To The Hebrews

1:1God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets little by little and in many ways in times past.1:2But in these last days he spoke to us through his Son, who has been named heir of everything, and through whom he made the ages.1:3He is the radiance of God’s majesty and the exact likeness of his core being, besides holding everything up by his powerful pronouncement. After cleaning away failures, he was seated at the right hand of the Highest Majesty,1:4making him far above the Messengers and inheriting a superior Name.

1:5After all, when did he ever say to a Messenger, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father,” or, “I will be his Father and he will be my Son”?1:6And when he brings his firstborn into his earthly home, he says, “Let all God’s Messengers worship him!”1:7In fact, about the Messengers he says, “He makes his Messengers spirits and his officers flames of fire.”1:8But about the Son:

“God, your throne is eternal and the scepter of your kingdom is righteousness.

1:9“You loved justice and hated lawlessness, and for that reason your God anointed you with the oil of great joy, far beyond your peers.

1:10“You laid down the foundations of the earth in the beginning, Master, and the heavens are the works of your hands.1:11They will be destroyed but you remain, and everything will wear out like an old coat.

1:12“Yes, you will roll them up like clothing, and change them like a coat. Yet you are constant, and your years will never run out.”

1:13Now to which of the Messengers has he ever declared, “Sit at my right till I make your enemies your footstool”?1:14Are they not all spiritual officials who are commissioned to serve those who are about to inherit salvation?

2:1Because of all that, we must listen more intently to what we’ve heard so we won’t ever drift away.2:2For if the word spoken through Messengers was confirmed, and every step over the line and every disobedience was justly paid,2:3how would we escape if we neglected a salvation of such proportions, since it was spoken by means of the Master and confirmed to us by those who heard him?2:4God also gave confirming testimony to it with signs and miracles, along with various powers and distributions by the Holy Spirit as he saw fit.

2:5He did not set up the inhabited world we’re talking about for Messengers.2:6Instead, there is a place where someone has solemnly declared:

“What is a person, that you remember them, or what is a human being, that you notice them?2:7You made them somewhat inferior to Messengers but you honored and esteemed them.2:8You made everything under their feet to support them.”

Nothing exists that isn’t for their support, even though we don’t see everything in support yet.2:9But we see Jesus, who was temporarily made lower than the Messengers, honored and esteemed due to his suffering to the point of death, which by God’s favor he did for all our sakes.2:10And it was proper for God to do this, because everything comes from him and he leads many children into honor, perfecting the Originator of their salvation by means of suffering.2:11In this way, both the Holy One and the ones made holy are truly one. And because of that, he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.

2:12He says, “I will announce your Name to my brothers and sisters; in the congregation I will sing festive songs to you,”2:13and again, “I will have confidence in him,” and, “Here I am, and the little ones God gave me.”2:14So just as the little ones are of flesh and blood, so also he came very close to sharing in the same, so that by means of death he would throw down the one who holds the power of death (that is, the Accuser).2:15And he freed those who all their lives were enslaved by the fear of death.

2:16It should go without saying that he isn’t doing this for Messengers but for the Descendant of Abraham.2:17This is why he had to be like his sisters and brothers in every way, so he could be a merciful and faithful ruling priest concerning things of God, being the sacrifice that takes away the people’s failures.2:18For since he was tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

3:1This being the case, holy brothers and sisters who are associates of the heavenly calling, consider the Ambassador and Ruling Priest of our contract, Jesus.3:2He is faithful to the One who made him, just as Moses was out of all those in God’s house.3:3But this One is worthy of more honor than Moses, since the builder of the house is esteemed more highly than the house itself.3:4Every house is built by someone, but God built everything.3:5Certainly Moses was faithful in God’s house as one who could stand on his own two feet, which I’ll say more about later.3:6Yet the Anointed is Son over all his house. And we are that house, if we hold tightly to our hope with boldness and celebration.3:7So the Holy Spirit says:

“If you hear his voice today,3:8do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion during the day of temptation in the wilderness.3:9That was where your ancestors tested me after knowing full well what I had done over those forty years.3:10So I was disgusted with that generation and said, ‘Their hearts are always wandering, yet they do not know my ways.’3:11And in my indignation I swore, ‘They will never enter my rest!’”1

3:12So beware, brothers and sisters, against any one of you having a wicked and unbelieving heart, withdrawing from the living God.3:13Instead, encourage each other daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you will be hardened and seduced into failing.3:14For we have become associates with the Anointed, if we hold tightly to our original hope to the end.

3:15So while it is still called Today, if you hear his voice don’t harden your hearts as in the rebellion.3:16For not everyone Moses led out of Egypt rebelled against him.3:17But who was he disgusted with for forty years? Those who failed, whose bodies fell in the wilderness.3:18And who did he swear would never enter his rest? The disbelieving.3:19Now we can see that they were not able to enter because of disbelief.4:1So then, beware that while the promise of entering his rest is left open you are not left out,4:2because we too have been brought the Gospel. But hearing the word did them no good because it was not combined with faith.

4:3We who believe are the ones who enter into the rest, in accordance with what he has declared (“As I swore in my indignation, They will never enter my rest!”), although the work was done since the foundation of the world.4:4For he has declared somewhere about the seventh day: “And God stopped from all his work on the seventh day,”4:5and again, “They will never enter my rest!.”4:6So then, some remain to enter into it, but those who were formerly brought the Gospel did not enter because of disbelief.4:7So God designated another day called Today. After a long time he said as before, through David, “If you hear his voice today, do not harden your hearts.”4:8For if Joshua gave them rest he would not have spoken about another Day.4:9Consequently, a Sabbath still remains for the people of God.

4:10Whoever entered into his rest also stopped working, just as God stopped working.4:11So we should try to enter into that rest so that nobody falls into that same type of disbelief.4:12For the Word of God is alive and effective, and sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates to the point of dividing soul from spirit, joints from marrow, and judges the heart’s inner feelings and thoughts.4:13And there is no creature that can hide from him; everything is completely exposed to the eyes of him who gave us the Word.4:14So then, since we have a great Ruling Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the God-Man, we must hold tightly to our commitment.4:15For we do not have a Ruling Priest who can’t sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in every way yet without failing.

4:16Because of that, we can boldly approach the throne of favor, so we may receive mercy and find favor for help at just the right time.5:1For every ruling priest is selected out from other people and appointed on their behalf to present gifts to God, and sacrifices to cover failures.5:2They are able to be gentle with the ignorant and wandering, because they too are weak.5:3That is why they must offer sacrifices both for themselves and the people.

5:4No one takes this honor upon themselves but has to be called by God; this even applied to Aaron.5:5Not even the Anointed appointed himself Ruling Priest, but the One said to him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father,”5:6and in a different place, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”5:7While he was in the flesh, this Son brought serious requests and humble pleas, with shouts and tears, to the One who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of the precautions he took.5:8Even he, as Son, learned obedience from his suffering.5:9And being complete, he became the cause of eternal salvation to those who obey him,5:10who was appointed by God as Ruling Priest in the order of Melchizedek.

5:11We have a lot of deep things to say about all this, but you have become hard of hearing.5:12By this time you should be teachers, but you need to be taught all over again about the basic foundational truths of God. You are back on milk instead of solid food,5:13and all such people are beginners, babies concerning the word of justice.5:14Solid food is for the mature who, through practice, have developed a sense of discernment to distinguish good from evil.

6:1So let us move on from the foundation of the Word of the Anointed toward maturity, not laying again the foundation of changing our minds from dead works and toward faith in God,6:2and of teachings about immersions, dedications, the resurrection, and eternal judgment.6:3And this we will do, with God’s permission.6:4For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, who have sampled the heavenly gift, who were associates of the Holy Spirit,6:5who have sampled the ideal proclamation of God as well as the coming age,6:6and then defect, to be restored to another change of mind as long as they are re-crucifying the God-Man by their actions and holding him up to public mockery.2

6:7Ground that soaks up the rain and grows crops is a blessing from God to the farmers,6:8but if it produces only thorns and thistles it is worthless and cursed, and it will finally be burned.6:9But we are convinced of better things about you, dear ones— things that have to do with salvation— even though we talk like this.6:10For God is not unjust, that he would forget your work and the love you displayed in his Name through your continued service to the holy ones.6:11Now we long for each one of you to show the same diligence toward the assured hope until the end, so you won’t become lazy.6:12So imitate those who inherit the promises through faith and patience.

6:13For God made a promise to Abraham (and since there was no one greater, he swore by himself),6:14“I solemnly swear that I will greatly bless you and greatly multiply your descendants.”6:15And after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.6:16People swear by someone greater, because the oath confirms their words and ends all dispute.6:17Similarly, God made this oath for the purpose of making every effort to show his unchangeable decision to the heirs of the promise.6:18So by means of two unchangeable matters, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge in the hope that has already been settled can be greatly comforted.6:19This hope is an anchor for our souls, secure and confirmed. It takes us into the inner room beyond the curtain,36:20where the Forerunner, Jesus, entered for our sakes, making him the Ruling Priest in the order of Melchizedek forever.

7:1This Melchizedek was King of Salem and a priest of the Supreme God. He blessed Abraham, who was returning from combat with the kings,7:2and Abraham gave him a tenth of all the plunder. The name Melchizedek means “King of Justice” and also “King of Salem,” which means “King of Peace.”7:3There is no account of his lineage, neither his birth nor his death, for he had no father or mother. Yet as a picture of the God-Man, he remains a priest continually forever.

7:4Now look at how great this one was, to whom the patriarch Abraham gave the best tenth of the plunder of war.7:5As a matter of fact, the descendants of Levi who take up the priestly office are instructed according to the law to accept tithes4 from the people. And these are their own brothers and sisters who also are descended from Abraham.7:6Yet this one without such lineage received the tithe from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.7:7Now it is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.7:8So in fact, we see here that tithes are collected by mere mortals, yet there is One who is witnessed to be alive.7:9You could even say that5 Levi, who collected the tithes, paid them through Abraham,7:10being still in his ancestor’s body when he met Melchizedek.

7:11So then, if perfection could come by means of the Levitical priesthood (which the people were put under by law), what need would there have been for another priest to arise— one not from the order of Aaron but from that of Melchizedek?7:12For when there is a change of priesthood, there must be a change of law.7:13The one we’ve been talking about is from a different tribe, one that has no access to the altar.7:14It goes without saying that our Master came from the tribe of Judah, which Moses never mentioned regarding priests.7:15So it should be even more obvious that if a different priest comes in the order of Melchizedek,7:16they did not come according to the law based on ancestry, but on the basis of the power of an immortal life,7:17because he testified, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

7:18In fact, the former law is annulled because it is weak and useless7:19since it didn’t solve anything. But now we are introduced to a better hope, by means of which we draw near to God.7:20And it isn’t as though this happened without an oath being sworn. Now those who became priests never swore an oath,7:21but that One came with the swearing of an oath: “The Master swears and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever.”7:22So accordingly, Jesus has become the pledge of a better contract.

7:23Under the old law, there had to be many priests because death prevented them from continuing.7:24But that One has a unique priesthood because he remains forever.7:25For that reason, he is able to completely save those who come to God through him, because he always lives as their advocate.7:26Such a Ruling Priest is the right one for us because he is clean, innocent, and untainted, having been separated from those who fail, being raised up higher than the heavens.7:27He is not like the former ruling priests, who had to offer up sacrifices for their own failures as well as those of the people. Instead, he did this once and for all, sacrificing himself.7:28The law appoints weak people as ruling priests, but the word that came after the law with a sworn oath appointed the Son, who has been perfected forever.

8:1Now here is the point of what’s being said. This is the kind of Ruling Priest we have: One who is seated to the right of the Throne of Majesty in the heavens,8:2and who officiates in the holy place of the true Tent of Meeting pitched not by humans but by the Master.8:3Every priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, so this One must also bring an offering.8:4Ironically, on earth he would not even be a priest at all, since there are already priests offering gifts according to the law.8:5But they offer divine service that is only a shadow and pattern of the heavenly ones. For that same reason Moses was instructed about how to complete the Tent of Meeting; “See to it that you make everything according to the model you were shown in the mountain.”

8:6Yet now this One has come to a superior divine service, by virtue of the fact that he is the mediator of a superior contract, one based upon superior promises.8:7For if that first one had been blameless, there would have been no need to look for a second.8:8He lays blame by saying this:

“Look! The days are coming,” says the Master, “when I will confirm a new contract with the houses of Israel and Judah,8:9not like the old one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. They broke their old contract with me and I neglected them.8:10But here is the new contract I will make with the house of Israel in those last days,” says the Master. “I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God and they will be my people.8:11Then they will no longer teach each other to know the Master, because everyone will know me, from the smallest to the greatest of them.8:12For I will be appeased to their injustices and forget their failures.”

8:13So he is saying that the old one is fading away, old and weak and almost gone.

9:1The former one had regulations for divine service, and an earthly holy place.9:2A Tent of Meeting was built, with the front part, the Holy Place, containing the lamp stand and the table where the bread was set out.9:3Then behind the second curtain in the Tent of Meeting, called the Holiest Place,9:4there was the golden censer and the Ark of the Covenant, also overlaid in gold. And inside of that were the golden jar of manna and the rod of Aaron that budded, along with the tablets of the Contract.9:5Over the Ark were the majestic cherubs, covering the Mercy Seat. But we cannot say more about that right now.

9:6Now with everything having been properly set up, the priests are continually going into the front part of the Tent of Meeting to perform their duties.9:7But once a year, only the Ruling Priest goes into the back room, and not without blood to offer for his own sake and also for the people, for failures made in ignorance.

9:8In this way the Holy Spirit was bringing to our attention that the way into the Holiest Place was not yet seen, as long as this first Tent of Meeting was still standing.9:9It was an illustration for the present time, showing that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were unable to clear the conscience of the one offering them.9:10It was only about food, drink, many immersions, and good works of the flesh, imposed upon them until the time of a new way.9:11But the Anointed came along as the Ruling Priest of better things through a greater and more complete “tent of meeting”— one not made by hands (that is to say, one not of this creation).

9:12And it was not the blood of goats and calves but his very own blood that he carried into the Holiest Place, once for all eternity, obtaining our redemption.9:13For if the blood of goats and bulls, and heifer’s ashes sprinkled over the contaminated ones, could make them holy and purify the flesh,9:14how much more will the blood of the Anointed, who through the eternal Spirit offered his flawless self to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works for divine service to the living God!

9:15For this reason, he is the mediator of a new unilateral contract. By means of his death he released us from our having crossed the line under the first contract, so that those who were invited could receive their eternal inheritance.9:16For where there is a legal will, there must be the death of the one who made it.9:17A will is not in force until the one who made it dies; it is powerless while they live.9:18This is why the first contract had to be dedicated with blood.9:19For when Moses had given the people all the rules of the law, he took the blood of calves and goats and mixed it with water, red wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the book and all the people.9:20And he said, “This is the blood of the contract which God has made with you.”9:21He also sprinkled the Tent of Meeting, as well as all the utensils for the divine service.9:22In fact, pretty much everything had to be cleansed with blood according to the law; without shed blood there is no pardon.

9:23So it was necessary for these patterns of the things in heaven to be cleansed in this way, but the actual heavenly things required better sacrifices.9:24It was not a Holy Place made by hands that the Anointed went into— those were models of the real thing— but in heaven itself, to be presented to God on our behalf.9:25Not that he should have to offer himself often, as did the ruling priests who had to enter the Holiest Place each year with the blood of others.9:26In that case he would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now, once at the completion of the ages, he appeared in order to annul failures by means of the sacrifice of himself.9:27And just as it is appointed for people to die once6 and then face judgment,9:28so also the Anointed was offered once to take upon himself the failures of many. And he will be seen again by those who wait for him, not to deal with failures, but for deliverance.

10:1The Law was a shadow, an imperfect image, of better things to come. So it is never able to perfect those who bring the same sacrifices year after year.10:2Wouldn’t they have stopped making offerings if it could, since they would have stopped failing?10:3Instead, the need for repeated sacrifices reminds people of their failures,10:4for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to eliminate them.10:5That is why the One who came into the world said:

“Sacrifice and offering were not what you wanted; instead, you prepared a body for me.10:6You have no pleasure in burnt offerings for failures.10:7Then I said, ‘Look! Here I am to do your will, God, as it is written about me in the heading of the book.’”

10:8So when he said God didn’t want the prescribed sacrifices and offerings,10:9and then that he came to do God’s will, he was saying he takes away the first in order to establish the second.10:10And we are made holy by means of the offering of Jesus’ body, once for all.10:11Every priest performs the sacred service day after day and offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away our failures.10:12But this One, after making one final sacrifice, is seated at God’s right hand,10:13waiting for his enemies to be made his footstool.10:14For by one offering he has finally completed the holy ones.

10:15This is also affirmed by the Holy Spirit:

10:16

“This is the contract I will make with them after those days,” says the Master. “I will put my laws into their minds and write them on their hearts,10:17and I will not remember their failures and lawlessness.”

10:18Now if these have been acquitted, there is no more need of offerings for failures.

10:19So then, because of the blood of Jesus we can boldly enter the Holy Place,10:20via the new and living path he made so we could go through the curtain— that is, his flesh.10:21And since we have such a great Priest over the house of God,10:22let us approach him with a true heart in confident faith, with our hearts having been sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies having been bathed in clean water.10:23Let us hold tightly to the hope of our agreement without wavering, because the One who officially instructed us is trustworthy.10:24And let us think of ways to motivate each other toward love and good deeds.10:25Don’t give up meeting together as some have done, but encourage each other— and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

10:26If we choose to keep failing after recognizing the truth, there is no sacrifice left for our failures,10:27but only the certain dread of judgment and the insatiable fire that consumes the hostile.10:28If anyone who rebelled against the law of Moses was condemned without pity on the basis of two or three witnesses,10:29how much worse punishment do you think awaits those who trample on the God-Man and treat the blood of the contract that made them holy as nothing special? This is an outrage to the spirit of favor!10:30For we know the One who said, “ ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’, says the Master,” and again, “The Master will judge his people.”10:31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!

10:32Think back to the earlier days when you were first enlightened, how you stood strong through all that was happening to you.10:33Sometimes you were put on public display, mocked, and oppressed; other times you suffered along with those who were being treated this way.10:34You sympathized with the imprisoned and accepted the confiscation of your property with joy, knowing you have better property that no one can ever take away.10:35So then, don’t throw away your boldness, which will bring you great reward.10:36You need to endure so that you can do the will of God and be awarded the promise:

10:37

“In a little while, he who is coming will arrive and not delay.10:38My just one will live by faith, and if they shrink back in fear I will not be happy with them.”

10:39But we are not among the cowardly who are destroyed; rather, we can trust that our souls have been purchased.

11:1Now faith is a sure hope, a conviction about what is not seen;11:2this is what the elders were known for.

11:3By faith we grasp that the ages have been completed by the declaration of God, such that the hidden has become obvious.

11:4By faith Abel brought a better sacrifice to God than Cain did; he was justified in God’s sight because of his offerings. Even though he is dead, he still speaks through this.

11:5By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not experience death; he was not found because God took him away. Before this, he was known to have pleased God.11:6Now apart from faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

11:7By faith Noah, being given divine revelation about what was not yet seen, paid attention and fully equipped the ark for the rescue of his household, through which he condemned the world and became an heir of justice.

11:8By faith Abraham obeyed the call to leave for a place he would later inherit, without even knowing where he was going.11:9By faith he traveled into the promised land as a foreigner, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, joint heirs of the same promise.11:10He waited for the city with foundations whose designer and architect is God.

11:11By faith Sarah herself, although she was unable to have children, also took hold of the power of the first installment on her descendants, because even though she was well past her prime, she considered the One making the authoritative teaching to be faithful.11:12So these children all came from one who was beyond hope of having children; they are as innumerable as the constellations of the heavens, and as uncountable as the sand on the seashore.

11:13These all died still believing, without having received the promises, but seeing them from a distance and looking forward to them. They spoke openly about their being strangers and exiles on the earth.11:14For those who speak like this admit that they seek their own country.11:15Of course, they remember the place they left and have every opportunity to return.11:16But instead, they long for a better one— a heavenly one. That’s why God is not ashamed of them or to be called their God, and he prepared a city for them.

11:17By faith Abraham tried to sacrifice Isaac; he who received the promises was trying to sacrifice his only son,11:18the one about whom it was said, “Descendants will come from you through Isaac.”11:19But Abraham determined that God was able to raise the dead, and in a way, he really did.

11:20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau about what was to come.

11:21By faith Jacob, who was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons and worshiped while leaning on his staff.

11:22By faith Joseph, near the end of his life, remembered about the exodus of Israel and gave instructions about his bones.

11:23By faith the parents of Moses hid him for his first three months, because they saw that the child was gifted, and they did not fear the king’s decree.

11:24By faith Moses, when he grew up, disowned himself from being called the son of the daughter of Pharaoh,11:25preferring to be mistreated with the people of God rather than enjoying a temporary life of ease.11:26He considered the shame of the Anointed to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, because he looked forward to the reward.11:27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s fury, because he confidently perceived the invisible.11:28By faith he made the Passover and spread blood on the door jambs so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them.

11:29By faith the people crossed the Red Sea as though it were dry land; the Egyptians were drowned when they tried it.11:30By faith the walls of Jericho fell after being surrounded for seven days.11:31By faith the prostitute Rahab was not killed along with the disbelieving, because she welcomed the spies in peace.

11:32And what more can I say? I don’t have time to tell everything about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephtha, and David, let alone Samuel and all the prophets,11:33who through faith subdued kingdoms, brought about justice, saw the fulfillment of promises, closed the mouths of lions,11:34extinguished the power of fire, got away from the edge of the sword, were empowered out of weakness, became strong in battle, routed the encampments of foreigners,11:35and women received their loved ones resurrected from the dead.

Yet on the other hand, others were beaten to death, not expecting to be delivered, so that they might come to a better resurrection.11:36Still others went through a trial of being mocked and scourged, some were bound and jailed.11:37They were stoned to death, they were cut and killed with the sword, they wandered around in sheepskins and goatskins, needy and harassed and mistreated—11:38the world was not worthy of them! They wandered in the wilderness and the mountains, in caves and holes in the ground.11:39None of these, though they were all confirmed by faith, were rewarded with the promise of God concerning us.11:40They were looking forward to something better, so that they would not be complete without us.

12:1Consequently, then, since we have a vast cloud of witnesses surrounding us, we must pull out every arrowhead of the failure that opposes us from all directions, so that we can run the race before us and endure to the finish.12:2We must look to the Originator and Completer of the faith: Jesus, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross and ignored its shame. He has been seated at the right of the throne of God.

12:3Consider this One who endured such resistance from those who err, so that you won’t run out of energy and slack off.12:4You have not yet come to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against failure,12:5and you have been oblivious to the intercession which contends with you as with children:

“My child, do not take the Master’s training lightly, and do not slack off when he puts you under examination.12:6For whoever the Master loves he trains, and he will punish any child he calls his own.”

12:7So if you are enduring training, it’s because you are God’s children. After all, what child is not trained by their parents?12:8So if you are not being trained— and we are all well familiar with that— you are not true children but illegitimate.12:9We have been trained by our physical parents, and we respected them for it. Should we not be all the more supportive of the Father of our spirits and live?12:10They trained us for a few days in the way they thought was best, but that One does it for our benefit so we can have a part in his holiness.12:11Now of course no training is a joy when we’re in it, but a time of sadness. Yet it results in peace and justice for those who are conditioned by it.

12:12So flex those limp hands and numb knees!12:13Make level paths for your feet so the lame will not twist an ankle but instead be healed.12:14Pursue peace with everyone, and also holiness, without which nobody will see the Master.12:15Make sure nobody is left out of the favor of God, and that no root of bitterness sprouts up to crowd you out and infect you.12:16Also watch out for anyone who is promiscuous or is godless like Esau, who traded his birthright for a meal.12:17You know that afterwards he was denied the blessing of inheritance, and he could not get it back from his father, though he sought it with tears.

12:18For you have not come to the place where you could feel the fire, the darkness, the gloom, and the tornado,12:19hearing the trumpet blast and the sound of proclamation, which made those who heard it beg for it to stop.12:20They could not bear the warning that even if a wild animal touched the mountain it would have to be stoned.12:21The spectacle was so frightening that Moses said, “I am terrified and shaking!”712:22But you have come to Mount Zion and to the heavenly city of the living God, Jerusalem. You have come to many thousands of Messengers12:23in a universal gathering and assembly of the firstborn, having been registered in the heavens. You have come to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of those who have been justified.12:24And you have come to Jesus, the mediator of a new unilateral contract, and to a sprinkling of blood that speaks to us in a better way than Abel.

12:25Be very careful that you do not reject the One who speaks. For if there was no escape for those who rejected the divine revelation given on earth, how much more so for us if we turn from the One from the heavens?12:26His voice once shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the sky!”12:27That phrase, “once more,” makes it clear that what will be shaken— the created things— will be taken away, leaving only that which cannot be shaken.12:28So then, by accepting the unshakable kingdom, let us be grateful and offer divine service that is pleasing to God, with precaution and awe—12:29for our God is a consuming fire.

13:1Keep having fondness for others.13:2Don’t forget to be hospitable, for that is how some unknowingly took in Messengers.13:3Keep prisoners in mind, as though you too are imprisoned with them, and the mistreated, as though you share in their physical sufferings.13:4Marriage is fully honorable and the bed pure, for God will judge the promiscuous and the unfaithful.13:5Don’t be in the habit of loving money, but be happy with what you have, for he has proclaimed, “I will never give you up or desert you.”13:6That gives us the confidence to say, “The Master is my helper, and I will not fear what anyone might do to me!”

13:7Remember your leaders who spoke the Word of God to you; take another look at the outcome of their behavior and imitate their faith.13:8Jesus the Anointed is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

13:9Don’t let yourselves be carried away by various strange teachings. It is best to strengthen your mind by gratitude toward God instead of by certain foods that did nothing to help those who ate them.13:10We have an altar at which those who offer divine service in the Tent of Meeting have no right to eat.13:11The bodies of animals, whose blood the ruling priest carries into the holy places for failures, are burned up outside the camp.13:12Likewise, Jesus suffered outside the city gate in order to make people holy by means of his own blood.13:13So then, let us come out to him, outside of the camp, and share in his disgrace.13:14For we do not have a permanent city here, but we search for the one to come.13:15Through him, then, let us offer up a continual sacrifice of praise to God, that is, what comes out of our mouths, publicly acknowledging his Name.

13:16Now don’t forget to do the right thing and be a community, for God is pleased with such “sacrifices.”13:17Be persuaded by those who guide you, and defer to them, for they keep careful watch over your souls and must give an account. Make this a joy for them and not a chore, which would not be to your advantage.13:18Pray for us; we have a clear conscience but also want to be on our best behavior,13:19and I ask you this all the more so I can be back with you more quickly.

13:20Now may the God of Peace— who led up the great Shepherd, our Master Jesus, from the dead, by the blood of the eternal contract—13:21fully equip you with every good thing so you can do his will, which is to please him. May he do this by means of Jesus the Anointed, to whom belongs all honor into the ages, absolutely!

13:22Now I am sincerely asking you, brothers and sisters, to bear with me in this letter of comfort that I wrote to you in bits.13:23Be advised that our brother Timothy has been released, and he will accompany me when I see you if he arrives soon enough.13:24Greet all your leaders and the holy ones. Those from Italy greet you.13:25May the favor of God be with you all.

  1. 1Though the grammar seems to indicate a question here, the context indicates a statement; see vs. 18.
  2. 2The Greek grammar for “as long as” is the present active participle, which indicates a presently-continuing action, not a past action. So the passage is saying that as long as people remain in rebellion against that which they once knew to be true, they are symbolically nullifying the sacrifice of Jesus. Conversely, if they discontinue this rebellion, they can change their minds again. This may seem illogical (they cannot change their minds till they change their minds), but we see this same issue in 2 Cor. 3:16 (their minds are covered, but the cover is removed if they change their minds). See also Gal. 3:1-5 and 4:9.
  3. 3That is, the holiest place of the temple.
  4. 4The tithe was one-tenth of the increase of someone’s crops or herds.
  5. 5“You could even say that…” is an expression of something hypothetical; that is, the writer is not saying that Levi was literally in the body of Abraham.
  6. 6The phrase is “for people to die once,” not “once people die.” Some try to change the meaning to support the teaching of karma, but “one time” is a completely different meaning from “as soon as.”
  7. 7This refers to when God came to Mount Sinai during the Exodus.