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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

Hebrews 3

Verse 1


My Christian brothers. The usual New Testament meaning of this is “fellow Christians,” including both men and women. Who also. God calls us through the message of the Good News (John 6:44-45). The Jews were called to a promised land here on earth; Christians are called by God to Eternity! Think of Jesus. “Think what these great truths about Jesus mean. He is the Son, and the High Priest. Let your minds penetrate deeply into the significance of these facts.” Whom God sent. Apostle means: one who is sent on an important mission. In this sense, Moses was sent by God. But Christ was sent from heaven by God!!! 1 John 4:14. To be the High Priest. Jesus both brought the message from God and is also High Priest. The faith we profess. “Our belief in Christ (compare Matthew 16:16), which sets us apart from non-Christian Jews.”

Verse 2


He was faithful. He completed the mission which God sent him to do. See John 17:4. Just as Moses. This is the language of Numbers 12:7. MacKnight says the point is: “As Moses was faithful in forming all parts of the Jewish church (God’s house at that time); just so Christ was faithful in forming the gospel church to SUPERSEDE the Jewish church.”

Verse 3


A man who builds a house. Even though Jesus is similar to Moses in being faithful, still he receives more honor and glory than Moses. The next verses explain this. [Note that God’s house is built out of living stones (Ephesians 2:20-22; Matthew 16:18).]

Verse 4


Every house. MacKnight words this: “Besides, every religious society is formed by someone; But he who hath formed all righteous communities and religious societies, is God; Who having delegated his authority to his Son, hath made him Lord of all.”

Verse 5


As a servant. Here is the real difference between Moses and Christ! Moses was a servant in the Jewish church. He accurately carried out the mission which God gave him; because the Jewish church was a prophecy of what God would say in the future; that is, in Christ’s church.

Verse 6


As the Son. God’s house is the church = the religious community of God’s people. Moses was a servant, Christ is the Son. When Christ superseded the Jewish church constructed by Moses, and built his new gospel church (messianic community) which would include all nations, he used his authority which belonged to him as the Son. We are his house. See Ephesians 2:20-22; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2:5. If we keep. Again the human element is stressed! Even though Jesus paid it all, God requires us to live a new life. See Matthew 7:21-23; and notes on law at the end of Romans 3:31. It would be possible to forfeit our salvation (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Verse 7


So then. “Be warned by the example of Israel!” As the Holy Spirit says. The Spirit speaks to us through the written Word. This quotation is from Psalms 95:7-11 Septuagint. If you hear. (1) The fact that the Jewish church has been superseded does not terminate God’s offer of salvation. (2) The two great turning-points in salvation are: the giving of the Old Covenant; the giving of the New Covenant. Don’t make the same mistake which Israel did when the Old Covenant was given!

Verse 8


Do not be stubborn. Compare Exodus 16:3; Exodus 17:1-7. “After seeing the hand of God in Egypt, they still were stubborn and rebelled against God. Don’t you make that same mistake!”

Verse 9


There your ancestors. They annoyed God by their rebellion. Even though he gave them food and water by supernormal means, they still would not love Him.

Verse 10


For that reason. God was angry and disgusted with the very people He had saved! Their attitude (heart) was bad.

Verse 11


I was angry. In scripture, human body-parts and human emotions are used as figures-of-speech to communicate to us His way of doing things, in a form which we can understand. GOD IS SPIRIT! They shall never! The whole generation (except Joshua and Caleb) was refused entrance into Canaan! To get an idea of how many people this represented, see Numbers 1:1-3; Numbers 1:46. There were 603,550 men over age twenty, who could fight in an army.

Verse 12


Be careful. “This example of sin and punishment should teach you a lesson. You will be sinning just as they did if you reject the gospel, or if having once accepted it, then renounce it.”

Verse 13


Instead. “Instead of trying to turn each other away from Christ, you must help one another to believe!” Today. While it is “Today,” God’s offer of salvation is in effect. But it also implies that it may be withdrawn at any time. Sin makes a man blind to the attractiveness of God’s offer! (Remember this is written to Christians. See Hebrews 3:14.)

Verse 14


Partners with Christ. Compare notes on Hebrews 3:6 At the beginning. See Hebrews 6:4-6; Hebrews 11:1; Romans 5:1-2.

Verse 15


This is what. Psalms 95:7-8 Septuagint. See notes on Hebrews 3:7.

Verse 16


Who heard? The answer is: all the people. But see notes on next verse.

Verse 17


With whom. Note that these people continued to rebel against God during the whole forty year’s time. Who fell down dead. The whole generation who escaped from Egypt in the Exodus, died in the desert! [But there were a few expections: Joshua and Caleb are mentioned by name in Deuteronomy 1:0; Numbers 34:17 and Joshua 24:33 show Eleazar and perhaps some or even all of the Levites were allowed in.]

Verse 18


When God made his solemn promise. Numbers 14:22-23; Psalms 95:11. “To show you the sin of rebellion, I ask you to whom did God make this solemn promise: ‘They shall never come in and rest with me’? It was those who had seen his miracles, but because they did not believe, they refused to go into the land of Canaan.”

Verse 19


They were not able to go in. If unbelief made it impossible for the Israelites to go into the land of Canaan, then unbelief will close the gates of heaven to those who have already started on their way! They did not believe God could bring them into the promised land in spite of the fierce opposition they would face; and so they would not attempt to conquer it when God told them to go forward. These Hebrew Christians were in danger of dropping out of the battle, and so losing all they had won!

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Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 3". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.