Monday, November 5, 2012

Hebrews 3

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Jesus Greater than Moses (v. 1-6)

Moses was a great servant of God, but Jesus is his son, so he deserves more honor than Moses.

I'm not really sure what this is, based on Christianity this is obviously true. Is this a dig at the Jews?

A Rest for the People of God (v. 7-19)

The holy spirit has said to not harden your hearts if you hear his voice. The people following Moses did this after they were tested in the wilderness for 40 years. Therefore, the holy spirit swore his wrath that 'they shall not enter my rest'. The author then tells the Hebrews to take care not to let an evil, unbelieving heart lead them to fall away from the living God. Encourage one another so that you become hardened to the deceitfulness of sin.

The basic premise here seems to be that an evil heart will hear God's voice and then ignore it, and we are all constantly in danger of succumbing to this. So to combat it, we need to constantly encourage one another against it. Why would the voice of God be so easy to ignore? Doesn't it make more sense that believers are just fooling themselves into thinking they are listening to God? If God set everything up, and God wants us to worship him, why would he set things up so the default is us falling away from him?

According to Matthew Henry, we harden our hearts out of a desire to sin.

"As I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter my rest"

I have no idea what this means, but it is stated twice. Hopefully the commentaries will help me out.

Guzik says that rest is mentioned 11 times in chapter 3 and 4, he will go over what it means in chapter 4, but for now we need to know that unbelief is what keeps us from this rest. bleh. I tried looking forward at his next commentary, a page find shows that 'rest' comes up 42 times. From scanning the page, it looks like this rest is just what we think of as rest "a cessation from works". I really don't understand the big deal here. Maybe after I dig into this a bit more in depth tomorrow it will make more sense, or maybe someone can help me out here.

It almost sounds like we might be talking about a peaceful death. This is a guess, but I am not finding a lot of help in these commentaries so I'm just throwing out ideas. My understanding is our current ideas about heaven and hell are fairly modern, and I'm pretty sure that OT people lived on through their offspring instead of living on in spirit up in heaven. Are the Hebrews still in a time when they live on through their progeny and part of their goal in life is to die peacefully with their bloodline going on into the future? Again, pure conjecture on my part, take it with a grain pound of salt.

According to Gill, they are referencing Songs of Solomon, perhaps my wild conjecture has some merit. 


  1. I'm not Jewish, but I don't take the Jesus > Moses thing to be a dig at the Jews. Rather, there were two patriarchs of the highest regard: Abraham and Moses. Abraham secured the covenant with God to produce His chosen people, the Jews. Not to trivialize it, but aside from that, he didn't do much. Moses, on the other hand, was a superhero. He was full of zeal for his own people. He confronted the Pharaoh. He co-orchestrated the plagues. To some extent, he led the Exodus (but they followed God's cloud/pillar of fire). He spoke face-to-face with God. And, maybe most importantly, he got God's Law from Him. So in many ways Moses is greater than even Abraham. So what the author is trying to make the case for is that Jesus, for what He did and what He is, is even better than Moses.

    I thought that I might have to suggest a correction to your interpretation of v7-19, but it turns out that the author of Hebrews got it wrong, not you. Surprise! :-) For the Bible story, turn to Numbers 13-14. For a more complete, perhaps more entertaining story, read my post. That 40 year stroll through the desert had nothing to do with testing the Jews.

    1. That's a good point about the Moses and Jesus thing. I was just sorta thinking out loud there, but I think you are right, there is no good reason this has to be a dig at Moses, it can just be a boost of Jesus. I think my thought process was that it is obvious that Jesus to them that Jesus is the best, so why compare him to Moses, but that is only because I'm used to Christianity being around. Of course they need to promote in the early stages :)

      Good post on the 40 years in the desert. So the whole point of it was to kill people off and let their offspring enter the promised land instead of them. Wow.


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