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Who is the "lower" according to Psalm 8:5, man or angels?

Psalm 8:5 says God has made man a little lower than angels. Does that mean angels are above man?

Psalms 8:3 - 9

ESV - 3 When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place. 4 What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Clarify Share Report Asked January 17 2019 00 036 GREGORY LAMPTEY

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the psalm is expressing the thought that God created man to be just a little lower than the angels, with the implication of the honor that that description would entail. (In fact, other uses in Scripture (such as in 2 Chronicles 35:21 and Job 32:2) of the same Hebrew word ("meelohim" in English) that was translated "angels" in the King James Version of Psalm 8:5 are rendered (even by the King James Version itself) as "God", which would indicate an even more exalted status being expressed with respect to man's position, with man being (in that case) equal to or even above the angels.

Also, 1 Peter 1:12 indicates that even angels long for greater insight into the plan of human salvation that was foretold by God's prophets in the Old Testament, and that was fulfilled in Christ, which would again seem to imply greater honor being bestowed on humans than on angels.

January 17 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Constantine Levis
The Old Testament text quoted in Hebrews 2: 6– 8 is Psalm 8: 4– 6. 

The Hebrew reads that humankind was created “a little lower than the elohim.” And this is how it was in Eden. Humans were lesser than elohim— but God’s plan was to elevate humanity to be included in his family, and take charge of God’s new earthly domain. 

4 For in subjecting all things, he left nothing that was not subject to him. But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.
9 but we see Jesus, for a short time made lower than the angels, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that apart from God he might taste death on behalf of everyone (Heb 2: 8– 9).

March 07 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Good question, GREGORY! I would have to say that man has been made a little lower than God rather than that man has been made a little lower than the angels. God crowned man to have dominion over the creatures (Gen 1) and that would include angels. It is critical here in the translation of Psalm 8:5 that Elohim means God. Nowhere else in the Old Testament is it translated angels. 

I realize that in Hebrews 2:7 elohim can mean angels, but not in Psalm 8:5. Angels are servants (Hebrews 1:14, a verse I taught the kids at church for 14 years) and one day we will judge angels (1 Corinthians 6).

May 18 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Daniel Veler
The answer your looking for is in Hebrews 2: 7: Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

Hope this helps.

March 09 2024 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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