Hebrews 3:9

9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.

Hebrews 3:9 in Other Translations

9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years.
9 where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years.
9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience, even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
9 Even though they watched me at work for forty years, your ancestors refused to let me do it my way; over and over they tried my patience.
9 where your fathers tested Me, tried [ Me ], and saw My works

Hebrews 3:9 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 3:9

When your fathers tempted me
This the apostle cites and repeats, to expose the glorying of the Jews in their ancestors; to dissuade them from following their sinful practices; to deter them from the same by observing both their sin and punishment; and to heighten their regards to the voice and Gospel of Christ:

proved me;
this is either an explication of the former phrase; or it may design the experience this people had of the power and goodness of God, notwithstanding their tempting and provoking the Lord by a distrust of them; which is an aggravation of their sin and ingratitude, and shows the forbearance of God, and that wicked men may partake of outward favours: and saw my works forty years;
that is, God's works of providence, in furnishing them with the necessaries of life, in guiding, protecting, and supporting them for the space of forty years, in the wilderness; and his miracles, and the punishment of their enemies; yet they saw and perceived not, but all this time sinned against the Lord, see ( Deuteronomy 29:2-8 ) the space of time, forty years, is in the psalm placed to the beginning of the next verse, and is joined with God's grief and indignation at the people, as it is also by the apostle, in ( Hebrews 3:17 ) but the people's sin, and God's grief at it, being of equal duration, it matters not to which it is placed, and therefore to both; perhaps, one reason of its being repeated, and so much notice taken of it is, because there was just this number of years from Christ's sufferings, to the destruction of Jerusalem; which the apostle might have in view.

Hebrews 3:9 In-Context

7 So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice,
8 do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness,
9 where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did.
10 That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’
11 So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

Cross References 1

  • 1. Numbers 14:33; Deuteronomy 1:3; Acts 7:36
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.