Hebrews 5:11-6:3


This is the third time the writer takes a break in the discussion of the book to warn the readers.


“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.”


περί                  ὅς           πολύς              ἡμᾶς                   λόγος         καί           δυσερμήνευτος

Concerning   whom     much               to us           the    word          and          hard to interpret


λέγω                    ἐπεί                 νωθρός                     γίνομαι                                  ἀκοή

to say                since                dull                  you have become                       hearings



“Whom” refers to Melchizedek and what his priesthood represented in relationship to Christ’s priesthood.


Jewish theologians were familiar with Melchizedek but not as concerned with him as with Aaron and the priesthood of Aaron.

Some of the Jewish thoughts concerning Melchizedek:

  1. Melchizedek was Shem, Noah’s son.
  2. A prototype of the great priest of the age to come but not the Messiah of Psalm 110:1
  3. Melchizedek’s priesthood was believed to have been taken from him for blessing Abraham before he blessed God.
  4. the  Qumran text quotes regulations for the Year of Jubilee and associates this with the Jewish return from exile which began with a proclamation by Melchizedek.


δυσερμήνευτος “dusermaneutos” means:

  1. difficult to explain
  2. difficult to interpret
  3. hard to explain


λέγω “lego” “to say” It is present indicative active


νωθρός “nothroi” denotes lazy or sluggish.  They were lazy and sluggish in their hearings.  This could easily become their level of understanding and living.

  1. The word was used of the numbed limbs of a sick lion
  2. It is used to describe someone who is lazy in the LXX
  3. The verb form is used to refer to a sickness.


γίνομαι “ginomai” (perfect indicative active) is “have become” indicates this is not their natural state.  The perfect shows it was a state or condition.


Spiritual Truths in Spiritual Words – First Corinthians 2:6

Do not neglect your gift – 1 Timothy 4:14

Fan into Flame – 2 Timothy 1:6




“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again.  You need milk, not solid food!”


και        γαρ           οφειλοντες           ειναι              διδασκαλοι               δια               τον           χρονον

For      indeed        owing                    to be             teachers            because of       the         time


παλιν           χρειαν              εχετε                  του                    διδασκειν                  υμας            τινα

again            need               you have                                  to teach                     you            someone


τα                στοιχεια               της                  αρχης                     των                λογιων              του             

the              rudiments           of the            beginnings           of the              oracles               of


θεου        και         γεγονατε               χρειαν        εχοντες            γαλακτος     και        ου   στερεας  τροφης

of God    and     you have become     need          having            of milk         and      not     of solid   food


οφειλοντες “owe”, “to be obligated”, “one must”.  Their spiritual obligation was to be teachers of the truth by this time.


διδασκαλοι “didaskaloi” is “teachers” This word for teachers is  informal and does not necessarily mean a trained theologian.  The Stoic and the Christian view of teaching was that anyone who had an understanding could share it with others.


στοιχεια “rudiments” “basic elements”

  1. The basic material that makes up the universe
  2. The A, B, C’s that make up words, sentences, and books.


These believers understood spiritual truths at a very low, elementary level.

This is called “the beginnings of the oracles of God”.  These would be the same as:

  1. “the beginnings of Christ” (6:1)
  2. “milk” (5:12)
  3. These are the simpler matters of doctrine.
  4. 1 Corinthians 3:12
  5. 1 Peter 2:2 the milk is for beginners but it is not inferior





“Anyone who lives on milk being still an infant is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.”


πας     γαρ     ο      μετεχων      γαλακτος        απειρος                     λογου           δικαιοσυνης

Every  For    one   partaking    of milk       without experience    of the word   of righteousness


νηπιος       γαρ        εστιν

an infant   for       he is


απειρος “apeiros” means unskilled, a person with out experience, untried, ignorant


λογου  δικαιοσυνης “word of righteousness” refers to the teachings and ways of God that come to a believer and change their lives and themselves into the image of Christ.




“But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”


τελειων              δε       εστιν       η        στερεα       τροφη       των       δια            την        εξιν       τα

of mature men  but        is        the       solid           food        of the    because   the   condition   the


 αισθητηρια         γεγυμνασμενα                     εχοντων          προς                  διακρισιν

faculties                having been exercised        having              for                   distinction


καλου           τε          και             κακου

of good       both       and         of bad


τελειων “teleion” means perfect, mature and refers to those who should take on adult responsibilities.


εξιν “exin” “constant use” means it is a habit.  It is the habit of body and mind indicating not the process but the result or the character.  Physically it is the ability and condition gained by exercise.


αισθητηρια “faculties” or “senses” The word refers to the sense organ that produce sight, taste, smell sound.  Here it is a reference to the “spiritual sense” organs.  This is spiritual sensitivity.


γεγυμνασμενα “gegumnasmena” “constant use” means to exercise or train by exercise.


διακρισιν “distinguish, decide, make a judgment between two things.


The goal of spiritual training is to develop the spiritual sensitivity so you can discern between good and evil.



Romans 12:1 -2 – Renew your mind

1 Timothy 4:8 – Physical and spiritual training



“Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God,”




“Instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.



“And God permitting, we will do so.”