New Revised Standard Version
Work of God spoken through the Son; the prologue; God has spoken through a Son
1 Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the
prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he
appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3 He is
the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and
he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for
sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as
much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than
The superiority of the Son to the angels
5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
"You are my Son;
today I have begotten you"?
"I will be his Father,
and he will be my Son"?
6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,
"Let all God's angels worship him."
7 Of the angels he says,
"He makes his angels winds,
and his servants flames of fire."
8 But of the Son he says,
"Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
and the righteous scepter is the scepter of your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions."
"In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;
12 like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end."
13 But to which of the angels has he ever said,
"Sit at my right hand
until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet"?
14 Are not all angels spirits in the divine service, sent to serve for the
sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Exhortation not to fall away
1 Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do
not drift away from it. 2 For if the message declared through angels was
valid, and every transgression or disobedience received a just penalty, 3 how
can we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? It was declared at first
through the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, 4 while
God added his testimony by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by
gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to his will.
Jesus' exaltation through abasement
5 Now God did not subject the coming world, about which we are speaking, to
angels. 6 But someone has testified somewhere,
"What are human beings that you are mindful of them,
or mortals, that you care for them?
7 You have made them for a little while lower than the angels;
you have crowned them with glory and honor,
8 subjecting all things under their feet."
Now in subjecting all things to them, God left nothing outside their control.
As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to them, 9 but we do see
Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, now crowned with
glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God
he might taste death for everyone.
10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in
bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation
perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are
sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call
them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,
"I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you."
13 And again,
"I will put my trust in him."
"Here am I and the children whom God has given me."
14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise
shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has
the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives
were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not
come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to
become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a
merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice
of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by
what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Comparison of Jesus and Moses
1 Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling,
consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 was
faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also "was faithful in all
God's house." 3 Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the
builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is
built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was
faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that would
be spoken later. 6 Christ, however, was faithful over God's house as a son,
and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong
Entering God's rest
7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
"Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
as on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors put me to the test,
though they had seen my works 10 for forty years.
Therefore I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'They always go astray in their hearts,
and they have not known my ways.'
11 As in my anger I swore,
'They will not enter my rest.'"
12 Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil,
unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But exhort one
another every day, as long as it is called "today," so that none of you may be
hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partners of
Christ, if only we hold our first confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
16 Now who were they who heard and yet were rebellious? Was it not all those
who left Egypt under the leadership of Moses? 17 But with whom was he angry
forty years? Was it not those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?
18 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, if not to
those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter
because of unbelief.
The faithfulness required of Christians
1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take
care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2 For indeed the
good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not
benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. 3
For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,
"As in my anger I swore,
'They shall not enter my rest,'"
though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4 For in one
place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, "And God rested on the
seventh day from all his works." 5 And again in this place it says, "They
shall not enter my rest." 6 Since therefore it remains open for some to enter
it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of
disobedience, 7 again he sets a certain day – "today" – saying through David
much later, in the words already quoted,
"Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts."
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another
day. 9 So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; 10 for
those who enter God's rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.
11 Let us therefore make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one may
fall through such disobedience as theirs.
12 Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged
sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is
able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And before him no
creature is hidden, but all are naked and laid bare to the eyes of the one to
whom we must render an account.
Jesus as the eternal high priest; Christ as the great high priest
14 Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we
do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but
we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin.
16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may
receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Every high priest chosen from among mortals is put in charge of things
pertaining to God on their behalf, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2
He is able to deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is
subject to weakness; 3 and because of this he must offer sacrifice for his own
sins as well as for those of the people. 4 And one does not presume to take
this honor, but takes it only when called by God, just as Aaron was.
5 So also Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was
appointed by the one who said to him,
"You are my Son,
today I have begotten you";
6 as he says also in another place,
"You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek."
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with
loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he
was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he
learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he
became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 having been
designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
Exhortation to hope
11 About this we have much to say that is hard to explain, since you have
become dull in understanding. 12 For though by this time you ought to be
teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the
oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food; 13 for everyone who lives on
milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness. 14 But
solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by
practice to distinguish good from evil.
1 Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching
about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works
and faith toward God, 2 instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands,
resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And we will do this, if God
permits. 4 For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have
once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in
the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the
powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, since on their own
they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. 7
Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a
crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
8 But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of
being cursed; its end is to be burned over.
9 Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things
in your case, things that belong to salvation. 10 For God is not unjust; he
will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in
serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we want each one of you to show
the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very
end, 12 so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who
through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom
to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and
multiply you." 15 And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the
promise. 16 Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves,
and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute. 17 In the same
way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise
the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath, 18 so
that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would
prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize
the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of
the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain, 20 where
Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest
forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
The priesthood of Melchizedek and the Levitical priesthood compared
1 This "King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as
he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him"; 2 and to him
Abraham apportioned "one-tenth of everything." His name, in the first place,
means "king of righteousness"; next he is also king of Salem, that is, "king
of peace." 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither
beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a
4 See how great he is! Even Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the
spoils. 5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a
commandment in the law to collect tithes from the people, that is, from their
kindred, though these also are descended from Abraham. 6 But this man, who
does not belong to their ancestry, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed
him who had received the promises. 7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is
blessed by the superior. 8 In the one case, tithes are received by those who
are mortal; in the other, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. 9 One
might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through
Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met
The Levitical priesthood is inadequate
11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood –
for the people received the law under this priesthood – what further need
would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the
order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? 12 For
when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the
law as well. 13 Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to
another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is
evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that
tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15 It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek,
16 one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning
physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it
is attested of him,
"You are a priest forever,
according to the order of Melchizedek."
18 There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because
it was weak and ineffectual 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); there is,
on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we
20 This was confirmed with an oath; for others who became priests took their
office without an oath, 21 but this one became a priest with an oath, because
of the one who said to him,
"The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
'You are a priest forever'" –
22 accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 Furthermore, the former priests were many in number, because they were
prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but he holds his priesthood
permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently he is able for all
time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make
intercession for them.
Summary of the merits of the high priest, Jesus the Son of God
26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless,
undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. 27 Unlike
the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day,
first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for
all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests those who
are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the
law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.
Old and new ministry
1 Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high
priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in
the heavens, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord,
and not any mortal, has set up. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer
gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have
something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at
all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5 They
offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one;
for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, "See that you make
everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain." 6 But
Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the
mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises.
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need
to look for a second one.
Old and new covenant
8 God finds fault with them when he says:
"The days are surely coming, says the Lord,
when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah;
9 not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors,
on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of
for they did not continue in my covenant,
and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord.
10 This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds,
and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach one another
or say to each other, 'Know the Lord,'
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
and I will remember their sins no more."
13 In speaking of "a new covenant," he has made the first one obsolete. And
what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.
The earthly sanctuary
1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly
sanctuary. 2 For a tent was constructed, the first one, in which were the
lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; this is called the Holy
Place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies. 4 In
it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on
all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and
Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 above it were the
cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot
speak now in detail.
6 Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the
first tent to carry out their ritual duties; 7 but only the high priest goes
into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that
he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the
people. 8 By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary
has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. 9 This
is a symbol of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered
that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with
food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until
the time comes to set things right.
The sacrifice of Christ
11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come,
then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not
of this creation), 12 he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with
the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal
redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the
ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh
is purified, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the
eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience
from dead works to worship the living God!
15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are
called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has
occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.
16 Where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be
established. 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in
force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first
covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19 For when every commandment had been
told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood
of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled
both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood of
the covenant that God has ordained for you." 21 And in the same way he
sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without
the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be
purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better
sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human
hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to
appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself
again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with
blood that is not his own; 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and
again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once
for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27
And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the
judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are
eagerly waiting for him.
Old and new sacrifice
1 Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true
form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are
continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach. 2
Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshipers,
cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? 3 But in
these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year. 4 For it is
impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Consequently,
when Christ came into the world, he said,
"Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
but a body you have prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings
you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, 'See, God, I have come to do your will, O God'
(in the scroll of the book it is written of me)."
8 When he said above, "You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in
sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are
offered according to the law), 9 then he added, "See, I have come to do your
will." He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And it is
by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and
again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ
had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, "he sat down at the
right hand of God," 13 and since then has been waiting "until his enemies
would be made a footstool for his feet." 14 For by a single offering he has
perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also
testifies to us, for after saying,
16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds,"
17 he also adds,
"I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more."
18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for
Exhortations and warnings
19 Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by
the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through
the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21 and since we have a great priest
over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance
of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our
bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our
hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24 And let us
consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting
to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and
all the more as you see the Day approaching.
26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of
the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful
prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28
Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy "on the testimony
of two or three witnesses." 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be
deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the
covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace? 30
For we know the one who said, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again,
"The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the
hands of the living God.
Living by faith and its power
32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you
endured a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed
to abuse and persecution, and sometimes being partners with those so treated.
34 For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully
accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves
possessed something better and more lasting. 35 Do not, therefore, abandon
that confidence of yours; it brings a great reward. 36 For you need endurance,
so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37 For yet
"in a very little while,
the one who is coming will come and will not delay;
38 but my righteous one will live by faith.
My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back."
39 But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost, but among those
who have faith and so are saved.
A cloud of witnesses to faith
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not
seen. 2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. 3 By faith we
understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is
seen was made from things that are not visible.
4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain's.
Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to
his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. 5 By faith Enoch
was taken so that he did not experience death; and "he was not found, because
God had taken him." For it was attested before he was taken away that "he had
pleased God." 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever
would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who
seek him. 7 By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected
the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the
world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with
8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he
was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was
going. 9 By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in
a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with
him of the same promise. 10 For he looked forward to the city that has
foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith he received power
of procreation, even though he was too old – and Sarah herself was barren –
because he considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one
person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the
stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore."
13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a
distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers
and foreigners on the earth, 14 for people who speak in this way make it clear
that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of the land
that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But
as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God
is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for
17 By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac. He who had
received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, 18 of whom he had
been told, "It is through Isaac that descendants shall be named for you." 19
He considered the fact that God is able even to raise someone from the dead –
and figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac invoked
blessings for the future on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith Jacob, when dying,
blessed each of the sons of Joseph, "bowing in worship over the top of his
staff." 22 By faith Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus
of the Israelites and gave instructions about his burial.
23 By faith Moses was hidden by his parents for three months after his birth,
because they saw that the child was beautiful; and they were not afraid of the
king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called a
son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the
people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered
abuse suffered for the Christ to be greater wealth than the treasures of
Egypt, for he was looking ahead to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt,
unafraid of the king's anger; for he persevered as though he saw him who is
invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so
that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel.
29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as if it were dry land, but
when the Egyptians attempted to do so they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls
of Jericho fell after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith
Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because
she had received the spies in peace.
32 And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon,
Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – 33 who through
faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the
mouths of lions, 34 quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won
strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight.
35 Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing
to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. 36 Others
suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were
stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they
went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented – 38
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and
in caves and holes in the ground.
39 Yet all these, though they were commended for their faith, did not receive
what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better so that they
would not, apart from us, be made perfect.
Jesus, the ultimate example of faith
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us
also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run
with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the
pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set
before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat
at the right hand of the throne of God.
The discipline of God
3 Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so
that you may not grow weary or lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin you
have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And you have
forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as children –
"My child, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
or lose heart when you are punished by him;
6 for the Lord disciplines those whom he loves,
and chastises every child whom he accepts."
7 Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children;
for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8 If you do not
have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate
and not his children. 9 Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and
we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the
Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as
seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may
share his holiness. 11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than
pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and
make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of
joint, but rather be healed.
14 Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see
the Lord. 15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no
root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become
defiled. 16 See to it that no one becomes like Esau, an immoral and godless
person, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 You know that later,
when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no
chance to repent, even though he sought the blessing with tears.
Mount Sinai and Mount Zion contrasted
18 You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and
darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice
whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. 20
(For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even an animal
touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death." 21 Indeed, so terrifying
was the sight that Moses said, "I tremble with fear.") 22 But you have come to
Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to
innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly of the
firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the
spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new
covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood
25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not
escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will
we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! 26 At that time his
voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake
not only the earth but also the heaven." 27 This phrase, "Yet once more,"
indicates the removal of what is shaken – that is, created things – so that
what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a
kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an
acceptable worship with reverence and awe; 29 for indeed our God is a
Practical instructions to the community and greetings; the sermon concludes
1 Let mutual love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers,
for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember
those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are
being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured. 4 Let marriage
be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God
will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of
money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, "I will never leave
you or forsake you." 6 So we can say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?"
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the
outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the
same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by all kinds of
strange teachings; for it is well for the heart to be strengthened by grace,
not by regulations about food, which have not benefited those who observe
them. 10 We have an altar from which those who officiate in the tent have no
right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into
the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the
camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the city gate in order to
sanctify the people by his own blood. 13 Let us then go to him outside the
camp and bear the abuse he endured. 14 For here we have no lasting city, but
we are looking for the city that is to come. 15 Through him, then, let us
continually offer a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips
that confess his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you
have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your
souls and will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with sighing
– for that would be harmful to you.
Greetings, blessing, and postscript
18 Pray for us; we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act
honorably in all things. 19 I urge you all the more to do this, so that I may
be restored to you very soon.
20 Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus,
the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 make
you complete in everything good so that you may do his will, working among us
that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the
glory forever and ever. Amen.
22 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, bear with my word of exhortation,
for I have written to you briefly. 23 I want you to know that our brother
Timothy has been set free; and if he comes in time, he will be with me when I
see you. 24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those from Italy send
you greetings. 25 Grace be with all of you.