Paul, a prisoner(A) of Christ Jesus, and Timothy(B) our brother,(C)

To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker(D) also to Apphia our sister and Archippus(E) our fellow soldier(F)—and to the church that meets in your home:(G)

Grace and peace to you[a] from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.(H)

Thanksgiving and Prayer

I always thank my God(I) as I remember you in my prayers,(J) because I hear about your love for all his holy people(K) and your faith in the Lord Jesus.(L) I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement,(M) because you, brother, have refreshed(N) the hearts of the Lord’s people.

Paul’s Plea for Onesimus

Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you(O) on the basis of love. It is as none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner(P) of Christ Jesus— 10 that I appeal to you for my son(Q) Onesimus,[b](R) who became my son while I was in chains.(S) 11 Formerly he was useless to you, but now he has become useful both to you and to me.

12 I am sending him—who is my very heart—back to you. 13 I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains(T) for the gospel. 14 But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced(U) but would be voluntary. 15 Perhaps the reason he was separated from you for a little while was that you might have him back forever— 16 no longer as a slave,(V) but better than a slave, as a dear brother.(W) He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord.

17 So if you consider me a partner,(X) welcome him as you would welcome me. 18 If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me.(Y) 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand.(Z) I will pay it back—not to mention that you owe me your very self. 20 I do wish, brother, that I may have some benefit from you in the Lord; refresh(AA) my heart in Christ. 21 Confident(AB) of your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I ask.

22 And one thing more: Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be(AC) restored to you in answer to your prayers.(AD)

23 Epaphras,(AE) my fellow prisoner(AF) in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. 24 And so do Mark,(AG) Aristarchus,(AH) Demas(AI) and Luke, my fellow workers.(AJ)

25 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.(AK)

Footnotes

  1. Philemon 1:3 The Greek is plural; also in verses 22 and 25; elsewhere in this letter “you” is singular.
  2. Philemon 1:10 Onesimus means useful.

God’s Final Word: His Son

In the past God spoke(A) to our ancestors through the prophets(B) at many times and in various ways,(C) but in these last days(D) he has spoken to us by his Son,(E) whom he appointed heir(F) of all things, and through whom(G) also he made the universe.(H) The Son is the radiance of God’s glory(I) and the exact representation of his being,(J) sustaining all things(K) by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins,(L) he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.(M) So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.(N)

The Son Superior to Angels

For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son;
    today I have become your Father”[a]?(O)

Or again,

“I will be his Father,
    and he will be my Son”[b]?(P)

And again, when God brings his firstborn(Q) into the world,(R) he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”[c](S)

In speaking of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels spirits,
    and his servants flames of fire.”[d](T)

But about the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever;(U)
    a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
    therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions(V)
    by anointing you with the oil(W) of joy.”[e](X)

10 He also says,

“In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.(Y)
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.(Z)
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,(AA)
    and your years will never end.”[f](AB)

13 To which of the angels did God ever say,

“Sit at my right hand(AC)
    until I make your enemies
    a footstool(AD) for your feet”[g]?(AE)

14 Are not all angels ministering spirits(AF) sent to serve those who will inherit(AG) salvation?(AH)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 1:5 Psalm 2:7
  2. Hebrews 1:5 2 Samuel 7:14; 1 Chron. 17:13
  3. Hebrews 1:6 Deut. 32:43 (see Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint)
  4. Hebrews 1:7 Psalm 104:4
  5. Hebrews 1:9 Psalm 45:6,7
  6. Hebrews 1:12 Psalm 102:25-27
  7. Hebrews 1:13 Psalm 110:1

Warning to Pay Attention

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.(A) For since the message spoken(B) through angels(C) was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment,(D) how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation?(E) This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord,(F) was confirmed to us by those who heard him.(G) God also testified to it by signs, wonders and various miracles,(H) and by gifts of the Holy Spirit(I) distributed according to his will.(J)

Jesus Made Fully Human

It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone(K) has testified:

“What is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    a son of man that you care for him?(L)
You made them a little[a] lower than the angels;
    you crowned them with glory and honor
    and put everything under their feet.”[b][c](M)

In putting everything under them,[d] God left nothing that is not subject to them.[e] Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them.[f] But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor(N) because he suffered death,(O) so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.(P)

10 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists,(Q) should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered.(R) 11 Both the one who makes people holy(S) and those who are made holy(T) are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.[g](U) 12 He says,

“I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters;
    in the assembly I will sing your praises.”[h](V)

13 And again,

“I will put my trust in him.”[i](W)

And again he says,

“Here am I, and the children God has given me.”[j](X)

14 Since the children have flesh and blood,(Y) he too shared in their humanity(Z) so that by his death he might break the power(AA) of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil(AB) 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear(AC) of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants.(AD) 17 For this reason he had to be made like them,[k](AE) fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful(AF) and faithful high priest(AG) in service to God,(AH) and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.(AI) 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.(AJ)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 2:7 Or them for a little while
  2. Hebrews 2:8 Psalm 8:4-6
  3. Hebrews 2:8 Or You made him a little lower than the angels;/ you crowned him with glory and honor/ and put everything under his feet.”
  4. Hebrews 2:8 Or him
  5. Hebrews 2:8 Or him
  6. Hebrews 2:8 Or him
  7. Hebrews 2:11 The Greek word for brothers and sisters (adelphoi) refers here to believers, both men and women, as part of God’s family; also in verse 12; and in 3:1, 12; 10:19; 13:22.
  8. Hebrews 2:12 Psalm 22:22
  9. Hebrews 2:13 Isaiah 8:17
  10. Hebrews 2:13 Isaiah 8:18
  11. Hebrews 2:17 Or like his brothers

Jesus Greater Than Moses

Therefore, holy brothers and sisters,(A) who share in the heavenly calling,(B) fix your thoughts on Jesus, whom we acknowledge(C) as our apostle and high priest.(D) He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house.(E) Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses,(F) just as the builder of a house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything.(G) “Moses was faithful as a servant(H) in all God’s house,”[a](I) bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son(J) over God’s house. And we are his house,(K) if indeed we hold firmly(L) to our confidence and the hope(M) in which we glory.

Warning Against Unbelief

So, as the Holy Spirit says:(N)

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts(O)
as you did in the rebellion,
    during the time of testing in the wilderness,
where your ancestors tested and tried me,
    though for forty years they saw what I did.(P)
10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
    I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
    and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger,(Q)
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ (R)[b](S)

12 See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.(T) 13 But encourage one another daily,(U) as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.(V) 14 We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold(W) our original conviction firmly to the very end.(X) 15 As has just been said:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts
    as you did in the rebellion.”[c](Y)

16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?(Z) 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?(AA) 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest(AB) if not to those who disobeyed?(AC) 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.(AD)

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 3:5 Num. 12:7
  2. Hebrews 3:11 Psalm 95:7-11
  3. Hebrews 3:15 Psalm 95:7,8

A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

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) 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) Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b](C)

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c](D) And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”(E)

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) 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:

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

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

Footnotes

  1. Hebrews 4:2 Some manuscripts because those who heard did not combine it with faith
  2. Hebrews 4:3 Psalm 95:11; also in verse 5
  3. Hebrews 4:4 Gen. 2:2
  4. Hebrews 4:7 Psalm 95:7,8
  5. Hebrews 4:10 Or labor
  6. Hebrews 4:14 Greek has gone through the heavens