Hebrews 1:2-7:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son. God has appointed Him heir of all things and made the universe[a] through Him. 3 The Son is the radiance[b] of God’s glory and the exact expression[c] of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins,[d] He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.[e] 4 So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.
The Son Superior to Angels
5 For to which of the angels did He ever say, You are My Son; today I have become Your Father,[f][g] or again, I will be His Father, and He will be My Son?[h] 6 When He again[i] brings His firstborn into the world, He says, And all God’s angels must worship Him.[j] 7 And about the angels He says:
8 but to[n] the Son:
Your throne, God,
In the beginning, Lord,
13 Now to which of the angels has He ever said:
14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?
Warning against Neglect
2 We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. 2 For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding[u] and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how will we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was first spoken by the Lord and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him. 4 At the same time, God also testified by signs and wonders, various miracles, and distributions of gifts from the Holy Spirit according to His will.
Jesus and Humanity
5 For He has not subjected to angels the world to come that we are talking about. 6 But one has somewhere testified:
What is man that You remember him,
For in subjecting everything to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subjected to him. 9 But we do see Jesus—made lower than the angels for a short time so that by God’s grace He might taste death for everyone—crowned with glory and honor because of His suffering in death.
10 For in bringing many sons to glory, it was entirely appropriate that God—all things exist for Him and through Him—should make the source[x] of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the One who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father.[y] That is why Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers, 12 saying:
I will proclaim Your name to My brothers;
14 Now since the children have flesh and blood in common, Jesus also shared in these, so that through His death He might destroy the one holding the power of death—that is, the Devil— 15 and free those who were held in slavery all their lives by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that He does not reach out to help angels, but to help Abraham’s offspring. 17 Therefore, He had to be like His brothers in every way, so that He could become a merciful and faithful high priest in service[ac] to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For since He Himself was tested and has suffered, He is able to help those who are tested.
Our Apostle and High Priest
3 Therefore, holy brothers and companions in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession; 2 He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was in all God’s household. 3 For Jesus is considered worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder has more honor than the house. 4 Now every house is built by someone, but the One who built everything is God. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s household, as a testimony to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ was faithful as a Son over His household. And we are that household if we hold on to the courage and the confidence of our hope.[ad]
Warning against Unbelief
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
Today, if you hear His voice,
12 Watch out, brothers, so that there won’t be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that departs from the living God. 13 But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception. 14 For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality[af] that we had at the start. 15 As it is said:
Today, if you hear His voice,
16 For who heard and rebelled? Wasn’t it really all who came out of Egypt under Moses? 17 And who was He provoked with for 40 years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And who did He swear to that they would not enter His rest, if not those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.
The Promised Rest
4 Therefore, while the promise to enter His rest remains, let us fear that none of you should miss it.[ah] 2 For we also have received the good news just as they did; but the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith[ai] 3 (for we who have believed enter the rest), in keeping with what[aj] He has said:
So I swore in My anger,
And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world, 4 for somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way:
And on the seventh day
5 Again, in that passage He says, They will never enter My rest.[am] 6 Since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again, He specifies a certain day—today—speaking through David after such a long time, as previously stated:
Today, if you hear His voice,
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people. 10 For the person who has entered His rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from His. 11 Let us then make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart. 13 No creature is hidden from Him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give an account.
Our Great High Priest
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.
The Messiah, a High Priest
5 For every high priest taken from men is appointed in service[ao] to God for the people, to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he is also subject to weakness. 3 Because of this, he must make a sin offering for himself as well as for the people. 4 No one takes this honor on himself; instead, a person is called by God, just as Aaron was. 5 In the same way, the Messiah did not exalt Himself to become a high priest, but the One who said to Him, You are My Son; today I have become Your Father,[ap] 6 also said in another passage, You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.[aq]
7 During His earthly life,[ar] He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. 8 Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. 9 After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him, 10 and He was declared by God a high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
The Problem of Immaturity
11 We have a great deal to say about this, and it’s difficult to explain, since you have become too lazy to understand. 12 Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food. 13 Now everyone who lives on milk is inexperienced with the message about righteousness, because he is an infant. 14 But solid food is for the mature—for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.
Warning against Regression
6 Therefore, leaving the elementary message about the Messiah, let us go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, faith in God, 2 teaching about ritual washings,[as] laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And we will do this if God permits.
4 For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, 5 tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, 6 and who have fallen away, because,[at] to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt. 7 For ground that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end.
9 Even though we are speaking this way, dear friends, in your case we are confident of the better things connected with salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love[au] you showed for His name when you served the saints—and you continue to serve them. 11 Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope, 12 so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance.
Inheriting the Promise
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself:
14 I will indeed bless you,
15 And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham[aw] obtained the promise. 16 For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. 17 Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.
The Greatness of Melchizedek
7 For this Melchizedek—
King of Salem, priest of the Most High God,
remains a priest forever.
4 Now consider how great this man was—even Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the plunder to him! 5 The sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have a command according to the law to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their brothers—though they have also descended from Abraham.[ax] 6 But one without this[ay] lineage collected tenths from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. 7 Without a doubt,[az] the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8 In the one case, men who will die receive tenths, but in the other case, Scripture testifies that he lives. 9 And in a sense Levi himself, who receives tenths, has paid tenths through Abraham, 10 for he was still within his ancestor[ba] when Melchizedek met him.
A Superior Priesthood
11 If then, perfection came through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there for another priest to appear, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must be a change of law as well. 13 For the One these things are spoken about belonged to a different tribe. No one from it has served at the altar. 14 Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah, and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests.
15 And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 who did not become a priest based on a legal command concerning physical[bb] descent but based on the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it has been testified:
You are a priest forever
18 So the previous command is annulled because it was weak and unprofitable 19 (for the law perfected nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
20 None of this happened without an oath. For others became priests without an oath, 21 but He became a priest with an oath made by the One who said to Him:
The Lord has sworn,
22 So Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 Now many have become Levitical priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office. 24 But because He remains forever, He holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore, He is always able to save[be] those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.