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Hebrews 1:2-7:25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

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. 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] So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.

The Son Superior to Angels

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] When He again[i] brings His firstborn into the world, He says, And all God’s angels must worship Him.[j] And about the angels He says:

He makes His angels winds,[k]
and His servants[l] a fiery flame,[m]

but to[n] the Son:

Your throne, God,
is forever and ever,
and the scepter of Your kingdom
is a scepter of justice.
You have loved righteousness
and hated lawlessness;
this is why God, Your God,
has anointed You
with the oil of joy
rather than Your companions.[o][p]

10 And:

In the beginning, Lord,
You established the earth,
and the heavens are the works of Your hands;
11 they will perish, but You remain.
They will all wear out like clothing;
12 You will roll them up like a cloak,[q]
and they will be changed like a robe.
But You are the same,
and Your years will never end.[r]

13 Now to which of the angels has He ever said:

Sit at My right hand
until I make Your enemies Your footstool?[s][t]

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve those who are going to inherit salvation?

Warning against Neglect

We must, therefore, pay even more attention to what we have heard, so that we will not drift away. For if the message spoken through angels was legally binding[u] and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, 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. 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

For He has not subjected to angels the world to come that we are talking about. But one has somewhere testified:

What is man that You remember him,
or the son of man that You care for him?
You made him lower than the angels
for a short time;
You crowned him with glory and honor[v]
and subjected everything under his feet.[w]

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. 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;
I will sing hymns to You in the congregation.[z]

13 Again, I will trust in Him.[aa] And again, Here I am with the children God gave Me.[ab]

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

Therefore, holy brothers and companions in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession; He was faithful to the One who appointed Him, just as Moses was in all God’s household. For Jesus is considered worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder has more honor than the house. Now every house is built by someone, but the One who built everything is God. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s household, as a testimony to what would be said in the future. 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

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers tested Me, tried Me,
and saw My works 10 for 40 years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation
and said, “They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known My ways.”
11 So I swore in My anger,
“They will not enter My rest.”[ae]

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,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.[ag]

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

Therefore, while the promise to enter His rest remains, let us fear that none of you should miss it.[ah] 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] (for we who have believed enter the rest), in keeping with what[aj] He has said:

So I swore in My anger,
they will not enter My rest.[ak]

And yet His works have been finished since the foundation of the world, for somewhere He has spoken about the seventh day in this way:

And on the seventh day
God rested from all His works.[al]

Again, in that passage He says, They will never enter My rest.[am] Since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience, again, He specifies a certain day—today—speaking through David after such a long time, as previously stated:

Today, if you hear His voice,
do not harden your hearts.[an]

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 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

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. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he is also subject to weakness. Because of this, he must make a sin offering for himself as well as for the people. No one takes this honor on himself; instead, a person is called by God, just as Aaron was. 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] also said in another passage, You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.[aq]

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. Though He was God’s Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. 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

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, teaching about ritual washings,[as] laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this if God permits.

For it is impossible to renew to repentance those who were once enlightened, who tasted the heavenly gift, became companions with the Holy Spirit, tasted God’s good word and the powers of the coming age, and who have fallen away, because,[at] to their own harm, they are recrucifying the Son of God and holding Him up to contempt. 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. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned at the end.

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,
and I will greatly multiply you.[av]

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

For this Melchizedek—

King of Salem, priest of the Most High God,
who met Abraham and blessed him
as he returned from defeating the kings,
and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything;
first, his name means king of righteousness,
then also, king of Salem,
meaning king of peace;
without father, mother, or genealogy,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life,
but resembling the Son of God

remains a priest forever.

Now consider how great this man was—even Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the plunder to him! 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] But one without this[ay] lineage collected tenths from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. Without a doubt,[az] the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case, men who will die receive tenths, but in the other case, Scripture testifies that he lives. 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
in the order of Melchizedek.[bc]

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,
and He will not change His mind,
You are a priest forever.[bd]

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.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 1:2 Lit ages
  2. Hebrews 1:3 Or reflection
  3. Hebrews 1:3 Or representation, or copy, or reproduction
  4. Hebrews 1:3 Other mss read for our sins by Himself
  5. Hebrews 1:3 Or He sat down on high at the right hand of the Majesty
  6. Hebrews 1:5 Or have begotten You
  7. Hebrews 1:5 Ps 2:7
  8. Hebrews 1:5 2Sm 7:14; 1Ch 17:13
  9. Hebrews 1:6 Or And again, when He
  10. Hebrews 1:6 Dt 32:43 LXX; Ps 97:7
  11. Hebrews 1:7 Or spirits
  12. Hebrews 1:7 Or ministers
  13. Hebrews 1:7 Ps 104:4
  14. Hebrews 1:8 Or about
  15. Hebrews 1:9 Or associates
  16. Hebrews 1:9 Ps 45:6-7
  17. Hebrews 1:12 Other mss omit like a cloak
  18. Hebrews 1:12 Ps 102:25-27
  19. Hebrews 1:13 Or enemies a footstool for Your feet
  20. Hebrews 1:13 Ps 110:1
  21. Hebrews 2:2 Or valid, or reliable
  22. Hebrews 2:7 Other mss add and set him over the works of your hands
  23. Hebrews 2:8 Ps 8:5-7 LXX
  24. Hebrews 2:10 Or pioneer, or leader
  25. Hebrews 2:11 Or father, or origin, or all are of one
  26. Hebrews 2:12 Ps 22:22
  27. Hebrews 2:13 2Sm 22:3 LXX; Is 8:17 LXX; 12:2 LXX
  28. Hebrews 2:13 Is 8:18 LXX
  29. Hebrews 2:17 Lit things
  30. Hebrews 3:6 Other mss add firm to the end
  31. Hebrews 3:11 Ps 95:7-11
  32. Hebrews 3:14 Or confidence
  33. Hebrews 3:15 Ps 95:7-8
  34. Hebrews 4:1 Or that any of you might seem to have missed it
  35. Hebrews 4:2 Other mss read since it was not united by faith in those who heard
  36. Hebrews 4:3 Or rest), just as
  37. Hebrews 4:3 Ps 95:11
  38. Hebrews 4:4 Gn 2:2
  39. Hebrews 4:5 Ps 95:11
  40. Hebrews 4:7 Ps 95:7-8
  41. Hebrews 5:1 Lit things
  42. Hebrews 5:5 Ps 2:7
  43. Hebrews 5:6 Gn 14:18-20; Ps 110:4
  44. Hebrews 5:7 Lit In the days of His flesh
  45. Hebrews 6:2 Or about baptisms
  46. Hebrews 6:6 Or while
  47. Hebrews 6:10 Other mss read labor of love
  48. Hebrews 6:14 Gn 22:17
  49. Hebrews 6:15 Lit he
  50. Hebrews 7:5 Lit have come out of Abraham’s loins
  51. Hebrews 7:6 Lit their
  52. Hebrews 7:7 Or Beyond any dispute
  53. Hebrews 7:10 Lit still in his father’s loins
  54. Hebrews 7:16 Or fleshly
  55. Hebrews 7:17 Ps 110:4
  56. Hebrews 7:21 Ps 110:4
  57. Hebrews 7:25 Or He is able to save completely
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