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God’s Promised Rest

Therefore we must be wary[a] that, while the promise of entering his rest remains open, none of you may seem to have come short of it. For we had good news proclaimed to us just as they did. But the message they heard did them no good, since they did not join in[b] with those who heard it in faith.[c] For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my anger, ‘They will never enter my rest!’”[d] And yet God’s works[e] were accomplished from the foundation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works,”[f] but to repeat the text cited earlier:[g]They will never enter my rest! Therefore it remains for some to enter it, yet those to whom it was previously proclaimed did not enter because of disobedience. So God[h] again ordains a certain day, “Today,” speaking through David[i] after so long a time, as in the words quoted before,[j]Oh, that today you would listen as he speaks![k] Do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God[l] would not have spoken afterward about another day. Consequently a Sabbath rest remains for the people of God. 10 For the one who enters God’s[m] rest has also rested from his works, just as God did from his own works. 11 Thus we must make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by following the same pattern of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword, piercing even to the point of dividing soul from spirit, and joints from marrow; it is able to judge the desires and thoughts of the heart. 13 And no creature is hidden from God,[n] but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.

Jesus Our Compassionate 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 our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest incapable of sympathizing with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way just as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and find grace whenever we need help.[o]


  1. Hebrews 4:1 tn Grk “let us fear.”
  2. Hebrews 4:2 tn Or “they were not united.”
  3. Hebrews 4:2 tc A few mss (א and a few versional witnesses) have the nominative singular participle συγκεκερασμένος (sunkekerasmenos, “since it [the message] was not combined with faith by those who heard it”), a reading that refers back to the ὁ λόγος (ho logos, “the message”). There are a few other variants here (e.g., συγκεκεραμμένοι [sunkekerammenoi] in 104, συγκεκεραμένους [sunkekeramenous] in 1881 M), but the accusative plural participle συγκεκερασμένους (sunkekerasmenous), found in P13vid,46 A B C D* Ψ 0243 0278 33 81 1739 2464, has by far the best external credentials. This participle agrees with the previous ἐκείνους (ekeinous, “those”), a more difficult construction grammatically than the nominative singular. Thus, both on external and internal grounds, συγκεκερασμένους is preferred.
  4. Hebrews 4:3 sn A quotation from Ps 95:11.
  5. Hebrews 4:3 tn Grk “although the works,” continuing the previous reference to God. The referent (God) is specified in the translation for clarity.
  6. Hebrews 4:4 sn A quotation from Gen 2:2.
  7. Hebrews 4:5 tn Grk “and in this again.”
  8. Hebrews 4:7 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  9. Hebrews 4:7 sn Ps 95 in the Hebrew does not mention David either in the text or the superscription. The writer of Hebrews might attribute Psalms as a whole to David, though some psalms are specifically attributed to other individuals or groups. Yet the Greek inscription for Ps 95 in the LXX credits the psalm to David, and the author of Hebrews frequently uses the LXX.
  10. Hebrews 4:7 tn Grk “as it has been said before” (see Heb 3:7).
  11. Hebrews 4:7 tn Grk “today if you hear his voice.”
  12. Hebrews 4:8 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  13. Hebrews 4:10 tn Grk “his”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  14. Hebrews 4:13 tn Grk “him”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  15. Hebrews 4:16 tn Grk “for timely help.”