|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:1-10 The privileges we have under the gospel, are greater than any had under the law of Moses, though the same gospel for substance was preached under both Testaments. There have been in all ages many unprofitable hearers; and unbelief is at the root of all unfruitfulness under the word. Faith in the hearer is the life of the word. But it is a painful consequence of partial neglect, and of a loose and wavering profession, that they often cause men to seem to come short. Let us then give diligence, that we may have a clear entrance into the kingdom of God. As God finished his work, and then rested from it, so he will cause those who believe, to finish their work, and then to enjoy their rest. It is evident, that there is a more spiritual and excellent sabbath remaining for the people of God, than that of the seventh day, or that into which Joshua led the Jews. This rest is, a rest of grace, and comfort, and holiness, in the gospel state. And a rest in glory, where the people of God shall enjoy the end of their faith, and the object of all their desires. The rest, or sabbatism, which is the subject of the apostle's reasoning, and as to which he concludes that it remains to be enjoyed, is undoubtedly the heavenly rest, which remains to the people of God, and is opposed to a state of labour and trouble in this world. It is the rest they shall obtain when the Lord Jesus shall appear from heaven. But those who do not believe, shall never enter into this spiritual rest, either of grace here or glory hereafter. God has always declared man's rest to be in him, and his love to be the only real happiness of the soul; and faith in his promises, through his Son, to be the only way of entering that rest.
Verses 8, 9. - For if Joshua had given them rest, he would not have spoken afterward of another day. The conclusion is now drawn: There remaineth therefore a sabbath rest for the people of God; the true nature of the rest intended being beautifully denoted by the word σαββατισμὸς, which refers to the Divine rest "from the foundation of the world," while the offer of it to true believers always, and not to the Israelites only, is intimated by the phrase, "the people of God."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For if Jesus had given them rest,.... That is, Joshua; for Hosheah, Joshua, and Jesus, are one and the same name; or Jesus himself, as two of Stephens's copies read; and so Joshua is called Jesus by the Septuagint interpreters on Exodus 17:10 and other places where he is mentioned; and also, by Josephus (h), and Philo (i) the Jew. The Syriac version, lest any should mistake this for Jesus Christ, adds, "the son of Nun": who is certainly the person designed, as the apostle's reasoning shows; who was an eminent type of Jesus Christ: there is an agreement in their names, both signify a saviour, Joshua was a temporal saviour, Christ a spiritual one; and in their office they were both servants; and in their qualifications for their office, such as wisdom, courage, faithfulness, and integrity. Joshua was a type of Christ in many actions of his life; in the miracles he wrought, or were wrought for him; in the battles he fought, and the victories he obtained; in saving Rahab and her family; in receiving the Gibeonites, who came submissively to him; and in leading the children of Israel into Canaan's land, which he divided to them by lot: but though he brought them into a land of rest, into the typical rest, where they had rest for a while from their temporal enemies, yet he did not give them the true spiritual rest: had he,
then would he not afterward have spoken of another day; that is, God, in David's time, and by him, would not have so long after appointed another day of rest; meaning, not any particular day of the week, but the whole Gospel dispensation, in the times of the Messiah; wherefore the apostle concludes as follows.
(h) Antiqu. Jud. l. 4. c. 7. sect. 2. c. 8. sect. 46, 47, 48. & l. 5. c. 1. sect. 1. & passim. (i) De Charitate, p. 698, 699, 700.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Answer to the objection which might be made to his reasoning, namely, that those brought into Canaan by Joshua (so "Jesus" here means, as in Ac 7:45) did enter the rest of God. If the rest of God meant Canaan, God would not after their entrance into that land, have spoken (or speak [Alford]) of another (future) day of entering the rest.
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