Article The New Creation in Hebrews 1:10-12

Ray Faircloth

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The New Creation in Hebrews 1:10-12



Perhaps the most difficult passage to grasp as concerning the new creation is the passage in Hebrews 1:10-12 which says:



“You [Jesus], Lord, laid the earth’s foundations in the beginning, and the heavens are made by your hands. They will pass away, but you remain. They will all wear out like old clothes. You will fold them up like a coat. They will be changed like a person changes clothes, but you stay the same, and the years of your life won’t come to an end” (CEB).



As noted earlier, some 50 texts, including Isaiah 44:24 and Hebrews 4:4 show that only Yahweh produced the material creation. So, this text in Hebrews 1:10-12 is speaking of a different and future “laying of the foundation of the earth” in harmony with all the texts which speak of “the new heavens and new earth” based on the new creation.



THE CONTEXT of the future earth in the Kingdom is found in the following statements in Hebrews: Firstly, ‘“But regarding the Son, ‘Your throne, O god, lasts for ever and ever; the sceptre of true justice is the sceptre of your kingdom …” (Heb. 1:8). Please note this is a quotation from Ps. 45:6 in the NAB where “god” refers to the king). Secondly, the future is spoken of in the next chapter of Hebrews stating: “For He has not subjected to angels the world [age] to come that we are talking about” (Heb. 2:5 CSB). The Oxford Bible Commentary notes that up to Hebrews 2:5 the subject is “the inhabited earth to come” and Hebrews 1:10 is included in that main theme which notes that:



The text at the center of Heb. 2:5ff. is Ps. 8:4-6 and it exhibits thematic connections to the scriptural catena of the first chapter …Heb. 2:5 is an introductory comment continuing the contrast between the Son and angels. Its reference to the “world to come” reinforces the notions of imminent judgment and cosmic transformation intimated by Ps. 102, cited at 1:10-12.



Hebrews 1:10-12

Is from Psalm 101:25-27 in the LXX


The writer of Hebrews 1:10-12 has quoted from Psalm 101 in the Greek Septuagint. This is Chapter 102 in the Hebrew Masoretic text (in our regular Bibles) and in which only one person is speaking throughout, namely the suppliant. However, in the Septuagint two people are shown to be speaking. The suppliant is speaking up to verse 22 after which God is seen to be addressing the suppliant as Lord (but not His Lord) as the one laying the foundation of the future world.



NOTE: The word “lord” was not in the Masoretic text, but in the ancient Hebrew text from which the Septuagint was translated.



In the New International Commentary–The Epistle To The Hebrews F.F. Bruce explains the situation in this Psalm:

In the Septuagint text the person to whom these words [“of old you laid the foundation of the earth”] are spoken is addressed explicitly as “Lord”; … and it is God who addresses him thus. Whereas in the Hebrew text the suppliant is the speaker from the beginning to the end of the psalm, in the Greek text his prayer comes to an end with v. 22, and the next words read as follows:

“He [God] answered him [the suppliant] in the way of his strength: ‘Declare to Me the shortness of My days: Bring Me not up in the midst of My days. Thy [the suppliant’s] years are throughout all generations. Thou, lord [the suppliant, understood here as the Messiah in Hebrews], in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth.’”

This is God’s answer to the suppliant; He bids him acknowledge the shortness of God’s set time (for the restoration of Jerusalem, as in v. 13) and not summon Him [God] to act when that set time has only half expired, while He [God] assures him [the suppliant, called lord by God] that he and his servants’ children will be preserved forever… But to whom (a Christian reader of the Septuagint might well ask) could God speak in words like these? And whom would God himself address as “Lord,” as the maker [or founder] of earth and heaven?





Footnote:

Bacon suggested that the Hebrew, as well as the Greek, text of this psalm formed a basis for messianic eschatology, especially its reference to the “shortness” of God’s days, i.e., of the period destined to elapse before the consummation of His purpose [the arrival of the yet future Messianic Kingdom on earth]; he found here the OT background of Matt. 24:22, Mark 13:20 and Ep. Barn. 4.3 (“as Enoch says, ‘For to this end the Master [God] has cut short the times and the days, that his Beloved [Jesus] should make haste and come to his inheritance’”) p.62-63.



The Roles Reverse – Now God Speaks​



Psalm 101:23 Septuagint Greek: “He [God] answered him [Messiah] in the way of his strength.”

Psalm 102:23 NASB Masoretic Hebrew: “He has weakened my strength in the way.”



The Septuagint was translated from a much older Hebrew manuscript where the vowel pointing over this phrase was different to that which was over the phrase in the Masoretic text. The author of Hebrews had before him the Septuagint reading of Psalm 101/102 when he quoted verses 25-27 in Hebrews 1:10-12. Also, in the article “Heb. 1:10-12 and the Septuagint Rendering of Ps. 102:23,” B.W. Bacon explained that:



the whole passage down to the end of the psalm becomes the answer of Yahweh to the suppliant who accordingly appears to be addressed as Kurie and creator of heaven and earth...Instead of understanding the verse as a complaint of the psalmist at the shortness of his days which are cut off in the midst, LXX and the Vulgate understand the utterance to be Yahweh's answer to the psalmist’s plea that he will intervene to save Zion, because “it is time to have pity on her, yea, the set time is come” (v. 13). He is bidden acknowledge (or prescribe?) the shortness of Yahweh’s set time, and not to summon him when it is but half expired. On the other hand he [the Messianic lord] is promised that his own endurance shall be perpetual with the children of his servants.

Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 3, 1902, p. 280-285.​



THE SUPPLIANT SPEAKING ABOUT THE NEW CREATION

Psalm 101:13-22 Masoretic or Septuagint:

“You will rise and have compassion on Zion…16 When Yahweh builds Zion, he will appear in his glory…18 This will be written down for a future generation, so that a people yet to be created may praise Yah: and set free those who were condemned to death…21 Yahweh’s name is announced in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem 22 when nations and kingdoms gather to worship Yahweh” (Verses 13, 16, 18, 20-22 NOG).



The scene is the time of the end after future Jerusalem has been destroyed and then is to be rebuilt. God appears, as represented by Messiah, to gather the future generation of New Creation people, including resurrected ones. Then, “the kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ” (Rev. 11:15).



Messiah as Agent of the New Creation​



The New Creation is mentioned several times in the New Testament and showing that Jesus is its agent as prophesied:



“And I [Yahweh] shall put my words in your [Messiah’s] mouth, and with the shadow of my hand I shall certainly cover you, in order to plant the heavens and lay the foundation of the earth and say to Zion, ‘You are my people’” (Isa. 51:16).



With reference to Isaiah 51:16 The Word Biblical Commentary says:



Yahweh introduces Himself again, but this time in terms of His control of the raging sea. He addresses the one He is using to put His words into his mouth and protecting him very carefully. The purpose of this care is to allow him to plant heavens and earth. This makes no sense if it refers to the original Creation…In other instances God acts alone using no agent (Isa. 44:24). Here the one whom He has hidden in his hand is His agent. Heavens and Land here refers metaphorically to the totality of order in Palestine. Heaven means the broader overarching structure of the empire, while ‘land’ is the political order in Palestine itself.



So, the following Scriptures as focused on earlier demonstrate that God, through Christ as agent, creates the body of Christians i.e., the new creation:



“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17 NET).

“…the only thing that matters is a new creation!”
(Gal. 6:15 NET).

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…”
(Eph. 2:10).



The writer to the Hebrews speaks of “good things” that evidently reflect the agency of Jesus in the New Creation because of his sacrifice and High Priesthood, saying:



“But Christ has already come as the High Priest of the good things that are already here. The tent in which he serves is greater and more perfect; it is not a tent made by human hands, that is, it is not a part of this created world” (Heb. 9:11 GNT).



Indeed, the Septuagint Psalm 101/Hebrews 1:10 statement of, “In the beginning” refers to the first of Jesus’ creative works in laying the foundation for the New Creation by his sacrifice. These words are entirely forward looking to the New Creation, as is Isaiah 51:16 and part of the first chapter of Hebrews. Furthermore, the writer of Hebrews chapter one is comparing the superiority of Jesus over the angels. So, by taking the Psalm 101 reapplied text in the Septuagint of a future creation, the writer shows that the Lord Messiah laid the foundation of the New Creation for the Millennium. Jesus is once again shown to have become superior to angels because he is agent of that New Creation—something that no angel can be.

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Key Proof Texts Against a Literally

Pre-Existent Jesus



Jesus Was Never an Archangel

Heb. 1:5 and 13:

“To which of the angels did God ever say, ‘You are my Son’.” Therefore, Jesus was not an archangel.



Dan. 10:13: Michael, one of the foremost (“chief” Gk arche) princes.” An archangel is still an angel.



1 Cor. 15:46:

“It is not the spiritual that is first; but the natural; then the spiritual.” Jesus had a natural body first.

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Jesus Was Not the Creator of the Universe

Isa. 44:24:

“I am Yahweh who made everything. I stretched out the heavens by myself. Who was with me?”



Isa. 45:1, 12

“Yahweh…I who made the earth…mine were the hands that spread out the heavens.”


(Also, Isa. 48:13; Jer. 10:12; Job 9:8; 38:4, 7; and Neh. 9:6)



Mark 13:19: “The creation which God created.”



Matt. 19:4: “He (God) who created them from the beginning.”



Acts 17:24: “The God who made the world and everything in it.”



Gen. 2:3: “God has been resting from all the work he has created.” If Jesus were the creator he would have rested.



Heb. 3:4: “The builder of everything is God.” Not Jesus!



Jesus is head of the New Creation: Col. 1:17; Heb. 1:10-12; Rev. 3:14 by examination of the context.

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Jesus Came into Existence in Mary

Luke 1:35:

“Holy spirit/power will overshadow you. Precisely for this reason the child being brought into existence (Gk gennomenon) ...will be called God’s son.” ‘Begotten’ means “brought into existence” and exactly for this reason.



Matt. 1:1 “The book of the origin (Gk genesis) of Jesus…” Then all of Jesus’ ancestors from Abraham are shown, but nothing about pre-existence.



Matt. 1:18, 20:

“the origin (Gk genesis) of Jesus was this way ... the child fathered (Gk gennethen = brought into existence) in her [i.e., Mary] is by holy spirit.



Gal. 4:4:

“His son having come into existence (Gk genomenon)...from (not through) a woman.”

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Messiah Was Prophesied to Come into Existence as Fully Human

Acts 3:22: “Raised up a prophet like [Moses] from among his brothers” (Deut. 18:18).

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No Pre-Existence in the History of Jesus


Luke 1:3, 4: Luke says: “I traced all things from the beginning accurately…orderly.” In this chronological account there is no mention of any pre-existence, but Jesus as Son of God comes into existence in Mary’s womb (Luke 1:35) as above.



Luke 2:52: “Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favour with God and man.” (Not needed if he pre-existed. Recollection of a past life would have rendered his temptations futile).



Heb. 1:1-2: “Now at the end of these days he has spoken to us by means of a son.” So, Jesus could not have been the angel of Yahweh or any other spirit being leading Israel out of Egypt etc.



Acts 3:26: “God having raised up His servant [Jesus], sent him to you.” Raised up in the scene of history at his birth and then sent (commissioned at baptism) to preach to Israel, like any other prophet – not sent from heaven.



Phil. 2:6-7: when correctly rendered shows Jesus as having “the visible form of God” but taking “the visible form of a servant.”

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Notional/Ideal (Conceptual) Pre-existence – as Foreordained – Known in God’s Mind

Rom. 4:17: “God…calls things which do not yet exist as though they already exist.”



Rev. 13:8: Jesus was “the lamb slaughtered from the foundation of the world.” – not literally slaughtered, but in God’s mind as His plan.



1 Pet. 1:20: [Jesus] was foreknown before the foundation of the world.” This is not the same as “known” but has the thought of pre-destined and so not then literally existing, but only an idea in God’s mind.



John 16:25: “These things I have spoken to you in figurative language.” So, in Jesus’ sayings in John’s gospel a very large number are not subject to a literal interpretation.

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NOTE

John 1:1-3 “Word i.e. logos” for over 300 times in the NT is not a person. The Greek word autos can be rendered as “it” not “he” as in over 40 NT translations.



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LeeB

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Both Jesus and his God are called Lord in Greek that did not distinguish the Lord God from the Lord Jesus Christ in the new testament in all verses. The Lord Yahweh is the God and Father of the Lord Yeshua. Yahweh is the creator, Yeshua is His son.
 

LeeB

Well-known member
Dec 3, 2022
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Revelation 3:14. "The beginning of the creation of God." 2 Corinthians 1:20. The promises of God; everlasting life and impeccably in His kingdom. This is the new creation. It is not speaking of Genesis 1 but Genesis 2. The second Adam, Christ. The second Eve, the church. The second covenant, life not death. Jesus was the first of this new creation, the first born of many brethren. The first Adam was a shadow, the second a great light. Yahweh is the creator of Genesis 1 & 2. Genesis 1 provides the raw material needed for God to bring them into Genesis 2. Genesis 1 will someday pass away but Genesis 2 is forever.