Hebrews 3:7-11

7 Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you will hear His voice,

8 Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness,

9 Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.

10 Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’

11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.’”

The quote is from Psalm 95:7-11 — David wrote it, but the writer attributes it to the Holy Spirit. The original does not contain the conditional “if” — If they will hear His voice, they cannot harden their hearts.

harden (v.8) — the tense indicates an action already happening. They were hardening their hearts and were being told to stop doing it.

trial (v.8) = temptation, lit. “put to the test” — referring to the murmuring of the Israelites against Moses at Rephidim when they had no water (Exodus 17:1-7). The people were testing God by demanding from Him instead of trusting Him.

The Greek words translated “tested” and “tried,” are peirazomai and dokimazo respectively. They are an interesting contrast. Peirazomai means “to put to the test to see what good or evil may be in a person.” Dokimazo means “to put to the test for the purpose of approving the person if he meets the test.” The Greek here is “put Me to the test to see what evil or good there is in Me when they put Me to the test for the purpose of approving me should I meet the test.” What crass unbelief is shown in such a procedure. What an insult it flings into the face of an all-loving, all-powerful God. — Wuest, page 75.

forty years (v.9) — joined to “I was angry” (v.10) in the original punctuation

angry (v.10) = to be displeased with, be disgusted, repudiate

go astray (v.10) = be led aside from the right way

known (v.10) = knowledge gained by experience — Israel didn’t have this.

My ways (v.10) — the way God works, the way He declares Himself and exhibits His character

rest (v.11) — permanent rest — refers to the promised kingdom

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