Designated (4316) (prosagoreuo [only found here in the NT] from prós = to, + agoreúo = speak in turn from agora = market place, town square which provided a public platform for speakers) means to address or accost by name, to call by name or to give a name in public. It can convey the idea of a formal and solemn ascription of a title. When did God solemnly ascribe the name and title of high priest to the Messiah? Here are at least 3 thoughts to consider (the following note by Hughes adds another thought)... (1) The first was alluded to in shadow form in the OT, by the historical appearance of Melchizedek some 2000 years earlier (prior to His first advent). (2) Then through His prophet David some 1000 years before Messiah's first advent, God had formally ascribed to Him the title of Priest in Psalm 110:4. (3) There was another public giving of Christ's name as Priest at His first advent. When would that have occurred? Recall that when Messiah died on the Cross the veil separating the outer Holy Place from the inner Holy of Holies was torn from top to bottom. The ripping of the veil from top to bottom marked a setting aside of the old and a public hailing so to speak that Christ had inaugurated a new priesthood. (cp Mt 27:51, Heb 10:19, 20, 21-note) Phillip Hughes answers the question of when Christ was designated High Priest in a slightly different way noting that... The "designation" of Christ as high priest both precedes and follows the incarnation. It precedes it in that the coming of the Son into the world was in accordance with the predetermined purpose of God for the redemption of the world—thus those who are God's redeemed people were chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-note); and it follows the incarnation in that what was before intended and anticipated is now completed, so that through His life, death, and exaltation Christ is revealed as our great High Priest. Moreover, he is this in a unique sense; hence the definition, in fulfilment of Psalm 110:4, after the order of Melchizedek, which places him in a category quite distinct from that of the Levitical order of the old covenant. (A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews - recommended) High priest (749) (archiereus from arche = first in a series, the leader or ruler + hiereus = priest) (Dictionary articles - Easton's; ISBE) refers to the priest that was chief over all the other priests in Israel. This office was established by God through Moses instructions in the Pentateuch. The high priest functioned as the mediator (another article on "Mediator") between Jehovah and Israel performing sacrifices and rituals like other priests, but in addition acting to expiate the sins of the nation on the annual Day of Atonement. (See excellent article on Priest, Priesthood in Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology) It is a bit ironic that the Jewish high priest Caiaphas was residing over the Sanhedrin during trial of Jesus, the trial which would lead to His death and pave the way for His eternal High Priesthood! Eerdman's Bible Dictionary explains that... The high priest descended from Eleazar, the son of Aaron. The office was normally hereditary and was conferred upon an individual for life (Nu 25:10-13). The candidate was consecrated in a seven-day ceremony which included investiture with the special clothing of his office as well as anointments and sacrifices (Ex 29:1-37; Lev 8:5-35). The high priest was bound to a higher degree of ritual purity than ordinary Levitical priests. He could have no contact with dead bodies, including those of his parents. Nor could he rend his clothing or allow his hair to grow out as signs of mourning. He could not marry a widow, divorced woman, or harlot, but only an Israelite virgin (Lev. 21:10-15). Any sin committed by the high priest brought guilt upon the entire nation and had to be countered by special sacrifice (Lev 4:1-12). Upon a high priest’s death manslayers were released from the cities of refuge (Nu 35:25, 28, 32). (Eerdman's Bible Dictionary) Archiereus occurs only in the Gospels (Matthew - 25 times, Mark 21 times, Luke 15 times, John 20 times), Acts 22 times and Hebrews (see below). The references to the high priests in the Gospels and Acts refers primarily to their bitter opposition to Jesus Who the writer of Hebrews identifies as our everlasting High Priest. Clearly archiereus is a key word in the book of Hebrews, and a review of these 17 verses reveals various characteristics (bold) of Jesus role as the great High Priest (some of the uses of high priest obviously do not refer to Jesus but to the Jewish high priests). Hebrews 2:17 (note) Therefore, He had to be made like His brethren in all things, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. Hebrews 3:1 (note) Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession. Hebrews 4:14 (note) Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. Hebrews 4:15 (note) For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Hebrews 5:1 (note) For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins; Hebrews 5:5 (note) So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee"; Hebrews 5:10 (note) being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. A DIVINE PARENTHESIS Hebrews 6:20 (note) where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:26 (note) For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; Hebrews 7:27 (note) who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins, and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. Hebrews 7:28 (note) For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. Hebrews 8:1 (note) Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, Hebrews 8:3 (note) For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary that this high priest also have something to offer. Hebrews 9:7 (note) but into the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. Hebrews 9:11 (note) But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; Hebrews 9:25 (note) nor was it that He should offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. Hebrews 13:11 (note) For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. In the preceding list of occurrences of "high priest", notice that the the author inserts a "divine parenthesis" between the descriptions of Melchizedek. And so beginning in Hebrews 5:11 and extending through Hebrews 6:19 the writer proceeds to issue another solemn warning to his Jewish audience. Their spiritual immaturity forces him to attempt to arouse them out of their spiritual sloth and lethargy by warning them in unequivocal terms of the serious danger in which they find themselves. According to the order of Melchizedek - What the writer has been trying to convince his Jewish readers of is the truth that Jesus must be a priest of another (different) order, an order which the Jews should have had at least an "inkling" concerning, because it had been clearly declared in Psalm 110 some 1000 years prior to His first advent. Order (5010) (taxis from tasso = arrange in order) means a setting in order, hence order, arrangement, disposition. Tasso was used to describe troops in an order or rank. A military line is ordered and thus unbroken, intact. Tasso is a fixed succession (of rank or character) and here describes a priest of the same order, rank, or quality as Melchizedek. [Heb 7:11], not according to the order or rank of Aaron. CHRIST and MELCHIZEDEK It is instructive to recall how Christ is similar to Melchizedek. (1) Both Christ and Melchizedek were men Hebrews 7:4 (note) Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. 1Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (2) Both were king-priests Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. Zechariah 6:12 "Then say to him, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, "Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.13 "Yes, it is He who will build the temple of the LORD, and He who will bear the honor and sit and rule on His throne. Thus, He will be a priest on His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between the two offices."' (see also notes on "King of kings" Revelation 19:16) (3) Both were appointed directly by God Hebrews 7:21 (note) (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, "THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, 'THOU ART A PRIEST FOREVER'") (4) Both were called "King of righteousness" and "King of peace" Hebrews 7:2 (note) to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace. Isaiah 11:5 Also righteousness will be the belt about His loins, And faithfulness the belt about His waist. Jeremiah 23:5 "Behold, the days are coming," declares the LORD, "When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. Melchizedek (see article Melchizedek or Here) Believers, Jewish and Gentiles now have a great High Priest. The writer is exhorting his readers to hold fast to Him. Don't drift. Don't go back to the ritual and the ceremony of the Aaronic priesthood. There is now a Priest of a totally different order. By way of application to all Gentile believers who read this letter, the writer is saying in essence don't run to anyone else for mercy, for grace, for sympathy, for aid in your time of need. Run to your Great High Priest. Are you in need of mercy, grace, sympathy, help? If you think you are not, then in fact you are in greater need than you can even imagine! I Need Thee Every Hour I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord; No tender voice like Thine can peace afford. Refrain I need Thee, O I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee. I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby; Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh. Refrain I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain; Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain. Refrain I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will; And Thy rich promises in me fulfill. Refrain I need Thee every hour, most Holy One; O make me Thine indeed, Thou blessèd Son. Refrain Words by Annie S Hawks/Music by Robert Lowry - Click to read the fascinating story of how this hymn came into being! It might not be inspired as Scripture is inspired but this powerful hymn certainly appears to have been initiated by God Himself! Ray Stedman sums up Hebrews 5:9,10 writing that these passages... take us to the Cross. Having learned obedience in Gethsemane, Jesus is now perfectly qualified to become at once the sin offering and the high priest who offers it. This anticipates the clause of He 9:14, "through the eternal Spirit [he] offered himself unblemished to God." This perfect sacrifice, offered by the perfect priest, entirely supersedes the Aaronic priesthood and is again designated by God as of the order of Melchizedek. The phrase appears five times in Hebrews and becomes the subject of the epistle from He 5:6 to He 7:28. It is the Melchizedek priesthood that is described by He 2:18: "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." In view of this help so easily available, why do we insist so strenuously on obtaining only human help? The mutual assistance of others like ourselves is scripturally valid and often helpful, but it was never intended to replace the help available from our great "Melchizedek." Let us go boldly and much more frequently to our high priest who sits on the throne of grace, ready and able to help. (Hebrews Commentary) Come, Ye Disconsolate (Play) Come, ye disconsolate, where'er ye languish, Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel. Here bring your wounded heart, here tell your anguish, Earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal!
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