Hebrews 4

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Hebrews 4
Epistle to the Hebrews 4:2ff in two columns of Papyrus 13 (AD. 225-250).
BookEpistle to the Hebrews
CategoryGeneral epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part19

Hebrews 4 is the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The author is anonymous, although the internal reference to "our brother Timothy" (Hebrews 13:23) causes a traditional attribution to Paul, but this attribution has been disputed since the second century and there is no decisive evidence for the authorship.[1][2] This chapter contains the admonition to press on toward 'God's Rest' and a reflection on the power of God's Word.[3][4]


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 16 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:

Old Testament references[edit]

A call to faithfulness (3:7–4:13)[edit]

Verse 7[edit]

again He designates a certain day, saying in David, "Today," after such a long time, as it has been said:
"Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts."[7]

The Hebrew version of Psalm 95 names no author, but David is explicitly said to have written these words from Psalm 95:7–8, which happened long after the Israelites already enjoyed rest and were established in Canaan under the leadership of Joshua.[8] Therefore, this day ("Today") is another day in the future for God's people to enter a heavenly rest, beyond the enjoyment of life in the land of Israel.[9]

Verse 8[edit]

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.[10]

The "rest" experienced by the Israelites in the time of Joshua was 'an earthly anticipation of the ultimate, heavenly rest', an old covenant promise that is fulfilled in a transformed way by Jesus Christ.[9]

Verse 12[edit]

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.[11]

The compassion of Christ (4:14–5:10)[edit]

The characteristic term of this section is 'High Priest', which links to the beginning of the previous section (3:1; cf. 2:17) as an introduction to the new segment.[9]

Verse 15[edit]

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Attridge 2007, p. 1236.
  2. ^ deSilva 2005, p. 201.
  3. ^ Attridge 2007, pp. 1242–3.
  4. ^ deSilva 2005, p. 203.
  5. ^ a b deSilva 2005, p. 202.
  6. ^ a b c d Kirkpatrick, A. F. (1901). The Book of Psalms: with Introduction and Notes. The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges. Vol. Book IV and V: Psalms XC-CL. Cambridge: At the University Press. p. 839. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  7. ^ Hebrews 4:7: NKJV
  8. ^ Peterson 1994, p. 1330.
  9. ^ a b c Peterson 1994, p. 1331.
  10. ^ Hebrews 4:8 NKJV
  11. ^ Hebrews 4:12 NKJV
  12. ^ Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
  13. ^ Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible - Hebrews 4:15


External links[edit]