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Jesus and Moses

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters,[a] partners in a heavenly calling, take note of Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess,[b] who is faithful to the one who appointed him, as Moses was also in God’s[c] house.[d] For he has come to deserve greater glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house deserves greater honor than the house itself! For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all God’s[e] house[f] as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken. But Christ[g] is faithful as a son over God’s[h] house. We are of his house,[i] if in fact we hold firmly[j] to our confidence and the hope we take pride in.[k]

Exposition of Psalm 95: Hearing God’s Word in Faith

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,[l]

Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks![m]
Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of testing in the wilderness.
There your fathers tested me and tried me,[n] and they saw my works for forty years.
10 Therefore, I became provoked at that generation and said, ‘Their hearts are always wandering[o] and they have not known my ways.’
11 As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’”[p]

12 See to it,[q] brothers and sisters,[r] that none of you has[s] an evil, unbelieving heart that forsakes[t] the living God.[u] 13 But exhort one another each day, as long as it is called “Today,” that none of you may become hardened by sin’s deception. 14 For we have become partners with Christ, if in fact we hold our initial confidence[v] firm until the end. 15 As it says,[w]Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks![x] Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”[y] 16 For which ones heard and rebelled? Was it not all who came out of Egypt under Moses’ leadership?[z] 17 And against whom was God[aa] provoked for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness?[ab] 18 And to whom did he swear they would never enter into his rest, except those who were disobedient? 19 So[ac] we see that they could not enter because of unbelief.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 3:1 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 2:11.
  2. Hebrews 3:1 tn Grk “of our confession.”
  3. Hebrews 3:2 tn Grk “his”; in the translation the referent (God) has been specified for clarity.
  4. Hebrews 3:2 tc ‡ The reading adopted by the translation follows a few early mss and some versions (P13,46vid B vgms co Ambr). The majority of mss (א A C D Ψ 0243 0278 33 1739 1881 M lat sy) insert “all” (“in all his house”), apparently in anticipation of Heb 3:5 which quotes directly from Num 12:7. On balance, the omission better explains the rise of ὅλῳ (holō, “all”) than vice versa. NA28 puts ὅλῳ in brackets, indicating doubts as to its authenticity.
  5. Hebrews 3:5 tn Grk “his”; in the translation the referent (God) has been specified for clarity.
  6. Hebrews 3:5 sn A quotation from Num 12:7.
  7. Hebrews 3:6 sn The Greek makes the contrast between v. 5 and v. 6a more emphatic and explicit than is easily done in English.
  8. Hebrews 3:6 tn Grk “his”; in the translation the referent (God) has been specified for clarity.
  9. Hebrews 3:6 tn Grk “whose house we are,” continuing the previous sentence.
  10. Hebrews 3:6 tc The reading adopted by the translation is found in P13,46 B sa, while the vast majority of mss (א A C D Ψ 0243 0278 33 1739 1881 M latt) add μέχρι τέλους βεβαίαν (mechri telous bebaian, “secure until the end”). The external evidence for the omission, though minimal, has excellent credentials. Considering the internal factors, B. M. Metzger (TCGNT 595) finds it surprising that the feminine adjective βεβαίαν should modify the neuter noun καύχημα (kauchēma, here translated “we take pride”), a fact that suggests that even the form of the word was borrowed from another place. Since the same phrase occurs at Heb 3:14, it is likely that later scribes added it here at Heb 3:6 in anticipation of Heb 3:14. While these words belong at 3:14, they seem foreign to 3:6.
  11. Hebrews 3:6 tn Grk “the pride of our hope.”
  12. Hebrews 3:7 sn The following quotation is from Ps 95:7b-11.
  13. Hebrews 3:7 tn Grk “today if you hear his voice.”
  14. Hebrews 3:9 tn Grk “tested me by trial.”
  15. Hebrews 3:10 tn Grk “they are wandering in the heart.”
  16. Hebrews 3:11 tn Grk “if they shall enter my rest,” a Hebrew idiom expressing an oath that something will certainly not happen.
  17. Hebrews 3:12 tn Or “take care.”
  18. Hebrews 3:12 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 2:11.
  19. Hebrews 3:12 tn Grk “that there not be in any of you.”
  20. Hebrews 3:12 tn Or “deserts,” “rebels against.”
  21. Hebrews 3:12 tn Grk “in forsaking the living God.”
  22. Hebrews 3:14 tn Grk “the beginning of the confidence.”
  23. Hebrews 3:15 tn Grk “while it is said.”
  24. Hebrews 3:15 tn Grk “today if you hear his voice.”
  25. Hebrews 3:15 sn A quotation from Ps 95:7b-8.
  26. Hebrews 3:16 tn Grk “through Moses.”
  27. Hebrews 3:17 tn Grk “he”; in the translation the referent (God) has been specified for clarity.
  28. Hebrews 3:17 sn An allusion to God’s judgment pronounced in Num 14:29, 32.
  29. Hebrews 3:19 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “So” to indicate a summary or conclusion to the argument of the preceding paragraph.

Jesus Greater Than Moses

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters,(A) who share in the heavenly calling,(B) fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge(C) as our apostle and high priest.(D) He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.(E) Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses,(F) just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.(G) “Moses was faithful as a servant(H) in all God’s house,”[a](I) bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son(J) over God’s house. And we are his house,(K) if indeed we hold firmly(L) to our confidence and the hope(M) in which we glory.

Warning Against Unbelief

So, as the Holy Spirit says:(N)

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts(O)
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.(P)
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,(Q)
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ (R)[b](S)

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.(T) 13 But encourage one another daily,(U) as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.(V) 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold(W) our original conviction firmly to the very end.(X) 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”[c](Y)

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?(Z) 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?(AA) 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest(AB) if not to those who disobeyed?(AC) 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.(AD)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 3:5 Num. 12:7
  2. Hebrews 3:11 Psalm 95:7-11
  3. Hebrews 3:15 Psalm 95:7,8

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