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The Book of Hebrews - Summary

Hebrews is a Bible book, in the New Testament.

The Book of Hebrews teaches many things about Jesus. We do not know the author of Hebrews. Some people think that Paul wrote Hebrews.

The Book of Hebrews is an important book that teaches many lessons about the Bible. The Book of Hebrews teaches that Jesus was not an angel (a servant of God from heaven) (Hebrews 1). Jesus is God. But Jesus became a man. Jesus is our priest (Hebrews chapters 5-9). And Jesus is the perfect priest (Hebrews 7:25-28). In the Old Testament, priests killed animals so that God would forgive the people. But Jesus died himself, to suffer the punishment for our evil deeds. God accepted Jesus's blood (that is, his death - Hebrews 9). So, God will forgive us when we trust Jesus.

In the Bible's Old Testament, many people trusted God (Hebrews 11). They believed that God would send Jesus. So, they were not afraid, although they had great troubles. So, we too should trust God when we have troubles (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Listen Download Introduction to Hebrews
Listen Download Chapter 1 The Nature of the Son; The Son Superior to the Angels. Heb1: In these last days God has spoken by his Son. Of the Son he says, "Let the angels worship him." And, "Your throne, O God, is forever."
Listen Download Chapter 2 Warning against Neglect; Jesus and Humanity. Heb2: We must pay closer attention. The author of salvation tasted death for everyone. He was made like us to make atonement for our sins.
Listen Download Chapter 3 Our Apostles and High Priest; Warning against Unbelief. Heb3: Jesus has more honour than Moses. He is the Son over God's house. Therefore, "Do not harden your hearts as they did in the rebellion."
Listen Download Chapter 4 The Promised Rest; Our Great High Priest. Heb4: Let us fear lest anyone fails to reach the promised rest. The word of God judges the heart. So we boldly approach the throne of grace.
Listen Download Chapter 5 The Messiah, a High Priest; The Problem of Immaturity. Heb5: Every high priest from among men is subject to weakness. Christ is a high priest in the order of Melchizedek. You still need teaching.
Listen Download Chapter 6 Warning against Regression; Inheriting the Promise. Heb6: Let us press on to maturity. It is impossible to restore those who fall away. The promise of God is a steadfast anchor for the soul.
Listen Download Chapter 7 The Greatness of Melchizedek. Heb7: Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek, who had no end. Our Lord became a priest through indestructible life. He is always able to save.
Listen Download Chapter 8 A Heavenly Priesthood; A Superior Covenant. Heb8: We have a high priest who ministers in the true tent. He mediates a better covenant. He says, "I will write my laws on their hearts."
Listen Download Chapter 9 Old Covenant Ministry; New Covenant Ministry. Heb9: The high priest enters the Most Holy Place once a year with blood. Christ entered the true holy place once for all by his own blood.
Listen Download Chapter 10 The Perfect Sacrifice; Warning againsgt Willful Sin. Heb10: The law is but a shadow. Animal blood cannot take away sins. Christ offered one sacrifice forever. So let us hold fast to our hope.
Listen Download Chapter 11 Heros of the Faith. Heb11: Faith is the proof of hope. By faith the world was made. By faith Abraham obeyed. By faith Moses left Egypt. In faith some suffered.
Listen Download Chapter 12 The Call to Endurance; Fatherly Discipline; Warning against Rejecting God's Grace. Heb12: Let us run the race, looking to Jesus. God is disciplining you as sons. See that no one falls short of grace. Let us worship in awe.
Listen Download Chapter 13 Final Exhortations; Benediction and Farewell. Heb13: Let love continue. Marriage should be honoured. Let us bear the reproach Christ endured. Submit to your leaders. Grace be with you.

Book of Hebrews Outlines by J.Vernon McGee PDF format <Link>


About the letter to the Hebrews

The Book of Hebrews is a letter to a group of Christians. We do not know who they were. ‘Hebrews’ is another name for Jews. So, many people think that they were Jews. (That means that they belonged to *Israel’s people.) But the man who wrote this letter did not call it ‘Hebrews’. Someone else gave it this name many years later. The letter says a lot about God’s promises to the Jews. It talks about the Jews’ special house for God (chapter 9) and how they *worshipped him there. They killed animals to show that they were sorry. They were sorry for the wrong things that they had done.

We do not know where these Christians lived. Some people think that they lived at Rome. That is the capital city of the country that we call Italy. Other people think that they lived at Jerusalem, the capital of *Israel. They may have lived somewhere else.

We do know that other people were causing a lot of trouble for these Christians. They still believed Jesus, but they were not strong. So, the writer is trying to make them stronger Christians. He says to them: ‘Do not stop believing Christ, but go on, to believe him more and more strongly.’

He tells them to think about Jesus. He explains clearly who Jesus is. And he explains what Jesus has done for us. Jesus is God’s great and powerful Son. He is much, much greater than the *angels. He is much, much greater than Moses and Joshua, who were great leaders of *Israel’s people many years ago. He is a much, much greater *priest (a special servant of God) than *Israel’s *priests. They did wrong things sometimes, but Jesus never did anything wrong.

Jesus became a human person, like us. So he understands us completely. He offered himself to God as our *sacrifice when he died for us. He was the only *sacrifice that could really make us good and clean. He saves us completely. He has opened the way for us to come near to God. We can know God because of Jesus.

We must always continue to remember Jesus. He has gone in front of us, as our leader, and we must follow him. We must look beyond the troubles that we have sometimes during our lives on earth. Jesus had great trouble on our behalf. His Spirit will make us strong to go on living for him here. And after that, we will live with him and we will have no more troubles.

We must also remember all the other people who have believed God. Even before Jesus came to the earth, many people believed God. They often had great troubles, but they still believed. Chapter 11 of Hebrews tells us about some of these people.

We do not know who wrote the Book of Hebrews. Some people think that Paul wrote it. He wrote many of the other letters in the *New Testament. (That is the part of the Bible that describes Jesus’ life and work.) Most people agree that the writer wrote this letter about *AD 60-70. That was about 30-40 years after Jesus died.

The Book of Hebrews includes many words from the Old Testament. (That is the part of the Bible that describes events before Jesus’ life on earth.) We show where these words come from in the Old Testament by straight brackets like this: [………..].

Chapter 1

God has spoken by his Son, Jesus

v1 Many years ago, God spoke to our grandfathers (*Israel’s people) by the prophets (people who spoke God’s messages). He spoke many times and in many different ways. v2 But in these last times, he has spoken to us by his Son. In the beginning, God made the whole world and everything that there is by his Son. And God has chosen that everything should be his Son’s. v3 The Son shines with the bright light that comes from God. The Son’s nature is a copy of God’s nature. He shows us completely what God is like. The Son’s powerful word causes everything in the world to continue. The Son himself made it possible for us to be clean from everything that we do wrong. After he had done that, he sat down in *heaven. He sat at the right side of God, who is the greatest ruler, with all authority.

Verse 3 Jesus sits ‘at the right side of God’. The right side (or right hand) is like a picture of the most important place. This means that Jesus rules with the same power and authority as God himself.

God’s Son is greater than the *angels

v4 God has caused his Son to be much greater and much better than the *angels. God has given him a much greater and much better name than the *angels’ names. v5 God never spoke like this to any *angel:

  ‘You are my Son.

Today I have given you the *honour that goes with that name.’

[Psalm 2:7]

Nor did God speak like this to any *angel:

  ‘I will be his Father,

and he will be my Son.’

[2 Samuel 7:14]

v6 But when God brings his first, greatest Son into the world, he says this about him:

  ‘All God’s *angels must *worship him.’

[Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalm 97:7]

v7 God speaks about the *angels like this:

  ‘God makes his *angels like winds.

  He makes his servants like fires that burn.’

[Psalm 104:4]

v8 But God speaks to his Son like this:

  ‘You are God and you will never stop ruling!

  You rule as king.

And you always do what is right and good.

  v9 You love what is right.

And you hate what is wrong.

  That is why I have chosen you.

I am your God and I have chosen you.

  I have chosen you to be much greater and much happier

than those who are with you.’

[Psalm 45:6-7]

Verse 9 To hate means to not like something strongly or completely. To hate is the opposite of when you love something or someone.

v10 God also speaks like this about the Son:

  ‘*Lord, you made the earth in the beginning.

  You yourself made the skies also.

  v11 The earth and the skies will come to an end,

but you will continue always.

  They will all become old, just as clothes become old.

  v12 You will cause them to roll up,

like someone rolls up an old coat to put it away.

You will change them as people change clothes.

  But you will always be the same.

Your life will never come to an end.’

[Psalm 102:25-27]

v13 God has never spoken like this to any of the *angels:

  ‘Sit at my right side

until I make an end to your enemies.

  I will make them like a place where you rest your feet.’

[Psalm 110:1]

v14 All the *angels are *spirits who are only God’s servants. He sends them to help all the people that he will save.

Chapter 2

Jesus’ message is greater than the *angels’ message

v1 So we ought to be very careful. We must continue to remember the true words that we have heard. Then we will not go in the wrong direction, away from God. v2 The message that God spoke by *angels was certainly powerful. God *punished people when they did not obey his rules. It was right that he *punished those people.

v3 So we must think even more about how God saved us. He has done great things for us. If we forget those things, we cannot get away from God. He will certainly *punish us. The *Lord Jesus himself first told everyone that God would save people. And then the people who heard him told us. They showed us that this message was certainly true. v4 God also showed that this message was true. He did all kinds of great and powerful things that surprised people. He also gave people gifts by the *Holy Spirit, as he chose.

Verse 2 The Bible says that an *angel had spoken God’s rules to Moses on Sinai mountain many years ago. (See Exodus 19 and 20, Acts 7:38, 53 and Galatians 3:19.)

Verse 3 The writer wrote this letter only 30-40 years after Jesus died. The writer, and the Christians that he was writing to, had heard about Jesus from other people. But those other people had met Jesus himself. They had listened to him while he taught them.

Jesus became like us to save us

v5 God did not choose *angels to rule over the world that will come. And that world is what we are talking about. v6 But God has included in the Bible the words that follow. They are certainly true:

  ‘Men and women do not seem very important, *Lord,

but you think about them.

  They are only human people,

but they matter to you.

  v7 You made them less important than the *angels

for a short time.

  But then you made them great and powerful, like kings.

  v8 You caused them to rule completely over everything.’

[Psalm 8:4-6]

It says that God has caused people to rule over everything. So there is nothing that people do not have authority to rule over. We do not see people rule over everything yet. v9 But we do see Jesus! God made him less important than the *angels for a short time. And now God has made him the great and powerful king because he died. God is so very kind, that he sent Jesus to die on behalf of all people.

Verse 9 The writer is saying that the words from Psalm 8 (in verses 6-8) are speaking about Jesus. The writer shows us many words from the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible) like this.

v10 God made all things for himself and he causes all things to continue. God’s purpose was to bring many people to himself. He wanted them to live with him always as his children. Jesus leads us to God. He saves us from the results of everything that we do wrong. God had to let Jesus have trouble and pain in this world. He caused Jesus to become everything that was necessary to save us. v11 Jesus makes people completely good and clean inside themselves. Both Jesus and all the people that he makes good and clean have the same Father. So, Jesus is not ashamed to call all those people his brothers and sisters. v12 He says this to God about it:

  ‘I will speak loudly about you to my brothers and sisters.

  When all your people meet together,

I will sing songs to you.

I will say how great you are.’

[Psalm 22:22]

v13 He also says this:

  ‘I will believe that God will help me.’

[Isaiah 8:17]

He also says this:

  ‘Here I am, with the children that God has given me.’

[Isaiah 8:18]

Verse 12-13 Again the writer takes words from the Old Testament (the first part of the Bible) to speak about Jesus. They show that Jesus thinks about us as his family. He became human, like us. As a man, Jesus had to believe that God would bring him through great trouble, and death.

v14 So Jesus speaks about people as his children. And because we all have human bodies, Jesus himself became human like us. So then he died to destroy the *Devil and the *Devil’s power over death. v15 We were like slaves all our lives because we were so afraid of death. But Jesus has made us free. v16 It is clear that Jesus did not come to help the *angels. He came to help all those people who are Abraham’s family. Those people really believe God, like Abraham believed him.

Verse 14 The *Devil is the bad *spirit who wants to be God. He is the ruler of bad *angels and of everything that is bad. He is the enemy of Christians.

Verse 16 Abraham was the grandfather of *Israel and of all *Israel’s people. He chose to believe God, even when that was very difficult. So, he is also like the father of everyone else who really believes God. (See Chapter 11:8-12, 17-19 and Genesis 15:1-6.)

v17 For this reason, Jesus became completely like us, because we are his brothers and sisters. He became our kind, *chief *priest, who understands us. He always obeys God and he *serves God on our behalf. Jesus died so that God could *forgive us. God needs to *forgive us for everything that we do wrong. So Jesus has brought us near to God. v18 The *Devil (God’s enemy) tried to make Jesus himself do wrong things. But Jesus did not do anything wrong because he never stopped obeying God. So now, he can help us not to do wrong things.

Chapter 3

Jesus is greater than Moses

v1 You Christians are like my brothers and sisters because you are God’s people too. God wants all of us to be with him in *heaven. You must think seriously about Jesus. We Christians say that we believe Jesus. And God has sent him to be our *chief *priest. v2 Jesus did everything that God sent him to do, just like Moses. Moses obeyed God while he worked among all God’s people many years ago. v3 But someone who has built a house is much more important than the house itself. And it is like that with Jesus. Jesus has done much greater things than Moses did. v4 Some person built every house, but God has built all things. v5 Moses obeyed everything that God told him. He was a servant to all God’s people. He was like a servant in God’s house. He spoke about the things that God would say in future times. v6 But Christ obeyed God because he is his Son. He is the master of God’s house and we belong to his house. We are God’s people if we continue to believe Jesus. So we must be brave. We must go on being sure about what we hope for, until the end.

A place where God’s people can rest

v7 God’s Spirit, who is completely good, speaks to us like this:

  ‘You must listen when you hear God speak today.

v8 Do not refuse to listen to him.

  Do not be like *Israel’s people many years ago, when they refused God.

They refused to believe him, in that dry, sandy place.

  v9 There your grandfathers tried to make God do what they wanted.

  For 40 years, they saw the great things that God did for them.

But they refused to believe him.

They refused to wait for him.

  v10 So that is why God was angry with all those people.

  “They always want to do what is wrong”, he said.

“They refuse to obey me.

  v11 I am very angry with them.

  So, I promise this and it will not change:

I prepared a place for them to rest.

 But they will never arrive at the place that I prepared for them.” ’

[Psalm 95:7-11]

Verse 7-11 Many years before, Moses led *Israel’s people away from Egypt, where they had been slaves. God wanted to bring the people to their own country, where they could make new homes. He wanted them to rest there. He wanted them to be happy. But they had to walk a long way through a dry, sandy place to get there. The people were often angry with God. Many times, they would neither believe God nor obey him. (See, for example, Exodus 17:1-7 and Numbers 14:1-35.) So God did not let those people go into the country that he had promised them. He waited 40 years, until all of them were dead. Only their children arrived in the new country.

v12 So be careful, you Christians, who are like my brothers and sisters. Be careful that none of you refuses to believe God. If anyone is really bad deep inside themselves, they will turn away. They will go away from God, who is alive. v13 So help each other every day to go on believing. Do that each day, because the word ‘today’ means ‘now’ for us. Then none of you will want to refuse God because of wrong things. We can tell ourselves that wrong things are not very bad. But if we do wrong things, we are fools. v14 When we became Christians, we believed strongly. We must go on being sure about Christ like that until the end. Then we will *share in everything that is his. v15 We have seen what the Bible says:

  ‘You must listen when you hear God speak today.

Do not refuse to listen to him.

  Do not be like *Israel’s people many years ago, when they refused to obey God.’

[Psalm 95:7-8]

v16 This speaks about all the people that Moses led away from Egypt. They heard God speak. But they refused to listen to him. v17 God was angry with those people for 40 years. They did what was wrong. So they died in that dry, sandy place. v18 God also spoke this serious promise:

‘I prepared a place for them to rest.

 But they will never arrive at the place that I prepared for them.’

[Psalm 95:11]

He was speaking about those people who refused to obey him. v19 So we can see this. They could not go there because they refused to believe God.

Chapter 4

We can go in to rest if we believe

v1 God promised his people a place where they could rest. And that promise is still true for us. So we should be very careful. We want all of you to arrive there. We do not want any of you to fail. v2 Certainly, we have heard the good news, just like the people with Moses heard it. But they failed to believe what they heard. So the message did not help them. v3 We who believe that message will arrive in that place. And then we will rest with God. It is as God said:

  ‘I am very angry with them.

  So, I promise this and it will not change:

I prepared a place for them to rest.

But they will never arrive at the place which I prepared for them.’

[Psalm 95:11]

God said that. But he had finished his work when he made the world. v4 In the Bible God has spoken about the seventh day.

  ‘God rested from all his work on the seventh day’, the Bible says.

[Genesis 2:2]

v5 As we saw before, God also said later:

‘I prepared a place for them to rest.

But they will never arrive at the place which I prepared for them.’

[Psalm 95:11]

v6 Those people who heard the good news first, refused to obey God. So they did not go to rest with him. But God’s promise is still true for other people. Other people can go and rest with him. v7 So God chose another special time and he called it ‘today’. He spoke by David a long time after Moses. As we have already seen, he said:

  ‘You must listen when you hear God speak today.

Do not refuse to listen to him.’

[Psalm 95:7-8]

v8 Joshua did not bring the people to the place where they could rest. So God had to speak again later. He had to speak about another day. v9 There is still a place ready for God’s people, where they can rest completely. They will rest like God rested on the seventh day. v10 God rested after he had finished his work. And it is the same for everyone who goes to rest with God. They will rest after they have finished their own work.

Verse 8 After Moses died, Joshua led *Israel’s people. (See Joshua 1:1-2.) He led them into the country that God had promised their parents. *Israel’s people lived there, in their own country, for several hundred years. But that country was only like a picture of what God wants to give us. He was not really talking about a place on earth where we could rest. He wants us to rest with him always, after our lives on earth. Also, he wants us to rest inside ourselves, even during our lives here on earth. He wants us to be without trouble inside ourselves. We can rest like this if we really believe God.

v11 So we must do everything possible to receive that rest with God. Nobody should copy the example of those people who refused to obey God. Then none of us will fail to go in. v12 Every word that God speaks is alive and powerful. His word is sharper than any long knife that has two sharp edges. Just as that knife can cut deep, God’s word goes very deep into us. His word can even cut between our human nature and our *spirits. It is like a sharp knife that can cut between our bones, or even through our bones. God’s word shows what we are really thinking. It shows what we really want. v13 There is nothing in the whole world that can hide from God. He can see everything completely and clearly. And we will have to explain to him everything that we have done during our lives.

Jesus is our great *chief *priest

v14 We have a great *chief *priest, who has gone into *heaven. He is Jesus, God’s Son. We have said that we believe him. So we must continue to believe him strongly. v15 We have a *chief *priest who understands us. He knows how weak we are. The *Devil tried to make him do all kinds of wrong things. So, Jesus understands all the wrong things that we might do. But he never did anything wrong himself. v16 So, when the *Devil tries to make us do wrong things, we can ask God to help us. We can come bravely to God, who is our King. He will be very kind and very good to us. He will give us everything that we need.

Verse 16 Jesus died on behalf of us and now he is with God in *heaven. So, we can come to God and we can pray to him. We do not need to be afraid, because Jesus is there. We can ask God to help us. And we can be sure that he will help us very much.

Verses 15-16 The *Devil is the bad *spirit who wants to be God. He is the ruler of bad *angels and of everything that is bad. He is the enemy of Christians.

Chapter 5

v1 God has chosen each *chief *priest from among *Israel’s people. That *priest’s work is to *serve God on behalf of all the other people. The *chief *priest offers gifts and *sacrifices to God. The people give those gifts and *sacrifices to him because they have done wrong things. v2 That *priest himself may often make mistakes, because he is human. So, he can understand other people who make mistakes. He can be kind to people who do silly things. v3 The *chief *priest offers *sacrifices to God for everything that people do wrong. But he must give *sacrifices to God for himself too, because he can do wrong things also.

v4 Nobody decides to be a *chief *priest by himself. God must choose him, just as God chose Aaron.

Verse 4 Aaron lived many years before this time and he was the first *chief *priest for *Israel’s people. He was Moses’ brother. (See Exodus 28:1-4 and 1 Chronicles 23:13.)

v5 It is the same with Christ. He did not choose himself to do this important work. He did not choose to be a *chief *priest. God chose him. God said to him:

  ‘You are my Son.

Today I have given you the *honour that goes with that name.’

[Psalm 2:7]

v6 And in another place in the Bible God says this:

  ‘You will always be a *priest,

just like Melchizedek.’

[Psalm 110:4]

Verse 6 Melchizedek was a *priest and a king who met Abraham many years ago. (See Genesis 14:18-20.) Chapter 7 of Hebrews explains more about Melchizedek.

v7 When Jesus lived on earth as a man, he prayed loudly to God. He cried very much while he asked God to help him. He prayed strongly to God, who could save him from death. Jesus *served and obeyed God. So God heard what Jesus said to him.

Verse 7 In this verse the writer remembers when Jesus prayed in the garden. Jesus knew that he would die soon. He was very sad. He asked his Father to make him strong. And God did what Jesus asked. (See Luke 22:41-44.)

v8 Jesus is God’s Son. But he still learned what it is like to obey God. He learned because he had trouble and pain. v9 And as a result, Jesus is the only person who can save us. He saves us for all time from the results of what we do wrong. He saves all those people who obey him. v10 God has called Jesus the same kind of *chief *priest as Melchizedek.

We must be careful that we do not go away from Christ

v11 We have a lot more to say to you about these things. But we can only explain things to you with difficulty because you understand so slowly. v12 After all this time, you ought to be teachers, but you are not teachers. Instead, you need someone to teach you the first lessons about God’s message again. You have become like babies, who need milk instead of proper food. v13 Anyone who has to drink milk is still a baby. That person does not know what is right. They do not know when they are doing something wrong. v14 But people who have grown up properly eat proper food. As a result of practice, they have taught themselves. They have taught themselves to know the difference between what is right and wrong.

Chapter 6

v1 So we must go on from the first lessons that we learned about Christ. We must learn more as Christians. Then we will understand everything that we should understand. We should not need to learn again about those first things. We already know that the beginning was important. We turned away from doing wrong things then. Those wrong things lead to death, but we believed God. v2 We have already learned about special ways to make things clean. We know that Christians put their hands on other Christians. They do that when they pray for them. We know that dead people will live again. And we have learned that God will decide about every person then. He will decide what is fair for them for all time. v3 So we must go on learning as Christians, if God helps us.

Verse 2 God gave *Israel’s people many special rules to make themselves and other things clean. (See, for example, Numbers 19:1-10.) ‘Special ways to make things clean’ can also mean Christian baptism. Baptism is when they put someone into water. (Or they may put water on someone.) This shows that, as a Christian, God has made that person clean and new.

The Bible tells us that Christians often put their hands on somebody. Then they prayed for them. It was often when God chose that person for special work. (See, for example, Acts 9:17 and 13:3.) *Israel’s people also put their hands on people or animals at certain times. (See, for example, Numbers 27:18, 23 and Leviticus 16:20-22.)

We must not turn away from Jesus

v4 People who choose to turn away from Christ cannot come back to him. That is impossible. They once came into God’s light. So they know what is true. They have really begun to know the good things that come from *heaven. They have received the *Holy Spirit. v5 They have learned how good God’s message is. They have seen that the future world is very powerful. v6 But after all that, they turn against God! So it is impossible for them to come back to Christ again. Nobody can really help them to turn to Christ again. They are just like the people who fixed Jesus to a big cross. It is like they are killing the Son of God again themselves. They are ashamed of Christ in front of everyone.

v7 Think about a field where God sends rain often. That ground can cause the plants in it to grow well for the farmer. Then the farmer can use those plants. v8 But a field where only weeds like thorns and thistles grow (plants with many sharp, hard points) is worth nothing. There is a danger that God will call that ground very bad. The farmer will burn that field.

v9 We love you, good friends, and we are still sure about you. We speak like this, but we believe better things about you. God has saved you. And we are sure that you will continue with him. You will go on doing everything that Christians should do. v10 God is always right and fair. He will not forget how much you love him. He will remember how you helped his people. And you are still helping them. v11 But we want each one of you to continue to the end. You must show that you really want to go on. Then you will be sure about what you hope for at the end. v12 We do not want you to become lazy. You must copy the example of those people who continue believing God. They go on being very patient. And so, they receive what God has promised.

God’s serious promise

v13 For example, God spoke a promise to Abraham many years ago. And because there was nobody greater than God himself, God used his own name. His name caused the promise to be very serious. God would certainly do what he had said. v14 ‘I will certainly be good to you’, God said. ‘And I will give you many children and many, many grandchildren’, God promised [Genesis 22:17]. v15 Abraham waited patiently for a long time. And then he received what God had promised.

Verses 13-15 Abraham and his wife wanted a son. But they could not have a child, and they were becoming too old. Then God promised to give Abraham a son, and many grandchildren. (See, for example, Genesis 12:2; 13:16; 15:4.) And Abraham believed what God said.

v16 When a person promises something very seriously, he uses the name of someone or something greater than himself. This shows that he will certainly obey his promise. Then nobody can argue about it. v17 God wanted to show even more certainly that he would never change his purpose. He wanted his people to know this clearly. They would certainly receive what he had promised. So, God spoke his promise and he used his own name. This showed that his promise would certainly happen. v18 These two facts cannot change. God can never say something that is not true. And these two facts cause us to feel strong and sure. We are like people who have run to God. We have run to God so that he can keep us safe. So, we must continue to hope strongly for what God has promised us.

v19 We can be completely sure about what we hope for. God is like something really strong that does not move. When we hope, we fix our lives in God. We fix our lives like an *anchor stops a boat moving away. The *anchor holds that boat safely in the same place. When we hope, we reach behind the special curtain in God’s house in *heaven. We reach into the Most *Holy Room. v20 Jesus has already gone in there. He has gone before us, on our behalf. He has become our *chief *priest for always and he is a *priest just like Melchizedek.

Verse 19 Every boat has an *anchor, which is a heavy metal weight. The *anchor is on the end of a strong line that the sailors fix to the boat. They throw the *anchor into the water to stop the boat. The *anchor fastens into the ground under the water. Then the boat is safe, because it cannot move. We can be like that boat when we really believe Jesus. We can be completely sure about what God has promised us. God has promised us great things because of Jesus.

Verses 19-20 God told *Israel’s people to build a special house where they could *worship him. Behind a curtain in that house there was a Most *Holy Room, where God himself came. Only the *chief *priest could go into that room, on one special day each year. (See Leviticus 16:2 and Hebrews 9:7.) But that special house was like a picture of what is really true in *heaven. Jesus is our *chief *priest. When he died, God tore that curtain into two pieces. (See Matthew 27:51.) This showed that Jesus had opened the way to *heaven for us. Jesus lets us come to God. (See also Hebrews chapters 8 and 9.)

Chapter 7

Melchizedek, the king and *priest

v1 This Melchizedek was the King of Salem. And he was a *priest of God himself, who is greater than everything. Melchizedek met Abraham when Abraham was returning from a fight. Abraham’s men had just beaten 4 kings with their armies. And Melchizedek asked God to be good to Abraham. v2 Also, Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth part of everything that he had won in the fight. The name ‘Melchizedek’ means ‘King of everything that is right’. And his other name, ‘King of Salem’, means ‘King of everything that is without trouble or war’. v3 Nobody wrote down that Melchizedek had a father or a mother. Nobody wrote down that he had any grandfathers. Nobody wrote about the beginning of his life and nobody wrote about the end. Melchizedek is like the Son of God. He continues to be a *priest always.

Verses 1-3 Genesis 14:18-20 describes the time when Melchizedek met Abraham.

Verse 2 A tenth part is one part out of every 10 parts.

v4 Now think about how great this man, Melchizedek, was! Even Abraham, the grandfather of all *Israel’s people, gave gifts to Melchizedek. Abraham gave him a tenth part of everything that he had won in the fight. v5 Men from Levi’s family group who become *priests must take a tenth part from all their own people. The *priests receive a tenth part of what the other people of *Israel have. God’s rules say that. But those *priests and the other people are like brothers, because they all come from Abraham’s family. v6 Melchizedek did not come from Levi’s family. But he received a tenth part of what Abraham had. Abraham had received God’s promises. But Melchizedek asked God to be good to Abraham.

v7 It is always the more important person who asks God to be good to a less important person. Everybody knows that this is true. v8 *Israel’s *priests receive a tenth part of what their people have. But those *priests die. Melchizedek received a tenth part from Abraham, but Melchizedek will always be alive. The Bible tells us that. v9 So, by the *priests in his family, Levi gets the tenth part from the people. But we could say that, by Abraham, Levi also paid a tenth part to Melchizedek. v10 This is because Levi was Abraham’s grandson. Levi was not yet born when Melchizedek met Abraham.

Verses 5-10 All the men from Levi’s family had to *serve God in his house. But only those men from Levi’s grandson Aaron’s family could become *priests. (See Numbers 1:50 and Exodus 28:1.) All *Israel’s people had to give a tenth part of what they had to the men from Levi’s family. Then all the other men in Levi’s family gave a tenth part of this to the *priests. (See Numbers 18:21-32.)

v11 The *priests from Levi’s family were a necessary part of the rules that God gave to *Israel’s people. But those *priests could not make the people completely right with God. So the people needed a different kind of *priest to come. They needed a *priest like Melchizedek, not someone else from Aaron’s family. v12 And when there is a change in the kind of *priest, there must also be a change in the rules. v13 The Bible speaks about our *Lord as a *priest (Psalm 110:4). But he belonged to a different family group from Levi’s. Nobody else from our *Lord’s family group ever worked as a *priest. v14 It is completely clear that our *Lord came from Judah’s family. Moses said nothing about men from Judah’s family group being *priests.

Jesus is a different kind of *priest, like Melchizedek

v15 What we have said becomes even clearer now. Another kind of *priest has appeared, who is like Melchizedek. v16 Jesus did not become a *priest because of rules about which family he came from. He became a *priest because of his powerful life. Nothing can ever destroy that life. v17 The Bible speaks about him as a *priest:

  ‘You will always be a *priest,

just like Melchizedek’, the Bible says.

[Psalm 110:4]

v18 So the old rules have come to an end now. They could not really do anything good, so they were not really worth anything. v19 God’s rules that he gave to Moses could not make anything completely right. But God has brought us something better to hope for. And because we hope for it, we can come near to God.

v20 Also, God promised very seriously when he made Jesus a *priest. He did not promise anything when other men became *priests. v21 But Jesus received God’s very serious promise because God spoke to him like this:

  ‘The *Lord has promised seriously,

and he will not change his mind.

  You will always be a *priest.’

[Psalm 110:4]

v22 So this means that Jesus shows us a much better *agreement from God. God has promised us much better things than the old rules could give us. And Jesus makes us completely sure that we will receive these things.

v23 There were many of those other *priests, because each one died. Then they could not continue to work as *priests. v24 But Jesus will always be alive, so he will never stop being a *priest. v25 Jesus always lives to pray to God on our behalf. So, he can completely save everyone who comes to him. He will lead them to God.

v26 Jesus is the kind of *chief *priest that we really need. He always obeys God. He has never done anything wrong. He is completely good and clean. He is separate from everyone who does wrong things. God has raised him to the most important place in *heaven. v27 Jesus is not like any other *chief *priest. They need to offer *sacrifices to God every day. First they offer *sacrifices for the things that they themselves have done wrong. Then they offer *sacrifices on behalf of the other people, for all the wrong things that the people have done. But Jesus offered one *sacrifice for all time. He gave himself. v28 Moses’ rules make men *chief *priests. And because those men are human, they can do wrong things. But God’s very serious promise came after the rules that God gave to Moses. God promised his Son that he would be a *chief *priest always. And his Son has become everything that God wants him to be, completely and for always.

Chapter 8

Jesus is our *chief *priest who makes a better *agreement from God possible

v1 The most important thing that we are saying is this. We do have this kind of *chief *priest. He has sat down at the right side of where God sits as king in *heaven. God is the greatest ruler, with all authority. v2 Our *chief *priest works in the Most *Holy Room that is inside the true special *tent. That *tent is in *heaven. The *Lord himself made that special *tent. No man built it.

v3 It is the duty of every *chief *priest to offer gifts and *sacrifices to God. So our *chief *priest must also have something to offer. v4 If he was living on earth, then he would not be a *priest. There are already *priests here who offer gifts to God. They obey the rules that God gave to Moses. v5 But the place where these *priests work is only like a copy and a shadow of things in *heaven. Many years ago, Moses was ready to make a special *tent for God. So God spoke to him: ‘Be careful to make everything just like the plan’, God told him. ‘I showed you the plan on the mountain’, God said.

Verse 5 Many years ago, God met with Moses on a mountain called Sinai. God told Moses to make a special *tent and many other things. (See Exodus 24:15-18; 25:40; 26:30.)

v6 But now God has given Jesus much greater work as a *priest. His work is greater than the work that those *priests do on earth. Jesus has made it possible for God to agree a new and much better thing with his people. It is much better because it began with much better promises. v7 If there had been nothing wrong with that first *agreement, then nobody would have needed a second *agreement. v8 But God did find something wrong with it. So he spoke like this to the people:

  ‘A new time is coming, the *Lord says.

  A time is coming when I will agree a new thing

with *Israel’s people and with Judah’s people.

  v9 It will not be like the things

that I agreed with their grandfathers.

  I led their grandfathers out of the country called Egypt.

I led them like someone who takes another person’s hand.

  But they did not continue to obey

the things that I had agreed with them.

  So I turned away from them, the *Lord says.

  v10 I will tell you what I will agree with *Israel’s people.

It will happen in the days that will come, the *Lord says.

  I will put my rules into their minds.

I will write my rules deep inside them.

  I will be their God

and they will be my people.

  v11 None of them will ever have to teach their brothers how to know me.

None of them will need to say to anyone else, “You should know the *Lord.”

  Everyone will know me, even the least important people.

And the most important people will know me too.

  v12 They have done wrong things,

but I will *forgive them.

  I will not continue to remember

what they have done wrong, the *Lord says.’

[Jeremiah 31:31-34]

v13 God speaks about a ‘new’ thing that he will agree with his people. So he has caused the things that he agreed with his people a long time ago to become old. And nobody can go on using something that has become too old. It will soon come to an end.

Verses 6-13 The old *agreement that God made with his people included many rules. If the people obeyed all those rules, then their lives would be happy. (See, for example, Deuteronomy 5:32-33 and 8:1.) But the people could not obey all the rules. Those rules could not really make them right with God. The rules could not make them become new people. The rules could not make them really love God. So they needed a better *agreement, that could really make them different. Jesus has made that new *agreement possible for us. We can be really right with God and we can know him because of Jesus.

Verse 8 Judah was one of Jacob’s 12 sons. (Jacob is another name for *Israel.) At the time when Jeremiah spoke these words from God, Judah’s people were separate from the other people of *Israel.

Chapter 9

The old *agreement and God’s special *tent on earth

v1 The first *agreement included rules about how people should *worship God. It also included a special place for people to *worship God on this earth. v2 *Israel’s people made a special *tent for God. The first room in that special *tent was called the *Holy Room. The *lampstand (where a light burned for God) was in this room. The special table where they offered bread to God was there too.

v3 Behind the second curtain, there was a very special room called the Most *Holy Room. v4 The special gold table where they burned *incense was inside that room. And the special *agreement box that had gold all over it was there too. This box contained the gold pot that had special food from God in it. The box also contained Aaron’s stick that grew leaves. And it contained the two flat stones on which God had written the *agreement. v5 The gold shapes of two special *angels stood on the top of the *agreement box. These special *angels showed that God was present there. Under the *angels’ shadow, on top of the box, was a gold lid. That lid was the place where God *forgave the people. But we cannot explain everything about these things now.

Verses 1-3 Exodus 26 and 27:9-19 describe the special *tent that God told Moses to make. Exodus 25:31-39 and 25:23-30 describe the gold *lampstand and the special table for bread.

Verses 4-5 Exodus 30:1-10 describes the gold table where they burned *incense. (*Incense is material that makes a nice smell when it burns.) Exodus 25:10-22 describes the special *agreement box.

Verse 4 Exodus 16:14-31 describes how God supplied this special food for *Israel’s people. Exodus 16:32-34 describes how Aaron put some of this food in a pot to keep it. Numbers 17:1-11 describes how Aaron’s stick grew leaves, flowers and fruit. This showed that God had chosen Moses and Aaron to be the leaders of *Israel’s people.

v6 When they had prepared these things like this, the *priests went into the first room every day. They went in there to do their duties. v7 But only the *chief *priest could go into the second room. He had to go in there alone, but he went in only once every year. He had to take blood from an animal, which he gave to God. He offered the blood because he was sorry. He was sorry for his own mistakes. And he was sorry for the mistakes that all the people had made.

Verse 7 Leviticus chapter 16 describes how the *chief *priest went into the Most *Holy Room once a year.

v8 God’s Spirit, who is completely good, was showing something clearly by these things. He was showing that the Most *Holy Room was not yet open to everyone. The first room in the special *tent was still there while they *worshipped God by these things. v9 This is like a picture that means something for us today. It shows us about the gifts and *sacrifices that people brought to God. Those gifts and *sacrifices could never make the person who *worshipped God completely right with him. They could not make people stop thinking that they had done wrong things. v10 The old rules that God gave were only about foods and drinks and how to wash in special ways. Those rules were only about people’s bodies. People had to use those rules only until the time when God would make things new and better.

Christ and the new *agreement

v11 But now Christ has appeared. He is the *chief *priest of the good things that have come. He works in a greater and much better *tent. No man made that *tent because it does not belong to this world. v12 Christ went into its Most *Holy Room once, for all time. He did not offer the blood of goats and young cows when he went in there. He offered his own blood after he died. He made us free from everything that we do wrong. He has made us free always. v13 The people were not clean enough to *worship God. The old rules said that the *priest must make their bodies clean again. He must use the blood of goats and male cows. He must cause that blood to drop like rain on them. He must also burn a young cow and he must use the ashes on the people. And then those people’s bodies became clean again.

Verse 13 Numbers 19:1-22 describes how the ashes of a young, red cow could make people clean for God.

v14 But Christ’s blood will do much, much more than this! God’s Spirit, who lives always, made it possible for Christ to offer himself to God. Christ was a completely good *sacrifice, without anything wrong. He offered his own blood to make us completely clean inside ourselves. The wrong things that we have done lead to death. But he will cause us to stop thinking about the wrong things that we have done. So then we can work for the God who is alive. v15 So Christ brings a new *agreement from God. Christ’s death made people free from the wrong things that they had done during the time of the first *agreement. So now, the people that God chooses can receive from him. They can receive the good things that he has promised for always.

v16 Before a person dies, he may make an *agreement about all his own things. That *agreement says who will get his things after his death. But nobody can get anything until that person has certainly died. v17 An *agreement like that only means something after the death of the person who made it. It has no power while that person is still alive. v18 That is why even the first *agreement with God needed blood from a death. The *agreement could not work without that blood.

v19 Moses read God’s rules aloud to all *Israel’s people. He told them every rule that God had given them. Then Moses killed some young cows and goats. He took some of their blood and he mixed it with water. He used sheep’s hair that people had made red. He used also some small branches of a plant called hyssop. He used the sheep’s hair and the hyssop to throw the blood. He caused the blood to drop like rain. He caused some of the blood to drop on to the book of God’s rules. And he caused some to drop on to all the people. v20 And Moses spoke to them. ‘This is the blood of the *agreement that God has told you to obey’, he said. v21 In the same way, Moses put some of the blood on God’s special *tent. He also caused blood to drop on to all the things that the *priests used in their work there. v22 God’s rules say that blood is necessary to make almost everything clean. And God will not *forgive people unless a death gives the blood.

Verses 18-20 Exodus 24:3-8 describes the events that these verses are talking about.

Christ’s death is a better *sacrifice

v23 So animals’ blood was necessary to make those things clean and right. They were copies of the true and proper things that are in *heaven. But the proper things in *heaven need better *sacrifices than that to make them clean and right. v24 Christ did not go into a Most *Holy Room that people had made on earth. A place like that is only a copy of the place in *heaven. He went into *heaven itself. And now he is present with God and he speaks to God on our behalf.

v25 The *chief *priest here on earth goes into the Most *Holy Room year after year. He takes an animal’s blood to offer there each time, not his own blood. But Christ did not go into *heaven to offer himself to God again and again. v26 He did not need to die again and again since the world began. Instead, he has appeared once, for all time. He has come now, when the world is near its end. He came to remove completely all the wrong things that we do. He died as a *sacrifice for us. v27 God has chosen that every person must die once. After death, God will decide what is fair for that person. v28 So Christ also died and he offered himself once. He did this to take away wrong things for many people. And Christ will return to earth a second time, but not to take away wrong things. He will come to save those people who are waiting for him.

Chapter 10

v1 Moses’ rules are only like a shadow of the good things that will come. The rules do not show what those good things are really like. The rules say that the *priest must continue to offer the same *sacrifices for the people, year after year. The people bring their *sacrifices when they come to *worship God. So, people will never be completely good and clean because of those rules. v2 If the rules could do that, the *priests would have stopped offering *sacrifices. The people would have become completely good and clean once, for all time. They would have become clean like that when they came to *worship God the first time. So they would not still think that they had done wrong things. v3 But those *sacrifices cause people to remember, year after year, the wrong things that they have done. v4 It is impossible for the blood of male cows and of goats to take away wrong things. v5 So, when Christ came into the world, he spoke to God like this:

  ‘You do not want gifts and *sacrifices of animals,

but you have prepared a body for me.

  v6 The whole animals that they burn

do not make you happy.

  The *sacrifices for what people have done wrong

do not make you happy.

  v7 Then I spoke again: “Here I am, God.

I have come to do what you want.

That is what the book of your rules says about me.” ‘

[Psalm 40:6-8]

v8 So Christ had said first: ‘You do not want gifts and *sacrifices of animals. You do not want the whole animals that they burn. You do not want *sacrifices for what people have done wrong. These things do not make you happy.’ But Moses’ rules said that these *sacrifices were necessary. v9 Then Christ spoke again: ‘Here I am. I have come to do what you want’, he said. So God takes away the old *sacrifices and he puts Christ’s *sacrifice in their place. v10 God wants to make us completely good and clean. And he has done that because of Jesus Christ’s *sacrifice. Christ offered his own body once, for all time, when he died.

v11 Every day, the *priests stand and they do their work. They offer the same *sacrifices to God again and again. But those *sacrifices can never take away the wrong things that people have done. v12 This *priest, Jesus Christ, offered one *sacrifice for wrong things, for all time. Then he sat down at God’s right side. v13 Since that time, he waits for God to make an end to his enemies. God will make Christ’s enemies like a place for him to rest his feet. v14 As a result of one *sacrifice, Christ has made his people completely right with God always. God is making those people completely separate from everything that is bad.

v15 God’s Spirit, who is completely good, also shows us about these things. He shows us that these things are true. He says this first:

  v16 ‘This is what I will agree with them

after that time, the *Lord says.

  I will put my rules deep inside them.

I will write my rules on their minds.’

[Jeremiah 31:33]

v17 Then he continues to speak:

  ‘I will not continue to remember

the wrong things and the bad things

  that they have done.’

[Jeremiah 31:34]

v18 So when God has *forgiven these wrong things, no more *sacrifices are necessary.

Christ made it possible that we can come near to God

v19 So then, Christian friends, we are completely free to go into the Most *Holy Room. We can be sure that we can go in there, because of Jesus’ death. v20 Jesus has opened a new way to God for us. This way leads us through the curtain to God, where we will be alive. Jesus opened this way when he gave his own body. v21 And we have a great *priest who is the master of God’s house. v22 So when we come near to God, we must believe him completely. We must want only to obey him. He has made us clean deep inside ourselves so that we are free. We are free to stop thinking about the wrong things that we have done. We are really clean. It is like he has washed our bodies with clean water.

Verses 19-20 Again, the writer is using God’s special *tent as a picture of what is really true in *heaven. Jesus died instead of us, because of everything that we do wrong. God has accepted Jesus’ *sacrifice. So now, we do not need to be afraid when we come to God. We can come near to him and we can talk to him. He will not *punish us. We are like people who can come into the Most *Holy Room in the special *tent. God is present there.

Verse 22 God has made us completely clean, inside and outside. At a Christian baptism, they put a person completely under water (or they put water on the person). Baptism is like a picture of the fact that God has made us clean. So the writer may be thinking about baptism at the end of this verse.

v23 We say that we believe God’s promises. And we must continue to be completely sure about what we hope for. God always does what he has promised. We can be sure because we know that. v24 We should think about how we can be kind to each other. Then other people will want to be kind too. They will really want to do good things, like us. v25 Some people have stopped going regularly to our Christian meetings, but we must not stop going there. Then we can help each other to be strong Christians. You should do this more and more, because the *Lord’s great day is coming. You know that the *Lord will return soon.

We must not refuse to obey Christ

v26 We have learned what is really true. We have believed it. So now, we must not decide to continue doing wrong things. There is no other *sacrifice that will take away those wrong things. v27 There is only *punishment that will make us very, very afraid. We must wait for God to decide about us. But the *punishment would be the very hot fire that destroys people. That fire destroys everyone who refuses to obey God. v28 Anyone who refused to obey Moses’ rules had to die. Two or three other people may have seen that person do something wrong. They had to say that the person certainly did something wrong. Then *Israel’s people had to kill that person. They could not be kind to a person like that.

Verse 28 *Israel’s people could not *punish someone unless that person had certainly not obeyed God’s rules. At least two other people had to show that he had not obeyed. (See Deuteronomy 17:6 and Numbers 35:30.)

v29 So think about a person who refuses the Son of God. How much worse that person’s *punishment will be! He is like someone who has walked on God’s Son. That person has made Christ’s blood and God’s *agreement seem like something dirty. But it was Christ’s death that made that person clean and right with God. That person has said very bad words against God’s Spirit, who is so very kind. v30 We know God. And God said this: ‘I will *punish people for what they have done wrong. I will give them what they ought to have.’ [Deuteronomy 32:35] He also said this: ‘The *Lord will decide what is fair for his people.’ [Deuteronomy 32:36] v31 So anyone who refuses God should be very, very afraid. God, who is alive, will certainly *punish that person.

v32 Remember what happened to you in those early days when you first learned about Christ. Then you had a difficult fight against many troubles. But you continued to be strong. v33 Sometimes people made you ashamed in front of many other people. They said bad words to you and they did bad things to you. And at other times, you chose to stay with other Christians who were receiving this kind of trouble. v34 You felt the trouble together with those who were in prison. When people took your own things away, you were still happy. You knew that you yourselves had something better. You had better things that will be yours always.

Verse 34 People who were enemies of these Christians had taken away the Christians’ own things. But nobody can take away what God has given to Christians. God had *forgiven these Christians because of Jesus’ *sacrifice. And he had given them new lives, with a new purpose. They knew that they would always live with God.

v35 So do not stop being sure about what you believe as Christians. If you continue to be brave, you will receive great things. v36 You need to be patient and strong. Then you can do what God wants. As a result, you will receive what God has promised. v37 God promises this in the Bible:

  ‘In a very short time,

the person who is coming will come.

  He will not be late, the *Lord said.

  v38 The person that I have accepted will live.

Those people will live because they believe me.

  But if any of them turn back,

I will not be happy with them.’

[Habakkuk 2:3-4]

v39 But we are not among those people who turn back. If we were, God would destroy us. But we are people who believe God. And so, God will save us.

Verse 37 These words from Habakkuk mean that Jesus will come back to earth soon.

Verse 38 Here the writer of Hebrews has put the last part of Habakkuk 2:4 first. He is showing the Christians that they must go on believing God. That is very important for all of us.

Chapter 11

We must believe God

v1 If we believe God, we can be completely sure about things. We will be sure about the things that we hope for. We will be sure about things that we cannot see. v2 People who lived many years ago believed God. And so, God said good things about those people. v3 Because we believe God, we understand about the world. We understand that God made the whole world. He spoke and it happened. He made all the things that we can see. He made them from things that we cannot see.

v4 Abel believed God. So he offered a better *sacrifice to God than Cain offered. And because of that, God said that Abel was a good man. God said that he was happy with Abel’s gifts. Abel is dead. But because he believed God, we can still learn from his example. So it is like Abel is speaking to us still.

v5 Enoch believed God, so he did not die. Instead, God took him away. And nobody could find him, because God had taken him away. Before God took him away, Enoch had made God happy. The Bible tells us that. v6 Unless we believe God, it is impossible for us to make God happy. Anyone who comes to God must believe him. That person must believe that God is really there. And they must believe that God is good to people. God gives good things to everyone who really wants to find him.

v7 Noah believed God, and so he obeyed God. God told Noah about bad things that would happen. Nobody could yet see those events, but Noah believed God. So, Noah was careful to obey what God told him. He built a large boat to save his family. As a result, Noah showed that everyone else in the world was wrong. And Noah became one of those people that God accepted. They are right with God because they believe him.

Verse 4 See Genesis 4:3-7.

Verse 5 See Genesis 5:24.

Verse 7 See Genesis 6:9-22.

v8 After this, Abraham believed God, so he obeyed God. God told him to leave his home. God wanted him to go to another country. Abraham did not know where he was going. But God promised to give that other country to Abraham. He obeyed God and he started travelling. v9 Abraham believed God, so he went to live in that foreign country. He lived in the country that God had promised to him. He lived there in *tents, like a stranger. Isaac and Jacob lived there in *tents too. God had made the same promise to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. v10 Abraham was waiting to live in the city that will always be there. He was completely sure that he would live in God’s city. God made the plans for that city, and God built it.

Verses 8-9 See Genesis 12:1-5; 18:1; 23:4; 26:3 and 35:12. Isaac was Abraham’s son. Jacob was Isaac’s son.

Verse 10 Abraham really believed God. So he knew that his home was really in *heaven with God. The Bible tells us about God’s city. (See, for example, Psalms 48 and 122; Isaiah 14:32; 33:20 and Revelation 21:10-22:5.)

v11 Both Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were too old to have children. But they believed God’s promise to Abraham about a child. God would always do what he had promised. They believed that. And so, God made it possible for even Sarah herself to have a baby. v12 Abraham was so old that he was almost like a dead man. But from this one man there came many, many grandchildren. After some years, there were so many of his people that nobody could count them. There were as many of Abraham’s family as the stars in the sky. There were as many as the bits of sand on the sea’s shore.

Verse 11 See Genesis 17:15-19; 18:10-14 and 21:1-3. Sarah was Abraham’s wife.

Verse 12 See Genesis 15:5; 22:17 and Romans 4:18-22.

v13 All these people continued to believe God until they died. But they did not receive all the things that God had promised to them. They understood that those things would come after a long time. They were like people who saw those things far away. All these people agreed that they were only strangers and travellers on the earth. v14 And people who say things like that are certainly looking for a country of their own. They are looking for a country where they will be at home. v15 None of these people continued to think about the country that they had left. If they had thought about it, they might have had the chance to return there. v16 Instead, they were wanting very much to go to a better country, in *heaven. And for this reason, God is not ashamed to be called their God. He has prepared a city for them.

v17 God wanted to see whether Abraham really believed him. So God told Abraham to offer his son, Isaac, as a *sacrifice. And because Abraham did believe God, he obeyed. God had promised many grandchildren to Abraham. But Abraham was still ready to offer his only son as a *sacrifice. v18 ‘It is through Isaac that your grandchildren will come’, God had said to Abraham [Genesis 21:12]. v19 But Abraham was sure that God could cause Isaac to become alive again. So Isaac would live again, even after he had died. And we could say that it was like that for Abraham. It was like he did receive Isaac back from death.

Verses 17-19 See Genesis 22:1-14.

v20 Isaac believed God, so he promised good things to Jacob and Esau. He told them that God would be good to them in their future lives.

v21 Jacob believed God. So he told Joseph’s sons that God would be good to each of them. He did that when he was dying. He *worshipped God while he used his stick to hold himself up.

v22 Joseph believed God. So, when he was going to die, he spoke about all *Israel’s people. He spoke about the time when the people would leave Egypt. And he told them what to do with his bones.

Verse 20 Jacob and Esau were Isaac’s sons. See Genesis 27:25-29, 38-39.

Verse 21 Joseph was one of Jacob’s sons. See Genesis chapter 48.

Verse 22 See Genesis 50:22-26.

v23 Moses’ parents believed God. So, when Moses was born, they hid him for three months. They saw that he was a very special child. So they did not obey the king, but they were not afraid.

Verse 23 The king of Egypt had said that all *Israel’s baby boys must die. See Exodus 1:22-2:2.

v24 Moses believed God. So, when he became a man, he refused to be called the son of the king’s daughter. v25 Moses chose to be with God’s people. Egypt’s people were doing bad things to them, but Moses still chose to be with them. He chose not to do what was wrong. Wrong things only make people happy for a short time. v26 Moses could have been very rich in Egypt. But instead, he let people do bad things to him. He let them make him ashamed because he believed about Christ. He thought that it was worth more than a lot of money. He thought only about what God would give him at a future time. v27 Moses believed God, so he left Egypt. The king was angry about that, but Moses was not afraid of him. Nobody can really see God. But Moses continued strongly with his purpose, like someone who could see God.

Verses 24-26 See Exodus 2:3-12.

Verse 26 Jesus Christ did not come to live on earth until many years after Moses had died. But he has always been alive in *heaven with God. So, the writer means that Moses chose to obey God. He obeyed God even when it caused him a lot of trouble. He did that because he was waiting for Christ to come.

Verse 27 Moses left Egypt when he led *Israel’s people away from that country. (See Exodus 12:29-42.)

v28 Moses believed God, so he prepared the first *Passover. And he told *Israel’s people to put blood from the *sacrifice round their doors. Then the *angel who destroyed people came. He saw the blood and so he did not kill the oldest sons in the families of *Israel’s people.

v29 *Israel’s people believed God, so they went through the Red Sea. They walked through just as they would cross dry land. But when the people from Egypt tried to cross that sea, they drowned.

Verse 28 The *Passover was an important day for the Jews (*Israel’s people). They ate a special meal on this day every year. They did this to remember that God had brought them out from the country called Egypt. They had been slaves in Egypt, and God made them free. Exodus 12 explains about the *Passover.

Verse 29 See Exodus 14:15-29.

v30 *Israel’s people believed God, so they marched round Jericho city for 7 days. Then the city’s walls fell down.

v31 Some men from *Israel had come to that city earlier. They wanted to discover how strong the people were. Rahab was friendly to those men and she gave help to them. She was a woman who had sold herself to men for sex. But then she believed God, so she did not die with all the other people in her city. Those other people did not believe God.

Verse 30 See Joshua 6:1-20.

Verse 31 See Joshua 2:1-21 and 6:22-25.

v32 I could say a lot more, but there is not enough time. I could tell you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets (people who spoke God’s messages). v33 Because they believed God, some of them won wars against other countries. They did what is right and fair. And they received good things that God had promised. Some of them caused big wild cats called lions to shut their mouths. v34 Some of them put out fires that were burning very strongly. Some of them got away from people who wanted to kill them with long knives. After they had been weak, they became strong. They became very strong to fight wars. They beat foreign armies and they caused those armies to run away.

Verse 32 The writer gives the names of 6 men who were leaders of *Israel’s people. See, for example:

·  Judges 6:11-8:32 (Gideon)

·  Judges 4:6-24 (Barak)

·  Judges 13:2-16:31 (Samson)

·  Judges 11:1-12:7 (Jephthah)

·  1 Samuel 16:13; 17:12-51 and 2 Samuel 5:1-5 (David)

·  1 Samuel 3:19-21 and 7:3-17 (Samuel)

Verse 33 Samson and David both killed lions (big wild cats). (See Judges 14:5-6 and 1 Samuel 17:34-37.) But Daniel is the best example of someone who ‘caused lions to shut their mouths’. (See Daniel 6:22.)

Verse 34 The king of Babylon put Daniel’s three friends into a very hot fire because they would not *worship him. But because they believed God, they did not die. (See Daniel 3.)

v35 God caused some of these people who had died to become alive again. And the women in their families received them back. Other people refused to turn against God so that they could go free. So, their enemies did bad things to hurt them, which caused them to die. But these people were sure that they would have a better life after death. They were sure that they would live again with God.

v36 Enemies said that these people were fools. The enemies said bad things to them and hit them with sticks. The enemies tied people with metal lines and put them in prison. v37 Enemies threw stones at them to kill them. They even cut them into two pieces to kill them. Enemies also killed some of them with long knives. Some of these people had to wear only the skins of sheep and goats while they walked about. They were very, very poor and they had a lot of trouble. Other people did very bad things to those who believed God. v38 These people who believed God were too good for this world. Some of them had to walk about in dry places where nobody lived. Some had to walk only in the mountains. Some had to live in holes in the rocks and in holes in the ground.

v39 God said good things about all these people because they believed him. But they still did not receive everything that he had promised. v40 God had prepared something better for all of us. So, he did not make those people completely as he wanted them to be, without us.

Verses 35-39 Many people who believed God had very difficult lives. But they continued to believe, and God made them strong. The writer wants his readers to remember these people’s example. He wants them to be strong, even when trouble comes.

Verses 39-40 All the people that the writer has described in Chapter 11 lived on earth before Jesus. So they could not completely understand God’s purpose during their lives on earth. But we live after the time when Jesus lived on earth. His death lets God *forgive us, if we believe him. So, the ‘something better’ that God had prepared for his people was our new life because of Christ.

Chapter 12

We must continue to follow Jesus

v1 So then we ourselves know about all these people who believed God. They are our examples. They are like a very big crowd all round us. They show us how we can live for God. We must be like people who run in a *race. We want to run fast in the *race. So, we must throw away everything that would stop us. We want to live for God. So, we must refuse wrong things that stop us. Those wrong things can so easily hold us strongly. But we must continue to be brave and strong while we run the *race. God has chosen the way that is in front of us.

Verse 1 A *race is when people all run at the same time on a certain path. Their purpose is to reach the place where the *race finishes. That is the most important thing. Our lives as Christians on earth are like a *race. The writer does not mean that Christians should want to be first. They should not be trying to see who is the ‘fastest’ (the best Christian). It does not matter whether they are the first to finish. But it is very important that each of us finishes the *race. We must never stop obeying God. Then, when we have left this earth, we will always be with him.

v2 We must always think about Jesus, like people who go on looking at him always. He is the example of someone who believes God completely. He leads us and he will cause us to believe completely. Jesus died on a cross that people had made from wood. He had a lot of pain and people were very ashamed of him. But he refused to think about that before he died. He knew that God had chosen the way for him. He knew that God had chosen to make him very, very happy later. And now he sits in the most important place next to where God sits as king. v3 Think carefully about Jesus. Bad people did such very bad things against him, but he continued to be brave and strong. Think about him, and then you will not become tired and weak as Christians.

We are really God’s children

v4 You are in the fight against everything that is wrong. But you have not yet had to continue fighting until someone killed you. v5 You have forgotten that someone wrote words to God’s children. These words can make you brave and strong:

  ‘My son, think seriously when the *Lord *punishes you.

  He will sometimes show you that you are wrong.

You must not become sad and weak.

when he tells you that you are wrong.

  v6 Because the *Lord does that to everyone that he loves.

He *punishes everyone that he receives as a son.’

[Proverbs 3:11-12]

v7 You must be patient and strong when life is difficult. Receive the trouble as *punishment from God, who is your Father. God is teaching you as his children. There has never been any son whose father did not *punish him. v8 God teaches all his children not to do wrong things. So if he does not *punish you, then you are not really his children. Then you are like children who do not really belong to him. v9 Also, we have all had human fathers who *punished us. And we thought that it was important to obey them. So it is much more important that we obey the Father of our *spirits. If we obey him then we will live.

v10 Our human fathers *punished us for a short time, as they thought best. But God *punishes us because that really is the best thing for us. Then we can become like him. We can become completely separate from everything that is bad. v11 No *punishment makes us happy at the time when we receive it. It makes us sad then. But later we know that the *punishment has taught us good things. It has made our lives more like God wants us to be. Then we are without trouble deep inside ourselves because we are right with God.

v12 You have become tired as Christians, like people with hands that hang down. You are like people with weak knees. Lift up your hands and make your knees strong again! v13 Live for God, like people who walk on a straight, flat path. So then, people with weak legs, who cannot walk well, will not get worse. Their legs will not become unable to walk. But instead they will become well and strong.

Verses 12-13 The writer is thinking again about Christians as people who are in a *race. (See verse 1.) He is telling his readers to believe God. He is telling them to become strong Christians again.

Verse 13 If the stronger Christians really live for God, then weaker Christians will copy their example. And then the weak Christians will become strong too.

We must not refuse to do what God says

v14 Do everything that you can to live without trouble or quarrels between you and anyone else. Also, do everything that you can to live a completely good life for God. Nobody will see the *Lord unless their life is good like that. v15 Be careful that nobody among you turns away from God. Nobody should refuse to receive from God, who is so very kind. Be careful that nobody becomes angry against God. A person like that can cause trouble among you, because they are like poison to other people’s lives. A person like that can lead many other people away from God.

v16 Be careful that nobody among you has sex with someone other than their wife or their husband. And watch that nobody is careless about God’s rules, like Esau. He gave away everything that he would have received as his father’s first son. He gave it all away so that he could get only one meal. v17 And later, as you know, he still wanted to receive those good things from his father. He wanted his father to ask God for good things for him. But that was impossible. Esau cried when he asked his father for those good things. But he could find no way to change things. Esau could not change what he had done.

Verses 16-17 Esau was Isaac’s first son. The oldest son in a family was very important. He received the biggest part of his father’s land and money when his father died. Also, the father asked God to give special, good things to that son. (See Genesis 25:29-34 and 27:30-41.)

The two mountains

v18 You have not come to a place that you can touch, like the Sinai mountain. That mountain burned with fire. But where the people stood, it was very dark. It was so dark that it was black. There was a very strong wind and a storm. v19 There was the sound of a *trumpet and a powerful *voice that spoke to them. When the people heard that *voice, they were very afraid. So they asked strongly that the *voice would not speak to them any more. v20 They remembered what God had already told them. So they were very afraid. ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, you must kill it with stones’, God had said [Exodus 19:12-13]. v21 Even Moses was very afraid. ‘I am so afraid that my body cannot stop moving’, Moses said [Deuteronomy 9:19].

Verses 18-21 *Israel’s people came near to Sinai mountain. That was where Moses received God’s rules for the people. (See Exodus 19:10-25; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:22-26.)

Verse 19 A *trumpet is a metal pipe with a wide end. People hold the other end in their mouths and they use it to make music.

v22 But you have come to Zion mountain and to the city of God, who is alive. You have come to the Jerusalem city that is in *heaven. You have come to a place where there are thousands and thousands of happy *angels all together. v23 All God’s people, who are like his first and most important sons, meet here. God has written their names here in *heaven, because they belong here. You have come to where God is. He will decide what is fair for all people. You have come to where people’s *spirits are. These are the *spirits of all those people that God has made right. God has made those people be as he wants them to be. v24 You have come to Jesus, who brought the new *agreement from God to his people. Remember also the blood that Jesus lost. He bled when he chose to die. That was how he made us clean. Jesus’ blood shows us about better things than Abel’s blood.

Verses 22-23 Zion mountain is part of Jerusalem, the capital city of *Israel’s people on this earth. The Bible often uses the name Zion to mean Jerusalem. But Christians belong to God’s city in *heaven. They belong with all of God’s people, who will live with God always. God’s people include everyone who believed God in earlier times. Those people are dead now, and their *spirits are with God. We are not dead yet. But it is like our *spirits are already there too, with them.

Verse 24 Jesus chose to die. But Abel died when his brother killed him. Abel’s brother, Cain, killed Abel, and Abel’s blood came out on to the ground. (See Genesis 4:8-10.) So, Abel’s blood only shows us about bad things. It shows us that God had to *punish Cain. But Jesus died for us so that God does not have to *punish us any more.

v25 So be careful. Always be ready to listen when God speaks. God spoke to *Israel’s people by his servant on this earth. He told them that they must obey God. But they refused to obey, so God had to *punish them. They could not get away. Now God speaks to us from *heaven. So if we turn away from him, God will have to *punish us. We will even more certainly not get away from him. v26 At that time many years ago, God’s *voice caused the earth to move. But now he has promised this: ‘Once again I will cause the earth to move. But this time I will also cause *heaven to move’, he said [Haggai 2:6]. v27 These words, ‘once again’, show us that God will take away some things. Everything that he causes to move will finish. That means all the things that he has made. So then, everything that he does not move will continue to be there.

v28 But we receive a place where we will rule with God. And nobody can ever move that place, so we should thank God. We should *worship God in a way that makes him happy. We should *worship him because he is so great and so powerful. v29 Our God is like a fire that can destroy everything.

Verse 27 At some future time, God will destroy this earth and this sky that he has made. After that, he has promised to make a new earth and a new sky. (See Isaiah 65:17; 66:22 and Revelation 21:1.) All the things that we can see must come to an end. But the things that we cannot see are much, much more important. They will never come to an end. They include the place that God has prepared for us.

Chapter 13

How we can live for God

v1 Continue to love each other like brothers and sisters. v2 Always remember to be kind to strangers. Remember to let them stay in your homes. In this way, some people have received *angels as visitors. But those people did not know that their visitors were *angels. v3 Remember those people who are in prison. Think about what that would be like for you. Think like someone who is there with those people in prison. Remember those who have troubles because of other people. Other people are doing bad things to them. Trouble like that could also happen to you. Think about what that would be like for you yourselves.

Verse 2 The Bible tells us about some people who received *angels as visitors. (See, for example, Genesis 18:1-21; 19:1-3.)

Verse 3 The writer is talking about Christians who had troubles. At that time, life was difficult for Christians. Many of them were in prison, and people were doing bad things to many other Christians.

v4 When people have married each other, everyone should remember that. Everyone should remember that it is a very good and important thing. Husbands and wives must not have sex with anyone else. Nobody should have sex with someone who is not their own wife or their own husband. God will *punish everyone who does not obey those rules.

v5 Do not want lots of money. Do not live like that. Be happy with the things that you have. Be happy, because God has promised to be with you.

  ‘I will never leave you;

I will never let you be completely alone’, he said.

[Deuteronomy 31:6]

v6 So we can bravely say this:

  ‘The *Lord comes to help me,

so I will not be afraid.

  I will not be afraid of anything that people can do to me.’

[Psalm 118:6]

v7 Remember your leaders, who taught God’s message to you. Continue to think about the result of how they lived. They really believed God; so copy their example. v8 Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday. And he will be the same always.

v9 Some people teach all kinds of strange things. Do not let them lead you the wrong way. God is very kind to us, so he will make us strong deep inside ourselves. It is good if we let him do that. Rules about what foods we eat do not make us strong like that. Those rules have never done anything good for the people who obey them.

Verse 9 Some people were teaching that Christians should obey certain rules about food. We do not really know which rules the writer was talking about. But the important thing is that food can only do good things for our bodies. Food cannot help our *spirits, because only God can help us like that. Only God can make us really strong inside ourselves.

v10 *Israel’s *priests worked for God in his special *tent, and they ate there. But we have a *sacrifice that they have no authority to eat from. v11 The *chief *priest brings the blood from the animal *sacrifice into the Most *Holy Room. He offers that blood to God because *Israel’s people have done many wrong things. But they burn those animals’ bodies outside the place where the people live. v12 For this reason Jesus also died outside the city’s gate. And God saw the blood that he lost. Jesus died there as a *sacrifice. He died there so that he could make people completely good and clean for God. v13 So we must go to him. We must be ready to go outside the place where everybody else lives. We must be ready for people to be ashamed of us, as they were ashamed of him. v14 Here on earth we do not have a home in a city that will always be there. But we are waiting for God’s city that will come.

Verses 10-12 *Israel’s *priests could eat some of the meat from animals that people brought as certain *sacrifices. (See, for example, Leviticus 6:26, 29 and 7:6-7.) This showed that they *shared in what the *sacrifice was for. But on a certain day each year, they offered a very special *sacrifice, for all the people. They killed animals and the *chief *priest took the animals’ blood into the Most *Holy Room. The *priests could not eat any of the meat from those animals. Nobody could eat it. They had to burn the animals’ bodies. (See Leviticus 6:30 and 16:27.)

That special *sacrifice was like a picture of how Jesus would give himself as a *sacrifice for us. And now Jesus has died for us. So now nobody needs the *sacrifices that belonged to the old *agreement between God and his people. Nobody needs those *priests who worked for God during the old *agreement. They have no authority to *share in the *sacrifice that is ours now. When we eat food, it makes our bodies strong. When we really believe Jesus, his Spirit makes us strong. So we could say this: we ‘eat’ Jesus when we believe him. When we believe him, we *share in his *sacrifice for us.

Verse 12 They killed Jesus outside Jerusalem city (see John 19:20). *Israel’s people thought that a place ‘outside the city’s gate’ was a dirty place. It was a place for someone that they refused to accept. It was a place where people were ashamed to go.

v15 So we should always continue to thank God. We should say how great and how good he is. That is our *sacrifice to him, because Jesus helps us. Then we will always be offering this gift to him while we speak his name. v16 Remember to be kind to other people. And remember to *share what you have with other people. God is very happy with *sacrifices like that.

v17 Obey your leaders. Do what they tell you. They continue to watch over your lives on God’s behalf. And they will have to explain to God how they have done that work. So, if you obey them, they will be happy with their work. Do not make them sad, because that would not help you.

v18 Pray for us. We are completely sure that we have done nothing wrong. We always want to do only what is right. v19 I want you very much to pray that I may come back to you soon.

v20 God can take away all difficulties and he can cause you to be without trouble inside yourselves. God caused our *Lord Jesus to become alive again. He did not stay among the dead people. When Jesus died, the new *agreement began. And it will continue always. Jesus is like a shepherd (someone who watches over his sheep). He is our great shepherd, and we are his sheep. v21 I pray that God will make you completely ready to *serve him. He will give you every good thing that you need for that work. And then you can do everything that he wants. I pray that Jesus Christ will do these good things in us on God’s behalf. Then we will make God happy. Everyone should say how great God is for all time and always. This is true.

v22 Christian friends, I ask very much that you listen patiently to my message. I have written this to help you so that you can be brave and strong. And this letter is not very long. v23 I want you to know about Timothy, who is like a brother to us. They have let him go out of prison, so that he is free now. If he arrives soon, I will travel with him to meet you.

v24 Say ‘hello’ on my behalf to your leaders and to all God’s people. The Christians from the country called Italy say ‘hello’ to you too. v25 I pray that God will be very kind to all of you.

Verse 24 We do not know whether the writer was in Italy with the ‘Christians from Italy’. When he wrote this letter, they could all have been together, somewhere outside Italy. Or the writer may have been with Christians in Italy and then he went to another place.

Word List

AD ~ AD 50 means the year that was 50 years after Jesus came, and so on.

agreement ~ when two or more people (or God and people) agree about certain things.

anchor ~ a heavy metal weight that is on the end of a strong line; they throw the *anchor into the water to stop a boat from moving.

angel ~ *spirit being (a being is a person or animal that is alive). Good angels come from God’s home above the earth. They are God’s servants and they bring messages from God to people.

chief ~ most important.

Devil ~ God’s enemy.

forgive ~ when God (or another person) chooses to forget the wrong things that we do.

heaven ~ the place above the earth where God and Jesus Christ live.

holy ~ completely good and separate from everything that is bad, like God.

honour ~ when people see someone as great and good.

incense ~ material that makes a nice smell when it burns.

Israel ~ the group of people that God chose. Israel was Jacob’s other name. Israel is also the name of all the people from the family of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Israel is also the name of the land that God gave to the people of Israel.

lampstand ~ a special light burned for God in the lampstand. They made the lampstand from metal.

Lord ~ master. Another name for God. It means that he is greater than everyone else.

New Testament ~ the second part of the Bible. Writers wrote it after the life of Jesus.

Passover ~ *Israel’s people ate a special meal on this day every year. They did this to remember that God had brought them out from the country called Egypt.

priest ~ a person that God chooses to be his special servant. Other priests *serve false gods.

punish ~ to hurt someone, or to cause trouble for them, because they have done wrong things.

punishment ~ the trouble or bad things that a person receives because they have done wrong things.

race ~ when people all run at the same time on a certain path.

sacrifice ~ a gift to God to ask him to *forgive wrong things that we have done. Or it may be a gift to thank him for something. God told *Israel’s people to offer animals to him as *sacrifices. These showed that they were sorry. They were sorry that they had done wrong things. Jesus gave himself to die as a *sacrifice on our behalf. We can say ‘thank-you’ to God, and we can say how great he is. We can also be kind to other people. Those are the ‘sacrifices’ that we give to God now, as Christians.

serve ~ to work for someone and obey them.

share ~ to receive (or give) part of something; or to receive something with other people.

spirit ~ a being (person) that is always alive, even without a body. There are good spirits, like God’s Spirit and his *angels. And there are bad spirits, like the *Devil (God’s enemy) and his *angels. A person’s spirit is the part of them that will always be alive. It will be alive even after their body is dead. Our spirit is the part of us that receives God’s Spirit.

tent ~ a house that people have made out of cloth or animals’ skins. They put the cloth or the skins over long pieces of wood to hold them up. People can move a tent-house to different places.

trumpet ~ a metal pipe with a wide end. People hold the other end in their mouths and they use it to make music.

voice ~ when someone speaks to us, we say that we hear their voice.

worship ~ to love and thank someone (God) more than anyone else.

Book List

A. Marshall ~ The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament

W. L. Lane ~ Word Biblical Commentary, Volume 47: Hebrews

P. Ellingworth & E. A. Nida ~ A Translator’s Handbook on the Letter to the Hebrews

F. F. Bruce ~ New London Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews

Various Bible versions


Book 58 Hebrews
King James Version
001:001 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
001:002 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
001:003 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:
001:004 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
001:005 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
001:006 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.
001:007 And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
001:008 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
001:009 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
001:010 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:
001:011 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;
001:012 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
001:013 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
001:014 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?

002:001 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip.
002:002 For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward;
002:003 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
002:004 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?
002:005 For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.
002:006 But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man that thou visitest him?
002:007 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:
002:008 Thou hast 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 see not yet all things put under him.
002:009 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.
002:010 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
002:011 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
002:012 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
002:013 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
002:014 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;
002:015 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
002:016 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
002:017 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
002:018 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

003:001 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
003:002 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
003:003 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
003:004 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
003:005 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;
003:006 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
003:007 Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
003:008 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
003:009 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
003:010 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways.
003:011 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)
003:012 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
003:013 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
003:014 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
003:015 While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.
003:016 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
003:017 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness?
003:018 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not?
003:019 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

004:001 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
004:002 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
004:003 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
004:004 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.
004:005 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
004:006 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
004:007 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
004:008 For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
004:009 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
004:010 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
004:011 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
004:012 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
004:013 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
004:014 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
004:015 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
004:016 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

005:001 For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
005:002 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
005:003 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
005:004 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
005:005 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.
005:006 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
005:007 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;
005:008 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
005:009 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
005:010 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
005:011 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.
005:012 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
005:013 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
005:014 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

006:001 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
006:002 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
006:003 And this will we do, if God permit.
006:004 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
006:005 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
006:006 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
006:007 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
006:008 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
006:009 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
006:010 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
006:011 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
006:012 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
006:013 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
006:014 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
006:015 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
006:016 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
006:017 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
006:018 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
006:019 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
006:020 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

007:001 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
007:002 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
007:003 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
007:004 Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
007:005 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
007:006 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
007:007 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
007:008 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
007:009 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
007:010 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
007:011 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
007:012 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
007:013 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
007:014 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
007:015 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
007:016 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
007:017 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
007:018 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
007:019 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
007:020 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
007:021 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
007:022 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
007:023 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
007:024 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
007:025 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
007:026 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
007:027 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
007:028 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

008:001 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
008:002 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
008:003 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
008:004 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
008:005 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
008:006 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
008:007 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
008:008 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
008:009 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
008:010 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
008:011 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
008:012 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
008:013 In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

009:001 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
009:002 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
009:003 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
009:004 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
009:005 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
009:006 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
009:007 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
009:008 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
009:009 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
009:010 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
009:011 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
009:012 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
009:013 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
009:014 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
009:015 And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
009:016 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
009:017 For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
009:018 Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
009:019 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
009:020 Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
009:021 Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
009:022 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
009:023 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
009:024 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
009:025 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
009:026 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
009:027 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
009:028 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

010:001 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
010:002 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
010:003 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
010:004 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
010:005 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
010:006 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
010:007 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
010:008 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;
010:009 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
010:010 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
010:011 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
010:012 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
010:013 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
010:014 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
010:015 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
010:016 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
010:017 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
010:018 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
010:019 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
010:020 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
010:021 And having an high priest over the house of God;
010:022 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
010:023 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
010:024 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
010:025 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
010:026 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
010:027 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.
010:028 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:
010:029 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
010:030 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
010:031 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
010:032 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;
010:033 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
010:034 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
010:035 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.
010:036 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
010:037 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
010:038 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
010:039 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

011:001 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
011:002 For by it the elders obtained a good report.
011:003 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
011:004 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
011:005 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
011:006 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
011:007 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
011:008 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
011:009 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
011:010 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
011:011 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.
011:012 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
011:013 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
011:014 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
011:015 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
011:016 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
011:017 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
011:018 Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called:
011:019 Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.
011:020 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.
011:021 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.
011:022 By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones.
011:023 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king's commandment.
011:024 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
011:025 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
011:026 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
011:027 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
011:028 Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
011:029 By faith they passed through the Red sea as by dry land: which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned.
011:030 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were compassed about seven days.
011:031 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace.
011:032 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
011:033 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions.
011:034 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
011:035 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
011:036 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
011:037 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
011:038 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
011:039 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
011:040 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

012:001 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
012:002 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
012:003 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
012:004 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
012:005 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
012:006 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
012:007 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
012:008 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
012:009 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
012:010 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
012:011 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
012:012 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
012:013 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
012:014 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
012:015 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
012:016 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright.
012:017 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.
012:018 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,
012:019 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:
012:020 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:
012:021 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
012:022 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
012:023 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
012:024 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things that that of Abel.
012:025 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
012:026 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
012:027 And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
012:028 Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
012:029 For our God is a consuming fire.

013:001 Let brotherly love continue.
013:002 Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
013:003 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
013:004 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.
013:005 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
013:006 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
013:007 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
013:008 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
013:009 Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.
013:010 We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
013:011 For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
013:012 Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
013:013 Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
013:014 For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
013:015 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
013:016 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
013:017 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
013:018 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
013:019 But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
013:020 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
013:021 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
013:022 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
013:023 Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
013:024 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
013:025 Grace be with you all. Amen.



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Note: Chapter topic headings from "The Holman Illustrated Study Bible"; Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. ISBN: 978-1-58640-275-4.
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