Original Research

Hebrews 5:7 as the cry of the Davidic sufferer

Timothy Bertolet
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 51, No 1 | a2286 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v51i1.2286 | © 2017 Timothy Bertolet | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 June 2017 | Published: 20 October 2017

About the author(s)

Timothy Bertolet, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa and Lancaster Bible College, Faith Bible Fellowship Church of York, United States


This article proposes a better source for the Son’s cry in Hebrews 5:7. It begins by surveying sources previous scholars have identified, including Jesus’ cry in Gethsemane and Golgotha, several Psalms, and the Maccabean martyr literature. It is then argued that these background sources for the language are insufficient. Instead the author of Hebrews has an entire motif from the Psalter as his informing source: the Davidic figure that cries out in trust to be delivered from a death-like experience. Firstly, the motif of the Davidic righteous suffering in the LXX Psalms is demonstrated. Secondly, Hebrews’ use of the Messianic royal figure is demonstrated and thirdly, Hebrews 5:7 as a portrait of the Christ who cries out for deliverance is demonstrated. Thus, Hebrews 5:7 sees the Son as the Davidic king who is the true representative human exercising trust in YHWH, bringing to fulfilment the theme from various Psalms.


Hebrews; intertextuality; Messianism; suffering


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