Hebrews 6:13-17

13 When God made his promise to Abraham, he made a vow to do what he had promised. Since there was no one greater than himself, he used his own name when he made his vow.
14 He said, "I promise you that I will bless you and give you many descendants." 1
15 Abraham was patient, and so he received what God had promised.
16 When we make a vow, we use the name of someone greater than ourselves, and the vow settles all arguments.
17 To those who were to receive what he promised, God wanted to make it very clear that he would never change his purpose; so he added his vow to the promise.

Hebrews 6:13-17 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 6:13-17 In-Context

11 Our great desire is that each of you keep up your eagerness to the end, so that the things you hope for will come true.
12 We do not want you to become lazy, but to be like those who believe and are patient, and so receive what God has promised.
13 When God made his promise to Abraham, he made a vow to do what he had promised. Since there was no one greater than himself, he used his own name when he made his vow.
14 He said, "I promise you that I will bless you and give you many descendants."
15 Abraham was patient, and so he received what God had promised.
16 When we make a vow, we use the name of someone greater than ourselves, and the vow settles all arguments.
17 To those who were to receive what he promised, God wanted to make it very clear that he would never change his purpose; so he added his vow to the promise.
18 There are these two things, then, that cannot change and about which God cannot lie. So we who have found safety with him are greatly encouraged to hold firmly to the hope placed before us.
19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives. It is safe and sure, and goes through the curtain of the heavenly temple into the inner sanctuary.

Cross References 1

  • 1. 6.14Genesis 22.16, 17.