Hebrews 3:12-19



“See to it” is “Blepete” and is an exhortation for the Christians not to follow the Israelites in unbelief.


Israel perished in the wilderness because they rebelled against Moses.

In the first century Christians were rebelling against Jesus.


βλέπω             ἀδελφός             μήποτε             εἰμί      ἐν      τὶς      ὑμεῖς         καρδία

See to it             brothers            that none     you       in       any     you           heart


πονηρός      ἀπιστία          ἐν               ἀφίστημι        ἀπό        θεός        ζάω

   evil             unbelief     about   the      to depart       from       God       lifetime


βλέπω means to see When it is followed by the negative  μήποτε it expresses a warning and fear regarding a present inevitable reality.  This indicates that the warning should be taken very seriously.

πονηρός means “evil, wicked” (This evil heart is characterized by unbelief as seen next)

ἀπιστία (apistia) involves active disloyalty and passive unbelief.  Here it is used as a genitive of quality indicating that unbelief characterized the evil heart.

ἀφίστημι is to fall away, to depart, to leave, to step aside from.  This is the Greek word for our word “apostasy”.  It means to a departure from and a repudiation of one’s position.  The readers were ready to leave Jesus and return to Judaism.  They were not going to become atheists.  They were going to reject the revelation of the living God that came through his Son.

See John 8:47 and 10:27.


θεός       ζάω has no article which means the emphasis is on the character of the “God Life”


Unbelief involved:

1)       Active sense – disloyalty, rebellion

2)       Passive sense – unbelief


It is more serious of a problem when Christians Rebel against Jesus the Apostle and High Priest of their faith

than it was for Israel to rebel against their Apostle (Moses) and their High Priest (Aaron).



“Today” of Psalm 95:7 becomes “Today” of 68 AD.

Actually the “Today” in this verse refers to the entire age

Important words:

1)       “Encourage” (“parakaleite”)

a.       Refers to encouraging words and not to criticism or rebuke.

b.       There is strength in numbers.

c.       Christians are not meant to be isolated from other believers

d.       This was one of the problems of the readers as seen in Heb. 10:25

e.       Encourage daily because the problems are daily

f.         Alone we may be impressed and overtaken by worldly wisdom or the deceitful schemes of men.  Together we can be vigilant

2)       “Hardened”

a.       This is not a one time, sudden sin.  This is a long process that involves an attitude or behavior over a period of time.

b.       No believer would allow this to happen unless they were deceived.  Sin masquerades in various forms.

3)        “Sins Deceitfulness”

a.       Mt. 13:22 mentions the deceitfulness of riches.

b.       Sin deceives because its effects are not seen instantly.  Consider the warning for eating from the tree in the garden.  Punishment was death, but they did not die until many years later.  The penalty was a simple bolt of lightning.  The sin resulted in entire families, generations and the human race facing not only death but also having to exist in the process of death that affects every part of our lives.

c.       Since the penalty of sin is often later and appears to have no direct attachment we are deceived into thinking there is nothing wrong.



have become” (“gegonamen”)is in the perfect tense  which speaks of the present state that is a result of a past action.  This is not a promise.  The perfect shows that the readers have become and consequently now are partakers of Christ.


μετοχοι      γαρ       γεγοναμεν      του       χριστου

partakers         for       we have become      of           Christ  


εανπερ      την       αρχην       της        υποστασεως

    if             the      beginning   of the     assurance


μεχρι        τελους         βεβαιαν        κατασχωμεν

   until             end                  firm                  we hold fast


eanper - “eanper” - From ei and an; a conditional particle; in case that, provided, etc.; often used in connection with other particles to denote indefiniteness or uncertainty


upostasewV “upostaseos” – From a compound of hupo and histemi; a setting under or support.  It means confidence, assurance, conviction and refers to the reality, essence, or nature of something.  It refers to the groundwork or basis of hope.


metocoi “metoxoi”  means “sharers” or “partakers”.  It is the same term used in Heb. 3:1 to describe believers who share in the heavenly calling.  This is not making the same statement as being “in Christ” as if it said “partakers of Christ”.  This is saying we are partakers of something with Christ.  Most likely partakers of the unshakable heavenly kingdom of 12:28.  Those who are “in Christ” will “partake” of the heavenly kingdom “with Christ.”


The idea here is that believing is always now.  True faith is not something you believed at a point in the past.  True faith occurred in the past and continues today.  Faith in the past is simply a starting point of a continuous state of belief.


The “if” clause is conditional and is telling us how we know we had faith in the past and became sharers.

If we continue we had faith.  It is not saying that if we do not continue we have lost our faith or our salvation.


The Israelites left Egypt but did they have faith?  No.  If they had faith they would have entered the promise land.


3:16-19 – Unbelief will become unfaithfulness