Hebrews 6:13-20 Promise And Oath.

God made a covenantal promise to Abraham, which we find at Genesis 22:16-17. It was made after Abraham had passed a test, whereby he was willing to offer up his son of promise-Isaac (vv. 13-14). He is commended for his endurance-it was only prevented at the last moment by God himself. However, God being God, there was obviously no one else he could swear by other than himself (v. 15). This goes back to the word spoken to Abram at Genesis 12:1-4. A covenantal bond was in place because an oath was taken. Men can swear an oath with God as witness, but there is no one greater than God (v. 16 Cf. Ex. 22:11). This is why our author makes the point that this promise of blessing was immutable because not only was there an oath, but also by the reality that it is impossible for God to lie (vv. 17-18a Cf. 11:9; Nu. 23:19; Rom. 11:29).

This ought to be a “strong consolation” for us, “who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us” (v. 18b). This is our hope of forgiveness and eternal life, and everything contained in the promise of the covenant. With this hope we have “an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil” (v. 19). The ‘Presence’ is God in the Glory-Cloud in the Holiest of all (Lev. 16:2). Entering God’s presence has been made possible because the Son, as our high priest, in the order of Melchizedek, has gone before us (v. 20 Cf. 3:1; 4:14; 5:10-11; Gen. 14:18-19; Ps. 110:4). “Faith can endure patiently because God’s oath secures His promise to us, as it did to Abraham. Our confidence rests in the eternal high priesthood of Jesus after the order of Melchizedek, a priesthood secured by divine promise and oath” (7:20-23, 28) (NGSB. p. 1942).

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