Hebrews 1:1-4

1 πολυμερῶς καὶ πολυτρόπως πάλαι ὁ θεὸς λαλήσας τοῖς πατράσιν ἐν τοῖς προφήταις 2 ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων ἐλάλησεν ἡμῖν ἐν υἱῷ, ὃν ἔθηκεν κληρονόμον πάντων, δι’ οὗ καὶ ἐποίησεν τοὐς αἰῶνας· 3 ὃς ῶν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τἀ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, 4 τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅσῳ διαφορώτερον παρ’αὐτοὺς κεκληρονόμηκεν ὄνομα.

1 God, who at various times and in various ways in the past spoke to our fathers through the prophets, 2 in these last days spoke to us through a son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he even made the ages; 3 who being the radiance of the glory and the representation of his substance, bearing quite all things by the word of his power, having made a cleansing for sins, sat on the right hand of majesty in high places, 4 having become so much better than the angels, even as he has inherited a more excellent name than them.


Participle phrases and relative clauses abound in this passage. Without these descriptive expressions, we have, “God in these last days spoke to us by a son.” That is not to say that the relative clauses and participles are not important, don’t get me wrong. These play a major role in bringing out the thrust of the writer, to highlight God’s continued work and the Son’s clear superiority over creation and the angels.

So a run-down of relative and participle phrases concerning God:

  • spoke to our fathers by the prophets

And concerning the Son:

  • the one appointed heir of all things
  • involved in the making of “the ages” – universe or time itself?
  • the radiance of God’s glory
  • the representation of God’s substance
  • the one who sustains all things
  • the one who made cleansing for sins
  • the one having become better than the angels

Overall, what we have is a powerful description of the authority and place of the Son and the hope we have though him.

Grace and peace this week!


About George

I'm interested in theology, languages, translation and various sorts of fermentation.
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