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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
Hebrews 4



Verse 1

Into his rest. The term rest is now evidently used to denote the spiritual rest of the kingdom of Christ; and the object of the discussion which follows, occupying a considerable portion of this chapter, seems to be to show that the rest promised, on condition of obedience, to the Jews of old, did not refer either to the rest which God is spoken of as having taken on the seventh day of the creation, nor exclusively to the quiet possession of Canaan; but that it included a spiritual rest in heaven. It is to be observed that the apostle's object, in this argument, is, not to prove that there actually is a spiritual rest to come, but that this truth was recognized by the inspired writers of the Old Testament.--Should seem to come short of it; should be found to come short of it.

Verse 2

The gospel; the offer of rest. The word gospel means any message or offer of kindness and favor.--The word preached; the offer made.--Mixed with faith; accompanied by faith.

Hebrews 4:3,4. This passage is somewhat obscure. The meaning may perhaps be, that the rest which God promised that his people should share with him, could not have been the rest after the creation, spoken of in the passage quoted in Hebrews 4:4, for his threatening that they should not enter into his rest was made in the time of Moses, although his rest from the work of creation had been long since past, having taken place when the works were finished at the foundation of the world.

Verse 5

And in this place again; that is, this is another instance of his speaking of a rest as future, after the sabbatical rest had long been past.

Verse 7

In the parenthesis, Hebrews 4:7-10, the writer shows that the rest spoken of was not merely rest in the land of Canaan, as he had before shown that it was not the sabbatical rest of God.

Verse 8

Jesus; Joshua, who led the children of Israel into the land of Canaan.--Then would he not; that is, the Holy Spirit, speaking in David, as it is expressed above.

Verse 9

There remaineth therefore, &c. that is, a rest is yet to come.

Verse 10

The meaning is, that, as God ceased from his works when he entered into his rest, so shall the believer, when the time for his rest shall come, reach the termination of all his labors and sufferings.

Verse 11

The same example; the example of the ancient Israelites, (Hebrews 3:16-19.)

Verse 12

Sharper, &c.; that is, in respect to the terrible energy with which its threatenings will be fulfilled.

Verse 14

The writer now proceeds to consider Christ under the figure of the High Priest of the new dispensation, as he had proposed at the commencement of the last chapter.

Verse 15

Tempted; tried; exposed to pain and suffering. The phrase in all points is not to be understood to mean that he suffered in every conceivable way in which any man can suffer; but only that, in a general sense, he fully participated in the trials and sufferings of humanity.


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These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Hebrews 4:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

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Sunday, December 15th, 2019
the Third Week of Advent
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