Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hebrews 4:8

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For if Jesus had given them rest - It is truly surprising that our translators should have rendered the Ιησους of the text Jesus, and not Joshua, who is most clearly intended. They must have known that the יהושע Yehoshua of the Hebrew, which we write Joshua, is everywhere rendered Ιησους, Jesus, by the Septuagint; and it is their reading which the apostle follows. It is true the Septuagint generally write Ιησους Ναυη, or Υἱος Ναυη, Jesus Nave, or Jesus, son of Nave, for it is thus they translate נון בן יהושע Yehoshua ben Nun, Joshua the son of Nun; and this is sufficient to distinguish it from Jesus, son of David. But as Joshua, the captain general of Israel, is above intended, the word should have been written Joshua, and not Jesus. One MS., merely to prevent the wrong application of the name, has Ιησους ὁ του Ναυη, Jesus the son of Nave. Theodoret has the same in his comment, and one Syriac version has it in the text. It is Joshua in Coverdale's Testament, 1535; in Tindal's 1548; in that edited by Edmund Becke, 1549; in Richard Cardmarden's, Rouen, 1565; several modern translators, Wesley, Macknight, Wakefield, etc., read Joshua, as does our own in the margin. What a pity it had not been in the text, as all the smaller Bibles have no marginal readings, and many simple people are bewildered with the expression.

The apostle shows that, although Joshua did bring the children of Israel into the promised land, yet this could not be the intended rest, because long after this time the Holy Spirit, by David, speaks of this rest; the apostle, therefore, concludes,

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For if Jesus - Margin, “That is, Joshua.” The Syriac renders it, “Joshua the son of Nun.” “Jesus” is the Greek mode of writing “Joshua,” and there can be no doubt that Joshua is here intended. The object is to prove that Joshua did” not” give the people of God such a rest as to make it improper to speak of a “rest” after that time. “If Joshua had given them a complete and final rest; if by his conducting them to the promised land all had been done which had been contemplated by the promise, then it would not have been alluded to again, as it was in the time of David.” Joshua “did” give them a rest in the promised land; but it was not all which was intended, and it did not exclude the promise of another and more important rest.

Then would he not - Then “God” would not have spoken of another time when that rest could be obtained. The “other day” here referred to is that which is mentioned before by the phrase “today,” and refers to the time in which it is spoken of long after Joshua, to wit, in the time of David.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The privileges we have under the gospel, are greater than any had under the law of Moses, though the same gospel for substance was preached under both Testaments. There have been in all ages many unprofitable hearers; and unbelief is at the root of all unfruitfulness under the word. Faith in the hearer is the life of the word. But it is a painful consequence of partial neglect, and of a loose and wavering profession, that they often cause men to seem to come short. Let us then give diligence, that we may have a clear entrance into the kingdom of God. As God finished his work, and then rested from it, so he will cause those who believe, to finish their work, and then to enjoy their rest. It is evident, that there is a more spiritual and excellent sabbath remaining for the people of God, than that of the seventh day, or that into which Joshua led the Jews. This rest is, a rest of grace, and comfort, and holiness, in the gospel state. And a rest in glory, where the people of God shall enjoy the end of their faith, and the object of all their desires. The rest, or sabbatism, which is the subject of the apostle's reasoning, and as to which he concludes that it remains to be enjoyed, is undoubtedly the heavenly rest, which remains to the people of God, and is opposed to a state of labour and trouble in this world. It is the rest they shall obtain when the Lord Jesus shall appear from heaven. But those who do not believe, shall never enter into this spiritual rest, either of grace here or glory hereafter. God has always declared man's rest to be in him, and his love to be the only real happiness of the soul; and faith in his promises, through his Son, to be the only way of entering that rest.
Ellen G. White
Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, 1

Hundreds of thousands of copies of Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing have been printed and distributed in nearly a score of languages since it was first published in 1896. In English-reading countries several editions with identical textual content but with variations in format and pagination have been widely distributed. To eliminate confusion in the use of the volume in reference work, a standard page has been adopted which will serve as the basis of present and subsequent printings. MB v.1

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