Copyright (c) Timothy E. Clontz 1999 All rights reserved.

The Letter to the Hebrews

1
  1 In the past God spoke to our fathers by the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the world. 3 He is the radiance of his glory and the exact representation of his being, and upholds all things by the word of his power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.
  5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,
  "You are my son,
    today I have begotten you"?
And again,
  "I will be a father to him
    and he shall be a son to me"?
6 And again, when God brings the first-born into the world, he says,
  "Let all God's angels worship him."
7 Of the angels he says,
  "Who makes his angels winds,
    and his servants flames of fire."
8 But of the Son he says,
  "Your throne, O God, is for ever and ever,
    and the righteous scepter
      is the scepter of your kingdom.
9  You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
  therefore God, your God,
    has anointed you with the oil of gladness
      above your companions."
10 And,
  "You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands;
11  they will perish, but you remain;
    they will all grow old like a garment,
12  you will roll them up like a mantle;
    and like a garment they will be changed.
  But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end."
13 But to which of the angels has he ever said,
  "Sit at my right hand,
    until I make your enemies a stool for your feet"?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to serve for the sake of those who will inherit salvation?

2
  1 Therefore we must pay more careful attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. 2 For if the message spoken by angels was valid, and every transgression and disobedience received a just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was confirmed to us by those who heard him, 4 while God also bore witness, by signs and wonders and various miracles, and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will.
  5 For it is not to angels that he subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. 6 But there is a place where someone has testified,
  "What is man that you are mindful of him,
    or the son of man that you care for him?
7  You made him for a little while lower than the angels;
    you crowned him with glory and honor,
8  and put everything in subjection under his feet."
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing that is not subject to him. As it is, we do not yet see everything subject to him. 9 But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.
  10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 For both he who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brethren, 12 saying,
  "I will declare your name to my brethren,
    in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise."
13 And again,
  "I will put my trust in him."
And again,
  "Here am I, and the children God has given me."
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same nature, that through death he might destroy him who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives. 16 For surely it is not with angels that he is concerned, but with the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 For because he himself has suffered, being tempted, he is able to help those who are tempted.

3
  1 Therefore, holy brethren, who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession. 2 He was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God's house. 3 Yet Jesus has been counted worthy of as much more glory than Moses as the builder of a house has more honor than the house. 4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God's house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful as a son over God's house. And we are his house, if we hold fast to our confidence and the hope of which we boast.
  7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:
  "Today, if you will hear his voice,
8  do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
    on the day of testing in the wilderness,
9  where your fathers put me to the test
    and saw my works for forty years.
10  Therefore I was angry with that generation,
  and said, 'They always go astray in their hearts;
    and they have not known my ways.'
11  As I swore in my wrath,
    'They shall never enter my rest.'"
  12 Take care, brethren, lest there be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "Today," so that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ if we hold our first confidence firm to the end, 15 while it is said,
  "Today, if you will hear his voice,
    do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion."
16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did he swear that they would never enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

4
  1 Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any one of you be judged to have come short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3 For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,
  "As I swore in my wrath,
  'They shall never enter my rest,'" although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4 For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works." 5 And again in this place he said, "They shall never enter my rest." 6 Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had the good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, 7 God again set a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before,
  "Today, if you hear his voice,
  do not harden your hearts." 8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later of another day. 9 So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God's rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11 Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following the same example of disobedience.
  12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from his sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
  14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

5
  1 For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He can deal gently with those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is beset with weakness. 3 Because of this he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.
  5 So also Christ did not exalt himself to become a high priest, but it was he who said to him,
  "You are my son,
    today I have begotten you";
6 as he says also in another place,
  "You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek."
7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his godly fear. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience from what he suffered; 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, 10 being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.
  11 About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of God's word. You need milk, not solid food; 13 for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their sense trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.

6
  1 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, 2 with instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do, if God permits. 4 For it is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to an open shame. 7 For land which drinks the rain that often falls upon it, and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed; its end is to be burned.
  9 Even though we speak like this, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that accompany salvation. 10 For God is not so unjust as to forget your work and the love which you have shown for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. 11 And we desire each one of you to show the same diligence in realizing the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
  13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, 14 saying, "I will surely bless you and multiply you." 15 And so Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise. 16 Men swear by one greater than themselves, and in all their disputes the oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he interposed with an oath, 18 so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has entered as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

7
  1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him. 2 And to him Abraham gave a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest continually.
  4 See how great he was! Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the spoils. 5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, though these also are descended from Abraham. 6 But this man whose genealogy is not derived from them received a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without dispute the lesser person is blessed by the greater. 8 In this case tithes are received by mortal men, but in that case by one of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
  11 Now if perfection could have been through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not one designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15 This becomes even more evident if another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest not on the basis of a law of carnal requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared of him,
  "You are a priest forever,
    after the order of Melchizedek."
18 On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); and on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. 20 And it was not without an oath. 21 Those who formerly became priests took their office without an oath, but he became a priest with an oath through the One who said to him,
  "The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind,
  'You are a priest forever.'"
22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant. 23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but he holds his priesthood forever, because he continues for ever. 25 Therefore he is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
  26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27 He does not need, like those high priests, to offer up daily sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people, because he did this once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

8
  1 Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle which is set up by the Lord, not by man. 3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; and so it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4 Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer the gifts according to the law. 5 They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary; for when Moses was about to erect the tabernacle, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain." 6 But as it is, he has obtained a ministry which is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises.
  7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no place sought for a second. 8 For he finds fault with them when he says:
  "The days are coming, says the Lord,
    when I will make a new covenant
    with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
9  not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand
      to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
  for they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I paid no heed to them, says the Lord.
10  This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, says the Lord:
  I will put my laws into their minds,
    and I will write them on their hearts,
  and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
11  And they shall not teach every one his fellow
    or every one his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,'
  for all shall know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
12  For I will be merciful to their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more."
13 When he said, "A new covenant," he has made the first obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

9
  1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle prepared, the first one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. 3 Behind the second curtain was a tabernacle called the Holy of Holies, 4 having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5 and above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. But of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
  6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the outer tabernacle, performing their ritual duties. 7 But into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the holy place had not yet been disclosed as long as the outer tabernacle was still standing. 9 This is symbolic for the present time. According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 since they relate only to food and drink and various washings - regulations for the flesh imposed until the time of reformation.
  11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, he entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves, but he entered the holy place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
  15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 For where a will is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17 For a will is in force only when somebody has died, since it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not ratified without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you." 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
  23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. 25 Nor was it that he should offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood not his own. 26 For then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But now, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once, and after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly waiting for him.

10 1 For since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices which are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near. 2 Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered? If the worshipers had once been cleansed, they would no longer have any consciousness of sins. 3 But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. 4 For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
  5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
  "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
    but a body you prepared for me;
6  in burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you have taken no pleasure.
7  Then I said, 'Behold,
    I have come to do your will, O God,'
  as it is written of me in the roll of the book."
8 When he said above, "You did not desire, nor did you take pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings" (these are offered according to the law), 9 then he said, "Behold, I have come to do your will." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
  11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But when he had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time until his enemies be made a stool for his feet. 14 For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
  15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,
16  "This is the covenant that I will make
    with them after those days, says the Lord:
  I will put my laws into their hearts,
    and in their minds I will write them,"
17 then he adds,
  "Their sins and their lawless deeds
    I will remember no more."
18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
  19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which he opened for us through the curtain, that is, his flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the Day drawing near.
  26 For if we sin deliberately after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected the law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much severer punishment do you think a man will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as an unclean thing the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said,
  "Vengeance is mine, I will repay." And again,
  "The Lord will judge his people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
  32 But remember the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a great struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to insult and persecution; and at other times standing side by side with those who were so treated. 34 For you had compassion on the prisoners, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised.
37  "For yet in a very little while,
    he who is coming will come and will not delay.
38  But my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
      my soul has no pleasure in him."
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and keep their souls.

11
  1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the men of old received divine approval.
  3 By faith we understand that the world was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
  4 By faith Abel offered God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his gifts. And through faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death; and he was not found, because God had taken him. For before he was taken he was attested as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, for anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7 By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in godly fear prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which comes by faith.
  8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he lived in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise; 10 for he was looking forward to the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, because she considered him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born descendants as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.
  13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them and greeted them from a distance, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own. 15 And if they had been thinking of that country from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.
  17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was ready to offer up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, "Through Isaac shall your descendants be called." 19 He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead; from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21 By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites, and gave orders concerning his bones.
  23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 choosing rather to share ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 He considered abuse suffered for the Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking ahead to his reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the anger of the king; for he endured as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had welcomed the spies.
  32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of justice, received promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, whose weakness was turned to strength, who became mighty in war, and put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36 And others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, ill-treated - 38 of whom the world was not worthy - wandering in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.
  39 And all these, though well attested by their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

12
  1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.
  4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? -
  "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor lose courage when you are rebuked by him.
6  For those whom the Lord loves he disciplines,
    and he scourges every son whom he receives."
7 It is for discipline that you endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had fathers of our flesh to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
  12 Therefore lift your feeble hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.
  14 Strive for peace with all men, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness spring up and cause trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one be immoral or godless like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears.
  18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, "If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned." 21 The sight was so terrifying that Moses said, "I am trembling with fear." 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the joyful assembly 23 and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better than the blood of Abel.
  25 See to it that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less shall we escape, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? 26 Then his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also heaven." 27 This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

13
  1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. 3 Remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them, and those who are ill-treated, since you yourselves are also in the body. 4 Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled; for God will judge the immoral and adulterous. 5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, for God has said, "I will never leave you, nor will I forsake you." 6 So we say with confidence,
  "The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
  What can man do to me?"
  7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith. 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. 9 Do not be carried away by varied and strange teachings; for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, through which those who were so occupied were not benefited. 10 We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. 11 For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp. 12 And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to sanctify the people through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city which is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
  17 Obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account. Let them do this with joy, and not with grief, for that would be of no advantage to you.
  18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to live honorably in all things. 19 I urge you all the more to do this so that I may be restored to you the sooner.
  20 Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 equip you with every good thing to do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  22 I urge you, brethren, bear with my word of exhortation, for I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I will see you if he comes soon.
  24 Greet all your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 Grace be with you all.