SUMMARY.--Diligence Needful to Enter the Rest.
A Rest for the Saints.
God's Rest a Type.
Old Israel Did Not Find the True Rest.
There Remaineth a Rest.
1-3. Let us therefore fear. God's promises are conditional. A
rest is promised, but we must take heed that we do not come short of
it by failing to keep the conditions.
2. For unto us was the gospel preached. We have the promises of
the gospel, but they had the promises of an earthly land of rest
preached to them. They broke the covenant on which the promises were
The word preached did not profit them. The reason was that it was
not received in unfaltering faith. Hence they did not obey it. So
unbelief would make the gospel to us of none effect.
3. For we which have believed. Believers in Christ
enter into rest; have the hope of the promised rest. To have the
rest is conditioned upon a trusting faith.
If they shall enter into my rest. Rather, "They shall not, etc."
See Revision. It is the same quotation that is found in
The argument is that the Israelites were excluded from God's rest, and
hence it follows that some others must enter in, since the rest has not
been prepared in vain.
Although the works were finished. Though God completed his work
in six days and rested the seventh, a type of the rest to be given to
his saints, yet keeping the Sabbath is not entering into that rest.
4-7. He spake in a certain place. In
There it is stated that "God rested on the seventh day from all his
works." The Sabbath rest was therefore established long before Israel
was denied entrance 
into the rest. Hence it is not the rest.5. In this place again. In
which declares that Israel should not enter into God's rest. Though
Israel had kept the rest of the Sabbath, they had not entered into
God's rest, as this language shows. The rest of the Sabbath is not then
the promised rest, nor is Canaan below, from which nearly all Israel
was once excluded, because David exhorts the people, though in Canaan,
to enter into the rest.
6. Seeing . . . that some must enter. Since God has a
rest for his people, and it is not made in vain, there must be some who
enter therein. Those to whom it was first offered entered not because
of their unbelief. Hence it remaineth to all who, like Joshua and
Caleb, have faith.
7. Again he limiteth a certain day. The thought is that there
is a day of opportunity. If that day is passed by, the opportunity is
gone. The word of the Lord is,
To-day if, etc.
8-11. For if Jesus. "Joshua" in the Revision. Jesus is the
Greek form of the Hebrew word Joshua. Joshua led Israel over the
Jordan into Canaan, but that did not give them complete rest. If that
had been true, David would not have exhorted them to seek to enter into
rest. Five hundred years after they entered Canaan this exhortation is
given in the
9. There remaineth therefore a rest. Since God has a rest for
his people, and neither the Sabbath nor Canaan is the rest, these being
only types of that rest,
a rest remaineth to the people of God.10. For he that is entered into his rest. When God rested on the
Sabbath, the type of the true rest, his works ceased. So when our rest
comes, weary toil, trials and sufferings will be over.
11. Let us labor therefore. Since this glorious rest, the
heavenly rest, remains for faithful believers, we should seek to enter
upon it, and especially take heed that we do not come short through
unbelieving disobedience as did Israel.
12, 13. For the word of God. The Israelites came short because
they refused to hear the word of the Lord. If we could enter in, we
must take heed to the word. It is
living and active (Revision),
sharper than any two-edged sword. Cutting keenly and in all
Dividing of soul and spirit. It not only gives life, but slays,
as was the case with the Israelites who fell in the wilderness, and
pierces to the soul and spirit. It reaches the very fountains of life.
A discerner of the thoughts. 
It lays bare the thoughts and the intentions.
13. Neither is there any creature. In Christ appears the Word in
personal form, while in the gospel we have his spoken word. Here the
reference is to the personal Word. Every creature is manifest before
him, and all our deeds and thoughts are open to his eyes.
14-16. Seeing then that we have a great high priest. As has been
Our high priest now makes intercession in the true Holy of Holies.
15. For we have not a high priest, etc. A high priest must be
in sympathy with those for whom he ministers. Christ, who took upon
himself our infirmities, is such a high priest. He was tried and
tempted as man, but remained sinless.
16. Let us therefore come boldly. Because our high priest can be
touched by our infirmities. The throne of grace. The Jewish high priest interceded before
the mercy-seat. We may come boldly to the mercy-seat, knowing that our
loving Elder Brother is our high priest in the heavens. Hence we may
always have confidence when we ask for
grace to help in time of need.
The practical lesson of the chapter is that the True Rest promised
remains. It was not the Sabbath day, nor was it Canaan. It is the
heavenly rest of which these are types. Unbelieving disobedience
excluded the Israelites from the typical rest of Canaan. So, too, it
will exclude those who have started to enter into the heavenly rest if
they refuse to hear Christ through unbelief. The believing Joshua and
Caleb entered into Canaan. So, too, the true and faithful believers who
follow Christ will enter into the rest above.