For to which of the angels did He ever say, You are My Son; today I have become Your Father, or again, I will be His Father, and He will be My Son? When He again brings His firstborn into the world, He says, And all God’s angels must worship Him. And about the angels He says:
He makes His angels winds,
and His servants a fiery flame,
but to the Son:
Your throne, God,
is forever and ever,
and the scepter of Your kingdom
is a scepter of justice.
You have loved righteousness
and hated lawlessness;
this is why God, Your God,
has anointed You
with the oil of joy
rather than Your companions.
In the beginning, Lord,
You established the earth,
and the heavens are the works of Your hands;
they will perish, but You remain.
They will all wear out like clothing;
You will roll them up like a cloak,
and they will be changed like a robe.
But You are the same,
and Your years will never end.
Now to which of the angels has He ever said:
Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies Your footstool?
Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation? – Hebrews 1:5-14 (HCSB)
We saw in the previous pericope that God’s ultimate revelation of himself is his Son, and it is through this revelation that all previous revelation is to be understood and interpreted. Just as Jesus taught us that he is the hermeneutical lens through which we must read the Old Testament, so also the author of Hebrews is teaching us that Christ is that hermeneutic.
In this pericope, the author continues to establish the identity of the Son as very God from very God. He sets about this primarily by means of Old Testament passages, making extensive use of the Psalms. If the assertion from 1:2-4 is that the Son participated in creating, shares in the very nature of the Father, and is superior to the Angels… 5-14 is the proof text.
It is clear here that some in the author’s audience either had said or were tempted to say that the Son’s elevated status was a result of him being some kind of angelic being rather than very God. So one of the main ways that he establishes the genuine deity of the Son is by demonstrating that God himself considers the Son to be higher than the angels. Although in other places the phrase “today I have begotten you” quoted from Psalm 2:7 is a reference to the Father’s acceptance of the Son according to his humanity, here it is used to establish the divine superiority of the Son to the angelic hosts according to his divinity.
Using a common Pauline phrase, he indicates that the Son was the natural heir (firstborn) prior to his incarnation (when the Son was brought into the world), and demonstrates this by citing Psalm 97 and its indication that all the heavenly host must worship him.
He continues to contrast the way the Psalmist describes the angels, as servants of God… with the way the Psalmist describes the Son as God himself, the one who created the world and who will live eternally.
Finally he asks the rhetorical question “to which of the angels has he ever said: Sit at my right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool?” This is the first of many citations of Psalm 110. The obvious answer to this rhetorical question is “no one.” There is nothing in all of creation that is like the Son. Where the angels, and by extension all of creation, are simply servants of God; the Son himself is the God who is served by the Angels.