4 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem nto have failed to reach it. 2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because othey were not united by faith with those who listened.1 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
p“As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not 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: q“And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” 5 And again in this passage he said,
r“They shall not enter my rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news sfailed to enter because of disobedience, 7 again he appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted,
t“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God2 would not have spoken of another day later on. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, 10 for whoever has entered God's rest has also urested from his works as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so vthat no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience. 12 For wthe word of God is living and xactive, ysharper than any ztwo-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and adiscerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And bno creature is hidden from his sight, but all are cnaked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest
14 Since then we have da great high priest ewho has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, flet us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest gwho is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been dtempted as we are, hyet without sin. 16 iLet 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 jis appointed to act on behalf of men kin relation to God, lto offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 mHe can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself nis beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he is obligated to offer sacrifice for his own sins ojust as he does for those of the people. 4 And pno one takes this honor for himself, but only when called by God, qjust as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ rdid not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him,
s“You are my Son,
today I have begotten you”;
6 as he says also in another place,
t“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
7 In the days of his flesh, uJesus1 offered up prayers and supplications, vwith loud cries and tears, to him wwho was able to save him from death, and xhe was heard because of his reverence. 8 Although yhe was a son, zhe learned obedience through what he suffered. 9 And abeing made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 being designated by God a high priest bafter the order of Melchizedek.
Warning Against Apostasy
11 About this we have much to say, and it is chard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again dthe basic principles of the oracles of God. You need emilk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is fa child. 14 But solid food is for gthe mature, for those who have their powers hof discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.
6 Therefore ilet us leave jthe elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance kfrom dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of linstruction about washings,1 mthe laying on of hands, nthe resurrection of the dead, and oeternal judgment. 3 And this we will do pif God permits. 4 For it is impossible, in the case of those qwho have once been enlightened, who have tasted rthe heavenly gift, and shave shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and thave tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and uthen have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since vthey are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For wland that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But xif it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, yand its end is to be burned.
9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation. 10 For zGod is not unjust so as to overlook ayour work and the love that you have shown for his name in bserving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance cof hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but dimitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
The Certainty of God's Promise
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, ehe swore by himself, 14 saying, f“Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,2 ghaving patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes han oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to ithe heirs of the promise jthe unchangeable character of his purpose, khe guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which lit is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope mset before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into nthe inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone oas a forerunner on our behalf, phaving become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
7 For this qMelchizedek, king of rSalem, priest of sthe Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 He is without father or mother tor genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
4 See how great this man was to whom Abraham uthe patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! 5 And vthose descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,1 though these also are descended from Abraham. 6 But this man wwho does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed xhim who had the promises. 7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8 In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one yof whom it is testified that zhe lives. 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
Jesus Compared to Melchizedek
11 aNow if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended bfrom Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,
c“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside dbecause of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for ethe law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, fa better hope is introduced, through which gwe draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
h“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of ia better covenant.
23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues jforever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost2 kthose who draw near to God lthrough him, since he always lives mto make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, nholy, innocent, unstained, oseparated from sinners, and pexalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, qfirst for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this ronce for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men sin their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made tperfect forever.
Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant
8 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, uone who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in vthe true tent1 that the Lord wset up, not man. 3 For xevery high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus yit is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They serve za copy and ashadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, b“See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” 6 But as it is, Christ2 has obtained a ministry that is cas much more excellent than the old as dthe covenant ehe mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. 7 fFor if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
8 For he finds fault with them when he says:3
g“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah,
9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 hFor this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
and iwrite them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall jall know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
kand I will remember their sins no more.”
13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And lwhat is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.