεν τὴν οἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν περὶ ἧς λαλοῦμεν

ἀγγέλοις  to  angels 
Parse: Noun, Dative Masculine Plural
Root: ἄγγελος  
Sense: a messenger, envoy, one who is sent, an angel, a messenger from God.
ὑπέταξεν  did  He  subject 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: ὑποτάσσω  
Sense: to arrange under, to subordinate.
οἰκουμένην  world 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: οἰκουμένη  
Sense: the inhabited earth.
τὴν  that 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root:  
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
μέλλουσαν  is  coming 
Parse: Verb, Present Participle Active, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: μέλλω  
Sense: to be about.
λαλοῦμεν  we  are  speaking 
Parse: Verb, Present Indicative Active, 1st Person Plural
Root: ἀπολαλέω 
Sense: to utter a voice or emit a sound.

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