How can you get to Heaven?

EasyEnglish questions (2800 word vocabulary) on the letter to the Hebrews

(includes a Bible text below)

www.easyenglish.info

G. Hibbs

A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

 

About These Questions

These are questions on the biblical text of: How can I get to Heaven? An EasyEnglish Commentary (2800 word vocabulary) on the letter to the Hebrews by Ian Mackervoy.

We hope that these questions will help you to understand the text. We also want to help you use the text in real life. These questions are not examination questions with right or wrong answers.

Chapter 1

1:1 In what ways did God speak in the past? When did God speak in the past?

1:2 What do you learn about Jesus, God’s Son, from this verse?

1:3 Who is the Son? What does the Son do for you? Why is Jesus so important?

1:4 How is the name of Jesus greater than the names of *angels?

1:5 What difference is there between the *angels and Jesus?

1:6 Who must the *angels of God *worship? Why should the *angels *worship him?

1:7 *Angels act like winds and flames of fire. What would you expect them to do?

1:8 What do you learn about the *kingdom of Jesus from this verse?

1:9 Why did God choose Jesus? What has God done for Jesus?

1:10 What does God call his Son Jesus? What did Jesus make?

1:11 What will change? What will stay the same for ever?

1:12 What is special about Jesus?

1:13 What will happen to all God’s enemies?

1:14 What are the *angels doing for you?

Chapter 2

2:1 Why must you learn God’s message and obey it?

2:2 What happened to people who did not obey the messages from *angels?

2:3 Why must you not neglect what the *Lord Jesus Christ claims?

2:4 How can you be sure about God’s message of *salvation?

2:5 When will the *angels be less important than they are now?

2:6 What does the Bible say about you as a *human being?

2:7 What does this verse tell you about men and women?

2:8 What do you, as a human person, have authority over?

2:9 What can you learn about Jesus in this verse?

2:10 Whom did God make all things for? How did God make Jesus our perfect leader?

2:11 What differences does it make to be a brother or sister to Jesus?

2:12 What will Jesus do?

2:13 What does Jesus say about himself in this verse?

2:14 In what ways did Jesus become a *human being like you? Why did he do that?

2:15 What did the death of Jesus do for you?

2:16 Who is it that Jesus came to help?

2:17 Why did Jesus have to become like you?

2:18 Why did Jesus have to suffer testing? What tests did he have?

Chapter 3

3:1 Why did God send Jesus?

3:2 In what way was Moses like Jesus?

3:3 Write out this verse in your own words.

3:4 How is God a special builder?

3:5 In what ways was Moses a good servant of God?

3:6 Jesus is over the House of God. How do you benefit from that?

3:7- 9 What does the Holy Spirit tell you to do? What did the *Hebrew people do?

3:10, 11 What was God angry about? What did God say that he would do?

3:12 What must you be careful about?

3:13 Why must believers encourage other believers? When must you encourage believers?

3:14 What must you keep on doing?

3:15 What did the people do that God complains about?

3:16 What did the people do in the desert?

3:17 What had the people done that made God angry?

3:18 What would happen to those who did not obey God?

3:19 Why did God punish those people?

Chapter 4

4:1 What choice do you have?

4:2 Did the people in the desert have an opportunity to believe? Do you have the same opportunity to believe?

4:3 When did God finish his work?

4:4 What kind of rest did God speak about?

4:5 Why did some people not enter into God’s rest?

4:6 What might prevent you from getting the rest that God has promised?

4:7 What must you do today? What must you not do?

4:8 How is Joshua a picture of Jesus?

4:9 What blessing should God’s people enjoy?

4:10 What happens when a person enters into God’s place of rest?

4:11 What do you need to do? What should you avoid?

4:12 What do you discover about the word of God? THIS is a verse that every believer should learn.

4:13 How does God see you? What must you give account to God for?

4:14 Who is Jesus?

4:15 How does it help you to have Jesus as your chief priest?

4:16 What can you do? What will you receive? THIS is a verse that every believer should learn.

Chapter 5

5:1 What does a chief priest do for you?

5:2 Why can a chief priest be such a help to you?

5:3 Whose *sins does a chief priest make a *sacrifice for?

5:4 Could you decide to be a chief priest? Who decided to make Jesus a chief priest?

5:5 Did Jesus himself decide to be a chief priest?

5:6 For how long would Jesus be a chief priest?

5:7 Why did Jesus pray to God?

5:8 Why did Jesus need to have pain?

5:9 What is Jesus the source of?

5:10 What did God call Jesus to be?

5:11 How willing are you to learn God’s word?

5:12 What did the Hebrews still need to learn?

5:13 Who are like babies? Why is that?

5:14 Who can use the solid food of God’s word? What for?

Chapter 6

6:1, 2 What should you do? What should you not do?

6:3 Can you move on from these basic truths on your own? Who do we need to help us?

6:4 What do some people not understand?

6:5 What have these people known?

6:6 What have these people done? What is this like?

6:7 Would plants grow without God?

6:8 What happens if only weeds grow?

6:9 What does the writer expect of his readers?

6:10 What does God notice? How are you showing your work and love for God?

6:11 What does the writer want for his readers?

6:12 What should you do?

6:13 Why was God’s *vow to Abraham so certain to happen?

6:14 How did God promise to bless Abraham?

6:15 What did Abraham have to do while he waited for God’s promise to happen?

6:16 Why do people make a *vow?

6:17 Why did God make this *vow? Why did God *vow in his own name?

6:18 Why may we have great comfort and a sure hope?

6:19 What kind of hope do you have?

6:20 Where has Jesus gone? What is he doing there?

Chapter 7

7:1, 2 Who is Melchizedek? What did Melchizedek do for Abraham?

7:3 How is Melchizedek like the Son of God?

7:4 How was Melchizedek great?

7:5 What do you learn about the sons of Levi who became priests?

7:6 What do you know about Abraham, Levi and Melchizedek?

7:7 Who blesses whom?

7:8 What difference is there between those who received the tenth part?

7:9, 10 How is it that Levi paid a tenth part before he received a tenth part?

7:11 How is the goodness of a priest important to you?

7:12 Why must there be a change in the law of Moses?

7:13 Why was the family of Jesus not a family that would have priests in it?

7:14 What do you learn about priests?

7:15-17 Jesus’ showed a new way of being a priest. What is special about it?

7:18 Why has God put the old law aside?

7:19 What is the difference between the old law and the new law?

7:20-22 Jesus is a priest with a *vow from God. How is this better for you?

7:23, 24 How is Jesus different from the priests of the old law?

7:25 What is Jesus able to do for you? Why?

7:26 Why do you need a chief priest like Jesus?

7:27, 28 How is Jesus different from the other chief priests?

Chapter 8

8:1, 2 Where is your chief priest? What does that mean for you?

8:3 What must your chief priest do?

8:4 Why is it better for you that Jesus is not still on earth?

8:5 What model is described in the Bible to teach you about *worship?

8:6 What is greater? What is better?

8:7 Why was there a need for a second agreement?

8:8 What went wrong with the old agreement?

8:9 What happened to those that God led out of Egypt?

8:10 What does God say that he will do? What relationship does God promise you?

8:11 Why will you not need to teach other people to know the *Lord? (This will be at some time in the future.)

8:12 What will God do about your *sins?

8:13 What is the difference between the old agreement and the new agreement?

Chapter 9

9:1 How could the first agreement be helpful to you?

9:2, 3 The writer describes the tent and its contents here. What does it show you about praising God and giving him honour and respect?

9:4, 5 What do you learn from the contents of the Holy Place?

9:6 How did they use the first room to *worship God?

9:7 Who could go into the inner room? Whose *sins did he offer blood for?

9:8 Who was giving the information? What information was he giving?

9:9 What could the old special tent do for you? What could it not do for you?

9:10 What was the purpose of the gifts?

9:11 What has Jesus done by coming as chief priest? Who made this special tent?

9:12 What did Jesus not do? What did Jesus do for you?

9:13 What did the priest do for the people? What was the result of that?

9:14 What is the blood of Jesus able to do for you? What may you do because of what Jesus has done?

9:15 What did Jesus do for you? What benefit is there to you from the new agreement?

9:16 What may people do with a person’s property after that person has died? Is it different if the person has written down his wishes?

9:17 What value has a will, while the person is still alive? (Some people write down what they want to happen to their things after they die. We call what they write a will.) Perhaps someone has put your name in a will. What value is that to you if they are still alive? What value is that will if they live longer than you?

9:18 What had death to do with the start of the first agreement?

9:19 Say, and write in your own words what Moses did.

9:20 What did the people have to do about the agreement?

9:21, 22 How did Moses use the blood? What is impossible without *sacrifice of blood?

9:22 THIS is a verse that every believer should learn.

9:23 What are the differences between the copies on earth and the real things in heaven?

9:24 What did Jesus do? What is Jesus doing now?

9:25 How are the chief priests and Jesus different?

9:26 What did Jesus do for us once? Why was that only once?

9:27 What will happen to you and to all people?

9:28 What did Jesus do when he came the first time? Why will Jesus come again? What will Jesus do when he comes the second time?

Chapter 10

10:1 What good did the law of Moses do? Why was that law not sufficient?

10:2 Were the *sacrifices of the old law sufficient? If they had been, what would have been different?

10:3 What did the *sacrifices do for the people?

10:4 What could the blood of the animals not do?

10:5, 6 What did Jesus talk to God about?

10:7 What did Jesus say that he came to do?

10:8, 9 What did Jesus say about *sacrifices and offerings for *sins? Did Jesus do what he wanted to do?

10:10 What did Jesus do for you? Is that what God wants?

10:11 What could the daily *sacrifices never do?

10:12 Was Jesus a priest? What did he do?

10:13 What is Jesus waiting for God to do?

10:14 What did Jesus do for you?

10:15 What does the Holy Spirit do?

10:16 Where has God put his law?

10:17 What is God’s attitude to your *sin?

10:18 What difference does it make for anyone when God forgives their *sins?

10:19 What can you do because of what the blood of Jesus does for you?

10:20 What has Jesus’ blood done for you?

10:21 How does it help you that Jesus is a chief priest?

10:22 What does the writer invite you to do? How can you come to God? Why may you come? What is different for you when you come this way?

10:23 What should you do? What is your proper attitude to God?

10:24 What should you do for other believers?

10:25 What must you not do? What must you do more and more now?

10:26 What can you choose to do? What is the result of those choices?

10:27 What would it mean to you to have God as your judge, in this way? What will God’s judgement be like if you choose to continue in *sin?

10:28 What was the result for someone who did not respect the law of Moses?

10:29 What happens to the person who turns back from the Son of God? Who is insulted when someone turns back like that?

10:30 Who will be the judge of his people? Can you *sin and there not be a punishment?

10:31 What do you learn about God?

10:32 What did the Hebrew Christians need to remember? Do you need to remember this?

10:33 What happened to them? Could this happen to you?

10:34 What had they done for other people? What hope helped them? Could this same hope help you?

10:35 What must your attitude be to the truth? How will you benefit from your trust in the truth?

10:36 What do you need to do? What will be the result?

10:37 What was going to happen very soon?

10:38 What is the way to live? How is trust in God related to doing what is right?

10:39 What will happen to you if you turn back from God? What good thing is yours if you trust God?

Chapter 11

11:1 What is the like a foundation for your hope? How does this foundation work out?

11:2 What did the people who lived long ago show you?

11:3 What can happen because of your trust in God?

11:4 What do you learn about Abel?

11:5 What do you learn about Enoch?

11:6 What attitude must you have to be able to come to God? What must you do to be able to come to God?

11:7 What was Noah’s relationship with God? How do you know? In what way did Noah show up evil?

11:8 What did God call Abraham to do? What did Abraham do when God called him?

11:9 What did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob do? Why did they do it?

11:10 What was Abraham expecting in the future?

11:11 How did God test Abraham’s and Sarah’s *faith?

11:12 What unusual thing happened to Abraham? What was the result?

11:13 What happened to these people? What did they think about what happened?

11:14 What were these people looking for?

11:15 What could the people have done instead?

11:16 What did the people desire? What is God’s relationship to them? What has God done for them?

11:17 How did God test Abraham’s trust in him? Why was Isaac so precious to Abraham?

11:18 What had been God’s promise to Abraham?

11:19 What happened for Abraham?

11:20 How could Isaac promise good things for Jacob and Esau?

11:21 What did Jacob do by trusting God?

11:22 How did Joseph show his *faith in God?

11:23 How did the parents of Moses’ show that they trusted God?

11:24 What did Moses refuse to do?

11:25 What did Moses choose to do? What could Moses have chosen instead?

11:26 What did Moses choose? What did he keep thinking about?

11:27 Why was Abraham able to leave Egypt without fear?

11:28 What did Abraham have to do by *faith?

11:29 What happened to God’s people who trusted him? What happened to the Egyptians?

11:30 What did the people believe? What did they do? What happened?

11:31 What do you learn about Rahab?

11:32 What do you know about these people? Do you know any of the stories about these people?

11:33 What did these people achieve by *faith? Do you know any people who are living like that today?

11:34 What did these people achieve by *faith? Do you know any of the stories about these people in the Bible? Do you know stories like that about people who are living today?

11:35 What do you learn about these women of *faith?

11:36 What did some people who have *faith suffer?

11:37 What happened to some people who had *faith in God?

11:38 How does the writer describe these people who trusted God? What happened to them?

11:39 What was the result for those who trusted God?

11:40 How are you involved if you trust God?

Chapter 12

12:1 What should you be aware of? What should you stop doing? What should you do?

12:2 Who should you keep looking to? Why? What did Jesus do for you?

12:3 What should you do? What will be the difference if you do these things?

12:4 What did the writer say about the readers of this book?

12:5 Have you forgotten God’s words? When must you listen especially to the *Lord? What must you not do?

12:6 What can you expect if the *Lord has accepted you as his son?

12:7 What should be your answer to God’s discipline? What does God’s discipline show you?

12:8 Why should you accept God’s discipline?

12:9 Who do you respect for the discipline that they have used to train you? How should you reply to the discipline of God, our father?

12:10 Why do fathers train their children? Why does God train you?

12:11 How did you feel about discipline when you were a child? How do you consider discipline now? What are the benefits of training by discipline?

12:12 What do you need to do?

12:13 What should you do?

12:14 What do you need if you want to see the *Lord?

12:15 What should you not do? What could be the result of your anger?

12:16 What did Esau do that was so wrong? What caused him to *sin like that?

12:17 What did Esau find out?

12:18 What were the mountains that the *Israelites saw like? Do you face such mountains?

12:19 Could you expect to have the experiences that the *Israelites had?

12:20 Could anyone choose to go to the mountain?

12:21 What was it like at Mount Sinai?

12:22 Where have you come as a child of God?

12:23 What has happened for you?

12:24 Who made the new agreement? How did he make it? Why is Jesus’ blood better than the blood of Abel?

12:25 What do you need to do? What happened to those who refused to listen to *warnings on earth? What will happen if you refuse to hear *warnings from heaven?

12:26, 27 What do you learn about what God will do?

12:28 What have you received as a believer? What should you do?

12:29 What do you learn about God?

Chapter 13

13:1 What must you do?

13:2 What do you need to do? What surprise might be the result?

13:3 How should you help people in prison? How should you behave towards those who suffer?

13:4 What do you learn about marriage, sex and God?

13:5 What should be your attitude to getting money? What has God promised to you?

13:6 Why can you be bold? What can you say as a believer in Jesus?

13: 6 THIS is a verse that every believer should learn.

13:7 What should you do? What should you look at? What is it that you should copy?

13:8 What do you learn about Jesus Christ?

13:8 THIS is a verse that every believer should learn.

13:9 Sometimes people teach things that do not agree with God’s word. What should you do then? What will make your heart strong?

13:10 What do you have that the priests and people did not have with the old agreement?

13:11 Where did the chief priests take the blood? Where did they burn the bodies?

13:12 What did Jesus have to do? Who did Jesus do it for?

13:13 What does God invite you to do?

13:14 What do you learn about the believer’s view of places on earth?

13:15 What does the writer encourage you to do all the time? How does he describe that?

13:16 What should you not forget? What should you do? How does God see these actions?

13:17 How should you behave towards your leaders? Who are your leaders responsible to? How should your leaders feel about leading you? Would that make any difference to you?

13:18 Who should you pray for? What could the author of this verse be sure of? Why?

13:19 Who were the readers asked to pray for? Why?

13:20 What do you learn about God? What happened to Jesus that is important for you? What picture does the writer use about Jesus?

13:21 What does the writer pray for? Who is always to receive honour?

13:22 What does the writer ask his readers to do?

13:23 What do you learn about the writer and his friend?

13:24 Who does he encourage to greet whom?

13:25 What does the writer pray for the readers?

 

 

How can I get to heaven?

An EasyEnglish Version (2800 word vocabulary) of the Letter to the Hebrews

Ian Mackervoy

This version has been through Advanced Theological Checking.

Words in boxes are from the Bible.

The word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.

 

Chapter 1

1:1 In the past God spoke to our *ancestors. He did this through the *prophets at many times and in various ways. 1:2 But, in these last days, he has spoken to us by his Son. He appointed his Son to be the owner of all things. It was by him that God created everything in space and time. 1:3 From the Son the honour of God shines like a bright light. He is really God and he shows us what God is like. It is the Son who maintains all things in their proper place by his powerful word. The Son gave his own life to make us clean from all our *sins. After this, he sat down at the right hand of God in heaven.

1:4 By what he has done, the Son of God is much greater than the *angels. God has also given to him a name that is greater than theirs. 1:5 God did not tell any of the *angels, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ (Psalm 2:7). Again, he did not say about any *angel, ‘I will be his father, and he will be my son’ (2 Samuel 7:14).

1:6 Again, when God brings his *firstborn Son into the world, he says ‘Let all the *angels of God *worship him’ (Deuteronomy 32:43). 1:7 He says about the *angels, ‘He makes his *angels winds, and his servants flames of fire’ (Psalm 104:4). 1:8 About the Son he says, ‘Your *throne, O God, will last for all time and always. You will rule your *kingdom in ways that are always right. 1:9 You have loved what is right and hated what is evil. That is why God, your God, has chosen you. He has given to you more joy than he has given to anyone else ‘ (Psalm 45:6-7).

1:10 He also says about the Son, ‘*Lord, you made the earth in the beginning. The skies are the work of your hands. 1:11 The skies and the earth will come to an end, but you live forever. They will all wear out like clothes. 1:12 You will roll them up like a coat and change them like clothes. But you remain the same, and your life will never end’ (Psalm 102:25-27).

1:13 God never said to any of the *angels, ‘Sit at my right hand. Sit there until I make your enemies a place to rest your feet‘ (Psalm 110:1). 1:14 All the *angels are *spirits who work for God. He sends them to help those to whom he will give *salvation.

Chapter 2

2:1 That is why we must take in what we have heard. We must do this so that we do not turn away from God. 2:2 The *angels spoke a message from God that was true. God punished all who did not obey what the *angels said. 2:3 We shall not escape if we neglect this great *salvation that comes from God. It was the *Lord who first told us of this *salvation. The people who heard him have shown us that it is true. 2:4 God also proved the truth of the message. He did this by signs, wonderful acts and many *miracles. As a further proof, he gave gifts of the Holy Spirit as he chose.

2:5 God did not make *angels to govern the world to come, which is our subject. 2:6 The Bible says (Psalm 8:4-6), ‘What are *human beings that God thinks of them? What are the sons and daughters of *humanity that God cares for them? 2:7 God made them for a little while to be lower than the *angels. Then God made them kings of all with royal power and honour. 2:8 God has put all things under their authority’. God left nothing outside their authority. As it is, however, we do not yet see all things under their authority. 2:9 But we see Jesus. For a little while, God made him lower than the *angels. Now Jesus is the king in heaven, where he has a crown of great honour. This is because he suffered and died for us. He accepted our death, so that by the goodness of God we need not suffer in the same way.

2:10 God made all things for himself and all things exist by his power. It was fitting that he should make Jesus our perfect leader. He did this by having Jesus suffer and die for our *sins. 2:11 Jesus is the one who makes men and women holy. The holy ones are those who have believed in Jesus. They have become one with Jesus. So he is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. 2:12 Jesus says to his Father, ‘I will tell my brothers and sisters your name. With your people, I will praise you in songs’ (Psalm 22:22). 2:13 Again he says, ‘I will put my trust in God’ (Isaiah 8:17). At another time he says, ‘Look, I am here with the children that God has given to me’, (Isaiah 3:18).

2:14 The children that he speaks about all have human bodies. Jesus became a real *human being like them. He died as we must die. The devil had the power of death. Jesus broke that power when he died. 2:15 He died to free us from the fear of death. Until Jesus came, people were so afraid of death that they were like slaves to it. 2:16 He did not come to help the *angels. He came to help those who have their origins in Abraham. 2:17 He had to be like them in everything. Then he could be the chief priest for them to bring them to God. He is so kind to them and they can depend on him as their agent to God. He had to be like them so that he could die as a *sacrifice for their *sins. God accepts this *sacrifice and takes all their *sins from them. 2:18 Jesus had to suffer all kinds of testing, but he did not fail. This makes him able to help any who are in need of the strength to do what is right.

Chapter 3

3:1 Brothers and sisters in Christ who belong to God, you share the call to be with him in heaven. So let us take time to think about Jesus. God sent him to us to show what he is like and to be the chief priest whom we trust. 3:2 He did what God sent him to do, just as Moses did in the house of God. 3:3 The person who builds a house gets more honour than the house. That is why Jesus gets more honour than Moses. 3:4 Every house has a builder, but God is the one who builds all things. 3:5 God told Moses what to do and he did it as the servant of God in all his house. Moses spoke about what God would say in the future. 3:6 Jesus Christ was true as a Son over the house of God. We are his house, if we keep our confidence and *boldly trust in him to the end.

3:7-8 So, as the Holy Spirit says, ‘Today, when you hear me speak, do not oppose what I say. That is what the *Hebrew people did when they were in the desert. 3:9 There they tested me and tried me. They saw what I did for 40 years. 3:10 So I was angry with those people. I said, ‘Their hearts are always wrong. They have not known my ways’. 3:11 In my anger I declared, ‘They shall never enter my place of rest (Psalm 95:7-11)’. 3:12 Be careful, my Christian brothers and sisters, that none of you has an evil heart that does not trust God. Such a heart will turn you away from the God who is alive and active. 3:13 Encourage each other daily, as long as it is still ‘today’, to be true to God. This is so that *sin will not lead you away and your hearts become hard towards God. 3:14 We are partners with Christ, if we trust him to the end, as we did at first. 3:15 God is still saying, ‘Today, when you hear me speak, do not make your hearts hard. That is what the people in the desert did, when they turned away from me’. 3:16 Who heard God, yet turned away from him? It was the people whom Moses led out of the land of *Egypt. 3:17 Who made God angry for 40 years? It was the people who had turned away from him. These all died in the desert. 3:18 To whom did God declare that they would never enter his rest? It was the people who did not obey him. 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because they did not trust God.

Chapter 4

4:1 The same promise of entering the place of God's rest is still there for us. We should be afraid that some of us might miss our chance to go in. 4:2 We have heard the good news just as they did in the desert. The message that they heard did not benefit them. They heard it, but they did not accept it.

4:3 We Christians enter that place of God's rest. The Hebrews in the desert would not accept the good news. That made God angry. He said, ‘They shall never enter my place of rest’ (Psalm 95:11). Yet, he finished his work when he made the world. 4:4 Somewhere in the Bible God spoke of the seventh day in these words: ‘And on the seventh day God rested from all his work’ (Genesis 2:2). 4:5 Now, in the earlier words above, God says, ‘They shall never enter my place of rest’ (Psalm 95:11). 4:6 That means that some other people will enter it. But the people who heard the good news in the past did not enter it, because they did not obey God. 4:7 So God fixed another day, calling it ‘today’, when a long time later he spoke by David. He said, ‘Today if you hear the voice of God, do not make your hearts hard’ (Psalm 95:7-8). 4:8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. 4:9 So there still remains a perfect rest for the people of God. 4:10 Anyone who enters God's place of rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.

4:11 So let us be eager to enter that place of rest. We must be careful not to miss our chance, like the people in the desert who did not obey God. 4:12 The word of God is living and full of power. It is sharper than any sword that cuts on both edges. It cuts between *soul and *spirit. It cuts between joints and muscles. It knows people’s thoughts and attitudes. 4:13 No one can hide from God. His eyes see all things as they really are. It is to him that we all must give an account for what we do.

4:14 We have a great chief priest who has gone through the heavens. He is Jesus, the Son of God. Let us never fail in our *belief and trust in him. 4:15 We have a chief priest who can feel with us when we are weak. He knows how weak we are. He had to suffer testing in every way like us. We fail, but he did not do anything wrong. 4:16 Let us approach God’s royal seat with boldness, that is, where God’s goodness is. We shall receive from him his goodness, support and the help that we need.

Chapter 5

5:1 All chief priests are *human. They act as agents between other *humans and God. The chief priest has to give gifts and sacrifices to God for all the *sins that they have done. 5:2 Such a chief priest can be kind and understanding to people who do not know what is right or wrong. He knows how to help them when they go wrong, for he is weak just like them. 5:3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for both his own *sins and for their *sins. 5:4 No man can decide to be a chief priest. God must appoint him, just as he appointed Aaron.

5:5 So Jesus also did not decide to be the chief priest. God, who said, ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father’ (Psalm 2:7), made him the chief priest. 5:6 God says, in another part of the Bible, ‘You are always to be a priest like Melchizedek’ (Psalm 110:4).

5:7 When Jesus lived on earth, he prayed to God who was able to save him from death. He cried aloud to God with many tears. God heard him because he gave honour to God. 5:8 Although he was God’s Son, Jesus came to know through pain what it was to obey God. 5:9 This made him perfect for his work. He is now the source of the *salvation that will never end for all who obey him. 5:10 God called him a chief priest after the type of Melchizedek.

5:11 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn.

5:12 By this time, you ought to be teachers, but you are not able. You need someone to teach you again the basic truths of God’s word. Like babies, you still need milk instead of solid food. 5:13 Christians who still live on milk have not understood the teaching about right living. They are like babies. 5:14 Solid food is for those who have grown up. They have learned to tell the difference between good and bad.

Chapter 6

6:1-2 So, let us leave behind the elementary teaching about Christ. Let us grow up into mature Christians. We should not need to learn again about:

turning from bad actions to trust in God

Jewish ceremonies of *washings

the special use of hands in religion

raising the dead

final judgement

6:3 If God allows, we shall advance from these basic truths.

6:4 They who turn against God cannot come back to him. These people once knew the truth. They have glimpsed heaven. They have had an experience of the Holy Spirit. 6:5 They have known the goodness of God’s word. They have known something of the powers of the world to come. 6:6 Now they refuse all this. It is as if such people fix the Son of God to the cross once again. They bring shame on him in public. 6:7 The ground that drinks the rain that often falls upon it makes plants grow for the people who farm. God blesses that ground. 6:8 But if the land grows nothing but weeds, it is not worth anything. In the end men will burn it.

6:9 Dear friends, although we speak like this, we are sure of better things in your case. God has saved you from your *sins. 6:10 God does what is right. He will not fail to notice your work and the love that you have shown to him. You showed your love by helping his people. You are still helping them. 6:11 We want each of you to be eager to continue this to the end. Then you will be certain of your future hope. 6:12 We do not want you to become lazy. Copy those who by *belief and patience will receive what God has promised.

6:13 When God gave a promise to Abraham, he made it certain by adding a *vow in his own name. He could not *vow in any other name, for no name is greater than his. 6:14 He said, ‘I will be sure to bless you and give you many children’ (Genesis 22:17). 6:15 Abraham was patient for a long time, and then he got what God had promised. 6:16 People make a *vow in the name of someone greater than themselves. They do this to show that they will do without doubt what they promise. A *vow makes the promise certain. 6:17 When God made a promise, he wanted to convince the people that he would do as he said. So he made a *vow in his own name that he would keep his promise. 6:18 Nobody can change these two things, because God cannot lie. He promised with a *vow, so that we who have run to him for protection can have great comfort. We know that he will do what he has promised. In this we can have a sure hope. 6:19 This hope fastens our souls as to a sure base, firm and safe. It goes right into God’s holy place. 6:20 Jesus has gone there ahead of us. God has made him the chief priest for always, like Melchizedek.

Chapter 7

7:1 This Melchizedek was king of *Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him. 7:2 Abraham gave him a tenth of all that he had. Melchizedek's name means ‘king of what is right’. It also means ‘king of *Salem’, that is, ‘king of peace’. 7:3 There is no reference to his father or mother or family. There is no record of his birth or death. He is like the Son of God, because he always remains a priest.

7:4 Think how great Melchizedek was! Even the father of our people, Abraham, gave him a tenth part of what he won in a war. 7:5 The sons of Levi who became priests had the right by law to take a tenth part from what their people had. This is so, even if both priests and people all came from Abraham. 7:6 This man, Melchizedek, did not come from the family of Levi. Yet, he received a tenth part from Abraham, although Abraham had the promises of God. 7:7 There is no doubt that those who are less important receive a blessing from one who is greater than they are. 7:8 In the first case, men who will die one day are receiving the tenth part. In the other case, one who the Bible declares will always live. 7:9 In fact, we could say that even Levi, who also received the tenth part, already paid it through Abraham. 7:10 For when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was not born. Levi was not a member of Abraham’s family until much later.

7:11 The Hebrews received the law of Moses while Levi and his sons were priests. If those priests and what they did had been good enough, what need would there have been for another kind of priest? Yet another kind of priest did come. He was one like Melchizedek and not a relative of Aaron’s. 7:12 Any change in the kind of priests requires a change in the law of Moses as well. 7:13 The man we are talking about did not come from the family of Levi. He belonged to a family that had never served as priests. 7:14 For it is clear that our *Lord came from the family of *Judah (Revelation 5:5). Moses said nothing about priests from that family.

7:15 What we have said becomes even clearer if another kind of priest like Melchizedek appears. He did. 7:16 But it was not because of any relationship to Levi. Jesus became a priest by the power of a life that has no end. 7:17 For the Bible says about him, ‘You are a priest always, like Melchizedek’ (Psalm 110:4). 7:18 God has put the old law aside, for it was weak and failed in its purpose. 7:19 The old law did not make anything right. God brought in a better hope by which we can approach him.

7:20 Moreover this hope came with a *vow from God. By the old law, men became priests without a *vow. 7:21 Jesus became a priest with a *vow. God said to him, ‘The *Lord has made a *vow and will not change his mind. You are a priest always (Psalm 110:4)’. 7:22 So Jesus has been able to make a better and a more certain agreement with God on our behalf.

7:23 Now there have been many priests of the old law. They could not continue to be priests when they died. 7:24 But Jesus lives always, and so he will always be a priest. 7:25 Therefore he is able to make perfect all who come to God by him. This is because he always lives to pray for them.

7:26 We need such a chief priest as Jesus. He is holy, pure, and has no shame, for he has never *sinned. God took him away from those who *sin and he is now above the heavens. 7:27 Jesus does not need to make sacrifices every day as the other chief priests did. They had to do so, first for their own *sins and then for the *sins of the people. Jesus did this once for all time when he sacrificed himself for us. He did not need to do this on his own behalf, for he was perfect and without *sin. 7:28 The law makes men chief priests, but they are weak. The *vow of God, which came later than the law, makes the Son the chief priest. He is perfect and lives always.

Chapter 8

8:1 This is what we have been saying. We do have such a great chief priest. He sat down at the right side of God’s *throne. This is the place in heaven of all power and honour. 8:2 He is the priest in the true holy place where God lives. It was the *Lord who made that place and not *humans. 8:3 It is the task of all chief priests to bring gifts and offer sacrifices to God. So this chief priest also must have something to offer.

8:4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest. There are already men here who offer the gifts that the law of Moses demands. 8:5 The holy place where they do this is a model and copy of what is in heaven. God told Moses to erect a special tent for *worship. He warned Moses to make it to the exact plan in all its details. God gave him the plan when they met on the mountain. 8:6 God has given Jesus a much greater work to do than they had. Jesus has made a better agreement with God for us than they could have done. It has the better promises of God as its base. 8:7 If the first agreement had been perfect, there would have been no need to make another agreement.

8:8 The people did not please God. He says in the Bible, ‘The time will come, says the *Lord, when I will make a new agreement with the people of *Israel and the people of *Judah. 8:9 It will not be like the agreement that I made with those whom I took by the hand and led out of *Egypt. They did not remain true to that agreement, so I turned away from them, says the *Lord. 8:10 After that time, the *Lord says, I will make a new agreement with the people of *Israel. This is what it will be. I will put my laws in their minds and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people. 8:11 Nobody will need to teach his neighbour or his brother to know the *Lord. All of them will know me, from the least of them to the most important. 8:12 I will forgive them the *sins that they have done. I will remember their *sins no more’. 8:13 God calls this agreement new. That makes the first agreement out of date. What is old and out of date soon disappears.

Chapter 9

9:1 The first agreement had rules for praising God and giving him honour and respect. It had a special holy place here on earth. 9:2 Moses set up a large special tent. The first area contained the lamp and the table with the holy bread on it. This was the holy place. 9:3 Behind the second curtain there was a room that was the most holy place. 9:4 In here there was an *altar of gold on which priests burned special *incense. There was also a special large box made of wood and covered with gold. This box was the box of the agreement. In it was the gold jar that contained bread from heaven. There was also Aaron’s stick that began to grow, and the stones on which God wrote the agreement. 9:5 On top of the special box there were the shapes of two special *angels. Their wings spread over the box. Under the shadow of their wings, on top of the box, was a lid of pure gold. We cannot speak in detail of these things now.

9:6 While this special tent was in use, the priests went in and out of the first room to do their work. 9:7 Only the chief priest could go into the inner room. He had to go in, by himself and only once a year. When he went in, he had to take blood with him. He offered the blood to God for the *sins he himself had done. He offered blood also for any *sins that the people had done without realising it. 9:8 The Holy Spirit was teaching that the way into the most holy place in heaven was not yet open. He would not show it while the first special tent was in use. 9:9 The old special tent was an image, or a copy, for the present time. In the tent, the priests offered gifts and sacrifices to God. Yet, these could not make the conscience clean before God. 9:10 The gifts and sacrifices were only food and drink. There were rules on how to wash and other rules to do with the body. These rules were there until the time of the new agreement.

9:11 Jesus has now come as the chief priest of the good things that have come. He has gone into the better and more perfect tent. Men did not make this special tent and it does not belong to this world. 9:12 Jesus did not take the blood of goats and young cows into the most holy place. He took his own blood into the most holy place, once for all time. He has purchased us with his life so that we may live always with God. 9:13 The priest took the blood of goats and young cows and the ashes of a young cow. He put them on the people who had done bad things. This made their bodies clean. 9:14 The blood of Jesus will do much more than clean bodies. By the Holy Spirit who lives always, Jesus offered himself to God on our behalf. He was the perfect *sacrifice for all who have *sinned. He is able to make our conscience clean from all the *sins that lead to death. By him, we may now serve the God who lives always.

9:15 Therefore Jesus is the one who obtained for us the new agreement with God. When Jesus died, he paid for all the *sins that people had done under the first agreement. The people whom God now calls can have what he promised. That is, a place in heaven that will always be theirs. 9:16 Before a person dies, he can say who is to own his things after his death. He writes down his wishes in an agreement. Before anyone can take his things, there has to be proof that the person who owned them has died. 9:17 Because this agreement is for after the person dies, it has no value while the one who made it is still alive. 9:18 This is why even the first agreement had no value without a death. 9:19 Moses read aloud all the commands of the law to all the people. Then he took the blood of young cows and goats, and some water. With red wool and branches of *hyssop, he put some on the book and some on all the people. 9:20 As he did so, he said, ‘This is the blood of the agreement which God has commanded you to obey’ (Exodus 24:8). 9:21 In the same way he put some of the blood on the special tent. He also put some on all the things that the priests used in their work. 9:22 In fact, by the old law, the use of blood makes nearly everything clean. If there is no *sacrifice of blood, God will not forgive our *sins.

9:23 The first agreement gave copies on earth of the real things that are in heaven. These copies had to be clean. The blood of the sacrifices of goats and young cows made the copies clean. The real things in heaven need much better sacrifices than animals. 9:24 For Jesus did not go into the holy place made by men. That was only a copy of the true one. He went into heaven itself. Now he is there before God on our behalf. 9:25 The chief priest of the old agreement had to go into the most holy place once every year. He had to take blood with him. It was not his own blood, but the blood of an animal. Jesus does not need to go to heaven again and again with his blood. 9:26 If he had needed to do this, he would have had to die many times since the world began. As it is, Jesus came once in these last days. He came to take away all *sin. He died once for all time as the perfect *sacrifice.

9:27 Everyone will die one day, and then afterwards stand before God. He will be their judge. 9:28 So Jesus died once as the *sacrifice. By doing that, he took away all the *sins of many people. He will come a second time. He will not have to die again for our *sins. He comes the second time to rescue all who are waiting for him and make them whole.

Chapter 10

10:1 The law of Moses provides only a poor copy of the good things that are coming, not the real things themselves. Year after year the priests had to offer the same sacrifices for *sin. These sacrifices could never make people fit to approach God. 10:2 If they could have done so, the priests would have stopped offering them. Such sacrifices would have made the people clean once for all from their *sins. Then people would no longer have felt guilty about their *sins. 10:3 As it is, those sacrifices reminded people year after year that they still had their *sins. 10:4 But it is not possible for the blood of goats or young cows to take away *sins.

10:5 So when Jesus Christ came into the world, he said to God his Father, “You did not want sacrifices and gifts. Instead, you prepared a body for me. 10:6 The burnt animals and the offerings for *sins did not please you’. 10:7 Then I said, ‘See, I have come to do what you, God, want me to do. This is what the book of the law says about me’ ” (Psalm 40:6-8). 10:8 First Jesus Christ said, ‘You did not want sacrifices and offerings for *sins. The law of Moses required them, but they did not please you’. 10:9 Then he said, ‘Here I am, and I have come to do what you want’. He takes away the first, so that he may bring in the second. 10:10 God wants to make us holy. Jesus Christ has done this for us. He did it by giving his body, once for all time, as the perfect *sacrifice on our behalf.

10:11 Day after day the priests stand and do their duty. Again and again they offer the same gifts that can never take away *sins. 10:12 But this priest, Jesus Christ, offered one *sacrifice, and it is good for all time. When Jesus had made it, he sat down at God’s right hand. 10:13 Since that time he waits for God to put all his enemies under him. 10:14 By his one *sacrifice Jesus has made perfect for always those whom God is making holy. 10:15 The Holy Spirit tells us about this as well. First he says: 10:16 ‘This is the agreement that I will make with them after that time, says the *Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds’ (Jeremiah 31:33). 10:17 Then he says: ‘I will never again remember their *sins and the times when they did not obey my law’ (Jeremiah 31:34). 10:18 Where God has forgiven *sins, there is no more need for a *sacrifice for *sins.

10:19 So, my Christian brothers and sisters, we can be bold and go into the most holy place. This is because of the blood of Jesus. 10:20 His blood has opened a new and living way, through the curtain, that is, through his own body. 10:21 This is because we have a great chief priest who is over the house of God. 10:22 So, let us come near to God with a sincere heart. Let us come because we have a sure trust in Jesus. He has made our hearts clean and taken away our shame. He has washed our bodies with pure water. 10:23 Let us hold on to the hope in God that we say that we have, and never let it go. God who gave us that promise is true, so we can trust him. 10:24 Let us think how we can help each other to love and to do good actions. 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some have done. Encourage each other, and do it even more as you see the day coming near.

10:26 After we have received and known the truth, we could still choose to continue to *sin. If we do so, there is no longer any *sacrifice for our *sins. 10:27 God will then be our judge and that is something to make us afraid. The anger of God will be like a fierce fire that will burn away all his enemies. 10:28 Any who did not respect and obey the law of Moses died. There was no pity for them, if two or three *witnesses proved that they were guilty. 10:29 How much worse punishment does a *human being deserve, if that person turns back from the Son of God? It is as if that person walked upon and hated the Son of God. It is as if that person refused to accept the blood of the new agreement that had made that person clean. That person has insulted the Holy Spirit who has been so kind to him or her. 10:30 For we know him who said, ‘I am the one who will punish people; I will pay them for all their *sin’ (Deuteronomy 31:35). Again he said, ‘The *Lord will be the judge of his people’ (Deuteronomy 31:36). 10:31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the God who is alive.

10:32 Remember the early days when you first received the light of God’s truth. Then you were strong, even when you had a hard struggle and suffered much. 10:33 People laughed at you, put you to shame and beat you. At other times, you stood side by side with those who suffered like this. 10:34 You had pity for them who were in prison. You were full of joy, even when people took your things away from you. You knew that you had better things in heaven that will last and always be yours. 10:35 So do not stop having your confidence in the truth for this will bring you a great reward. Your trust in it will bring you a great reward. 10:36 You need to continue, so that when you have done what God wants, you will receive what he has promised. 10:37 For in just a very little while, ‘He who is coming will come and will not delay. 10:38 The person who does what is right because he trusts in God, will live. If he holds back from doing right, he will not please me’ (Habakkuk 2:3-4). 10:39 We are not people who turn back. God will destroy them. We trust God, and so we will gain true life.

Chapter 11

11:1 *Faith, that is, trust in God, is the foundation of what we hope for. It is being completely sure of what we do not yet see. 11:2 The people who lived long ago by trust in him, pleased God. 11:3 By our trust in God, we understand that he made the world by his word of command (Genesis 1). He made all the things that we see out of things that do not appear.

11:4 Because of his trust in God, Abel made a better *sacrifice to God than the one made by Cain. God accepted Abel as a *righteous man when he spoke well about his *sacrifice. Abel died but, by his trust in God, he still speaks (Genesis 4:1-8). 11:5 By his trust in God, Enoch went straight to heaven without having to die. Nobody could find him, because God had taken him away. Before God took him, God said that he was well pleased with him (Genesis 5:24). 11:6 If a person does not trust in God, he cannot please him. All who come to God must believe that he exists. They must believe that he rewards all who want to find him. 11:7 God warned Noah about things that he had not yet seen (Genesis 6:11-14). He trusted what God said would happen. He made a large boat so that his family would be safe. In this way, Noah showed up the rest of the world as evil. God made Noah right with him because of his trust.

11:8 God called Abraham to go away to a place that he would have as his own. Because Abraham trusted God, he did what God told him to do (Genesis 12:1). He set off, although he did not yet know where he was to go. 11:9 Because of his trust in God, he lived like a stranger in the land that God had promised to give him. He lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who received the same promise. 11:10 For he was expecting the city with foundations that God would arrange and build. 11:11 Sarah, his wife, was too old to have children. Yet, she trusted God when he said that she would have a child. She had a son. 11:12 Abraham also was too old to be the father of a child. Yet from this man, who was as good as dead, came a large family. They were as many as the stars of the sky and as the sand by the sea (Genesis 15:1-5).

11:13 These all died, still strong in their trust in God. They did not receive the things that God had promised. They only saw them far away and were glad. They said that they were strangers here. The earth was not their real home. 11:14 People who say such things show that they look for a country of their own. 11:15 If they had been thinking of the land from which they came, they could have gone back there. 11:16 No, they greatly desired to go to a much better place, that is, a place in heaven. So God is not ashamed to be their God. He has prepared a city for them.

11:17 Abraham trusted God when God tested him. When God asked him, he was ready to offer his only son Isaac as a *sacrifice. Yet in this son were all the promises of God. 11:18 For God had said to him, ‘It is by Isaac that your family will come’ (Genesis 21:12). 11:19 Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead to life. So it was just as if he did receive Isaac back from death.

11:20 Isaac trusted God, so he told Jacob and Esau about the good things to come (Genesis 27:27-40). 11:21 Jacob trusted in God. When he was dying, he blessed both the sons of Joseph (Genesis 48). He leaned on his stick and praised God. 11:22 By his *faith in God, when his end was near, Joseph spoke of the *exodus of the people of *Israel from *Egypt. He told them to carry his bones with them (Genesis 50:24-25).

11:23 The parents of Moses trusted in God, so they hid him for three months after his birth. They could see that he was not an ordinary child. They were not afraid of the orders of the king (Exodus 2:1-10). 11:24 When he grew up, Moses refused to accept that he was the son of the king’s daughter. He did this because he trusted in God (Exodus 2:11-15). 11:25 He chose to suffer with the people of God. He could have chosen to have an easy life and enjoy *sin, for a short time. 11:26 He decided that to suffer insults for the Christ was worth much more to him than the riches of *Egypt. He kept thinking about the reward. 11:27 Because he trusted in God, he left *Egypt and did not fear the anger of the king. He was strong, for it was as if he could see him whom nobody can see. 11:28 By *faith in God he kept the *Passover and put blood on the door-posts. This was so that the *angel of death would not touch the oldest son in each of their families (Exodus 12).

11:29 The people trusted God and so they all went across the Red Sea in safety, as if on dry land. When the *Egyptians tried to do the same, they drowned (Exodus 14:29-31). 11:30 It was by trust in God that the people marched round the city of *Jericho. After 7 days, the walls fell down (Joshua 6). 11:31 Rahab was a woman who had used her body for sex to get money. She welcomed the men who came from Joshua to discover how to attack her city. She trusted in God, so she did not die with the rest who did not obey God (Joshua 2).

11:32 What more shall I say about those people who trusted God? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the *prophets. 11:33 By their *faith in God they overcame kings. They made fair laws. They gained what God promised. They shut the mouths of lions and so did not die. 11:34 They put out fierce fires, and they escaped from men who wanted to kill them with the sword. When they were weak, God made them strong again. They were so strong in war that they overcame foreign armies. 11:35 Women received back their dead, whom God raised to life again. Some suffered death by cruel enemies. They could have escaped by saying that they no longer trusted God. But they refused, so that they might gain a better life. 11:36 Some suffered insults and attacks, and some went to prison in chains. 11:37 Enemies threw stones at them, or cut them in pieces, or killed them with the sword. Some had to wear the skins of sheep and goats because they were so poor. People who did not trust God were bad to them and caused them to suffer. 11:38 Those who did trust God were too good for this world. Some wandered over deserts and mountains. Some lived in caves and holes in the ground.

11:39 God spoke well of all of these, because they trusted him. Yet none of them received during their life on earth what God had promised. 11:40 God has a better plan. He will not make them perfect without us.

Chapter 12

12:1 Like a great cloud, there are a lot of *witnesses round us. Let us then throw off all that would stop us doing what we should. Let us stop doing the *sins that would spoil our trust in God. Life is like a race. Let us run hard, and concentrate on the end of the race. 12:2 Let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the source of our *faith. He is at the end of our path of *faith. He is working to make our path perfect. Jesus’ own path of trust led him to die on a cross on our behalf. But Jesus thought nothing of the shame of such a death. He looked beyond death to the joy ahead of him. Then he sat down at the right side of God’s seat of great honour.

12:3 Think about Jesus. He suffered so much as bad men spoke evil against him. Yet he continued to the end. Let him be your great example, so that you will not tire and fail.

12:4 In your struggle against *sin, you have not yet had to risk your life. 12:5 Have you forgotten the words that he spoke to you as sons? ‘My son, listen to the *Lord, when he is training you by discipline. Do not give up, when he shows you where you are wrong. 12:6 For the *Lord trains those whom he loves. He punishes each one whom he accepts as a son’ (Proverbs 3:11-12). 12:7 Accept God’s discipline, because it shows that you are his sons. For what father does not give discipline to his son? 12:8 If God does not give you discipline, you are not a true son of God. If that is so, then God is not your Father, for a father gives discipline to all his sons. 12:9 We have all had *human fathers who gave us discipline to train us. We now respect them for it. How much more should we obey the Father of our *spirits and live! 12:10 Our fathers trained us in discipline for a short time, as they thought was right. God trains us in discipline for our good, so that we may become holy like he is. 12:11 Discipline is hard and not pleasant. We do not enjoy it. But later we can see the good that came from it. Those, whom it has trained, have a quiet heart from doing what is right.

12:12 So make your tired hands and your weak knees strong. 12:13 Make straight paths for your feet. Then the weak leg will not get worse, but rather it will heal. 12:14 Let your desire be for unity with all people and to be holy. Only those who are holy will see the *Lord. 12:15 Take care that none of you misses the goodness of God. Let no anger grow in you and cause trouble. That would spoil the *belief of many. 12:16 See that none of you is guilty of wrong sex. Do not forget God as Esau did. He sold his rights, as the first son of his father, for a single meal. 12:17 Later he wanted to get back the rights that he had sold, but it was impossible, although he cried. He was not really sorry for what he had done (Genesis 25:29-34).

12:18 You have come to a mountain, but not to a mountain that you can touch. It is not the fiery mountain that scared the *Israelites. Neither have you come to darkness, deep shadow or a fierce storm, as they did. 12:19 You have not heard that *trumpet or the voice that spoke. The *Israelites who heard it cried out to God to stop speaking to them (Exodus 19:10-25; Deuteronomy 4:11-12; 5:22-26). 12:20 They could not dare to listen when God said, ‘If even an animal approaches the mountain, you must kill it with stones’. 12:21 The sight of Mount *Sinai was so awful that Moses said, ‘I am trembling with fear’ (Deuteronomy 9:19). 12:22 No, you have come to the mountain of *Zion, and to the city of the God who is alive. You have come to the *Jerusalem in heaven and to the large crowd of *angels who are praising God. 12:23 You have joined that great crowd and the church of those who trusted in God before you. The *Lord has made them at home in heaven. You have come to God who is the judge of all people. There are the *spirits of good men whom God has made perfect. 12:24 Jesus who made the new agreement is there. There also is the blood that Jesus gave on our behalf. That blood is better and more powerful than the blood of Abel.

12:25 Make sure that you do not refuse to listen to God. They who refused him who warned them on earth did not escape. How much less shall we escape, if we turn from him who warns us from heaven?

12:26 His voice shook the earth then. Now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake, not only the earth, but also the heavens’. 12:27 This phrase ‘yet once more’ shows that God will remove all he shakes. That is, all created things. All that he does not shake will remain. 12:28 We are receiving a place where God is the king. That place will remain always, for nobody can shake it. Let us then give to God the praise and honour that please him. Let us respect him and live in the fear of him. 12:29 For our God is like a fire that can burn up everything.

Chapter 13

13:1 Go on loving each other as brothers. 13:2 Do not forget to receive as guests the strangers who come to you. Some people have had *angels in their homes and they did not know it. 13:3 Remember to help those who are in prison because they are Christians, as if you were in prison with them. Remember those who suffer, as if you have the same troubles as they have. 13:4 All should respect marriage and must not have wrong sex. God will be the judge of all who have sex with the partner of another and all who have wrong sex. 13:5 Do not let the love of money control your life. Be satisfied with what you have. God has said, ‘I will never leave you or let you be alone’ (Deuteronomy 31:6). 13:6 So we can be bold and say, ‘The *Lord is my helper. I am not afraid of anything that people can do to me’ (Psalm 118:6).

13:7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Look at the results of their lives and copy their trust in God. 13:8 Jesus Christ does not change. He is the same yesterday and today and always.

13:9 Do not let all kinds of strange things that some people teach lead you away from God. It is good to make our hearts strong by the goodness of God. Rules about food do not make hearts strong. Those who obey rules about what they should eat do not gain anything by it. 13:10 We who have trust in Jesus have an *altar from which those who minister in the special tent on earth have no right to eat. 13:11 The chief priest took the blood of animals to the most holy place. There he gave it to God as an offering for *sin. They burned the bodies outside the camp. 13:12 So Jesus had to suffer outside the gate of the city. He died to make the people holy by his own blood.

13:13 So let us go to him outside the camp, and share his shame. 13:14 Here on earth we do not have a city that will last. We are looking for the city that is to come. 13:15 Let us offer a *sacrifice of praise to God at all times. That is the fruit of our lips as we give thanks to his name. 13:16 Do not forget to do good and to share what you have. Such sacrifices please God.

13:17 Obey your leaders and do what they say. They watch over you as men who have to give an account of their service for God. Let their task be a joy to them and not a pain, for that would do you no good.

13:18 Pray for us. We are sure that we have a good conscience as we always want to do what is right. 13:19 I want you to pray hard for me to be able to come to you soon.

13:20 God is the God of the quiet heart. He raised our *Lord Jesus from the dead, by the blood of the new agreement that lasts always. Jesus is the great *shepherd of the sheep. 13:21 May God give you everything good that you need to do what he wants. May God do all that he wants to do in our lives through Jesus Christ. To him there will be honour for all time and always. *Amen.

13:22 My brothers, I appeal to you to accept the words I have written to help you. This is only a short letter that I have written to you. 13:23 I want you to know that our brother *Timothy is out of prison. If he comes soon, I shall bring him with me when I come to see you. 13:24 Say hello for me to your leaders and to all who belong to Christ. The *believers from *Italy who are here greet you. 13:25 I pray that the goodness of God will be with you all.

Word List

altar ~ the special table, for burning animals or other gifts offered to God.

amen ~ a word from the *Hebrew language that means we agree, or it is true, or let it be so.

Ammonites ~ a nation who fought against the *Israelites.

ancestors ~ any persons from whom the families of your father or mother come.

anchor ~ a heavy weight on a chain which sailors throw over the side of the boat to hold it steady.

angel ~ a *spirit person made by God to serve him and take his messages. There are *angels who *sinned and now serve the Devil.

apostle ~ one whom God sends; especially one of the 12 that Jesus chose to be his helpers.

ark ~ a large boat such as Noah built.

baptism ~ washing with water as a sign that Jesus has made us clean, and that we want to obey God.

belief ~ what we accept as true ... see *faith.

believers ~ those who know and accept Christ.

boldness/boldly ~ to be brave and without fear; with courage.

Canaan ~ the land that God promised to Abraham (Genesis 12:7).

Canaanites ~ the people who lived in the land of *Canaan and who fought.

cherubs ~ special *angels who were in the most holy place.

Clement of Rome ~ a church leader and writer who lived at the end of the first century.

creation ~ the act of God in making the world and everything there is: everything that God has made.

Egypt ~ a country where the *Israelites were slaves before the *exodus.

Egyptians ~ people who belong to the land of *Egypt.

elders ~ older men, respected men, or leaders in the church.

exodus ~ a word used to refer to the time when God brought the people of *Israel out of *Egypt.

faith ~ to trust someone or something; *belief and trust in God and in Jesus his Son; *belief that the Bible is true.

firstborn ~ a title of Jesus as the first to rise from the dead. Then Christians are referred to as *firstborn ones.

Gethsemane ~ a garden outside *Jerusalem where Jesus prayed before his death.

Greek ~ the language in which the authors wrote the New Testament.

Hebrew ~ a Jewish or Israelite person. The language of the Jewish people.

heir ~ a person who will own the property or position when the present owner dies.

human(s)/humanity ~ human person(s).

human being ~ a human person.

hyssop ~ a small bush used by the *Israelites with the blood of sacrifices.

incense ~ something that gives a sweet smell when it burns; the priest burned it in praising God in the *temple.

Israel ~ God changed the name of Jacob to *Israel (Genesis 35). The sons of Jacob were the beginning of the nation of *Israel. The land that God promised to them is the land of *Israel.

Israelites ~ the people of *Israel.

Italy ~ a country.

Jericho ~ a city that the *Israelites destroyed when they came into the land that God had promised them (Joshua 6).

Jerusalem ~ the capital city of *Israel; the *temple of God was there.

Jews ~ people who were born from Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and their children. It is also a name for the people of *Israel.

Judah ~ one of the 12 sons of Jacob (*Israel). It was from his family that the *Messiah was to come. When the nation of *Israel split, 10 of the 12 *tribes became *Israel and 2 of the 12 *tribes became *Judah.

Judaism ~ the religion of the *Jews.

kingdom ~ the place or territory where a king rules.

Lord ~ a title for God, or Jesus, to show that he is over all.

mediator ~ the agent who makes peace between persons. Jesus is the *mediator between God and *humanity. As *mediator he made the new agreement with God for *humanity.

messengers ~ those who bring messages.

Messiah ~ the special servant of God, the name God chose for Jesus Christ. The person that God sent to save his people from their *sins. God promised the *Jews that *Messiah would come. Jesus is that *Messiah but the *Jews still do not believe it.

Midian ~ a nation that fought against *Israel.

Midianites ~ people of the land of *Midian.

miracles ~ wonderful works that God does by his power; wonderful things that show that a person’s message is from God.

Passover ~ the meal that the *Jews had at the time of the Exodus. Each year they still have this meal to remember the Exodus.

persecution ~ when enemies of God hurt people because they believe in Jesus.

Philistines ~ a nation that fought with the *Israelites.

promised land ~ the land that God promised to give to Abraham and his family.

prophet(s) ~ those who are able to tell to other people what God wants; people who spoke for God a long time ago; persons who speak words from God; they often told of things that would happen in the future.

repent, repentance ~ a change of mind and heart, to turn away from *sin and turn to God.

resurrection ~ rising from the dead; coming alive again.

righteous(ness) ~ being right with God; people that God sees as clean and not his enemies; people who do what is right.

Rome ~ the capital city of the rulers at that time. They were the Romans.

Sabbath ~ the *Sabbath was the seventh day of the week which was special to the *Jews. It was a day on which the people were to rest from work (Exodus 20:8-11).

sacrifice ~ an offering to God, often an animal or bird, by the *Jews to ask God to forgive their *sins. Jesus gave himself to die as a *sacrifice for our *sins.

Salem ~ a city of which Melchizedek was king; short for *Jerusalem.

salvation ~ when God saves us from the result and punishment of our *sin; the rescue from *sin, as God forgives us and gives us new life in Christ.

Sarah ~ the wife of Abraham.

scripture ~ the books of the Bible.

shepherd ~ one who takes care of sheep (sheep are a kind of animal).

Shunem ~ a town in *Israel.

Sinai ~ a mountain where God met with Moses and gave him the law.

sin ~ to sin is to do wrong, bad or evil; not to obey God; sins are the wrong things that we do.

soul ~ the part of a person that we cannot see that is in us during our life and lives after we die; it is our inner life (not the body); it is that part of people that God speaks to through their *spirits.

spirit ~ that part of a person which we cannot see but which can speak to other *spirits or to the *soul; there are other *spirits which can be good or evil.

suggestion ~ something that someone suggests.

teachings ~ lessons.

temple ~ a special building for the *worship of God. The *Jews had one in *Jerusalem for the *worship of the true God.

throne ~ the special chair for the king.

Timothy ~ a friend of the *apostle Paul. He was a leader in the church at that time. There are 2 letters to him, from Paul, in the New Testament

tribe ~ family from one man. *Israel grew from the 12 sons of Jacob. These 12 families formed the 12 *tribes of *Israel.

trumpet ~ an instrument for making music or to sound an alarm.

useless ~ of no use.

vow ~ serious promise made with a proof of intention to keep it. People did this by making the *vow in the name of some great person.

warning ~ when someone warns you, we say that they give you a warning.

washings ~ the acts of washing in ceremonies.

witness ~ a witness is someone who sees an event and will tell of it. To witness is to tell what you have seen.

worship ~ to give honour to God with praise, thanks and respect.

Zion ~ another name for *Jerusalem, but especially of the New Jerusalem.

Book List

W Barclay ~ The Letter to the Hebrews ~ The Daily Study Bible

A B Bruce ~ Hebrews ~ in Dictionary of the Bible, edited by J. Hastings

T Hewitt ~ The Epistle to the Hebrews ~ Tyndale New Testament Commentaries

L Morris ~ The Letter to the Hebrews ~ The Expositor's Bible Commentary

A M Stibbs ~ The Letter to the Hebrews ~ in The New Bible Commentary ~ IVP

W E Vine ~ Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

 

Bibles ~ NIV, RSV, TEV, AV,

A Marshall ~ The Interlinear Greek New Testament

Soon ~ The Jesus Book

G H Ledyard ~ New Life Study Testament

 

© 1997-2003, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level B (2800 words).

November 2003

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