New American Bible (Revised Edition)
God’s Promise Immutable. 13 [a](A)When God made the promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, “he swore by himself,” 14 and said, “I will indeed bless you and multiply” you.(B) 15 And so, after patient waiting,(C) he obtained the promise.[b] 16 Human beings swear by someone greater than themselves; for them an oath serves as a guarantee and puts an end to all argument. 17 So when God wanted to give the heirs of his promise an even clearer demonstration of the immutability of his purpose, he intervened with an oath,(D) 18 so that by two immutable things,[c] in which it was impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to hold fast to the hope that lies before us.(E) 19 This we have as an anchor of the soul,(F) sure and firm, which reaches into the interior behind the veil,[d] 20 where Jesus has entered on our behalf as forerunner, becoming high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.(G)Read full chapter
- 6:13 He swore by himself: God’s promise to Abraham, which he confirmed by an oath (“I swear by myself,” Gn 22:16) was the basis for the hope of all Abraham’s descendants.
- 6:15 He obtained the promise: this probably refers not to Abraham’s temporary possession of the land but to the eschatological blessings that Abraham and the other patriarchs have now come to possess.
- 6:18 Two immutable things: the promise and the oath, both made by God.
- 6:19 Anchor…into the interior behind the veil: a mixed metaphor. The Holy of Holies, beyond the veil that separates it from the Holy Place (Ex 26:31–33), is seen as the earthly counterpart of the heavenly abode of God. This theme will be developed in Hb 9.