word is true and his promises are secure.
God’s nature is unchanging.
We can know these truths and establish our hope in his word.
This information then is our security.
Hebrews 6:13-20 reestablishes the authors direction toward the topic of Melchizedec (5:10, 11) and serves as a prelude to 7:1
“When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself,”
by no one he had greater to swear swore by himself
The promise was given to Abraham several times:
1) Genesis 12:1-7
2) Genesis 15:5
3) Genesis 17:5-8
4) Genesis 22:15-18
“Swearing” or taking oaths is a practice among men to give their words backing for trustworthiness.
An oath is the final statement. A man’s statement under oath is his last word on the subject. All previous statements or following statements can not change his sworn testimony.
Abraham took oaths in God’s name: Genesis 14:22; 21:23-24; 24:3
Abraham was last mentioned in 2:16
In Genesis 22:16 the angel of the Lord says to Abraham, “I swear by myself . . . I will surely bless you an dake your descendants as numerous as the stars. . . and as the sand. . . and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed. . .”
“saying, ‘I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.’ “
multiplying I will multiply you
“And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. “
“Waiting patiently” refers
This is an example of someone inheriting what God promised through “faith and patience” as mentioned in 6:12.
Conflict? Here it says Abraham obtained the promise but
in Hebrews 11:13 it says Abraham died in faith “not having received the
1) The received promise refers to Abraham having received his son Isaac.
2) Not receiving the promise refers to Abraham dyed before he could see the fulfillment of the fullness of the promise.
Abraham died knowing that the God who gave a portion of the promise would ultimately fulfill all of it.
”Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument.”
αντιλογιας or “antilogiai” means “dispute, controversy, contradiction”.
βεβαιωσιν “bebaiwsin” means “confirming, confirmation, legal guarantee” The word was a technical expression for a legal guarantee
”Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.”
εν ω περισσοτερον βουλομενος ο θεος επιδειξαι
wherein more abundantly resolving God to show
τοις κληρονομοις της επαγγελιας το αμεταθετον
to the heirs of the promises the unchangeableness
της βουλης αυτου εμεσιτευσεν ορκω
of the resolve of him interposed by an oath
Why did God take an oath? Is God’s word not trustworthy? This verse says “God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear.” God took a human convention of swearing or oath taking to demonstrate and communicate to man God’s intention. God was not indicating he was not trustworthy but was showing Abraham (and all of Abraham’s heirs) that this promise was not going to change. God’s statement on this matter was now in the books, an official document that was God’s sworn testimony. Anything said after this could not change this promise.
promise was for the benefit of “the heirs”.
The heirs of the promise that Abraham received are all who have the
faith of Abraham and not only Jews and in some cases, not even Jews. See these verses:
1) John 8:39 2) Romans 4:16 3) Galatians
βουλομενος or “Boulomenos” is a stronger Greek word “thelein”. The word becomes even more forceful when the adverb περισσοτερον (“perissotepon” – “more convincingly”) is used. God makes his word doubly convincing.
In chapter one it is taught
that God’s word is unchanging.
Here it is taught that God’s purpose is unchanging.
αμεταθετον or “ametatheton” (“unchangeableness) is used on here and in verse 6:18 in the entire NT.
God is working a plan and he has a goal and a purpose. He will not be redirected by world events or historical personalities. The pagan gods had to respond and adjust to other forces such as other gods, other nations, world events, time, etc. Not so with God.
”God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.”
“two unchangeable things” are:
1) The promise (or, the character of God)
2) The oath
The “heirs”, which include
the writer and the reader of this letter, are described as “we who have
fled to take hold of the hope offered to us”.
The heirs are described as being fugitives or refuges.
Paul uses the word καταφυγοντες or “kataphugontes”
1) In Acts 14:6 when he fled from persecution.
2) In LXX Deuteronomy 4:42 and 19:5 for fleeing from the avenger to the asylum of the cities of refuge. There were six cities of refuge in
3) In LXX Joshua 20:9
But, these people are fleeing to “hope” not physical safety or a shelter.
They are being encouraged with purpose and direction in the eternal sense.
The heirs then are fleeing form discouragement and apathy. They are fleeing the hopelessness of the present age for something with eternal purpose and meaning.
There is a sense of urgency as they are described as “fleeing” not “strolling” or “walking” toward “hope”.
κρατησαι or “kratasai” means “to seize” It is aorist active. This word means to lay hold on and cling to that which has been taken. This is exactly NOT what the readers of this Letter to the Hebrews are doing.
”We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,”
ην ως αγκυραν εχομεν της ψυχης ασφαλη
which as an anchor we have of the soul safe
τε και βεβαιαν και εισερχομενην εις το
both and firm and entering into the
εσωτερον του καταπετασματος
inner of the veil
Our hope is in God, his
word and his plan.
Our hope is not in our faith
αγκυραν or “agkuran” means “anchor”. In the Greek world the anchor represented hope. The image of an anchor is only used here in the NT. An anchor remains unmoved and stable deep in the sea even while the ship is bounced around or tossed by the wind and waves up on the surface. This illustration really needs no explanation.
This truth, this hope keeps
us encouraged and focused.
It keeps us from becoming “nothroi”
The anchor or hope enters
the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.
The metaphor has gone from an anchor in the bottom of the sea to hope in God’s word in our soul to hope that takes into the inner sanctuary of God’s temple.
With this we are back to the topic of entering into God’s presence by way of our high priest Jesus.
And concerning the High Priesthood of Jesus there is still something we need to learn from the example of Melchizedek in the OT
Our hope is based on the finished work of Christ and the his continuing work as our high priest.
In 6:20 Jesus is the προδρομος
or “prodromos” which means
Jesus has gone in first and we have the hope of following him.
”where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
οπου προδρομος υπερ ημων εισηλθεν
where a forerunner on behalf of us entered
ιησους κατα την ταξιν μελχισεδεκ
Jesus according to the order of Melchizedek
αρχιερευς γενομενος εις τον αιωνα
a high priest becoming unto the age