FOR SEVERAL WEEKS NOW WE HAVE BEEN CONCLUDING THE FINAL VERSES OF THE VERY IMPORTANT CHAPTER 7. AT THE SAME TIME, WE ARE ENTERING INTO – IN MY OPINION – AN EVEN MORE IMPORTANT CHAPTER – IF SUCH A THING CAN BE SAID OF SACRED SCRIPTURE: CHAPTER 8.
THE OVERALL CONTEXT FOR THIS WEEK’S STUDY…
NAS Hebrews 7:20-28 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, ‘Thou art a priest forever’ “); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 And the former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers, because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but He, on the other hand, because He abides forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Hence, also, He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since always lives to make intercession for them. 26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.
AS MENTIONED LAST WEEK, I ENJOYED TRANSCRIBING THAT SECTION ENUMERATING THE FIVE REASONS FOR JESUS’ UNIQUENESS AS THE PERFECT PERMANENT HIGH PRIEST, AS I HOPE YOU DID READING THEM. BUT, AS I ALSO SAID IN LAST WEEK’S BLOG, THERE WAS ONE THING I MISSED: THE CORRESPONDING GREEK WORDS. THEREFORE, HERE THEY ARE…
THE FIVE DESCRIPTIVE WORDS – THEY ARE ADJECTIVES – ARE ALL FOUND IN V. 26…
NAS Hebrews 7:26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;
“HOLY” IS THE GREEK WORD ὅσιος (ha-see-ahs). The word is found a total of 8 times in the N.T., 3 times in Acts where it is first used…
NAS Acts 2:27 Because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.
NAS Acts 13:34 “And as for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings of David.’
NAS Acts 13:35 “Therefore He also says in another Psalm, ‘Thou wilt not allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay.’
EVEN FROM JUST THESE THREE EXAMPLES, I THINK THE GENERAL MEANING OF ὅσιος (ha-see-ahs) AS HOLY IS QUITE CLEAR FROM THE CONTEXT. Greek lexicons also list the following synonymous words as acceptable alternate translations: righteous, devout, pious, without blame, pleasing to God, but as our brief study of the word clearly shows and will show, holy is the main English translation.
NAS 1 Timothy 2:8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension.
NAS Titus 1:7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
NAS Titus 1:8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, righteous, devout, self-controlled,
ESV Hebrews 7:26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
NAS Revelation 15:4 “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? For Thou alone art holy; For all the nations will come and worship before Thee, For Thy righteous acts have been revealed.”
NAS Revelation 16:5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things;
A GOOD DEFINITION OF HOLY IS “INNOCENT” IS THE GREEK WORD ἄκακος (ah-ka-kos). It is only found twice in the Greek N.T., here in Hebrews 7:26 and Romans 16:18…
NAS Romans 16:18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
I THINK YOU WILL FIND IT VERY INTERESTING AND INSTRUCTIVE TO NOTICE HOW DIFFERENTLY OUR MAJOR MODERN ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS TRANSLATE ἄκακος (ah-ka-kos)…
ESV Romans 16:18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.
NET Romans 16:18 For these are the kind who do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By their smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of the naive.
NKJ Romans 16:18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.
CSB Romans 16:18 for such people do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites. They deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting with smooth talk and flattering words.
DBY Romans 16:18 For such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly, and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.
KJV Romans 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
THE GREEK WORD THE NEW AMERICAN STANDARD TRANSLATES THE THIRD WORD, “UNDEFILED,” IS ἀμίαντος (ah-mee-an-tos). Including Hebrews 7:26 ἀμίαντος (ah-mee-an-tos) appears in the Greek biblical text 3 times…
NAS Hebrews 13:4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
NAS James 1:27 This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
NAS 1 Peter 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
TO BE “UNDEFILED” IN THE CONTEXT OF HEBREWS 7 MEANS UNDEFILED, UNBLEMISHED, FREE FROM STAIN.
THE FOURTH WORD ADJECTIVE IN HEBREWS 7:26 DESCRIBING THE CHARACTER OF THE LORD JESUS IS “SEPARATED,” FROM THE GREEK WORD χωρίζω (ko-reed-zo). It simply means to separate or divide from. WORD χωρίζω (ko-reed-zo) is found in the Greek N.T. 13 times, including Hebrews 7:26…
NAS Matthew 19:6 “Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
NAS Mark 10:9 “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
NAS Acts 1:4 And gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;
NAS Acts 18:1 After these things he left Athens and went to Corinth.
NAS Acts 18:2 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them,
NAS Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
NAS Romans 8:39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
NAS 1 Corinthians 7:10 But to the married I give instructions, not I, but the Lord, that the wife should not leave her husband
ESV 1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband
NET 1 Corinthians 7:10 To the married I give this command– not I, but the Lord– a wife should not divorce a husband
NKJ 1 Corinthians 7:10 Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband.
NAS 1 Corinthians 7:11 (but if she does leave, let her remain unmarried, or else be reconciled to her husband), and that the husband should not send his wife away.
ESV 1 Corinthians 7:11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.
NAS 1 Corinthians 7:15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.
ESV Hebrews 7:26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, unstained, separated from sinners, and exalted above th e heavens.
AND THE FIFTH AND LAST GREEK ADJECTIVE IN HEBREWS 7:26 DESCRIBING THE PERFECT PRIEST IS ὑψηλότερος (hoop-say-la-te-ros): EXALTED; THE SIMPLE DEFINITION IS “HIGH.” The Greek word is found 12 times in the Greek N.T.…
NAS Matthew 4:8 Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, and their glory;
NAS Matthew 17:1 And six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves.
NAS Mark 9:2 And six days later, Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John, and brought them up to a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them;
KJV Luke 4:5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. (NOTE THAT THE GREEK WORD FOR “HIGH” ONLY APPEARS IN THE MAJORITY TEXT, I.E., THE KING JAMES/NEW KING JAMES TRANSLATIONS)
NAS Luke 16:15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
NAS Acts 13:17 “The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and made the people great during their stay in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He led them out from it.
NAS Romans 11:20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;
NAS Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.
NAS Hebrews 1:3 And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high;
NKJ Hebrews 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;
NAS Revelation 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
NAS Revelation 21:12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are those of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel.
IN THE OBVIOUS PRACTICAL MEANING, AS WELL AS THE EQUALLY OBVIOUS METAPHORICAL MEANING, “HIGH” MEANS HIGH.
THIS FINAL PASSAGE IN CHAPTER 7 SAYS LITTLE THAT IS NOT DEVELOPED ELSEWHERE IN THE EPISTLE, BUT IT DOES OFFER AN INTENSE CONCENTRATION OF THEMES PAST AND PRESENT. AND, I THINK YOU’LL AGREE, THAT IS MOST HELPFUL IN A CLARIFYING SENSE.
NEXT WEEK: “ONE MORE BLOG ON CHAPTER 7.”
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm