Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem (A)to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because (B)they were not united by faith with those who listened.[a] For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

(C)“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest,’”

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: (D)“And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage he said,

(E)“They shall not enter my rest.”

Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news (F)failed to enter because of disobedience, again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,

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

For if Joshua had given them rest, God[b] would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also (H)rested from his works as God did from his.

11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so (I)that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For (J)the word of God is living and (K)active, (L)sharper than any (M)two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and (N)discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And (O)no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are (P)naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Since then we have (Q)a great high priest (R)who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, (S)let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest (T)who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been (U)tempted as we are, (V)yet without sin. 16 (W)Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

For every high priest chosen from among men (X)is appointed to act on behalf of men (Y)in relation to God, (Z)to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. (AA)He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself (AB)is beset with weakness. Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins (AC)just as he does for those of the people. And (AD)no one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, (AE)just as Aaron was.

So also Christ (AF)did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,

(AG)“You are my Son,
    today I have begotten you”;

as he says also in another place,

(AH)“You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

In the days of his flesh, (AI)Jesus[c] offered up prayers and supplications, (AJ)with loud cries and tears, to him (AK)who was able to save him from death, and (AL)he was heard because of his reverence. Although (AM)he was a son, (AN)he learned obedience through what he suffered. And (AO)being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest (AP)after the order of Melchizedek.

Warning Against Apostasy

11 About this we have much to say, and it is (AQ)hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again (AR)the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need (AS)milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is (AT)a child. 14 But solid food is for (AU)the mature, for those who have their powers (AV)of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

Therefore (AW)let us leave (AX)the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance (AY)from dead works and of faith toward God, and of (AZ)instruction about washings,[d] (BA)the laying on of hands, (BB)the resurrection of the dead, and (BC)eternal judgment. And this we will do (BD)if God permits. For it is impossible, in the case of those (BE)who have once been enlightened, who have tasted (BF)the heavenly gift, and (BG)have shared in the Holy Spirit, and (BH)have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and (BI)then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since (BJ)they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For (BK)land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But (BL)if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, (BM)and its end is to be burned.

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For (BN)God is not unjust so as to overlook (BO)your work and the love that you have shown for his name in (BP)serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance (BQ)of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but (BR)imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Certainty of God's Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, (BS)he swore by himself, 14 saying, (BT)“Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[e] (BU)having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes (BV)an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to (BW)the heirs of the promise (BX)the unchangeable character of his purpose, (BY)he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which (BZ)it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope (CA)set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into (CB)the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone (CC)as a forerunner on our behalf, (CD)having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

The Priestly Order of Melchizedek

For this (CE)Melchizedek, king of (CF)Salem, priest of (CG)the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother (CH)or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

See how great this man was to whom Abraham (CI)the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And (CJ)those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,[f] though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man (CK)who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed (CL)him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one (CM)of whom it is testified that (CN)he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

11 (CO)Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended (CP)from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,

(CQ)“You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside (CR)because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for (CS)the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, (CT)a better hope is introduced, through which (CU)we draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

(CV)“The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of (CW)a better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues (CX)forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[g] (CY)those who draw near to God (CZ)through him, since he always lives (DA)to make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, (DB)holy, innocent, unstained, (DC)separated from sinners, and (DD)exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, (DE)first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this (DF)once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men (DG)in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made (DH)perfect forever.

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 4:2 Some manuscripts it did not meet with faith in the hearers
  2. Hebrews 4:8 Greek he
  3. Hebrews 5:7 Greek he
  4. Hebrews 6:2 Or baptisms (that is, cleansing rites)
  5. Hebrews 6:15 Greek he
  6. Hebrews 7:5 Or brothers and sisters
  7. Hebrews 7:25 That is, completely; or at all times

Bible Gateway Recommends

ESV Study Bible, Black Genuine  Leather with Thumb Index
ESV Study Bible, Black Genuine Leather with Thumb Index
Retail: $109.99
Our Price: $57.99
Save: $52.00 (47%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Reader's Bible, Six-Volume Set (Dark Brown Cloth over Board)
ESV Reader's Bible, Six-Volume Set (Dark Brown Cloth over Board)
Retail: $199.99
Our Price: $79.99
Save: $120.00 (60%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition, Cloth over Board, Tan
ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition, Cloth over Board, Tan
Retail: $44.99
Our Price: $17.99
Save: $27.00 (60%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV Student Study Bible, Trutone, Chestnut
ESV Student Study Bible, Trutone, Chestnut
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $22.99
Save: $17.00 (43%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV Women's Study Bible--soft leather-look, teal
ESV Women's Study Bible--soft leather-look, teal
Retail: $69.99
Our Price: $34.99
Save: $35.00 (50%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars