Totally Free Bible Version - Complete Book of Hebrews

Totally Free Bible Version Index


Chapter 1

1In old times God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets in many portions and in different ways. 2In these last days, however, he has spoken to us through a Son, one whom he has made heir of everything, and through whom also he created the universe. 3This Son is the brightness of his glory and the exact representation of his real essence. He sustains everything by his powerful word. He performed a cleansing from sins and sat down at the right hand of majesty in the {spiritual/heavenly} heights. 4Thus he became as much greater than the angels as the fame {reputation} he has inherited is of a more outstanding nature than theirs. 5For to which of the angels did God ever say: "You are my son, today I have given birth to you" [Psalm 2:7] or again, "I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me"? [2 Samuel 7:14] 6But again when he brought the firstborn into the world, he said: "And let all the angels of God worship him." [Deuteronomy 32:43 LXX; Psalm 97:7]"

7Rather he says concerning the angels:

"He who makes his angels spirits {winds}
and his servants flames of fire." [Psalm 104:4 LXX] 8
But concerning the Son he says:

"Your throne, God, is eternal,
and the Scepter of your kingdom is a righteous one.
9You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness,
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you;
With {olive} oil of rejoicing amongst your companions." [Psalm 45:6-7] 10And:

"At the beginning you founded the earth;
The heavens are the work of your hands.
" 11They will pass away, but you remain.
They all become old like a piece of clothing,
12and as a canvas you roll them up 13To which of the angels has he ever said:

"Sit at my right hand,
Until I set your enemies as a footstool for your feet"? [Psalm 110:1] 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out for the sake of those who are about to inherit salvation?

Chapter 2

1Because of this we need to pay even greater heed to the things which we have heard so that we won't drift away. 2The message brought by angels was firm, and every transgression and disobedience received its just punishment. 3How then shall we escape after neglecting such a tremendous deliverance? The Lord spoke of this deliverance first, then it was confirmed to us by those who heard him. 4God also confirmed their testimony with signs and wonders and various powerful deeds, and with the Holy Spirit apportioned according to his will. 5Now it was not to angels that he {God} subjected the world to come, which we are discussing. 6Rather, somewhere it is affirmed:
"What is man that you remember him,
or the son of man that you are concerned with him?
7You made him lower than the angels for a little while;
You crowned him with glory and honor.
8You placed everything in subjection under his feet."
[Psalm 8:5-7 LXX]

Now in subjecting everything to him, he leaves nothing that is not subject. Yet now we do not yet see everything subject to him. 9But in the phrase "a little while less than the angels" we see Jesus, through the suffering of death, "crowned with glory and honor," in order that by the grace of God he might taste death on behalf of everyone. 10For it was appropriate for him {God}, because of whom everything exists and by means of whom everything exists, in bringing many sons into glory, to perfect the pioneer of their deliverance through suffering. 11Indeed, the one who is making holy and those being made holy are of one essence. For this reason he {Jesus} is not ashamed to call them brethren. 12For he says:

"I will proclaim your fame among your brethren,
In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise songs to you."
[Psalm 22:22]

13
"I will continue to put my trust in him."
[Isaiah 8:17 LXX]

and again 14Since then the children share blood and flesh, he himself likewise shares the same things. In this way, by means of death he can do away with the one who has the power of death, namely the devil. 15So he can release those who were subject to servitude all their lives by fear of death. 16For clearly he is not concerned with angels, but rather with the seed of Abraham. 17For this reason it was necessary for him to be like his brethren in all ways, so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest concerning divine matters {matters dealing with God} in order to cleanse the sins of the people. 18Because he was tested by the things he suffered, he is able to sympathize with those who are tested.

Chapter 3

1For this reason, holy brethren, fellow participants in a heavenly calling, let us consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. 2He was faithful to the one who made him a priest, just as Moses was in all his household. 3For this one {Jesus} became worthy of as much greater glory than Moses as the one who makes a house has over it. 4For someone builds every house, and the builder of everything is God. 5And Moses indeed was faithful in all God's house as a servant for a testimony concerning the things to be spoken, 6but Christ as a Son over his house, which household we are, if we hold tight to the boldness and boast of our hope. 7Therefore just as the Holy Spirit says:

"Today, if you will hear {and obey} His voice,
8Don't harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion,
at the day of testing in the desert.
9Where your fathers tested Me in an examination.
And they saw My works 10over a period of 40 years.
For this reason I was angry with that generation,
and I said, 'Their hearts {minds} are continually deceived,
and they don't know My ways.'
11Thus I swore in My wrath,
'They will surely never enter into My rest!'"
[Psalm 95:7-11] 12Watch brethren, so that there will never be in any of you an evil, unfaithful heart {mind} to be unfaithful to a living God. 13But encourage each other every day until the time called "Today" so that not one of you is hardened through the deception of sin. 14Because we have become partakers with Christ, if we hold tight to the beginning {root} of our confidence until the end. 15As it is said, "Today, if you will hear {and obey} my voice,
Don't harden your hearts as at the rebellion."
[Psalm 95:7,8] 16Now who rebelled after they heard? Was it not all those who went out of Egypt led by Moses? 17And against whom was he {God} angry for forty years? Was it not against those who sinned, and whose corpses fell in the desert? 18Concerning whom did he swear that they would never enter into his rest? Was it not the disobedient ones? 19Now we see that they were unable to enter because of unfaithfulness {unbelief}.

Chapter 4

1Let us then begin to fear, while the promise to enter into his rest remains, lest some of you might appear to be falling short. 2For we also were given the good news just as those people were, but the message didn't do any good to them, because it wasn't mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3For this reason let us who believe enter into that rest, just as he has said:

"As I swore in my wrath,
They shall never enter into my rest."
[Psalm 95:11]

His works were finished at the foundation of the world. 4For it is said somewhere concerning the seventh day thus:

"And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." [Genesis 2:21] 5And in this place again, "They shall never enter into my rest." 6So certain ones remain to go into it. Those who first heard the good news did not enter in through disobedience. 7That means a certain day is foreseen, "Today" when David says after much time, just as it was foretold, "Today, if you will hear {and obey} my voice, Do no harden your hearts {minds}." 8For if Joshua had given them rest, He wouldn't have spoken concerning another day after these things. 9Therefore there remains a sabbath rest for God's people. 10For the one who goes into his rest, also himself rests from his labors, just as God did from his own. 11Let us then be eager to enter into that rest, so that in it nobody will fall through disobedience after their pattern. 12For the word {message} of God is alive and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit, bones and marrow, and judging the desires and thoughts of the heart {mind}. 13And there is no creature who is not visible to him, for everything is naked and laid bare to his eyes, to whom we must render an account. 14Since we have such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the son of God, let us grasp our confession. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, since he has been tested in all things in the same way we have, but without sin. 16Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we might receive mercy and we might find grace in time of need.

Chapter 5

1For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to deal with divine things on behalf of humans, so that he might offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with people who are ignorant and deceived, since he himself is burdened with weakness. 3And because of this he needs to offer sacrifices for sin for himself just as he does for the people. 4Now nobody takes this honor on himself, but because he is called by God, just as Aaron was.

5Thus also Christ did not glorify himself by becoming high priest, but {was glorified by} the one who said to him:

"You are my son;
I have given you birth today."
[Psalm 2:7] 6Just as it says in another place, "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek." [Psalm 110:4] 7Who, in the days of his flesh, offered entreaties and petitions to the one who was able to save him from death with loud cries and tears, and he was heard because of his piety. 8Even though he was a son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered, 9and being made whole he became a means of eternal salvation to all those who obey him, 10since he was designated by God as a priest according to the priestly order of Melchizedek. 11Concerning which we have much to say which is difficult to understand, since your hearing has become lazy. 12For you ought to be teachers by now, yet you again have need for someone to teach you the elements of the foundation of God's message. But you now need milk and not solid food. 13For everyone who needs milk is untested in the message of righteousness, since he is still an infant. 14Solid food is for the mature, for those who through practice have exercised their understanding to distinguish good and evil.

Chapter 6

1Therefore, leaving the beginning of the message of Christ, let us carry on to maturity, not re-laying the foundation of repentance from dead works, of faith in God, 2of the doctrine of baptism, of the laying on of hands, of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3This we will do if God pleases. 4Now it is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gifts, become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and tasted the good word of God and the wonders of the coming age, 6and then fallen away to be renewed to repentance. It's because they are crucifying the Son of God again for themselves, and putting him to open shame. 7For if the earth drinks the various kinds of rain which come to it, and brings forth a suitable crop for those by whom it is tended, it receives blessings from God. 8If it brings forth thorns and briars, it is unworthy and just about cursed, so it will end up burning.

9We are confident concerning you, loved ones, that you have the good things that go with salvation. That's why we speak in this way. 10For God is not so unjust that he would forget your works and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints and continuing to do so. 11But we want each one of you to show the same zeal toward the fulfillment of your hope to the end 12so that you might not become lazy, but rather imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

13Now when God swore to Abraham, since he had nobody greater to swear by, "he swore by himself" [Genesis 22:16], 14saying, "Indeed I will bless you greatly and will multiply you greatly." [Genesis 22:17] 15And so, being patient, he received the promise. 16For people swear by something greater, and all contradiction meets its end when something is confirmed by an oath. 17So much more, when God wanted to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of his will, he guaranteed it by means of an oath. 18So that by means of two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have sought refuge might have powerful encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, steadfast and firm and entering the inner side of the veil. 20Jesus entered there as a forerunner for us, becoming a high priest eternally according to the order of Melchizedek.

Chapter 7

1Now this Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, met Abraham when he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him. 2Abraham apportioned a tenth of everything to him. He is first "King of Righteousness" and then King of Salem which is "King of Peace." 3He is without father, without mother, without genealogy, and has neither beginning of days nor end of life, but, in a way similar to the Son of God he remains forever.

4So you see how great this one was that the patriarch Abraham gave to him a tenth of the spoils. 5Now those from the tribe of Levi who receive the priesthood have a command which allows them to tithe the people according to the law, that is, their brethren, those who come from the loins of Abraham. 6But one who does not have his genealogy from among them received tithes from Abraham, and blessed the possessor of the promises! 7Now undoubtedly the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8And there mortal men receive tithes, but there is one who has testimony that he is alive. 9And one might almost say that via Abraham Levi, the tithe receiver also was tithed, 10since he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

11For if completeness came through the Levitical priesthood, on the basis of which the people received the law, what further need would there be indicated for another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek and not according to the order of Aaron? 12For when a priesthood is set aside, a change of law is also necessary. 13Now the person of whom these things are said comes from a different tribe, from which nobody has served at the altar. 14For it is clear that our Lord arose out of Judah, concerning which tribe Moses said nothing with regard to priests. 15And it is even more clear if another priest arises according to the order of Melchizedek, 16who did not become a priest according to a commandment of the flesh, but according to the power of indestructible life. 17For it is testified that:

"You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek." [Psalm 110:4] 18Indeed, there comes a laying aside of the preceding commandment, because it was weak and useless. 19Because the law did not make anyone mature {complete}, rather the entry of a greater hope, through which we come near to God. 20And this one {became a priest} with an oath, whereas the others became priests without an oath. 21It was with an oath by means of saying to him:

"The Lord has sword,
and it will not be changed.
You are a priest forever."
[Psalm 110:4] 22By this also Jesus has become the mediator of a better covenant. 23For whereas the many who became priests were prevented by death from remaining, 24he {Jesus} by remaining forever has the priesthood forever. 25Because of this he is able to save completely those who approach God through him, since he continually lives to intercede on their behalf.

26We now have just such a suitable high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners and come to the highest places of the heavens. 27He has no need to offer sacrifices each day first for his own sins, like the other high priests and then for those of the people, because he has offered himself once and for all. 28For the law appointed high priests who had weaknesses, but the word confirmed with an oath, which came after the law, appointed a Son, perfected forever.

Chapter 8

1Now the key point of what we have said is this: We have just this kind of high priest who has sat down on the right hand of the throne of majesty in the heavens. 2He is a minister of the holy of holies of the genuine tabernacle, which the Lord pitched and not man. 3For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices. For this reason it is necessary for this one also to have something to offer. 4For if he were on earth, he would not be a priest, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5Which things serve as a pattern and shadow of heavenly things, just as they were laid out to Moses when he was about to complete the tabernacle. "For see, he said, that you make everything according to the pattern {type} which I showed you in the mountain." [Exodus 25:40] 6Now he has received a greater ministry, inasmuch as he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was enacted on the basis of better promises.

7For if the first covenant had been faultless, nobody would have sought a better one. 8Finding fault [with it] he says to them:

"Behold days are coming, say the Lord,
When I will complete with the house of Israel,
And upon the house of Judah a new covenant. 9Not like the covenant I made with their fathers
In the day when I took them by the hand,
To lead them out of the land of Egypt.
Because they did not remain in my covenant,
And I rejected them, says the Lord. 10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel:
I will put my laws in their understanding,
And will inscribe them upon their hearts.
I will be a God to them,
And they will be a people to me.
11And no longer will each one of them teach his neighbor,
and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord.
Because they will all know me, from the least to the greatest of them.
12Because I will be merciful to their deeds of unrighteousness,
and I will not remember their sins any more." [Jeremiah 31:31-34] 13Now in saying "new" he made the first one {covenant} old. And that which is becoming old and obsolete is about to disappear.

Chapter 9

1Now the first {covenant} had rules of service and an earthly sanctuary. 2For the first chamber was furnished, with the lampstand and the table and the presence of the bread in it. It is called the holy place. 3And after the second curtain another chamber called the holy of holies. 4It had the golden altar and the ark of the covenant (covered all around with gold), in which were the golden jar containing the manna and Aaron's rod that budded and the tables of the covenant. 5Above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Concerning all this there is no time to speak now in full.

6With these all furnished in this way, the priests went into the first chamber all the time completing their ministry. 7But into the second chamber the High Priest alone went once a year, not without blood, which he offered on behalf of himself and of all the sins of the people. 8Thus the Holy Spirit made clear that the way of the most holy would not be revealed while the first chamber was in existence. 9This is a parable for the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshipper whole with respect to conscience. 10It can only do so about food and drink and different kinds of washings, carnal regulations holding sway until a time of reformation.

11And Christ has now become a high priest of the good things which have come by means of a better and more complete tabernacle which is not made with hands and is not of this creation. 12And he went once and for all into the most holy place, not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of his own blood, and he found eternal redemption. 13The blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkled ashes of a heifer could make the partakers holy in terms of the cleanness of the flesh. 14How much more will the blood of Christ, which he offered blameless to God by means of an eternal spirit, cleanse our conscience from dead works so we can serve a living God!

15Now because of this he is the mediator of a new covenant so that having become dead for the redemption of those who transgressed under the first covenant, those who are called might receive the promise of an eternal inheritance. 16For where there is a will, it is necessary that the death of the one who made the will occur. 17For a covenant is firm when there is a death, as it is not firm while the testator lives. 18Whence even the first one was not renewed without blood. 19Since once the law had been spoken to all the people by Moses, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled the book and all the people, 20saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God commanded you." [Exodus 24:8] 21And the tabernacle and all the vessels of the temple service were likewise sprinkled with blood. 22Now pretty much everything was cleansed with blood under the law and without the spilling of blood there can not be forgiveness.

23For seeing that it was necessary that the pattern of things in the heavens be cleansed in this way, the heavenly things need much greater sacrifices than these. 24For it is not into a holy place made by hands that Christ has gone, a representation of the genuine things, but into the heaven itself, to be revealed now to the face of God on our behalf.

25Neither will he offer himself multiple times, in the way that the high priests entered into the holy place once each year using the blood of another creature, 26since then it would have been necessary for him to suffer many times from the foundation of the world. But now he has been revealed one time for eternal completeness, to set aside sin by means of his sacrifice. 27And just as it is the nature of men to die one time, and after that the judgment, 28so also Christ will appear again without sin, having offered himself to bear the sins of many, to those who wait for salvation.

Chapter 10

1For the law had but a shadow of the coming good things, and not their real essence. For this reason, the same sacrifices that they offered were never able to completely perfect those who brought them. 2Otherwise would they not have ceased bringing them, unless the worshipers never had their consciences completely purified of sins? 3But in the same ones there was a remembrance of sin each year, 4since it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to carry sin away.

5Therefore when he is coming into the world he says:

"Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
But you have prepared a body for me. 6Whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins-
You will not take pleasure in them. 7Then I said:
Behold I come,
In the scroll of the book it is written about me,
To do you will, O God." [Psalm 40:6-8]

8Above, he says "sacrifices and offerings" and "whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sins you did not desire, nor did you take pleasure in" (which were offered according to the law). 9Then he says, "Behold, I came to do your will." He carries away the first so that the second can stand. 10Because of this desire [of God] we are made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all. 11Now every priest stands day by day offering these various sacrifices which can never carry sin away. 12Christ, on the other hand, has offered one sacrifice, perfectly good, and sat down at the right hand of God 13The only thing left is a time of waiting until his enemies are made footstool for his feet. 14For by means of one sacrifice he has made the ones who are being made holy completely perfect.

15And the Holy Spirit testifies to us, for after that he says:

16For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel:
After those days, says the Lord,
I will put my laws in their hearts,
And will inscribe them upon their minds. 17Because their deeds of unrighteousness and their sins
I will not remember any more. [Jeremiah 31:33,34] 18And where there is forgiveness of these sins, there is no more offering for sins.

19Now then, brethren, we have boldness to go into the holiest place through the blood of Jesus, 20which he placed as a living way through the curtain, not previously available, which is his flesh. 21Jesus is also a great priest over the household of God. 22So let's come with true hearts and full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from bad conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold firmly the confession of our hope without wavering, for the one who promised is faithful. 24And let us pay attention to each other, so as to stir up of love and good works, 25not neglecting our meetings, as is the practice of some, but encouraging, and doing this even more as we see the day approaching.

26For if some of us continue sinning willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there is no more sacrifice left for sin, 27but only the fearful expectation of judgment and an ardently burning fire about to consume his enemies. 28If someone broke the law of Moses, he was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29How much worse punishment do you think someone deserves who despises the Son of God and counts the blood of the covenant by which he was made holy as common, and who outrages the spirit of grace? 30For we know who said:

"Vengeance is mine, I will repay." [Deuteronomy 32:35] and again:

"The Lord will judge his people." [Deuteronomy 32:36] 31It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God! 32But remember the earlier days, in which you were enlightened, how with a hard struggle you endured sufferings, 33some being exposes to public tribulation and some being made partners of those who were persecuted. 34And you have suffered together with those who were bound, and you have endured the seizure of your goods with joy, knowing that you have better possessions, yes, permanent ones. 35Don't throw away your boldness, which has great reward, 36for you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God you might receive the promise.

37"Yet in a very little while, the one who is coming will come and will not delay. 38But my righteous one will live by faith,
and if he shrinks back,
My soul will have no pleasure in him." [Habakkuk 2:3,4] 39But we are not of timidity leading to destruction, but of faith, leading to obtaining life.

Chapter 11

1Now faith is the substantial nature of things we hope for, the clear conviction of things we don't see. 2By this means the elders were approved.

3By faith we understand that the universe was made by the word of God, so that things which are seen didn't come out of things already visible.

Abel

4By faith Abel offered a better sacrifice to God than did Cain, by which he was approved as being righteous, God bearing witness on his gifts, and by this means, though he is dead, he still speaks.

Enoch

5By faith Enoch was removed so that he would not see death, and "he was not found, because God has removed him." [Genesis 5:24] For before his removal he had this testimony, that he was pleasing to God.

Faith Pleases God

6For without faith it is impossible to please him, for the one who comes to God must believe both that he exists and that he is the rewarder of those who seek him.

Noah

7By faith Noah, being warned about things that were not yet seen, acted with reverence and prepared an ark for the salvation of his house. By this means he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes in accordance with faith.

Abraham and Sarah

8By faith Abraham, when he was called to go to a place which he would soon receive as an inheritance, obeyed. He went out, not knowing where he was going. 9By faith he lived as a stranger in the land of promise, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, his fellow-heirs of the same promise. 10For they were looking for a city with foundations, whose designer and builder is God. 11By faith-and Sarah herself sterile-he received power to bring forth seed after the appropriate time, since he counted the one who promised as faithful. 12Therefore those borne of one person, and that one dead, became as the stars of heaven in number and as the stand on the seashore-innumerable. 13In faith these all died, not having received the promises, but they saw and reached out to them from afar, and they confessed that they were strangers and wanderers on the earth, 14for those who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15If they had been remembering the land they had gone out from, there might have been opportunity to return. 16But now they aspire to a better place, which is heavenly. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, because he has prepared a city for them.

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph

17By faith Abraham offered Isaac when he was tested, and he offered the only son, the one who was to receive the promises. 18Concerning whom it was said, "In Isaac shall your seed be called." [Genesis 21:12] 19Because he reckoned that God could raise him even from the dead. And speaking as a parable he did receive him from there. 20By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things which were about to happen. 21By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, "and he worshipped leaning on the top of his staff." [Genesis 47:31] 22By faith Joseph when he was dying gave thought to the exodus of the children of Israel, and he gave a command concerning his bones.

Moses

23By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that he was a healthy and good child, and they were not afraid of the king's command. 24By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25counting it better to suffer together with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasure of sin for a short time. 26For he counted the reproach of Christ better than the treasures of Egypt, since he looked forward to the reward. 27By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he endured, as one who sees what is invisible. 28By faith he carried out the passover and the pouring out of the blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn should not touch him. 29By faith he crossed the Red Sea as on dry land and when the Egyptians tried it they were drowned.

Invasion of Canaan

30By faith the walls of Jericho fell down, after they were encompassed for seven days. 31By faith Rahab the prostitute was not destroyed with the disobedient, since she had received the spies in peace.

Other People of Faith

32And what more shall I say? Time would run out if I told of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and all the prophets, 33who through faith defeated kings, did righteousness, received promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34quenched the violence of fire, fled the edge of the sword, were strengthened from weakness, became strong in war, put to flight armies of foreigners. 35Women received their dead raised to life. But others were tortured, not grasping release, so that they might receive a better resurrection. 36Others received testing of scorn and beating, and others of chains and prison. 37They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they died by the sword, they went about in sheepskins, in skins of goats. They were in want, they were tormented, they were maltreated. 38The world was not worthy of them, wandering in deserts and mountains and in the caves and cracks of the earth.

Something Better

39And these all, having received approval of faith, did not receive the promise, 40since God concerning us foresaw something better, so that without us they would not come to completion.

Chapter 12



Run the Race

1So then, since we are surrounded by such a large crowd of witnesses, let us put aside every impediment and sin that can easily ensnare us and let us run the race which is set before us. 2Let us do these things looking steadily with trust on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who, because of the joy placed before him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and has now sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3And consider how great the hostility he endured for sinners was, so that you might not grow weary or lose strength. 4You have not yet had to resist as far as bloodshed in your fight against sin, 5and you have forgotten the exhortation that speaks to you as children:

"My son, don't belittle the Lord's discipline,
And don't become weary at his rebuke. 6For whoever the Lord loves he disciplines,
And he punishes every son that he accepts." [Proverbs 3:11-12]

Discipline of the Lord

7Endure discipline. God is dealing with you as his children. For what son does a father not discipline? 8Now if you are without discipline, of which all children share, then you are strangers and not sons. 9Furthermore, we all had parents according to the flesh who disciplined us and we accepted it. Should we not be much more willing to be subject to our spiritual father so we can live? 10On the one hand our parents disciplined us for a little while as they thought fitting. God, on the other hand, does what is needed to let us share his holy character. 11For no discipline is considered pleasant while it lasts, but rather sorrow. Later, however, it bears the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are exercised by it.

Strengthen One Another

12Therefore restore the weakened hands and the bent knees, 13and prepare straight paths for your feet so that the lame might not stumble but rather might be healed.

Falling Short of God's Grace

14Pursue peace with everyone and the holiness without which nobody can see the Lord. 15Be careful not to fall short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness grows up to annoy and in this way defiles many. 16Let nobody be immoral and profane like Esau, who handed over his birthright in exchange for a single meal. 17For you know that later, wanting to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, even though he sought it with tears, since repentance did not find a place in his mind.

Two Mountains

18For you have not come to something that can be touched, to a furious fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind 19and the sound of a trumpet and a voice speaking words which made the hearers beg to hear no more. 20For they could not endure the command that was given, "Even a beast who touches the mountain shall be stoned." [Exodus 19:12,13] 21Indeed, so fearful were the things which appeared that Moses said, "I am fearful and trembling." 22You, rather, have come to Zion, the mountain and city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, with myriads of angels in festive array, 23and an assembly of the firstborn inscribed in heaven. And you have come to God the judge of everyone, and the spirits of the mature righteous, 24and Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant and the sprinkled blood that gives us a better message than the blood of Abel.

25Watch, so that you don't deny what is being said. For if those people could not flee upon the earth if they denied the things that were sketched out, how much less can we escape if we turn away from the message direct from heaven? 26God's voice will then shake the earth, but now he has promised, saying, "One time more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens." [Haggai 2:6] 27Now the words "one more time" refer to the removal of the things that are shaken, that is, of created things, so that those which are not shaken might remain. 28So let's be thankful that we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, so we can provide service that is pleasing to God with awe and fear. 29For our God is a consuming fire.

Chapter 13



Exhortations

1Let brotherly love remain. 2Don't forget hospitality, because by it some have unknowingly entertained angels. 3Remember those who are bound as though you were bound with them, and those who suffer wrong as though you were with them in body. 4Marriage is honorable, along with the undefiled marriage bed, because God will judge fornicators and adulterers. 5The proper way of life is not to be fond of money. Be satisfied with what you have. For he himself has said, "I will not leave you nor will I forsake you." [Deuteronomy 31:6] 6Be confident for this reason, that he says to us:

"The Lord is my helper.
I will not be fearful of what people can do to me."
[Psalm 118:6]

Leaders

7Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. When you see the outcome of their way of life, imitate their faith. 8Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Avoiding Strange Doctrines

9Don't be carried away by strange and differing doctrines, for it is good for your heart to be made firm through grace, not through food regulations, which do not benefit those who follow them. 10We have an altar, from which those who minister in the tabernacle don't have the authority to eat. 11For those beasts whose blood was brought into the holy place by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin were burned outside the camp. 12Therefore Jesus also suffered outside the gate so that he might make the people holy by means of his own blood. 13And now we can come to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. 14For we don't have an enduring city here, but we seek one to come. 15Through him we offer up always a sacrifice of praise to God, which is the fruit of lips confessing his name. 16And don't forget the doing of good, and fellowship because such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

Subject to Leaders

17Obey your leaders and be subject to them, for they remain alert on behalf of your souls, as persons who have to give an account, so that they can do it with joy and not with sighing-for the latter would be unprofitable to you.

18Pray for us, because we believe that we have a good conscience, because we want to behave honorably in all things. 19Even more I exhort you to do this so that I might be restored to you quickly.

Benediction

20Now may the God of peace who raised the great shepherd of the sheep, even our Lord Jesus, from the dead through the blood of an eternal covenant, 21equip you with everything good to do his will, working in you what is pleasing before him by means of Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever, Amen.

22I exhort you, brethren, to listen willingly to the word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23You know what our brother Timothy has been set free, with whom I will see you if he comes quickly. 24Greet all your leaders and all the saints. All those from Italy greet you. 25May grace be with you.