Hebrews 1-8

Note: 1:1 to 8:1 looks like a discrete section about the greatness of Jesus Christ, Son of God. 8:1 is a summary of where the argument has got to – “this is the sum”. The section begins and ends with a reference to Psalm 110:1. The first 7 chapters of Hebrews could be thought of as an exposition of Psalm 110:1-4.

A. 1:1-1:14. This unit emphasises the superiority of Christ over the angels as Son of God – He … sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high …(v3) There are seven OT quotes, the seventh being another reference to Psalm 110:1 –Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool (v13).

B. 2:1-2:18. Broadly this chapter emphasises that Christ was a man so that he might suffer death for everyone -“for the suffering of death”. The key reference is to Psalm 8.

C. 3:1-4:11. The argument is that Christ “who was faithful” (3:2), Israel in the wilderness were not (4:2) and we need to beware “an evil heart of unbelief“(3:12) or we will lose the Kingdom.

D. 4:12-13. This section is a picture of the priest slaying the burnt offering (?), a type of the Lord laying bare the thoughts of the heart through the power of his Word – “the word of God is quick, and powerful“.

E. 4:14-16. As high priest, the Lord can sympathise (v15) with us because he also has been tempted -“touched with the feeling of our infirmities“.

E’. 5:1-10. This section repeats the way in which our high priest can have compassion (v 2) on us because he knows what it is to suffer -“with strong crying and tears“.

D’. 5:11-14. The apostle comments on the need to better understand scripture and spiritual growth – “the first principles of the oracles of God”.

C’. 6:1-20. The gist of this chapter is to hold fast to the faith (6:12) patiently -“through faith and patience inherit the promises“, as did Abraham.

B’. 7:1-28. This section expounds the significance of Melchizedek. The greatness of this priesthood over the levitical is because it never ends v24)- “a priest for ever“, “after the power of an endless life” (v16). Therefore it contrasts with the emphasis on the death of Christ in section B.

A’. 8:1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens.


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