This is a difficult verse. We do not understand its meaning completely, and some things are not clear. But let us understand what we can.
Our first problem is to find these words in the Old Testament (the first 39 books in the Bible). Probably, they come from Deuteronomy 32:43. But if you look at that verse in your Bible, you may not find these words. They are not present in most old copies of Deuteronomy in its original language (called Hebrew). But they do appear, with other extra words, in an ancient translation called the Septuagint. The Septuagint is in a language called Greek.
The Septuagint is not always a very good translation. Many people used to think that it included these words by mistake. But we now know that this is not correct. That is because people have discovered a much more ancient Hebrew copy of Deuteronomy. It was in a cave near the Dead Sea in Israel. And it includes these words.
The words come from a song that Moses wrote just before his death (Deuteronomy chapter 32). He described how God chose the nation called Israel. But its people refused to obey him. God said that he should act against them, to destroy their nation completely. But that would bring no honour to him. So, instead, God would be very kind to his people. When their enemies were too strong for them, God would save them. And that is when these words appear: ĎLet all Godís angels (his special servants) worship (give honour to) him.í
The author of Hebrews says that, by these words, God tells the angels to give honour to his Son. That may surprise us, because Moses seems to say nothing about Godís Son. But in fact, we can see that Moses is describing the work of Godís Son. God sent his Son into the world to save people (John 3:17). And that did not just mean people from Israel. It includes people from all the nations, as Paul says in Romans 15:10. That is another surprise, because that verse in Romans refers again to Deuteronomy 32:43! And, of course, Deuteronomy 32:43 is the same verse that Hebrews 1:6 refers to.
So it is clear that Deuteronomy 32:43 really is about Godís Son. Hebrews 1:6 calls him Ďthe firstborní, which means the first and most important son in a family. Jesus is the first and most important Son in Godís family, as Hebrews 2:11 explains.
Next part: The greatness of angels (Hebrews 1:7)
Please use the links at the top of the page to find our other articles in this series. You can download all our articles if you go to the download page for our free 450 page course book.
© 2014, Keith Simons.