Hebrews 4:1 (NKJV) Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it.

This chapter begins with “Therefore”. We need to remember that chapter and verse were not a part of these letters. These letters should be read continuously without break then examined. The adverb “Therefore” is the author telling us that they’ve been giving a reason for what was about to be said. For example, Tommy hurt his leg, THEREFORE, he will not be playing in the game today. Another way to say it is by asking the question, “Why is Tommy not playing in the game? He hurt his leg”. With this understanding, we go to this text and ask, “Why is what we are reading in Hebrews 4:1-10 so important?”. In order to answer that question, we must back up in the text and see what has been being said.

If we back up to chapter 3 we see there are several “Therefore”’s there also. Therefore (no pun intended) I’m backing up a little further into chapter 2.

At the end of chapter 2, we see the author talking about how Christ destroyed the power of death and released us who are subject to the bondage of sin. He is our faithful High Priest in all things pertaining to God, making atonement for the sins of the people. In this, Christ also suffered temptation so that He can help us who are also tempted.

In chapter 3 we enter with a “Therefore” again. When we look at the message here we see that the author is giving us a comparison between Christ and Moses in their faithfulness to God. The author is now setting up for the statement in verses 11-13, as you will see shortly. The author is showing how Christ was more obedient to God than even Moses.

Now, remember we had a “Therefore”. Let’s ask the question like I showed above. “Why was Christ more faithful?” He’s more faithful because He obeyed God even unto death, thus defeating the bondage of death and sin (Chapter 2b).

In chapter 3 verse 7 we see another “Therefore” and a quote from Psalms. The message at this point is how the children of God, Israel, did not obey God and hardened their hearts toward Him int their rejection of the instruction of God’s faithful messenger - Moses. Because of this, they would not enter into the rest of God.

Remember that we had a comparison of Christ and Moses earlier, thus we see the author, in verse 12, turn the table from Israel's rebellion to Moses to US, and our possibility of rebellion against Christ.

Ok, let's ask the question of the Therefore in verse 7, “Why will they not enter the rest of God?”. This answer is found in a link of two places we’ve looked at. One is in this very section of text, “Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, In the day of trial in the wilderness,” They hardened their heart to Moses who was faithful messenger unto God, therefore they hardened their heart to God.

In verse 16, we see the statement begins with the word “For”; this is the author moving to a conclusion statement; prepping us for the final conclusion to the thought. Let’s pause and sum up what we’re seeing to this point then move to the conclusion in chapter 4.

Yahshua suffered temptation and death, defeating sin and death; so that He can help us in our temptations. Like Moses, He was faithful in obedience to God; yet more faithful than even Moses. The children of Israel did not obey Moses, the faithful messenger of God, therefore they did not get to enter into the rest of God; dying in the wilderness after forty years of wandering. It’s the disobedient that God swore would not enter into His rest. Then we see a link between disobedient and unbelief. From this, we move into Hebrews 4.

Hebrews 4:1-13 (NKJV) Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said:
“So I swore in My wrath,
‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For He has spoken in a certain place of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all His works”; 5 and again in this place: “They shall not enter My rest.”
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David, “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said:
“Today, if you will hear His voice,
Do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. 9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

There are three different Greek words for rest that are used in this particular passage:

2663 katapausis which is an inner peace of rest this being similar to the peace which the Jews obtained once settling in Canaan. In connotation to God’s people in the new covenant, it is the peace we obtain in our eternal resting place when “settling” in Heaven.
2664 katapauó which is a physical rest of the body which is that of a rest we take at Sabbath
4520 sabbatismos which is a specific Sabbath day of rest for the body

In one instance where the Greek writings used 2664 katapauó it was not translated to “rest” but rather “ceased” yet it is the same Greek word which means to take physical rest.

The author opens this thought to the fact that there is still a promise of rest just as there was in the time if Israel. This rest is the eternal rest. The Gospel is preached to us just as it was preached to them. They heard that Gospel and it did not profit them; likewise, we can hear it but it not profit us. Why? It’s not just hearing the Gospel it’s obeying the Gospel (2 Thess 1:8).

Verse three states, “For we who have believed” Believed is more than knowing something is real, it's action taken upon that belief (Hebrews 3:16-19; Titus 1:16; James 2:19). Our works are the works of obedience to what God commands of us. We find this definition of believe in the last two passages of chapter 3; therefore, those who are obedient will enter into that rest.

Hebrews 3:18-19 (NKJV) And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

In verse 4, rested here is 2664 katapauó which is a physical rest of the body which is that of a rest we take at Sabbath. The author pinpoints the seventh day Sabbath and gives an example of the disobedience of the children of Israel, even in the keeping of the Seventh Day; and they did not enter into rest (Heb 4:5) because of this disobedience (Heb 4:6).

Some will enter God’s eternal rest; but those, at the beginning to which katapausis rest was preached, they did not enter because of disobedience.

In verse 7, on the subject of eternal rest, and needing to obey to receive that rest, the author starts concentrating on the physical rest, for God designated a certain day for this physical rest.

In verse 8, the KJV says Jesus whereas other texts say, Joshua. Joshua makes more sense then Yahshua, as the author is discussing physical rest and eternal rest by comparing with the children of Israel and their obtaining of Canaan.

Joshua led them into the land, this land is the promise of rest, but this was not the final rest that would be established by God but an example of that final rest. Therefore Joshua spoke of this other, final rest.

In verse 9, the author returns to the obedience to God through His commands and establishes that the Sabbath Day rest still remains. Rest here is 4520 sabbatismos which is a specific Sabbath day rest of the body.

In verse 10, By establishing through chapter 3 and the beginning of chapter 4, we see the author talking of obedience towards the commands of God. It is by our obedience that we believe in Yahshua and eternal rest is granted to us. If we are disobedient, as the children of Israel were during their wandering in the wilderness, the promise given will not be realized by us: we will not enter into eternal rest.

In verse 10, we see a strong example given that those who enter into His eternal rest (2663 katapausis) were obedient to God's commands and ceased (2664 katapauó - physical rest) from his works just as God did from His (Heb 4:4).

In verse 11, we have the beginning of the statement conclusion, “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest (2664 katapauó which is a physical rest of the body), lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience.”

If you were to read this portion of Scripture with the original meaning of the words introduced, it would look like this:

Hebrews 4:1-11 with the meaning of Greek words inserted:
1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his eternal rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.
2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
3 For we which have believed do enter into eternal rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my eternal rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world.
4 For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did [take] physical rest the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again, If they shall enter into my eternal rest.
6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
7 Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them physical rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a Sabbath Day rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his eternal rest, he also hath [taken] physical rest from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that eternal rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.