The Epistle to the HEBREWS
God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake of old to the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son; whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom he also made the worlds: Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and sustaining all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high, being so much higher than the angels, as he hath by inheritance a more excellent name than they. For to which of the angels did he ever say, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son, Thy throne, God, is for ever and ever: The scepter of thy kingdom is a scepter of righteousness: Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, hast in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou endurest; yea, they all shall grow old as a garment; and as a mantle shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. But to which of the angels did he ever say, Sit at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to attend on them who shall inherit salvation?
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. For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense : How shall we escape, if we neglect so great a salvation, which, having at its beginning been spoken by the Lord, was confirmed to us by them that had heard him? God also bearing witness both by signs, and wonders, and various miracles, and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.
For he hath not subjected to the angels the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, and hast set him over the works of thy hands. Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. Now in putting all things in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him: but now we do not yet see all things put under him. But we see Jesus crowned with glory and honor, for the suffering of death, who was made a little lower than the angels, that by the grace of God he might taste death for every man. For it became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the captain of their salvation by sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth, and all they that are sanctified, are of one; for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Saying, I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him: And again, Behold I and the children whom God hath given me. Since then the children partake of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner took part of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil: And deliver them, as many as through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he taketh not hold of angels, but he taketh hold of the seed of Abraham. Wherefore it behooved him to be made in all things like his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to expiate the sins of the people. For in that he hath suffered, being tempted himself, he is able to succor them that are tempted.
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the apostle and high priest of our profession, Jesus, who was faithful to him that appointed him, as was also Moses in all his house. For this person was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he that builded it hath more honor than the house. Now every house is built by some one: But he that built all things is God. And Moses verily was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of the things which were to be afterward spoken: But Christ as a Son over his own house, whose house we are, if we hold fast the confidence and the glorying of hope firm to the end. Wherefore, (as the Holy Ghost saith,) To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness, when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Therefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They always err in their hearts, and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest. Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God: But exhort one another daily, while it is called to-day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin: (For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our confidence firm to the end.) While it is said, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For who, when they had heard, provoked God? Were they not all that came out of Egypt by Moses? And with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them who had sinned? Whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see they could not enter in because of unbelief.
Let us therefore fear, lest a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of us should altogether come short of it. For unto us have the good tidings been declared, as well as unto them; but the word heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those that heard it. For we that have believed do enter into the rest; as he said, I have sworn in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest, though the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he said thus in a certain place of the seventh day, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works: And in this again, They shall not enter into my rest. Seeing then it remaineth that some enter into it, and they to whom the good tidings were declared before entered not in because of unbelief. He again after so long a time fixeth a certain day, saying by David, To-day; as it was said before, To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. For if Joshua had given them the rest, he would not have afterward spoken of another day: There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God. For he that hath entered into his rest hath himself also ceased from his works, as God did from his. Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any one should fall after the same example of unbelief. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder both of the soul and spirit, both of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: But all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Having therefore a great high priest, that is passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high priest who cannot sympathize with our infirmities, but one who was in all points tempted like as we are; yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
For every high priest, being taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and the wandering; seeing he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And because hereof it behooved him, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no one taketh this honor to himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made a high priest, but he that said to him, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and being heard in that he feared; though he was a Son, yet he learned obedience by the things which he suffered, and being perfected, became the author of eternal salvation to all that obey him; called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Concerning whom we have many things to say, and hard to be explained, seeing ye are become dull of hearing. For whereas for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again, which are the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is inexperienced in the word of righteousness; for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them of full age, to them who have their senses exercised by habit to discern both good and evil.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith in God, of the doctrine of baptisms and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and been made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, and have fallen away, to renew them again unto repentance, seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh often upon it, and bringeth forth herbage, meet for them for whom it is tilled, receiveth blessing from God. But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected and nigh unto a curse, whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward his name in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. But we desire that every one of you may show unto the end the same diligence to the full assurance of hope, That ye be not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith and long-suffering inherited the promises. For when God made the promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swore by himself, saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had patiently waited, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all contradiction. Wherefore God, being willing to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his counsel, interposed by an oath: That by two unchangeable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled to lay hold on the hope set before us. Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into the place within the veil, whither Jesus our forerunner is entered for us, who is made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all the spoils; being by interpretation, first, king of righteousness, and then king of Salem also, which is king of peace: Without father, without mother, without pedigree, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but being made like the Son of God, remaineth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils, and verily they of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment (according to the law) to take tithes of the people, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham, but he whose pedigree is not from them, took tithes of Abraham, and blessed him who had the promises: And without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the greater. And here men that die receive tithes: But there, he, of whom it is testified that he liveth, and even Levi, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes (so to speak) through Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him. Now if perfection had been by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what farther need was there that another priest should rise, after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is also necessarily a change of the law. For he, of whom these things are spoken, pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man attended on the altar. For it is evident, that our Lord sprung out of Judah, of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood. And it is still far more evident, that another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, who was made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life; for it is testified, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek. For verily there is a disannulling of the preceding commandment, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by which we draw nigh to God. And inasmuch as he was not made a priest without an oath; (for those priests were made without an oath, but this with an oath, by him that said unto him, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek:) of so much better a covenant was Jesus made a surety. And they truly were many priests, because they were hindered by death from continuing. But this, because he continueth forever, hath a priesthood that passeth not away. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost, who come to God through him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them. For such a high priest suited us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens: Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, then for those of the people; for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself. For the law maketh men high priests that have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
The sum of what hath been spoken is: We have such an high priest, who is set down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; a minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord hath fixed, and not man. For every high priest is ordained to offer up gifts and sacrifices; whence it was necessary that this also should have somewhat to offer. But if he were on earth, he could not be a priest, there being priests that offer gifts, according to the law, who serve after the pattern and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God, when he was about to finish the tabernacle; for, saith he, See thou make all things according to the model which was shown thee in the mount. But he hath now obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much better a covenant he is a mediator of, which is established upon better promises. For if the first had been faultless, no place would have been sought for a second. But finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant which 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 continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every one his neighbor, and every one his brother, saying, Know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least even to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In saying a new covenant, he hath antiquated the first: Now that which is antiquated and decayed, is ready to vanish away.
And verily the first covenant also had ordinances of worship and a worldly sanctuary. For the first tabernacle was prepared, in which was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the holy place. And beyond the second veil, the tabernacle, which is called the holy of holies, Having the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was a golden pot having the manna, and Aaron’s rod that blossomed, and the tables of the covenant: And over it were the cherubim of glory, shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot now speak particularly. Now these things being thus prepared, the priests go always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing their services. But into the second, only the high priest, once a year, not without blood, which he offereth for himself and the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost evidently showing this, that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest, while the first tabernacle was still subsisting, which is a figure for the time present, in which are offered both gifts and sacrifices, which cannot perfect the worshipper as to his conscience, only with meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed till the time of reformation. But Christ being come, a high priest of good things to come, through a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, and not by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God? And for this end he is the Mediator of the new covenant, that by means of death for the redemption of the transgressors that were under the first covenant, they who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. For where such a covenant is, there must also necessarily be the death of him by whom the covenant is confirmed. For the covenant is of force after he is dead; whereas it is of no strength while he by whom it is confirmed liveth. Whence neither was the first covenant originally transacted without blood. For when Moses had spoken all the commandments according to the law, to all the people, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and the book itself and sprinkled all the people, saying, This is the blood of the covenant, which God hath enjoined unto you. And in like manner he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the service. And almost all things are according to the law purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. It was therefore necessary, that the patterns of things in heaven should be purified by these, but the heavenly things themselves by better sacrifices than these. For Christ did not enter into the holy place made with hands, the figure of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. Nor did he enter, that he might offer himself often (as the high priest entered into the holy place every year with the blood of others.) For then he must often have suffered since the foundation of the world: But now once at the consummation of the ages hath he been manifested, to abolish sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed for men once to die, and after this the judgment: So Christ, also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, will appear the second time, without sin, to them that look for him, unto salvation.
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices which they offer year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. Otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered? Because the worshippers, having been once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a commemoration of sins every year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Therefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou hast not chosen, but a body hast thou prepared for me. Burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast not delighted in. Then I said, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, God. Above, when he said, Sacrifice, and offering, and burnt-offerings, and offering for sin, thou hast not chosen, neither delighted in, which are offered according to the law; then, said he, Lo, I come to do thy will. He taketh away the first that he may establish the second: By which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And indeed every priest standeth daily ministering and offering often the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But he, having offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down at the right hand of God, from thenceforth waiting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. And this the Holy Ghost also testifieth to us, after he had said before, This is the covenant which I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord: I will put my laws into their hearts, and write them on their minds, And their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
Having, therefore, brethren, free liberty to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, his flesh, and having a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our hope without wavering, (for he is faithful that hath promised.) And let us consider one another, to provoke one another to love, and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For when we sin willfully after having received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation, which is ready to devour the adversaries. He that despised the law of Moses died without mercy, under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant, by which he hath been sanctified, an unholy thing, and done despite to the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance is mine: I will recompense: And again, The Lord will judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call ye to mind the former days, in which, after ye were enlightened, ye endured so great a conflict of sufferings: Partly being made a gazing stock, both by reproaches and afflictions; partly being partakers with them who are so treated. For ye sympathized with my bonds, and received with joy the spoiling of your goods, knowing that ye have for yourselves in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise. For yet a very little while, and he that cometh will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; and if he draw back, my soul hath no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back to perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Now faith is the subsistence of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. And by it the elders obtained a good testimony. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were made of things which do not appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained a testimony that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and by it, being dead, he yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated as not to see death, and was not found, because God had translated him; for before his translation he had a testimony that he pleased him. But without faith it is impossible to please him; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, being called to go out into the place which he was to receive for an inheritance, obeyed and went out, though he knew not whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the joint heirs of the same promise. For he looked for the city which hath foundations, whose builder and former is God. By faith Sarah also herself received power to conceive seed, even when she was past age, because she accounted him faithful who had promised. Therefore there sprang even from one, and him as it were dead, a posterity as the stars in heaven for multitude, and as the sand which is on the sea shore innumerable. All these died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth. For they who speak thus, show plainly that they seek their own country. And truly if they had been mindful of that from which they came out, they might have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly: Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he hath prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, being tried, offered up Isaac; yea, he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it had been said, In Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able even to raise him from the dead; from whence also he did receive him in a figure. By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, concerning things to come. By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped, bowing down on the top of his staff. By faith Joseph, when dying, made mention of the children of Israel, and gave charge concerning his bones. By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment. By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter: Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: For he looked off unto the recompense of reward. By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing him that is invisible. By faith he celebrated the Passover, and the pouring out of the blood, that he who destroyed the first born might not touch them. By faith they passed through the Red Sea, as by dry land, which the Egyptians trying to do, were drowned. By faith the walls of Jericho, having been encompassed seven days, fell down. By faith Rahab the harlot perished not with them that believed not, having received the spies with peace. And what shall I say more? for the time would fail me, to discourse of Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah, and David, and Samuel, and the prophets: Who by faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness was made strong, became valiant in fight, put to flight armies of the aliens; women received their dead raised to life again: Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. And others had trial of mockings, and scourging, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: They wandered about in sheep skins, in goatskins, destitute, afflicted, tormented: (Of whom the world was not worthy,) They wandered in deserts, and mountains, and dens, and caves of the earth. And all these having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise. God having provided some better thing for us, that they might not be perfected without us.
Wherefore, let us also, being encompassed with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which easily besetteth us, and run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction from sinners against himself, lest ye be weary and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin. And yet ye have forgotten the exhortation, which speaketh to you as to sons, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father chasteneth not? But if ye are without chastening, of which all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Now if we have had fathers of our flesh who corrected us, and we reverenced them; shall we not much rather be in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live? For they, verily, for a few days chastened us as they thought good: But he for our profit, that we may be partakers of his holiness. Now all chastening for the present is assuredly not joyous but grievous; yet afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands that hang down, and the feeble knees; and make straight paths for your feet, that the lame be not turned out of the way, but rather healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, with out which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently, lest any one fall from the grace of God, lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled: Lest there be any fornicator or profane person, as Esau, who for one meal gave away his birthright: For ye know that afterward, even when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected: For he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
For ye are not come to the mountain that could be touched, and the burning fire, and the thick cloud, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which they that heard entreated, that no more might be spoken to them; or they could not bear that which was commanded. If even a beast touch the mountain, let it be stoned. And so terrible was the appearance, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and tremble. But ye are come to Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company, to the general assembly of angels, and to the church of the first born, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect. And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh: For if they escaped not who refused him that delivered the oracle on earth, much more shall not we, who turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: But now he has promised, saying, Yet once more I will shake, not only the earth, but also the heaven. And this word, Yet once more, showeth the removal of the things which are shaken, as being made, that the things which are not shaken may remain. Therefore let us, receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, hold fast the grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.
Let brotherly love continue. Forget not hospitality, for hereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as being bound with them, and them that suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. Marriage is honorable in all men, and the bed undefiled: But whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. Let your disposition be without covetousness: Be content with the things that are present: For he hath said, No I will not leave thee: Verily I will not forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper: I will not fear what man can do unto me. Remember them that had the rule over you, who spake to you the word of God, whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever. Be not carried about with various and strange doctrines; for it is good that the heart be stablished with grace, not with meats, in which they that have walked have not been profited. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those animals, whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people by his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us then go forth to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have here no continuing city; but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. But to do good, and to distribute, forget not; for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch over your souls, as they that shall give account; that they may do this with joy, and not with groans; for that is unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we trust we have a good conscience, desiring to behave ourselves well in all things. And I beseech you to do this the more earnestly, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
Now the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, our Lord Jesus, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight through Christ Jesus; to whom be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation; for I have written a letter to you in few words. Know that our brother Timotheus is set at liberty, with whom, if he come soon, I will see you.
Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you. Grace be with you all.