Hebrews 3:1-19 from the Commentary in Translation Version
(1) Therefore, holy brethren, sharers of the heavenly calling: fix your eyes up the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus,
Notice how the writer addresses the audience – Holy Brethren. This is not to sinners, but fellow Christians.
(2) Who is faithful to him that appointed him, as Moses was also faithful in all of his house.
(3) For this one was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, because the one having built the house has more honor than the house itself.
(4) For every house is built by someone; however, he that established all things must be God.
(5) And indeed Moses was faithful in all of his house as a trusted servant, serving as a testimony for those things which were to be spoken later,
(6) However, Christ as a son over his house, whose house we are — supposing we have held firmly, if we are joyfully fearless, and hold to our confident expectation to the end.
Again, notice the subtle warning. Hold firmly to the hope until the end (of our life) and we will be a part of the House of Christ, eternally.
(7) (For this reason, just as the holy spirit says: Today, if his voice you may hear —
(8) Stop hardening your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of testing in the wilderness,
(9) When your fathers put me to the test, examined me, and saw my work for forty years.
(10) For this reason, I was angry with that generation and said: They are always being led astray in their heart and they have not known my ways.
(11) So in my anger I swore: They shall not enter into my rest!)
The writer relates a history lesson to the audience, warning them through the example of Israel in the wilderness which some suffered irreversible apostasy. The Rest of the Lord was denied to them.
(12) Always watch, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief which apostatizes from the living God.
(13) Instead, build up one another daily, while it is called Today, lest any of you are made stubborn by the deception of sin,
(14) For we have become sharers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our assurance firm until the final consummation,
Again, the writer addresses his brothers and sisters in Christ, warning them – pleading with them – not to turn away from God. The Greek word here means to depart from, to incite to revolt. In the “New Testament this sense occurs in Acts 5:37; 15:38; 19:9. Decline from God is the meaning in Heb. 3:12. In 1 Tim. 4:1 apostasy involves capitulation to heretical beliefs as an eschatological phenomenon. An absolute use is found in Luke 8:13 and cf. Rev. 3:8. Only the personal use is important theologically, and in the LXX the term becomes almost a technical one for religious apostasy (Dt. 32:15; Jer. 3:14; Isa. 30:1), usually from God or the Lord, and leading to idolatry and immorality.
The writers urges his brothers and sisters, even us today, not to depart from the Living God, but to build each other up, so that in the very End of All Things, we will have assurance.
(15) While it is being said: Today, if you hear his voice, stop hardening your hearts as in the rebellion.
(16) Who were they that heard and yet were rebellious? However! Was it not all those who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses?
(17) And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
(18) And to whom did he swear that they should never enter his rest, but to those who were willingly disobedient?
(19) So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Again, this writer returns to the historical example as a warning. If this warning was hollow, then why go through this trouble? Is God, the very One who inspired these words, a God of shallow fear?