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And with whom was he displeased forty years?
Was it not with those who sinned, whose dead bodies fell in the wilderness ?
And to whom did he swear that they should not enter into his rest, but to the disobedient?
And so we see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.
Since, then, a promise has been left us of entering into his rest, let us be afraid that some of you may possibly be considered as having fallen short of it. For we have had Good News brought to us just as they had. But the message which they heard was of no advantage to them, because they were not united by faith to those who heard. For we who have believed are entering into the rest, just as he has said :
As I sware in my wrath,
They shall not enter into my rest : although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere of the seventh day in this way:
And God rested on the seventh day from all his works. And again in another place :
They shall not enter into my rest. Since, then, it remains that some are entering into it, while they to whom the Good News was first brought failed to enter into it because of their disobedience, he again appoints a day, To-day, saying
4: 7. through the Psalmist, so long afterwards, just as has been said before :
To-day, if ye will hear his voice,
Harden not your hearts. For, if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterwards about another day. So there is still left a rest for the people of God. For he who has entered into his rest, has himself also rested from his works, just as God did from his. So let us make an earnest effort to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall as a result of the same kind of disobedience. For God's mind is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and is skilled in tracing out and passing judgment on men's thoughts and feelings. And there is not a creature which is not plainly in his sight. For everything is naked and laid open to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For our high priest is not one who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses. For, while he never sinned, yet he was tempted in every respect like ourselves. So
come boldly to the throne of favor so
that we may
find favor that will be of timely assistance to us when we are in need.
For every high priest, taken from among men, is appointed for men in their relation to God to offer both bloody and unbloody sacrifices for sins, as one who can bear gently with the ignorant and erring, because he himself also is weak, and for this reason he must offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And no one takes the honor to himself. It is only when he is called by God just as Aaron was. So the Christ also did not assume to himself the dignity of a high priest. On the contrary, it was the doing of him who said:
Thou art my Son,
To-day have I begotten thee: just as he also says in another place:
Thou art a priest forever,
After the order of Melchisedek. And, when he was on earth, having with a strong cry and tears offered up prayers and supplications to him who was able to save him from death, and having been heard because of his piety, even though - he was a son, yet he learned obedience from what he suffered; and, when he had been made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation to all those who obey him, addressed by God as high priest after the order of Melchisedek.
5: 11. Now we have many things to say about this, and they are hard to explain, because you have become dull of hearing. For when you ought to be teachers because of the time you have been believers, you need some one to teach you again the
first principles of the precepts of God. And
have become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food. For no one who drinks milk has any experience in the teaching concerning the way in which a man may attain to a condition acceptable to God. For he is a babe. For solid food is for full-grown men, for those, that is, who by reason of practice have their faculties trained to distinguish between what is noble and what is bad.
For this reason let us give up the teaching which has to do with the first principles concerning the Christ, and press on to our full growth in him. Do not let us keep laying again a foundation of a change of mind and purpose of heart which leads one to turn from dead works. I say, do not let us keep laying again a foundation which includes such a change, and also these things : Faith which rests on God, the teaching of purifications, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And what has just been urged we will. do, if God permits. I say, if God permits, for, so far as those are concerned who were once enlightened, and tasted of the heavenly gift, and were
made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the noble word of God and the powers of the world to come, and then fell away, it is impossible to bring them back again to a change of mind and purpose of heart. For they have crucified to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to open shame. For the land which has drunk in the rain which keeps coming frequently upon it, and keeps bearing herbs useful to those for whom it is continually worked, receives a blessing from God : but if it bears thorns and thistles, it is not what it ought to be, and is on the point of being cursed.
But, my dear brothers, we believe better things of you, and things which belong to salvation, even if we speak in this way. For God is not what he ought not to be, so as to forget your work and the love which you showed towards his name in assisting his devoted ones and in still assisting them. And we desire that each one of you may show the same earnestness towards the attainment of the full productiveness of hope to the end, so that you may not become indolent, but imitators of those who through faith and perseverance keep inheriting the promises.
For in making the promise to Abraham, since he had no one any greater to swear by, God swore by himself, and said:
I will most surely bless thee,
And I will most surely multiply thee.