The role of a high priest (Heb 5:1)

“Every high priest,

Chosen from among mortals,

Is put in charge

Of things

Pertaining to God

On their behalf,

To offer gifts

And sacrifices

For sins.”

Πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς ἐξ ἀνθρώπων λαμβανόμενος ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων καθίσταται τὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, ἵνα προσφέρῃ δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίας ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν,

This author said, “Every high priest (Πᾶς γὰρ ἀρχιερεὺς), chosen (λαμβανόμενος) from among mortal men (ἐξ ἀνθρώπων), is put in charge (καθίσταται) of things pertaining to God (ὰ πρὸς τὸν Θεόν) on their behalf (ὑπὲρ ἀνθρώπων), to offer (ἵνα προσφέρῃ) gifts (δῶρά) and sacrifices (τε καὶ θυσίας) for sins (ὑπὲρ ἁμαρτιῶν).”  This author explained the role of a high priest.  First, he is chosen, elected, or appointed from other mortal men.  He then is put in charge of the divine things on behalf of all other humans.  Thus, he offers gifts and sacrifices to God for human sins.  He is the mediator between humans and God.  Originally, he was called by God, but by the time of Jesus Christ, it was a political appointment.  Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first Israelite high priest.  During the time of the kings, the high priest had only religious obligations.  However, during the late second Temple period, this high priest took on a political significance because there were no legal Jewish authorities in the occupied land of Judah.  Thus, the high priest was both a religious and political leader in the first century of the common era.  Have you ever met a high priest?

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