The Letter to the Hebrews
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield,
HEBREWS 4 OUTLINE
1. Christians urged to claim the OT promise of
rest (Heb 4:1-11).
2. The word of God is powerful (Heb 4:12, 13).
3. Christ our great High Priest (Heb 4:14, 15).
4. Mercy from the throne of grace (Heb 4:16).
Chapter[ 1 ] 4 urges Christians to claim the OT promise of rest that remains.
Readers are reminded of the powerful word of God. The chapter closes with a
consideration of Christ, our great High Priest and the help available through Him
(see chart HEBREWS 4 OUTLINE).
THE PROMISE OF REST STILL STANDS
4:1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest
any of you seem to have come short of it.
Therefore.[ 2 ] The Hebrew writer refers to the discussion in chapter 3. In that
chapter, he exhorted Christians to hold fast their confidence (Heb 3:6; compare
4:14; 10:23). He warned about an evil, unbelieving heart (Heb 3:12) and the
deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13). The Israelites who provoked God perished in the
wilderness were held up as an example.
Since a promise remains [while the promise remains, a promise being left us
[a promise being left, while the promise remains].[ 3 ] God has promised rest.
The Greek present tense implies that the promise continues to be in effect. It still
THE SALVATION OF CHRIST
1. Heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14).
2. The world to come (Heb 2:5-8).
3. Delivered from fear of death (Heb 2:14, 15).
4. Partakers of a heavenly calling (Heb 3:1).
5. Participants in the rest of God (Heb 4:1-11).
Of entering His rest [of entering into his rest].[ 4 ] Canaan is a type of heaven.
The heavenly rest remains for Christians. The Israelites were promised rest upon
entering Canaan (see De 3:18-20). God said to Moses:
And He said, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest" (Ex
Let us fear.[ 5 ] The fact that God has promised rest does not guarantee that every
Christian will enjoy it. The fact that there is a promise is not a reason to relax.
It is, in reality, cause for concern, even fear. There is a need for fear lest there
be an evil heart of unbelief (Heb 3:12), lest any be hardened by the deceitfulness
of sin (Heb 3:13) and lest Christians fall through unbelief as did the Israelites (Heb
Lest any of you [lest haply any one of you, lest some of you].[ 6 ] Although the
original readers were Jewish Christians, every believer is addressed. There is
none to whom it does not apply. Any one may fall (see 1Co 10:12).
Seem to have come short of it [be judged to have failed to reach it, should
seem to come short, to have come short, of it].[ 7 ] Should the promise of rest
concern us? Yes. Are Christians too late for the promise? Not at all (see Heb
4:6). In the present verse, a possibility of being lost is indicated. Just as the
Israelites did not enter Canaan because of unbelief, it is possible for Christians to
miss the heavenly rest for the same reason.
THE PERISHED GENERATION (A)
1. The word was not mixed with faith
(Heb 4:2, 6).
2. Murmured and complained.
3. Set up alternate plans.
4. Sought alternate leaders.
5. An evil heart of unbelief (Heb 3:12, 19).
6. Disobedient (Heb 3:18; 4:11).
THE PERISHED GENERATION (B)
1. Their hearts were hardened (Heb 4:7).
2. Grudgingly accepted God's plan.
3. Openly rebelled against God's provision.
4. Hardened by the deceitfulness of sin
THE REST OF GOD
1. To the Israelites, the rest of God was Canaan.
a. They did not enter His rest (Heb 4:3, 5).
2. To Christians, the rest of God is heaven.
a. They, like the Israelites may possibly fall by
disobedience (Heb 4:11).
b. The faithful shall "rest from their labors"
GOSPEL PREACHED TO US AS WELL AS THEM
4:2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word
which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who
For indeed the gospel was preached to us [for good news, the good message,
came to us, we have had good tidings preached unto us, for unto us was the
gospel preached].[ 8 ] In the present verse, the "gospel" or "good news" does not
require the death, burial and resurrection of Christ (see 1Co 15:1-4). Instead, it
centers on the promise of entering into God's rest. However, the Hebrew
Christians had heard and obeyed the gospel of Christ. They met the NT conditions
of entering the rest: hearing, believing, repenting, confessing faith in Christ and
being baptized for the remission of sins. The "good news" is that God wants His
people to be faithful and to enter the heavenly rest.
As well as to them [just as unto them, even as also they, even as to them].[ 9 ]
The Israelites heard the OT conditions not only of entering Canaan but of entering
into the heavenly rest. Every Christian has heard and responded to the NT
1. So the people believed . . . they bowed their
heads and worshiped (Ex 4:31).
2. All that the LORD has spoken we will do
3. And all the people answered with one voice
and said, "All the words which the LORD has
said we will do" (Ex 24:3).
4. Tell us all that the LORD our God says to you,
and we will hear and do it (De 5:27).
But the word which they heard [but the message they heard, but the word
preached, of hearing].[ 10 ] The Israelites heard the word of God from Moses (see
Ex 6:2, 10, 13, 28, 29; 7:8, 19; 8:1, 5; 12:1; 13:1; 14:1, etc.). Did they, like
the Bereans, hear with all readiness of mind (see chart ISRAELITE HEARERS)?
Did not profit them [did not benefit them].[ 11 ] The word that the Israelites
heard did them little good because they did not believe it (see note on Heb 3:19).
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe
will be condemned (Mk 16:16).
Being baptized without belief profits no one.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is
condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only
begotten Son of God (Joh 3:18).
1. The Israelites heard the word (Heb 3:16).
2. They believed (Ps 106:12).
3. They soon forgot His works; they did not wait
for His counsel (Ps 106:13).
4. They forgot God their Savior, who had done
great things in Egypt (Ps 106:21).
5. Then they despised the pleasant land; they did
not believe His word (Ps 106:24).
No matter that a person has performed a large number of good works, a lack of
belief is enough to condemn.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently
seek Him (Heb 11:6).
Not being mixed with faith in those who heard it [because it did not meet
with faith, was not united by faith, in the hearers, in them, with them, that
heard, that heard it, because the faith did not permeate those who heard].[ 12 ]
The difference in the Greek participles is minor. The first would imply "they"
were not united with Joshua and Caleb who brought back a good report (see Nu
14:1-10). The second, and likely the correct one, denotes not having been united
by faith with "the word" in their hearts. The word did not profit because it was
not mixed, integrated, incorporated or assimilated by faith in their hearts.
BELIEVERS ENTER GOD'S REST
4:3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: "So I swore
in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest," although the works were finished
from the foundation of the world.
For we who have believed do enter that rest [for we which have believed,
enter, do enter into, rest, the rest].[ 13 ] Inasmuch as believers enter "that rest"
it is implied that unbelievers do not. The door to that rest is forever closed to
them. That is, until they become believers. The plain meaning is that people who
have believed enter into God's rest in accordance with His promise. This "rest"
is thought by some to be a spiritual repose for believers who are harassed and
persecuted.[ 14 ] If so, there is still another "rest" in this chapter, the heavenly
SABBATISMOS Sabbath rest (see note on verse 9). Christians sing of that
beautiful rest.[ 15 ]
GOD'S DREADFUL OATH
As He has said: So I swore in My wrath [as I, as he, as he, even as he, said,
hath said, As I swore, sware, have sworn, in my wrath].[ 16 ]
They shall not enter My rest [They shall never enter, if they shall enter, into
my rest].[ 17 ] The rest spoken of here is not the seventh day Sabbath. We know
this because at the time God made the oath at Kadesh Barnea (Nu 15:20-30), the
Israelites had already been observing that. After He made the oath, we have this:
Then he said to them, "This is what the LORD has said: 'Tomorrow is a
Sabbath rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake today,
and boil what you will boil; and lay up for yourselves all that remains, to
be kept until morning'" (Ex 16:23).
God's oath that "They shall not enter My rest" apparently was given near the end
of the forty years of wandering.
For forty years I was grieved with that generation, and said, "It is a people
who go astray in their hearts, and they do not know My ways. 11 So I
swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest" (Ps 95:10, 11).
Although the works were finished [although his works were finished].[ 18 ] The
fact that God's works were "finished" implies that He had already prepared the
promised rest. Although God had finished the preparation of a rest for His people,
He did not reveal His holy Sabbath until the Jews were in the wilderness.
You came down also on Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven,
and gave them just ordinances and true laws, good statutes and
commandments. 14 You made known to them Your holy Sabbath, and
commanded them precepts, statutes and laws, by the hand of Moses Your
servant (Ne 9:13, 14).
FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (A)
1. Things kept secret from the foundation of the
world (Mt 13:35).
2. Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world (Mt 25:34).
3. Blood of all the prophets which was shed from
the foundation of the world (Lu 11:50).
4. You loved Me before the foundation of the
world (Joh 17:24).
FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD (B)
1. Chose us in Him before the foundation of the
world (Eph 1:4).
2. He then would have had to suffer often since
the foundation of the world (Heb 9:26).
3. He indeed was foreordained before the
foundation of the world (1Pe 1:20).
4. Whose names have not been written in the
Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world (Re 13:8).
5. Whose names are not written in the Book of
Life from the foundation of the world
From the foundation of the world [from the creation of the world].[ 19 ] Clarke
understands the foundation of the world to be the time of "the completion of the
work of creation in six days."[ 20 ] This is probably correct. The creation was
made for man (Mk 2:27; Heb 2:1-8).
You have put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that He put all
in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now
we do not yet see all things put under him (Heb 2:8).
GOD HAS SPOKEN OF THE SEVENTH DAY
4:4, 5 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way:
"And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; 5 and again in this
place: "They shall not enter My rest."
For He has spoken in a certain place [for he spake, hath said, somewhere,
for somewhere he spoke].[ 21 ] The reference is to Genesis 2:2.
Of the seventh day in this way [of the seventh day on this wise, like this].[ 22 ]
And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He
rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. 3 Then
God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from
all His work which God had created and made (Ge 2:2, 3; compare Ex
And God rested on the seventh day from all His works [and God did rest
the, in the, seventh day from all his works].[ 23 ] Although God rested on the
seventh day of creation week, He did not make known to man the seventh-day
Sabbath at that time (see note above on verse 3).
[4:5] And again in this place [and in this place, the same place again].[ 24 ]
They shall not enter My rest [he said, They shall never enter, if they shall
enter, into my rest].[ 25 ] Compare Numbers 14:23, 28-30; Deuteronomy 1:34,
DID NOT ENTER BECAUSE OF DISOBEDIENCE
4:6, 7 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: "Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your
THE REMAINING REST
1. A rest was provided and offered to Israelites.
a. Failed to enter because of sin of unbelief.
2. God provides nothing in vain.
a. Performs no useless experiments.
b. Never disappointed in His purposes.
3. The provided rest remains for all true
a. Those like Joshua and Caleb who have faith
in God and rely on His promises.
4. There is a rest remaining for the people of
a. The faithful will enter into it.
Since therefore it remains that some must enter it [seeing therefore it
remaineth, for some, that some are, to enter into it, should, must, thereinto,
therein].[ 26 ] God intends and expects some people to enter His rest. Because the
disobedient Israelites failed to enter, the promise of it remains. Since the promised
rest remains, Christians are invited to enter into it:
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you
rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and
lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is
easy and My burden is light (Mt 11:28-30).
And those to whom it was first preached [and they who formerly received
the good news, to whom the good tidings were before preached].[ 27 ] The "good
news" first preached has reference to the announcement of the promised rest to the
Israelites in the days of Moses and Joshua (see note on verse 2).
Did not enter [failed to enter in, entered not in].[ 28 ] The generation of
Israelites who came out of Egypt with Moses failed to enter Canaan.[ 29 ] After the
forty years of wandering, the first generation had died off. After that, the second
generation was allowed to enter the promised land. Was that the complete
fulfillment of the promise of rest? It was not (see verse 7).
Because of disobedience [because of unbelief].[ 30 ] Some versions render the
word APEITHEIAN as disobedience; others unbelief. Like the twins faith and
obedience, Unbelief and disobedience go hand in hand.
[4:7] Again He designates a certain day [he again sets, defineth, limiteth, a
certain day].[ 31 ] The designation of a certain day implies that the time of entering
God's rest has not expired.
For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of
His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice: 8 Do not harden your hearts,
as in the rebellion, as in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9 When your
fathers tested Me; they tried Me, though they saw My work (Ps 95:7-9).
Saying in David, Today [Today, saying through David].[ 32 ] To Christians
"today" is any time while life lasts.
After such a long time [so long afterward, so long a time afterward, after so
long a time].[ 33 ] "Such a long time" is the time from Moses until David. There
is a Biblical statement of the number of years from the exodus until the fourth year
of Solomon's reign.
And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children
of Israel had come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's
reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, that he
began to build the house of the LORD (1Ki 6:1).
David reigned forty years and his son Solomon was in his fourth year when the
statement above was made. Therefore, the time span from Moses to David would
be less than 480 years.
As it has been said [in the words already quoted, as it is said, was said, even
as hath been said before].[ 34 ] The Israelites in the wilderness at Kadesh were
invited to go right on into the promised land and possess it (Nu 14:6-9). They
rebelled and disobeyed and were sentenced to wander and die in the wilderness
(Nu 14:22, 23).
Today, if you will hear His voice [Today, when you, if ye shall, hear his
voice].[ 35 ] See notes on Hebrews 3:7, 15.
Do not harden your hearts [harden not your hearts].[ 36 ] One should never
treat a command of God as non-essential. One should never contemplate reject or
willfully delay obedience. To do so is to harden the heart.
IF JOSHUA HAD GIVEN THEM REST
4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have
spoken of another day.
For if Joshua [for if Jesus].[ 37 ]
Had given them rest [had given them that rest].[ 38 ] Joshua gave the Israelites
a comparative degree of rest in Canaan. Nevertheless the rest he gave them was
not the rest of God in the promise.
Until the LORD has given your brethren rest, as He gave you, and they also
have taken possession of the land which the LORD your God is giving
them. Then you shall return to the land of your possession and enjoy it,
which Moses the LORD'S servant gave you on this side of the Jordan
toward the sunrise (Jos 1:15).
And now the LORD your God has given rest to your brethren, as He
promised them; now therefore, return and go to your tents and to the land
of your possession, which Moses the servant of the LORD gave you on the
other side of the Jordan (Jos 22:4).
Then He would not afterward have spoken of another day [he, God, would
not speak later, would not have spoken afterward, then would he not
afterward have spoken, of another day later].[ 39 ] If Joshua had given the
Israelites the rest that fulfilled God's promise, He would not afterward have
spoken of "another" day through David. That promise of rest still remains (see
verse 9). It is the heavenly Sabbath rest.
THERE REMAINS A REST
4:9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
GOD'S ORIGINAL SABBATH REST
1. The ideal rest.
2. A theme of Hebrews is the restoration of all
things to God's original plan.
3. The Israelite's sin and unbelief incompatible
with God's rest.
4. God's rest remained unappropriated until
harmony was restored by the gospel.
5. The Sabbath-rest consummates the new
creation in Christ.
(Adapted from Vincent 4.424)
There remains therefore a rest [so then, therefore, there remaineth therefore
a sabbath rest].[ 40 ] The use of the word SABBATISMOS Sabbath rest or keeping
of a sabbath is significant. However, it is not the rest of the seventh-day Sabbath.
Neither is it the rest of entering into Canaan. Some have suggested that it means
rest from sin but this is not probable because the Hebrew writer is encouraging
Christians. The context strongly suggests that the rest is heaven (see Mt 11:28,
29; Re 14:13):
Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to
the same example of disobedience (Heb 4:11).
For the people of God [to the people of God].[ 41 ]
PEOPLE OF GOD
1. A people for His name (Ac 15:14).
2. The Israel of God (Ga 6:16).
3. His own special people (Tit 2:14; 1Pe 2:9).
4. The people of God (Heb 4:9).
CEASED FROM WORKS AS GOD DID
4:10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works
as God did from His.
SOME WHO ENTERED GOD'S REST
1. Lazarus in Abraham's bosom (Lu 16:22).
2. The penitent thief (Lu 23:43).
3. Paul (2Co 5:8; Php 1:23).
4. Twenty-four elders (Re 4:10, 11).
5. 144,000 (Re 7:4).
6. A great multitude which no one could number
For he who has entered His rest [for whoever enters, is entered into, God's
rest].[ 42 ] Some refer the singular verb to Christ who ascended to heaven and
entered into the rest of God. Perhaps so, but it may be general enough to apply
to Him plus any other person who has entered God's rest.
Has himself also ceased from his works [also ceases, hath himself rested, also
rested, he also hath ceased, from his labors, from his own works].[ 43 ] Those
who have entered God's heavenly rest have ended the agonizing toil and weariness
of this life. This does not mean they are completely inactive in the better land (see
Re 14:13; 21:4).
They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not
strike them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne
will shepherd them and lead them to living fountains of waters. And God
will wipe away every tear from their eyes (Re 7:16, 17).
As God did from His.[ 44 ] IDIOON own (see footnote) implies that the works
were not merely owned but were peculiarly God's own. His works of creation
were unique. They characteristically declare His handiwork (Ps 19:1-6).
Although He rested from creation, He is not without activity (see Lu 11:7; 18:5-8;
Joh 5:17; Ga 6:17).
BE DILIGENT TO ENTER THAT REST
4:11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according
to the same example of disobedience.
LEST ANYONE FALL
1. Because of unbelief they were broken off
2. Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest
he fall (1Co 10:12).
3. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ
is in you?-- unless indeed you are disqualified
4. Work out your own salvation with fear and
trembling (Php 2:12).
5. You have become estranged from Christ, you
who attempt to be justified by law; you have
fallen from grace (Ga 5:4)
Let us therefore be diligent [let us then strive, give diligence, put forth every
effort, labor therefore].[ 45 ] Our first and foremost task on earth is to respond to
God's invitation to to strive enter into His rest (compare Lu 13:24; 1Co 10:1-12;
To enter that rest [to enter into that rest].[ 46 ] The heavenly rest of God is the
original rest promised first to the faithful Israelites. The unbelieving ones did not
enter into it because of unbelief. It is imperative that Christians make every effort
to enter it.
Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see
the Lord (Heb 12:14).
But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16
because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy" (1Pe 1:15, 16).
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure
Lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience [that no one,
no man, lest any man, fall by the same sort, fall after the same example, of
unbelief].[ 47 ] The Greek PESEE fall does not indicate falling into the example of
disobedience but to fall from the grace of God.
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by
law; you EXEPESATE have fallen from grace (Ga 5:4).
GOD'S WORD IS LIVING AND POWERFUL
4:12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and
marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
For the word of God.[ 48 ] God's holy word is not mere history, philosophy or
theory. Just as His works characterize Him, so does His word (see note on verse
10). Like Him, it is pure, dependable and powerful. It includes the promise of
THE WORD OF GOD
1. Shall not return to Me void, but it shall
accomplish what I please (Isa 55:11).
2. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and
they are life (Joh 6:63).
3. The word of this salvation (Ac 13:26).
4. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God (Eph 6:17).
5. The word which they heard (Heb 4:2).
2. Powerful, active.
3. Sharp, severs, pierces.
4. A discerner, a judge.
THE WORD LIKE A SWORD (A)
1. With the breath of His lips He shall slay the
wicked (Isa 11:4).
2. And He has made My mouth like a sharp
sword (Isa 49:2).
3. The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of
God (Eph 6:17).
THE WORD LIKE A SWORD (B)
1. Sharper than any two-edged sword
2. Out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged
sword (Re 1:16).
3. These things says He who has the sharp two-
edged sword (Re 2:12).
4. Will fight against them with the sword of My
mouth (Re 2:16).
Is living [is quick].[ 49 ] Although "living" is primarily true of the promise of
rest, it is also a characteristic of the entire revealed message recorded in the pages
of the Bible. Stephen called God's word the "living oracles" (Ac 7:38). This also
agrees with Peter's evaluation of that word. In fact, since "living" is placed first
in the series, it is given a degree of importance over the subsequent attributes of
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever
Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit
in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart,
23 having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible,
through the word of God which lives and abides forever (1Pe 1:22-23).
And powerful [and active].[ 50 ]
So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to
Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the
thing for which I sent it (Isa 55:11).
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling
down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that
exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into
captivity to the obedience of Christ (2Co 10:4, 5).
And sharper [sharper, and sharper than any two-edged sword].[ 51 ] The word
of God is the sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17). It will prick the heart of sinners (Ac
Than any two-edged sword.[ 52 ] As Marshall Keeble said, a two-edged sword
cuts coming and going.
Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the
nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself
treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God (Re
Piercing [ and piercing].[ 53 ] The sword which is the Word of God is piercing.
Even to the division of soul and spirit [even to the dividing, the dividing
asunder, of soul and spirit].[ 54 ] Greek philosophers regarded man as a triune
being having a material body, an animal soul and an eternal spirit. The soul,
according to them, is the seat of "animal" life, passions and appetites. The spirit
is the seat of higher thought and morality. Guy N. Woods wrote:
Since the sacred writers provided for "the dividing of soul and spirit," in
those instances where they differ, so ought we and so we must if we are to
entertain biblical concepts of these words.
Woods continues to point out that "spirit" is a specific term and designates "that
part of us which is not susceptible to death and which survives the dissolution of
the body (see Ge 25:8; 35:18; Ps 90:10; Ac 7:59; 2Co 5:1, 6-8). The spirit
comes from God. Death occurs when the spirit leaves the body.
Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid
them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father
of spirits and live? (Heb 12:9).
"Soul" is not so easy to define. The word is used in at least four difference
senses in Scripture. Its meaning has to be determined from the context. To
illustrate, the word "ship" may mean an ocean-going vessel or as a verb meaning
to send some material by any means. The context determines the appropriate
FOUR MEANINGS OF "SOUL"
1. Person (Ac 2:41; 1Pe 3:20).
2. "Animal" life (Ps 78:50).
3. The thinking part of man
(1Co 1:18-28; 2:6-16).
4. Synonymous with "spirit" (Ac 2:27).
And of joints and marrow [of joints, of both joints, the joints, and
marrow].[ 55 ] Joints and marrow may be used figuratively to allude to man's
innermost spiritual recesses. The word of God is extremely thorough in its work
both within the physical and spiritual parts of man.
And is a discerner [and discerning, and quick to discern, and is a judge].[ 56 ]
One translation says the word "judges" (compare Joh 12:48).
But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those
who practice such things (Ro 2:2).
Of the thoughts and intents of the heart [of the thoughts, purposes,
intentions, of the heart].[ 57 ]
PROFICIENCY OF THE WORD
1. Living, full of energy and power.
2. Lays bare ideas, affections and desires.
3. Affects man's physical nature.
4. Judges thoughts and purposes.
NO CREATURE HIDDEN FROM GOD'S SIGHT
4:13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked
and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
And there is no creature [no, and no, neither is there any, creature].[ 58 ]
Hidden from His sight [is hidden from his sight, before him is hidden, that
is not manifest in his sight].[ 59 ] Out of shame, a child-molester may cover his
face when reporters are taking photographs. A criminal may hang his head when
the verdict is read. One may deceive himself (Ga 6:3). One may keep secrets
from a spouse or the church. No matter how one may hide or be in darkness, the
all-knowing God is aware of his secret thoughts, plans and activities (see Ac 1:24;
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall fall on me," even the night shall be light
about me; 12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, but the night
shines as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to You (Ps
But all things are naked [but all are open, but all things are bare].[ 60 ]
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will
both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of
the hearts. Then each one's praise will come from God (1Co 4:5).
And open to the eyes of Him [and laid bare, and opened, laid open, exposed,
before, unto, the eyes of him].[ 61 ] In ancient times, criminals heads were held
back so that their faces could be viewed. Informers heads were forcibly up lifted
so that their faces were clearly seen.[ 62 ] Wrestlers commonly hold back their
opponents' heads to expose their agonizing faces to the crowd. Sacrificial animals
were exposed to the eyes of the priest for inspection.
To whom we must give account [with whom we have to do, to whom we are
accountable].[ 63 ] There is a relationship with God in everything a person does.
Nothing is totally detached from Him. Nothing is neutral. Everything is either
in accordance to His will or it is not. It is not before friends, enemies or even
impartial arbitrators that we shall be judged. It is with God that "we must give
For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own
poets have said, "For we are also His offspring" (Ac 17:28).
CHRIST OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST
4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
CHRIST OUR HIGH PRIEST (A)
1. Merciful and faithful (Heb 2:17).
2. Made like His brethren (Heb 2:17; 10:5).
3. Apostle and High Priest of our confession
4. A great High Priest . . . sympathizes with
weaknesses (Heb 4:14, 15).
5. Did not glorify Himself to become High Priest
(Heb 5:4, 5).
CHRIST OUR HIGH PRIEST (B)
1. A priest forever after the order of Melchizedek
(Heb 5:6, 10; 6:20).
2. According to the power of an endless life
3. Holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from
sinners, and has become higher than the
heavens (Heb 7:26).
4. Does not need daily to offer up sacrifices, first
for His own sins and then for the people's, for
this He did once for all when He offered up
Himself (Heb 7:27).
5. The word of the oath, which came after the
law, appoints the Son who has been perfected
forever (Heb 7:26-28).
Seeing then [since then, then].[ 64 ] Christ is a merciful and faithful High Priest
on behalf of the sins of His people (see notes on Heb 2:17, 18).
CHRIST OUR HIGH PRIEST (C)
1. Seated at the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in the heavens (Heb 8:1).
2. A Minister of the sanctuary and of the true
tabernacle which the Lord erected, and not
man (Heb 8:2).
3. It is necessary that this One also have
something to offer (Heb 8:3).
4. In heaven (Heb 8:2; 9:11, 12, 24; 10:12, 19).
5. Offered Self (Heb 8:3; 9:12, 14, 27, 28;
CHRIST OUR HIGH PRIEST (D)
1. Christ came as High Priest of the good things
to come, with the greater and more perfect
tabernacle not made with hands (Heb 9:11).
2. With His own blood He entered the Most Holy
Place once for all, having obtained eternal
redemption (Heb 9:12).
3. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who
through the eternal Spirit offered Himself
without spot to God, cleanse your conscience
from dead works to serve the living God?
That we have a great High Priest [having, we have, a great high priest][ 65 ]
(see charts CHRIST OUR HIGH PRIEST A, B, C and D; JESUS' PRIESTHOOD
Who has passed through the heavens [who, who hath passed, that is passed,
into the heavens].[ 66 ] Jesus has passed through the heavens right on to the throne
at the right hand of God (compare 1Co 12:2).
JESUS' PRIESTHOOD PROVIDES (A)
1. Deliverance (Heb 2:15).
2. Aids those tempted (Heb 2:18; 4:15; 7:25;
8:6; 9:15, 24).
3. Mercy and grace to help (Heb 4:16).
4. Hope (Heb 6:19, 20).
5. Intercession (Heb 7:25).
6. Cleanses conscience (Heb 9:14).
7. Author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2).
JESUS' PRIESTHOOD PROVIDES (B)
1. Bears sins (Heb 9:28).
2. Perfects forever those who are being
sanctified (Heb 10:14).
3. Hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience
4. Saving of the soul (Heb 10:39).
5. By Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of
praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips,
giving thanks to His name (Heb 13:15).
Jesus the Son of God.[ 67 ] We are reminded that our Mediator "the man Christ
Jesus" is Himself the Son of God (see 1Ti 2:5).
Let us hold fast our confession [let us hold fast, firmly to, our profession, the
confession].[ 68 ] The truth about Christ being our faithful High Priest motivates
every Christian to strive to remain true to our confession (see Heb 3:6; 5:1).
A SYMPATHIZING HIGH PRIEST
4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
For we do not have a High Priest [for we have not an high priest].[ 69 ]
Perhaps the readers were familiar with callous, insensitive, unsympathetic Levitical
high priests such as Annas and Caiaphas.
Who cannot sympathize with [which, that, is unable to sympathize, cannot
be touched].[ 70 ]
Our weaknesses [with the feeling of our infirmities].[ 71 ] Does Jesus care? I
know He cares. His heart is touched with my grief!
But was in all points tempted [but One who was, who but was, but one that
hath been, in every respect has been, tempted, in every respect].[ 72 ] Jesus was
tempted with various desires (see Mt 4:1-11; Lu 4:2-12).
For all that is in the world-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life-- is not of the Father but is of the world (1Jo 2:16).
As we are [like as, just as, we are].[ 73 ] Some understand this to mean Christ's
likeness to humans.
Yet without sin [yet without sin].[ 74 ] Jesus is without sin. He committed no
transgression in spite of being tempted in every way (see Isa 53:9; Heb 7:26;, 1Pe
2:22). Our sinless High Priest is compassionate and able to help sinners who
believe, trust and obey Him.
COME BOLDLY TO THE THRONE OF GRACE
4:16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain
mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Let us therefore come [Let us then draw near, therefore let us come].[ 75 ]
Because we have such a marvelous and gracious High Priest we may come near
to Him. The Hebrew writer encourages Christians by showing how sympathetic
and able is the Christian's High Priest. He is always available.
Boldly [with confidence, boldness].[ 76 ] Christians may draw near to the throne
of Christ with confident assurance that He will hear them.
To the throne of grace [unto the throne of grace].[ 77 ] A king may rule from
his throne with impulse, whim or caprice. Human suffering may not even touch
his hard heart, but from the Lord's heavenly throne grace streams abundantly. His
throne is a throne of grace!
That we may obtain mercy [that we may find, receive. mercy].[ 78 ] Penitent
sinners receive mercy and forgiveness. God has provided salvation for all (Lu
1:71; Ro 15:9; Ga 6:16; 1Ti 1:2; Tit 1:16; 3:5; Jude 21). He is rich in mercy
And find grace [and grace, and may find grace].[ 79 ] Our need for God's favor
may be satisfied at the throne of grace.
To help in time of need [to help us in time of need, for timely help].[ 80 ] None
of us is so strong and wise that he does not have many times of need. God comes
to our rescue with His gracious help in every season, day or night.
[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, ESB, KJV, RSV and occasionally another version. Greek
transliteration tends to follow the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]OUN, therefore (Marshall 860); since then (Thayer 464); so (Williams); then (Lenski 125).
[ 3 ]KATALEIPOMENEES EPANGELIAS, being left a promise (Marshall 860);
KATALEIPOMENEES is the present passive participle, genitive singular feminine of KATALEIPOO
(Han 396); the act of promising, a promise given or to be given (Thayer 226); still remaining (Vincent
4.420); the promise is still remaining valid (Williams); although there is [still] being left a promise
[ 4 ]EISELTHEIN EIS TEEN KATAPAUSIN AUTOU, to enter into the rest of him (Marshall 860);
[EIS in, ERCHOMAI to come]; in the NT, rest, repose, used of God's rest (Vine 364, 960); for us to
be admitted to His rest (Williams); to enter into his rest (Lenski 125).
[ 5 ]PHOBEETHOOMEN, let us fear (Marshall 860; Williams; Lenski 125); first person plural, first
aorist passive subjunctive of PHOBEOO (Han 396); show reverential fear (Vine 661).
[ 6 ]MEEPOTE . . . TIS EX HUMOON, lest anyone of you (Marshall 860); lest ever, lest perhaps
(Vine 415); some one of you (Williams); someone of your number (Lenski 125).
[ 7 ]DOKEE HUSTEREEKENAI, to have come short (Marshall 860); DOKEE is third person
singular, present active subjunctive of DOKEOO (Han 396); [should seem] to be behind (Vine 198);
lest any one of you think he has come too late for it (Vincent 4.420, 421); may be found to have missed
it (Williams); imagine he has come to be behind (Lenski 125).
[ 8 ]KAI GAR ESPEN EUEENGELISMENOI, for indeed we are having had good news preached
[to us] (Marshall 860); ESPEN is first person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 396);
literally, we have had good tidings proclaimed to us (Vincent 4.421); for we have had the good news
told to us (Williams); for also we have been told glad tidings (Lenski 125).
[ 9 ]KATHAPER KAKEINOI, even as those also (Marshall 860); as well as they (Williams); just as
also they (Lenski 125).
[ 10 ]ALL' HO LOGOS TEES AKOEES, but the word of hearing (Marshall 860); literally, the word
of the message (Vincent 4.42); the word of hearing (R. Milligan 130); but the message heard
(Williams); but the word of hearing [the Word heard] (Lenski 125).
[ 11 ]OUK OOPHELEESEN EKEINOUS, did not prophet those (Marshall 860); OOPHELEESEN
is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of OOPHELEOO (Han 396); did them no good
(Williams); did not profit them (Lenski 125).
[ 12 ] MEE SUNKEKERASMENOS [or SUNKEKERASMENOUS] TEE PISTEI TOIS AKOUSASIN,
not having been mixed together with faith in the [ones] hearing (Marshall 860); SUNKEKERASMENOS
is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular masculine of SUNKERANNUMI (Han 396);
literally, mixed with [SUN with, KERANNUM to mix, mingle], (Vine 749); because not incorporated
by faith in them that heard; the perfect passive participle SUNKEKERASMENOUS relates to LOGOS
in the nominative singular; SUNKEKERASMENOUS is the accusative plural (Vincent 4.421);
permeate, did not influence them to obey the Lord (Littrell); because they were not by faith made one
[following Westcott-Hort--mixed by faith, etc.] with those who heeded it [who heard, Joshua, Caleb]
(Williams); not having mixed itself by faith with those who heard (Lenski 125).
[ 13 ]EISERCHOMETHA GAR EIS [TEEN] KATAPAUSIN HOI PISTEUSANTES, we enter For
into the rest the [ones] believing (Marshall 860); EISERCHOMETHA is first person plural, present
middle indicative of EISERCHOMAI; PISTEUSANTES is the first active participle, nominative plural
masculine of PISTEUOO (Han 396); aorist participle, entering into the rest is a fact which characterizes
us as believers (Vincent 4.422); for we who believed are being admitted to that rest (Williams); for we
are entering into the rest, [we] who have come to believe (Lenski 129).
[ 14 ]Downer.
[ 15 ]Some of the songs about the heavenly rest are: No Tears in Heaven, When We All Get to
Heaven, Encamped along the Hills of Light, Wonderful City of God, I Am Bound for the Promised
Land, O Land of Rest For Thee I Sigh, Sing to Me of Heaven, Won't it Be Wonderful There? In the
Sweet By and By, Shall We Gather at the River, Just Over in Glory Land, Where the Gates Swing
[ 16 ]KATHOOS EIREEKEN: HOOS OOMOSA EN TEE ORGEE MOU, as he has said: As I swore
in the wrath of me (Marshall 860); EIREEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of
EIPON (Han 396); just as He has said: "As in my anger I took oath" (Williams); even as he has said:
So I swore in my wrath (Lenski 129).
[ 17 ] EI EISELEUSONTAI EIS TEEN KATAPAUSIN MOU, If they shall enter into the rest of me
(Marshall 860); EISELEUSONTAI is third person plural, future middle indicative of EISERCHOMAI
(Han 397); they shall not be admitted to my rest (Williams); they shall not enter into my rest (Lenski
[ 18 ]KAITOI TOON ERGOON GENEETHENTOON, thou the works having come into being
(Marshall 860); GENEETHENTOON is the first aorist passive participle, genitive plural neuter of
GINOMAI (Han 397); became, came into existence, that is, were brought to their predestined end (Vine
431); although God's works had been completed (Williams); the works certainly existing (Lenski 129).
[ 19 ]APO KATABOLEES KOSMOU, from [the] foundation of [the] world (Marshall 860); from the
foundation of the world (Thayer 330; Arndt 409); of a foundation, as that which is laid down, or in the
sense of founding; metaphorically, of the foundation of the world . . . looks back to the past eternity
(Vine 458); at the creation of the world (Williams); since the foundation of the world (Lenski 129).
[ 20 ]Adam Clarke 6.710.
[ 21 ]EIREEKEN GAR POU, for he has said somewhere (Marshall 860; Lenski 129); for somewhere
He speaks (Williams).
[ 22 ]PERI TEES HEBDOMEES HOUTOOS, concerning the seventh [day] thus (Marshall 860); of
the seventh day (Williams); regarding the seventh day thus (Lenski 129, 130).
[ 23 ]KAI KATEPAUSEN HO THEOS EN TEE HEMERA TEE HEBDOMEE APO PANTOON
TOON ERGOON AUTOU, and rested God in the day seventh from all the works of him (Marshall
860); KATEPAUSEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of KATAPAUOO (Han
397); on the seventh day God rested from all His works [see Ge 2:2] (Williams); and God rested on
the seventh day from all his works (Lenski 130).
[ 24 ]KAI EN TOUTOO PALIN, and in this [place] again (Marshall 860); while in this passage again
(Williams); and in this [place] again (Lenski 130).
[ 25 ]EI EISELEUSONTAI EIS TEEN KATAPAUSIN MOU, if they shall enter into the rest of me
(Marshall 860, 861); EISELEUSONTAI is third person plural, future middle indicative of
EISERCHOMAI (Han 397); they shall not be admitted to my rest (Williams); they shall not enter into
my rest (Lenski 130).
[ 26 ]EPEI OUN APOLEIPETAI TINAS EISELTHEIN EIS AUTEEN, since therefore it remains
[for] some to enter into it (Marshall 861); APOLEIPETAI is third person singular, present passive
indicative of APOLEIPOO; EISELTHEIN is the second aorist active infinitive of EISERCHOMAI (Han
397); APOLEIPETAI means "remains over from past times (Vincent 4.423); since then it still remains
that some are being admitted to it (Williams); since, then, it remains for some to enter it (Lenski 133).
[ 27 ]KAI HOI PROTERON EUANGELISTHENTES, and the [ones] formerly having good news
preached [to them] (Marshall 861); EUANGELISTHENTES is the first aorist passive participle,
nominative plural masculine of EUANGELIZOO (Han 397); in the passive voice, of matters to be
proclaimed as glad tidings . . . of persons to whom the proclamation is made (Vine 498); literally, they
who were first the subjects of the announcement of the glad tidings (Vincent 4.423); and that those who
first had the good news told to them (Williams); and those formerly given the glad tidings (Lenski 133).
[ 28 ]OUK EISEELTHON, did not enter (Marshall 861; Lenski 133); EISEELTHON is first person
singular or third person plural, second aorist active indicative of EISERCHOMAI (Han 397); were not
[ 29 ]The exceptions were that Joshua and Caleb were allowed to enter Canaan.
[ 30 ]DI' APEITHEIAN, because of disobedience (Marshall 861; Williams; Lenski 133); disobedience
(Vincent 4.423); [A negative, PEITHOO to persuade], literally, the condition of being unpersuadable;
denotes obstinacy, obstinate rejection of the will of God; hence, "disobedience" (Vine 311); of
disobedience of the Jews (Arndt 82).
[ 31 ]PALIN TINA HORIZEI HEMERAN, again a certain he defines day (Marshall 861); HORIZEI
is third person singular, present active indicative of HORIZOO (Han 397); defineth . . . he gives
another opportunity of securing the rest (Vincent 4.423); the reference is to the time of God's invitation
to enter into His rest, in contrast to Israel's failure to do so, the word may mean either the appointing
of the day [that is, the period], or the defining of the day, that is, marking its limits (Vine 279); He
again fixes a definite day (Williams); he again fixes a day (Lenski 133).
[ 32 ]EN DAUID LEGOON, in David saying (Marshall 861); LEGOON is the poresent active
participle, nominative singular masculine of LEGOO (Han 397); saying through David (Williams); in
the person of David (Lenski 133).
[ 33 ]META TOSOUTON CHRONON, after such a time (Marshall 861); so long a space of time
(Vine 682, 1149); long afterward (Williams); after so long a time (Lenski 133).
[ 34 ] KATHOOS PROEIREETAI, as he has previously said (Marshall 861); PROEIREETAI is third
person singular, perfect passive indicative of PROLEGOO (Han 397); as it hath been before said
(Vincent 4.424); as has been quoted (Williams); even as it has been said before (Lenski 133).
[ 35 ]SEEMERON EAN TEES PHOONEES AUTOU AKOUSEETE, To-day if the voice of him ye
hear (Marshall 861); AKOUSEETE is second person plural, first aorist active subjunctive of AKOUOO
(Han 397); if you but hear His voice (Williams); today if you shall hear his voice (Lenski 133).
[ 36 ]MEE SKLEERUNEETE TAS KARDIAS HUMOON, do not harden the hearts of you (Marshall
861); SKLEERUNEETE is second person plural present or first aorist active subjunctive of
SKLEERUNOO (Han 397); you must not harden your hearts (Williams); do not harden your hearts
[ 37 ]EI GAR 'IEESOUS, for if Jesus [Joshua] (Marshall 861); whose help is Jehovah, Joshua [fully
Jehoshua], the famous captain of the Israelites, Moses' successor (Thayer 300); Joshua (Vincent 4.424);
the name 'IEESOUS Jesous [Jesus] is used in Hellenistic Greek for the Hebrew Y'HOSHUA in the
earlier books of the OT, and for YESHUA in the later books (R. Milligan 134); for if Joshua
(Williams; Lenski 133); see note on Matthew 1:21.
[ 38 ]AUTOUS KATEPAUSEN, them rested (Marshall 861); KATEPAUSEN is third person singular,
first aorist active indicative of KATAPAUOO (Han 397); used transitively, signifies to cause to rest
(Vine 960); had really given them rest (Williams); had given them rest (Lenski 133).
[ 39 ] OUK AN PERI ALLEES ELALEI META TAUTA HEEMERAS, not concerning another he
would have spoken after these things day (Marshall 861); ELALEI is third person singular, imperfect
active indicative of LALEOO (Han 397); after the entrance into Canaan under Joshua (Vincent 4.424);
He would not afterward have been speaking of another day (Williams); he would not be speaking
afterward about another day (Lenski 133).
[ 40 ] ARA APOLEIPETAI SABBATISMOS, then remains a sabbath rest (Marshall 861);
APOLEIPETAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of APOLEIPOO (Han 397); the
perpetual SABBATISMOS is appointed for believers (Vine 984); a Sabbath-keeping [akin to
SABBATIZOO to keep the Sabbath, used, for example, in Exodus 16:30, not in the NT]; here the
Sabbath-keeping is the perpetual Sabbath rest to be enjoyed uninterruptedly by believers in their
fellowship with the Father and the Son, in contrast to the weekly Sabbath under the Law. Because this
Sabbath rest is the rest of God Himself [4:10], its full fruition is yet future, though believers now enter
into it. In whatever way they enter into Divine rest, that which they enjoy is involved in an indissoluble
relation with God (Vine 960); a keeping Sabbath; SABBATISMOS instead of KATAPAUSIS (Vincent
4.424); so a sabbath of rest is still awaiting (Williams); accordingly, there [still] remains a Sabbath
[ 41 ]TOO LAOO TOU THEOU, to the people of God (Marshall 861); of Christians as the people
of God (Vine 844); God's people (Williams); for the people of God (Lenski 133).
[ 42 ]HO GAR EISELTHOON EIS TEEN KATAPAUSIN AUTOU, for the [one] having entered the
rest of him (Marshall 861); EISELTHOON is the second aorist active participle, nominative singular
masculine of EISERCHOMAI (Han 397); the aorist tense marks the completeness of the appropriation--once and for all: whoever has once entered (Vincent 4.425); in the NT, rest, repose . . . in a general
statement, applicable to God and man (Vine 960); His rest; those who die in the Lord are blessed and
will find rest from their labors [see Re 14:13] (Littrell); for whoever [or, it may mean, He (Christ)
who, etc.] is admitted into God's rest (Williams); for he who did enter into his rest (Lenski 137).
[ 43 ]KAI AUTOS KATEPAUSEN APO TOON ERGOON AUTOU, also [him]self rested from the
works of him (Marshall 861); KATEPAUSEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of
KATAPAUOO (Han 397); omit own. The statement is a general proposition: any one who has entered
into God's rest has ceased from his works (Vincent 4.425); himself has rested from his works
(Williams); did rest [or come to rest] from all his works (Lenski 137).
[ 44 ]HOOSPER APO TOON IDIOON HO THEOS, as from the [his] own God [did] (Marshall 861);
as God [did] from his own (Vincent 4.425); just as God did (Williams); even as God from his (Lenski
[ 45 ]SPOUDASOOMEN OUN, let us be eager therefore (Marshall 861); SPOUDASOOMEN is first
person plural, first aorist active subjunctive of SPOUDAZOO (Han 397); earnestness, zeal or
sometimes the haste accompanying this (Vine 303); give diligence, not hasten, which is the primary
meaning (Vincent 4.425); strive earnestly (R. Milligan 137); so let us do our best (Williams); let us,
then, be diligent (Lenski 138).
[ 46 ]EISELTHEIN EIS EKEINEEN TEEN KATAPAUSIN, to enter into that rest (Marshall 861);
EISELTHEIN is the second aorist active infinitive of EISERCHOMAI (Han 397); to be admitted to that
rest (Williams); to enter into that rest (Lenski 138).
[ 47 ]HINA MEE EN TOO AUTOO TIS HUPODEIGMATI PESEE TEES APEITHEIAS, lest in the
same anyone example falls of disobedience (Marshall 861); PESEE is third person singular, second
aorist active subjunctive of PIPTOO (Han 397); PESEE fall is to be taken absolutely; not fall into the
same example . . . that no man fall in the same example of disobedience: the same as that in which they
fell (Vincent 4.426); fall in the religious or moral sense, be completely ruined . . . fall from a state of
grace (Arndt 660); so that not one of us may fail through the same sort of disobedience (Williams); lest
anyone in the same type of the disobedience get to fall (Lenski 138).
[ 48 ]GAR HO LOGOS TOU THEOU, for the word of God (Marshall 861; Lenski 140); a saying or
statement by God (Vine 1241); for God's message (Williams).
[ 49 ]ZOON [is] living (Marshall 861); ZOON is the present active participle, nominative singular
masculine or accusative singular neuter of ZAOO (Han 397); [note the emphatic position of ZOON
living]; living is the word of God, since it is the word of "the living God" [Heb 3:12] (Vincent 4.427);
is alive (Williams); living is (Lenski 140).
[ 50 ]KAI ENERGEES, and operative (Marshall 861); and full of power in action [energetic, full of
power, in action] (Williams); and effective (Lenski 140).
[ 51 ]KAI TOMOOTEROS, and sharper (Marshall 861; Lenski 140); [from TEMNEIN to cut], an
incisive and penetrating quality (Vincent 4.427); sharper, adequate to pierce the heart and bring faith
[Ac 2:37-41; 16:14, 15]. It is the sword of the Spirit [Eph. 6:17], and it is the source of our faith [Ro
10:17; Joh 20:30, 31] (Littrell); sharper (Williams).
[ 52 ]HUPER PASAN MACHAIRAN DISTOMON, beyond every sword two-mouthed [edged]
(Marshall 861); [sharper] above every two-mouthed dirk or dagger (Vincent 4.427); than any double-edged sword (Williams); than any two-edged sword (Lenski 140).
[ 53 ]KAI DIIKNOUMENOS, and passing through (Marshall 861); DIIKNOUMENOS is the present
middle participle, nominative singular masculine of DIIKNEOMAI (Han 397); [DIA through,
IKNEOMAI to go], piercing, used of the power of the Word of God (Vine 855); literally, coming
through (Vincent 4.427); piercing (Williams); and piercing (Lenski 140).
[ 54 ]ACHRI MERISMOU PSUCHEES KAI PNEUMATOS, as far division of soul and of spirit
(Marshall 861); a dividing or separation. Some take this in the active sense, "as far as the cleaving
asunder or separation of soul and spirit;" others in the passive sense, "as far as the division [that is, the
dividing line] between soul and spirit," that is, where one differs from the other. The former seems
more in keeping with the meaning of the word (Vine 320); the act of division; not the point or line of
division (Vincent 4.428); even to the depths of soul and spirit (Williams); as far as division of soul and
spirit (Lenski 140).
[ 55 ] HARMOON TE KAI MUELOON, of joints both and marrow (Marshall 861, 862); a joining,
joint [akin to HARMOZOO to fit, join], figuratively, [with the word "marrow"] of the inward moral
and spiritual being of man, as just previously expressed literally in the phrase "soul and spirit" (Vine
607); figuratively, of joints and marrow of the soul, the inmost recesses of our spiritual being (Vincent
4.428); joints and marrow are used metaphorically to refer proverbially to "the innermost essence of
man's spiritual nature" (R. Milligan 139); to the dividing of joints and marrow (Williams); of both
joints and marrow (Lenski 140).
[ 56 ]KAI KRITIKOS, and able to judge (Marshall 862); the word carries on the thought of dividing
[from KRINEIN to divide or separate] which runs into the sense of judge, the usual meaning in the NT,
the ideas of discrimination and judgment are blended; judgment involving the sifting out and analysis
of evidence (Vincent 4.428); and passing judgment (Williams); and keen to judge (Lenski 140).
[ 57 ]ENTHUMEESEOON KAI ENNOIOON KARDIAS, of thoughts and intentions of a heart
(Marshall 862); a cogitation, an inward reasoning [generally, evil surmising or supposition], is formed
from EN in and THUMOS strong feeling, passion [compare THUMOOO in the middle voice, to be
wroth, furious]; English fume is akin; the root THU signifies to rush, rage . . . the accompanying word
ENNOIA denotes inward intentions (Vine 297, 1144); the sense is pondering or thinking out, the
reflections [and] conceptions (Vincent 4.429); on the thoughts and purposes of the heart (Williams); a
heart's considerations and thoughts (Lenski 140).
[ 58 ]KAI OUK ESTIN KTISIS, and there is no creature (Marshall 862); in the sense of the thing
created (Vincent 4.429); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 397);
in the sense of the thing created (Vincent 4.429); no creature of His (Williams); and there is not a
creature (Lenski 140).
[ 59 ]APHANEES ENOOPION AUTOU, unmanifest before him (Marshall 862); unseen, hidden, not
manifest [A negative, PHAINOO appearing, visible] (Vine 708); can escape God's sight (Williams);
unexposed before him (Lenski 140).
[ 60 ] PANTA DE GUMNA, but all things [are] naked (Marshall 862); unclothed, metaphorically, of
things exposed to the all-seeing eye of God (Vine 771); but everything is bare (Williams); but
everything naked (Lenski 140).
[ 61 ]KAI TETRACHEELISMENA TOIS OPHTHALMOIS AUTOU, and having been laid open to
the eyes of him (Marshall 862); TETRACHEELISMENA is the perfect passive participle, nominative
plural neuter of TRACHEELIZOO (Han 397); TETRACHEELISMENA, perfect participle of
TRACHEELIZOO, which appears to denote bending back the neck [TRACHEELOS] or seizing by the
throat. The former sense is quoted from Theophrastus [bending back the sacrificial victim's neck for
the fatal stroke]. E. K. Simpson quotes examples from Philo and Josephus in support of the rendering
"exhausted"; "in the wrestler's art TRACHEELISMOS was a grip of the antagonist's throat akin to the
bandit's GARROTE, rendering him limp and powerless . . . This characteristic figure then may be held
to represent either the denuded or helpless plight of all created persons or forces when brought face to
face with their Creator and Lord" [EQ xviii, 1946, page 38], at the end of an article on "The
Vocabulary of the Epistle to the Hebrews"] (Bruce 83); to seize and twist the neck [from
TRACHEELOS the throat], was used of wrestlers, in the sense of taking by the throat . . . the literal
sense of the word seems to be "with the head thrown back and the throat exposed." . . . Some have
considered that the metaphor is from the manner of treating victims about to be sacrificed . . . . The
context serves to explain the meaning and the RV rendering is satisfactory (Vine 650, 651); evidently
connected with TRACHEELOS neck, throat (Vincent 4.429); and exposed to the eyes of Him [literally,
no creature is unseen before His face] (Williams); and laid open to the eyes of him (Lenski 140).
[ 62 ]Pliny, Panegyric 34.3.
[ 63 ]PROS HON HEEMIN HO LOGOS, with whom to us [is] the word [account]=is our account
(Marshall 862); with whom is our reckoning; that is to whom we have to give account (Vincent 4.429);
to whom we have to give account [literally, to whom is our account] (Williams); facing whom this
Word is for us (Lenski 140).
[ 64 ]ECHONTES OUN, having therefore (Marshall 862); ECHONTES is the present active
participle, nominative plural masculine of ECHOO (Han 397); what has been said is used to prove
something else (Thayer 464); since then (Williams); having then (Lenski 148).
[ 65 ]ARCHEIREA MEGAN, high priest a great (Marshall 862); a great high priest (Vine 883); a
great High Priest (Williams; Lenski 148).
[ 66 ]DIELEELUTHOTA TOUS OURANOUS, having gone through the heavens (Marshall 862);
passed through the heavens (Vincent 4.430); DIELEELUTHOTA is the second perfect active participle,
accusative singular masculine of DIERCHOMAI (Han 397); passed through the heavens (Vincent
4.430); who has gone right up to heaven itself (Williams); who has gone through the heavens (Lenski
[ 67 ] 'IEESOUN TON HUION TOU THEOU, Jesus the Son of God (Marshall 862; Lenski 149); in
Jesus the Son of God (Williams).
[ 68 ]KRATOOMEN TEES HOMOLOGIAS, let us hold the confession (Marshall 862);
KRATOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of KRATEOO (Han 397); let us
continue to keep a firm hold on our profession (Williams); let us continue to hold fast to the confession!
[ 69 ]OU GAR ECHOMAN ARCHIEREA, not For we have a high priest (Marshall 862);
ECHOMAN is first person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 397); for we do not have
a High Priest (Williams; Lenski 148).
[ 70 ]MEE DUNAMENON SUMPATHEESAI, not being able to suffer with (Marshall 862);
SUMPATHEESAI is the first aorist active infinitive of SUMPATHEOO (Han 397); more than
knowledge of human infirmity. It is feeling it by reason of a common experience with [SUN] men
(Vincent 4.430); who is incapable of sympathizing with us (Williams); unable to sympathize with
[ 71 ]TAIS ASTHENEIAIS HEEMOON, the weaknesses of us (Marshall 862); not sufferings, but
weaknesses, moral and physical, which predispose to sin and facilitate it (Vincent 4.430); in our
weaknesses (Williams); our weaknesses (Lenski 148).
[ 72 ]PEPEIRASMENON DE KATA PANTA, having been tempted but in all respects (Marshall 862);
PEPEIRASMENON is the perfect passive participle, accusative singular masculine of PEIRAZOO (Han
397); who was tempted in every respect (Williams); but having been tried in all respects (Lenski 148).
[ 73 ]KATH' HOMOIOTEETA, according to [our] likeness (Marshall 862); literally, according to
likeness (Vincent 4.430); as we are (Williams); in like manner [as we] (Lenski 148).
[ 74 ]CHOORIS HAMARTIAS, apart from sin (Marshall 862); and yet without committing any sin
(Williams); except for sin (Lenski 148).
[ 75 ]PROSERCHOOMETHA OUN, Let us approach therefore (Marshall 862);
PROSERCHOOMETHA is first person plural, present middle subjunctive of PROSERCHOMAI (Han
397); so let us continue coming (Williams); let us, then, continue to approach (Lenski 148).
[ 76 ]META PARREESIAS, with confidence (Marshall 862); with courage (Williams); with boldness
[ 77 ] TOO THRONOO TEES CHARITOS, to the throne of grace (Marshall 862); the throne of grace;
a throne, a seat of authority, the throne of God . . . from which grace proceeds (Vine 1146); to the
throne of God's unmerited favor (Williams); the throne of the grace (Lenski 148).
[ 78 ]HINA LABOOMEN ELEOS, in order that we may receive mercy (Marshall 862); LABOOMEN
is first person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of LAMBANOO (Han 397); the outward
manifesting of pity; it assumes need on the part of him who receives it, and resources adequate to meet
the need on the part of him who shows it. . . . He is merciful to those who fear Him [Lu 1:50], for
they are compassed with infirmity, and He alone can succor them. Hence they are to pray boldly for
mercy (Vine 732, 733); to obtain His mercy (Williams); that we may receive mercy (Lenski 148).
[ 79 ]KAI CHARIN HEUROOMEN, and grace we may find (Marshall 862); HEUROOMEN is first
person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of HEURISKOO (Han 397); the friendly disposition from
which the kindly act proceeds, graciousness, loving kindness, goodwill generally (Vine 500); and to find
His spiritual strength (Williams); and find grace (Lenski 148).
[ 80 ]EIS EUKAIRON BOEETHEIAN, for timely help (Marshall 862); literally, for seasonable help,
or help in good time; before it is too late; while there is still time to seek God's rest (Vincent 4.431);
to help us when we need it (Williams); for timely help! (Lenski 148).
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington,
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise,
are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various
sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV.
Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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