Hebrews 4:1-11

From Reconciling understandings of Scripture and Science
Jump to navigationJump to search

BibleNew TestamentHebrews


1 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.
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.
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.
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.
And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
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.
For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


For if Joshua had given them rest, God[a] would not speak later of another day. (RSV)

[a] Greek he

Hebrews sees the journey of Israel through the wilderness as a journey towards a promised rest that echoes God's own rest; and life in Christ is seen a journey towards a similar promised rest in a second creation.

  • Verse 4: Genesis 2:2 — God rested when the creation of Genesis 1:1 to 2:3 was complete (though note that Psalm 102:18 and elsewhere assume God's on-going creation).
  • Verses 5-8: Psalm 95 — Joshua ("Jesus" in v.8, KJV) took Israel into "rest" in the Promised Land
  • Verses 9-11: Life in Christ is a metaphorical journey towards rest, "labouring" to enter it, and facing similar obstacles to faith. For us, it is still the sixth day, and we have been promised entry into that rest (v.1). Compare 2 Corinthians 5:17.
    Bruce (talk)

Literal Reading

This passage is cited here as "accepting" events of early Genesis as literally true. See comment here. —BP

← prev. . . . references said to "accept" a literal Genesis . . . next →