The Berean Expositor
Volume 12 - Page 86 of 160
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The A.V. of 4: 2 reads "not being mixed by faith", and gives in the margin "because
they were not united by faith to". The R.V. reads "But the word of hearing did not profit
them, because they were not united by faith with them that heard". This reading turns our
attention to the great division that came about after the return of the spies.
Israel did not join with Caleb and Joshua in their triumphant faith, but with the
unbelievers and the complainers.
With regard to the nature of this rest both verses 3, 4 and 10 look back to Gen. 1: & 2:,
where we are told that God rested upon the seventh day after the completion of the six
days' creation. The believer is said to have rested "from his works as God did from His",
when he enters into this "rest that remaineth". Verse 9 departs from the usual word for
rest to give us its full and perfect meaning:--
"There remaineth a Sabbatismos (a Sabbath rest) for the people of God."
There is one further feature that demands attention, and that is the statement made in
4: 3:--
"Although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."
"The foundation (katabolē) of the world" is an expression that has been carefully
examined in The Berean Expositor, and the interpretation "The overthrow of the world"
has been adopted instead of that of the A.V.
This "overthrow" we find indicated in Gen. 1: 2:--
"And the earth became without form and void",
the six days' work which followed being the preparation of the earth as a platform for the
outworking of the plan of the ages. The question that comes to us as a result of this is:--
"In what way does this reflect upon the believers to whom the Apostle addressed his
words, for their rest is likened to the seventh day rest of God" (see Heb. 4: 3, 4, 10).
A little wider study, we think, will help us to appreciate the apostle's meaning. In
4: 1 he writes:--
"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example
of unbelief."
Now we are already acquainted with the fact that the grand exhortation of Hebrews is
to "go on unto perfection", perfection being the doctrinal equivalent of the rest that
remaineth. So therefore in Heb. 6: 1 we read:--
"Therefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on unto perfection."
This "perfection" we see to be the parallel with the "rest" of chapter 4: by observing
the second half of chapter 6::--