Son Surpasses Moses

The word of the Son is superior even to the word of Moses, the servant and Great Lawgiver in the house of Yahweh

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The letter to the 
Hebrews next demonstrates the superiority of the sonly word by comparing it to Moses, the servant of Yahweh. Implicit in the argument is the priority of the “word spoken in the Son” over the Mosaic legislation, and at this point in the letter, the comparison with Moses is most appropriate - [Photo by Will van Wingerden on Unsplash].

In the letter’s opening paragraph, it compared the “word spoken in” Jesus to the earlier revelations “in the prophets.” Although Moses was the chief representative of this illustrious group, he was also more honored than all the others.

Unlike the others, God spoke to Moses face-to-face and not through visions and riddles. And his greater rank now serves to emphasize just how superior Jesus is to all the prophets that preceded him, including the Great Lawgiver himself.

  • (Hebrews 3:1-6) - “Whence, holy brethren, partners in a heavenly calling, attentively consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus, as one faithful to him who made him: as Moses also in his house. For of more glory than Moses has this one been counted worthy, by as much as, more honor than the house has he that prepared it. For every house is prepared by someone, but he that has prepared all things is God. Even Moses, indeed, was faithful in all his house as an attendant, for a witness of the things which were to be spoken; but Christ as a Son over his house, whose house are we, if the boldness of speech and boast of the hope we hold fast.

FAITHFUL SERVANT


The preceding paragraph designates Jesus as our “merciful and faithful high priest,” which is now reaffirmed. As our “apostle,” he is the one sent from God to deliver His final word and lead His people. As our “high Priest,” he represents believers before God and intercedes for them.

The descriptions of him as “one faithful” and of Moses as “also in all his house” allude to the following passage from the Greek version of the Old Testament, the Septuagint:

  • (Numbers 12:5-8) - “Hear now my words, if there be a prophet among you, I, Yahweh, will make myself known to him in a vision, I will speak with him in a dream. MY SERVANT MOSES is not so; he is FAITHFUL IN ALL MY HOUSE: with him will I speak mouth-to-mouth, even manifestly, and not in dark speeches; and the form of Yahweh shall he behold: wherefore then were you not afraid to speak against MY SERVANT MOSES?

Moses is the only one to whom Yahweh has spoken face-to-face; that is, until Jesus. In Jewish tradition, Moses received greater honor than even angels.  Since Christ is superior to the angels, and since disobedience to his word requires far greater punishment than disobeying the Torah, the superiority of the Son over Moses follows logically.

The words “faithful,” “priest” and “house” allude to the prophecy that Yahweh would “Raise up a FAITHFUL PRIEST, and according to that which is in my heart and in my soul will he do. Therefore, will I build for him AN ASSURED HOUSE” - (1 Samuel 2:35).

Jesus is now presented as that promised “FAITHFUL PRIEST” who has been set over God’s “HOUSE” - (compare Hebrews 10:1-14).

GOD’S HOUSEHOLD


And Jesus has been found worthy of more honor than even Moses, just as the one who prepares the house is worthy of more honor than the house.

Christ is associated closely with the “builder” of the house, God, and he has been set over that very house. In contrast, Moses was a servant in His “house.”

The Greek verb rendered “prepare” or kataskeuazō means “to prepare, equip,” and not to “build” (Strong’s #G2680). In Greek literature, it is used for supplying furnishings to equip a household for habitation.

House” points to the living community of God’s covenant people. Jesus is “over His house whose house we are.” Believers “are” (present tense) his household as long as they hold fast their “confidence and boast of hope,” namely, holding firmly to their confession and the “word of the Son.”

Nowhere does the argument denigrate Moses. However, though he gave Israel the Law at Sinai, he belonged to the past era that has been eclipsed by the Son, Jesus Christ.

The comparison with Moses prepares the reader for the next section concerning the generation of Israel that received the Mosaic “word” but failed “to hold fast to their confidence and hope.”

To now abandon the final revelation that God has “spoken” in His Son and return to the previous and incomplete “word” will result in horrific consequences.



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