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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Hebrews: Chapter 4)

4:1 {Let us fear therefore} (phobˆth“men oun). First aorist passive volitive subjunctive of phobeomai, to be afraid. There is no break in the argument on Ps 95. This is a poor chapter division. The Israelites perished because of disbelief. We today face a real peril.
{Lest haply} (mˆ pote) Here with the present subjunctive (dokei), but future indicative in 3:12, after the verb of fearing. For the optative see 2Ti 2:25.
{A promise being left} (kataleipomenˆs epaggelias). Genitive absolute of the present passive participle of kataleip“, to leave behind. God's promise still holds good for us in spite of the failure of the Israelites.
{Should seem to have come short of it} (dokei husterˆkenai). Perfect active infinitive of hustere“, old verb from husteros (comparative of root ud like our out, outer, outermost), to be too late, to fail to reach the goal as here, common in the N.T. (11:37; 12:15).

4:2 {For indeed we have had good tidings preached unto us} (kai gar esmen euˆggelismenoi esmen). Periphrastic perfect passive indicative of euaggeliz“ (from euaggelion, good news, glad tidings) to bring good news, used here in its original sense as in verse 6 of the Israelites (euaggelisthentes first aorist passive participle).
{Even as also they} (kathaper kakeinoi). See verse 6. We have the promise of rest as the Israelites had. The parallel holds as to the promise, the privilege, the penalty. {The word of hearing} (ho logos tˆs akoˆs). As in 1Th 2:13. Genitive akoˆs describing logos, the word marked by hearing (the word heard).
{Because they were not united by faith with them that heard} (mˆ sunkekerasmenous tˆi pistei tois akousasin). , the usual negative of the participle. A very difficult phrase. The text is uncertain whether the participle (perfect passive of sunkerannumi, old verb to mix together) ends in -os agreeing with logos or -ous agreeing with ekeinous (them). Taking it in -ous the translation is correct. Pistei is in the instrumental case and tois akousasin in the associative instrumental after sun.

4:3 {Do enter} (eiserchometha). Emphatic futuristic present middle indicative of eiserchomai. We are sure to enter in, we who believe.
{He hath said} (eirˆken). Perfect active indicative for the permanent value of God's word as in 1:13; 4:4; 10:9,13; 13:5; Ac 13:34. God has spoken. That is enough for us. So he quotes again what he has in verse 11 from Ps 95. {Although the works were finished} (kaitoi t“n erg“n genˆthent“n). Genitive absolute with concessive use of the participle. Old particle, in N.T. only here and Ac 14:17 (with verb).
{From the foundation of the world} (apo katabolˆs kosmou). Katabolˆ, late word from kataball“, usually laying the foundation of a house in the literal sense. In the N.T. usually with apo (Mt 25:44) or pro (Joh 17:24) about the foundation of the world.

4:4 {Somewhere on this wise} (pou hout“s). See 2:6 for pou tis for a like indefinite allusion to an Old Testament quotation. Here it is Ge 2:2 (cf. Ex 20:11; 31:17). Moffatt notes that Philo quotes Ge 2:2 with the same "literary mannerism."
{Rested} (katepausen). First aorist active indicative of katapau“, intransitive here, but transitive in verse 8. It is not, of course, absolute rest from all creative activity as Jesus shows in Joh 5:17. But the seventh day of God's rest was still going on (clearly not a twenty-four hour day).

4:5 {And in this place again} (kai en tout“i palin). The passage already quoted in verse 3; 3:11.

4:6 {It remaineth} (apoleipetai). Present passive indicative of apoleip“, old verb to leave behind, to remain over. So again in 4:9; 10:26. Here the infinitive clause (tinas eiselthein eis autˆn) is the subject of apoleipetai. This left-over promise is not repeated, though not utilized by the Israelites under Moses nor in the highest sense by Joshua and David.
{Failed to enter in} (ouk eisˆlthon). "Did not enter in" (second aorist active indicative of eiserchomai). It is a rabbinical argument all along here, but the author is writing to Jews.

4:7 {He again defineth a certain day} (palin tina horizei hˆmeran). Present active indicative of horiz“, old verb to set a limit (horos, horizon) as in Ac 17:26; Ro 1:4.
{In David} (en Daueid). Attributing the Psalm to David or in the Psalter at any rate.
{Hath been before said} (proeirˆtai). Perfect passive indicative referring to the quotation in 3:7,15.
{After so long a time} (meta tosouton chronon). The time between Joshua and David.

4:8 {Joshua} (Iˆsous). The Greek form is Jesus. Condition of the second class (determined as unfulfilled) with ei and aorist indicative in the condition and an with the imperfect in the conclusion.
{He would not have spoken} (ouk elalei). Wrong translation, "he would not speak" (be speaking), in the passage in David. Imperfect tense, not aorist.

4:9 {A sabbath rest} (sabbatismos). Late word from sabbatiz“ (Ex 16:30) to keep the Sabbath, apparently coined by the author (a doubtful passage in Plutarch). Here it is parallel with katapausis (cf. Re 14:13).
{For the people of God} (t“i la“i tou theou). Dative case of blessed personal interest to the true Israel (Ga 6:16).

4:10 {As God did from his} (h“sper apo t“n idi“n ho theos). It is not cessation of work, but rather of the weariness and pain in toil. The writer pictures salvation as God's rest which man is to share and God will have perfect satisfaction when man is in harmony with him (Dods).

4:11 {Let us therefore give diligence} (spoudas“men oun). Volitive subjunctive aorist of spoudaz“, old verb to hasten (2Ti 4:9), to be eager and alert (1Th 2:17). The exhortation has a warning like that in 4:1.
{That no man fall} (hina mˆ pesˆi). Negative purpose with hina mˆ and the second aorist active subjunctive of pipt“, to fall.
{After the same example of disobedience} (en t“i aut“i hupodeigmati tˆs apeitheias). The unbelief is like that seen in the Israelites (3:12,18; 4:2). Hupodeigma is a late word from hupodeiknumi (Mt 3:7) and means a copy (Joh 13:15; Jas 5:10). The Israelites set a terrible example and it is so easy to copy the bad examples.

4:12 {The word of God} (ho logos tou theou). That just quoted about the promise of rest and God's rest, but true of any real word of God.
{Living} (z“n). Cf. the Living God (3:12). In Philo and the Book of Wisdom the Logos of God is personified, but still more in Joh 1:1-18 where Jesus is pictured as the Logos on a par with God. "Our author is using Philonic language rather than Philonic ideas" (Moffatt). See Joh 6:63: "The words which I have spoken are spirit and are life."
{Active} (energˆs). Energetic, powerful (Joh 1:12; Php 3:21; Col 1:29).
{Sharper} (tom“teros). Comparative of tomos, cutting (from temn“, to cut), late adjective, here only in the N.T.
{Than} (huper). Often so after a comparative (Lu 16:8; 2Co 12:13).
{Two-edged} (distomon). "Two-mouthed" (di-, stoma), double-mouthed like a river (Polybius), branching ways (Sophocles), applied to sword (xiphos) by Homer and Euripides.
{Piercing} (diiknoumenos). Present middle participle of diikneomai, old verb to go through, here only in N.T.
{Even to the dividing} (achri merismou). Old word from meriz“ (meros, part), to partition. {Of soul and spirit} (psuchˆs kai pneumatos). As in 1Th 5:23; 1Co 15:45, but not an argument for trichotomy. Psychology is constantly changing its terminology.
{Of both joints and marrow} (harm“n te kai muel“n). From ar“, to join, comes harmos, old word, here only in the N.T. Muelos (from mu“, to shut), old word, here only in N.T. This surgeon goes into and through the joints and marrow, not cleaving between them.
{Quick to discern} (kritikos). Verbal adjective in -ikos, from krin“, skilled in judging, as the surgeon has to be and able to decide on the instant what to do. So God's word like his eye sees the secret lurking doubt and unbelief "of the thoughts and intents of the heart" (enthumˆse“n kai ennoi“n kardias). The surgeon carries a bright and powerful light for every dark crevice and a sharp knife for the removal of all the pus revealed by the light. It is a powerful picture here drawn.

4:13 {That is not manifest} (aphanˆs). Old adjective (a privative and phain“, to show), here only in the N.T. God's microscope can lay bare the smallest microbe of doubt and sin. {Naked} (gumna). Both soul and body are naked to the eye of God.
{Laid open} (tetrachˆlismena). Perfect passive participle of trachˆliz“, late verb to bend back the neck (trachˆlos, Mt 18:6) as the surgeon does for operating, here only in N.T. See Ro 16:4 for the peril of risking one's neck (trachˆlon hupotithenai). God's eyes see all the facts in our inmost hearts. There are no mental reservations from God.
{With whom we have to do} (pros hon hˆmin ho logos). "With whom the matter or account for us is." There is a slight play here on logos of verse 12. Surely every servant of Christ today needs to gaze into this revealing mirror and be honest with himself and God.

4:14 {A great high priest} (archierea megan). The author now takes up the main argument of the Epistle, already alluded to in 1:3; 2:17f.; 3:1, the priestly work of Jesus as superior to that of the Levitical line (4:14-12:3). Jesus is superior to the prophets (1:1-3), to angels (1:4-2:18), to Moses (3:1-4:13), he has already shown. Here he only terms Jesus "great" as high priest (a frequent adjective with high priest in Philo) but the superiority comes out as he proceeds.
{Who hath passed through the heavens} (dielˆluthota tous ouranous). Perfect active participle of dierchomai, state of completion. Jesus has passed through the upper heavens up to the throne of God (1:3) where he performs his function as our high priest. This idea will be developed later (6:19f.; 7:26-28; 9:11f.,24f.).
{Jesus the Son of God} (Iˆsoun ton huion tou theou). The human name linked with his deity, clinching the argument already made (1:1-4:13).
{Let us hold fast our confession} (krat“men tˆs homologias). Present active volitive subjunctive of krate“, old verb (from kratos, power), with genitive to cling to tenaciously as here and 6:18 and also with the accusative (2Th 2:15; Col 2:19). "Let us keep on holding fast." This keynote runs all through the Epistle, the exhortation to the Jewish Christians to hold on to the confession (3:1) of Christ already made. Before making the five points of Christ's superior priestly work (better priest than Aaron, 5:1-7:25; under a better covenant, 8:1-13; in a better sanctuary, 9:1-12; offering a better sacrifice, 9:13-10:18; based on better promises, 10:19-12:3), the author gives a double exhortation (4:14-16) like that in 2:1-4 to hold fast to the high priest (14f.) and to make use of him (16).

4:15 {That cannot be touched with the feeling} (mˆ dunamenon sunpathˆsai). "Not able to sympathize with." First aorist passive infinitive of sunpathe“, late compound verb from the late adjective sunpathos (Ro 12:15), both from sunpasch“, to suffer with (1Co 12:26; Ro 8:17), occurring in Aristotle and Plutarch, in N.T. only in Hebrews (here and 10:34).
{One that hath been tempted} (pepeirasmenon). Perfect passive participle of peiraz“, as already shown in 2:17f.
{Without sin} (ch“ris hamartias). This is the outstanding difference that must never be overlooked in considering the actual humanity of Jesus. He did not yield to sin. But more than this is true. There was no latent sin in Jesus to be stirred by temptation and no habits of sin to be overcome. But he did have "weaknesses" (astheneiai) common to our human nature (hunger, thirst, weariness, etc.). Satan used his strongest weapons against Jesus, did it repeatedly, and failed. Jesus remained "undefiled" (amiantos) in a world of sin (Joh 8:46). This is our ground of hope, the sinlessness of Jesus and his real sympathy.

4:16 {Let us therefore draw near} (proserch“metha oun). Present active middle volitive subjunctive of proserchomai. "Let us keep on coming to" our high priest, this sympathizing and great high priest. Instead of deserting him, let us make daily use of him. This verb in Hebrews means reverent approach for worship (7:25; 10:1,22; 11:6).
{Unto the throne of grace} (t“i thron“i tˆs charitos). This old word (thronos) we have taken into English, the seat of kings and of God and so of Christ (1:3,8), but marked by grace because Jesus is there (Mt 19:28). Hence we should come "with boldness" (meta parrˆsias). Telling Jesus the whole story of our shortcomings.
{That we may receive mercy} (hina lab“men eleos). Purpose clause with hina and second aorist active subjunctive of lamban“.
{And find grace} (kai charin heur“men). Second aorist active subjunctive of heurisk“. We are sure to gain both of these aims because Jesus is our high priest on the throne.
{To help us in time of need} (eis eukairon boˆtheian). Boˆtheia is old word (from boˆthe“, 2:18 which see), in N.T. only here and Ac 27:17. Eukairos is an old word also (eu, well, kairos, opportunity), only here in N.T. "For well-timed help," "for help in the nick of time," before too late.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Hebrews: Chapter 4)

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