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Hebrews 4:1

New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995) [2]
— Therefore, let us fear if, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short of it.
King James Version (KJV 1769) [2]
— Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
English Revised Version (ERV 1885)
— Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Let us fear therefore, lest haply, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left of entering into his rest, any one of you might seem to have failed [of it].
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Let us therefore fear, lest at any time, although there is left behind a promise of entering into his rest,—any one from amongst you should be deemed, to have come short;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— We may fear, then, lest a promise being left of entering into His rest, any one of you may seem to have come short,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Let us fear therefore lest, the promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should be thought to be wanting.
Geneva Bible (GNV 1560)
— Let vs feare therefore, least at any time by forsaking the promes of entring into his rest, any of you should seeme to be depriued.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Let vs therefore feare, lest a promise being left [vs], of entring into his rest, any of you should seeme to come short of it.
Lamsa Bible (1957)
— LET us therefore fear, while the promise of entering into his rest remains, lest some amongst you find they are prevented from entering.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— Let us fear, therefore, lest, while there is a confirmed promise of an entrance into his rest, any one shall be found among you remaining from entering in.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Let us fear, therefore, lest while there is a firm promise of entering into his rest, any among you should be found coming short of entering.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Let us y5399
[5399] Standard
From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere.
<0000> Grammar
The original word in the Greek or Hebrew is translated by more than one word in the English. The English translation is separated by one or more other words from the original.
therefore 3767
{3767} Prime
Apparently a primary word; (adverbially) certainly, or (conjugationally) accordingly.
fear, 5399
{5399} Prime
From G5401; to frighten, that is, (passively) to be alarmed; by analogy to be in awe of, that is, revere.
<5680> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Passive Deponent (See G5789)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 15
lest, 3379
{3379} Prime
From G3361 and G4218; not ever; also if (or lest) ever (or perhaps).
a promise 1860
{1860} Prime
From G1861; an announcement (for information, assent or pledge; especially a divine assurance of good).
being left 2641
{2641} Prime
From G2596 and G3007; to leave down, that is, behind; by implication to abandon, have remaining.
<5746> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 360
[us] of entering 1525
{1525} Prime
From G1519 and G2064; to enter (literally or figuratively).
<5629> Grammar
Tense - Second Aorist (See G5780)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 454
into 1519
{1519} Prime
A primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.); also in adverbial phrases.
his 846
{0846} Prime
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
rest, 2663
{2663} Prime
From G2664; reposing down, that is, (by Hebraism) abode.
any 5100
{5100} Prime
An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.
of 1537
{1537} Prime
A primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence motion or action proceeds), from, out (of place, time or cause; literally or figuratively; direct or remote).
you 5216
{5216} Prime
Genitive case of G5210; of (from or concerning) you.
should seem 1380
{1380} Prime
A prolonged form of a primary verb δόκω [[doko]], {dok'-o} (used only as an alternate in certain tenses; compare the base of G1166); of the same meaning; to think; by implication to seem (truthfully or uncertainly).
<5725> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 352
to come short x5302
(5302) Complement
From G5306; to be later, that is, (by implication) to be inferior; genitively to fall short (be deficient).
of it. y5302
[5302] Standard
From G5306; to be later, that is, (by implication) to be inferior; genitively to fall short (be deficient).
<5760> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Infinitive (See G5795)
Count - 30
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Hebrews 4:1

_ _ Hebrews 4:1-16. The promise of God’s rest is fully realized through Christ: Let us strive to obtain it by Him, our sympathizing High Priest.

_ _ Let us ... fear — not with slavish terror, but godly “fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Since so many have fallen, we have cause to fear (Hebrews 3:17-19).

_ _ being left us — still remaining to us after the others have, by neglect, lost it.

_ _ his rest — God’s heavenly rest, of which Canaan is the type. “To-day” still continues, during which there is the danger of failing to reach the rest. “To-day,” rightly used, terminates in the rest which, when once obtained, is never lost (Revelation 3:12). A foretaste of the rest Is given in the inward rest which the believer’s soul has in Christ.

_ _ should seem to come short of itGreek, “to have come short of it”; should be found, when the great trial of all shall take place [Alford], to have fallen short of attaining the promise. The word “seem” is a mitigating mode of expression, though not lessening the reality. Bengel and Owen take it, Lest there should be any semblance or appearance of falling short.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Hebrews 4:1-10

_ _ Here, I. The apostle declares that our privileges by Christ under the gospel are not only as great, but greater than those enjoyed under the Mosaic law. He specifies this, that we have a promise left us of entering into his rest; that is, of entering into a covenant-relation to Christ, and a state of communion with God through Christ, and of growing up therein, till we are made perfect in glory. We have discoveries of this rest, and proposals, and the best directions how we may attain unto it. This promise of spiritual rest is a promise left us by the Lord Jesus Christ in his last will and testament, as a precious legacy. Our business is to see to it that we be the legatees, that we lay our claim to that rest and freedom from the dominion of sin, Satan, and the flesh, by which the souls of men are kept in servitude and deprived of the true rest of the soul, and may be also set free from the yoke of the law and all the toilsome ceremonies and services of it, and may enjoy peace with God in his ordinances and providences, and in our own consciences, and so have the prospect and earnest of perfect and everlasting rest in heaven.

_ _ II. He demonstrates the truth of his assertion, that we have as great advantages as they. For says he (Hebrews 4:2), To us was the gospel preached as well as unto them; the same gospel for substance was preached under both Testaments, though not so clearly; not in so comfortable a manner under the Old as under the New. The best privileges the ancient Jews had were their gospel privileges; the sacrifices and ceremonies of the Old Testament were the gospel of that dispensation; and, whatever was excellent in it, was the respect it had to Christ. Now, if this was their highest privilege, we are not inferior to them; for we have the gospel as well as they, and in greater purity and perspicuity than they had.

_ _ III. He again assigns the reason why so few of the ancient Jews profited by that dispensation of the gospel which they enjoyed, and that was their want of faith: The word preached did not profit them because it was not mixed with faith in those that heard him, Hebrews 4:2. Observe, 1. The word is preached to us that we may profit by it, that we may gain spiritual riches by it; it is a price put into our hands to get wisdom, the rich endowment of the soul. 2. There have been in all ages a great many unprofitable hearers; many who seem to deal much in sermons, in hearing the word of God, but gain nothing to their souls thereby; and those who are not gainers by hearing are great losers. 3. That which is at the bottom of all our unprofitableness under the word is our unbelief. We do not mix faith with what we hear; it is faith in the hearer that is the life of the word. Though the preacher believes the gospel, and endeavours to mix faith with his preaching, and to speak as one who has believed and so spoken, yet, if the hearers have not faith in their souls to mix with the word, they will be never the better for it. This faith must mingle with every word, and be in act and exercise while we are hearing; and, when we have heard the word, assenting to the truth of it, approving of it, accepting the mercy offered, applying the word to ourselves with suitable affections, then we shall find great profit and gain by the word preached.

_ _ IV. On these considerations the apostle grounds his repeated and earnest caution and counsel that those who enjoy the gospel should maintain a holy fear and jealousy over themselves, lest latent unbelief should rob them of the benefit of the word, and of that spiritual rest which is discovered and tendered in the gospel: Let us fear lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it, Hebrews 4:1. Observe, 1. Grace and glory are attainable by all under the gospel: there is an offer, and a promise to those who shall accept the offer. 2. Those who may attain them may also fall short. Those who may attain them may also fall short. Those who might have attained salvation by faith may fall short by unbelief. 3. It is a dreadful thing so much as to seem to fall short of the gospel salvation, to seem so to themselves, to lose their comfortable hope; and to seem so to others, so losing the honour of their holy profession. But, if it be so dreadful to seem to fall short of this rest, it is much more dreadful really to fall short. Such a disappointment must be fatal. 4. One good means to prevent either our real falling short or seeming to fall short is to maintain a holy and religious fear lest we should fall short. This will make us vigilant and diligent, sincere and serious; this fear will put us upon examining our faith and exercising it; whereas presumption is the high road to ruin.

_ _ V. The apostle confirms the happiness of all those who truly believe the gospel; and this he does,

_ _ 1. By asserting so positively the truth of it, from the experience of himself and others: “We, who have believed, do enter into rest, Hebrews 4:3. We enter into a blessed union with Christ, and into a communion with God through Christ; in this state we actually enjoy many sweet communications of pardon of sin, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace and earnests of glory, resting from the servitude of sin, and reposing ourselves in God till we are prepared to rest with him in heaven.”

_ _ 2. He illustrates and confirms it that those who believe are thus happy, and do enter into rest. (1.) From God's finishing his work of creation, and so entering into his rest (Hebrews 4:3, Hebrews 4:4), appointing our first parents to rest the seventh day, to rest in God. Now as God finished his work, and then rested from it, and acquiesced in it, so he will cause those who believe to finish their work, and then to enjoy their rest. (2.) From God's continuing the observance of the sabbath, after the fall, and the revelation of a Redeemer. They were to keep the seventh day a holy sabbath to the Lord, therein praising him who had raised them up out of nothing by creating power, and praying to him that he would create them anew by his Spirit of grace, and direct their faith to the promised Redeemer and restorer of all things, by which faith they find rest in their souls. (3.) From God's proposing Canaan as a typical rest for the Jews who believed: and as those who did believe, Caleb and Joshua, did actually enter into Canaan; so those who now believe shall enter into rest. (4.) From the certainty of another rest besides that seventh day of rest instituted and observed both before and after the fall, and besides that typical Canaan-rest which most of the Jews fell short of by unbelief; for the Psalmist has spoken of another day and another rest, whence it is evident that there is a more spiritual and excellent sabbath remaining for the people of God than that into which Joshua led the Jews (v. 6-9), and this rest remaining, [1.] A rest of grace, and comfort, and holiness, in the gospel state. This is the rest wherewith the Lord Jesus, our Joshua, causes weary souls and awakened consciences to rest, and this is the refreshing. [2.] A rest in glory, the everlasting sabbatism of heaven, which is the repose and perfection of nature and grace too, where the people of God shall enjoy the end of their faith and the object of all their desires. (5.) This is further proved from the glorious forerunners who have actually taken possession of this rest — God and Christ. It is certain that God, after the creating of the world in six days, entered into his rest; and it is certain that Christ, when he had finished the work of our redemption, entered into his rest; and these were not only examples, but earnests, that believers shall enter into their rest: He that hath entered into rest hath also ceased from his own works as God did from his, Hebrews 4:10. Every true believer hath ceased from his own works of righteousness, and from the burdensome works of the law, as God and Christ have ceased from their works of creation and redemption.

_ _ VI. The apostle confirms the misery of those who do not believe; they shall never enter into this spiritual rest, either of grace here or glory hereafter. This is as certain as the word and oath of God can make it. As sure as God has entered into his rest, so sure it is that obstinate unbelievers shall be excluded. As sure as the unbelieving Jews fell in the wilderness, and never reached the promised land, so sure it is that unbelievers shall fall into destruction, and never reach heaven. As sure as Joshua, the great captain of the Jews, could not give them possession of Canaan because of their unbelief, notwithstanding his eminent valour and conduct, so sure it is that even Jesus himself, and captain of our salvation, notwithstanding all that fulness of grace and strength that dwells in him, will not, cannot, give to final unbelievers either spiritual or eternal rest: it remains only for the people of God; others by their sin abandon themselves to eternal restlessness.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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Geneva Bible Translation Notes

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Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
us therefore:

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 2:1-3 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let [them] slip. ... How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];
Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble [you], and thereby many be defiled;
Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more [shall not] we [escape], if we turn away from him that [speaketh] from heaven:
Hebrews 13:7 Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of [their] conversation.
Proverbs 14:16 A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.
Proverbs 28:14 Happy [is] the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
Jeremiah 32:40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.
Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

a promise:

Hebrews 4:9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, [even] forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, [even] forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.
1 Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed [that] thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
Romans 3:3-4 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? ... God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.


Hebrews 4:3-5 For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. ... And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest.
Hebrews 3:11 So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.)


Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. ... And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:26-27 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: ... And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
Matthew 24:48-51 But and if that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; ... And shall cut him asunder, and appoint [him] his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Matthew 25:1-3 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. ... They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
Luke 12:45-46 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; ... The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for [him], and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.
Luke 13:25-30 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: ... And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
1 Corinthians 9:26-27 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: ... But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
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Chain-Reference Bible SearchCross References with Concordance

Nu 14:34. 1S 2:30. Pv 14:16; 28:14. Jr 32:40. Mt 7:21, 26; 24:48; 25:1. Lk 12:45; 13:25. Ro 3:3, 23; 11:20. 1Co 9:26; 10:12. 2Ti 2:13. He 2:1; 3:11; 4:3, 9, 11; 12:15, 25; 13:7.

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