New Testament Commentary - Hebrews Chapter 5

by Don R. Hender

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
              CHAPTER 5

Ministers must be called of God as was Aaron—Christ was a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek—Jesus Christ is the author of eternal salvation.

  1 For every high priest taken from among men is aordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and bsacrifices for sins:
  2 Who can have acompassion on the ignorant, and on them that are bout of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
  3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for asins.
 1a TG Priesthood;
      TG Priesthood Ordination;
   b TG Sacrifice
 2a TG Compassion;
   b GR straying, wandering
 3a Lev. 4:3

  4 And no man taketh this ahonour unto himself, but he that is bcalled of God, as was Aarona.

 4a called of God, as was Aaron Men do not appoint themselves to the priesthood of God. One does not attend a seminary of higher education in order to qualify for the priesthood. If is only to be obtained from one who is in authority as did Aaron receive his priesthood anointing under the had of the authoritative prophet of God, Moses. Without such an authorized ordination, men have no power or authortiy to act in the name of God.  4a TG Leadership
   b TG Called of God
      TG Priesthood Authority
      TG Priesthood, Qualifying for
   b Ex. 28:1; TG Priesthood Aaronic

  5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my aSon, to day have I begotten thee.
  6 As he saith also in another place, aThou art a apriest bfor ever after the order of cMelchisedeca.

The LORD Said
Unto My Lord 
It was known and understood of Old Testament times that Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament who was the God of Israel did have another above him. As David so states and Jesus Christ so quotes himself that David pronouced this understanding (Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42; Psalms 110:1). It was God the Father who so pronounced upon Jehovah when he was so anointed in the preexistence, that 'He shall be a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek'. Of course that order was the order of the Son of God, for the Son of God was so anointed by the Father with the fulness of the power and authority of the Father before the foundation of the earth. That while in mortality, that confirmation was to be reafirmed is according to the earthly presidence of God. All who where so foreordained are to be again ordained in this mortality. Even Christ to fulfill all righteousness would have been so ordained according to and pertaining to the ordination of mortality. When this occurred could best be surmised to be during the 40 days he spent in the wilderness after his baptism where he was administered to by angels of God. One such administration by one such angel would have been Jesus' earthly ordination to the priesthood according to the laws fulfilling all righteousness as to the order and manner of things of this earth. Of course Christ held and exercised that priesthood in the preexistance. It is that power by which worlds are created. But after the order of the flesh, like all others so called and ordained, Christ too would have experienced an earthly ordination of that priesthood authority.
 6a a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec God's power and priesthood is eternal in nature. When man has been so ordained to the priesthood, that ordination is what connects man to God and eternity. As long as that man stands worthy before the Lord, he is assured that his priesthood will stand for ever leading him into the presence and glory of God.  5a Heb. 1:5
 6a Ps. 110:4 (1-4);
      Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42;
 6a TG Priesthood, Melchizedek
   b D&C 124:130
   c TG Priesthood, History of

  7 aWho in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up bprayers and supplications with cstrong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from deatha, and was heard din that he feared;
  8 Though he were a Son, yet alearned he bobedience by the things which he csuffereda;

A Type of Christ 
Many who have been established of old have been types and similitudes of the coming Christ. This both in character and in parallel events which tend to forshadow the life of the Messiah. Melchizedek was one such prototype so forshadowing the Messiah, thus though as Joseph Smith points out that verses 8 and 9 do speak specifically concerning the life of Melchizedek, in that life there is a forshadowing of the Messiah to come.
 7a supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death This is the pleading of repentance by Melchizedek unto the Lord when he found himself in the depths of sin, seeking forgiveness that he might be saved from the second death which is being cut off from the presence of God. And though there is a 'type' in this relative to the Saviors plea in the Garden of Eden, it is not precisely that which the Messiah was praying for in the instance of the performance of the atonement in that garden.
 8a learned he obedience by the things which he suffered The trials, afflictions and sufferings we endure during this life are for our learning and experience. Often it is a school of hard knock as it is common for us to not learn but by sad experience. This is the intent of the learning by suffering. We error and do suffer the consequences. From the experience of the consequences we learn not to so error. Though the Savior takes our sins upon himself suffering for them and every affliction which befalls mankind, and thus promises us that we will be healed as we come unto him, the road to repentance and forgiveness involoves not only sorrow for sin but the suffer and consequence for that sin to the extent and to the length of suffering until when our repentance has been so sanctioned by the spirit of the Lord, who then comforts us with that dew of forgiveness with the promise of healing, if not immediate and fully of all afflictions here, at least the assurance that all will be well in the kingdom to come.
 7a JST Heb. 5:7.
      Note: the JST MS. states that vv.
      7 and 8 "are a parenthesis alluding
      to Melchizedek and not to Christ."
      But as Melchizedek is a
      similitude of the Christ, that
      which Melchizedek procedes to
      do is also seen in similitude of
      the Christ.

   b Matt. 26:39 (39, 42, 44)
   c GR mighty, powerful supplication
   d GR because of his piety, reverence
 8a TG Jesus Christ, Exemplar;
   b TG Agency; TG Obedience
   c TG Jesus Christ, Temptation of;
      TG Pain; TG Suffering

  9 And being made aperfect, he became the author of eternal csalvation unto all them that obey him;
  10 aCalled of God an bhigh priest after the order of Melchisedec.
  11 Of whom we have many things to say, and ahard to be buttered, seeing ye are dull of chearing.
 9a TG God, Perfection of;
      TG Perfection
   b TG Jesus Christ, Authority of
   c TG Gospel;
      TG Jesus Christ, Atonement
      TG Jesus Christ, Mission of;
      TG Salvation;
      TG Salvation, Plan of
10a TG Jesus Christ, Authority of
    b TG High Priests;
       TG Jesus Christ, Types of, in
11a GR difficult to be explained
    b John 16:12 (12-13)
    c Ezek. 33:31 (30-33);
       Matt. 11:15-24; 2 Ne. 9:31;
       D&C 1:14

  12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of amilk, and not of strong meat.
  13 For every one that useth amilk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
  14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
12a 1 Cor. 3:2; D&C 19:22 (21-22);
        D&C 50:40
13a 1 Pet. 2:2 (1-3)

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