Hebrews 1-6 Revised Standard Version

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God Has Spoken by His Son

1 In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; 2  but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. 3  He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

4  having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.

The Son Superior to Angels

5  For to what angel did God ever say, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"? Or again, "I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son"? 6  And again, when he brings the first-born into the world, he says, "Let all God's angels worship him." 7  Of the angels he says, "Who makes his angels winds, and his servants flames of fire." 8  But of the Son he says, "Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, the righteous scepter is the scepter of thy kingdom. 9  Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of gladness beyond thy comrades." 10  And, "Thou, Lord, didst found the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; 11  they will perish, but thou remainest; they will all grow old like a garment, 12  like a mantle thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed. But thou art the same, and thy years will never end." 13  But to what angel has he ever said, "Sit at my right hand, till I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet"? 14  Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for the sake of those who are to obtain salvation?

So Great Salvation

2 Therefore we must pay the closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2  For if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, 3  how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4  while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will.

The Captain of Salvation Made Perfect through Suffering

5  For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6  It has been testified somewhere, "What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? 7  Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, 8  putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9  But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one.

10  For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11  For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified have all one origin. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12  saying, "I will proclaim thy name to my brethren, in the midst of the congregation I will praise thee." 13  And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."

14  Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15  and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong bondage. 16  For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned but with the descendants of Abraham. 17  Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make expiation for the sins of the people. 18  For because he himself has suffered and been tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

Christ Superior to Moses

3 Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly call, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. 2  He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in God's house. 3  Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. 4  (For every house is built by some one, but the builder of all things is God.) 5  Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6  but Christ was faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if we hold fast our confidence and pride in our hope.

A Rest for the People of God

7  Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, when you hear his voice, 8  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, 9  where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. 10  Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their hearts; they have not known my ways.' 11  As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest.'" 12  Take care, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13  But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14  For we share in Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end, 15  while it is said, "Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion." 16  Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17  And with whom was he provoked forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18  And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19  So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. 2  For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers. 3  For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, 'They shall never enter my rest,'" although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4  For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." 5  And again in this place he said, "They shall never enter my rest." 6  Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, 7  again he sets a certain day, "Today," saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, "Today, when you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts." 8  For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later of another day. 9  So then, there remains a sabbath rest for the people of God; 10  for whoever enters God's rest also ceases from his labors as God did from his.

11  Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13  And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15  For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2  He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3  Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. 4  And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. 5  So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"; 6  as he says also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz'edek." 7  In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear. 8  Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9  and being made perfect he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him,

10  being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchiz'edek.

The Danger of Slothfulness and Apostasy

11  About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12  For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God's word. You need milk, not solid food; 13  for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. 14  But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

6 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2  with instruction about ablutions, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3  And this we will do if God permits. 4  For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5  and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6  if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt. 7  For land which has drunk the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8  But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.

9  Though we speak thus, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things that belong to salvation. 10  For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. 11  And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, 12  so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. 13  For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14  saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." 15  And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16  Men indeed swear by a greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. 17  So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, 18  so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God should prove false, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19  We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20  where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest for ever after the order of Melchiz'edek.

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