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the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 1

Gray's Concise Bible CommentaryGray's Concise Commentary

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Verses 1-14


While in these chapters, the comparison is chiefly between Christ and the angels, yet they open with an important contrast between him and the prophets (1:1-3), in which His superiority is seen in seven particulars:

1. He is God’s Son.

2. He is Heir of all things.

3. He made the worlds.

4. He is the Express Image of God.

5. He Himself purged our sins.

6. He upholds all things.

7. He is seated at the right hand of God.

The “express image” of God is equivalent to “God.” Our comment on Colossians 1:15 will aid here, or compare this same epistle 10:1, where “image” is used for the very substance of that which is referred to, though in the Greek it is not so strong a word as that in the lesson.

Christ however is superior to the angels in five particulars: (1) they have the name of angels, He the Name of Son (Hebrews 1:4-5 ); (2) they are worshippers, He is the Worshipped (Hebrews 1:6 RV); (3) they are creatures, He the Creator (Hebrews 1:7-12 ); (4) they are the ministers of salvation, He is its Author (Hebrews 1:13-14 ); and (5) they are subjects in the age to come, He is its Ruler (Hebrews 2:5-9 ).

The amplification of the last thought is majestic, bringing out the four steps in the work of the Redeemer from His incarnation until His ultimate triumph over every foe. For a little while was he lower than the angels, i.e., during His earthly humiliation; now He is crowned with glory and honor; during the millenium will He be set over the works of God’s hands, and finally in the age that follows will all things be put under His feet (Hebrews 2:6-9 ). For all this His suffering was necessary, not for His own sake but our sake (Hebrews 2:10 ). We have become sons of God through faith in Him, in which sense He that sanctifieth and we who are sanctified “are all of one,” i.e., our origin is from God. This explains the verses that follow to the end of the chapter.

In this lesson we meet with the digressions spoken of, one occurring in the middle of the argument (Hebrews 2:1-4 ), and another at its close (Hebrews 2:9-18 ). The first is warning, the second comfort. If the earlier dispensation, that of Judaism, punished every transgression and disobedience, how shall we escape if we neglect this greater light, the heavenly origin of which was demonstrated by witnesses confirming and being themselves confirmed? On the other hand, think of your privileges! Your exaltation to the position of brethren, and your claim upon the Lord of glory as your true High priest, faithful, merciful, capable and sympathetic.


1. Name the seven particulars in which Christ is superior to the prophets.

2. What is the equivalent of the words, “Express Image of God”?

3. Name the five particulars in which Christ is superior to the angels.

4. Bring out the four steps in the work of the Redeemer.

5. What is the meaning of the phrase “All of one”?

6. What two “digressions” are found in this lesson?

Bibliographical Information
Gray, James. "Commentary on Hebrews 1". Gray's Concise Bible Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jgc/hebrews-1.html. 1897-1910.
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