Hebrews 4:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 4:3, NIV: Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, 'So I declared on oath in my anger, 'They shall never enter my rest.'' And yet his works have been finished since the creation of the world.

Hebrews 4:3, ESV: For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” although his works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 4:3, KJV: 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.

Hebrews 4:3, NASB: For we who have believed enter that rest, just as He has said, 'AS I SWORE IN MY ANGER, THEY CERTAINLY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST,' although His works were finished from the foundation of the world.

Hebrews 4:3, NLT: For only we who believe can enter his rest. As for the others, God said, 'In my anger I took an oath: 'They will never enter my place of rest,'' even though this rest has been ready since he made the world.

Hebrews 4:3, CSB: For we who have believed enter the rest, in keeping with what he has said,So I swore in my anger,"They will not enter my rest," even though his works have been finished since the foundation of the world.

What does Hebrews 4:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse once again quotes from Psalm 95, specifically verse 11. In that passage, Israel is warned not to fail as they did prior to entering the Promised Land. Rather than trust God, most of the people gave in to fear. As a result, all but a small remnant were condemned to wander the desert and never obtain their promised inheritance. This "rest" is not a reference to salvation. The entire book of Hebrews is written specifically to saved Christian believers. What is at stake is not a loss of that salvation, but a forfeit of our spiritual inheritance.

Here, the writer of Hebrews makes the point that this "rest" is not permanently closed off, and is in fact available to all who fully trust in God. God's vow to deny faithless Israelites His rest was in the past, but it only applied to those who were faithless (Hebrews 3:16–19). Even further, as the writer will point out later, God's "rest," which He entered into after He completed creation, was and is still active. And, since the Old Testament encourages its readers to respond "today" in order to enter into God's "rest," this promise has not been closed off. We have to strive to obtain it, but it is not beyond our reach.

Here, the writer of Hebrews makes the point that this "rest" is not permanently closed off, and is in fact something available to all who fully trust in God.