New King James Version
The Promise of Rest
4 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, (A)let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, [a]not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
(B)“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ”
although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: (C)“And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: (D)“They shall not enter My rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
(E)“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if [b]Joshua had (F)given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
The Word Discovers Our Condition
11 (G)Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is (H)living and powerful, and (I)sharper than any (J)two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is (K)a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 (L)And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are (M)naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
Our Compassionate High Priest
14 Seeing then that we have a great (N)High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, (O)let us hold fast our confession. 15 For (P)we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but (Q)was in all points tempted as we are, (R)yet without sin. 16 (S)Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
The Believer’s Rest
4 Therefore, while the promise of entering His rest still remains and is freely offered today, let us fear, in case any one of you may seem to come short of reaching it or think he has come too late. 2 For indeed we have had the good news [of salvation] preached to us, just as the Israelites also [when the good news of the promised land came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not united with faith [in God] by those who heard. 3 For we who believe [that is, we who personally trust and confidently rely on God] enter that rest [so we have His inner peace now because we are confident in our salvation, and assured of His power], just as He has said,
“As I swore [an oath] in My wrath,
They shall not enter My rest,”
4 For somewhere [in Scripture] He has said this about the seventh day: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”;(B) 5 and again in this, “They shall not enter My rest.”(C) 6 Therefore, since the promise remains for some to enter His rest, and those who formerly had the good news preached to them failed to [grasp it and did not] enter because of [their unbelief evidenced by] disobedience, 7 He again sets a definite day, [a new] “Today,” [providing another opportunity to enter that rest by] saying through David after so long a time, just as has been said before [in the words already quoted],
“Today if you hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”(D)
8 [This mention of a rest was not a reference to their entering into Canaan.] For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak about another day [of opportunity] after that. 9 So there remains a [full and complete] Sabbath rest for the people of God. 10 For the one who has once entered His rest has also rested from [the weariness and pain of] his [human] labors, just as God rested from [those labors uniquely] His own.(E) 11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest [of God, to know and experience it for ourselves], so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience [as those who died in the wilderness]. 12 For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [b]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [c]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.
14 Inasmuch then as we [believers] 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 and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior]. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin. 16 Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].
- Hebrews 4:3 God “rested” because everything that needed to be done was done—everything was complete, fully accomplished. In human terms this expression is used when a lawyer completes his presentation in a court of law; he “rests” his case—everything is in evidence, there is nothing left to present.
- Hebrews 4:12 In addition to “sword,” the word in Greek was used for the knife used by the priests to slit the throats of the sacrificial lambs and for the knife (scalpel) used by a surgeon.
- Hebrews 4:12 “soul and spirit” used here to emphasize the whole person, not two separate entities as in other passages.
New International Version
A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God
4 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) 2 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) 3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c](D) 5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”(E)
6 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) 7 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:
8 For if Joshua had given them rest,(H) God would not have spoken(I) later about another day. 9 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.
King James Version
4 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.