Add parallel Print Page Options

Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still holds and is offered [today], let us be afraid [[a]to distrust it], lest any of you should [b]think he has come too late and has come short of [reaching] it.

For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with [c]the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; [d]neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).

For we who have believed (adhered to and trusted in and relied on God) do enter that rest, [e]in accordance with His declaration that those [who did not believe] should not enter when He said, As I swore in My wrath, They shall not enter My rest; and this He said although [His] works had been completed and prepared [and waiting for all who would believe] from the foundation of the world.(A)

For in a certain place He has said this about the seventh day: And God rested on the seventh day from all His works.(B)

And [they forfeited their part in it, for] in this [passage] He said, They shall not enter My rest.(C)

Seeing then that the promise remains over [from past times] for some to enter that rest, and that those who formerly were given the good news about it and the opportunity, failed to appropriate it and did not enter because of disobedience,

Again He sets a definite day, [a new] Today, [and gives another opportunity of securing that rest] saying through David after so long a time in the words already quoted, Today, if you would hear His voice and when you hear it, do not harden your hearts.(D)

[This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, He [God] would not speak afterward about another day.

So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God;

10 For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors [f]peculiarly His own.(E)

11 Let us therefore be zealous and exert ourselves and strive diligently to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], that no one may fall or perish by the same kind of unbelief and disobedience [into which those in the wilderness fell].

12 For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the [g]breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.

13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do.

14 Inasmuch then as we have a great High Priest Who has [already] ascended and passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith in Him].

15 For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but One Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning.

16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 4:1 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  2. Hebrews 4:1 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  3. Hebrews 4:2 Alexander Souter, Pocket Lexicon.
  4. Hebrews 4:2 Many manuscripts so read.
  5. Hebrews 4:3 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  6. Hebrews 4:10 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
  7. Hebrews 4:12 Joseph Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament.

A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.(A) For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a](B) Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b](C)

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c](D) And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”(E)

Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience,(F) God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”[d](G)

For if Joshua had given them rest,(H) God would not have spoken(I) later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e](J) just as God did from his.(K) 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.(L)

12 For the word of God(M) is alive(N) and active.(O) Sharper than any double-edged sword,(P) it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.(Q) 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.(R) Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest(S) who has ascended into heaven,[f](T) Jesus the Son of God,(U) let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.(V) 15 For we do not have a high priest(W) who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are(X)—yet he did not sin.(Y) 16 Let us then approach(Z) God’s throne of grace with confidence,(AA) so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 4:2 Some manuscripts because those who heard did not combine it with faith
  2. Hebrews 4:3 Psalm 95:11; also in verse 5
  3. Hebrews 4:4 Gen. 2:2
  4. Hebrews 4:7 Psalm 95:7,8
  5. Hebrews 4:10 Or labor
  6. Hebrews 4:14 Greek has gone through the heavens

Bible Gateway Sponsors