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sometime before the great call of Gen. 22: came. After the Lord had "mediated with
an oath" Abraham returned "and dwelt at Beer-sheba" (Gen. 22: 19), Beer-sheba
meaning, "the well of the OATH" (Gen. 21: 31, margin). One more reference to an oath
in Hebrews completes the testimony.
"So I sware in My wrath, if they shall enter into my rest" (Heb. 3: 18; 4: 3).
Here the two references deal with failure to enter into the promised land, or promised
rest. Again the subject is not salvation, but the things that accompany salvation. The
three "oaths' of Hebrews therefore are linked together:--
1. Those who did not overcome, like Israel in the wilderness (Heb. 3: 11; 4: 3).
2. Those who do overcome, like Abraham (Heb. 6: 17, 18).
3. The Priest of the overcomer (Heb. 7: 21).
These two oaths are the two immutable things of Heb. 6: and refer to the oaths made
to Abraham and the Lord. Abraham's hope rested upon a covenant that was made sure
by the shedding of blood. The oath leads on to the hope:--
"That . . . . . we might have strong consolation who have fled along to grasp the hope
set before us, which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and
which enetereth into that within the veil" (Heb. 6: 18, 19).
The reader will miss the familiar "fled for refuge" of the A.V. We have repeatedly
urged that "Hebrews" does not deal with salvation from sin, but the things that
accompany salvation, the going on unto perfection. Katapheugo, translated "flee for
refuge" here, is used by the LXX in several places for fleeing to the city of refuge, and
this probably influenced the translators of both the A.V. and R.V. The word however is
used in other ways, and does not necessarily indicate fleeing for refuge, unless the
context so demands. For instance, the LXX version of Lev. 26: 25 renders "gather
together", katapheugo, and the Hebrew word so translated is asaph, its normal meaning.
Jer. 50: 5 and Zech. 2: 11 use the word to translate the Hebrew lavah, "to join". In
Isa. 54: 15 uses katapheugo to translate naphal, "to fall". In Isa. 55: 5 the word
translates the Hebrew rutz, "to run". This Hebrew word is found in Psa. 19: 5 (6)
where it is used of "running a race" and in Esther 3: 13, 15; 8: 10, 14 for the "posts"
that ran with letters, and Job speaks of his days being "swifter than a post" (9: 25). This
meaning of the word katapheugo, viz., "to run", is in entire harmony with both the
context of Heb. 6: and the more remote context of Heb. 12:
The reason why we see a connection in Heb. 12: is found in the recurrence of another
word which we must consider. The hope is said to be "set before" us. This word is
prokeimai and occurs in Heb. 12: 1, 2:--
"Let us run with patience the race set before us" (prokeimai).
"Who for the joy that was set before Him" (prokeimai).
Here the subject is unmistakable. It is a race with a reward at the end. It sums up the
whole series of overcomers detailed in Heb. 11: It speaks of those who do not draw back
but who go on unto perfection, who believe unto the acquiring of the soul. The apostle,