Hebrews 2:5-8 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Hebrews 2:5
  • Hebrews 2:6
  • Hebrews 2:7
  • Hebrews 2:8

God gave the earth to man, not angels, for him to rule over it. Man has failed to rule over the earth because he fell into sin, through Adam. But that will change.

Paul notes that God has not given the rulership of the coming kingdom to angels, nor did He give them authority over the present world. Genesis 1-2 tells us God gave authority over the earth to man. Paul quotes Psalm 8:4-6 to show this, where David reflects on how strange it is that the God of the universe remembers or is concerned about humankind, for we are lowly creations, weak and insignificant compared to the heavenly beings, angels. Yet, David muses, in spirt of man’s lowliness, God put all things in subjection under his feet. Man was given the earth to rule over, being elevated to the status of reigning over the earth with glory and honor. We were appointed by God over the works of his hands, beginning with Adam.

God created Adam in His image, and then gave him an incredible responsibility: to care for and rule over every living thing on earth (Genesis 1:26). Adam was intended to take charge as a “son” (i.e., God trusting Adam to care for His creation), but he squandered that opportunity when he showed that he was not willing to walk in obedience. The original design was not for Adam to struggle against anything at all in God’s creation. There was supposed to be peace and harmony between everything in nature. But verse 8 plainly states that things are not functioning the way they should – the way that God intended. And this is all because of the Fall; because Satan entered the Garden and deceived Eve and Adam, and they chose to rebel against God (Genesis 3). Through this act of disobedience, the world does not work as God originally designed. Man does not fully govern the world, and sin and death abound. Satan, the Enemy, is now in charge of the world, rather than man, and he delights in chaos and disharmony. There is no peace on earth. We struggle against nature. We are a world at odds with each other and our Creator.

Paul’s point here is that men were originally given the world to rule in harmony, and yet we do not truly rule over the earth the way God intended. We do not yet see all things subjected to him (man), we are still (to varying degrees) under the power of death and Satan, and do not live the way God designed for us.

However, the word “yet” is vital. For in that word is embedded the amazing promise that the world will be redeemed to its original design. And that will include restoring humanity as its ruler, under the headship of Jesus. But the reward of restoration to ruling is a reward that will be reserved for those who follow Jesus in His suffering.

5 For He did not subject to angels the world to come, concerning which we are speaking. 6 But one has testified somewhere, saying,
“What is man, that You remember him?
Or the son of man, that You are concerned about him?
7 “You have made him for a little while lower than the angels;
You have crowned him with glory and honor,
And have appointed him over the works of Your hands;
8 You have put all things in subjection under his feet.”
For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.

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