We are going to utilize what we have learned about eschatology and apply it to interpreting the Book of Hebrews. We are only going to touch on a few selected verses, so this will not be an exhaustive study of the book. There is a ministry that says this book should not be in the New Testament. We reject that view completely. We believe it is one of the most spiritual and mystical books you will find. There are also some who believe that this book is a midrash on Psa 110, which is very possible. We do not believe that Paul wrote this book for several reasons. First, Paul was sent to the non-Jews and his books are written to the Godfearers in the Diaspora for the most part, although Romans had some instruction for the synagogue Jews in Rome. Secondly, the style does not match Paul’s style.
One thing to keep in mind as we go over these verses is two main phrases, the Olam Ha Zeh and the Olam Haba. We see this right away in Heb 1.1-3 where we learn that God has spoken to us “in these last days” which refer to the Olam Ha Zeh. Which is better, the Olam Ha Zeh (this present age-Matt 24.3) or the Olam Haba (Heb 6.5)? It would be the Olam Haba because there is no sickness, pain, sin and death. This is not the case with the Olam Ha Zeh This is not a contrast between the “old testament and the new testament” as some teach this book, and we will point this out as we go forward. Heb 1.13-14 has many expressions related to a king and how angels are sent to serve those who inherit eternal life in the Olam Ha Zeh.
In Heb 1.4-12 we have coronation terms, especially in v 5-9. Verse 10-11 talk about how the heavens and earth will “perish” (being replaced by a new heavens and earth) but “thou remainest” referring to the Lord being in the Olam Haba. Heb 2.1-7 has the main thought of how Messiah was made a “little lower than the angels” but in 1.4 it says Messiah is “much better than the angels.” Is that a contradiction to 2.7? No, in 2.7 it means he was created in the Olam Ha Zeh, with limitations like fatigue, sickness, pain and death. But, he was elevated by kingship to a status “better than the angels” in 1.4 into the Olam Haba, where these limitations do not exist. Heb 2.8 says he has “put all things in subjection under his (the Father) feet.” This relates to 1 Cor 15.24-25 where it says, “then the end (of the Atid Lavo/Messianic 1000 year kingdom) when he delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when he (the Father) has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he (Messiah) must reign until he (the Father) has put all his enemies under his (Messiah) feet. This is an allusion to the concept of “Here now, but not yet.”
Heb 2.9-18 says that Yeshua took on human nature in the Olam Ha Zeh (v 14). We have him as king, and now high priest (v 17). Now, in the Jewish Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Judaica it says there were those in the first century that expected three messiahs (king, high priest and prophet). He will operate in these offices, and we have two offices named already in Hebrews (king and high priest).
Heb 3.1 says we are “partakers of a heavenly calling” and this refers to the Olam Haba. Heb 6.5 says we have “tasted of the powers of the world to come (Olam Haba).” But, we have not tasted it in its fullness (here now, but not yet). It says that Yeshua was “an apostle” or “sh’liach” (sent one/agent) like Moses in the first redemption out of Egypt. There are many apostles (sh’liachim), but Yeshua is in a category all by himself, like Moses was. Moses was separate from the Aaronic priesthood, but performed its duties. He was the “lawgiver, deliverer, Prophet” just like Yeshua. Heb 3.2 says Israel was committed to his care, like they were with Moses. Heb 3.3 goes on to say “For he (Yeshua) has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house.” This means that Moses was, at best, was just a pillar in the “house” of the Lord. The “house of the Lord” is an idiom for the Olam Haba. Yeshua is worth more glory than Moses because Moses was over the “first or lesser” redemption from Egypt.
Heb 3.4-6 expands on this by saying every house is built by someone human, but the builder of all things (including the Olam Haba) is God. Moses was faithful in all his house (House of Israel) but Messiah is son (king) over his house (the Olam Haba) since we hold fast to our confidence (emunah/faith) and the boast of our hope (something we know will happen) until the end (of the Olam Ha Zeh…while our life lasts). In Heb 3.7-11 we have the term “rest” and this is the Hebrew “M’nuchah” and this is from Psalm 95.7-11. Psalm 95 is a Sabbath psalm and the first one recited, part of what is called the Kabbalat Shabbat prayers (receiving the Sabbath). Heb 3.7 says “Today (in the Olam Ha Zeh) if you hear his voice” you can enter his rest (in the peshat it is Canaan, but it alludes to the Olam Haba). This is again referenced in v 13 where it clearly is referring to hearing the voice of the Lord in the Olam Ha Zeh (while our life lasts). The “m’nuchah” the people were promised was Canaan (3.15-18) but some did not enter because of unbelief (v 19).
In Heb 4.1-2 we learn that the Basar (gospel) was preached “before” Yeshua came in the Olam Ha Zeh. Some say and teach that the “gospel” started to be preached with Yeshua, but that is inaccurate. The Basar (gospel) was preached in Eden at the first sin, which is when grace started to be manifested in the earth also. It was also preached to Abraham (Gal 3.8). The redemption and restoration was promised at that time, and the Messiah would be the agent (sh’liach) of all this and would bring it about. The generation coming out of Egypt failed to enter into this “m’nuchah” because of unbelief. Heb 4.3-5 tells us that the weekly Sabbath is a weekly “m’nuchah.” In Heb 4.6-10, we have a literal “seventh day” of God which is also called the “Day of the Lord” and a picture of the “seventh day” of the 7000 year plan of God called the Atid Lavo (which is also called a “m’nuchah”), but these verses are not talking about that, it is talking about the “promise” of the Olam Haba (v 9). Yeshua is already in the Olam Haba and so will all those who are a part of the Natzal (catching away, the gathering of the believer). Heb 4.11-16 goes on to say that the Word of God exposes the true intentions of the heart and nothing is hidden in the sight of the Lord. Since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens (from the Olam Ha Zeh into the Olam Haba), he can sympathize with our weaknesses in the Olam Ha Zeh. He was tempted in all things as we were, but the difference is we are tempted from the inside because of our sin nature, but Yeshua did not have a sin nature. He was tempted from the outside.
Heb 5.1-6 says that in the Olam Ha Zeh, the high priest is beset by weaknesses because he is a man. But Yeshua did not glorify himself by being self-appointed, but God made him a priest forever according to the order (word) of Melchizedek. Heb 5.7 says “In the days of his flesh (in the Olam Ha Zeh) he offered prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the one (the Father) able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his piety” (and resurrected). In Heb 5.9 it says that Yeshua was “made perfect” by his sufferings. How can this be? It is referring to the fact that Yeshua let his physical body die and as a result, he got a new, glorified body in the Olam Haba. That is what the meaning of “perfect” is in Hebrews.
Heb 5.1-14 is saying that when talking about these things, the people were “dull of hearing.” They should have been teaching these things, but they needed “milk” (simple teachings). Anyone who is unskilled in the Word of God is a partaker of milk and not mature. Babies will put anything into their mouth, and this is like a person who hears everything and has no discernment. He is saying that you can’t look at the surface level of the Scriptures (Peshat) alone, there is a deeper level called “Sowd”, the mystery and hidden level, and the “rest of the story” called “solid food.” Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice (study/work) have their senses (perception) trained (by study and good teaching) to discern good and evil.
In Part 3, we will pick up in Heb 6.1-5. We will continue to show you that translators and expositors in Replacement Theology Christianity (among others) have taken this book and changed the real message of Hebrews, contrasting the Olam Ha Zeh with the Olam Haba, to contrasting the “first/old covenant to second/new covenant.” By doing this, they have changed the meaning to say that the Torah has been done away with, replaced by the “new covenant” and this is not the meaning of this book at all.