Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
15) Hebrews - Chapter 4:14-16 (continued) and Chapter 5:1-4
Back to Hebrews Study Index Page
Chapter Four consists of a series of exhortations based on the discussion in Chapter Three about the faithfulness
of Christ and the failure of Israel because of lack of faith in the journey from Egypt to Canaan.  The first exhortation
is in verse 1 ("Let us fear").  The second is in verse 11 ("Let us enter the rest").  The third is in verse 14 ("Let us
hold our confession").  The last one is in verse 16 ("Let us draw near with boldness to the throne of grace").

Paraphrase version
1) Now, to show that Christ is a real High Priest, I will describe the designation, the duties, and the qualifications of a
high priest.  Every high priest taken from among men is appointed, by persons having a right to confer the office, to
perform for men the things pertaining to the public worship of God, and especially that he may offer both free-will
offerings and sacrifices for sins.
2) He must be able to have a right measure of compassion on the ignorant, and those who err through ignorance,
because he himself also is clothed with infirmity; so that he will officiate for them with the greater kindness and
3) And because he himself is a sinner, he must, as for the people, so also for himself, offer sacrifices for sins
(Leviticus 16:6).
4) Now, to apply these things to the Christ, I observe, first , that as in the gospel church no one can take this
honorable office to himself but he who is thereto called of God, as Aaron was in the Jewish church.

God' s high priests were men.  The first indication that Aaron and his sons were to care for the tabernacle is found
in Exodus 28:1.  Their first distinct separation to the office of the priesthood is recorded in Exodus 28.  After this, the
legal head of the house of Aaron became high priest.  Usually the eldest son succeeded in office.  The task was
theoretically for life.

God does not do things because of Himself, but because of men.  Mark 2:27 says "Sabbath was made for man, and
not man for the Sabbath."  John 3:16 says "God so loved the world."  The world is God's object of love, not Himself.

Who can bear gently?
The prophet can cry out against the sins of a people, "Repent or be destroyed."  The priest is to be sympathetic,
and to aid in the forgiving of sins.  The word "bear gently" means "has compassion."  The priest had to decide
whether a sacrifice for sin could be given legally (Leviticus 10:8-11, Deuteronomy 12:8-13, Deuteronomy 24:8,
Deuteronomy 33:10, Malachi 2:7).  A bitter judge could be just but unforgiving.

With the ignorant and erring
The ignorant -  see Leviticus 5:17-19.
a) If a man sinned through ignorance or in error, or in an occasion where temptation might obscure for a time the
guilt, a sacrifice could be given, sin is forgiven (Numbers 15:22-29).
b) If it was the sin of the high hand, in the spirit of haughty insolence, there could be no sacrifice, He could be put to
death at the testimony of two or three witnesses (Numbers 15:30-31, Deuteronomy 17:6).  The erring - those
deceived by passions.  See Leviticus 6:1-7.