Christian Churches of God
(Edition 1.0 20000907-20000907)
Psalm 8 is an important text in the prophetic structure and is used in relation to the Messiah and is critical in understanding the Nature of God, the Heavenly Host and their relationship to Messiah and mankind generally.
In John 5:18 we see an interesting text.
John 5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God. (KJV)
The comments made to Christ by the Jewish
authorities of his day show that they
understood that the elohim mentioned in the OT
who gave the Law to Moses was the Great Angel, who was also one of the sons of
They understood the text at Psalm 45:6-7: “Therefore God thy God has anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy partners” as referring to the Messiah, who was to be the Son of God. This is later borne out by the text in Hebrews, also at Hebrews 1:8-9, that identifies the subordinate elohim as Christ.
Proverbs 30:4-5 asks a question as to what is the name of God and what is His son’s name, and then supplies the name of the one True God in the singular in verse 5; namely Eloah.
In the Chaldee this was Elahh. The plural was Elohim and Elahhin in the Chaldee. This eastern version of the language, which became Eastern Aramaic and then Arabic, is the reason why Islam says the name of God is Allah'; the double h becoming h' as an aspirant.
Where the Greek uses the word 'aggelos translated as angel in the English, it is used for the sons of God, or the elohim, in the Hebrew. It is so used in the Greek of the Septuagint (LXX) and in the NT also.
This aspect is borne out very well by Psalm 8 and its use in the Hebrews text and in the LXX.
Psalm 8:1-9 To the chief Musician upon Gittith, A Psalm of David. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens. 2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. 3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? 5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: 7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; 8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. 9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! (KJV)
Psalm 8:2a is quoted in Matthew 21:16. The term babes is probably a reference to his own youth and perhaps also to 1Samuel 17:14,33, 42,55,56. The text rendered enemies is adversaries and the word avenger here is revenger.
Psalm 8:4,5,6 is quoted also in Hebrews 2:6-8 as “What is man that thou art mindful of him and the son of man that thou visitest him. For thou hast made him [for] a little [while] lower than the angels (gods or elohim). And hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him have dominion over the works of Thy hands; Thou has put all things under his feet.”
The text here in verse 4 refers to mortal man ‘enosh and ‘adam in the Hebrew.
We see in Hebrews 2:9 that it was for the suffering of death that he was made lower than they were for a little while. Bullinger notes the reading “for a little while” in the notes to the text. This accords with Philippians 2:5-8.
Philippians 2:5-9 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Thus he did not try to grasp equality with God or rebel but became a human and humbled himself unto death. He became a son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:4), as we see from Philippians 2:9:
9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, (RSV)
Now this word rendered angels in Psalm 8 and Hebrews, is, as we see in the Hebrew elohim and means gods. It was translated as ‘aggelos (for messengers) in the Septuagint, and also from that into the Greek text in Hebrews and retained in that sense in the Vulgate, the Syriac and the Arab. It was translated as angels in the English. The reason it was retained in this sense is that it suited the original Hebrew translators to render it messengers, because it was dealing with the plurality of the sons of God as elohim, rather than Eloah. Trinitarians have followed this to have it as “angels” and omit the "for a little while" sense, and also in that sense in the later Syriac and the Arabic. The reason appears to be that none of them wanted to acknowledge that the elohim were an extended order of beings.
However, the text is definitely elohim in the original Hebrew and Bullinger makes note of that in the note to the verse in The Companion Bible. The priests knew that the son of man was an elohim who became Son of God as the monogenes theos, or the only born God of John 1:18 (cf. Marshall's Greek English Interlinear RSV). The notes to The Companion Bible in the texts examine these aspects.
They were referring to him making himself equal to the elohim, and as this was not spoken in Greek but in Aramaic we get the text as elohi then rendered as angels.
The sons of God were all elohim as the OT texts show by their usage. These elohim were understood as 'aggelos, or messengers, and translated as angels in the English and other texts. However, the Temple priests had not been hampered by the traditions of Roman pagans masquerading as Christians for a few centuries at this time, and so they understood the implications perfectly.
The term son of man (no article) used in the text in Psalm 8 is used three times before this text: in Numbers 23:19, Job 25:6 and 35:8. It is 111 times in the singular in the OT and 39 times in plural. The other occurrences in the Psalms (Pss. 49:2; 144:3) are a different word. Here in 8:4 the title relates to dominion in the earth and is used in that sense in the text in Hebrews relating it to Messiah.
The text in 8:6 refers to the dominion given to the first man Adam, and which was lost in the fall. The dominion and restoration is the aim of the salvation of which we are to be mindful and guard. The numbers in verses 7 and 8 are six items, which is the number of man.
Hebrews 2:1-18 Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will. 5 For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6 It has been testified somewhere, "What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? 7 Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9 But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one.
He thus became human and died to reconcile all to God.
10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying, "I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee." 13 And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."
He proclaims our names in the congregation of the elohim, and he is not ashamed to call us brethren.
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. 16 For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people.18 For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted. (RSV)
The reason God is not concerned with the elohim, called angels here, but with the descendants of Abraham is that He has chosen to make us a priesthood and is concerned with getting us to that point through Christ.
Here we see the text in Hebrews speaks of the law delivered by the angels. This being who delivered the law to Moses was Christ, and was understood by the early Church as being Christ.
Thus the step up was to the care of a greater salvation than was possible under the Law without the Holy Spirit.
Thus Christ then came to declare this great salvation. The apostles who were eyewitnesses attested it to. It was also attested to by the power of God through the Holy Spirit in signs and wonders from which we derive the term miracles.
In this text we now see the fact that the subjection of the world to come was not given to the elohim as angels. It was subjected to Christ as the Son of Man and to mankind that we might demonstrate our capacity to enter into salvation under Christ.
No one can come to the Father except by Christ.
Christ had to become human and demonstrate his obedience and worthiness to lead us through death. For to us to inherit as coheirs with him there had to be a death of the one able to confer that benefit, or estate, given to him by the creator as a greater authority.
We shall judge angels (1Cor. 6:3). The demons have to be judged by us at the end of the age. They are also then reconciled through Christ.
That is what they were hoping to avoid by the purgations to reconcile the Daemons in every man through the mystery cults and the Orphic systems particularly. It was so they could return to the heavens without the judgment.
It is also in this sense that he who sanctifies and they who are sanctified are of one origin. Thus he had to become a man from the elohim and die to enable the sanctification of both man and elohim, or man and angel, to be reconciled to Eloah who is to become the source of all and all in all (Eph. 4:6).