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Who are Solomon's/Jesus' (depending on your view) "companions" in the phrase παρα τους μετοχους σου ?

Heb 1:8 ISV But about the Son he says, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and the scepter of your kingdom is a righteous scepter. Heb 1:9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. That is why God, your God, anointed you rather than your companions with the oil of gladness."

Heb 1:8 προς δε τον υιον ο θρονος σου ο θεος εις τον αιωνα του αιωνος και ραβδος ευθυτητος η ραβδος της ευθυτητος ραβδος της βασιλειας σου Heb 1:9 ηγαπησας δικαιοσυνην και εμισησας ανομιαν δια τουτο εχρισεν σε ο θεος ο θεος σου ελαιον αγαλλιασεως παρα τους μετοχους σου

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In chapters 1 and 2, the writer of Hebrews mounted a rhetorical argument to prove the superiority of the Son, identified in 2:9 as Jesus, over angels. In this short passage the writer assembled 11 quotations and several more allusions to both biblical and apocryphal literature to make his point.

Verses 8 and 9 quote the Septuagint (Greek translation) of Psalm 45, a ‘love song’ describing a royal wedding. The selected passage addresses the king-groom: (Ps.45:7-8, JPS)

  Your divine throne is everlasting;
     your royal scepter is a scepter of equity.
  You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
     rightly has God, your God, chosen to anoint you
     with oil of gladness over all your peers.  

While the royal princess is also described as being escorted by “maidens in her train, her companions” (v.15), the king’s peers or ‘companions’ (חָבֵר, chaber) appear to relate to his anointing as king, not the wedding party. In the psalm, the king’s ‘companions’ were the other contenders for the throne from among whom God chose this man to be king.

Given the lack of exposition in Hebrews, it is unclear how many of the psalm’s details the writer intended to apply, metaphorically, to Jesus. But within the context of the superiority argument, we can at least safely infer the writer claimed God chose Jesus over his heavenly ‘companions’, i.e. the angels. Commentators often assume further parallels as well.

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From its beginning, the book of Hebrews conveys the truth of Christ's superiority over creatures. In other words, Christ is better than all prophets, angels, and priests because of his divinity. The author of Hebrews makes use of several messianic psalms in chapter 1 to show Christ's unique relationship His divine father.

Hebrews 1:9 quotes Psalms 45:7:

Psa 45:7 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (ASV)

The fellows, or companions, are kings of less worthiness to assume the eternal throne. Yes, Israel's kings were specifically anointed to reign, but their reigns were temporal. The previous verse, Psalms 45:6, specifies the one who would assume the throne forever would be no less than God Himself:

Psa 45:6 Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of equity is the sceptre of thy kingdom.

While some would say that Psalms 45 is specifically about David's son Solomon, this can not be true. Solomon's reign came to an end. And Solomon was not divine.

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  • you have made several missteps. Chapter 1 shows the superiority of being a "son" rather than an "angel": Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name ["designation"] than they [son, vs angel]. The first quote is about Solomon (see 2 Sam 7:14-15). The term "anointed" is referring to celebratory oil, not prophetic unction. And "o god" is followed up with "God, thy God" to distinguish Solomon's high status from his God's. Jesus' reign will end. – user10231 Oct 5 '15 at 23:40
  • @wilberteric The addressing the everlasting throne to God's throne in heaven is kind of subjective, in this verse (Ps 45:6). I know many do, but from what I've read it appears to be addressing the Davidic kingship and the throne they sat on. In fact that's the way I took it. One place I found this was in the comments on the NET bible found here, net.bible.org/#!bible/Psalms+45:6 Scroll down to verse 6 and click on the #19 next to "permanent". – seedy3 Oct 5 '15 at 23:40
  • @seedy The messianic are Psalms written solely about Jesus Christ the Son of God. Take Peter's inspired use of the Psalms for instance. In Acts 2:29, and 2:34. He argues that David did not write about himself because David body still was in the grave vs 29, and David not part of the conversation between two persons called Lord vs 34. If we apply messianic Psalms applicable to earthly kings (like David, Solomon etc) we destroy the biblical evidence of Christ's resurrection, ascension, and eternal reign. – wilberteric Oct 6 '15 at 1:26
  • Not enough factual evidence wilberteric , all bible scholars would agree that psalms were wrote about David's experience – user8377 Oct 6 '15 at 9:09
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    @wilberteeric I know that nearly ever person of the Christian faith will tell you that, but on an objective study, they are not. I agree with talmudist. Accrediting a Psalm to Jesus is subjective and open to interpretation. The NT is full of application of OT scripture saying it points to Jesus, but they (the writers) again used the scriptures subjectively. If you ask a Rabbi about many of these scriptures he'll tell you why the Jews do not see them that way. – seedy3 Oct 6 '15 at 23:02

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