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Hebrews 2:16

    Hebrews 2:16 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    For truly he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    For, truly, he does not take on the life of angels, but that of the seed of Abraham.

    Webster's Revision

    For verily not to angels doth he give help, but he giveth help to the seed of Abraham.

    World English Bible

    For most certainly, he doesn't give help to angels, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    For verily not of angels doth he take hold, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham.

    Definitions for Hebrews 2:16

    Verily - Truly; surely.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 2:16

    For verily he took not on him the nature of angels - Ου γαρ δηπου αγγελων επιλαμβανεται, αλλα σπερματος Αβρααμ επιλαμβανεται· Moreover, he doth not at all take hold of angels; but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold. This is the marginal reading, and is greatly to be preferred to that in the text Jesus Christ, intending not to redeem angels, but to redeem man, did not assume the angelic nature, but was made man, coming directly by the seed or posterity of Abraham, with whom the original covenant was made, that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed; and it is on this account that the apostle mentioned the seed of Abraham, and not the seed of Adam; and it is strange that to many commentators should have missed so obvious a sense. The word itself signifies not only to take hold of, but to help, succor, save from sinking, etc. The rebel angels, who sinned and fell from God, were permitted to fall down, alle downe, as one of our old writers expresses it, till they fell into perdition: man sinned and fell, and was falling downe, alle downe, but Jesus laid hold on him and prevented him from falling into endless perdition. Thus he seized on the falling human creature, and prevented him from falling into the bottomless pit; but he did not seize on the falling angels, and they fell down into outer darkness. By assuming the nature of man, he prevented this final and irrecoverable fall of man; and by making an atonement in human nature, he made a provision for its restoration to its forfeited blessedness. This is a fine thought of the apostle, and is beautifully expressed. Man was falling from heaven, and Jesus caught hold of the falling creature, and prevented its endless ruin. In this respect he prefers men to angels, and probably for this simple reason, that the human nature was more excellent than the angelic; and it is suitable to the wisdom of the Divine Being to regard all the works of his hands in proportion to the dignity or excellence with which he has endowed them.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 2:16

    For verily - Truly.

    He took not on him the nature of angels - Margin, "He taketh not hold of angels, but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold." The word used here - ἐπιλαμβάνεται epilambanetai - means, to take hold upon; to seize; to surprise; to take hold with a view to detain for oneself. Robinson. Then it means to take hold of one as by the hand - with a view to aid, conduct, or succour; Mark 8:23; Acts 23:19. It is rendered "took," Mark 8:23; Luke 9:47; Luke 14:4; Acts 9:27; Acts 17:19; Acts 18:17; Acts 21:30, Acts 21:33; Acts 23:19; Hebrews 8:9; "caught," Matthew 14:31; Acts 16:19; "take hold," Luke 20:20, Luke 20:26; "lay hold," and "laid hold," Luke 23:26; 1 Timothy 6:12. The general idea is that of seizing upon, or laying hold of anyone - no matter what the object is - whether to aid, or to drag to punishment, or simply to conduct. Here it means to lay hold with reference to "aid," or "help;" and the meaning is, that he did not seize the nature of angels, or take it to himself with reference to rendering "them" aid, but he assumed the nature of man - in order to aid "him." He undertook the work of human redemption, and consequently it was necessary for him to be man.

    But he took on him the seed of Abraham - He came to help the descendants of Abraham, and consequently, since they were men, he became a man. Writing to Jews, it was not unnatural for the apostle to refer particularly to them as the descendants of Abraham, though this does not exclude the idea that he died for the whole human race. It was true that he came to render aid to the descendants of Abraham, but it was also true that he died for all. The fact that I love one of my children, and that I make provision for his education, and tell him so, does not exclude the idea that I love the others also - and that I may make to them a similar appeal when it shall be proper.

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 2:16

    2:16 For verily he taketh not hold of angels - He does not take their nature upon him. But he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham - He takes human nature upon him. St. Paul says the seed of Abraham, rather than the seed of Adam, because to Abraham was the promise made.