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Hebrews 4 Expanded Bible (EXB)

·Now [Therefore], since ·God has left us the promise [the promise remains/still stands] that we may enter his rest, let us ·be very careful [beware; be wary/afraid] so none of you will ·fail to enter [appear/be found to fall short]. [L For] The ·Good News [Gospel] was preached to us just as it was to them. But the ·teaching [message; word] they heard did not help them, because they heard it but did not ·accept [combine; join] it with faith.[a] [L For; Now] We who have believed are able to enter ·and have God’s rest [L the rest]. As God has said,

“I was angry and ·made a promise [declared/swore an oath],
    ‘They will never enter my rest [Ps. 95:11].’”

But God’s work was finished from the ·time he made [foundation/creation of] the world. ·In the Scriptures [L For somewhere] he talked about the seventh day of the week: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his works [Gen. 2:2].” And again in ·the Scripture [or this passage; C Psalm 95, the passage the author has been discussing] God said, “They will never enter my rest [Ps. 95:11].”

·It is still true that some people will [or This passage shows that some can still] enter God’s rest, but those who ·first [or formerly] ·heard the way to be saved [L had the Good News/Gospel proclaimed to them] did not enter, because they did not ·obey [believe; remain faithful]. So God ·planned [set; established; ordained] another day, called “today” [3:13]. He spoke about that day through David a long time later in the ·same Scripture used before [words quoted before]:

“Today ·listen to what he says [L if you hear his voice…].
    Do not ·be stubborn [L harden your hearts; Ps. 95:7–8].”

  [L For; Now] If Joshua [C Moses’ successor, who led God’s people into the Promised Land; Josh. 3—4] had ·led the people into that [L given them] rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. This shows that the ·rest [L Sabbath rest; C sharing in the rest God enjoyed after Creation] for God’s people ·is still coming [or is still available; L remains]. 10 [L For] Anyone who enters God’s rest ·will rest [or has also rested] from his work as God did. 11 Let us ·try as hard as we can [strive; make every effort] to enter ·God’s [L that] rest so that no one will ·fail [be lost; L fall] by following the example of those who ·refused to obey [or did not believe; were unfaithful].

12 [L For] God’s word is alive and ·working [active; powerful; effective] and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It ·cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones [L penetrates until it divides even soul and spirit, joints and marrow]. And it ·judges [discerns] the ·thoughts [ideas] and ·feelings [attitudes; intentions] in our hearts. 13 ·Nothing in all the world [Nothing in all creation; or No creature] can be hidden from God. Everything is ·clear [naked] and ·lies open before him [L exposed to his eyes], and to him we must ·explain the way we have lived [give an account; answer].

Jesus Is Our High Priest

14 [L Therefore] Since we have a great high priest [2:17–18], Jesus the Son of God, who has ·gone into [ascended to; or passed through] ·heaven [or the heavens], let us hold ·on [firmly] to ·the faith we have [L the confession/profession; C of our faith]. 15 ·For our high priest is able [L For we do not have a high priest who is unable] to ·understand [sympathize with] our weaknesses. He was tempted in every way that we are, but he did not sin. 16 Let us, then, ·feel very sure that we can come before [L confidently approach] God’s throne ·where there is grace [L of grace; C as opposed to a throne of judgment and condemnation]. There we can receive mercy and ·grace [L find grace] to help us ·when we need it [L at the right time].


  1. Hebrews 4:2 because … faith Some Greek copies read “because they did not share the faith of those who heard it.”
Expanded Bible (EXB)

The Expanded Bible, Copyright © 2011 Thomas Nelson Inc. All rights reserved.

Hebrews 4 New International Version (NIV)

A Sabbath-Rest for the People of God

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed.[a] Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger,
    ‘They shall never enter my rest.’”[b]

And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world. For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “On the seventh day God rested from all his works.”[c] And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”

Therefore since it still remains for some to enter that rest, and since those who formerly had the good news proclaimed to them did not go in because of their disobedience, God again set a certain day, calling it “Today.” This he did when a long time later he spoke through David, as in the passage already quoted:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts.”[d]

For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works,[e] just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.

12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Jesus the Great High Priest

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


  1. Hebrews 4:2 Some manuscripts because those who heard did not combine it with faith
  2. Hebrews 4:3 Psalm 95:11; also in verse 5
  3. Hebrews 4:4 Gen. 2:2
  4. Hebrews 4:7 Psalm 95:7,8
  5. Hebrews 4:10 Or labor
  6. Hebrews 4:14 Greek has gone through the heavens
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Hebrews 4 King James Version (KJV)

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.

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.

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.

For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works.

And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest.

Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:

Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.

10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.

11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

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