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Wednesday, July 24th, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 4

Poole's English Annotations on the Holy BiblePoole's Annotations

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Hebrews 4:1-11 The rest of Christians to be attained by faith.

Hebrews 4:12,Hebrews 4:13 The power of God’s word.

Hebrews 4:14-16 Having Jesus the Son of God for our High Priest, we must hold fast our profession, and come boldly unto the throne of grace.

Verse 1

Let us therefore fear: the Spirit draws this counsel from the former sad event of unbelief in the progenitors of these Hebrews, who were shut out of an earthly Canaan by it, which was promised to them: hereon he adviseth them to avoid that sin which will have now as fearful a punishment, viz. the shutting them out of the heavenly Canaan, tendered and promised to believers in thee gospel. Fear is that affection of the soul, by which it avoideth and shunneth what is hurtful to it, and here carrieth it in a gracious and child-like care and jealousy of slighting the Father’s promise, and coming short of heaven; it is a fear issuing from faith, Philippians 2:12.

Lest, a promise being left us; lest the promise of God to men, who sware some should not enter, but promised others should, as Numbers 14:23,Numbers 14:24,Numbers 14:30,Numbers 14:31; a promise of the most excellent, glorious, and heavenly rest made to believers, Isaiah 11:10. This was graciously left or made to them by God; but καταλειπομενης here is an act of sin, lest we by sin should leave or reject God’s promise of the better, as the Hebrews did of the literal, rest, by their unbelief and disobedience to God’s law; and so is the proper object of fear, and therefore ought to have been read, lest the promise being left behind.

Of entering into his rest; of a free entrance into heaven, and enjoying a glorious rest with God there.

Any of you should seem to come short of it: he would have it the fear of all, that not one soul tnight be endangered by it; so as not in any measure to slight such a promise, nor as much as to seem so, flying from the very appearance of evil, 1 Thessalonians 5:22; υστερηκεναι, a metaphor taken from racers, where any are outrun and left behind; noting the miserable state of such Christians who profess to run to heaven, but never do so as to obtain it, 1 Corinthians 9:24-26. Alas, he that falleth short of heaven, reacheth home to hell!

Verse 2

For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: the reason enforcing the former counsel is, their having mutually the same means, the one as the other, and if they fear not, may be guilty of the same sin; for the Hebrews and the whole church were evangelized by the outward publishing to them, and their professed reception of, the glad tidings of salvation by God the Son incarnate, who was to lead them in the way to God’s eternal rest; which if they had been truly evangelized and transformed by, they could never have been shut out of God’s rest; the same gospel being preached to both their forefathers and them, though more gloriously revealed to the latter, 2 Corinthians 3:10,2 Corinthians 3:11. For the gospel was preached to Abraham and to his offspring, that in his eminent Seed, the Lord Jesus Christ all nations should be blessed, Genesis 22:18; compare John 8:56. He was the Angel of the covenant that was Lord of God’s hosts, and was to lead them into the literal and heavenly Canaan, Exodus 23:20; Joshua 5:13-15; Isaiah 11:10. So that none entered into either of God’s rests but by him alone, who so testifieth by himself, John 5:39,John 5:46, and by his Spirit, Acts 15:11.

But the word preached did not profit them: the gospel was so preached to them, that they did or might hear it, Romans 10:14,Romans 10:15; compare Psalms 92:4; Isaiah 52:7; yet did it not prove effectual to many of those Hebrews, to bring them either into the literal or heavenly Canaan, but they came short of God’s rest in both; they not performing what he required, he by an irreversible sentence excluded them: see Hebrews 3:17,Hebrews 3:19.

Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it; συγκεκραμενος a metaphor taking from mixing things in the stomach, as meat and drink, without the concoction of which there can be no nourishing the body; setting forth the sin of these Hebrews, who never received nor mixed this gospel which they heard with a sincere faith in their souls, so as, being digested thereby, it might be united with it. Thus that which was the mighty power and wisdom of God to salvation to those who believed, was a word of condemnation and eternal death to unbelievers, 1 Corinthians 1:18; 1 Peter 2:2,1 Peter 2:3.

Verse 3

For we which have believed do enter into rest: a further reason setting home this counsel, was the certain benefit of our care in believing; for that the community of real Christians, partakers and exercisers of the same precious faith, as Paul himself, 2 Peter 1:1, have the same privilege as believing Caleb and Joshua had, Numbers 14:24,Numbers 14:30, to enter into God’s rest; initially having peace with God now, and his love shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Ghost, witnessing their reconciliation, justification, renovation, adoption, so as they rejoice in hope of the glory of God, Romans 5:1,Romans 5:2,Romans 5:5; and are by believing and obedience making out to the attainment of the final and complete rest of God in heaven, of which they are afraid to fall short.

As he said, As I have sworn in my wrath: God himself confirms this by his oath, Hebrews 3:11,Hebrews 3:18; Psalms 95:11. At the same time that he excludeth all unbelievers from entering in, he inclusively and by consequence sweareth that all believers do and shall enter in.

If they shall enter into my rest: that rest which David there speaks of was not God’s rest on the seventh day from the creation after the finishing of God’s works, nor the temporal rest in the land of Canaan which the Jews had, and were past, as these Hebrews might suggest; but another rest to come, either in the world to come, Hebrews 2:5, or in the heavenly rest in glory, which he takes occasion further to explain to them.

Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world: και τοι some render as a particle of exception, although, as if it intended, although God’s rest is some where meant of his rest after the finishing of the works of creation, yet here God speaks of the rest of Canaan, a type of the heavenly one: others, that God swore they should not enter into his rest, although God’s works were done, and the rest were ready, because of their unbelief. Others render it, and indeed he said and spake of the same heavenly rest, long before he spake of the rest of Canaan, even upon the finishing of his works from the foundation of the world: which seems most agreeable to the Spirit’s design here.

Verse 4

For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise; the Spirit proves, that the rest mentioned by David, Psalms 95:11, is not meant the seventh day’s rest, because spoken three thousand years after that rest was past; but this rest of which he speaks was to come, though spoken of and known then: for Moses had spoken of it in a well known place to them, Genesis 2:1-3, and this when he wrote of the seventh day, which was eminently noting the sabbath, and a type of God’s most excellent rest which he sware unto believers.

And God did rest the seventh day from all his works: God doth not here rest as if he were weary, Isaiah 40:28, but ceased from the creation of all kind of things he purposed to make, but not from their propagation and his providence about them, Acts 17:25. And this he did on the seventh day, which he instituted a sabbath for his people, Genesis 2:3; which resting day may type out the eternal rest of angels and men, when their work of obedience is finished: and yet was not God’s rest spoken of in the Psalm, nor promised in the gospel to believers, for this was yet to come; whereas the seventh day’s rest was entered into from the foundation of the world.

Verse 5

And in this place again: και here is not so much copularive, connecting an instance of David to the same purpose of that of Moses about the seventh day’s rest from the creation; but discretive, joining an instance of another rest of God different from the seventh day’s rest. Moses spake of this, but David here of a further rest; for in Psalms 95:11, David spake not of the seventh day, but of God’s last and eternal rest.

If they shall enter into my rest; ei here is affirmative, as appears by comparing Hebrews 4:3 and Hebrews 4:6, that these shall have a real and full possession in the future after David’s time of this rest, and therefore different from Moses’s rest so long past before. The word rest in the Hebrew is not the same in the text of Moses and David; Genesis 2:2,Genesis 2:3, it is שבת in Psalms 95:11, מנוהתי this of David noting the full, eternal, comfortable rest of souls in glory, sworn by God to believers in the gospel.

Verse 6

The Spirit having demonstrated, that God’s rest sworn to believers in the gospel, and mentioned by David, could not be the seventh day’s rest; proceeds to prove likewise, that it could not be the rest of Israel in the land of Canaan, since that was entered into four hundred years before he wrote by the Spirit of this better rest, since those unbelieving Israel that entered into Canaan never entered into this rest.

Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein; forasmuch then as a rest to come is spoken of, and that some believers must have a real and full possession of the glorious rest offered to them in the gospel, as David foretold: see Hebrews 4:9-11.

And they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief; the unbelieving Israel, who had the glad tidings of this rest preached unto them by Moses and by David, &c., yet entered not into it, though they entered into and lived in Canaan, because of their disobedience and unbelief. Then it follows Canaan’s rest and this cannot be all one, and the latter only is intended by David here.

Verse 7

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David: this is a further proof, that David did not mean or intend the rest of the Jews in Canaan, in the Psalms 95:1-11, from the determined time of it; as if the Spirit had said: Besides what I have proved, take another argument; Again I argue. God by the prophet setteth out, and severeth from all other time, a certain stated day, from which the rest spoken of is cleared, and of it testifieth by him, Psalms 95:7,Psalms 95:8.

To-day, after so long a time; after four hundred years past of Israel’s rest in Canaan, which was a long time, doth David say of to-day, a time present, then and further to be extended, even the gospel day, in David’s time, and after it; not in Joshua’s, for that was past long before.

As it is said, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts; ye ought to-day to hear, receive, and believe the gospel of God’s rest, and not by unbelief to turn your hearts from the voice of God in the gospel.

Verse 8

This is the improvement of the former instance, Hebrews 4:7. If Joshua, by bringing Israel into Canaan, had given rest to all believers, then God would not by David have spoken of another day and state of rest to come. Joshua was a type of Jesus bringing believers into the true rest of the heavenly Canaan, as he did Israel into a literal one, Acts 7:45.

For if Jesus had given them rest; if that of Canaan was the full and perfect rest of believers, which was given them by him.

Then would he not afterward have spoken of another day; then God himself would not have spoken by David of a better and heavenly rest promised believers in the gospel; of which spiritual and eternal one, both God’s seventh-day sabbath, and the rest of Canaan, were but fainter shadows and types. The expostulation is vehemently denying it.

Verse 9

Here the Spirit concludes from his former proofs, that there is a more excellent rest revealed to faith in the gospel, which is remaining, future, and to come, and will surely and most certainly do so; though it be behind, yet it will be enjoyed. A sabbatism, which is a state and season of a most glorious rest, {see Hebrews 4:10} shall be enjoyed by sincere believers, the true Israel of God, of whom he is the Proprietor, and who are for their eternal state so excellently holy, and of so Divine a nature, that he is not ashamed to be called their God. They have an entrance here into the initials of this sabbatism in internal peace, and the glorious liberty of the children of God; and by it are secured of their full possession of it in the eternal inheritance of the saints in light, Colossians 1:12,Colossians 1:13; 1 Peter 1:3-5; Revelation 14:13.

Verse 10

This proveth the foregoing consequence of a rest remaining, from the nature of a true rest, which is a resting from all labours, which the Israelites did not in Canaan, therefore it is yet to come. For every true believer who hath full possession of God’s rest, where God is satisfying of them in bliss, they rest in his loves, of which the sabbath and Canaan were but types.

He also hath ceased from his own works; such true Christians have ceased and rested from all their sinful works and labours, as works of callings, miseries, anxieties, and sufferings of any kind, resting from them perfectly and perpetually, having finished all his work of evangelical obedience through them.

As God did from his; they have rested not in a parity of rest, or work in kind, but as God from his own in likeness of order, his work going before rest, and of rest fitted for believers by him conformable to his own. Some refer these words and the relative he to our Lord Jesus Christ, as Head of his body, the church of true believers; and that the parallel runs between God the Father and him in the works of the old and new creation, which works were good and complete in their different kinds, in their cessation from them, and their rest in their respective sabbaths, both days being founded thereon; and that believers shall be conformable to their Head, treading in his steps in doing and suffering, and then in rest.

Verse 11

Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest: this is the use of the former doctrine, that since many through unbelief fall short of God’s rest, therefore let us labour: σπουδασωμεν imports study of mind, earnestness of affection, diligence of endeavour, with all the powers of soul and body to intend this work: so is it used, 2 Peter 1:10. This is the most necessary, excellent, and important one to us in this world, our single great business in it; and therefore, as students, our minds must be bent on it, and our wills fixed and resolved about it, and the operations of all the executive powers of our persons put forth to the utmost degree, so as all the duties necessary thereunto, as attendance on all ordinances, and the constant exercise of faith and obedience, must be fitting us for, and bringing us into, the full possession of the eternally blessed and glorious rest of God, 2 Peter 1:5-11.

Lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief; that not any particular person may fall into sin and the consequences of it. The particle εν may be read, into, and then it implies, lest any of you prove rebels and apostates. Or it is read, by, or after, and then it is a fall to destruction and hell, with all the miseries that those feel who are shut out of God’s rest, as their unbelieving forefathers were. God spared neither apostate men nor angels, and will not spare others if they sin as those did. Our judgments may be rather sorer, being warned by their example, 1 Corinthians 10:11; compare Hebrews 10:26,Hebrews 10:27,Hebrews 10:29. They were contumacious and disobeyed the gospel of God’s rest, therefore he destroyed them in the wilderness, and thrust them down to hell for ever: avoid you their sin, as you would labour to avoid their punishment.

Verse 12

For the word of God: the efficacy of the word of God is a further enforcement of their studious labour to enter into God’s rest, for that calleth us thereunto; even the law and doctrine of the gospel brought by the incarnate Word from heaven, preached by him to the world, dictated and inspired into the holy penmen both of the Old and New Testament by the Holy Ghost, and written by them at his call and order, 2 Peter 1:19-21; representing all those precepts and prohibitions, promises and threatenings, by which God will judge to whom this gospel hath been preached in that man whom he hath appointed: compare Hebrews 2:1,Hebrews 2:2, and Hebrews 4:1,Hebrews 4:2 of this. And this word was written by David, Psalms 95:1-11, even a word of exhortation, promise, and threatening, as opened before, and shows the perfection of this gospel law in its administration by Christ.

Is quick; this word, like the incarnate Word, is ζων, not only a living word, but a quickening word, making dead sinners living Christians; souls dead in sins and trespasses, alive to God. This word, the breath of God, conveyeth spirit and life to them, 2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Peter 1:23; so David experienced it, preserving the life it breathed into him, Psalms 119:50; and the members of the church, 1 Corinthians 4:15; compare 2 Corinthians 3:6,2 Corinthians 3:17,2 Corinthians 3:18; and as a rule it guideth and directeth them through Christ unto eternal life, John 6:68.

And powerful; ενεργης it is an active word, powerful in its effects, the very ministration of the Spirit, 2 Corinthians 3:8, most efficacious and energetical for convincing, converting, comforting; and for condemning, killing: it acts like the power of God; so Romans 1:16,Romans 1:18.

And sharper than any two-edged sword; τομωτερος signifieth a cutting sharpness, as becometh several uses, as searching, letting out corruption, or for killing; all which agree to this Divine word; sharper than any sword with two mouths. The Hebrews style the edge the mouth, that which bites, teareth, or woundeth; as Revelation 1:16, and Revelation 2:12. The word for spiritual execution upon souls is more sharp, and above every other sword; there is none so piercing for cutting the heart, or killing sin in it. So is it used, Ephesians 6:17; compare Acts 2:37; Acts 7:54. It is Christ’s weapon of offence and defence for his people, and it cuts without resistance; with it he is defending his truth, and smiting his enemies, Isaiah 11:4; compare Revelation 19:13,Revelation 19:15,Revelation 19:21.

Piercing even to the dividing asunder; διικνουμενς, piercing, or going through what is smitten with it; which way soever it is turned it forceth its way through all opposition, to a dividing into parts, and separating the most nearly united and closely joined things, laying open the very entrails, the most inward in a man; where the metaphors taken from the closest parts of the person are applied to the soul.

Of soul: ψυχη may denote not so much the natural life and the faculties of that, but that which is styled the rational soul as unregenerate: see 1 Corinthians 2:14. Such an animal, carnal soul as is purely human, 1 Corinthians 3:3, which wants both a principle, light, and faculty to discern the things of God, as no natural eye can see a spirit, Romans 8:5-8.

And spirit; πνευματος, the soul of man regenerate and spiritualized, called spirit, 1 Thessalonians 5:23. The soul enlightened, renewed, and governed by the Holy Ghost; not altered as to its substance, but as to its qualities; whose understanding, will, and affections are spiritualized, manifested in its actions, agreeable to the spiritual will of God, 1 Corinthians 2:10,1 Corinthians 2:12,1 Corinthians 2:14,1 Corinthians 2:15. These are both of them under the piercing power of the word, and the Spirit can reach them by it as he pleaseth.

And of the joints and marrow: αρμων are not the members, but the nerves, membranes, muscles, whereby the members or limbs are joined one to another, so as not without incision to be discovered; and the marrow within the bones, there must be a breaking or perforating them to reach it. By which metaphors are set out the hardest, compactest, and most intimate parts of a sinner, the most secret hidden ones, which no natural reason can reach; yet the word of God pierceth them, to discover either the evil or good of them, and to inflict wrath, or communicate comfort, according to their conditions.

And is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart: the word of God is a most nice, exact, and critical judge, discerning the gravity and rectitude of them; it discovers and distinguisheth them as they are, or not, agreeable to itself, the fundamental truth; and is capable, as a judge, to charge or discharge, as its author will, by it, Romans 2:12,Romans 2:15,Romans 2:16; compare 1 Corinthians 14:24,1 Corinthians 14:25. It discovers the most inward, close, secret, and constant motions, both speculative and practical, of the soul of man inseparably united to the heart; and one with another, whether they are opinions, conceptions, resolutions, or decrees, so subtile and so secret, as who can know them, but he who made the heart? Genesis 6:5; Jeremiah 17:9.

Verse 13

Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: και is not only copulative, but rational, showing the ground of the former efficacy of the gospel word, because its Author seeth and knoweth all persons and things, and filleth it with this power and force. For every creature which God the Son created, angel, or man, or any other, from the greatest to the least, from the leviathan to a mite, and all parts of every creature, especially of every creature to whom the gospel is preached, Mark 16:15; not any one is αφανης, without light, invisible, unapparent, obscure, or possible to be covered, or hid, or concealed from his view or face: where the relative αυτου agreeth with θεου, God in Christ, and not with λογος, or the word, Hebrews 4:12, as the following relative evinceth. To this God-man no spirit nor thought can be hid; it shall not be so from the efficacious power of his word; much less shall infidelity or hypocrisy be hid from it, or his most piercing eye.

But all things are naked and opened; but all things in general and particular, not any one excepted, are bare, naked, unclothed, the covering is removed, all secrets are open and manifest to view, God the Son seeth within and without, all are unveiled to him, and laid open as by dissection, τετραχηλισμενα a metaphor taken from the sacrificed beasts, which being skinned, were cut open from the neck, and so divided by the chine to the rump, or by the throat downward embowelled by the priests, so as every part within may be clearly seen whether clean or unclean. The truth of which is, the every thing in the world, even the most secret and inward thoughts of the heart of a sinner, which is a great deep, is opened and laid forth to every scruple unto God in Christ; every secret unbelief, apostatizing principle, or hypocrisy, he discerneth clearly and fully, Jeremiah 17:9,Jeremiah 17:10; he that made the eye, must see best.

Unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do; his eyes who pierceth beyond the vulture’s, into things and places that no eye can discern, the souls of men, Job 28:7,Job 28:10; Psalms 94:9; Proverbs 20:12. All this is asserted concerning the person of whom Paul writes, Christ, God-man, the great gospel Minister, whose word is so powerfully piercing: of him and his word is all this speech and discourse; he it is who is the all-knowing and impartial Judge, and makes his gospel word of counsel, promise, and threatenings to cut so deeply, and search the secrets of the hearts of all.

Verse 14

The excellency of the great gospel Minister beyond all others in respect of his priestly office, especially beyond Aaron and the Levitical priesthood, is shown by the Holy Ghost:. {Hebrews 4:14-11} It is introduced as the Spirit’s counsel to these Hebrews, from the premises, for their using of this High Priest, in order to their reaching home to the rest of God, to whom and whose profession they ought to adhere, since he is so fit and so willing to give them an entrance into it: compare Hebrews 2:17,Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 3:1,Hebrews 3:6.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest; being therefore by the Spirit through faith not only interested by a common relation in him, but by a real union to, and communion with him, as here described, a High Priest (Hebrews 2:11, and Hebrews 3:1) so great as none was, or can equal him: all the high priests on earth but imperfect types of him; above Aaron and all others; the grand presider over all God’s worship, who had work peculiar to himself above all; the supreme and universal Priest in heaven and earth, whose title the Roman antichrist usurpeth, to him only due, Pontifex optimus maximus; yet officiating always for us.

That is passed into the heavens; he hath fulfilled his type, entering into the holy of holiest in heaven, taking possession of God’s rest, and purchasing an entrance for us into it, and this after the removal of the curse, satisfaction of the Divine justice for our sins, victory over all enemies that would oppose his or our entrance by him, as sin, wrath, death, and the devil, and keeping possession of this rest for us, Hebrews 9:23,Hebrews 9:24,Hebrews 9:28.

Jesus the Son of God; Jesus the Saviour of his people from all their sins, their Emmanuel, Matthew 1:20,Matthew 1:21,Matthew 1:23, who being God the Son by eternal generation, was incarnate by taking to himself and uniting a true body and a reasonable soul, being conceived miraculously by the virgin Mary from the overshadowing of the Holy Ghost: in which nature, inseparably united to his person, he fulfilled all righteousness, and died a sacrifice for our sins, and rose in our nature, and ascended and entered into the holy of holiest in heaven, and made atonement, and laid open the way to believers to enter God’s rest there.

Let us hold fast our profession; the entire religion of which Jesus is the author, as opposite to that of the Jews in its principles and practical part of it, Hebrews 3:1, is powerfully, strongly, and perseveringly to be held by his without relaxation; in which if we follow him, cleave to him, and by him labour to enter, we shall not come short of God’s rest, Hebrews 7:24,Hebrews 7:25; where the Head is, there shall the body be also, John 14:2,John 14:3; John 17:24.

Verse 15

For we have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities: this duty of perseverance in the Christian religion, is enforced by the consideration of the sympathy of this High Priest, with the states of all who will enter into God’s rest by him. He is worthy that we should hold it fast, being without impotency. It is impossible he should be pitiless to penitent sinners, though he be glorious, there being nothing in himself, or out of himself, indisposing him to it. ευμπαθησαι imports such a sympathy or fellow feeling, as makes him like affected as if he were in the same case with them. He cannot but be compassionate, since inwardly affected and moved with the sufferings of his, Acts 9:5; compare Isaiah 58:9. As God, he is infinitely merciful; as man, inwardly feeling them, even all the miseries they were liable to, but sinful ones. He wants no bowels, but he hath, as a fellow feeling, so a fellow grieving, and fellow caring for the redress of them, even all such as are fit for his pity; and works on affections, a sense of guilt, fears, doubts, tremblings, weak-workings to God, the concomitant infirmities of sinful souls; all the weaknesses of grace in us, all troubles, distresses, anguishes in the flesh, the fruits of sin. He knows these sensibly as man, which as God singly he could not. These sinful weaknesses of soul inclining to sin, and disabling from resisting temptations, by which the subtle, powerful enemy of our soul prevaileth over us to the accumulating of sin and guilt daily and so need this sympathy of his to us-ward: see Hebrews 5:2; 1 Corinthians 2:3; 2 Corinthians 11:23-31; 2 Corinthians 12:5,2 Corinthians 12:9,2 Corinthians 12:10.

But was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin; but πεπειρασμενον, was pierced and tried by all sorts of sufferings, being outwardly tempted by the devil to sin; inwardly he could not, being perfectly holy, John 14:30; but was outwardly with violence assaulted by him, Matthew 4:1-11; and tried by men beyond any man, and tempted to the same sins whereby Adam fell, and others miscarry every day. He felt the curse of sin, the wrath of God, agonies in his soul, violent pains in his body, sorrows to the death from the cradle to the cross: and in every matter of grief and suffering in soul, in body, from the world, from Satan, from God, in all kinds of temptations spiritual and temporal; experiencing the evils of this life, hunger, thirst, weariness, grief, Isaiah 53:3-10, even such as we are liable to, all of them really and truly like ours, and more powerfully than ours; they were for similitude like, but for degree exceeding them; ours, for exquisiteness of sense, but a shadow of his. Yet under all these temptations he was sinless, as the Holy One of God; never did temptation prevail over him, he overcame all. Nothing was out of place or order by his sufferings in him: all his affections and passions under these, regular, showing his innocency under variety of sufferings, and eminency of compassions. Sin hardens bowels, but he is compassionate without any mixture with or hinderance by corruption; and his intercession is the more effectual with God for us. What Christian under his conduct would not follow his great example, so to resist and conquer by him?

Verse 16

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace: since our High Priest hath a sense of our infirmities, hath experienced our trials, and no sin is in him to shut up his bowels of compassion, therefore haste we to him, as those who desire to reach favours from our Sovereign, as our poor, guilty, needy souls want them. It is a soul-motion by faith and love, breathed forth in strong cries to his God and Father and ours, constantly approaching God in every duty by him: compare Hebrews 10:19-22; and that with open face, boldness, and assurance, without any shame or dismay, coming in the name and with the person of our great High Priest, who takes our duties and persons, and presents them, perfumed with the incense of his merits, to him. Away now with all unbelief, doubtings, or fears in our approach to him; admission to him, and hearing by him, is now certain unto the believer, Romans 5:1,Romans 5:2; Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:12; 1 John 3:21,1 John 3:22; 1 John 5:14,1 John 5:15. For his throne, now the Father is propitiated by him, is from a throne of strict justice made a throne of grace, of which the propitiatory seat over the ark of the covenant in the holy of holiest, both in the tabernacle and temple, was a type. All the terror and dread of it is now done away by Christ. Thunderings, and lightnings, and voices, and the sound of a trumpet are now ceased; the still voice of pardon, peace, purging and saving sinners, proceeds from it; grace in reference to believers, sits in all its glory, and majesty, and power only, Revelation 5:1,Revelation 5:6,Revelation 5:13; compare Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 12:2; Ephesians 1:20. Christ now takes us by the hand, brings us thither, and pleads by his own blood for us, so as we may approach to it with greatest confidence.

That we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need; that we may actually partake of the fruits of Christ’s purchase and intercession from the Father of mercy; pity suitable to our misery, pardon for our guilty souls, and relief for us under all our afflictions, Isaiah 63:7-9, and all grace necessary for us at all times for a seasonable help, but especially in times of greatest need. It is most opportune, when most helpful: when infirmities, afflictions, temptations, and the snares of sin, beset us with grievous persecutions, then may we by prayer, through our High Priest, have recourse to this throne of grace for our suitable and sufficient supply, without which there is no holding fast our profession, or possibility of entrance into God’s rest.

Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 4". Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/mpc/hebrews-4.html. 1685.
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