Jesus is the Son of God. That has been established. I must always start there. God brought Him into the world. The angels are a big deal in scripture. Even they are commanded to worship Jesus. That is huge. I must pay attention to how important Jesus is in God’s world.
6 Again, when he brings his firstborn into the world, he says, And let all God’s angels worship him. | Hebrews 1:6 (CSB)
Angels were extremely important in the Jewish religion, primarily because thousands of angels assisted in the giving of the Law at Mount Sinai. Since the theme of Hebrews is the superiority of the Messiah and His salvation to the Law of Moses, the writer would have to deal with the important subject of angels.
Angels are spiritual beings who serve primarily as messengers. The English word “angel” comes directly from a Greek word for messenger. In Luke 9:52, Jesus sent “messengers” ahead of him. Usually the same word is translated “angel” and is understood to mean a spiritual messenger from God. In the OT also, one Hebrew word can refer either to a human messenger or to a spiritual being. It is not always immediately clear which is meant, especially since angels sometimes appeared in human form. In certain passages, “the angel of God” or a similar phrase may refer to God delivering his own message in a “theophany” (appearance of God himself).
The term “firstborn” in the Bible does not always mean “born first.” God made Solomon the firstborn even though Solomon is listed tenth in the official genealogy. The title is one of rank and honor, for the firstborn receives the inheritance and the special blessing. The Messiah Jesus is the “Firstborn of all creation” because He created all things; and He is the highest of all who came back from the dead. When He came into the world, the angels worshiped Him (quoted from Deut. 32:43: “Heavens, rejoice with Him, let the sons of God pay Him homage!”). God commanded them to do so, which proves that Jesus the Messiah is God; for none of God’s angels would worship a mere creature.
“When he God brings his firstborn again into the inhabited earth” we can learn that:
- Implies the Son’s heavenly origin
- Refers to the second coming (“again”)
- Implies the Son’s preexistence as deity
- Anticipates God’s having other sons and therefore the Son’s having brothers (see Hebrews 2:10–12)
- Ranks the firstborn Son above them
Here is the literal translation:
1:5–6: For to which of the angels did he [God] ever say, “You’re my Son; today I’ve fathered you [Psalm 2:7]”? And again [to which of the angels did God ever say], “He’ll have me as [his] Father, and I’ll have him as [my] Son”? 6 And when he [God] brings [his] firstborn again into the inhabited [earth], he says, “And all God’s angels are to worship him [the firstborn]
Gundry, R. H. (2010). Commentary on the New Testament: Verse-by-Verse Explanations with a Literal Translation (p. 873). Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, pp. 280–281). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Hearn, W. R., & Vos, H. F. (1988). Angel. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 88). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.