New American Standard Bible
For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, "AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST," although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.
King James Bible
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Darby Bible Translation
For we enter into the rest who have believed; as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, If they shall enter into my rest; although the works had been completed from the foundation of the world.
World English Bible
For we who have believed do enter into that rest, even as he has said, "As I swore in my wrath, they will not enter into my rest;" although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
Young's Literal Translation
for we do enter into the rest -- we who did believe, as He said, 'So I sware in My anger, If they shall enter into My rest -- ;' and yet the works were done from the foundation of the world,
Hebrews 4:3 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
For we which have believed do enter into rest - That is, it is a certain fact that believers "will" enter into rest. That promise is made to "believers;" and as we have evidence that "we" come under the denomination of believers, it will follow that we have the offer of rest as well as they. That this is so, the apostle proceeds to prove; that is, he proceeds to show from the Old Testament that there was a promise to "believers" that they would enter into rest. Since there was such a promise, and since there was danger that by unbelief that "rest" might be lost, he proceeds to show them the danger, and to warn them of it.
As he said ... - see Hebrews 3:11. The meaning of this passage is this. "God made a promise of rest to those who believe. They to whom the offer was first made failed, and did not enter in. It must follow, therefore, that the offer extended to others, since God designed that some should enter in, or that it should not he provided in vain. To them it was a solemn declaration that unbelievers should not enter in, and this implied that believers would. "As we now," says he, "sustain the character of "believers," it follows that to us the promise of rest is now made and we may partake of it."
If they shall enter ... - That is, they shall "not" enter in; see Hebrews 3:11. The "rest" here spoken of as reserved for Christians must be different from that of the promised land. It is something that pertains to Christians now, and it must, therefore, refer to the "rest" that remains in heaven.
Although the works were finished ... - This is a difficult expression. What works are referred to? it may be asked. How does this bear on the subject under discussion? How can it be a proof that there remains a "rest" to those who believe now? This was the point to be demonstrated; and this passage was designed clearly to bear on that point. As it is in our translation, the passage seems to make no sense whatever. Tyndale renders it, "And that spake he verily long after that the works were made from the foundation of the world laid;" which makes much better sense than our translation. Doddridge explains it as meaning, "And this may lead us further to reflect on what is said elsewhere concerning his works as they were finished from the foundation of the world." But it is difficult to see why they should reflect on his works just then, and how this would bear on the case in hand. Prof. Stuart supposes that the word "rest" must be understood here before "works," and translates it, "Shall not enter into my rest, to wit, rest from the works which were performed when the world was founded." Prof. Robinson (Lexicon) explains it as meaning, "The rest here spoken of, 'my rest,' could not have been God's resting from his works Genesis 2:2, for this rest, the Sabbath, had already existed from the creation of the world." Dr. John P. Wilson (ms. notes) renders it, "For we who have believed, do enter into rest (or a cessation) indeed (καίτοι kaitoi) of the works done (among people) from the beginning of the world." Amidst this variety of interpretation it is difficult to determine the true sense. But perhaps the main thought may be collected from the following remarks:
(1) The Jews as the people of God had a rest promised them in the land of Canaan. Of that they failed by their unbelief.
(2) the purpose of the apostle was to prove that there was a similar promise made to the people of God long subsequent to that, and to which "all" his people were invited.
(3) that rest was not that of the promised land, it was such as "God had himself" when he had finished the work of creation. That was especially "his rest" - the rest of God, without toil, or weariness, and after his whole "work" was finished.
(4) his people were invited to the same "rest" - the rest of God - to partake of his felicity; to enter into that bliss which "he" enjoyed when he had finished the work of creation. The happiness of the saints was to be "like" that. It was to be "in their case" also a rest from toil - to be enjoyed at the end of all that "they" had to do.
To prove that Christians were to attain to "such" a rest, was the purpose which the apostle had in view - showing that it was a general doctrine pertaining to believers in every age, that there was a promise of rest for them. I would then regard the middle clause of this verse as a parenthesis, and render the whole, "For we who are believers shall enter into rest - (the rest) indeed which occurred when the works were finished at the foundation of the world - as he said (in one place) as I have sworn in my wrath they shall not enter into my rest." That was the true rest - such rest or repose as "God" had when he finished the work of creation - such as he has now in heaven. This gives the highest possible idea of the dignity and desirableness of that "rest" to which we look forward - for it is to be such as God enjoys, and is to elevate us more and more to him. What more exalted idea can there be of happiness than to participate in the calmness, the peace, the repose, the freedom from raging passions, from wearisome toil, and from agitating cares, which God enjoys? Who, torn with conflicting passions here, wearied with toil, and distracted with care, ought not to feel it a privilege to look forward to that rest? Of this rest the Sabbath and the promised land were emblems. They to whom the promise was made did not enter in, but some "shall" enter in, and the promise therefore pertains to us.
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.
"Therefore I swore in My anger, Truly they shall not enter into My rest."
and I will purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the LORD.
"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH, 'THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'"
Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
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