At the end of chapter two, the writer finishes out the comparison between the Son of God, Jesus, and the angels with verse 16 (WEB): "For most assuredly, not to angels does he give help, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham."

For reference use:

That comparison, between Christ & angels, led us to the angel of the Lord. And the study of that angel ( html )   ( pdf ) uncovered associations with two persons that are mentioned in the closing of chapter two: Abraham (when he offered his son Isaac, Gen 22:11, the promise to Abraham, our salvation, is also mentioned here) and Joshua (Jesus) the high priest (Zech 3:1-10, and the promise from God the Father that _"the iniquity of that land will be removed in one day"_).

The writer of Hebrews gives the only accounts of Jesus, our high priest, except the Psalmist (Psalm 110:4) in the Bible. He mentions in 2:17, "[Jesus] was obligated in all things to be made like his brothers, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make atonement for the sins of the people."

Jesus not only is our high priest who makes the atonement for our sins, which is the job of a high priest, but as chapters 7-10 will point out, he is also the sacrifice that the high priest offers!

The writer begins chapter three by making the connection between Jesus as our high priest and that he is also the high priest of our confession. That is, with our confession being that Jesus is the Son of God (pointed out in chapters 1 & 2), he is the high priest of Jesus, the Son of God.

But first he will tell us about Jesus the Apostle

Jesus - Worthy of More Glory Than Moses and Joshua, Hebrews 3:1-4:13

Hebrews 3:1-6 - Jesus compared to Moses

Hebrews 3:1

Hebrews 3:1 (WEB)

1 Therefore, holy brothers, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Jesus;



Partakers of a heavenly calling

par·take | pärˈtāk |

verb (past partook | pärˈto͝ok | ; past participle partaken | -ˈtākən | ) [no object] formal

  1. (partake of) eat or drink (something): she had partaken of a cheese sandwich and a cup of coffee.

  2. (partake in) join in (an activity): visitors can partake in golfing or clay pigeon shooting.

  3. (partake of) be characterized by (a quality): the birth of twins became an event that partook of the mythic.

call·ing | ˈkôliNG |


  1. the loud cries or shouts of an animal or person: the calling of a cuckoo.

  2. [in singular] a strong urge toward a particular way of life or career; a vocation: those who have a special calling to minister to others' needs.

    • a profession or occupation: he considered engineering one of the highest possible callings.

Newer translations say: "who share in a/the heavenly calling"
Older translations say: "partakers in a heavenly calling"

Using the definitions: "be characterized by" a "strong urge toward a particular (heavenly) way of life"

…​consider the Apostle…​ , Jesus

Jesus is an apostle and high priest. He obviously is not an apostle of Jesus, but an apostle of our Father


g0652. ἀπόστολος apostolos; from 649; a delegate; specially, an ambassador of the Gospel; officially a commissioner of Christ (“apostle”) (with miraculous powers): — apostle, messenger, he that is sent.

AV (81) - apostle 78, messenger 2, he that is sent 1;

  1. a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders

    1. specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ

    2. in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers




A delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders (certainly applies to Jesus)

Deuteronomy 18:18,19 (WEB)

18 [Jehovah] will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. 19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

John 8:28 (WEB)

28 Jesus therefore said to them, "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing of myself, but as my Father taught me, I say these things."

John 12:49,50 (WEB)

49 "For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak."

John 17:7,8 (WEB)

7 "Now they have known that all things whatever you have given me are from you, 8 for the words which you have given me I have given to them, and they received them, and knew for sure that I came forth from you, and they have believed that you sent me."

…​consider…​ [the] High Priest of our confession, Jesus

This is the first use of the term "our confession in Hebrews." As we noted when we studied Hebrews 4:11-7:28, where again the writer uses that phrase, that he uses it to remind us that Jesus is the Son of God, our great confession.

Putting this together with high priest we have: the "high priest" (the one who makes atonement for our sins) of "our confession" (the Son of God) is Jesus.

So…​ holy brothers "be characterized by" a "strong urge toward a (heavenly) way of life" and consider the one sent forth with orders and "high priest" (the one who makes atonement for our sins) of (the Son of God), Jesus. "our confession"

The context of Peter, being the first to make our confession, has Jesus saying that "on this rock (our confession) I will build my church…​" (Matthew 16:15-18). The writer will shortly explore the building metaphor.



Hebrews 3:2

Hebrews 3:2 (WEB)

2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, as also was Moses in all his house.

  • Jesus was faithful, i.e. trustworthy, to the one [God] who appointed him…​ as his apostle (from the context).

    faith | fāTH |


    1 complete trust or confidence in someone or something…​
    2 strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof…​
    • a system of religious belief: the Christian faith. • a strongly held belief or theory: the faith that life will expand until it fills the universe.

  • As was Moses, in comparison, Moses WAS faithful,

    • while intended to show the superiority of Jesus,

    • it is NOT at the expense of Moses, Moses WAS faithful.

The implication here is that Moses too was faithful to the one [God] who appointed him…​ as his apostle.

Hebrews 3:3

Hebrews 3:3 (WEB)

3 For he has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who built the house has more honor than the house.

  • Jesus is counted worthy of glory than Moses because he BUILT the house

    • Moses did not build the house he was appointed steward over

  • This idea of building a house seems to follow from contemplating "our confession" from the previous discussion: Jesus, the high priest of our confession.

What is the house? The writer himself will answer the question shortly.



Hebrews 3:4

Hebrews 3:4 (WEB)

4 For every house is built by someone; but he who built all things is God.

  • The logical conclusion from examining evidence of-, observing objects of-, design demands the existence of a designer.

  • He who built all things is God — the design principle

    • God, himself, states that we can know he exists from [observing, examining, contemplating] the things he has made. Because he has made it PLAIN for us to see him in his creation. (Romans 1:19,20)

    • This statement also reaffirms the deity of Jesus

Hebrews 3:5

Hebrews 3:5 (WEB)

5 Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken,

  • 2nd time Moses as faithful is mentioned. This is a quote from Numbers 12:7

    Numbers 12:7 (WEB), see fuller context: Numbers 12:1-16

    My servant Moses is not so; he is faithful in all my house:

    • …​as a servant.

      • This does not diminish the faithfulness of Moses, but

      • He does not own the house, he is a steward who manages someone else’s house.

  • vs 5, "…​for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken," that is, prophesying Christ

    Deuteronomy 18:15-19 (WEB)

    15 Yahweh your God will raise up to you a prophet from the midst of you, of your brothers, like me; to him you shall listen;…​ 18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him. 19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

    Where are the types? Here’s the first one.

    • God will raise up a prophet like Moses. Moses is a type of Jesus, "…​ for a testimony of those things which were afterward to be spoken." (See John 8:28; 12:49,50; 17:7,8 — also on page 3)



Hebrews 3:6

Hebrews 3:6 (WEB)

6 but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house; whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.

  • Christ is faithful as a Son…​

    • Jesus is not a hired hand.

    • Not only did he build the house, as was mentioned earlier, but he OWNS the house.

  • over his house, whose house we are

    • His house is identified. WE ARE HIS HOUSE. The church, his assembled.

      • 2:10 …​ bringing many sons to glory

      • 2:11 …​ those who are sanctified,…​ he is not ashamed to call them brothers

      • 2:13 …​ he worships God with us in the midst of the congregation, telling of God, singing God’s praise, trusting in Him with the children God has given him.

  • IF we hold fast our confidence…​ to the end. If introduces a condition, depending on the truth of the statement.

    • We are his house,

      • IF - we hold fast (continue to believe in or adhere to)

      • our confidence (the belief that one can rely on someone or something)

        • Our confidence/belief in what?

        • What is the first & foremost point the writer has been making?

        • OUR CONFESSION! Jesus is the Son of God

    • AND (connects both clauses)

    • the glorying of our hope firm -

      • Glorying of (WEB)-, Rejoicing in (NKJV)- our hope

      • Firm - in a resolute and determined manner. What’s our hope?

    • to the end — 

  • If both conditional statements are true then we are his house

The conditional statement introduces the 2nd warning: Hebrews 3:7-19

Summary - What is God’s house? Whose house We are, It’s people!:

  • Moses was faithful as a servant in all of God’s house

    • As a servant, What was God’s house that Moses managed?

  • Jesus was faithful as a Son over his house

    • As the owner, What is God’s house that Jesus owns?



Hebrews 3:7-19, Warning, Don’t be like those who rebelled in the wilderness

Practical Application of Heb 2:16-3:6, (See 1 Cor 10:6,11; types as examples)
The writer invokes an Old Testament example (type) for instruction


The example used in the following warning is an account of the people then under the care of Moses. Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant. The Israelites were God’s house.

The audience of the Hebrew letter is God’s house today. Jesus Christ is faithful as a Son over his house. We are his house that Jesus built and owns.

Hebrews 3:7

Hebrews 3:7 (WEB) (cited from Psalm 95:7-11)

7 Therefore, even as the Holy Spirit says, "Today if you will hear his voice,

Notice that the writer attributes Psalm 95 to the Holy Spirit

  • If you will hear his voice, Not everyone will listen to his voice

    • This message is to God’s house, God’s people, not outsiders

    • Not everyone of God’s people will listen to his voice!

  • People choose to hear what they want to hear

Hebrews 3:8

Hebrews 3:8 (WEB)

8 Don’t harden your hearts, as in the provocation, Like as in the day of the trial in the wilderness,

  • What keeps us from giving our hearts to God? Hard hearts. Solution? Circumcision of the heart

    • Law of Moses, circumcise your hearts, and be stiff-necked no longer. Deut 10:16

      • a hard heart & stiff-neck seem to go together

    • Law of Liberty, circumcision is that of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter…​, Rom 2:29

    • Prophesied by Moses. Deut 30:1-(6)-10

  • A case-study of a hard-hearted people
    (See Exodus 17:7; Numbers 20:13; Deuteronomy 6:16)

    • as in the provocation, Heb 3:8; as at Meribah (means quarreling), Psa 95:8

    • in the day of the trial, Heb 3:8; in the day of Massah (means testing), Psa 95:8



Hebrews 3:9

Hebrews 3:9 (WEB)

9 Where your fathers tested me by proving me, And saw my works for forty years.

What does that mean? Tested me by proving me? Here’s my guess/suggestion:

----- Test -----  -------- Proof --------
 If you love me    You'll do some action
------------ Test ------------
 Is Jehovah among us, or not?  -- Ex 17:7
------------ Proof -----------
 Give us water to drink.       -- Ex 17:2
Exodus 17:1-7 (WEB)

1 All the congregation of the children of Israel traveled from the wilderness of Sin, by their journeys, according to Yahweh’s commandment, and encamped in Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 Therefore the people quarreled with Moses, and said, "Give us water to drink." Moses said to them, "Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test Yahweh?"

3 The people were thirsty for water there; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us, our children, and our livestock with thirst?"

4 Moses cried to Yahweh, saying, "What shall I do with these people? They are almost ready to stone me."

5 Yahweh said to Moses, "Walk on before the people, and take the elders of Israel with you, and take the rod in your hand with which you struck the Nile, and go. 6 Behold, I will stand before you there on the rock in Horeb. You shall strike the rock, and water will come out of it, that the people may drink." Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. 7 He called the name of the place Massah,{Massah means testing.} and Meribah,{Meribah means quarreling.} because the children of Israel quarreled, and because they tested Yahweh, saying, "Is Yahweh among us, or not?"

  • Even AFTER they SAW God’s miraculous works for FORTY YEARS.

    • Being freed from Egypt by the 10 plagues

    • Saved from Egyptian army by the parting of the Red Sea

    • Being fed with manna

    • Being fed with quail



  • Numbers 30:17 is a later occurrence of thirst causing quarreling again

    • At the same place! Meribah!

    • This 2nd time Moses is told to speak to the rock, but he strikes it twice.

    • Water comes out after the 2nd strike

    • God punishes Moses for disobeying him by not allowing Moses to lead the people into the promised land

  • Deuteronomy 6:16; Their grumbling now elicits a command, "Do not test the Lord, your God," that Jesus cites in Matt 4:7

    • In response to Satan, Jesus says "Again, it is written (Deut 6:16), 'You shall not test the Lord, your God.'" Matt 4:7

    • Deuteronomy 6:16, adds: "…​, as you tempted him in Massah."

Hebrews 3:10

Hebrews 3:10 (WEB)

10 Therefore I was displeased with that generation, And said, 'They always err in their heart, But they didn’t know my ways;'

  • God’s complaint with his people…​ his house.
    NT: displease, angry, provoked, OT: grieved, loathed.

    Look at the words God USES to describe his attitude toward some of them!

           HEBREWS 3:10                      PSALM 95:10
    I was displeased -- WEB;        I was grieved with... --  WEB
    I was angry      -- NASB;       I loathed that...     --  NASB
    I was angry      -- NKJV;       I was grieved with... --  NKJV
    I was provoked   -- ESV;        I loathed that ...    --  ESV
  • The next two sub-quotes are not identified by any translator. No citation is given.

    • This could be new information given by the Psalmist, who is an inspired writer, that’s not in Exodus - Deuteronomy.

  • They always err (go astray) in their hearts

    • The admonition from the beginning of the 95th Psalm is: If you hear, do not harden your heart.

    • Now The Psalmist says: They always err in their hearts. Their problem was their heart!

    • Why did their hearts go astray?

    • What’s the one thing you can give the person who has EVERYTHING?

    • What’s the one thing God most wants from us? Our hearts!



  • They didn’t know my ways. Is this WHY their hearts always went astray?

    • We MUST put effort into learning God’s word!

      • We had a class on the elementary teaching

      • There are outlines on our website for each of the six elementary teaching listed in Heb 6:1,2

      • How many of us took the time during or after the class on the elementary teachings to study our Bible to actually learn the teaching?

    • If some things are "over your head" then ask God for understanding
      He HAS PROMISED to give us understanding!

      James 1:5 (ESV)

      5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

      • Don’t blame the teacher if you’ve been a Christian for more than 5 years and many teachings other than repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection, & eternal judgment are over your head. In five years studying on your own you could have the equivalent of a college degree with some effort.

      • What are you doing with your time?

God swears an oath

Hebrews 3:11

Hebrews 3:11 (WEB)

11 As I swore in my wrath, 'They will not enter into my rest.'"


From the account of Israel sending 12 men to spy out Canaan, Num 13:1-14:38.

In the book of Numbers, this account immediately follows the account of where God says of Moses, "He is faithful in all my house," speaking to Aaron & Miriam that the writer of Hebrews cites above talking about the faithfulness of Moses.

Reference Num. 14:23, 28, 30; Deut. 1:35; Cited Heb. 3:11; 4:3, 5

Deuteronomy, which means “second law,” is a retelling by Moses of the teachings and events of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers…​ to the descendants of the generation of Israelites that were brought out of Egypt and ultimately wandered around the desert until they died. God is now preparing their descendants to enter Canaan, the promised land,…​ The retelling of Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers is a history of those who died in the desert to their descendants…​ The retelling occurs on the 1st day of the 11th month of the 40th year (Deut 1:3) of the punishment of the 1st generation…​ they have all died in the desert, except Moses, Joshua, & Caleb, and their families. The book closes with the selection of Joshua as Israel’s new leader and the death of Moses.



Deuteronomy 1:1,19-46

1 These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness,…​

Deuteronomy 1:2-18

This is a brief summary of the events of the 1st generation of Israelites after leaving Egypt to receive the Law, Moses organizing them by taking men from the tribes to be "heads over you," and finally that generation prepares to enter Canaan.

Israel’s Refusal to Enter the Land

Deuteronomy 1:19-32 (WEB), (see Num 13:1-33)

19 We traveled from Horeb, and went through all that great and terrible wilderness which you saw, by the way to the hill-country of the Amorites, as Yahweh our God commanded us; and we came to Kadesh-barnea. 20 I said to you, You are come to the hill-country of the Amorites, which Yahweh our God gives to us. 21 Behold, Yahweh your God has set the land before you: go up, take possession, as Yahweh, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you; don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed.

22 You came near to me everyone of you, and said, Let us send men before us, that they may search the land for us, and bring us word again of the way by which we must go up, and the cities to which we shall come.

23 The thing pleased me well; and I took twelve men of you, one man for every tribe:

24 and they turned and went up into the hill-country, and came to the valley of Eshcol, and spied it out. 25 They took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down to us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which Yahweh our God gives to us.

26 Yet you wouldn’t go up, but rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh your God: 27 and you murmured in your tents, and said, Because Yahweh hated us, he has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. 28 Where are we going up? our brothers have made our heart to melt, saying,

"We are not able to go up against the people, for…​" Numbers 13:31, The people are greater and taller than we; the cities are great and fortified up to the sky; and moreover *there we saw the giants*, Numbers 13:33, we have seen the sons of the Anakim there. (and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight. Numbers 13:33

29 Then I said to you, Don’t dread, neither be afraid of them. 30 Yahweh your God who goes before you, he will fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes, 31 and in the wilderness, where you have seen how that Yahweh your God bore you, as a man does bear his son, in all the way that you went, until you came to this place. 32 Yet in this thing you didn’t believe Yahweh your God,

Numbers 14:1-10 (NKJV)

1 So all the congregation lifted up their voices and cried, and the people wept that night. 2 And all the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron,…​



Deuteronomy 1:19-32 (WEB), (see Num 13:1-33), continued
Numbers 14:1-10 (NKJV), continued

…​and the whole congregation said to them, "If only we had died in the land of Egypt! Or if only we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why has the LORD brought us to this land to fall by the sword, that our wives and children should become victims _(a prey, WEB)? Would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?" 4 So they said to one another, "Let us select a leader and return to Egypt."

5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.

6 But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7 and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: "The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the LORD delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land which flows with milk and honey.' 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the LORD is with us. Do not fear them."

10 And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the LORD appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.

Deuteronomy 1:32

32 …​you didn’t believe Yahweh your God,

The Penalty for Israel’s Rebellion

Deuteronomy 1:34-48 (WEB), (Num. 14:20–45)

34 Yahweh heard the voice of your words, and was angry, and swore, saying, 35 Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see the good land, which I swore to give to your fathers, 36 save Caleb the son of Jephunneh: he shall see it; and to him will I give the land that he has trodden on, and to his children, because he has wholly followed Yahweh.

Numbers 14:28-33 (NKJV)

28 Say to them, As I live,' says the LORD, 'just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29 The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30 Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31 But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised. 32 But as for you, your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness. 33 And your sons shall be shepherds in the wilderness forty years, and bear the brunt of your infidelity, until your carcasses are consumed in the wilderness.



Deuteronomy 1:34-48 (WEB), (Num. 14:20–45), continued

37 Also Yahweh was angry with me for your sakes, saying, You also shall not go in there: 38 Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there: encourage you him; for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.

39 Moreover your little ones, whom you said should be a prey, and your children, who this day have no knowledge of good or evil, they shall go in there, and to them will I give it, and they shall possess it. 40 But as for you, turn you, and take your journey into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.

Israel’s Attempted Repentance…​ Fails

Deuteronomy 1:34-48 (WEB), (Num. 14:20–45), continued

41 Then you answered and said to me, We have sinned against Yahweh, we will go up and fight, according to all that Yahweh our God commanded us. You girded on every man his weapons of war, and were forward to go up into the hill-country.

42 Yahweh said to me, Tell them, Don’t go up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest you be struck before your enemies. 43 So I spoke to you, and you didn’t listen; but you rebelled against the commandment of Yahweh, and were presumptuous, and went up into the hill-country. 44 The Amorites, who lived in that hill-country, came out against you, and chased you, as bees do, and beat you down in Seir, even to Hormah. 45 You returned and wept before Yahweh; but Yahweh didn’t listen to your voice, nor gave ear to you.

Why do you think God did not accept Israel’s repentance? Because God DID NOT ACCEPT their repentance!



The writer applies Old Testament example to his audience

After citing Psalm 95:7-11, the first statement the writer makes is a warning to his audience:

Hebrews 3:12

Hebrews 3:12 (WEB)

12 Beware, brothers, lest perhaps there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God;

The writer attributes both an evil (immoral & wicked - harmful or intending to harm) heart and unbelief (a lack or absence of faith). The fledgling Israelites certainly displayed an evil heart, they were immoral & they threatened harm. They also lacked faith in Jehovah.

Hebrews 3:13

Hebrews 3:13 (WEB)

13 but exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called "today;" lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

We are given a remedy for the hardening of hearts:

  • Exhort (strongly encourage or urge (someone) to do something) one another

    • The implication here is that combating falling away is more than just an individual effort.

    • To keep from falling away requires a group effort. Strongly encouraging & urging one another is given here to keep our hearts from hardening.

  • day by day, "today"

    • as long as it is called "today", i.e. one "today" at a time

  • by the deceitfulness of sin

    • Sin is deceitful


      (cause (someone) to believe something that is not true)


      (the action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth)

  • Sin attacks the truth — it is knowledge centered

    • Where there is no law, there is no transgression (sin), Rom 4:15; 5:13; 7:8

    • "They have not known my ways," Heb 3:10, Psa 95:10

    • The tree of the knowledge of good and evil, Gen 2:17



Hebrews 3:14

Hebrews 3:14 (WEB)

14 For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm to the end:

  • Partakers of Christ (see 3:1, partakers of the heavenly calling)

  • IF (conditional statement) — we hold fast (so as to be hard to move; securely), our confidence firm (in a resolute and determined manner), to the end…​ then we are Partakers of Christ (this is the 2nd time this conditional statement is mentioned, 3:6, If — hold firm our confidence…​ to the end…​ then we are his house)

  • To the end…​ endurance, don’t give up. (See 3:6 for notes on our confidence)

Hebrews 3:15

Hebrews 3:15 (WEB)

15 while it is said, "Today if you will hear his voice, Don’t harden your hearts, as in the rebellion."

The writer brings us back to Psalm 95, right after he tells us to endure to the end

  • while "Today…​" The only time we can do anything about anything is…​ today!

  • If you will hear…​ will you listen?

  • Don’t harden your heart. We can choose not to harden our hearts

    • Do you bristle when someone criticizes you?

    • Do you stiffen your neck?

    • Harden your heart?

  • We can choose not to

Hebrews 3:16

Hebrews 3:16 (WEB)

16 For who, when they heard, rebelled? No, didn’t all those who came out of Egypt by Moses?

The writer is emphasizing, in case we missed it & didn’t get the cue from the Psalmist (Heb 3:7-11 & Psa 95:7-11), our example of misbehavior are those that Moses led out of Egypt. The writer is now pointing us to review Israel’s history referenced in the citation from Psalm 95.

  • Because, who rebelled (oppose or resist authority)?…​ Those who came out of Egypt by Moses

  • Their actions are identified as "rebellion." What actions?



Hebrews 3:17

Hebrews 3:17 (WEB)

17 With whom was he displeased forty years? Wasn’t it with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?

  • We are reminded that God was not pleased with them

  • Their actions are identified as "sin"

  • And we are reminded they paid a penalty

Hebrews 3:18

Hebrews 3:18 (WEB)

18 To whom did he swear that they wouldn’t enter into his rest, but to those who were disobedient?

  • To whom did he swear…​? Those disobedient

  • Their actions are identified as "disobedience"

  • God takes action against their disobedience

  • Sin has consequences, in this life & the next

    • Discuss the consequences of sin

Hebrews 3:19

Hebrews 3:19 (WEB)

19 We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.

  • So, they were not able to enter "because of unbelief"

  • Their hard hearts, rebellion, disobedience, & sin all boils down to the fact that they didn’t believe God. And as a result they were not able to enter His rest.

The psalmist in Psalm 95:11 (cited in Hebrews 3:11), I believe, is making the connection between the physical (shadow) promised land Canaan (rest) & the spiritual (substance) promised reward Heaven (rest)



Hebrews 4:1-10, The Promise of entering his rest still stands

Hebrews 4:1

Hebrews 4:1 (WEB)

1 Let us fear therefore, lest perhaps, a promise being left of entering into his rest, anyone of you should seem to have come short of it.


1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it.

The writer reasons that a promise to enter His rest still stands. How does he reach that conclusion?

It looks like this is the writer’s premise statement and the verses following are his logic for reaching his conclusion.

The fear (another warning) concerns whether any of us have FAILED (present tense) to reach the rest.

Present tense is not expected. If the rest means entering heaven at the end of life, his audience (at the time, and we now) certainly have not attained that. One would expect future tense for this: …​ lest any of us will FAIL to reach the rest…​

However, vss 4-10, seem to be talking about the rest after death, when one rests from their work. i.e. in the future

  • vs 1 - The promise of the rest still stands.

proof logic
  • vs 2 - The Good news (gospel) was preached to us, just like the gospel was preached to them

  • vs 3 - We who believe do enter into the rest

  • vs 4 - because scripture says, "God rested on the seventh day from all His works,"

  • vs 5 - and again, "They will not enter into my rest."

  • vs 6 - "therefore it remains that some should enter therein"

  • vs 7 - So…​ "he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said), 'Today if you will hear his voice, Don’t harden your hearts.'"

  • vs 8 - For If Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on

  • vs 9 - So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

  • vs 10 - for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.



Hebrews 4:2

Hebrews 4:2 (WEB)

2 For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed with faith by those who heard.

  • vs 2 - The Good news (gospel) was preached to us,

    • Just like the gospel was preached to them

      • The writer equates the gospel to what was preached to them.

        • What was preached to them? The Law of Moses!

        • The Law of Moses IS the gospel in shadow (type) form.

        • The gospel preached to us IS the gospel in substance (antitype) form. And the substance belongs to Christ (Colossians 2:17)

    • But they didn’t combine it with faith, i.e. they didn’t believe it

Hebrews 4:3

Hebrews 4:3 (WEB)

3 For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

  • vs 3 - We who believe do enter into the rest

    • Even though God swore, "They will not enter…​"

      • "They" are not "us." That’s why we are being warned NOT to be like them (i.e. like those who did not enter in).

      • As he will say in vs 6, "…​ it remains that some should enter…​"

    • And even though the works were finished from the beginning…​

      • Entering God’s rest is here associated with God resting since the creation.

    • God’s works being finished & God resting from the beginning in this context is an unexpected argument.

      • I had assumed that the writer was using the term "rest" to represent heaven in the future. However, the (present tense) language in vs 1 & that "we who believe do (present tense) enter…​" in vs 3 cast some doubt.

      • But here, the writer reenforces that idea of future heaven when he evokes God resting in the context of us striving to enter His rest. This squarely equates the "rest" with heaven.

    • There are actually two "rests" being talked about here.

      • The rest that was the promised land Canaan is the shadow of the rest that is heaven, the substance. i.e. type/antitype



Hebrews 4:3 continued
  • There’s another idea that keeps popping up (to me) suggested by the present tense of entering the rest. 4:1 lest any of you…​ have come short of it - present, & 4:3 we who believe do enter - present tense

    • Present tense means that we are entering the rest.

    • A few of that generation of Israelites that died in the desert did enter the rest (Canaan, the promised land).

    • To me, that could be a shadow of "we who believe" entering into the kingdom, i.e. the church. Those of us who believe are Christians and that means we are entering the church. What do you think?

Hebrews 4:4

Hebrews 4:4 (WEB)

4 For he has said this somewhere about the seventh day, "God rested on the seventh day from all his works;"

  • vs 4 - because scripture says, "God rested on the seventh day from all His works,"

    • My suggestion: Therefore, since God is resting, there must be a rest somewhere.

    • That "somewhere" is where God is, because He’s resting there!

Hebrews 4:5

Hebrews 4:5 (WEB)

5 and in this place again, "They will not enter into my rest."

  • vs 5 - and again, "They will not enter into my rest."

    • My suggestion: since "they" will not enter his rest,

    • and a rest remains, because God is resting in it, for

    • the "we who believe" …​ (see verse 6)

Hebrews 4:6

Hebrews 4:6 (WEB)

6 Seeing therefore it remains that some should enter therein, and they to whom the good news was before preached failed to enter in because of disobedience,

  • vs 6 - "therefore it remains that some should enter therein"

    • Even though most failed, the rest remains for some



Hebrews 4:6 continued
  • "…​they to whom the good news (gospel) was preached failed…​"

    • Our example (the first generation of Israelites out of Egypt) failed to enter the rest.

    • They had the gospel (good news) preached to them.

      • That is, they had everything necessary for them to successfully enter the rest.

      • Because The gospel is God’s power to save! Romans 1:16

  • But, they "failed to enter in because of their disobedience."

    • A key ingredient for salvation is a compliant & submissive attitude of obedience.

      • Paul preached "to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations", Romans 1:5 (ESV)

    • Disobedience can disqualify our salvation.

Hebrews 4:7

Hebrews 4:7 (WEB)

7 he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said), "Today if you will hear his voice, Don’t harden your hearts."

  • The 95th Psalm does not identify the author of the psalm. The writer of Hebrews earlier established that the Holy Spirit was the speaker (Hebrews 3:7). Now he states David is the author. So, we have the Holy Spirit speaking through David to bring us the 95th Psalm.

  • The writer makes the point that the Psalm identifies a "certain" day.

    • There is a day that is known for sure, established beyond doubt.

    • A day the Psalmist identifies as "today"

Hebrews 4:8

Hebrews 4:8 (WEB)

8 For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.

  • Joshua led the conquest of Canaan, their land of rest.

  • The point is made that since a rest is spoken of centuries later, (Moses & Joshua lived around 1,500 BC, David lived around 1,000 BC, about 500 years separation), that, in fact, the Israelites did not receive the rest.

  • Let me suggest that the physical conquest of Canaan was a shadow of the rest that the writer of Hebrews is describing, the rest of substance, a spiritual rest with God.



Hebrews 4:9

Hebrews 4:9 (ESV)

9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God,

  • Since Joshua did not provide the rest, there remains a rest…​

  • Let me suggest the rest remained for another Joshua (i.e. Jesus) to provide.

Hebrews 4:10

Hebrews 4:10 (ESV)

10 for whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did from his.

  • past tense, has entered, also rested

Hebrews 4:11-13, Warning, Let us…​ give diligence, lest we fall by disobedience.

Hebrews 4:11

Hebrews 4:11 (WEB)

11 Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

  • Diligence

dil·i·gence1 | ˈdiləjəns |


careful and persistent work or effort: few party members challenge his diligence as an MP.


Middle English (in the sense ‘close attention, caution’): via Old French from Latin diligentia, from diligent- ‘assiduous’ (see diligent).

  • Fall after…​ disobedience



Hebrews 4:12

Hebrews 4:12 (WEB)

12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

  • The word is living and active — it is alive and in motion

    • The word is truth

    • The Creator spoke and it happened

    • The Word will not come back to God empty

    • Jesus is The Word

    • Word are verbal & graphical representations of ideas. Words

    • Biological life & DNA/RNA
      Until relatively recently, since the discovery of DNA, that the idea that the word could be living could be MORE than a metaphor, wasn’t even imaginable to man’s mind.

  • A precision surgical blade, cuts forward and backward

    • piercing

Hebrews 4:13

Hebrews 4:13 (WEB)

13 There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Hebrews 4:14

Hebrews 4:14 (WEB)

14 Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold tightly to our confession.

Remember where Jesus as the high priest of our confession was last mentioned?