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    Hebrews

    Aramaic update planned: This book will soon be updated to reflect all the differences found in the Aramaic manuscripts, since this book may have been originally written in Aramaic. They will be marked with this symbol: [Syr] Our translation is created by volunteers, and we are always correcting and refining the text. Learn what [brackets] and other insertions mean.

    About this book A letter to the Jewish Christians (that is, the ‘Hebrews’) in the Christian Congregation in Jerusalem. However, it is more than a mere letter, as it contains a long essay on the role of Jesus.The text itself doesn’t say who wrote it, but the context and tradition indicates that it was from the Apostle Paul, although it was likely written through a secretary because of his poor eyesight.It may have been originally penned in Aramaic. It dates from around 65 CE.

    1

    1A long time ago, God spoke to our fathers through the Prophets in many places and in many ways. 2And in the last part of these days, He spoke to us through a Son that He’s made the heir to everything – the one He used to create the ages... And 3who shines with the same glory... Is the exact image of His being... And is responsible for everything that’s said through His power!Then, after he cleansed us of our sins, this one sat down at the right hand of the Great One in the highest places, 4and has now become so much greater than the messengers [of God], and so different, that he’s inherited a [special] name among them.5For example, to which of [God’s] angels did He ever say:You’re my son; today I’ve fathered you. [Psalm 2:7]Or:‘I’ll become his Father and he will become My son.’ [an allusion to 2 Samuel 7:14]6And again (when He sent His firstborn into the earth):Let all the [angelic] messengers bow low before him. [Deuteronomy 32:43]7[Also notice that] when He spoke of those [angelic] messengers, He said that he made his messengers like breath, and his ministers like burning fire! [reference to Psalm 104:4]8But, when He spoke of His Son, [He said]:Your throne, O god, is throughout ages of ages,And the scepter of your kingship is the scepter of righteousness.9So, because you loved righteousness and hated wickedness,The God – your God – has [anointed] youWith the oil of great joy among those who are your companions.[Psalm 45:6-7]10And [this was also said about him]:In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth and [you] made the heavens with your hands.11But although they’ll pass away, you’ll still remain; for like clothes, they’ll grow old.12Then, as [you would do to] a robe, you’ll wrap them up and repair them.Yes, you’re the one and your years will never expire.[Psalm 102:25-27]13Also, to which one of His angels did He ever say...Sit here at My right until I set your enemies as a stool for your feet? [Psalm 110:1]14Aren’t all these others just spirits who serve – sent to serve those who’ll inherit life?

    2

    1This is why it’s so important for us to pay extraordinary attention to the things that we’ve heard, so we don’t drift away!2Because, if these words that have been spoken throughout [God’s] messengers is actually true, then the ‘reward’ for all errors and disobedient acts is going to be strictly enforced! 3How could we get away with it, if we’ve neglected these things which mean our life? [Things that] began with our Lord, and were confirmed to us by those who heard it directly from him?4Notice how even God joined in this witness-testimony by providing signs, omens, many powerful deeds, and by distributing His Holy Breath as He wished!5However, He didn’t entrust the home that’s coming (the one I’m talking about) to the hands of [His angelic] messengers!6For somewhere, someone testified to this fact when he asked:Just what is man that You should remember him, or the Son of Man that You should watch over him?7Although You made him just a little lower than [Your angelic] messengers, You then crowned him with glory and honor and put him over everything that You had made with Your hands…8You put everything under his feet![Psalm 8:4-6, LXX]So notice that when [God] put everything under [Jesus’ feet], He didn’t leave anything out... There’s nothing that he isn’t in charge of.Nevertheless, we don’t see everything [and everyone] obeying him... Yet.9Even though he was made lower than [God’s angelic] messengers for a little while [as a man], we can see that after Jesus suffered and died, he was crowned with glory and honor so that, because of God’s loving care, he might taste death for us all!10Yes, it was fitting that this one (through whom and for whom everything exists), this primary leader [who’s responsible for] our salvation, should bring many sons to glory, and make them perfect through his sufferings.11Both the holy one, and those made holy, are from one [God]... So he’s not ashamed to call them his brothers, 12for he said:I’ll declare Your Name to my brothers,And among the congregation, I’ll praise You.[Psalm 22:22, LXX]13And again:In Him, I’ll put all my trust. [Isaiah 8:17]And again:{Look!} It is I, and the children God gave me. [Isaiah 8:18]14Therefore, since his ‘children’ share in his blood and flesh, he shares [with them] in the same way, so that through his death he can finish off the one who has the power [to bring] death, the Slanderer... 15and to set free all of those who’ve spent their lives as slaves to the fear of death.16So [when he came], he really didn’t take on [the shape] of one of [God’s] messengers somewhere. Instead, he took on [the shape of] AbraHam’s descendant17For he was obliged to become like his brothers in every way – so he could become a merciful and faithful High Priest before God, and to offer a sacrifice that would cover their sins.18And because he suffered and was tempted, he’s also able to help those who are still being tempted.

    3

    1Therefore, holy brothers (who are partakers of the celestial calling), consider this Apostle and High Priest for our confessions: Jesus the Anointed One!2He was faithful to the One who made him, just like Moses – the man whom [God appointed over] His whole House.3However, [Jesus] was considered to be worthy of an even greater glory than Moses, because the one who actually builds the house receives more honor there 4(of course, every house is built by someone, but the One who built everything is God).5Now, Moses was a faithful servant within His whole House (which was evidence of what would be said [about him] later)... 6But, the Anointed One is the Son who’s in charge of [God’s] House – and we are that House! That is, provided that we keep on boasting about our hope and hanging on to it until the end.7That’s why it was said through [God’s] Holy Breath:If you should hear His voice today, 8don’t harden your hearts like they did in the bitter day of testing in the desert9For that’s when your fathers put Me to the test to prove [My power], although they had already witnessed all that I had done during [the previous] 40 years!10And this is the reason why I became so disgusted with that generation and said:‘Their hearts are always wandering and they’ve never understood My ways.’11So in My rage, I swore:‘They will not enter My rest!’[Psalm 95:8-11]12Therefore brothers, watch out… Yes, be careful that none of your hearts should ever become so wicked and unbelieving that they cause you to pull away from the Living God!13Rather, you must encourage each other every day –including today– so that none of you’ll ever become hardened [in your hearts] and be tempted to sin.14For if we can hang onto this position from the time that we start believing until the end, we’ll remain sharers in the Anointed One.15And that’s why it was said:If you should hear His voice today, don’t harden your hearts like they did in the bitter day of testing in the desert. [Psalm 95:8]16So then, who, exactly, heard [God’s voice] and brought Him this bitterness?Wasn’t it everybody who left Egypt under Moses?17So then, who did He became disgusted with for the next 40 years? Wasn’t it those who’d sinned and whose carcasses fell in the desert?18And who [was He talking about] when He said they wouldn’t enter His rest?Wasn’t it those who disobeyed?19As you can see, they didn’t enter [His rest] because they didn’t have enough faith!

    4

    1Therefore, we should all be afraid that some of us might actually be left behind [like they were in the desert] when it comes to the promise of entering His Rest.2For we’ve been preached to, just as they were – but what they heard didn’t benefit them, because those who heard it didn’t combine it with faith.[Syr] 3But we, who actually have believed [what we heard], yes – we do enter into [God’s] Rest.Yet... As He said, ‘So in My rage, I swore: They will not enter My rest’... [So what does that mean?]Well, note [how during] God’s works [back] at the founding of the world,[Syr] 4he said this about the seventh day:God rested from all His of works on the seventh day. [Genesis 2:2]5Hence, once again, [when] He said, ‘They will not enter My rest,’ 6[it means that] they all had the opportunity to enter it – but those who were first preached to didn’t enter it, because they weren’t reconciled [to God].7Furthermore, notice how He appointed another day, much later, mentioned in the same [psalm of] David quoted above.For He went on to say:If you should hear His voice today, don’t harden your hearts. [Psalm 95:8]8So if they’d already been led to this place of [God’s] Rest by JoShua, then [God] wouldn’t have spoken of another day in the future. 9So it’s well-established that God’s people will [enter God’s] Rest 10(for whoever has entered into His Rest will rest from their own works, just as God is [resting] from His own).11Therefore, we should be doing everything we can to enter that Rest, and not to fall into being like those who weren’t reconciled [to God]!12Understand that God’s word is living – it’s at work, and it’s sharper than any double-edged sword! It cuts so fine that it can separate the breath from the breather, as well as his joints from his marrow!It can even judge our thoughts and the desires of [our] hearts! 13For nothing in creation is invisible to His eyes… Everything is naked and open before the One we [all] have to answer to.14So in view of the fact that we have such a great High Priest who went up [into] the sky – Jesus the Anointed One,[Syr] the Son of The God – let’s keep talking about him!15For we don’t have a High Priest who can’t sympathize with our weakness; rather, we have one who’s been tested in every way just like us – except he didn’t sin!16Therefore, let’s approach his throne of loving kindness confidently, so that we can receive his mercy, and find loving care and help when we need it.

    5

    1Now, all High Priests are selected from among mankind, and then they’re appointed over other men and assigned to do the things of God, such as offering the gifts and the sacrifices for sins... 2Yes, ones who can humble themselves and empathize with those who don’t know [what’s right] and err – since they’re also enveloped by their own weakness!3That’s why they have to make offerings for themselves too, and not just for the people’s sins!4However, nobody can take this honor for himself; he can only be called to [the Priesthood] by God (like Aaron was). 5Likewise, the Anointed One didn’t glorify himself to the position of High Priest! No, that was done by the One who said to him:You’re My Son… Today I have fathered you!6And He said in another place:You’re a Priest throughout the ages in the order of MelchiZedek.7Then, while he was here in the flesh, [Jesus] begged and pleaded with the One who was able to save him from death, calling out with tears… And he was drawn close and listened to, because he was faithful.8But thereafter, although he was the Son, he learned obedience from the things that he suffered.9Then when his [training] was finished, he became the source of age-long salvation for everybody who’d obey him – 10which is when God made him a High Priest in the line of MelchiZedek.11Now, we have so much to say about him that will be hard to explain to you, since you’ve become so slow in your hearing.12Yes, even though you should be teachers (in view of the time), you now need someone to go back and teach you the basics of God’s word again!You’re now people who need milk, not solid food!13Yes, those who are unfamiliar with righteous teachings are [in fact] ‘babies’ who need milk to survive... 14while those who’ve trained their senses to recognize the difference between right and wrong have become adults who can eat solid food.

    6

    1Therefore, let’s go beyond the basics of the Anointed One and move on towards maturity!Why do we have to –yet again– lay the foundation on subjects like repentance of past sins and having faith in God? 2Or the teaching of baptism, of making appointments [in the congregation], of the resurrection from the place of the dead, or the age-long judgment?3Of course, we’ll do this [for you] – if Jehovah allows us.4However, it’s impossible for those who’ve already gone down [into the water] for baptism, who’ve tasted the heavenly gift, who’ve received [God’s] Holy Breath, 5who’ve tasted the good word of God (and the power of the coming age), 6who again start sinning... To all over again experience the renewal to repentance, or to once again raise up the Son of God [to execution] and subject him to shame.7The ground that’s soaked up much rain will produce useful plants for those who cultivated it – yes, it gets God’s blessing. 8But what if it [instead] just produces thorns and thistles? It’ll be rejected, and almost cursed – and in the end, it’ll just be burned!9But when it comes to you, my loved brothers:We’re convinced that you’ll receive good things connected to salvation (even though we speak like this), 10because God isn’t unrighteous, and He won’t forget all the good things that you’ve done, or the love that you’ve shown for His Name, or the ways that you’ve served the needs of the Holy Ones and [of how you] keep on doing so.11So what we want is for each of you to show a real zeal when it comes to holding onto these things that you’ve been hoping for all the way to the end…12Don’t be discouraged![Syr]Instead, copy those who, thanks to their faith and endurance, are going to inherit what they’ve been promised!13[After all], when God gave his promise to AbraHam, because He couldn’t swear by anyone greater, He swore by Himself!14He said:When it comes to blessings, I’ll bless you;And when it comes to growth, I’ll make you grow.15Then because he was patient, [AbraHam] finally received what he was promised.16Now, men always swear by a greater one [when they make agreements] – and in every dispute they have, they’ll finally settle it by means of oaths.17So, when God wanted to show those who’d inherit what was promised how unchangeable His promise was, He sealed the deal with an oath. 18So we can find refuge within these two unchangeable things[, that is, the promise and the oath], neither of which God could lie about, by holding on to this hope that He’s promised.19This is like an anchor that holds our lives [in place] and can’t be moved. It even goes through the inner curtain [into the Most Holy of the Spiritual Temple] – 20yes, where Jesus previously entered as the age-long High Priest, in the order of MelchiZedek.

    7

    1Now, this MelchiZedek (who was the King of Salem and a Priest of the Most High God) is the one who met AbraHam as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings, and the one who blest him. 2Then AbraHam shared a tithe[, that is, one-tenth] of everything that he [was carrying] with him.Now, notice how his name[, that is, MelchiZedek] translates to mean ‘King of Righteousness.’ Also, ‘King of Salem’ means ‘King of Peace.’3Further, notice how there are no genealogical records of him... So he was [virtually] without a father or mother, because there’s no [record] of his birth or death.So, just like the Son of God – his Priesthood is unending.4Also, do you see how great this man [MelchiZedek] was? [Our] family head AbraHam gave him both a tithe and first-fruits!5So while it’s true that the sons of Levi were [also] made Priests, commanded by the Law, to collect a tithe from the people (who were their brothers, because they all came from the loins of AbraHam), 6this man [MelchiZedek] –whose genealogy isn’t even recorded– took a tithe from AbraHam himself!Then he blest him, yes, [the one] who’d received [God’s] promise.7And you can’t argue with the fact that the lesser one is always blest by the greater one!8Now, today, [ordinary] men who die receive the tithes [in the Temple], but the scripture testifies that he[, that is, MelchiZedek] is still alive [because it doesn’t record his death]!9We could also say that via AbraHam, Levi, a man who takes tithes, also had to give a tithe [to MelchiZedek] himself – 10because he was within the loins of his forefather when he met with MelchiZedek!11Also, if we could have achieved perfection by means of Levi’s Priesthood and the [Jewish] Law, then we wouldn’t have needed another Priest like MelchiZedek. Indeed, [the scripture] would instead have said, ‘He will be like Aaron.’12However, just like there’s been a change in the Priesthood, there’s also been a change in the [Jewish] Law, 13because this man that we’re talking about[, that is, Jesus] was born into a different tribe… One that’s never had anybody serve at the Altar... 14Yes, it’s clear that our Lord came out of Judah – a tribe that Moses never mentioned in connection to the Priesthood.15Therefore, it’s even more obvious why He said that a new Priest will arise like MelchiZedek – 16a man who didn’t become [a Priest] by the Law of fleshly commandments, but by the power of a life that can’t end!17So He testified about him:You are a Priest throughout the age – just like MelchiZedek. [Psalm 110:4]18Therefore, this former rule [to only allow Priests from Levi] was changed because it was weak and it didn’t do any good, 19as the Law never made anybody perfect. Instead, there’s now a better hope which is drawing us closer to God, 20 and he established it with a sworn oath.21For [the Levitical] Priests were appointed without a sworn oath... But [Jesus] was [appointed] with an oath![Again,] just like David said about him:Jehovah has sworn (and He won’t change His mind):‘You are a Priest throughout the age – just like MelchiZedek.’[Psalm 110:4]22Therefore, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better Sacred Agreement, 23since there always had to be lots of Priests because they were mortal – their deaths prevented them from continuing [to serve].24However, because [Jesus exists] eternally, his Priesthood is permanent!25And [this is why] he’s able to save those who approach The God through him, because he will always be alive to plead for them! 26Yes, he’s truly become a High Priest for us – pure, without evil, without blemish, separate from sins,[Syr] and exalted higher than the heavens!27And unlike the [Levitical] High Priests who have to offer daily sacrifices for their own sins first, and then for the people, he only had to do this once – when he offered himself!28Yes – the [Jewish] Law appoints men with weaknesses as High Priests... But the promise that came with a sworn oath (which supersedes the [Jewish] Law) [has appointed] the Son – [someone] who remains perfect eternally!

    8

    1But the main point of everything is this:We have a High Priest who’s sitting on the right-hand side of the throne of Majesty in the heavens. 2He’s become a servant of the Most Holy, but in the real Tent built by God[Syr], not man.3And since every appointed High Priest must bring gifts and sacrifices, [Jesus] must have something to offer too.4However, if he was [still] here upon the Earth, he wouldn’t be a Priest, because there are [already] Priests who are [appointed] by the Law to offer gifts. 5Now, when they handle these duties, they’re following a pattern that’s a shadow of [how it’s done] in the heavens... Yes, just like it was said to Moses (when he was about to finish the [Sacred] Tent):Be sure to assemble everything by the pattern you were shown on the mountain. [Exodus 25:40]6But now Jesus the Anointed One has received a much better assignment, in the same way as he’s become the mediator of a better Sacred Agreement – which is given with better promises too!7Of course, if the first [Agreement] had been without problems, then there wouldn’t have been any need for a second one. 8But [notice that God] had a problem with the people, for He said:‘{Look!} The time is coming,’ says Jehovah, ‘when I’ll make a new Sacred Agreement with the Houses of IsraEl and Judah 9that’s unlike the Agreement that I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt.‘But because they didn’t keep their [side of] the agreement, I stopped caring for them,’ says Jehovah.10‘So, this is the Agreement that I’m going to make with the House of IsraEl at that time,’ says Jehovah.‘I will put My laws in their minds and write them in their hearts. Then, they’ll be My people and I’ll be their God.11‘So at that time, no one who lives in the land will have to teach their neighbors and brothers and tell them to know of Jehovah.‘For from their least to their greatest, they’ll all know Me. 12Then I’ll be merciful towards their unrighteous ways, and I’ll forget all their sins.’[Jeremiah 31:31-34, LXX]13So when he called it ‘new,’[Syr] He [automatically] made the former one, ‘old’... And whatever’s grown old and obsolete is soon destroyed.

    9

    1Now, under the first [Agreement], there were regulations for worship and a worldly Holy Place:2They prepared this first Tent, which contained both the [sacred] lampstand and the table for the showbread, and this was called ‘the Holy.’3Then behind the curtain was a second Tent called ‘the Most Holy.’ 4It contained a gold incense holder, plus the Chest of the Sacred Agreement (which was completely overlaid with gold).It contained:• The gold jar of manna,• Aaron’s staff that grew buds, and• The Tablets of the [Sacred] Agreement.5Then, on top of it, there’s the glorious cherubs that cast a shadow over its cover (we don’t have time to talk about how these things were made).6Now, the Priests regularly entered the outer Tent to perform their sacred duties.[Syr] 7But only the High Priest entered the inner Tent once per year, along with the blood that he had to offer for both himself and for the peoples’ sins.8Now, the Breath of Holiness makes it clear that the path to ‘the Holy’ couldn’t be seen while the first Tent was standing… Well, 9this well illustrates that era – when they’d offer gifts and sacrifices that could never make them a perfect character! 10No, this whole thing was only about food, drink, and various types of [ritual] washing. These are fleshly, legal requirements [that would only last] until a time of correction.11But when the Anointed One came as the High Priest of the good things he accomplished, and entered the greater and more perfect Tent (that wasn’t made by [human] hands, nor was part of creation)... 12he didn’t enter with the blood of goats and young bulls. Rather, he entered the Holy Place just once, with his own blood, to get us age-long salvation!13Now, if the blood of goats and calves, or the ashes of a young cow, could be sprinkled on an unclean people and make their flesh holy and clean... 14How much more will [this be true of] the blood of the Anointed One? [The one] who, by the age-long spirit, offered himself spotlessly to God? Yes, he cleans our character from our former deeds, so we can keep serving the living God!15This is why he was made the mediator of the New Sacred Agreement – that through his death, he can become the ransom for those who sinned against the first Sacred Agreement... So that those who are called to the age-long inheritance can get what was promised!16[Understand that] whenever an agreement is made, [it’s strength] is only proved after the person who made it dies, 17because an agreement is really only valid if it manages to stay in place after they’re dead. It’s pretty pointless while the one who made it is still alive.18That’s why even the first [Sacred Agreement] had to be established with blood.19For after Moses had explained all the Commandments of the Law to the people, he took the blood of a young cow and mixed it with water, then with scarlet wool and hyssop, [he] sprinkled it over the scrolls and over all the people.20And he said to them:[Syr]This is the blood of the Sacred Agreement that God has made with you. [Exodus 24:8]21Next he sprinkled that blood on the Tent and over all the things that were used for ministering.22Yes, according to the Law, everything is cleansed by blood. So there’s no forgiveness unless blood is spilled!23It’s necessary that these things, which are symbols of heavenly things, should be cleaned that way. However, heavenly things require better sacrifices... 24So the Anointed One didn’t enter a Most Holy that was made with hands (which is just a symbol of the real thing), but rather, he actually entered heaven itself to stand before The God on our behalf!25Now, he doesn’t have to offer himself many times, like the High Priest does when entering the Most Holy every year (with blood that isn’t his own). 26Otherwise, [Jesus] would have to suffer many times since the start of the age! But now, at the end of the age, he’s offered himself only once... To abolish sin by means of his sacrifice.27And just like how men must die once (and after their death there’s a judgment), 28the Anointed One was also offered just once to carry the sins of many...But the second time [he appears], it’ll be without our sins – and those who are expecting him will see their salvation.

    10

    1You see, within the [Jewish] Law there was the shadow of the good things that would come [in the future]; it wasn’t the real thing.Even though they’d offer sacrifices every year, it could never make them perfect. 2Since, if they’d become perfect, they would have stopped offering them ages ago! Yes, because once purified, their minds wouldn’t be urging them to sin anymore!3No, instead, the sacrifices would just remind us of our sins, year after year... 4because it’s just not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to purify us from our sins.5Thus, when he came to the world, he said:Sacrifices and offerings, You didn’t want...Yet, You prepared a body for me,6Because You found no delight,In burnt offerings and sin offerings.Then I said:‘Look! In the chapter of the scroll it was written about me: ‘I’ve come to do Your Will, O God.’’[Psalm 40:7-8]8So as above, when he said that He didn’t want ‘sacrifices and offerings’ or ‘burnt offerings and sin offerings’ (which are being offered in observance of the Law), 9he went on to say:Look, I’ve come to do Your Will.Thus, he’s abolished the first [Sacred Agreement] so he can establish the second!10So yes, because of this ‘Will,’ we’ve been made holy through this single offering of Jesus the Anointed One’s body!11Now, all the High Priests who took their stations in daily Temple service offered the same sacrifices over and over… Which can never take sins away completely. 12But [Jesus] offered just one sacrifice for sins, and then he sat down at the right-hand side of God for all the age,[Syr] 13where he now waits until [the time when] his enemies are put under his feet like a stool!14Indeed, by this single offering he’s made the holy ones ‘perfect,’ forever!15The Holy Breath testifies to us about this, for it said:16‘This is the Sacred Agreement that I’ll make with them in those days,’ says Jehovah.‘I’ll put My Laws in their hearts, and I’ll write them in their minds.[Jeremiah 31:33]17And:‘I will be merciful towards their lawless acts, and I’ll forget all their sins.’ [Jeremiah 31:34]18Now, where there’s a cancellation of sins[Syr], the sin offerings aren’t required anymore!19Therefore, brothers:We can confidently enter into the Most Holy Place thanks to Jesus’ blood, 20as well as a new, living pathway through the curtain that he’s now made for us – yes, his flesh.21And since we now have such a great High Priest over God’s House, 22let’s approach him with honest hearts and complete faith – since we’ve ‘sprinkled’ and cleaned our hearts from its wrong character, and washed our bodies in clean ‘water.’23Yes, let’s hang onto the confession of our hope and not be unsteady on our feet... Because the One who gave us this promise is faithful.24And let’s keep looking out for each other [so we can] incite love and good deeds.25Also, don’t stop meeting together as some have made it their custom... Rather, let’s keep on encouraging each other! And [do this] even more as you’re seeing that Day approaching.26However, if someone deliberately chooses to sin after coming to know the truth, then there’s no longer any sacrifice to offer for [these] sins! 27Instead, he’s ready for a frightening judgment, and the zealous fire that consumes [God’s] enemies!28[Remember how] if anyone violated the Law of Moses, they’d die without compassion – just on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29Well, how much more punishment do you think they’ll get if they’ve walked all over The God’s Son... And regarded the blood of the Sacred Agreement (which had made the person holy) as being just like anybody’s [blood][Syr]... And has treated the loving care of [God’s] Breath with contempt?30For we know who said:Vengeance is Mine… I will repay! [Deuteronomy 32:35, LXX]And again:Jehovah will judge His people. [Deuteronomy 32:36]31It’s very frightening to fall into the Living God’s hands!32I want you all to think back to those days when you’d just been baptized,[Syr] and endured so much suffering, reproach, and oppression! 33You were a spectacle,[Syr] along with [many] others who endured [these things].34[Back then,] you were so sympathetic towards those who were in prison. And even when everything you owned was being confiscated, you were still joyful... Because you know that you’ve gained something much better in the heavens – and not something temporary!35So, don’t throw away your confidence to speak out, because it’ll pay you a great reward!36Yes, you need to hang on in there, so that after you’ve done God’s will, you can take [the prize] you were promised!37Because:‘In just a short while...’ [Isaiah 26:20]...(and it is short), the one who’s coming will be here, and:‘He won’t be late!’ [Habakkuk 2:3]38But:My righteous one will live by faith. [Habakkuk 2:4b, LXX][And:]But if he withdraws, My soul finds no pleasure in him.[Habakkuk 2:4a, LXX]39But we’re not those who withdraw and are led to ruin. Rather, [we’re] people of faith, which gains us life.[Syr]

    11

    1Now, faith is the belief in whatever things you hope for, as if they’re already happening... Without seeing it with your eyes.2This [kind of faith] was the [only] ‘evidence’ that [many] ancient ones had. 3Likewise, our faith teaches us that the ages were set in place by the Word of God, and the visible things came from the invisible things.[Syr]4Thanks to faith:Abel offered God a sacrifice more preferred than Cain’s.Because of this, he received evidence that he was righteous, and God testified about his offering.[Syr] So because of this, despite being dead, he’s still speaks!5Thanks to faith:Enoch was transported and didn’t experience death:‘No, he couldn’t be found, because God transported him.’ [Genesis 5:24, LXX]However, before being transported, there was a testimonial [given] that he’d pleased God.6Therefore, it’s not possible to please God[Syr] without faith – because the one who comes near to Him must believe that He exists, and that He rewards those who look for Him.[Syr]7Thanks to faith:Noah, when he was warned about things that he hadn’t seen, became fearful, and built a [giant] chest to save his family. Yes, by [doing] that, he condemned that age and became an heir [who received] righteousness – [all] thanks to [his] faith.8Thanks to faith:AbraHam obeyed when he was called, departing [Ur] to a place that he’d inherit in the future… Yet when he left, he didn’t even know where he was going!9Then, thanks to faith, he settled like an alien in a foreign country (in the land that was already promised to him), and lived in tents with IsaAc and Jacob (who were also heirs of the same promise). 10For he was [really] looking for an established [spiritual] ‘city,’ whose designer and builder is God.11Thanks to faith:SarAh received the power to become pregnant when she was [both] barren and too old. Yes, she gave birth – because she considered the One who’d give her the promise to be trustworthy.12So, a huge number [of people] were born from just one man[, that is, AbraHam] who’d couldn’t reproduce in old age! [Indeed, they became] like the stars of the heavens, or the countless grains of sand on the seashore!13And, even though all these faithful people died without getting what they were promised, they ‘saw’ it from far away and rejoiced – while admitting that they were [still] strangers and aliens in the land.14Now, [normally] when people talk like that, they’re indicating that they’re looking for a city[Syr] [to settle in], 15because if they were looking for [the place] they came from, well, they could just go back there. 16But now we understand that they were reaching out for something better… Something that’s in the heavens.[Syr]As a result, God isn’t ashamed to be called their God. In fact, He [really] has prepared a ‘city’ for them!17Thanks to faith:AbraHam offered up IsaAc when he was being tested – and he did this [despite the fact that IsaAc] was his one-and-only son who was [supposed] to receive the promises… 18Yes, about whom [God] had said:What will be called your descendant will come through IsaAc! [Genesis 21:12]19But [nevertheless], inside himself, [AbraHam] thought that God would [simply] also raise him from the dead. So because of this, [IsaAc] was sacrificed to [God] in a figurative way.[Syr]20Thanks to faith in future events:IsaAc blest Jacob and Esau.21Thanks to faith:Jacob blest each of JoSeph’s sons while he was dying, leaning on the top of his cane.22Thanks to faith:JoSeph, while dying, remembered [the future promised] departure of the sons of IsraEl [from Egypt], and gave them instructions regarding his bones.23Thanks to faith:Moses’ parents hid him for three months after his birth, because they saw that he was a beautiful baby, and they weren’t afraid of the king’s order.24Thanks to faith:Moses, when he was grown up, refused to be called the son of PharaOh’s daughter, 25[instead] he chose to be treated badly with the people of God, and not spend his time enjoying sinful pleasures.26[He did this] because he considered the [same] reproach of the Anointed One as being far more valuable than all of the treasures of Egypt!Yes, he was ‘looking at’ the [future] reward payment.27Thanks to faith:He[, that is, Moses] left Egypt without any fear of the king’s anger... And endured as if he’d seen the invisible God Himself![Syr]28Thanks to faith:They[, that is, the Israelites] performed[Syr] the Passover and the sprinkling of [the lamb’s] blood, so that the [angelic] destroyer of the firstborn wouldn’t touch them.29Thanks to faith:They[, that is, the Israelites] crossed the Sea of Reeds as if it was dry land... But when the Egyptians dared [to do the same thing], they drowned!30Thanks to faith:The walls of JeriCho fell down after they’d been circled for seven days [by the Israelites].31Thanks to faith:The prostitute RaHab didn’t die along with the others who didn’t obey – because she peacefully welcomed the spies [into her home].32What more can I say?I don’t have enough time to tell the stories[Syr] about GideOn, BarAk, Sampson, JephThah, or David… Or about SamuEl and the Prophets... 33Who, thanks to faith:• Defeated kingdoms [in war],• Did righteous things,• Received promises,• Shut lion’s mouths,34Extinguished the power of fire,• Escaped the edge of the sword,• Were cured of disease,[Syr]• Became mighty in battles,• Defeated enemy camps[Syr]35Gave women their sons from a resurrection of the dead.Further, while some others died under torture, they didn’t hope to be rescued,[Syr] no, they were [hoping] for an excellent resurrection!36Yes, and others were:• Mocked and whipped,• Put in chains and prisons,37Stoned [to death],• Sawed [in half], and• Killed with swords.Some [were so] poor [that they] went around dressed in sheepskins and goatskins, being oppressed and mistreated... 38Yes, these ones –whom the world didn’t deserve– became vagrants in the deserts, mountains, caves, and crevices[Syr] of the land.39All these [people], whose faith speaks [so well] about them, never received the promise 40because God had already planned [how] to help[Syr] us... So they won’t be made perfect without [being with] us.

    12

    1Therefore, let us also (since these witnesses surround us like a cloud) throw off whatever weighs us down – and sin too (which is always ready for us). Let’s keep on running the difficult race that’s ahead of us with endurance... 2And keep looking towards the source[Syr] and perfecter of our faith, Jesus.[Yes, he] who, instead of the joy that he could have had,[Syr] endured the [execution] stake, was condemned to shame,[Syr] and is now sat at the right-hand side of God’s throne!3Therefore, look at how much he endured from sinners (who [really] just acted against themselves), so we don’t tire out and give up on life! 4[After all,] you haven’t had to fight sin to the point of bleeding – [at least] not yet.5And don’t forget the encouragement that was said to you like children:My son, never treat Jehovah’s instructions lightly,Or give up when He disciplines you.6For Jehovah disciplines those He Loves,And He spanks the sons He’s pleased with.[Syr][different version of Proverbs 3:11-12, LXX]7So endure [His] discipline, because [it proves] that God is treating you as His children! After all, which son isn’t disciplined by his father? 8So if you haven’t been corrected with the telling-off that everyone normally gets, then you’re not His sons – you’re just strangers!9Now, if our fleshly fathers disciplined us, and we respected them – then shouldn’t we be even more willing to obey the Father of the breaths [of life], [so we can] live?10Yes, for a brief period [in our lives], [our fathers] used to discipline us however they saw fit. However, [now] God [disciplines us] for our advantage,[Syr] so we can share with His Holiness!11And while it’s true that discipline doesn’t feel good at the time (rather, it makes us sad)... Later on, those who learn from it harvest the fruit of peace and righteousness.12So – firm up up those ‘drooping arms’ and those ‘shaky knees!’ 13And make sure that the tracks you’re making with your ‘feet’ are straight… So the ‘limp leg’ can get better rather than just stumble about!14Chase after [the way of] peace with everyone; and chase after [the way of] holiness too – for without that, no one can see our[Syr] Lord!15Therefore, make sure that none of you are lacking God’s loving care... Otherwise some ‘poisonous plant’ might grow to harm and defile many of you... 16Or we might find a sexually immoral person among you, or someone [spiritually] weak[Syr] like Esau – who gave away his birthright for a single meal! 17Do you remember how [he changed his mind] later and wanted to inherit the blessing? But he couldn't get it back – even though he begged for it with tears!18Now, [unlike the ancient Israelites] you haven’t come near to a burning fire,[Syr] nor even dark gloom or a thunderstorm... 19Nor [have you heard] the sound of trumpets being blown, nor the voice [of God] speaking… Yes, a voice that they asked not to have to listen to 20since they couldn’t stand it when it commanded:If so much as a wild animal touches this mountain, it must be stoned! [Exodus 19:12-13]21Yes, it was such a frightening scene that even Moses admitted:I’m terrified and shaking! [Deuteronomy 9:19]22But you’ve approached [near] to ‘Mount Zion,’ and to the ‘City’ of the Living God! Yes, to the Heavenly ‘JeruSalem,’ and to gatherings of millions of [God’s] messengers, 23and to the congregation of the firstborn (whose names have been written in the heavens), and to God – the judge of them all.[Yes, you’ve approached near to] the breaths of those who are righteous and who’ve been made perfect… 24And [you’ve approached near to] Jesus, the mediator of the New Sacred Agreement, and to the sprinkling of his blood [in sacrifice], which speaks out better than Abel’s!25Therefore, beware in case you [also] ask [to get away] from He who speaks to you [just like the Israelites did]!Because if they didn’t get away with it, who asked to not [have to listen] to Him when he spoke with them on the earth… How much more will we not get away with it, if we ask [not to listen to] He who’s spoken with us from the heavens? 26Yes, He whose voice rattled the ground!But now He’s promised:Next time, I’ll not only shake the ground, [I’ll also shake] the sky! [Haggai 2:6]27So when He said ‘next time’, He implied that the things He’ll shake then will be transformed, because they’re creations [of mankind]… But things that won’t be shaken will remain [unchanged].28So in view of the fact that we’ve received a Kingdom that won’t be shaken, let’s grab hold of the loving-kindness [of God] that allows us to serve and please God with reverence and fear. 29Indeed, our God is a consuming fire!

    13

    1Love for the brothers should live within you, 2and don’t forget [to show] love for strangers [too] – since some people were privileged to show hospitality to [God’s] messengers – without realizing it!3And remember those who are in prison… Act as if you’re locked up with them!Also, remember[Syr] those who are being persecuted… Because you’re only human too!4Marriage is honorable for all [people], and [marriage] beds are clean – but God will judge sexually immoral ones and adulterers.5Don’t be the sort who loves wealth… Instead just be satisfied with what you have, because Jehovah promised:I won’t forget you and I’ll never leave you. [Joshua 1:5]6Yes, let’s confidently say:Jehovah is my helper, so I will not fear;For what can man do to me?[Psalm 118:6]7Remember your shepherds[Syr] who teach you God’s word. Then, as you see the results of their conduct, copy their faithfulness.8[Remember that] Jesus the Anointed One was the same yesterday as he is today, and [the same] as he will be throughout the ages... 9So, don’t allow yourselves to be misled by various strange teachings.[Speaking of which], it’s better for [your] hearts to be strengthened by [God’s] loving care than by anything that you might eat (for it didn’t help those who went that way). 10Instead, we have an Altar [we may eat from] that even those who serve in the Tent can’t eat from!11Also, just like how the High Priest [in the Temple] carries the blood of [sacrificial] animals into the Holy Place to serve as sin offerings, and the bodies are then burned up outside the camp afterwards, 12Jesus suffered outside of the [city] gate to make people holy with his blood...13Therefore, let’s all go to him outside of the camp, bearing all the bad things that were said about him 14(for we don’t have a permanent city here – instead, we expect the one prepared for us).15Then, through him, continuously offer God the ‘sacrifice’ of praise – that is, the ‘fruit’ from our lips, praising His Name!16And don’t forget [to practice] compassion and association with the poor,[Syr] because a man can please God[Syr] through such ‘sacrifices.’17Also, have confidence in your shepherds,[Syr] and listen to them – because they’re watching over your lives like a man who has to give an explanation [to his superior]! May they do this with joy, and not with groaning, because that wouldn’t be better for you.18Pray for us! For we’re confident that we have good character, since we want to act properly in everything. 19And I especially want to ask you to do this, so I can return to you soon!20Now, may the God of peace who raised the great Shepherd from the house of the dead (our Lord Jesus), thanks to the blood of the age-long Sacred Agreement, 21make you accomplish every good work, do His will, and among you all, do something good [in his sight].Through Jesus the Anointed One, praised into the ages of agesMay it be so![P.S.]22Now, I ask you, my brothers, ponder over my message of encouragement, because I really haven’t written very much.[P.P.S.]23O yes... I want you to know that our brother Timothy has been released, and if he gets here soon, I’ll come to see you with him.24Give [my] greetings to all your shepherds and to all the Holy Ones.All the [believers in] Italy [also] send you their greetings.


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