Let us fear therefore (ποβητωμεν ουν phobēthōmen oun). First aorist passive volitive subjunctive of ποβεομαι phobeomai to be afraid. There is no break in the argument on Psalm 95:1-11. This is a poor chapter division. The Israelites perished because of disbelief. We today face a real peril.Lest haply (μη ποτε mē pote) Here with the present subjunctive (δοκει dokei), but future indicative in Hebrews 3:12, after the verb of fearing. For the optative see 2 Timothy 2:25. A promise being left (καταλειπομενης επαγγελιας kataleipomenēs epaggelias). Genitive absolute of the present passive participle of καταλειπω kataleipō to leave behind. God‘s promise still holds good for us in spite of the failure of the Israelites. Should seem to have come short of it (δοκει υστερηκεναι dokei husterēkenai). Perfect active infinitive of υστερεω hustereō old verb from υστερος husteros (comparative of root υδ ud like our out, outer, outermost), to be too late, to fail to reach the goal as here, common in the N.T. (Hebrews 11:37; Hebrews 12:15).
For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us (και γαρ εσμεν ευηγγελισμενοι εσμεν kai gar esmen euēggelismenoi esmen). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of ευαγγελιζω euaggelizō (from ευαγγελιον euaggelion good news, glad tidings) to bring good news, used here in its original sense as in Hebrews 4:6 of the Israelites (ευαγγελιστεντες euaggelisthentes first aorist passive participle).Even as also they (καταπερ κακεινοι kathaper kakeinoi). See Hebrews 4:6. We have the promise of rest as the Israelites had. The parallel holds as to the promise, the privilege, the penalty. The word of hearing (ο λογος της ακοης ho logos tēs akoēs). As in 1 Thessalonians 2:13. Genitive ακοης akoēs describing λογος logos the word marked by hearing (the word heard). Because they were not united by faith with them that heard (μη συνκεκερασμενους τηι πιστει τοις ακουσασιν mē sunkekerasmenous tēi pistei tois akousasin). Μη Mē the usual negative of the participle. A very difficult phrase. The text is uncertain whether the participle (perfect passive of συνκεραννυμι sunkerannumi old verb to mix together) ends in -ος os agreeing with λογος logos or -ους ous agreeing with εκεινους ekeinous (them). Taking it in -ους ous the translation is correct. Πιστει Pistei is in the instrumental case and τοις ακουσασιν tois akousasin in the associative instrumental after συν sun f0).
Do enter (εισερχομετα eiserchometha). Emphatic futuristic present middle indicative of εισερχομαι eiserchomai We are sure to enter in, we who believe.He hath said (ειρηκεν eirēken). Perfect active indicative for the permanent value of God‘s word as in Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 4:4; Hebrews 10:9, Hebrews 10:13; Hebrews 13:5; Acts 13:34. God has spoken. That is enough for us. So he quotes again what he has in Hebrews 4:11 from Psalm 95:1-11. Although the works were finished (καιτοι των εργων γενητεντων kaitoi tōn ergōn genēthentōn). Genitive absolute with concessive use of the participle. Old particle, in N.T. only here and Acts 14:17 (with verb). From the foundation of the world (απο καταβολης κοσμου apo katabolēs kosmou). Καταβολη Katabolē late word from καταβαλλω kataballō usually laying the foundation of a house in the literal sense. In the N.T. usually with απο apo (Matthew 25:44) or προ pro (John 17:24) about the foundation of the world.
Somewhere on this wise (που ουτως pou houtōs). See Hebrews 2:6 for που τις pou tis for a like indefinite allusion to an Old Testament quotation. Here it is Genesis 2:2 (cf. Exodus 20:11; Exodus 31:17). Moffatt notes that Philo quotes Genesis 2:2 with the same “literary mannerism.”Rested (κατεπαυσεν katepausen). First aorist active indicative of καταπαυω katapauō intransitive here, but transitive in Hebrews 4:8. It is not, of course, absolute rest from all creative activity as Jesus shows in John 5:17. But the seventh day of God‘s rest was still going on (clearly not a twenty-four hour day).
And in this place again (και εν τουτωι παλιν kai en toutōi palin). The passage already quoted in Hebrews 4:3; Hebrews 3:11.
It remaineth (απολειπεται apoleipetai). Present passive indicative of απολειπω apoleipō old verb to leave behind, to remain over. So again in Hebrews 4:9; Hebrews 10:26. Here the infinitive clause (τινας εισελτειν εις αυτην tinas eiselthein eis autēn) is the subject of απολειπεται apoleipetai This left-over promise is not repeated, though not utilized by the Israelites under Moses nor in the highest sense by Joshua and David.Failed to enter in (ουκ εισηλτον ouk eisēlthon). “Did not enter in” (second aorist active indicative of εισερχομαι eiserchomai). It is a rabbinical argument all along here, but the author is writing to Jews.
He again defineth a certain day (παλιν τινα οριζει ημεραν palin tina horizei hēmeran). Present active indicative of οριζω horizō old verb to set a limit (ορος horos horizon) as in Acts 17:26; Romans 1:4.In David (εν Δαυειδ en Daueid). Attributing the Psalm to David or in the Psalter at any rate. Hath been before said (προειρηται proeirētai). Perfect passive indicative referring to the quotation in Hebrews 3:7, Hebrews 3:15. After so long a time (μετα τοσουτον χρονον meta tosouton chronon). The time between Joshua and David.
Joshua (Ιησους Iēsous). The Greek form is Jesus. Condition of the second class (determined as unfulfilled) with ει ei and aorist indicative in the condition and αν an with the imperfect in the conclusion.He would not have spoken (ουκ ελαλει ouk elalei). Wrong translation, “he would not speak” (be speaking), in the passage in David. Imperfect tense, not aorist.
A sabbath rest (σαββατισμος sabbatismos). Late word from σαββατιζω sabbatizō (Exodus 16:30) to keep the Sabbath, apparently coined by the author (a doubtful passage in Plutarch). Here it is parallel with καταπαυσις katapausis (cf. Revelation 14:13).For the people of God (τωι λαωι του τεου tōi laōi tou theou). Dative case of blessed personal interest to the true Israel (Galatians 6:16).
As God did from his (ωσπερ απο των ιδιων ο τεος hōsper apo tōn idiōn ho theos). It is not cessation of work, but rather of the weariness and pain in toil. The writer pictures salvation as God‘s rest which man is to share and God will have perfect satisfaction when man is in harmony with him (Dods).
Let us therefore give diligence (σπουδασωμεν ουν spoudasōmen oun). Volitive subjunctive aorist of σπουδαζω spoudazō old verb to hasten (2 Timothy 4:9), to be eager and alert (1 Thessalonians 2:17). The exhortation has a warning like that in Hebrews 4:1.That no man fall (ινα μη πεσηι hina mē pesēi). Negative purpose with ινα μη hina mē and the second aorist active subjunctive of πιπτω piptō to fall. After the same example of disobedience (εν τωι αυτωι υποδειγματι της απειτειας en tōi autōi hupodeigmati tēs apeitheias). The unbelief is like that seen in the Israelites (Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 4:2). υποδειγμα Hupodeigma is a late word from υποδεικνυμι hupodeiknumi (Matthew 3:7) and means a copy (John 13:15; James 5:10). The Israelites set a terrible example and it is so easy to copy the bad examples.
The word of God (ο λογος του τεου ho logos tou theou). That just quoted about the promise of rest and God‘s rest, but true of any real word of God.Living (ζων zōn). Cf. the Living God (Hebrews 3:12). In Philo and the Book of Wisdom the Logos of God is personified, but still more in John 1:1-18 where Jesus is pictured as the Logos on a par with God. “Our author is using Philonic language rather than Philonic ideas” (Moffatt). See John 6:63: “The words which I have spoken are spirit and are life.” Active (ενεργης energēs). Energetic, powerful (John 1:12; Philippians 3:21; Colossians 1:29). Sharper (τομωτερος tomōteros). Comparative of τομος tomos cutting (from τεμνω temnō to cut), late adjective, here only in the N.T. Than (υπερ huper). Often so after a comparative (Luke 16:8; 2 Corinthians 12:13). Two-edged (διστομον distomon). “Two-mouthed” (δι στομα di -,χιπος stoma), double-mouthed like a river (Polybius), branching ways (Sophocles), applied to sword (διικνουμενος xiphos) by Homer and Euripides. Piercing (διικνεομαι diiknoumenos). Present middle participle of αχρι μερισμου diikneomai old verb to go through, here only in N.T. Even to the dividing (μεριζω achri merismou). Old word from μερος merizō (πσυχης και πνευματος meros part), to partition. Of soul and spirit (αρμων τε και μυελων psuchēs kai pneumatos). As in 1 Thessalonians 5:23; 1 Corinthians 15:45, but not an argument for trichotomy. Psychology is constantly changing its terminology. Of both joints and marrow (αρω harmōn te kai muelōn). From αρμος arō to join, comes Μυελος harmos old word, here only in the N.T. μυω Muelos (from κριτικος muō to shut), old word, here only in N.T. This surgeon goes into and through the joints and marrow, not cleaving between them. Quick to discern (ικος kritikos). Verbal adjective in -κρινω ikos from εντυμησεων και εννοιων καρδιας krinō skilled in judging, as the surgeon has to be and able to decide on the instant what to do. So God‘s word like his eye sees the secret lurking doubt and unbelief “of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (enthumēseōn kai ennoiōn kardias). The surgeon carries a bright and powerful light for every dark crevice and a sharp knife for the removal of all the pus revealed by the light. It is a powerful picture here drawn.
That is not manifest (απανης aphanēs). Old adjective (α a privative and παινω phainō to show), here only in the N.T. God‘s microscope can lay bare the smallest microbe of doubt and sin.Naked (γυμνα gumna). Both soul and body are naked to the eye of God. Laid open (τετραχηλισμενα tetrachēlismena). Perfect passive participle of τραχηλιζω trachēlizō late verb to bend back the neck (τραχηλος trachēlos Matthew 18:6) as the surgeon does for operating, here only in N.T. See Romans 16:4 for the peril of risking one‘s neck (τραχηλον υποτιτεναι trachēlon hupotithenai). God‘s eyes see all the facts in our inmost hearts. There are no mental reservations from God. With whom we have to do (προς ον ημιν ο λογος pros hon hēmin ho logos). “With whom the matter or account for us is.” There is a slight play here on λογος logos of Hebrews 4:12. Surely every servant of Christ today needs to gaze into this revealing mirror and be honest with himself and God.
A great high priest (αρχιερεα μεγαν archierea megan). The author now takes up the main argument of the Epistle, already alluded to in Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 2:17.; Hebrews 3:1, the priestly work of Jesus as superior to that of the Levitical line (4:14-12:3). Jesus is superior to the prophets (Hebrews 1:1-3), to angels (1:4-2:18), to Moses (3:1-4:13), he has already shown. Here he only terms Jesus “great” as high priest (a frequent adjective with high priest in Philo) but the superiority comes out as he proceeds.Who hath passed through the heavens (διεληλυτοτα τους ουρανους dielēluthota tous ouranous). Perfect active participle of διερχομαι dierchomai state of completion. Jesus has passed through the upper heavens up to the throne of God (Hebrews 1:3) where he performs his function as our high priest. This idea will be developed later (Hebrews 6:19.; Hebrews 7:26-28; Hebrews 9:11., and Hebrews 9:24.). Jesus the Son of God (Ιησουν τον υιον του τεου Iēsoun ton huion tou theou). The human name linked with his deity, clinching the argument already made (1:1-4:13). Let us hold fast our confession (κρατωμεν της ομολογιας kratōmen tēs homologias). Present active volitive subjunctive of κρατεω krateō old verb (from κρατος kratos power), with genitive to cling to tenaciously as here and Hebrews 6:18 and also with the accusative (2 Thessalonians 2:15; Colossians 2:19). “Let us keep on holding fast.” This keynote runs all through the Epistle, the exhortation to the Jewish Christians to hold on to the confession (Hebrews 3:1) of Christ already made. Before making the five points of Christ‘s superior priestly work (better priest than Aaron, 5:1-7:25; under a better covenant, Hebrews 8:1-13; in a better sanctuary, Hebrews 9:1-12; offering a better sacrifice, 9:13-10:18; based on better promises, 10:19-12:3), the author gives a double exhortation (Hebrews 4:14-16) like that in Hebrews 2:1-4 to hold fast to the high priest (Hebrews 4:14.) and to make use of him (Hebrews 4:16).
That cannot be touched with the feeling (μη δυναμενον συνπατησαι mē dunamenon sunpathēsai). “Not able to sympathize with.” First aorist passive infinitive of συνπατεω sunpatheō late compound verb from the late adjective συνπατος sunpathos (Romans 12:15), both from συνπασχω sunpaschō to suffer with (1 Corinthians 12:26; Romans 8:17), occurring in Aristotle and Plutarch, in N.T. only in Hebrews (here and Hebrews 10:34).One that hath been tempted (πεπειρασμενον pepeirasmenon). Perfect passive participle of πειραζω peirazō as already shown in Hebrews 2:17. Without sin (χωρις αμαρτιας chōris hamartias). This is the outstanding difference that must never be overlooked in considering the actual humanity of Jesus. He did not yield to sin. But more than this is true. There was no latent sin in Jesus to be stirred by temptation and no habits of sin to be overcome. But he did have “weaknesses” (αστενειαι astheneiai) common to our human nature (hunger, thirst, weariness, etc.). Satan used his strongest weapons against Jesus, did it repeatedly, and failed. Jesus remained “undefiled” (αμιαντος amiantos) in a world of sin (John 8:46). This is our ground of hope, the sinlessness of Jesus and his real sympathy.
Let us therefore draw near (προσερχωμετα ουν proserchōmetha oun). Present active middle volitive subjunctive of προσερχομαι proserchomai “Let us keep on coming to” our high priest, this sympathizing and great high priest. Instead of deserting him, let us make daily use of him. This verb in Hebrews means reverent approach for worship (Hebrews 7:25; Hebrews 10:1, Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 11:6).Unto the throne of grace (τωι τρονωι της χαριτος tōi thronōi tēs charitos). This old word (τρονος thronos) we have taken into English, the seat of kings and of God and so of Christ (Hebrews 1:3, Hebrews 1:8), but marked by grace because Jesus is there (Matthew 19:28). Hence we should come “with boldness” (μετα παρρησιας meta parrēsias). Telling Jesus the whole story of our shortcomings. That we may receive mercy (ινα λαβωμεν ελεος hina labōmen eleos). Purpose clause with ινα hina and second aorist active subjunctive of λαμβανω lambanō And find grace (και χαριν ευρωμεν kai charin heurōmen). Second aorist active subjunctive of ευρισκω heuriskō We are sure to gain both of these aims because Jesus is our high priest on the throne. To help us in time of need (εις ευκαιρον βοητειαν eis eukairon boētheian). οητεια Boētheia is old word (from βοητεω boētheō Hebrews 2:18 which see), in N.T. only here and Acts 27:17. Ευκαιρος Eukairos is an old word also (ευ eu well, καιρος kairos opportunity), only here in N.T. “For well-timed help,” “for help in the nick of time,” before too late.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 4". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Easter