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 Main Index : Commentaries : Geneva Study Bible : Hebrews Index : Chapter 4

Hebrews, Chapter 4
Chapter 3 | Chapter 5
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4:2 1 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being a mixed with faith in them that heard [it].

    (1) By these words "His voice" he shows that David meant the preaching of Christ, who was then also preached, for Moses and the prophets honoured no one else.
    (a) He compares the preaching of the gospel to drink, which being drunk, that is to say, heard, profits nothing, unless it is mixed with faith.
4:3 2 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.
    (2) Lest any man should object, that those words spoke refer to the land of Canaan and doctrine of Moses, and therefore cannot applied to Christ and to eternal life, the apostle shows that there are two types of rest spoken of in the scriptures: one being the seventh day, in which God is said to have rested from all his works, the other is said to be the rest into which Joshua led the people. This rest is not the last rest to which we are called, proven through two reasons. David long after, speaking to the people which were then placed in the land of Canaan, uses these words "Today" and threatens them still that they will not enter into the rest of God if they refuse the voice of God that sounded in their ears. We must say that he meant another time than that of Moses, and another rest than the land of Canaan. That rest is the everlasting rest, in which we begin to live to God, after the race of this life ceases. God rested the seventh day from his works, that is to say, from making the world. Moreover the apostle signifies that the way to this rest, which Moses and the land of Canaan, and all the order of the Law foreshadowed, is revealed in the Gospel only.
4:8 For if b Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
    (b) He speaks of Joshua the son of Nun: and as the land of Canaan was a figure of our true rest, so was Joshua a figure of Christ.
4:10 c For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his.
    (c) As God rested the seventh day, so must we rest from our works, that is, from those things that proceed from our corrupt nature.
4:11 3 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest d any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
    (3) He returns to an exhortation.
    (d) Lest any man become a similar example of infidelity.
4:12 4 For the e word of God [is] f quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of g soul and h spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    (4) An amplification taken from the nature of the word of God, so powerful that it enters even to the deepest and most inward and secret parts of the heart, fatally wounding the stubborn, and openly reviving the believers.
    (e) The doctrine of God which is preached both in the law and in the gospel.
    (f) He calls the word of God living, because of the effect it has on those to whom it is preached.
    (g) He calls the seat of emotions "soul".
    (h) By "spirit" he means the mind.

4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in i his sight: but all things [are] naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

    (i) In God's sight.
4:14 5 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us k hold fast [our] profession.
    (5) Now he compares Christ's priesthood with Aaron's, and declares even in the very beginning the marvellous excellency of this priesthood, calling him the Son of God, and placing him in the seat of God in heaven, plainly and openly contrasting him with Aaron's priests, and the transitory tabernacle. He expands on these comparisons in later passages.
    (k) And let it not go out of our hands.
4:15 6 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.
    (6) Lest he appear by the great glory of our High Priest, to prevent us from going to him, he adds after, that he is nonetheless our brother indeed, (as he proved before) and that he counts all our miseries as his own, to call us boldly to him.

Chapter 3 | Chapter 5
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