Re: Hebrews 2:7 (Attention Kyle Dillon and/or anyone else)

From: Kyle Dillon (
Date: Thu Oct 15 1998 - 11:10:19 EDT

-----Original Message-----
From: Edgar Foster <>
To: Kyle Dillon <>; Biblical Greek
Date: Thursday, October 15, 1998 5:03 AM
Subject: Re: Hebrews 2:7 (Attention Kyle Dillon and/or anyone else)


>>It seems that the Jews of the third century(?) B.C. considered man's
>place much, much lower than God's place. They probably thought that if
>mankind, being so low, was only a little bit lower than God, than God
>must also be low, so they intentionally viewed the passage as a
>comparison between humans and angels (the "godlike" figures). This is
>just a guess, but it seems to make the most sense in this case. Why
>else would "elohim" be interpreted as "godlike beings" here when in
>the majority of the instances it is found in the Old Testament it
>refers to the true God ("elohim," although a plural noun, can be used
>of single entities for intensification, which is true of several
>Hebrew nouns, like "behemoth," which refers to a giant beast)?<
>Dear Kyle,
>Your statement above is undoubtedly true. Based on the context of Ps.
>8:5, it makes more sense to translate ELOHIM as "angels" or "godlike
>ones" (over against "God"). While I would not disagree with all of
>what you say, I must contend that there is good reason to view
>ELOHIM/QEOI as sometimes referring to both angels and humans.

I agree. I am aware that there are several biblical passages that use
"elohim" and QEOS of angels and humans. I just believe that it is not used
of angels in Psalm 8:5. It makes much more sense to interpret it as God.
"Elohim," when used of beings other than God, seems to always be used in a
qualified sense. Never is someone baldly called "god" in the Bible. In Psalm
82:6, for example, "elohim" is modified by the phrase "sons of the Most
High," and they are therefore distinguished from the true God.

>"I said, You are gods [ELOHIM], all of you sons of the Most High" (Ps.
>Who are the "gods" mentioned by the Psalmist? In John 10:35, Jesus
>seems to equate them with "those against whom the word of God came"
>DUNATAI LUQHNAI hH GRAFH). While certain scholars have debated whether
>Ps. 82:6 has reference to angels, men, or even false gods, Jesus seems
>to apply the Psalm to ancient Hebrew judges. This also appears to be
>the way the Psalmist understood ELOHIM in Ps. 82:6 (cf. Ps. 82:1; 58:2


>Edgar Foster
>Lenoir-Rhyne College
>Get your free address at

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