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Hebrews 3:12

    Hebrews 3:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Take heed, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God:

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    My brothers, take care that there is not by chance in any one of you an evil heart without belief, turning away from the living God:

    Webster's Revision

    Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God:

    World English Bible

    Beware, brothers, lest perhaps there be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Take heed, brethren, lest haply there shall be in any one of you an evil heart of unbelief, in falling away from the living God:

    Definitions for Hebrews 3:12

    Heed - To be careful to consider.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 3:12

    Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you - Take warning by those disobedient Israelites; they were brought out of the house of bondage, and had the fullest promise of a land of prosperity and rest. By their disobedience they came short of it, and fell in the wilderness. Ye have been brought from the bondage of sin, and have a most gracious promise of an everlasting inheritance among the saints in light; through unbelief and disobedience they lost their rest, through the same ye may lose yours. An evil heart of unbelief will head away from the living God. What was possible in their case, is possible in yours. The apostle shows here five degrees of apostasy:

    1. Consenting to sin, being deceived by its solicitations.

    2. Hardness of heart, through giving way to sin.

    3. Unbelief in consequence of this hardness which leads them to call even the truth of the Gospel in question.

    4. This unbelief causing them to speak evil of the Gospel, and the provision God has made for the salvation of their souls.

    5. Apostasy itself, or falling off from the living God; and thus extinguishing all the light that was in them, and finally grieving the Spirit of God, so that he takes his flight, and leaves them to a seared conscience and reprobate mind.

    See Leigh. He who begins to give the least way to sin is in danger of final apostasy; the best remedy against this is to get the evil heart removed, as one murderer in the house is more to be dreaded than ten without.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 3:12

    Take heed, brethren - In view of the conduct of the rebellious Jews, and of their fearful doom, be on your guard lest you also be found to have had the same feelings of rebellion and unbelief. See to it, that under the new dispensation, and in the enjoyment of the privileges of the gospel, you be not found to manifest such feelings as shall exclude you from the heavenly world. The "principle" has been settled by their unbelief that they who oppose God will be excluded from his rest. That may be shown under all dispensations, and in all circumstances, and there is not less danger of it under the gospel than there was when the fathers were conducted to the promised land. You are traveling through a wilderness - the barren wilderness of this world. You are exposed to trials and temptations. You meet with many a deadly and mighty foe. You have hearts prone to apostasy and sin. You are seeking a land of promise; a land of rest. You are surrounded by the wonders of Almighty power, and by the proofs of infinite beneficence. Disobedience and rebellion in you will as certainly exclude you from heaven as their rebellion did them from the promised land; and as their great sin was unbelief, be on your guard lest you manifest the same.

    An evil heart of unbelief - An evil, unbelieving heart. The word "unbelief" is used to qualify the word "heart," by a Hebraism - a mode of speech that is common in the New Testament. An unbelieving heart was the cause of "their" apostasy, and what worked their ruin will produce ours. The root of their evil was "a want of confidence in God" - and this is what is meant here by a heart of unbelief. The great difficulty on earth everywhere is a "want of confidence in God" - and this has produced all the ills that man has ever suffered. It led to the first apostasy; and it has led to every other apostasy - and will continue to produce the same effects to the end of the world. The apostle says that this heart of unbelief is "evil." Men often feel that it is a matter of little consequence whether they have faith or not, provided their conduct is right; and hence, they do not see or admit the propriety of what is said about the consequences of unbelief in the Scriptures. But what do they say about a want of confidence between a husband and wife?

    Are there no evils in that? What husband can sleep with quietness on his pillow, if he has no confidence in the virtue of his wife? What child can have peace who has no confidence in a parent? How can there be prosperity in a community where there is no confidence in a bank, or an insurance office, or where one merchant has no confidence in another; where a neighbor has no confidence in his neighbor; where the sick have no confidence in a physician, and where in general all confidence is broken up between man and man? If I wished to produce the deepest distress in any community, and had the power, I would produce the same want of confidence between man and man which there is now between man and his Maker. I would thus take away sleep from the pillow of every husband and wife; every parent and child; and make every man wretched with the feeling that all the property which he had was insecure. Among people, nothing is seen to be productive of greater evil than a want of confidence or faith - and why should not the same evil exist in the divine administration? And if want of confidence produces such results between man and man, why should it not produce similar, or greater, miseries where it occurs in relation to God? There is not an evil that man endures which might not be alleviated or removed by confidence in God; and hence one great object of the Christian religion is, to restore to man his lost confidence in the God that made him.

    In departing from the living God - Manifested in departing from him; or leading to a departure from him. The idea is, that such a heart of unbelief would be connected with apostasy from God. All apostasy first exists in the heart, and then is manifested in the life. They who indulge in unbelief in any form, or in regard to any subject, should remember that this is the great source of all alienation from God, and that if indulged it will lead to complete apostasy. They who wish to live a life of piety should keep the heart right. He that lives "by the faith of the Son of God" is safe; and none is safe but he.

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 3:12

    3:12 Take heed, lest there be in any of you - As there was in them. An evil heart of unbelief - Unbelief is the parent of all evil, and the very essence of unbelief lies in departing from God, as the living God - The fountain of all our life, holiness, happiness.