A Study of Hebrews 1:5

Hebrews 1:5
“…I Will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to Me a Son.”

We begin this study by looking at 1 Chronicles 17:1-5. In the previous two chapters you can read the history of how David had brought the Ark of the Covenant to a tent that he had set up in Jerusalem. Now, in chapter 17, David is thinking about building a Temple for the Ark of the Covenant in Jerusalem.

1 Chronicles 17:1
Now it came to pass, as David sat in his house, that David said to Nathan the prophet, Lo, I dwell in an house of cedars, but the ark of the covenant of the LORD remaineth under curtains.

1 Chronicles 17:2
Then Nathan said unto David, Do all that is in thine heart; for God is with thee.

1 Chronicles 17:3
And it came to pass the same night, that the word of God came to Nathan, saying,

1 Chronicles 17:4
Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt not build me an house to dwell in:

1 Chronicles 17:5
For I have not dwelt in an house since the day that I brought up Israel unto this day; but have gone from tent to tent, and from one tabernacle to another.

1 Chronicles 17:6
Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?

1 Chronicles 17:7
Now therefore thus shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, even from following the sheep, that thou shouldest be ruler over my people Israel:

(Watch it now: Who is doing all the activity?)

1 Chronicles 17:8
And I have been with thee whithersoever thou hast walked, and have cut off all thine enemies from before thee, and have made thee a name like the name of the great men that are in the earth.

1 Chronicles 17:9
Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more, as at the beginning,

1 Chronicles 17:10
And since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel. Moreover I will subdue all thine enemies. Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.

1 Chronicles 17:11
And it shall come to pass, when thy days be expired that thou must go to be with thy fathers, that I will raise up thy seed after thee, which shall be of thy sons; and I will establish his kingdom.

1 Chronicles 17:12
He shall build me an house, and I will stablish his throne for ever.

1 Chronicles17:13
I will be his father, and he shall be my son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

1 Chronicles 17:14
But I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for evermore.

1 Chronicles 17:15
According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David.

Here we have a historical passage, but, did you notice those words in verse 13?

Literally, God says in this verse 13: I shall be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.

Who is God speaking about?

Unquestionably, God is speaking about Solomon, the son of David. But at the same time God is using some strange language which does not apply to Solomon at all. God says: “I will establish His throne forever,” and God says: “I will settle him in mine house and in my kingdom for ever: and his throne shall be established for ever”. Three times God uses the word “forever”. That does not apply to Solomon’s kingdom at all! Less than four hundred years later Judah and Jerusalem were totally destroyed by the Babylonians, and thereafter never again did any descendant of Solomon rule as a king from Jerusalem. Never!

Therefore, when you study 1 Chronicles 17, you know that this chapter should not be interpreted literally or historically as if it would apply to Solomon; it should be interpreted spiritually. Now, before we get into too much detail, look at these words of verse 13 again: I shall be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.

Where have we seen these words before?

Perhaps you remember what the sermon of Last week was about?

It was about Hebrews 1:5. More precisely, it was only about the first half of Hebrews 1:5.

Hebrews 1:1
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

Hebrews 1:2
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Hebrews 1:3
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 1:4
Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

(Now, read carefully to verse 5):

Hebrews 1:5
For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

That last verse, verse 5, contains two quotations from the Old Testament. The First one is:

“Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee”. This was a quotation from Psalm 2, a psalm written by David. And when David wrote in Psalm 2:7:

Psalm 2:7
I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

David wrote this Psalm, but God did not intend David to be that Son. God intended Christ to be that Son, because that is what God says in the New Testament in Hebrews 1:5 and in Hebrews 5:5 and in Acts 13:33. Without the information from the New Testament, we would think that God was referring to David. But now we know He was not referring to David, but to Christ! Very similarly, when you trace the second half of Hebrews 1:5, you find a similar conclusion:

Not Solomon, but Christ

Let us read the second half of Hebrews 1:5 again:

Hebrews 1:5
And again, (unto which of the angels said he at any time,) I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?

God is speaking to Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a quotation taken from: 2 Samuel 7:14, 1 Chronicles 17:13, 1 Chronicles 22:10 and 1 Chronicles 28:6. All four of these Old Testament quotations seem to be addressed to Solomon! But in all four of these Old Testament passages God has not Solomon in view, but the Lord Jesus Christ. We know that because God says so in Hebrews 1:5.

What could be the reason for God to make this substitution in personalities?

Why would God use the name David, but actually refer to Christ?

Why would God use the name Solomon, but actually refer to Christ?

You know, every time God makes such a switch in personalities, God is painting a picture and usually God is painting a picture of the Gospel of salvation.

Summary: Let me tell you ahead of time where I am going with this article. I am going to focus on this Old Testament passage 1 Chronicles 17:1-15, and I will let you see it through New Testament eyes, so that we can understand why God chose these peculiar words when He spoke about Solomon. Therefore we will remian focused on 1 Chronicles 17, while we are going to make excursions to various passages in the New Testament to explain what we read in the Old Testament. And we will focus on “I Shall Be to Him a Father, and He Shall Be to Me a Son.”

First, let us look at David. God said to David in 1 Chronicles 17:4:

1 Chronicles 17:4
Go and tell David my servant, Thus saith the LORD, Thou shalt NOT build me an house to dwell in:

Why could David not build the house of God?

In this chapter God does not explain why David was not allowed to build the Temple, but we find the explanation in chapter 22.

David was a man of war (1 Chronicles 22:7-10)

In 1 Chronicles 22, David gave Solomon the task to build the temple, and David told him what God had told David, through the prophet Nathan, and therefore he had already made all the preparations for the building of the temple. And so, He’s addressing Solomon.

1 Chronicles 22:7
And David said to Solomon, My son, as for me, it was in my mind to build an house unto the name of the LORD my God:

1 Chronicles 22:8
But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight.

1 Chronicles 22:9
Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

1 Chronicles 22:10
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

David could not build the temple because he was a man of war and he had shed much blood.

That is what God said. From the historical perspective it does not seem to make much sense. Ever since the children of Israel came out of Egypt and began their conquest of the land of Canaan they have always fought wars and they have shed much blood of the Canaanites. God never faulted them for that. David was a man after God’s own heart and David eagerly desired to build a temple of the LORD.

Why would God have forbidden David to build the temple?

Why was David only allowed to make the preparations for the building, but actually not build it?

The reason is that David was a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ, especially when Christ acted out His ministry on this earth for three and a half years. God has a timetable for everything.

David was a man of war and he had shed much blood. Likewise: The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of war. He had to subdue all the enemies of God. Christ had to wrestle His people out of the clutches of Satan. Only His people! Christ did not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Christ had to bind Satan spiritually and throw Satan and all his angels out of heaven. And He did that by shedding much blood: His own blood. He gave His life for us, dirty rotten sinners whom God chose to be saved.

He died the Second Death!

As our Substitute, Christ had to die in our place the death that we deserved to die, which is the Second Death, the Lake of Fire!

That is what God describes in Revelation 20, when Christ did that.

And it is described in the four gospels. All this was the preparation for building the Temple of God. And until all that preparation was done He could not build the Temple of God. The Bible says: We are the Temple of God. Now, in the New Testament era, God takes up His abode in us!

Now, where in the Bible do we read about the battles of Christ against Satan and against the messengers of Satan and about Christ shedding much blood: His own blood?

It is in the four narrative Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These four narrative Gospels describe the preparations Christ made prior to building His Temple. Before Christ could build the Temple He first had to shed His own blood. But then on Pentecost the building of the Temple could begin with full force. Here in 1 Chronicles 22 God says to David, in verses 9 and 10:

1 Chronicles 22:9
Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days.

1 Chronicles 22:10
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

Again you see the quotation of Hebrews 1:5, but in the reverse order. Literally the Hebrew text says in verse 10: And he shall be to me a son, and I to him a father. And even though God specifically mentions the name Solomon in verse 9, God says in verse 10: “I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever”. For ever, even though the kingdom of David and Solomon came to an end less than four hundred years later.

What is going on here?

God cannot be contradicting Himself!

You see, God is painting another picture: Solomon is also typifying Christ, but now beginning at Pentecost, after He had shed His blood and had ascended into heaven.

Solomon – A Man of Peace

The name Solomon means “Peaceful”. The reign of Solomon was characterized by a forty year period of political peace over the Kingdom, and by the building of the splendid Temple in Jerusalem. That Temple was destroyed almost four hundred years later. That Temple was just a shadow of the real Temple of God, the Temple where God earnestly dwells, which is the Body of Believers. Remember that earthly peace is no peace, but Christ is our Peace. Christ made peace for us through the blood of His cross, to reconcile (to make peace) all things unto himself; all things whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. Christ is called the Prince of Peace, in Isaiah 9.

Not earthly peace. The normal life of a Christian is filled with temptations, and troubles, and persecutions, and all kinds of setbacks as if we are unfit to be a servant of Christ. “But the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).

The peace of God is the inward trust that Christ has paid for all our sins, all of them, and that the Spirit of Christ guides us through the paths of this life in such a way that we become useful servants for Jesus Christ. That is the Kingdom that Christ came to reign over on this earth. That is the Israel of God over which Christ rules forever. That is the Kingdom that God has in view when He said in 1 Chronicles 22:10:

1 Chronicles 22:10
He shall build an house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel for ever.

That is referring to Christ. God says: Solomon, but God has in view Christ, according to Hebrews 1:5. Solomon had the task of building the Temple of God, but everything was already prepared by David.

Laying the foundation of the Temple (Ephesians 2:19-22)

Look at how Christ calls Himself the foundation of the Temple:

Ephesians 2:19
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

Ephesians 2:20
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Ephesians 2:21
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

Ephesians 2:22
In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

The foundation of this Temple is Jesus Christ and the doctrines of Christ as taught by the Apostles and Prophets; In other words, the doctrines of Christ, as taught by the Apostles in the New Testament and the Prophets in the Old Testament. When the time came that the Cornerstone, Christ, was rejected by the builders of the apostate church in Jesus’ days, the Chief Cornerstone was laid when Christ died on the cross. Then the building of the Temple could start in earnest.

Who is building the Temple?

God says in 1 Chronicles 17:10

1 Chronicles 17:10
Furthermore I tell thee that the LORD will build thee an house.

It is God Himself who is building the house for Himself. It is God the Holy Spirit who irresistibly changes the hearts of everyone God intends to save. And what a glorious result: Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. We are no longer strangers and enemies of God, but we have become of the household of God. We have become sons of God. What a glorious position to be in. And it is all a gift of Grace. We did not deserve anything of it. Now, consider again what God says:

“I Shall Be to Him a Father, and He Shall Be to Me a Son.”

Let us now focus on 1 Chronicles 17:13

1 Chronicles 17:13
I Shall Be to Him a Father, and He Shall Be to Me a Son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

To whom is God addressing these words?

Historically God said it to David through the prophet Nathan. God spoke as if this prophecy applied to Solomon, but now we know:

It applies to Christ.

When?

At what point in time did it apply to the Lord Jesus Christ?

Was it when He was born of Mary?

No, not at all! This prophecy was fulfilled when God accepted the complete payment for all our sins: When Christ had been three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, and then He arose from the grave. That is the point in time that God has in view. The context of Hebrews 1:3 dictates that this is the point in time that God has in view:

Hebrews 1:3
Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

It was after Christ had by himself purged our sins and rose from the grave that the Father said to the Lord Jesus in verse 5:

Hebrews 1:5
Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.

Christ is called “the first begotten of the dead” and Christ is called “the Firstborn” because His rising from the dead was the condition for our salvation. His rising from the dead is the cornerstone of our faith. If He did not rise from the dead, our faith is in vain.

It Applies to the Saints.

When?)

When Christ died, we died in Him. When Christ rose from the grave, we rose with Him. Therefore we can say with the Apostle Paul, in Galatians 2:20, as if it applies to us:

Galatians 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Christ’s rising from the dead also typifies the moment of our regeneration.

Regeneration = You are born again.

That is the point in time when God says to us: “I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son.” Now, look again at the words of 1 Chronicles 17:13:

1 Chronicles 17:13
I Shall Be to Him a Father, and He Shall Be to Me a Son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

“I will not take my mercy away”

What does this mean?

Does this not mean that we are absolutely secure in Christ?

We have eternal life! When God builds His house, it is an eternal house. His Kingdom is forever. But now, look again at the words of 1 Chronicles 17:13:

1 Chronicles 17:13
I Shall Be to Him a Father, and He Shall Be to Me a Son: and I will not take my mercy away from him, as I took it from him that was before thee:

Who is God referring to when He said: as I took it from him that was before thee?

Was it king Saul?

Historically God was speaking to king David.

Could God have been referring to king Saul, the one who was before David?

Is it not remarkable that when you read this verse, this passage, Saul’s name is not mentioned?

In fact, king Saul was never saved. God could not have taken His mercy away from him.

But who then is that person from whom the Father had taken away His mercy?

Is it not the Lord Jesus Christ?

Christ, who had to endure God’s wrath without mercy?

There was no mercy for Him!

There was no one else who could take the burden from Him!

No one!

The Bible says that He had to bear the burden all alone. There was no Savior for Him. He was the Savior. He had to bear the full wrath of God in our place. That was the only way He could be our Savior.

Do you realize what God is saying here?

Paraphrased, God is saying that, in order for Him to be our Father so that we could be His adopted sons, the Father had to sacrifice His own Son and put Him through such a horrible ordeal that even His Son was praying for deliverance!

What an immense mercy of God!

It is a Mercy and Love and Grace, far beyond our understanding.

Now, let us turn to another verse in 1 Chronicles 17:9:

Not National Israel, but the Israel of God is in view

1 Chronicles 17:9
Also I will ordain a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, and they shall dwell in their place, and shall be moved no more; neither shall the children of wickedness waste them any more as at the beginning, and since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel.

Who is God talking about?

Well, what is this chapter talking about?

The entire focus of this chapter is the building of the Temple of God. Therefore, not national Israel is in view, but the Israel of God, because the Israel of God is the real Temple of God. The Israel of God will last forever. There are four things mentioned in verse 9: A place, God plants, They dwell there & Tremble no more.

First God ordains a place (John 14:2-3)

How does God do that?

He ordains a place for us. We read for example in John 14:2:

John 14:2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

John 14:3
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Where was the Lord Jesus going when He said: “I go to prepare a place for you”?

He was going to the cross. There is where He was preparing a place for us.

What is that place?

That place is the Kingdom of Christ, because there is where He has many mansions. There is where He is King. Not earthly mansions of brick and mortar. But a heavenly place that is so much more glorious than any earthly dwelling place could possibly describe. God makes us coheirs with Christ. Just think of it: We were born into this world, which the Bible describes as a bottomless pit. A pitch-black pit with no light whatsoever. It is the kingdom of Satan. It is such a deep pit that nobody can lift himself out of it. That is where we were born: No hope whatsoever.

This is how the Bible describes the terrible condition of mankind: We were dead in trespasses and sins. But lo and behold, here and there in this deep dark pit, a little light goes on. These little lights are little enclaves where Christ is King. These little lights are people who have become saved by the Grace of God, and by the power of God they have been translated out of the kingdom of Satan and placed in the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ. These little lights in that dark pit are the Israel of God. From the time that God gives us this light of the Gospel, God says: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

It is God who will plant them

If it is God who gave us this light, purely by Grace, then it is again God who must give this light to whosoever He will, or else it is not Grace. It is God who will save whom He will. And those whom God saves become firmly rooted in Christ.

They shall dwell there (John 14:3)

John 14:3
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

The Lord Jesus is going to come again on the Last Day. Then He will raise our bodies from the grave as glorified bodies, we will be reunited with our souls and so will we forever be with the Lord. We will be there in the New Heaven and the New Earth where only righteousness dwells.

They shall tremble no more (John 14:27)

When we are together with the Lord in the life hereafter, nothing shall make us afraid.

But already when we belong to Christ here on this earth, we fear no man, because we are forever secure in Christ.

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Peace, in spite of all the troubles we are in peace.

Is it not amazing how Almighty God has gone out of His way to pour His Grace upon rebellious sinners like us?

People, who are conspiring to do away with God!

You see it happens all throughout the world. But God had mercy on some of us and saved us. And God says to us: I will be to you a Father, and you shall be to me a Son.

By Alfred Chompff

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