New Defender's Study Bible Notes
5:1 high priest. The high priest in Israel had, supposedly, three qualifications. He was “taken from among men,” must “have compassion” (Hebrews 5:2), and be “called of God” (Hebrews 5:4).
5:1 gifts and sacrifices. The “gifts” offered were for thanksgiving; the sacrifices were for repentance, to seek forgiveness.
5:5 said unto him. Quoting Psalm 2:7, already quoted once in Hebrews 1:5, indicating the importance of this prophetic Messianic psalm.
5:6 in another place. This verse quotes Psalm 110:4 also quoted in Hebrews 5:10; 6:20; 7:17,21. Christ met all requirements for the priesthood, except that of descent from Aaron. However, he was of another priestly order, greater even than that of Aaron and Levi.
5:6 Melchisedec. Melchizedec was the mysterious priest/king who met Abraham when he returned from defeating the marauding confederation of kings from the north (see Genesis 14:17-19). In the Genesis account, he is merely called “king of Salem” (meaning “peace”) and “priest of the most high God” (the Hebrew name is El Elyon, “highest God”). The identity of Melchizedec has been vigorously debated. He is discussed in greater detail in Hebrews 7:1-21.
5:8 learned he obedience. See note on Hebrews 2:10. What He knew by omniscience, He “learned” by experience, thus “being made perfect”—not as God (for as God He was eternally perfect, by definition), but as man.
5:9 eternal salvation. There are only three adjectives used in the New Testament to describe our salvation. It is “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3), “eternal salvation” in this verse, and “the common salvation” (Jude 3).
5:10 order of Melchisedec. There are no less than six references in Hebrews to the “order” of Melchizedek, quoting Psalm 110:4. This term ordinarily would indicate a succession of priests holding this office. None are ever mentioned, however, in the long interval from Melchizedek to Christ, an anomaly which seemingly can be resolved only by assuming that Melchizedek and Christ are really the same person. Thus the order is eternally vested in Him and Him alone.
5:12 ought. This is a strong word, meaning “have a duty.” The Jewish Christians to whom the author was writing were still involved in legalism and in speculations about the nature of Christ. They had professed faith in Christ, but were still “babes,” needing spiritual milk (I Corinthians 3:1).
5:12 oracles of God. The “oracles of God” is a striking synonym for the Scriptures. See Romans 3:2; I Peter 4:11; Acts 7:38.
5:13 useth milk. See I Peter 2:2. Babes in Christ need to feed on the milk of the Word, but they should not always remain babes.
5:14 of full age. “Of full age” is literally “of mature maturity,” essentially the same as “perfection” (Hebrews 6:1).
5:14 senses. “Senses” here means “esthetic senses” (Greek aistheterion), used only this once in the New Testament. It implies a sort of spiritual intuition, by which the sensitive Christian can more or less automatically discern whether something is right or wrong. However, this sense is developed only by attaining real maturity in the Scriptures.