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

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


14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed throughA the heavens,B Jesus,C the Son of God,D let us hold fastE to our confession.F 

Notes on verse 4:14

A “passed through” = dierchomai. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to go through, come, depart, traverse, or travel.
B “heavens” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. 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.
C “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.
D “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.
E “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. In this sense, it means arrest.
F “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 unable to sympathizeG with our weaknesses,H but we have one who in every respect has been testedI as we are, yet without sin.J 

Notes on verse 4:15

G “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.
H “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.
I “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 or 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.
J “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 approachK the throneL of graceM with boldness,N so that we may receive mercyO and findP grace to helpQ in time of need.R

Notes on verse 4:16

K “approach” = proserchomai. Related to “passed through” in v4:14.From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (see note A above). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.
L “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 form.
M “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.
N “boldness” = parresia. From pas (all, every, each) + rhesis (speech); {from rheo (say, speak of, command)}. This is confidence, openness, boldness, outspokenness. It can imply assurance – free speech.
O “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.
P “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.
Q “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.
R “time of need” = eukairos. 2x in NT. From eu (good, well, well done) + kairos (season, opportunity, occasion; chronos is used for chronological time while kairos is used for spiritually significant time – the right time or appointed time). This is well-timed, convenient, opportune, or strategic. It could also mean holiday or festival as well as time of need.

5:7 In the days of his flesh,S Jesus offered upT prayersU and supplications,V

Notes on verse 5:7a

S “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).
T “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.
U “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.
V “supplications” = hiketeria. 1x in NT. From the base of hikanos (sufficient, suitable, adequate, competent, ample); from hiko or hikneomai (to reach, come to, attain) OR from hiketes (a suppliant). This refer to an olive branch that one would hold when making a humble request. It signifies an earnest request for peace, help, or reconciliation. This word is supplication or entreaty.

with loudW criesX and tears,Y to the one who was able to saveZ him from death, and he was heardAA because of his reverent submission.BB 

Notes on verse 5:7b

W “loud” = ischuros. 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). This is strong – first of physical strength. Later, also used figuratively for forcible, powerful, mighty, vehement, or sure.
X “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.
Y “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.
Z “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.
AA “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.
BB “reverent submission” = eulabeia. Related to “receive” in v4:16. 2x in NT. From eulabes (cautious, well-handled; this is showing reverence and respect to something as when carrying a priceless antique across a room; by analogy, it refers to devotion and piety); {from eu (good, well, well done) + lambano (active acceptance/taking of what is available or what has been offered; emphasizes the choice and action of the individual)}. This is caution, reverence, fear of God. It is holding onto what God tells us is good – following God’s call with reverence.

Although he was a Son, he learnedCC obedienceDD through what he suffered;EE and having been made perfect,FF he became the sourceGG of eternalHH salvationII for all who obeyJJ him,

Notes on verses 5:8-9

CC “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).
DD “obedience” = hupakoe. 15x in NT. Related to “heard” in v4:16. From hupakouo (to listen, answer, obey; to listen as one subordinate, which implies obeying a command or authority); {from hupo (by, under, about, under authority) + akouo (see note AA above)}. This is obedience or submissiveness to what one hears.
EE “suffered” = pascho. Related to “sympathize” in v4:15. See note G above. Akin to penthos (mourning, sorrow). This is to be acted on for good or ill. It is often used for negative treatment. Properly, it means feeling strong emotions – especially suffering. It can also be the ability to feel suffering.
FF “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.
GG “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 cause a crime to happen.
HH “eternal” = aionios. From aion (an age, length of time). This is age-long, forever, everlasting. Properly, that which lasts for an age. This is where eon comes from.
II “salvation” = soteria. Related to “save” in v5:7. From soter (a savior, deliverer); from sozo. (see note Z above). This is deliverance, salvation, preservation, welfare, prosperity, safety.
JJ “obey” = hupakouo. Related to “heard” in v4:16 & “obedience” in v5:8. See note DD above.

Image Credit: “Christ on Gethsemane” by the JESUS MAFA community in Cameroon, 1973.

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