Would the Israelites who died in the wilderness not enter Heaven?

Question: Jeffrey, When studying in Hebrews the other night, I was noticing the reference to Psalms 95. Where it states: “Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers tested Me, they tried Me though they had seen my work. For forty years I…

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Two Unchangeable Things

by Matthew W. Bassford In addition to the other things that make Hebrews challenging for us to follow, the writer assumes that his readership is familiar with the Old Testament. He jumps from allusion to allusion, rarely pausing to explain his references to the Law with more than a phrase or two. However, because our…

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The Lord’s Discipline

by Matthew W. Bassford Hebrews 12:5-13 makes a crucial but underappreciated point. The life of the Christian can be unpleasant, and sometimes, the One who is making it unpleasant is God. This is at odds with the worldly vision of God as an indulgent grandparent who does nothing but shower gifts upon us. However, it…

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Did sacrifices forgive sins?

Question: Good day, Recently the topic of “rolling forward” sins came up in a Sunday School class, and I decided to study the matter. This led me to the following web page: Were sins rolled forward under the Old Law? The compelling part of the argument given is Leviticus 4:20, which states that “the priest…

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Could you explain Hebrews 13:17?

Question: Hebrews 13:17 states “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” There are two schools of thought that I’ve heard regarding this verse. …

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Would you explain Hebrews 13:10-13?

Question: I’m having a little trouble trying to wrap my mind around what Hebrews 13:10-13 is teaching. What is your understanding of these verses? I really do value your observations and commentary. Answer: I’m going to expand the range just a little bit so we get a complete thought: “Do not be carried about with…

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Who are “them” in Hebrews 4:2?

Question: “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” (Hebrews 4:2). Who is the “as well as unto them” in this verse?  Is this talking about the children of Israel in the wilderness? Answer: “Now with whom…

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Why was Timothy put in prison in Rome?

Question: I was researching the web for any clues I might gain as to the author of Hebrews, when it was written, etc. and I found your web page. As you know, there are many theories. I tend to believe that it was Paul, possibly Luke — translating Paul’s Hebrew into Greek, while Paul was…

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What does it mean that God’s word is a two-edged sword?

Question: What does the Scripture mean in Hebrews 4:12 relating to a two-edged sword? Answer: “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…

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