New American Standard Bible
For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
King James Bible
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
Darby Bible Translation
For indeed we have had glad tidings presented to us, even as they also; but the word of the report did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard.
World English Bible
For indeed we have had good news preached to us, even as they also did, but the word they heard didn't profit them, because it wasn't mixed with faith by those who heard.
Young's Literal Translation
for we also are having good news proclaimed, even as they, but the word heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard,
Hebrews 4:2 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For unto us was the gospel preached as well as unto them - This translation by no means conveys the sense of the original. According to this it would seem that the "gospel," as we understand it, or the whole plan of salvation, was communicated to "them," as well as to "us." But this is by no means the idea. The discussion has reference only to "the promise of rest," and the assertion of the apostle is that this "good news" of a promise of rest is made to us as really as it was made to "them." "Rest" was promised to them in the land of Canaan - an emblem of the eternal rest of the people of God. That was unquestioned, and Paul took it for granted. His object now is, to show that a promise of "rest" is as really made to us as it was to them, and that there is the same danger of failing to secure it as there was then. It was important for him to show that there was such a promise made to the people of God in his time, and as he was discoursing of those who were Hebrews, he of course made his appeal to the Old Testament. The literal translation would be, "For we are evangelized - ἐσμεν εὐηγγελισμένοι esmen euēngelismenoi - as well as they." The word "evangelize" means to communicate good news, or glad tidings; and the idea here is, that the good news, or glad tidings of "rest" is announced to us as really as it was to them. This the apostle proves in the following verses.
But the word preached - Margin, "Of hearing." The word "preach" we also use now in a technical sense as denoting a formal proclamation of the gospel by the ministers of religion. But this is not the idea here. It means, simply, the word which "they heard;" and refers particularly to the promise of "rest" which was made to them. That message was communicated to them by Moses.
Did not profit them - They derived no advantage from it. They rejected and despised it, and were, therefore, excluded from the promised land. It exerted no influence over their hearts and lives, and they lived and died as though no such promise had been made. Thus, many persons live and die now. The offer of salvation is made to them. They are invited to come and be saved. They are assured that God is willing to save them, and that the Redeemer stands with open arms to welcome them to heaven. They are trained up under the gospel; are led early in life to the sanctuary; are in the habit of attending on the preaching of the gospel all their days, but still what they hear exerts no saving influence on their hearts. At the close of life all that could be truly said of them is, that they have not been "profited;" it has been no real advantage to them in regard to their final destiny that they have enjoyed so many privileges.
Not being mixed with faith in them that heard it - Margin, "Or, because they were not united by faith to." There are some various readings on this text, and one of these has given occasion to the version in the margin. Many mss. instead of the common reading - συγκεκερασμένος sugkekerasmenos - by which the word "mixed" would be united to ὁ λόγος ho logos - "the word," have another reading - sugkekrame&noujsungkekramenous - according to which the word "mixed" would refer to "them," and would mean that they who heard the Word and rejected it were not "mixed," or united with those who believed it. The former reading makes the best sense, and is the best sustained; and the idea is, that the message which was preached was not received into the heart by faith. They were destitute of faith, and the message did not profit them. The word "mixed" is supposed by many of the best critics to refer to the process by which "food" is made nutritive, by being properly "mixed" with the saliva and the gastric juice, and thus converted into chyme, and chyle, and then changed into blood.
If suitably "mixed" in this manner, it contributes to the life and health of the physical frame; if not, it is the means of disease and death. So it is supposed the apostle meant to say of the message which God sends to man. If properly received; if mixed or united with faith, it becomes the means of spiritual support and life. If not, it furnishes no aliment to the soul, and will be of no advantage. As food when properly digested incorporates itself with the body, and gives it support, so those critics suppose it to be of the Word of God, that it incorporates itself with the internal and spiritual man, and gives it support and life. It may be doubted, however, whether the apostle had any such allusion as this, and whether it is not rather a refinement of the critics than of Paul. The word used here properly denotes a mixing or mingling together, like water and wine, 2 Macc. 15:39; a uniting together in proper proportions and order, as of the body, 1 Corinthians 12:24; and it may refer here merely to a proper "union" of faith with the word, in order that it might be profitable. The idea is, that merely to "hear" the message of life with the outward ear will be of no advantage. It must be "believed," or it will be of no benefit. The message is sent to mankind at large. God declares his readiness to save all. But this message is of no advantage to multitudes - for such reasons as these.
(1) Many do not attend to it at all. They do not even "listen" respectfully to it. Multitudes go not near the place where the gospel is proclaimed; and many, when there, and when they "seem" to attend, have their minds and hearts on other things.
(2) many do not "believe" it. They have doubts about the whole subject of religion, or about the particular doctrines of the gospel - and while they do not believe it, how can they be benefitted by it? How can a man be profited by the records of "history" if he does not believe them? How can one be benefited by the truths of "science" if he does not believe them? And if a man was assured that by going to a certain place he might close a bargain that would be a great advantage to him, of what use would this information be to him if he did not believe a word of it? So of the knowledge of salvation; the facts of the history recorded in the Bible; the offer of eternal life.
(3) men do not allow the message of life to influence their conduct, and of course it is of no advantage to them. Of what use can it be if they steadily resist all the influence which it would have, and ought to have, on their lives? They live as though it were ascertained that there is no truth in the Bible; no reason for being influenced by the offered hope of eternal life, or alarmed by the threatened danger of eternal death. Resolved to pursue a course of life that is at variance with the commands of God, they cannot be profited by the message of salvation. Having no faith which influences and controls the heart, they are not in the least benefited by the offer of heaven. When they die, their condition is in no wise made better by the fact that they were trained up in a pious family; that they were instructed in the Sunday School; that they had the Bible in their dwellings, and that they sat regularly under a preached gospel. For any "advantage" to be derived from all this in the future world, they might as well have never heard the message of life. Nay it would have been better for them. The only effect of these privileges is to harden them in guilt, and to sink them deeper in hell; see the notes, 2 Corinthians 2:16.
LibraryApril 23. "An High Priest Touched with the Feeling of Our Infirmities" (Heb. Iv. 15).
"An high priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb. iv. 15). Some time ago we were talking with a greatly suffering sister about healing, who was much burdened physically and desirous of being able to trust the Lord for deliverance. After a little conversation we prayed with her, committing her case to the Lord for absolute trust and deliverance as she was prepared to claim. As soon as we closed our prayer she grasped our hand, and asked us to unite with her in the burden that was …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
The Power of God's Word to Convict Men of Sin.
The Great High-Priest.
"But for all this, you did not trust the LORD your God,
What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?
1 Thessalonians 2:13
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?
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