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Hebrews

THE LETTER TO THE

Hebrews

God Has Spoken by His Son

1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son,* whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains* all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

The Son Is Superior to Angels

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
‘You are my Son;
   today I have begotten you’?
Or again,
‘I will be his Father,
   and he will be my Son’?
6And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
‘Let all God’s angels worship him.’
7Of the angels he says,
‘He makes his angels winds,
   and his servants flames of fire.’
8But of the Son he says,
‘Your throne, O God, is* for ever and ever,
   and the righteous sceptre is the sceptre of your* kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
   with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.’
10And,
‘In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
   and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
   they will all wear out like clothing;
12 like a cloak you will roll them up,
   and like clothing* they will be changed.
But you are the same,
   and your years will never end.’
13But to which of the angels has he ever said,
‘Sit at my right hand
   until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet’?
14Are not all angels* spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Warning to Pay Attention

2Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. 2For if the message declared through angels was valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, 3how can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4while God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.

Exaltation through Abasement

5 Now God* did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to angels. 6But someone has testified somewhere,
‘What are human beings that you are mindful of them,*
   or mortals, that you care for them?*
7 You have made them for a little while lower* than the angels;
   you have crowned them with glory and honour,*
8   subjecting all things under their feet.’
Now in subjecting all things to them, God* left nothing outside their control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9but we do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower* than the angels, now crowned with glory and honour because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God* he might taste death for everyone.

10 It was fitting that God,* for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father.* For this reason Jesus* is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters,* 12saying,
‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,*
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’
13And again,
‘I will put my trust in him.’
And again,
‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me.’

14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters* in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.

Moses a Servant, Christ a Son

3Therefore, brothers and sisters,* holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also ‘was faithful in all* God’s* house.’ 3Yet Jesus* is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honour than the house itself. 4(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5Now Moses was faithful in all God’s* house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. 6Christ, however, was faithful over God’s* house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm* the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

Warning against Unbelief

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
   as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors put me to the test,
   though they had seen my works 10for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, “They always go astray in their hearts,
   and they have not known my ways.”
11 As in my anger I swore,
   “They will not enter my rest.”
12Take care, brothers and sisters,* that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we have become partners of Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. 15As it is said,
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.’
16Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17But with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to those who were disobedient? 19So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

The Rest That God Promised

4Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.* 3For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God* has said,
‘As in my anger I swore,
“They shall not enter my rest” ’,
though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows: ‘And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.’ 5And again in this place it says, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’ 6Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7again he sets a certain day—‘today’—saying through David much later, in the words already quoted,
‘Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.’
8For if Joshua had given them rest, God* would not speak later about another day. 9So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labours as God did from his. 11Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may fall through such disobedience as theirs.

12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13And before him no creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to whom we must render an account.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested* as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is subject to weakness; 3and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4And one does not presume to take this honour, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.

5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him,
‘You are my Son,
   today I have begotten you’;
6as he says also in another place,
‘You are a priest for ever,
   according to the order of Melchizedek.’

7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus* offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.

Warning against Falling Away

11 About this* we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have become dull in understanding. 12For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; 13for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

The Peril of Falling Away

6Therefore let us go on towards perfection,* leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith towards God, 2instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. 3And we will do* this, if God permits. 4For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. 7Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

9 Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation. 10For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake* in serving the saints, as you still do. 11And we want each one of you to show the same diligence, so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, 12so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

The Certainty of God’s Promise

13 When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14saying, ‘I will surely bless you and multiply you.’ 15And thus Abraham,* having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. 17In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, 18so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us. 19We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek.

The Priestly Order of Melchizedek

7This ‘King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him’; 2and to him Abraham apportioned ‘one-tenth of everything’. His name, in the first place, means ‘king of righteousness’; next he is also king of Salem, that is, ‘king of peace’. 3Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest for ever.

4 See how great he is! Even* Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils. 5And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to collect tithes* from the people, that is, from their kindred,* though these also are descended from Abraham. 6But this man, who does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes* from Abraham and blessed him who had received the promises. 7It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8In the one case, tithes are received by those who are mortal; in the other, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. 9One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

Another Priest, Like Melchizedek

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? 12For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, 16one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. 17For it is attested of him,
‘You are a priest for ever,
   according to the order of Melchizedek.’
18There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual 19(for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God.

20 This was confirmed with an oath; for others who became priests took their office without an oath, 21but this one became a priest with an oath, because of the one who said to him,
‘The Lord has sworn
   and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest for ever” ’—
22accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.

23 Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues for ever. 25Consequently he is able for all time to save* those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other* high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

Mediator of a Better Covenant

8Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent* that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. 3For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent,* was warned, ‘See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.’ 6But Jesus* has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one.

8 God* finds fault with them when he says:
‘The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
   when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
   and with the house of Judah;
9 not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
   on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
for they did not continue in my covenant,
   and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
   after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
   and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
   and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach one another
   or say to each other, “Know the Lord”,
for they shall all know me,
   from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful towards their iniquities,
   and I will remember their sins no more.’
13In speaking of ‘a new covenant’, he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

The Earthly and the Heavenly Sanctuaries

9Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. 2For a tent* was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence;* this is called the Holy Place. 3Behind the second curtain was a tent* called the Holy of Holies. 4In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat.* Of these things we cannot speak now in detail.

6 Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent* to carry out their ritual duties; 7but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people. 8By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent* is still standing. 9This is a symbol* of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshipper,


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v 2.2.7
10 February 2011

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.7 10 February 2011.