Hebrews 3:7
Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
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(7) Wherefore.—Since without steadfastness all will be lost. With the words introducing the quotation compare Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 10:15.

Whether the marks of parenthesis here introduced in our ordinary Bibles (not inserted by the translators of 1611) express the true connection of the verses is a question very hard to decide, and one that does not admit of full discussion here. It is very possible that the writer (like St. Paul in Romans 15:3; Romans 15:21; 1Corinthians 1:31) may have merged his own exhortation in that which the quotation supplies (Hebrews 3:8); and the objection that Hebrews 3:12 would naturally in that case have been introduced by some connective word is shown to be groundless by such passages as Hebrews 8:13; Hebrews 10:23; Hebrews 12:7; Hebrews 12:25. On the other hand, if we connect “Wherefore,” in this verse, with “Take heed” in Hebrews 3:12, we have greater regularity of structure—a strong argument in this Epistle. It seems unlikely, moreover, that the writer (whose tenderness of tone and sympathy are so manifest in his words of warning) would at this stage adopt as his own the stringent and general exhortation, “harden not your hearts:” the spirit of Hebrews 3:12 (“lest haply there shall be in any one of you”) is altogether different. On the whole, therefore, it seems best to consider Hebrews 3:7 (“To-day . . .”) to Hebrews 3:11 (“. . . my rest”) as a pure quotation, enforcing the warning that follows.

Psalms 95, the latter part of which (Hebrews 3:7-11) is here cited, is in the LXX. ascribed to David, but is probably of later date. (As to Hebrews 4:7, see the Note.) In most important respects the words of the quotation agree with the Greek version, and with the Hebrew text. The chief exceptions will be noted as they occur.

To day if ye will hear his voice.—Rather, To-day if ye shall hear (literally, shall have heard) His voice. The Greek will not allow the sense in which the words are naturally taken by the English reader, “if ye are willing to hear.” The meaning of the Hebrew words is either—(1) “To-day, oh that ye would hearken to (that is, obey) His voice!” or, (2) “To-day if ye hearken to His voice.” The “voice” is that which speaks in the following verses. As the words stand before us, the Psalmist does not formally complete the sentence here commenced (“if ye shall hear . . .”). He introduces the divine words of warning, but adds none in his own person. The entreaty “Harden not your hearts” is at once the utterance of the divine voice and the expression of his own urgent prayer. Other passages in which the hardening of the heart is spoken of as the work of man himself are Exodus 9:34; 1Samuel 6:6; Proverbs 28:14.

Hebrews 3:7-9. Having demonstrated the pre-eminence of Christ above Moses in their respective ministries, the apostle, according to his design and usual method, now proceeds to the application of the truth he had evinced, in an exhortation to stability and constancy in faith and obedience. And this he does in a way that adds double force to his exhortation, in that he both reminds them of, and urges upon them the words, testimonies, and examples recorded in the Old Testament, to which they professed a special deference and subjection; and also in that the nature of the example, which he insists upon, is such as supplies him with a new argument for his purpose. Now this is taken from God’s conduct toward them, who were disobedient under the ministry of Moses, which he further explains, Hebrews 3:15-19. For if God dealt in severity with them who were unbelieving and disobedient, with respect to him who was but a servant in the house, they might easily learn from this what his displeasure would be toward those who should behave so with respect to the Son, who is Lord over the whole house, and whose property all the members of it are. Wherefore — This word shows that what follows is an inference from what precedes; as the Holy Ghost saith — The expression is emphatical, το πνευμα το αγιον, that Spirit, that Holy Spirit, so called by way of eminence; who in an especial manner spake in and by the penmen of the sacred Scriptures, 2 Peter 1:21. The words here quoted are taken from Psalm 95:7, which the apostle tells us (Hebrews 4:7) was written by David. Hence we learn that David wrote his Psalms by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, as our Lord likewise testifies, Matthew 22:43. “The judgments of God executed on sinners in ages past, being designed for the reproof and instruction of those who come after, the Holy Ghost, by David, very properly founded his exhortation to the people of that age upon the sin and punishment of their fathers in the wilderness. And the apostle, for the same reason, fitly applied the words, which the Holy Ghost spake to the people by David, to the Hebrews in his day, to prevent them from hardening their hearts when they heard God’s voice speaking to them in the gospel of his Son.” To-day — Now, at the present time, while the season of grace lasts, and you are favoured with the means thereof; if ye will hear his voice — If ye ever intend, or will consent to do it; harden not your hearts — By inattention, by thoughtlessness, by unbelief, and disobedience. Observe, reader, God speaks by his works, particularly those of creation, providence, and grace, and in and by his word; and to hear him, implies that we hearken to, understand, believe, and obey him; and instead of rejecting his counsel, that we suffer it to enter into our hearts, so as to influence our spirits and conduct; as in the provocation Παραπικρασμω, bitter provocation; that is, as the Israelites hardened their hearts when they provoked me by their strife and murmurings. See Exodus 16:4; Exodus 17:2-9; Exodus 32:10; Numbers 10:33; Numbers 11:3; Numbers 11:33; Numbers 11:35; Numbers 12:16; Numbers 13:25-32; Numbers 14:4-22; Deuteronomy 1:6-7; Deuteronomy 1:19-22; Deuteronomy 1:34-35; Deuteronomy 2:14; Deuteronomy 9:7; Deuteronomy 32:51; 1 Corinthians 10:4. In short, their whole story manifests a continued scene of provocation. When — Or where, rather, as the Syriac and Vulgate read the words; for the word when would imply that, at the time of the bitter provocation chiefly referred to, the Israelites had seen God’s works forty years, contrary to the history, which shows that that provocation happened in the beginning of the third year from the going out of Egypt: whereas to read where instead of when, agreeably to the matter of fact, represents God as saying by David, that the Israelites tempted him in the wilderness during forty years, notwithstanding all that time they had seen his miracles. The tempting God, here spoken of, consisted in their calling in question his presence with them, their distrusting his power to help and save them, or his faithfulness to his promises; or their despising ordinary means of help and deliverance, and desiring extraordinary. See note on Psalm 95:8-9; Matthew 4:7; and proved me — Put my patience to the proof, even while they saw my glorious works both of judgment and mercy; or had proof by experience of my power, providence, goodness, and faithfulness, and that for forty years.

3:7-13 Days of temptation are often days of provocation. But to provoke God, when he is letting us see that we entirely depend and live upon him, is a provocation indeed. The hardening of the heart is the spring of all other sins. The sins of others, especially of our relations, should be warnings to us. All sin, especially sin committed by God's professing, privileged people, not only provokes God, but it grieves him. God is loth to destroy any in, or for their sin; he waits long to be gracious to them. But sin, long persisted in, will make God's wrath discover itself in destroying the impenitent; there is no resting under the wrath of God. Take heed: all who would get safe to heaven must look about them; if once we allow ourselves to distrust God, we may soon desert him. Let those that think they stand, take heed lest they fall. Since to-morrow is not ours, we must make the best improvement of this day. And there are none, even the strongest of the flock, who do not need help of other Christians. Neither are there any so low and despised, but the care of their standing in the faith, and of their safety, belongs to all. Sin has so many ways and colours, that we need more eyes than ours own. Sin appears fair, but is vile; it appears pleasant, but is destructive; it promises much, but performs nothing. The deceitfulness of sin hardens the soul; one sin allowed makes way for another; and every act of sin confirms the habit. Let every one beware of sin.Wherefore - In view of the fact that the Author of the Christian dispensation has a rank far superior to that of Moses. Because Christ has claims on us far greater than those which Moses had, let us hearken to his voice, and dread his displeasure.

As the Holy Ghost saith - In Psalm 95:7-11. This is full proof that in the estimation of the author of this Epistle the writer of this Psalm was inspired. The Holy Spirit speaks through the word which he has revealed. The apostle quotes this passage and applies it to those whom he addressed, because the admonition was as pertinent and important under the Christian dispensation, as it was under the Jewish. The danger of hardening the heart by neglecting to hear his voice was as great, and the consequences would be as fearful and alarming. We should regard the solemn warnings in the Old Testament against sin, and against the danger of apostasy, as addressed by the Holy Spirit to us. They are as applicable to us as they were to those to whom they were at first addressed; and we need all the influence of such appeals, to keep us from apostasy as much as they did.

Today - Now; at present. At the very time when the command is addressed to you. It is not to be put off until tomorrow. All God's commands relate to "the present" - to this day - to the passing moment. He gives us no commands "about the future." He does not require us to repent and to turn to him "tomorrow," or 10 years hence. The reasons are obvious:

(1) Duty pertains to the present. It is our duty to turn from sin, and to love him now.

(2) we know not that we shall live to another day. A command, therefore, could not extend to that time unless it were accompanied with "a revelation" that we should live until then - and such a revelation God does not choose to give. Every one, therefore, should feel that whatever commands God addresses to him are addressed to him now. Whatever guilt he incurs by neglecting those commands is incurred now. For the present neglect and disobedience each one is to answer - and each one must give account to God for what he does today.

If ye will hear - In case you are willing to hearken to God, listen now, and do not defer it to a future period. There is much in a "willingness" to hear the voice of God. A willingness to learn is usually the precursor of great attainments in knowledge. A "willingness" to reform, is usually the precursor of reformation. Get a man "willing" to break off his habits of profaneness or intemperance, and usually all the rest is easy. The great difficulty in the mind of a sinner is in his will. He is unwilling to hear the voice of God; unwilling that he should reign over him; unwilling now to attend to religion. While this unwillingness lasts he will make no efforts, and he sees, or creates a thousand difficulties in the way of his becoming a Christian. But when that unwillingness is overcome, and he is disposed to engage in the work of religion, difficulties vanish, and the work of salvation becomes easy.

His voice - The voice of God speaking to us:

(1) in his written word;

(2) in the preached gospel;

(3) in our own consciences;

(4) in the events of his Providence;

(5) in the admonitions of our relatives and friends. Whatever conveys to us the truth of God, or is adapted to impress that on us, may be regarded as "his voice" speaking to us. He thus speaks to us "every day" in some of these ways; and every day, therefore, he may entreat us not to harden our hearts.

7-11. Exhortation from Ps 95:7-11, not through unbelief to lose participation in the spiritual house. Seeing that we are the house of God if we hold fast our confidence … (Heb 3:6). Jesus is "faithful," be not ye unfaithful (Heb 3:2, 12). The sentence beginning with "wherefore," interrupted by the parenthesis confirming the argument from Ps 95:7-11, is completed at Heb 3:12, "Take heed," &c.

Holy Ghost saith—by the inspired Psalmist; so that the words of the latter are the words of God Himself.

To-day—at length; in David's day, as contrasted with the days of Moses in the wilderness, and the whole time since then, during which they had been rebellious against God's voice; as for instance, in the wilderness (Heb 3:8). The Psalm, each fresh time when used in public worship, by "to-day," will mean the particular day when it was, or is, used.


his voice—of grace.

The Spirit enforceth his counsel for those Hebrews’ improvement of his doctrine about the gospel Prophet, by alleging a sad example of their fathers refusing to hear and obey him, from Hebrews 3:7-11. The allegation might be best placed in parenthesis, and the introductive illative particle:

Wherefore, may refer to Hebrews 3:12: Take heed, brethren.

As the Holy Ghost saith; as the Spirit, the Holy One, that third relation in the Trinity, whose essence is holiness, is the author of what the psalmist doth write, and is here quoted by him, Psalm 95:7-11. So that the example registered is true and infallible, and should suitably affect them, reading it.

To-day if ye will hear his voice; every present time, wherein the great Builder and Lord of God’s church speaketh to them; God would not have a hearer of his Prophet to procrastinate a day, but to be exercising all those internal acts, which this word of sense hear doth comprehend, such as reacheth the heart as well as the ear; if you will attend, intend, believe, love, and obey; a hearing better than all external sacrifices, 1 Samuel 15:22. The angel of the covenant speaking his mind and will to them by Moses and the prophets, which was for the matter of it faith in God’s covenant, made with them in and through Christ, Psalm 95:7: compare Exodus 23:20-23.

Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith,.... In Psalm 95:7

today if you will hear his voice; either the precepts of Christ, to hear which is to obey them; and this is an acknowledgment to Christ as King of saints, and is a testimony of love to him, and is wellpleasing in his sight; and in which the saints find pleasure themselves, and profit also: or the Gospel of Christ, which is a voice of love, grace, and mercy; of peace and reconciliation; of pardon and righteousness; of liberty, redemption, and salvation by Christ; and to hear it, is not only to hear it externally, but internally, so as to understand it, and distinguish it from the voice of a stranger, and to approve of it, and believe it, and put in practice what is heard: and "today" may intend some festival day in David's time, when, and on account of which, this psalm was penned; as the feast of tabernacles, which was a type of Christ tabernacling in human nature; or it may regard the time of man's life, while it is day, or the present instant of life: or rather the whole Gospel dispensation. The psalm from whence these and some following words are taken, belongs to the Messiah; for the person the subject of it, is called the rock of our salvation; and every thing in it is applicable to him; as the ascription of deity, and divine worship; the creation and preservation of the universe; yea, he is represented as a shepherd, and the saints as his sheep; which plainly points at the office of Christ; and these very words are often made use of by the Jews, and applied to the Messiah, showing that if the Jews would repent but one day, or keep the sabbath but one day, the son of David, the Messiah, would come; since it is said, "today if you will hear his voice" (d); which the Chaldee paraphrase renders "his Word", his essential Word, the Lord Jesus Christ.

(d) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 98. 1. Shemot Rabba, sect. 25. fol. 109. 3. & Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 19. 3.

Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye {f} will hear his voice,

(f) So that God was to speak once again after Moses.

to Hebrews 4:13Hebrews 3:7 to Hebrews 4:13. The author, in detailed development of the paraenesis already contained in Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 3:6, warns against unbelief and apostasy, making the basis of this warning the admonitory utterance of Scripture in Psalm 95:7-11; and by means of a parallelizing of the people of God of the present time, i.e. the Christians, with the people of God of Moses’ day, i.e. the Israelite fathers in the wilderness,—a parallelizing equally suggested by this passage of Scripture as by the preceding comparison of Christ with Moses,—he sets forth before the eyes of his readers the fate of the ancient people of God, who because of their unbelief were consigned to destruction, that the readers may earnestly ponder thereon.

Hebrews 3:7. Διό] Wherefore, i.e. either: because Christ stands higher than Moses (so Carpzov, Zachariae, Böhme, Stuart, Kurtz, and Woerner; comp. already Schlichting), or, which is better: because we are the οἶκος of God, only in the case that we hold fast the παῤῥησία and the καύχημα of the Christian hope unto the end (Hebrews 3:6). The tempus finitum belonging to Διό is βλέπετε, Hebrews 3:12 (Erasmus, Annott.; Calvin, Estius, Piscator, Pareus, Grotius, Owen, Seb. Schmidt, Limborch, Bengel, Peirce, Carpzov, Wetstein, Abresch, Zachariae, Böhme, Bleek, Bisping, Alford, Kurtz, Woerner, al.), in such wise that καθὼςκατάπαυσίν μου forms an intervening clause. The length of the intervening clause, at which de Wette takes umbrage, decides nothing against the supposition of such construction, which at all events possesses the advantage of greater regularity and naturalness, since the author, owing to the care which he everywhere bestows upon his diction, in other cases, too, accurately fits in his discourse again to the opening words of the proposition, notwithstanding the occurrence of lengthy intervening clauses. Comp. Hebrews 7:20-22, Hebrews 12:18-24. That, moreover, which de Wette further objects, that in the intervening clause the discourse takes a new departure with διό, Hebrews 3:10, forms no valid counter-argument, since the connectedness of the preceding and following words as part of a Biblical citation follows naturally. In any case, Hebrews 3:10 connects itself with that which precedes, without a new beginning, in a simply relative fashion, if—as we are perfectly justified in doing—we write διʼ ὅ instead of διό. When de Wette, finally, discovers a difficulty in the fact that the warning, Hebrews 3:12-13, does not appear in the form of a simple application of the passage of Scripture, but, on the contrary, begins with an analysis of the same, this also is without weight, inasmuch as the correctness of this assumed fact must itself be contested. In addition to this, if the author had conceived of the structure otherwise than has been indicated, he would assuredly have placed βλέπετε οὖν, Hebrews 3:12, instead of the disconnected βλέπετε. For neither is it permissible to appeal (with Tholuck) to the disconnected βλέπετε, Hebrews 12:25, in proof of the opposite, since this passage, on account of the rhetorical character of the description which there immediately precedes, is totally different from ours. Others, as Schlichting, Jac. Cappellus, Wittich, Heinrichs, Kuinoel, Klee, Stein, Stengel, Ebrard, Bloomfield, Delitzsch, Reuss, and Hofmann, connect διό immediately with μὴ σκληρύνητε, in connection with which, however, the direct address of God, coming in Hebrews 3:9 ff., occasions a great harshness; or else, as Tholuck, de Wette, and Maier, who appeal to Romans 15:3; Romans 15:21, 1 Corinthians 1:31; 1 Corinthians 2:9, leave the application μὴ σκληρύνετε τὰς καρδίας ὑμῶν to be supplied in thought from these words; or, finally, supplement διό in a somewhat free manner: therefore conduct yourselves in accordance with that which the Holy Ghost speaks.

τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον] the Spirit of God in prophecy; comp. Hebrews 9:8, Hebrews 10:15.

σήμερον ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε] is in the Hebrew (הַיּו̇ם אִם־בְּקֹלֹו תִשְׁמָעוּ) an independent clause, and the expression of a wish: “would that you would only to-day listen to His (God’s) voice!” It is possible that the LXX. also understood the words as a wish, since elsewhere, too (e.g. Psalm 139:19), they render the particle of wishing, אִם, by ἐάν. Differently, however, does the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews take the words (against Hofmann). He regards ἐάν as the protasis, and μὴ σκληρύνητε as the apodosis; comp. Hebrews 3:15; Hebrews 4:7.

In the application σήμερον denotes the time of salvation which has come in with the appearing of Christ upon earth, and ἡ φωνὴ αὐτοῦ the voice of God which through Christ sounds forth to the readers by means of the gracious message of the gospel.

Διὸ, “wherefore,” since it is only by holding fast our confidence to the end, that we continue to be the house of Christ and enjoy His faithful oversight, cf. Hebrews 3:14. Διὸ was probably intended to be immediately followed by βλέπετε (Hebrews 3:12) “wherefore take heed,” but a quotation is introduced from Psalms 95 which powerfully enforces the βλέπετε. Or it may be that διὸ connects with μὴ σκληρύνητε, but the judicious bracketing of the quotation by the A.V. is to be preferred. The quotation is introduced by words which lend weight to it, καθὼς λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον, a form of citation not found elsewhere in exactly the same terms, but in Hebrews 10:15 we find the similar form μαρτυρεῖ δὲ ἡμῖν τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγ. Cf. also Hebrews 9:8. Agabus uses it of his own words (Acts 21:11). In 1 Timothy 4:1 we have τὸ δὲ Πνεῦμα ῥητῶς λέγει cf. Revelation 2-3. “It is a characteristic of the Epistle that the words of Holy Scripture are referred to the Divine Author, not to the human instrument” (Westcott). The Psalm (95) is ascribed to David in Hebrews 4:7 as in the LXX it is called αἶνος ᾠδῆς τῷ Δαυίδ, although in the Hebrew it is not so ascribed. The quotation contains Hebrews 3:7-11.

Σήμερον, “to-day” is in the first instance, the “to-day” present to the writer of the psalm, and expresses the thought that God’s offers had not been withdrawn although rejected by those to whom they had long ago been made. But Delitzsch adduces passages which show that σήμερον in this psalm was understood by the synagogue to refer to the second great day of redemption. “The history of redemption knows but of two great turning points, that of the first covenant and that of the new” (Davidson). And what the writer to the Hebrews fears is that the second announcement of promise may be disregarded as the first. Force is lent to his fears by the fact that the forty years of the Messiah’s waiting from 30–70 A.D., when Jerusalem was to be destroyed, were fast running out. The fate of the exasperating Israelites in the wilderness received an ominous significance in presence of the obduracy of the generation which had heard the voice of Christ Himself.

ἐὰν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε, “if ye shall hear His voice” (R.V., Vaughan); not “if ye will hearken to His voice.” The sense is, “If God should be pleased, after so much inattention on our part, to speak again, see that ye give heed to Him”.

7. Wherefore] The verb which depends on this conjunction is delayed by the quotation, but is practically found in Hebrews 3:12, “Take heed.” Christ was faithful: therefore take heed that ye be not unfaithful.

as the Holy Ghost saith] For this form of quotation see Mark 12:36; Acts 1:16; 2 Peter 1:21.

To day if ye will hear his voice] Rather, “if ye hear,” or “shall have heard.” The quotation is from Psalm 95:7-11, and the word means “Oh that ye would hear His voice!”; but the LXX. often renders the Hebrew im by “if.” The “to-day” is always the Scripture day of salvation, which is now, 2 Corinthians 6:2; Isaiah 55:6. “If any man hear my voice … I will come in to him,” Revelation 3:20. The sense of the Imminent Presence of God which reigns throughout the prophecies of the O. T. as well as in the N. T. (Hebrews 10:37; Hebrews 1:2. Thess.; 1 Peter 1:5, &c.) is beautifully illustrated in the Talmudic story of the Rabbi (Sanhedrin 98. 1) who went to the Messiah by direction of Elijah, and asked him when he would come; and He answered “to-day.” But before the Rabbi could return to Elijah the sun had set, and he asked “Has Messiah then deceived me?” “No,” answered Elijah; “he meant ‘Today if ye hear His voice.’ ”

7–19. A solemn warning against hardening the heart

[This constant interweaving of warning and exhortation with argument is characteristic of this Epistle. These passages (Hebrews 2:1-4, Hebrews 3:7-19, Hebrews 4:1-14, Hebrews 6:1-9, Hebrews 10:19-39) cannot, however, be called digressions, because they belong to the object which the writer had most distinctly in view—namely, to check a tendency to relapse from the Gospel into Judaism].

Hebrews 3:7. Διὸ, wherefore) A choice inference, and the strength of this whole passage. Jesus is πιστὸς, faithful: be not ye ἄπιστοι, unfaithful, Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:12—[24] λέγει τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, the Holy Ghost saith) So ch. Hebrews 9:8, Hebrews 10:15.—σήμερονΤΕΣΣΑΡΆΚΟΝΤΑ ἜΤΗ· ΔΙῸ ΠΡΟΣΏΧΘΙΣΑΚΑῚ ΕἾΠΑ, ἈΕῚ) Psalm 95:7, at the end; LXX., ΣΉΜΕΡΟΝΤΕΣΣΡΆΚΟΝΤΑ ἜΤΗ ΠΡΟΣΏΧΘΙΣΑ. The word ΣΉΜΕΡΟΝ, to-day, is an expression of David’s, and is opposed to that day, which was in the time of Moses, Hebrews 3:8.—ἐὰν, if) If you will obediently hear His voice. Under this hearing, there is included any sort of hearing whatever, Hebrews 3:16, ch. Hebrews 4:2. The force of this clause (hemistich) is joined in the Hebrew with what goes before, and thence it redounds upon what follows.—φωνῆς, voice) which is full of grace, in these words of the prophet, to be heard on that very account.

[24] Καθὼς, even as) The Apodosis is at Hebrews 3:12.—Not. Crit.

Verses 7-11. - Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. The warning, thus led up to, is now introduced by a long quotation from Psalm 95, which is cited at length, because the writer is about to dwell on its whole significance in the remainder of this and also in the succeeding chapter. The warning is connected by διὸ with the conclusion of ver. 6. Since our continuing to be God's house is on the condition of our steadfastness, therefore beware of failing, as the Israelites referred to by the psalmist did. With regard to the construction of the passage, there is some difficulty in discovering the apodosis to the initiatory καθὼς ("as saith the Holy Ghost"). It seems best to suppose one understood, being suggested by "harden not your hearts," which occurs m the midst of the quotation. Sentences thus grammatically incomplete are in the style of St. Paul. Otherwise the apodosis must be found in βλέπετε (ver. 12), the long intervening passage being parenthetical. It is, after all, only a question of grammatical construction; in any case the general meaning is clear. As to the successive clauses of the quotation from Psalm 95. (vers. 7-11), it is to be observed that

(1) "If ye will hear his voice" may probably mean in the Hebrew, "Oh that ye would hear his voice!" But the Greek of the LXX., cited in the Epistle, is capable of the same meaning. Here, again, the meaning of the particular phrase does not affect the drift of the passage.

(2) "Harden not your hearts" expresses the abjuration which ensues from resistance of grace. Elsewhere such judicial hardening is attributed to God; as when he is said to have hardened Pharaoh's heart (cf. Isaiah 6:9, etc.; Matthew 13:13). The two modes of expression involve no difference of doctrine. It is God's doing as being judicial; man's as being due to his own perversity. As in the provocation, in the day of the temptation in the wilderness. Here κατὰ τὴν ἡμέραν, which is from the LXX., may mean "at the time of" (cf. Acts 16:25, κατὰ τὸ μεσονύκτιον), or "according to," i.e. "after the manner of." The former agrees best with the Hebrew psalm, which has "As at Meribah, as on the day of Massah in the wilderness," referring to the two places called by these names from what occurred there, when the people murmured for want of water. The first occurrence was at Rephidim, in the wilderness of Sin, at the commencement of the wandering (Exodus 17:1-8); the second was in the wilderness of Zin, near Kadesh, towards the end of the forty years (Numbers 20:1-14). Both names are assigned to the former place in Exodus 17:7; but elsewhere they are distinguished (see Deuteronomy 33:8). In the text, following the LXX., equivalents of the Hebrew names are given, Massah being rendered literally by πειρασμός: Meribah (equivalent to "strife ") by the unusual word παραπικρασμός, which occurs only here and in the psalm, though the verb παραπικραίνω is common in the LXX. The root of the word being πικρὸς ("bitter"), it may possibly have been suggested by the occurrence at Marah (equivalent to "bitterness"), where there was also a murmuring about water (Exodus 15:23), πικρία being the LXX. equivalent of Marah.

(3) When (οῦ in the sense of ὅπου, as is common in the LXX. and New Testament) your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. In place of the reading of the Textus Receptus, ἐδοκιμασάν με ("proved me"), which agrees with the LXX., the authority of manuscripts is in favor of ἐν δοκιμασίᾳ. This again, like the ether variations of reading, is of no importance with regard to the meaning. But further, in the original Hebrew, and apparently in the LXX., "forty years" is connected with the clause that follows: "forty years long was I grieved," etc.; whereas, in the text, the interposition of διὸ at the beginning of ver. 10, necessitates its connection with "saw my works." It is possible that the writer of the Epistle intended a reference to the corresponding forty years from the manifestation of Christ to the destruction of Jerusalem, which were drawing to their close at the time of writing, and during which the Israelites of his day were trying God by their rejection of the gospel, or, in the case of some of the believers addressed, by their wavering allegiance to it. The supposition that this idea was in the writer's mind is supported by the fact that Jewish writers refer to the psalm as assigning forty years for the days of the Messiah (see reference in Bleek, Delitzsch, Alford, etc.). That the writer had an intention in his variation from the original is the more likely from his following it correctly afterwards in ver. 17.

(4) As I sware in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest. The reference here is to Numbers 14:21, etc., beginning with the Divine oath, "As truly as I live," which is again repeated in ver. 28. The occasion was not the murmuring either at Massah or at Meribah, but the general rebellion of the whole congregation after the return of the spies, betokening a universal spirit of ἀπιστία (cf. ver. 19). "If they shall enter (εἰ εἰσελεύσονται) "is an elliptical form of oath, expressing strong negation. Hebrews 3:7Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith (διὸ καθὼς λέγει τὸ πνεῦμα τὸ ἅγιον)

See on Hebrews 1:6. The formula the Spirit the holy (Spirit) is common in the N.T. with the exception of the Catholic Epistles, where it does not occur. The construction of the passage is as follows: Διὸ wherefore is connected with βλέπετε take heed, Hebrews 3:12. The point is the writer's warning, not the warning of the citation. The whole citation including the introductory formula, down to rest, Hebrews 3:11, is parenthetical.

Today if ye will hear his voice (σήμερον ἐάν τῆς φωνῆς αὐτοῦ ἀκούσητε)

The Hebrew reads, O that you would hear his voice today. Today is prophetically interpreted by the writer as referring to the Christian present, the time of salvation inaugurated by the appearance of Christ.

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