Hebrews 4:14-16 & 5:7-9

Hebrews 4:14-16 & 5:7-9
Good Friday ABC


4:14 Since, then, we haveA a greatB high priestC

Notes on verse 4:14a

A “have” = echo. This is to have, hold, possess.
B “great” = megas. This is big in a literal or figurative sense – great, large, exceeding, abundant, high, mighty, perfect, strong, etc.
C “high priest” = archiereus. From archo (to rule, begin, have first rank or have political power) + hiereus (a priest literal or figurative – of any faith); {from hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to God or a god)} This is a high or chief priest.

who has passed throughD the heavens,E Jesus,F

Notes on verse 4:14b

D “passed through” = dierchomai. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go through, come, depart, pierce, travel, traverse.
E “heavens” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill); probably related to airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.
F “Jesus” = Iesous. From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone)}. This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

the SonG of God,H let us hold fastI to our confession.J 

Notes on verse 4:14c

G “son” = huios. This is son, descendant – a son whether natural born or adopted. It can be used figuratively for other forms of kinship.
H “God” = Theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
I “hold fast” = krateo. From kratos (strength, power, dominion; vigor in a literal or figurative sense; power that is exercised). This is being strong or mighty so, by extension, to prevail or rule. It can also mean to seize, grasp hold of and thereby control.
J “confession” = homologia. 6x in NT. From homologeo (to agree, speak the same, declare, promise, praise, celebrate; to align with, express the same conclusion, endorse); {from homologos (of one mind); {from homos (the same) + lego (to say, speak, tell)}}. This is agreement, confession, acknowledgment. It is professing or affirming a conclusion.

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unableK to sympathizeL with our weaknesses,M

Notes on verse 4:15a

K “is unable” = me + dunamai. Dunamai is to be able, or something that is possible. It can also be empowered or being powerful. The Greek word for “miracle” (dunamis) comes from this root.
L “sympathize” = sumpatheo. 2x in NT. From sumpathes (sympathetic, compassionate); from sumpascho (to suffer with, experience pain together or the same kind of pain); {from sun (with, together with) + pascho (to suffer, feel heavy feelings, to endure)}. This is to sympathize with, commiserate, or have compassion. Literally, to suffer together. This is where “sympathy” comes from.
M “weaknesses” = astheneia. From asthenes (without strength, sick, deprivation; weak in a moral or physical sense); {From a (not) + sthenes (strong, vigor); {from the base of sthenoo (to strengthen so that one can be mobile); from sthenos (strength)}}. This is weakness, frailty, illness, suffering, or calamity. It is any kind of sickness or injury that includes weakness or diminishes your ability to enjoy or accomplish what you would choose.

but we have one who in everyN respect has been testedO asP we are, yet withoutQ sin.R 

Notes on verse 4:15b

N “every” = pas. This is all or every.
O “tested” = peirazo. From peira (trial, experiment, attempt, experience, assaying); from the base of peran (over, beyond, across); akin to pera (on the far side); from a derivative of peiro (to pierce). This is to test, try, tempt, or make proof of. It is to test, scrutinize, or assay something. It could also be examine, entice, prove, or discipline.
P “as” = homoiotes. Related to “confession” in v4:14. 2x in NT. From homoios (similar to, resembling, like); from the same as homou (together); from homos (see note J above). This is likeness or resemblance.
Q “without” = choris. From chora (space, land, region, fields, open area); from chasma (gap, gulf, chasm, open space); from chasko (to gape, yawn). This is apart from, separate from.
R “sin” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.

16 Let us therefore approachS the throneT of graceU

Notes on verse 4:16a

S “approach” = proserchomai. Related to “passed through” in v4:14. From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (see note D above). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.
T “throne” = thronos. Probably from thanos (bench); from thrao (to sit). This is throne or seat – the place where the king sits. So, it is used figuratively to mean power, dominion, or a potentate. This is where the word “throne” comes from.
U “grace” = charis. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad; used to say hello; properly, delighting in the grace of God or experiencing God’s favor); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is grace, kindness, favor, gratitude, thanks. It is the sense of being inclined to or favorable towards – leaning towards someone to share some good or benefit. This can be literal, figurative, or spiritual. It is grace as abstract concept, manner, or action.

with boldness,V so that we may receiveW mercyX

Notes on verse 4:16b

V “boldness” = parresia. Related to “every” in v4:15. From pas (see note N above) + rhesis (speech); {from rheo (say, speak of, command)}. This is confidence, openness, boldness, outspokenness. It can imply assurance – free speech.
W “receive” = lambano. It does not refer to passive receiving of something, but active acceptance or taking of something whether it is offered or simply nearby. It focuses on individual decision and action.
X “mercy” = eleos. This is mercy, pity, tender mercy, or compassion, whether from humans or from God. This is mercy, generally understood in action by word or deed. When we sing or say “kyrie eleison” (Lord, have mercy), it is related to this word.

and findY grace to helpZ in time of need.AA

Notes on verse 4:16c

Y “find” = heurisko. This is to find, learn, or obtain. It is to discover something, which generally implies a period of searching for it. This is to find in a literal or figurative sense. This is where the word “heuristic” comes from.
Z “help” = boetheia. 2x in NT. From boetheo (to help, come to the rescue; this is running to assist with an urgent call for help; originally came from military language); from boethos (helper who responds to an urgent need); {from boe (cry call for help; this is onomatopoeia – mean to sound like an emotional cry for help); {from boao (to shout, summon, proclaim; call for urgent help); from boe (cry or shout)} + theo (to run)}. This is help or assistance that is critical and much needed, rescue.
AA “in time of need” = eukairos. 2x in NT. From eukairos (timely, suitable, strategic, well-timed, opportune, festival); {from eu (good, well, well done) + kairos (season, opportunity, occasion; spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time)}. This is opportunely, season, conveniently.

5:7 In the daysBB of his flesh,CC Jesus offered upDD

Notes on verse 5:7a

BB “days” = hemera. Perhaps from hemai (to sit). This is day, time, or daybreak.
CC “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
DD “offered up” = prosphero. From pros (at, to, with, towards, advantageous for) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to offer gifts or sacrifices, to bring up.

prayersEE and supplications,FF with loudGG

Notes on verse 5:7b

EE “prayers” = deesis. 18x in NT. From deomai (having an urgent need because one is missing or needing something so it is an earnest appeal or pressing request); from deo (to tie, bind, fasten, impel, compel; to declare something against the law or prohibited). This is a request coming from a deep personal need or want. So, it is supplication or prayer.
FF “supplications” = hiketeria. 1x in NT. From hikanos (sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample); {from hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain)} OR from hiketes (a suppliant). This is a request or entreaty for peace or relief. It comes from a token offered for peace, such as an olive branch.
GG “loud” = ischuros. Related to “have” in v4:14. From ischuo (to be strong, healthy and vigorous, able, have power, prevail; strength that engages a resisting force); from ischus (strength, might, power, force, ability; power that engages immediate resistance); {from is (force) + echo (see note A above)}. This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.

criesHH and tears,II to the one who was ableJJ

Notes on verse 5:7c

HH “cries” = krauge. 6x in NT. From krazo (to cry out, scream, shriek; onomatopoeia for the sound of a raven’s call; figuratively, this is means crying out urgently without intelligible words to express something that is deeply felt). This is a very emotional shout or cry generally or clamor against someone else. It can express alarm, trouble, or grief.
II “tears” = dakruon. 10x in NT– 2x of the woman anointing Jesus’ feet, 2x of Paul’s tears about people distorting the truth, 2x of God wiping away ever tear of the saints in heaven, 1x of Paul missing the Corinthians, 1x of remembering Timothy’s tears, 1x of Esau’s tears, 1x of Jesus’ tears. This is tear or teardrop.
JJ “was able” = dunamai. Same as “unable” in v4:15. See note K above.

to saveKK him from death,LL and he was heardMM because of his reverent submission.NN 

Notes on verse 5:7d

KK “save” = sozo. From sos (safe, rescued, well). This is to save, heal, preserve, or rescue. Properly, this is taking someone from danger to safety. It can be delivering or protecting literally or figuratively. This is the root that “savior” and “salvation” come from in Greek.
LL “death” = thantaos. From thnesko (to die, be dead). This is death, whether literal or spiritual. It can also refer to something that is fatal.
MM “heard” = eisakouo. 5x in NT. From eis (to, into, for, among) + akouo (listen, hear, understand through hearing). This is hearing deeply and intentionally. It can also mean to obey, heed, or comply – understanding prompting action.
NN “reverent submission” = eulabeia. Related to “receive” in v4:16 & “in time of need” in v4:16. 2x in NT. From eulabes (literally handling well or grasping what is good; cautious or circumspect; by extension, devout, pious, or God fearing); {from eu (see note AA above) + lambano (see note W above)}. This is reverence, pious caution, being dedicated to following God’s call to goodness.

Although he was a Son, he learnedOO obediencePP through what he suffered,QQ 

Notes on verse 5:8

OO “learned” = manthano. This is to learn, ascertain, understand. It is knowledge that one gets from personal experience and it implies reflecting on that experience. It can also focus on gaining knowledge by learning facts. This root is where the Greek word for disciple comes from (mathetes).
PP “obedience” = hupakoe. Related to “heard” in v4:16. 15x in NT.  From hupoakouo (to listen, to attend to, or obey; acting subordinate to one who speaks – heeding a command or authority); {from hupo (by, under, about, subordinate to) + akouo (see note MM above)}. This is obedience, submissiveness – listening attentively and acting in response.
QQ “suffered” = pascho. Related to “sympathize” in v4:15. See note L above.

and having been made perfect,RR he becameSS the sourceTT

Notes on verse 5:9a

RR “made perfect” = teleioo. From teleios (going through the steps to complete a stage or phase and then moving on to the next one; reaching an end and so being complete or “perfect”; also full grown or mature); from telos (an end, aim, purpose, completion, end goal, consummation, tax).  This is finish, accomplish, bring to an end, complete, reach a goal, finish a race, to consummate. It refers to completing stages or phases to get to an ultimate conclusion. It can also mean consecrate or fulfill.
SS “became” = ginomai. This is to come into being, to happen, become, be born. It can be to emerge from one state or condition to another or is coming into being with the sense of movement or growth.
TT “source” = aitios. 5x in NT. From the same as aiteo (to ask, demand, beg, desire). This is the cause of something. So it could refer to someone who begins or originates something – as the source or author. It could also be the accused or culprit as one who caused a crime to happen.

of eternalUU salvationVV for allWW who obeyXX him, 

Notes on verse 5:9b

UU “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time); from the same as aei (ever, always, unceasingly, perpetually; on every occasion). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
VV “salvation” = soteria. Related to “save” in v5:7. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo (see note KK above). This is deliverance, salvation, preservation, welfare, prosperity, safety.
WW “all” = pas. Same as “every” in v4:15. See note N above.
XX “obey” = hupakouo. Related to “heard” in v4:16 & “obedience” in v5:8. See note PP above.

Image credit: “Redemption” by Arthur Dooley & Ann McTavish at the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. Photo by Rodhullandemu, 2018.

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