What does Hebrews 3:7 mean?
ESV: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice,
NIV: So, as the Holy Spirit says: 'Today, if you hear his voice,
NASB: Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says, 'TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
CSB: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:Today, if you hear his voice,
NLT: That is why the Holy Spirit says, 'Today when you hear his voice,
KJV: Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,
NKJV: Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,
Verse Commentary:
This chapter points out that Jesus is a greater example than Moses. As a result, the Jewish Christians who read this letter should see Christ as the ultimate example, and "hold fast" to faith in Him despite hard times. Here, the author of Hebrews introduces an example from Israel's history to explain what happens when a saved believer fails to "hold fast" in their trust for God. This is given in a quotation from Psalm 95:7–11, starting here and running through verse 11.

Psalm 95 depicts the dangers of a believer "hardening their heart" against God, specifically by being fearful or disobedient. Israel did just that in the wilderness, and as a result, God disciplined the nation with forty years of wandering.

The reference to the Holy Spirit is not the major point of this passage, but it is important. The writer of Hebrews, clearly, sees the Scriptures of the Old Testament as inspired by the Holy Spirit. These texts are not simply being quoted because they are familiar to the letter's readers. They are being quoted as the very words of God.

The term "today" is meant to imply urgency. This is not a trivial idea being discussed: this is immediate.
Verse Context:
Hebrews 3:7–14 uses the example of Israel's forty years in the wilderness (Numbers 13—14) as a warning. This is directed at Christians who fail to ''hold fast'' their faith in God during persecution. Israel was saved from Egypt, as believers are saved from eternal death through salvation. Israel was offered the Promised Land, as believers are promised victory through our spiritual inheritance. Israel lost faith and didn't trust God against the ''giants'' of Canaan, as believers can be tempted to lose faith in the face of persecution. The ancient Israelites were not sent back to Egypt, just as God does not revoke the salvation of Christian believers. However, both can expect hardship and a loss of fellowship if they fail to trust in God.
Chapter Summary:
Hebrews chapter 3 uses a reference to Israel's wandering in the desert from the story of the Exodus. In this incident, the nation of Israel came to the border of the Promised Land and then lost confidence in God. Rather than trusting Him, most of the people gave up hope. As a result, only a tiny remnant of the nation was allowed to enter into Canaan. This chapter explains that Jesus Christ is superior to Moses and all of Moses' accomplishments. Christians, therefore, need to encourage each other to fully trust in God, in order to see fulfillment of His promises.
Chapter Context:
In chapters 1 and 2, the author of Hebrews showed that Jesus was not an angel. In fact, Jesus' role as Messiah required Him to be fully human. Starting in chapter 3, the author will explain how Jesus is also superior to various Old Testament characters such as Moses. This will help to set the stage for later references to Christ's superiority. Part of the warning in this chapter extends into chapter 4. Namely, that Christians who doubt God's promises risk missing out on the victories He has in store for us.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
Accessed 5/26/2024 5:25:36 PM
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