Hebrews 5:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 5:1, NIV: Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 5:1, ESV: For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.

Hebrews 5:1, KJV: For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

Hebrews 5:1, NASB: For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of people in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins;

Hebrews 5:1, NLT: Every high priest is a man chosen to represent other people in their dealings with God. He presents their gifts to God and offers sacrifices for their sins.

Hebrews 5:1, CSB: For every high priest taken from among men is appointed in matters pertaining to God for the people, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins.

What does Hebrews 5:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Chapter 4 closed with a description of Jesus' connection to mankind. His full humanity allows Him to understand what human temptation is like. So, as this verse continues to explain, He is able to act as a proper high priest. This role requires the priest to communicate between God and men. This includes making offerings for sin.

Earlier portions of Hebrews explained that Messiah had to be human, not merely some angelic being (Hebrews 2:17). One reason for this is the issue explored between the end of chapter 4 and the beginning of chapter 5. In order for Messiah to truly represent humanity, as a priest, He had to be human. Without humanity, He would not be able to sympathize with human weaknesses (Hebrews 4:15), would not be able to act as a mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5), and would not be someone we could approach in confidence (Hebrews 4:16).

The idea of being "appointed" in this verse is important. A true priest is not someone who simply decides to take on the task. They have to be selected for that role by God. One cannot simply declare, "I'm a priest" and make it so. This is even more critical for a high priest, who acts on behalf of all people. Jesus' appointment to the role of our ultimate High Priest will be further explained using examples from the Old Testament, such as Aaron and Melchizedek. This verse summarizes the details seen in verses 4, 5, and 6.