1:24. Mark, Aristarchus, Demas and Luke, my fellow labourers.
1:25. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL TO THE HEBREWS
St. Paul wrote this Epistle to the Christians in Palestine, the most part of whom being Jews before their conversion, they were called Hebrews. He exhorts them to be thoroughly converted and confirmed in the faith of Christ, clearly shewing them the preeminence of Christ's priesthood above the Levitical, and also the excellence of the new law above the old. He commends faith by the example of the ancient fathers: and exhorts them to patience and perseverance and to remain in fraternal charity. It appears from chap. 13 that this Epistle was written in Italy, and probably at Rome, about twenty-nine years after our Lord's Ascension.
Hebrews Chapter 1
God spoke of old by the prophets, but now by his Son, who is incomparably greater than the angels.
1:1. God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all,
1:2. In these days, hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
1:3. Who being the brightness of his glory and the figure of his substance and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high:
The figure... that is, the express image, and most perfect resemblance.
Making purgation... That is, having purged away our sins by his passion.
1:4. Being made so much better than the angels as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they.
1:5. For to which of the angels hath he said at any time: Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee? And again: I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
1:6. And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith: And let all the angels of God adore him.
1:7. And to the angels indeed he saith: He that maketh his angels spirits and his ministers a flame of fire.
1:8. But to the Son: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
1:9. Thou hast loved justice and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
1:10. And: Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of thy hands are the heavens.
1:11. They shall perish: but thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment.
1:12. And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shalt be changed. But thou art the selfsame: and thy years shall not fail.
1:13. But to which of the angels said he at any time: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?
1:14. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them who shall receive the inheritance of salvation?
Hebrews Chapter 2
The transgression of the precepts of the Son of God is far more condemnable than of those of the Old Testament given by angels.
2:1. Therefore ought we more diligently to observe the things which we have heard lest perhaps we should let them slip.
2:2. For if the word spoken by angels became steadfast and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward:
2:3. How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? Which, having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.
2:4. God also bearing them witness by signs and wonders and divers miracles and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.
2:5. For God hath not subjected unto angels the world to come, whereof we speak.
2:6. But one in a certain place hath testified, saying: What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
2:7. Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels: thou hast crowned him with glory and honour and hast set him over the works of thy hands.
2:8. Thou hast subjected all things under his feet. For in that he hath subjected all things to him he left nothing not subject to him. But now we see not as yet all things subject to him.
2:9. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour: that, through the grace of God he might taste death for all.
2:10. For it became him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, who had brought many children into glory, to perfect the author of their salvation, by his passion.
Perfect by his passion... By suffering, Christ was to enter into his glory, Luke 24.26, which the apostle here calls being made perfect.
2:11. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one. For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:
2:12. I will declare thy name to my brethren: in the midst of the church will I praise thee.
2:13. And again: I will put my trust in him. And again: Behold I and my children, whom God hath given me.
2:14. Therefore because the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner hath been partaker of the same: that, through death, he might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil:
2:15. And might deliver them, who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to servitude.
2:16. For nowhere doth he take hold of the angels: but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.
No where doth he, etc... That is, he never took upon him the nature of angels, but that of the seed of Abraham.
2:17. Wherefore, it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.
2:18. For in that wherein he himself hath suffered and been tempted he is able to succour them also that are tempted.
Hebrews Chapter 3
Christ is more excellent than Moses. Wherefore we must adhere to him by faith and obedience.
3:1. Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly vocation consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus: