Hebrews 4:8

Friday, 28 September 2018

For if Joshua had given them rest, then He would not afterward have spoken of another day. Hebrews 4:8

The author speaks now of Joshua son of Nun who succeeded Moses, and who led Israel across the Jordan and into Canaan. There was a rest promised to Israel which was not attained, despite their having entered the Promised Land. Scripture does speak of entering Canaan as a type of rest several times. The Lord promised rest to Moses in Exodus 33:14. Moses spoke of the prospects of rest in Deuteronomy 3:20 and 12:9 as well. And then in Joshua 23:1 it says –

“Now it came to pass, a long time after the Lord had given rest to Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua was old, advanced in age.”

However, this cannot be the state of rest spoken of in the psalm. Rather, it was merely a lesser type of rest. There was a more full and blessed rest which was still anticipated – the “rest” of God. This is evident because the author has spoken of it in exactly those terms already, and now he says, “For if Joshua had given them rest.” The implication is that through Joshua’s leadership, the promised rest had not been attained. Entering and possessing the land of Canaan is not all that encompasses the thought of “God’s rest.” Because of this, the verse continues with, “then He.”

The “He” here is speaking of the Lord. The author is referring to the words of the psalm again which said, “Today.” If the full and complete promise of rest had been attained at the time of Joshua, the psalmist would have no basis for saying, “Today,” and then saying of those in the past that “They shall not enter My rest.” That they did not enter into the Lord’s rest is verified by the author with the words, “then He would not afterward have spoken of another day.”

The point then is that what is anticipated in the promise of rest is yet future to the time of the psalmist, and it is even open and available concerning the time of the writing of Hebrews. This will be verified in the coming verse.

As a final note, some translations say, “Jesus” instead of “Joshua” in both this verse and in Acts 7:45. The names are the same in the Greek. This is true in both the Old Testament Greek, and here in the New Testament. The context of both passages clearly speaks of Joshua the son of Nun. It is true that Joshua is a type of Christ to come, but type and substance are not the same. The older translations which say “Jesus” in these two verses leave the reader with a false idea about what is being relayed. In the New Testament, when Jesus is referred to in relation to the work of the Lord in the Old Testament, the term “Lord” or “Christ” is used.

Life application: There is rest, and then there is rest. A person can build a house, put up walls around his property, and call it “rest from his enemies” as is stated of Israel at the time of Joshua. And yet, that person may not believe in Jesus at all. If so, then he has not entered into God’s promised rest, even though he has “rest” in a lesser sense. We can only truly say that we have attained God’s rest through the full, final, and finished work of Jesus Christ. It is through Him that we enter into God’s rest.

How marvelous and how wonderful it is to share in Your goodness, O God. This is true for all people who can enjoy those things which delight our five senses. You have given us so much in this way. But those things are temporary and perishing. The true goodness we now have is what comes through a personal relationship with You because of Jesus. In Him, we can enjoy You and share in You in a completely new and glorious way. May those who have never received this gift reach out and do so today! What a blessed taste of future glory we have, even now, because of Jesus! Amen.

8 thoughts on “Hebrews 4:8

  • Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 8:45 am

    thank YOU LORD JESUS for the rest

  • Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 9:48 am

    I am so amazed by these studies that are helping me to understand this precious word of God. I was so confused by ‘if Jesus had given them rest’ until today when I learnt that the author is speaking about Joshua not Jesus. It sent me searching the koine N.T and lo and behold it was Joshua. Now the verse makes sense.
    In addition, I now know that ” in the N.T. when Jesus is referred to in relation to the work of the Lord in the O.T. the term Lord or Christ is used” I can now read my bible with a little more wisdom and understanding. How awesome!! Thank you S.W. Thank you Pastor Charlie for sharing the hours of hard work that you must put in to have all this available to us.
    Praise the Lord.

    • Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Amen Ruth we are all richly blessed through Charlie’s work for Jesus. Thank you Charlie

    • Saturday, September 29th, 2018 at 3:26 pm

      I’m so happy you guys are being blessed. Praise the Lord!

  • Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 9:57 am

    The concepts of worldly rest and heavenly rest through Jesus is lost on so many today! People today glory in their worldly, Material rest and are sort of at peace with material treasures they have built up around themselves and yet they never see the truth that its never enough for them. They are driven to obtain the next latest greatest what ever to compleat their rest in this world, a never ending vicious cycle of greed and lust for material rest. Thank God our rest is In Jesus Amen. There is nothing more we can add to improve the the rest he has waiting for us. He has done it all and we gratefully and humbly accept his amazing grace and gift of rest through his finished work on the cross for us! We are free to focus on him and his love for us while the worldly focus on worldly rest compleatly missing the greatest rest the greatest treasure anyone can have Jesus. As we cross the finish line let us not trip and stumble on the false rest of this world but cross the finish line as champions upright and strong for Christ.

    Charlie I hope I am not stepping on your toes with some of my comments. As I mentioned before I fall into what I call auto fingers mode. My initial intentions for a comment are, amen and not a whole lot more than that! Then my head fills with words and my fingers put them in order! When it’s done there are no more words in my head except for my own ramblings again. I have to go back and re read a few times what my fingers have written down so I can understand it. To be clear I am only acting as a tool for God I don’t claim any special connections or powers at all. I am just as amazed by what comes out of my fingers as anyone else. My belief is they are messages Jesus wants to be shared with many hense my many long comments not only here but on YT channels I follow. So again sorry for the length of some of my comments.

    We are another day closer to home And giving my fingers a break lol

    Grace mercy and peace on you and yours
    God Bless my Friend(s)

    • Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Out of the heart the fingers type 🙂

      • Saturday, September 29th, 2018 at 3:28 pm

        I can’t really think clearly without a keyboard. Rush Limbaugh says his brother (a great Christian author) is the same way, but he himself cannot think “with” a keyboard. Instead, everything Rush says is off his head. We all think at different speeds I guess. And also with different levels of clarity. I hope I not be dumb as I speak….

  • Friday, September 28th, 2018 at 10:31 am



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons