Hebrews 6:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 6:19, NIV: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,"

Hebrews 6:19, ESV: "We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,"

Hebrews 6:19, KJV: "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;"

Hebrews 6:19, NASB: "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil,"

Hebrews 6:19, NLT: "This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary."

Hebrews 6:19, CSB: "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain."

What does Hebrews 6:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The purpose of these last verses in chapter 6 is encouragement. In order for Christians to move beyond spiritual immaturity, they need to experience a sense of confidence in their faith. That assurance ought to come naturally when we consider examples such as Abraham. He was given promises by God, and history proved those oaths be true. In the prior verse, the writer began to weave three separate concepts together.

The first metaphor was that of fleeing to a refuge. This could be a reference to the Old Testament cities of refuge (Numbers 35; Joshua 20), or the general idea of a fortress or safe-house. In either case, the point is safety and security. Those within the refuge are safe from whatever danger they were fleeing.

The next image applied to our confidence is that of an anchor. This was a common symbol of hope, both before and during the early Christian church. Anchors prevent a ship from being swept away by wind or waves. What's more interesting, and relevant to this particular use, is that anchors are often placed away from the ship. In a harbor, for instance, sailors would carry the anchor some distance away, securing it to a reef, or the shore, or the dock. This aspect of an anchor makes more sense in light of the next image brought out in this verse.

The third image used to explain our hope is that of Christ entering "the inner place behind the curtain." This has already been referenced in the description of Christ's High Priesthood for all believers (Hebrews 2:17; 4:14), and a reason for our confident approach to God in prayer (Hebrews 4:16). Here, it again represents the way in which Christ precedes us. The next verse will refer to Jesus as our "forerunner," much as Hebrews 2:10 called Him the "founder of [our] salvation."

Put together, these separate images create a powerful message of reassurance. Christ has "anchored" our hope of "refuge" in the very presence of God: the "inner place." Prior verses pointed out the absolute and unchanging value of God's promises (Hebrews 6:13–18).

Just as the anchor which holds a ship is not in the exact same place as the ship itself, our hope is not in this world. Rather, it is in a holier, greater place. Since Christ has gone ahead of us, in order to secure our salvation, we should have absolute confidence. That confidence ought to lead us to greater faith, and growth in both truth and love.