Hebrews chapter 4

God gave the Sabbath to the Old Testament people, and a spiritual Sabbath to us Christians. Jesus Christ is our great High Priest.





VERSE 1. Let’s fear therefore, lest perhaps anyone of you should seem to have come short of a promise of entering into his rest.

seem to have come short … of entering. Many of us Christians miss out on the Sabbath-rest.

his rest. In the Old Testament era, Moses showed that the Sabbath-rest was the rightful inheritance of the people of God.

In our New Testament era, God offers spiritual rest to us Christians. It is like a Sabbath for our souls. Make sure you don’t miss out on it!

Matthew 11:28. Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.


VERSE 2. For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn’t profit them, because it wasn’t mixed with faith by those who heard.

even as they also did. Throughout all of biblical history, God has offered good news to people. His messages are marked by grace and mercy.


VERSE 3. For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.

we who have believed. A Christian believer has entered into the Sabbath-rest. At least officially.

However, most of us do not live that way. Instead, our lives are and filled with stress.


VERSE 4. For he has said this somewhere about the seventh day, “God rested on the seventh day from all his works;”

Genesis 2:2. On the seventh day God finished his work which he had done; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.

said this somewhere. Even the biblical author couldn’t remember every biblical citation:

Hebrews 2:6. But one has somewhere testified, saying, “What is man, that you think of him? Or the son of man, that you care for him?


VERSE 5. and in this place again, “They will not enter into my rest.”

Psalm 95:11. Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They won’t enter into my rest.”


VERSE 6. Seeing therefore it remains that some should enter into it, and they to whom the good news was preached before failed to enter in because of disobedience,

failed to enter. If someone is far from God, they will not be able to rest in God. They will not experience the Sabbath-rest.


VERSE 7. he again defines a certain day, today, saying through David so long a time afterward (just as has been said), “Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.”

a certain day, today. The notion of “today” is from Psalm 95:

Psalm 95:7. for he is our God. We are the people of his pasture, and the sheep in his care. Today, oh that you would hear his voice!

Today if you will hear his voice. The reader of this chapter is being presented with a fresh “today” from God Almighty.


VERSE 8. For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day.


VERSE 9. There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God.


VERSE 10. For he who has entered into his rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from his.

entered into his rest. This section is about something called the Sabbath Rest. The Sabbath Rest represent several different things

  • Jesus Christ himself.
  • Living by faith, trusting Jesus Christ for our salvation instead of our own religious good works.
  • Contemplative Prayer. In Contemplative Prayer, our prayer life finally rests in Jesus Christ. We cease trying to work our way into a prayerful bliss, and simply surrender. We sit back and let God be God. We “pray by faith,” instead of by our own works.


VERSE 11. Let’s therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

diligence to enter into that rest. God does not force the Sabbath Rest upon us. It is up to us whether we enter the Sabbath-rest or not.


VERSE 12. For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

This verse is fantastic! Would you consider memorizing it? More great verses to memorize from the Letter to the Hebrews and from the entire Bible.

soul and spirit. The Bible is living and active. Sharper than a sword, it discerns our thoughts and intentions. Read more »


VERSE 13. There is no creature that is hidden from his sight, but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him to whom we must give an account.




VERSE 14. Having then a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let’s hold tightly to our confession.


VERSE 15. For we don’t have a high priest who can’t be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but one who has been in all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.

Psalm 142:2. I pour out my complaint before him. I tell him my troubles.

John 4:6. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being tired from his journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.


VERSE 16. Let’s therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need.

Our paraphrase: Let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive what he is so ready to give.

boldness. That is, confidence:

Hebrews 3:6. but Christ is faithful as a Son over his house. We are his house, if we hold fast our confidence and the glorying of our hope firm to the end.

Hebrews 4:16. Let’s therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace for help in time of need.

Hebrews 10:19. Having therefore, brothers, boldness to enter into the holy place by the blood of Jesus,

that we may receive mercy. We can freely get what he is so ready to give.

Hebrews 7:19. (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

1 Peter 3:18. Because Christ also suffered for sins once, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring you to God, being put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the Spirit,


next chapter »

« previous chapter


CHAPTERS: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13

RESOURCES: Summary, Outline, Memorize

Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.