Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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HEBREWS - Chapter 4

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Hebrews 4

Supplemental Commentary:

I.  SUPERIORITY OF THE NEW DISPENSATION OVER THE OLD  1, 1 -- 10, 18 (continued)

1.  A Superior Mediator  1, 1 -- 4, 13 (continued)

4, 1-13:  Our Promised Land.  The Rest promised by God to His people was more than a mere repose in the Land of Canaan.  It was to be a participation in His own Sabbath Rest entered upon after His work of creation.  That Rest had been offered to the Israelites of old, but they failed to obtain it because of their unbelief.  It was promised again in the time of David, centuries after the occupation of the Land by Josue.  That promise of God regarding His Rest still remains, and is accessible to the Christians.  As of old, unbelief may prevent one from entering.  Faith and labor are necessary.

2.  A Superior High Priest  4, 14 -- 7, 28

4, 14-16:  Confidence in Christ.  The author now passes on to another argument proving the superiority of the new dispensation over the old, namely, the superiority of Christ's priesthood to the priesthood of the Old Law.  This argument with some degressions will continue to 10, 18.

14.  Passed into the heavens: in contrast with the High Priest of the old dispensation, who entered into the Holy of Holies, where God dwelt in a special manner, only on the Day of Atonement, Christ the High Priest of the new dispensation has entered into the very presence of the Father Himself, in His heavenly home.


Confraternity Bible:

Our Promised Land  1 Let us therefore fear lest perhaps, while the promise of entering into his Rest remains, any of you should be thought wanting.  2 For to us also it has been declared, just as to them.  But the word that was heard did not profit them, since they had no faith in what they heard.  3 We then who have believed shall enter into his Rest, even as he said, "As I have sworn in my wrath, they shall not enter into my Rest."  And indeed his works were completed at the foundation of the world.  4* For somewhere he spoke of the seventh day thus,
"And God rested the seventh day from all his works";
5 and in this place again, "They shall not enter into my Rest."  6 Since then it follows that some are to enter into it, and they to whom it was first declared did not enter in because of unbelief, 7 he again fixes another day to be Today, saying by David after so long a time, as quoted above, "Today if you shall hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."  8 For if Josue had given them rest, God would never afterwards be speaking of another day.  9 There remains therefore a Sabbath Rest for the people of God.  10 For he who has entered into his Rest, has himself also rested from his own works, even as God did from his.  11 Let us therefore hasten to enter into that Rest, lest anyone fall by following the same example of unbelief.  12 For the word of God is living and efficient and keener than any two-edged sword, and extending even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints also and of marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  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 have to give account.

Confidence in Christ  14 Having therefore a great high priest who has passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  15 For we have not a high priest who cannot have compassion on our infirmities, but one tried as we are in all things except sin.  16 Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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*

4: Gen. 2, 2.