‘God, ......’’ Paul addresses the Jews very forcibly and begins with the word "God". The writer makes the most emphatic opening possible, when writing to the Jews. The word ‘‘God’’ made no greater impact on any other nation, than on the Jews. If they believed anything, they believed in God. For centuries though ‘‘married’’ to God as His people, they had played the harlot, but God’s cure, 70 years exile in Babylon, extracted every ounce of youthful lust from them and from then on they remained firm believers in the one true God, Jehovah.
‘‘.. who has spoken’’ The writer continues on common ground. This also was a firm tenet of their faith. He reminds them that over the past 2000 years God had sent Prophets with his word to them. At times he had even sent Angels. Although, generally speaking, the Israelites had treated the prophets of God badly, they still accepted certain prophets such as Moses, Elijah or Jeremiah. ‘‘God has finally spoken to the Israelites and the world through His Son.’’ But now finally God had sent his own Son. He came, was crucified for our sins, was buried, rose again and ascended back to his father and today He sits at God's right hand. In bringing this message of Salvation, Paul sets out the gospel, not as in Romans which was written to Gentiles but in a different fashion, to Jews. What better way therefore, than to quote from Hebrew scriptures to endorse the truth they seem to have missed, namely, the true identity of God's final messenger. Nine of the 14 verses in the first chapter are quotes from the Old Testament. The Jews had obviously not seen from their scriptures, who the Messiah would be and had misguidedly thought that their Messiah would come to set up an earthly Kingdom. From the Psalms he proves that Messiah was to be a Son, whose throne would last forever. So His Kingdom could not be an earthly Kingdom, for the same scriptures say that the earth waxes old like a garment and is ready to vanish away. So Messiah’s kingdom must be more than the life-span of this world and the people in it. Paul cannot stress too much how important it is for the Hebrews to fully believe in Jesus, who is the living word of God. For centuries the Jews had awaited the coming of their Messiah but no-one thought it would be God himself who was to come in a human body as the Son of God. So Paul digs out from the Old Testament verses which clearly prove to the Hebrews that the Messiah would be a divine being. But he was not an angelic being. He was a Messenger far above prophets and angels. (In the chapter, some of the writer’s quotations from the scriptures are difficult to evaluate in their Old Testament context, but the Holy Spirit had obviously revealed their true significance to Paul. Stranger still, is that one of his quotations is not even in the Old Testament as we know it, coming from the Septuagint (Verse 6.) Ps 47:7 in the A.V says "Worship him O ye gods", but the Septuagint renders it "worship Him O ye angels." It could better be sourced in the longer Septuagint version of Deut 32:43. ) (The Septuagint is the oldest of several ancient translations of the Jewish scriptures into Greek.) In Psalm 2:7. God says to the coming Messiah, "You are my Son, today have I begotten thee". He never addressed any angels as his sons. In 2 Sam 7:12-14- again God says of the coming Messiah "I will be his father and he will be my Son, and His Kingdom will last forever." In comparison to previous "messengers" such as angels, Christ is far, far greater. It is clear why he made angels and what their duties are. They are but servants of God like the prophets but the Messiah is above angels- He is God's own Son.. Angels worshipped him when he was born. Moreover in Ps 45 v 6-7 we read "Thy throne O God is for ever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is a sceptre of your Kingdom" Clearly the King of the promised Kingdom was addressed as God and furthermore his throne was to last forever. It should appear obvious from that scripture that His Kingdom cannot be an earthly Kingdom because the earth is waxing old and vanishing away. His Kingdom will be when the earth is no longer. V.11 makes that clear His kingdom will reign above all other kingdoms. God has promised his son that it shall be so. In Psalm 110 it says "Sit on my right hand till I have made your enemies your footstool" And that is exactly where He is now. We who belong to Him and are in His kingdom, await the day when His Kingdom is fully manifested, for we who believe on Him will reign with him in the next world. Angels meanwhile are God's servants who minister to us who are to inherit salvation in His Kingdom.
BOARD SUMMARY: Ch. 1. • Past messengers from God were prophets and angels • God’s final messenger- His own Son; • The Son’s kingdom is eternal • Earthly things waxing old and vanishing • Therefore, earthly religion redundant • 9 of 14 verses are Old Testament quotes