The Meaning of Hebrews 4:11 Explained

Hebrews 4:11

KJV: Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

YLT: May we be diligent, then, to enter into that rest, that no one in the same example of the unbelief may fall,

Darby: Let us therefore use diligence to enter into that rest, that no one may fall after the same example of not hearkening to the word.

ASV: Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, that no man fall after the same example of disobedience.

KJV Reverse Interlinear

Let us labour  therefore  to enter  into  that  rest,  lest  any man  fall  after  the same  example  of unbelief. 

What does Hebrews 4:11 Mean?

Verse Meaning

In the meantime we need to follow Jesus and Moses" examples of faithfulness to God. We need to carry out the work He has given us to do (i.e, to continue to trust and obey rather than turning from Him; Hebrews 3:2; Hebrews 3:6; Hebrews 3:14). Note again that the writer said he faced the same danger as his readers: "Let us" (cf. Hebrews 4:16).
"We enter into rest only when we persevere in faith to the end of life. When we do this, we will obtain a share in the inheritance, the millennial land of Canaan, and will rule with Christ as one of His metochoi [1] there. Rest is not just the land itself; it also includes the state or condition of "finished work," of final perseverance, into which the faithful Christian will enter. God has not set aside His promises to Israel. The promise of the inheritance, the land, is eternally valid, and those Christians who remain faithful to their Lord to the end of life will share in that inheritance along with the Old Testament saints." [1]
Christians need to be diligent to enter that rest. If the rest were just heaven, we would not have to exercise diligence because God has promised that all believers will go to heaven ( John 10:27-28; Romans 8:30; Philippians 1:6; et al.). If the rest were just the rest we presently enjoy because God has forgiven our sins, we would not have to be diligent to enter it either because we already have entered into that rest.

Context Summary

Hebrews 4:11-16 - Entered By Faith And Prayer
There is no escape for disobedience and unbelief, because we have to do with the omniscience of God. The conception of Hebrews 4:12-13 is of a victim appointed for sacrifice and thrown upon its back, that the keen edge of the knife may do its work more readily. The divine scrutiny is still sharper. There is so much of the soul in what we do, that is, of our opinions and activities. God distinguishes between these and those promptings of His Spirit which are really important and influential. Only what is born of the Spirit will stand the test of eternity!
Shall we not fail in that scrutiny? Will he not detect in us that evil heart of unbelief? We need not fear; because our High Priest has passed the veil that hides the invisible and eternal and has entered the divine presence. "Mercy and grace to help in time of need!" These will meet our supreme needs-mercy for our sins, grace for our helplessness and frailty. [source]

Chapter Summary: Hebrews 4

1  The Sabbath-Rest for Christians is attained by faith
12  The power of God's word
14  By our high priest Jesus, the Son of God,
16  we may and must go boldly to the throne of grace

Greek Commentary for Hebrews 4:11

Let us therefore give diligence [σπουδασωμεν ουν]
Volitive subjunctive aorist of σπουδαζω — spoudazō old verb to hasten (2 Timothy 4:9), to be eager and alert (1 Thessalonians 2:17). The exhortation has a warning like that in Hebrews 4:1. That no man fall Negative purpose with ινα μη — hina mē and the second aorist active subjunctive of πιπτω — piptō to fall. After the same example of disobedience The unbelief is like that seen in the Israelites (Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 4:2). υποδειγμα — Hupodeigma is a late word from υποδεικνυμι — hupodeiknumi (Matthew 3:7) and means a copy (John 13:15; James 5:10). The Israelites set a terrible example and it is so easy to copy the bad examples. [source]
d This promise of rest carries with it a special responsibility for the people of God. [source]
Let us labor therefore [σπουδάσωμεν οὖν]
For the verb, see on Ephesians 4:3. Give diligence, not hasten, which is the primary meaning. [source]
That rest [ἐκείνην τὴν κατάπαυσιν]
The Sabbath-rest of God, instituted at creation, promised to the fathers, forfeited by their unbelief, remaining to us on the condition of faith. [source]
Lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief [ἵνα μὴ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ τις ὑποδείγματι πέσῃ τῆς ἀπειθείας]
Πέσῃ fallis to be taken absolutely; not, fall into the same example. Υ̓πόδειγμα examplemostly in Hebrews. Rejected as unclassical by the Attic rhetoricians. Originally a sign which suggests something: a partial suggestion as distinct from a complete expression. See Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:23. Thus Christ's washing of the disciples' feet (John 13:15) was a typical suggestion of the whole field and duty of ministry. See on 1 Peter 2:6. It is not easy to give the exact force of ἐν inStrictly speaking, the “example of disobedience” is conceived as that in which the falling takes place. The fall is viewed in the sphere of example. Comp. 1Corinthians href="/desk/?q=1co+2:7&sr=1">1 Corinthians 2:7. Rend. that no man fall in the same example of disobedience: the same as that in which they fell. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Hebrews 4:11

John 13:15 An example [υποδειγμα]
For the old παραδειγμα — paradeigma (not in N.T.), from υποδεικνυμι — hupodeiknumi to show under the eyes as an illustration or warning (Matthew 3:7), common in the papyri for illustration, example, warning, here only in John, but in James 5:10; 2 Peter 2:6; Hebrews 4:11; Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 9:26. Peter uses τυποι — tupoi (1 Peter 5:3) with this incident in mind. In Judges 1:7 δειγμα — deigma (without υπο — hupo) occurs in the sense of example. That ye also should do Purpose clause with ινα — hina and the present active subjunctive of ποιεω — poieō (keep on doing). Doing what? Does Jesus here institute a new church ordinance as some good people today hold? If so, it is curious that there is no record of it in the N.T. Jesus has given the disciples an object lesson in humility to rebuke their jealousy, pride, and strife exhibited at this very meal. The lesson of the “example” applies to all the relations of believers with each other. It is one that is continually needed. [source]
Hebrews 6:6 If they shall fall away [καὶ πααπεσόντας]
Lit. and having fallen away. Comp. πὲσῃ fall Hebrews 4:11. Παραπίπτειν, N.T.oIt means to deviate, turn aside. Comp. lxx, Ezekiel 14:13; Ezekiel 15:8. [source]
Hebrews 4:13  []
d From the word of God the writer proceeds to God himself as cognizant of all things; thus giving a second ground for the exhortation of Hebrews 4:11. [source]
Hebrews 11:31 Them that believed not [τοῖς ἀπειθήσασιν]
Rend. “them that were disobedient.” Simple disbelief is expressed by ἀπιστεῖν, ἀπιστία :disbelief as it manifests itself in disobedience, by ἀπειθεῖν. Ἁπειθεῖν is ἀπιστεῖν on its active side. See on John 3:36, and comp. Hebrews 3:18; Hebrews 4:6, Hebrews 4:11; Romans 11:30, Romans 11:32, contrasting with Romans 11:20, Romans 11:23. Ἁπειθεῖν here describes the failure to be persuaded that God had given the land to the Israelites, and the consequent refusal to surrender Jericho. Rahab's faith is shown Joshua 2:9-11. [source]
Hebrews 4:3 Do enter [εισερχομετα]
Emphatic futuristic present middle indicative of εισερχομαι — eiserchomai We are sure to enter in, we who believe. He hath said Perfect active indicative for the permanent value of God‘s word as in Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 4:4; Hebrews 10:9, Hebrews 10:13; Hebrews 13:5; Acts 13:34. God has spoken. That is enough for us. So he quotes again what he has in Hebrews 4:11 from Psalm 95:1-11. Although the works were finished Genitive absolute with concessive use of the participle. Old particle, in N.T. only here and Acts 14:17 (with verb). From the foundation of the world Καταβολη — Katabolē late word from καταβαλλω — kataballō usually laying the foundation of a house in the literal sense. In the N.T. usually with απο — apo (Matthew 25:44) or προ — pro (John 17:24) about the foundation of the world. [source]
Hebrews 8:5 Serve [λατρευουσιν]
Present active indicative of λατρευω — latreuō for which verb see note on Matthew 4:10. A copy Dative case after λατρευουσιν — latreuousin See note on John 13:15 and note on Hebrews 4:11 for this interesting word. Shadow Dative case. Old word for which see note on Matthew 4:16; note on Mark 4:32; and note on Colossians 2:17. See same idea in Hebrews 9:23. For difference between σκια — skia and εικων — eikōn see Hebrews 10:1. Here “copy and shadow” form a practical hendiadys for “a shadowy outline” (Moffatt). Is warned of God Perfect passive indicative of χρηματιζω — chrēmatizō old verb (from χρημα — chrēma business) for which see note on Matthew 2:12, note on Matthew 2:22, and note on Luke 2:26. The word “God” is not used, but it is implied as in Acts 10:22; Hebrews 12:25. So in lxx, Josephus, and the papyri. For saith he Argument from God‘s command (Exodus 25:40). See that thou make Common Greek idiom with present active imperative of οραω — horaō and the volitive future of ποιεω — poieō without ινα — hina (asyndeton, Robertson, Grammar, p. 949). The pattern The very word used in Exodus 25:40 and quoted also by Stephen in Acts 7:44. For τυπος — tupos see note on John 20:25; note on Romans 6:17, and etc. The tabernacle was to be patterned after the heavenly model. [source]
James 5:10 For an example [υποδειγμα]
Late word for the old παραδειγμα — paradeigma from υποδεικνυμι — hupodeiknumi to copy under, to teach (Luke 6:47), here for copy to be imitated as in John 13:15, as a warning (Hebrews 4:11). Here predicate accusative with τους προπητας — tous prophētas (the prophets) as the direct object of λαβετε — labete (second aorist active imperative of λαμβανω — lambanō). [source]

What do the individual words in Hebrews 4:11 mean?

We should be diligent therefore to enter into that - rest so that not by the same anyone example should fall - of disobedience
Σπουδάσωμεν οὖν εἰσελθεῖν εἰς ἐκείνην τὴν κατάπαυσιν ἵνα μὴ ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ τις ὑποδείγματι πέσῃ τῆς ἀπειθείας

Σπουδάσωμεν  We  should  be  diligent 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 1st Person Plural
Root: σπουδάζω  
Sense: to hasten, make haste.
εἰσελθεῖν  to  enter 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Infinitive Active
Root: εἰσέρχομαι  
Sense: to go out or come in: to enter.
εἰς  into 
Parse: Preposition
Root: εἰς  
Sense: into, unto, to, towards, for, among.
ἐκείνην  that 
Parse: Demonstrative Pronoun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: ἐκεῖνος  
Sense: he, she it, etc.
τὴν  - 
Parse: Article, Accusative Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
κατάπαυσιν  rest 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: κατάπαυσις  
Sense: a putting to rest.
ἵνα  so  that 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: ἵνα  
Sense: that, in order that, so that.
αὐτῷ  same 
Parse: Personal / Possessive Pronoun, Dative Neuter 3rd Person Singular
Root: αὐτός  
Sense: himself, herself, themselves, itself.
τις  anyone 
Parse: Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun, Nominative Masculine Singular
Root: τὶς  
Sense: a certain, a certain one.
ὑποδείγματι  example 
Parse: Noun, Dative Neuter Singular
Root: ὑπόδειγμα  
Sense: a sign suggestive of anything, delineation of a thing, representation, figure, copy.
πέσῃ  should  fall 
Parse: Verb, Aorist Subjunctive Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: πίπτω 
Sense: to descend from a higher place to a lower.
τῆς  - 
Parse: Article, Genitive Feminine Singular
Sense: this, that, these, etc.
ἀπειθείας  of  disobedience 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ἀπείθεια  
Sense: obstinacy, obstinate opposition to the divine will.