Hebrews 6:13-20

The Certainty of God's Promise

13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, 1he swore by himself,
14 saying, 2"Surely I will bless you and multiply you."
15 And thus Abraham,[a]3having patiently waited, obtained the promise.
16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes 4an oath is final for confirmation.
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to 5the heirs of the promise 6the unchangeable character of his purpose, 7he guaranteed it with an oath,
18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which 8it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope 9set before us.
19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into 10the inner place behind the curtain,
20 where Jesus has gone 11as a forerunner on our behalf, 12having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Images for Hebrews 6:13-20

Hebrews 6:13-20 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO HEBREWS 6

In this chapter the apostle exhorts the believing Hebrews not to rest in the rudiments of the Christian religion they had learned; and much less to lay them again in the foundation after the Jewish manner, of which he instances in six particulars; but to seek after a perfect knowledge of evangelic truths, which, under a divine permission, was his determination to do, Heb 6:1-3 which was the best method to prevent apostasy, he dissuades from; by giving the characters of apostates, showing how far they may go in the knowledge of divine things, and yet fall away; by asserting the impossibility of their repentance and recovery, with the reason of it, taken from the blackness of their crimes, Heb 6:4-6 and the difference between them, and true believers, he illustrates by two sorts of earth, the one takes in the rain that comes down from heaven, and brings forth herbs for the use of its dresser, and is blessed of God: such are true believers in Christ, Heb 6:7 the other bears thorns and briers, and is rejected and cursed, and in the issue burned; and to such earth the above apostates may be compared, Heb 6:8 but lest the believing Hebrews, such as were truly gracious among them, should conclude that this was their case, and that it was desperate; and lest they should think the apostle had an ill opinion of them, he declares he was otherwise persuaded of them, and hoped and believed they were interested in the things of salvation, Heb 6:9 the reasons of which persuasion are taken from the work of grace, which was wrought in them; from their laborious love they showed to the name of God, and to his people, and which they continued to show: and from the righteousness of God in not forgetting all this, Heb 6:10. And then he proceeds to exhort them to diligence in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty, that so they might arrive to a full assurance of hope, Heb 6:11 and not to indulge slothfulness, but to be followers of the saints that were gone before them; whose character is, that through faith, and patience, they had inherited the promises, things the apostle would have those believers imitate them in, Heb 6:12 and particularly instances in Abraham, the father of this people, and of all believers; who having a promise from God, to which an oath was annexed, patiently waited for it, and obtained it, Heb 6:13-15 and having made mention of an oath, the apostle takes notice of the nature and use of one among men, Heb 6:16 and of the design of God in making use of one himself, which was to confirm his promise, and show its immutability to the heirs of it; and that by observing these two immutable things, which could never fail, they might have solid and abiding comfort: even all such, who, under a sense of danger, flee to Christ for refuge, who is the ground of hope proposed to them in the Gospel, to lay hold upon, Heb 6:17,18 and because of the firmness of the grace of hope, as it is conversant with Christ, and is cast on him, the good ground of it, it is compared to an anchor; and is said to be sure and steadfast, and to enter within the vail, where Christ is gone as a forerunner; and which is an encouragement to that grace to enter in after him; who is further described by his name Jesus, by his office as an high priest, and by the order of which he is, that of Melchizedek, Heb 6:19,20 which is mentioned, to lead on to what the apostle had to say concerning him, in the next chapter.

Hebrews 6:13-20 In-Context

11 And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end,
12 so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
14 saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you."
15 And thus Abraham,having patiently waited, obtained the promise.
16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation.
17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath,
18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.
19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain,
20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Cross References 12

  • 1. Genesis 22:16
  • 2. Cited from Genesis 22:17
  • 3. ver. 12, 17; [Hebrews 7:6]; See Romans 4:13
  • 4. Exodus 22:11
  • 5. Hebrews 11:9
  • 6. ver. 18; [Psalms 110:4; Proverbs 19:21]
  • 7. [Galatians 3:20]
  • 8. See Titus 1:2
  • 9. Hebrews 12:1, 2
  • 10. Hebrews 9:7; Leviticus 16:15
  • 11. Hebrews 4:14; Hebrews 8:1; Hebrews 9:24
  • 12. Hebrews 3:1; Hebrews 5:6, 10; Hebrews 7:17, 21

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.