St. Paul wrote this Epistle to the Christians in Palestine, the most part of whom being Jews before their conversion, they were called Hebrews. He exhorts them to be thoroughly converted and confirmed in the faith of Christ, clearly shewing them the preeminence of Christ's priesthood above the Levitical, and also the excellence of the new law above the old. He commends faith by the example of the ancient fathers: and exhorts them to patience and perseverance and to remain in fraternal charity. It appears from chap. 13 that this Epistle was written in Italy, and probably at Rome, about twenty-nine years after our Lord's Ascension.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13,
1 God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all,
2 In these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high.
4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they.
5 For to which of the angels hath he said at any time, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
6 And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith: And let all the angels of God adore him.
7 And to the angels indeed he saith: He that maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.
8 But to the Son: Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of justice is the sceptre of thy kingdom.
9 Thou hast loved justice, and hated iniquity: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.
10 And: Thou in the beginning, O Lord, didst found the earth: and the works of thy hands are the heavens.
11 They shall perish, but thou shalt continue: and they shall all grow old as a garment.
12 And as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: but thou art the selfsame, and thy years shall not fail.
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time: Sit on my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool?
14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent to minister for them, who shall
receive the inheritance of salvation?
1 Therefore ought we more diligently to observe the things which we have heard, lest perhaps we should let them slip.
2 For if the word, spoken by angels, became steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward:
3 How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation? which having begun to be declared by the Lord, was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.
4 God also bearing them witness by signs, and wonders, and divers miracles, and distributions of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will.
5 For God hath not subjected unto angels the world to come, whereof we speak.
6 But one in a certain place hath testified, saying: What is man, that thou art mindful of him: or the son of man, that thou visitest him?
7 Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels: thou hast crowned him with glory and honour, and hast set him over the works of thy hands:
8 Thou hast subjected all things under his feet. For in that he hath subjected all things to him, he left nothing not subject to him. But now we see not as yet all things subject to him.
9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour: that, through the grace of God, he might taste death for all.
10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, who had brought many children into glory, to perfect the author of their salvation, by his passion.
11 For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one. For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying:
12 I will declare thy name to my brethren; in the midst of the church will I praise thee.
13 And again: I will put my trust in him. And again: Behold I and my children, whom God hath given me.
14 Therefore because the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner hath been partaker of the same: that, through death, he might destroy him who had the empire of death, that is to say, the devil:
15 And might deliver them, who through the fear of death were all their lifetime subject to servitude.
16 For no where doth he take hold of the angels: but of the seed of Abraham he taketh hold.
17 Wherefore it behoved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful priest before God, that he might be a propitiation for the sins of the people.
18 For in that, wherein he himself hath suffered and been tempted, he is able to
succour them also that are tempted.
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly vocation, consider the apostle and high priest of our confession, Jesus:
2 Who is faithful to him that made him, as was also Moses in all his house.
3 For this man was counted worthy of greater glory than Moses, by so much as he that hath built the house, hath greater honour than the house.
4 For every house is built by some man: but he that created all things, is God.
5 And Moses indeed was faithful in all his house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be said:
6 But Christ as the Son in his own house: which house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and glory of hope unto the end.
7 Wherefore, as the Holy Ghost saith: To day if you shall hear his voice,
8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation; in the day of temptation in the desert,
9 Where your fathers tempted me, proved and saw my works,
10 Forty years: for which cause I was offended with this generation, and I said: They always err in heart. And they have not known my ways,
11 As I have sworn in my wrath: If they shall enter into my rest.
12 Take heed, brethren, lest perhaps there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, to depart from the living God.
13 But exhort one another every day, whilst it is called to day, that none of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ: yet so, if we hold the beginning of his substance firm unto the end.
15 While it is said, To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in that provocation.
16 For some who heard did provoke: but not all that came out of Egypt by Moses.
17 And with whom was he offended forty years? Was it not with them that sinned, whose carcasses were overthrown in the desert?
18 And to whom did he swear, that they should not enter into his rest: but to them that were incredulous?
19 And we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief.
1 Let us fear therefore lest the promise being left of entering into his rest, any of you should be thought to be wanting.
2 For unto us also it hath been declared, in like manner as unto them. But the word of hearing did not profit them, not being mixed with faith of those things they heard.
3 For we, who have believed, shall enter into rest; as he said: As I have sworn in my wrath; If they shall enter into my rest; and this indeed when the works from the foundation of the world were finished.
4 For in a certain place he spoke of the seventh day thus: And God rested the seventh day from all his works.
5 And in this place again: If they shall enter into my rest.
6 Seeing then it remaineth that some are to enter into it, and they, to whom it was first preached, did not enter because of unbelief:
7 Again he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time, as it is above said: To day if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
8 For if Jesus had given them rest, he would never have afterwards spoken of another day.
9 There remaineth therefore a day of rest for the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, the same also hath rested from his works, as God did from his.
11 Let us hasten therefore to enter into that rest; lest any man fall into the same example of unbelief.
12 For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
13 Neither is there any creature invisible in his sight: but all things are naked and open to his eyes, to whom our speech is.
14 Having therefore a great high priest that hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: let us hold fast our confession.
15 For we have not a high priest, who can not have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.
16 Let us go therefore with confidence to the throne of grace: that we may obtain
mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid.
1 For every high priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in the things that appertain to God, that he may offer up gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2 Who can have compassion on them that are ignorant and that err: because he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
3 And therefore he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
4 Neither doth any man take the honour to himself, but he that is called by God, as Aaron was.
5 So Christ also did not glorify himself, that he might be made a high priest: but he that said unto him: Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
6 As he saith also in another place: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
7 Who in the days of his flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offering up prayers and supplications to him that was able to save him from death, was heard for his reverence.
8 And whereas indeed he was the Son of God, he learned obedience by the things which he suffered:
9 And being consummated, he became, to all that obey him, the cause of eternal salvation.
10 Called by God a high priest according to the order of Melchisedech.
11 Of whom we have much to say, and hard to be intelligibly uttered: because you are become weak to hear.
12 For whereas for the time you ought to be masters, you have need to be taught again what are the first elements of the words of God: and you are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
13 For every one that is a partaker of milk, is unskillful in the word of justice: for he is a little child.
14 But strong meat is for the perfect; for them who by custom have their senses
exercised to the discerning of good and evil.
1 Wherefore leaving the word of the beginning of Christ, let us go on to things more perfect, not laying again the foundation of penance from dead works, and of faith towards God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and imposition of hands, and of the resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once illuminated, have tasted also the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 Have moreover tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 And are fallen away: to be renewed again to penance, crucifying again to themselves the Son of God, and making him a mockery.
7 For the earth that drinketh in the rain which cometh often upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is tilled, receiveth blessing from God.
8 But that which bringeth forth thorns and briers, is reprobate, and very near unto a curse, whose end is to be burnt.
9 But, my dearly beloved, we trust better things of you, and nearer to salvation; though we speak thus.
10 For God is not unjust, that he should forget your work, and the love which you have shewn in his name, you who have ministered, and do minister to the saints.
11 And we desire that every one of you shew forth the same carefulness to the accomplishing of hope unto the end:
12 That you become not slothful, but followers of them, who through faith and patience shall inherit the promises.
13 For God making promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom he might swear, swore by himself,
14 Saying: Unless blessing I shall bless thee, and multiplying I shall multiply thee.
15 And so patiently enduring he obtained the promise.
16 For men swear by one greater than themselves: and an oath for confirmation is the end of all their controversy.
17 Wherein God, meaning more abundantly to shew to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed an oath:
18 That by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have the strongest comfort, who have fled for refuge to hold fast the hope set before us.
19 Which we have as an anchor of the soul, sure and firm, and which entereth in even within the veil;
20 Where the forerunner Jesus is entered for us, made a high priest for ever
according to the order of Melchisedech.
1 For this Melchisedech was king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him:
2 To whom also Abraham divided the tithes of all: who first indeed by interpretation, is king of justice: and then 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 likened unto the Son of God, continueth a priest for ever.
4 Now consider how great this man is, to whom also Abraham the patriarch gave tithes out of the principal things.
5 And indeed they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is to say, of their brethren: though they themselves also came out of the loins of Abraham.
6 But he, whose pedigree is not numbered among them, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
7 And without all contradiction, that which is less, is blessed by the better.
8 And here indeed, men that die, receive thithes: but there he hath witness, that he liveth.
9 And (as it may be said) even Levi who received tithes, paid tithes in Abraham:
10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedech met him.
11 If then perfection was by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchisedech, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being translated, it is necessary that a translation also be made of the law.
13 For he, of whom these things are spoken, is of another tribe, of which no one attended on the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord sprung out of Juda: in which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
15 And it is yet far more evident: if according to the similitude of Melchisedech there ariseth another priest,
16 Who is made not according to the law of a carnal commandment, but according to the power of an indissoluble life:
17 For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech.
18 There is indeed a setting aside of the former commandment, because of the weakness and unprofitableness thereof:
19 (For the law brought nothing to perfection,) but a bringing in of a better hope, by which we draw nigh to God.
20 And inasmuch as it is not without an oath, (for the others indeed were made priests without an oath;
21 But this with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord hath sworn, and he will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever.)
22 By so much is Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23 And the others indeed were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue:
24 But this, for that he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood,
25 Whereby he is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us.
26 For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily (as the other priests) to offer sacrifices first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, in offering himself.
28 For the law maketh men priests, who have infirmity: but the word of the oath, which was since the law, the Son who is perfected for evermore.
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