To whom was “To the Hebrews” written?
Evidence that Hebrews was written to the Jews in Judea is in the opening verses, 1:1-3, Paul states that God spoke to their forefathers in the pre-christian era, by means of the prophets, and now God spoke to his generation by means of His Son Jesus:
Hebrews 1:1-3 (NRSV)
God Has Spoken by means of His Son
1 "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the
prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom
he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the
worlds. 3 He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of
God’s very being, and he sustains[b] all things by his powerful word.
When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand
of the Majesty on high."
Further evidence within the Letter to the Hebrews ,indicates that it was written to the Judean congregation in Jerusalem, the congregation was almost entirely of Jews and proselytes to the Jewish religion.
From the Acts of the Apostles the congregations in Jerusalem and Judea faced severe persecution, Acts 8:1, 4,14, 12:1-5 and many obviously came to know the truth in times of bitter opposition, that is why Paul wrote to them: "You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin." (Hebrews 12:4 NASB)
Some in the congregation may not have been strong in the faith and needed to built it up , and were encouraged to look to Jesus and to the cloud of witnesses as examples, such as Moses, Abraham , Noah and others mentioned in chapter eleven.
Jesus, the Example
Hebrews 12:1-2 (NRSV)
12 "Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding
us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so
easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is
set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of
faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the
shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."
Hebrews 3:1-6 (NRSV)
Moses a Servant, Christ a Son
3 "Therefore, brothers and sisters,[a] holy partners in a heavenly
calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our
confession, 2 was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses
also “was faithful in all[b] God’s[c] house.” 3 Yet Jesus is worthy of
more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor
than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the
builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all
God’s[e] house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be
spoken later. 6 Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a
son, and we are his house if we hold firm[g] the confidence and the
pride that belong to hope."
Paul was an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin,born in Tarsus of Cilicia a prominent city and by law, a Pharisee, He wrote his epistle in Rome 61 C.E. in Greek, possible reason is that among the Christians Jews , were Hellenized Jews.
Philippians 3:5 (NRSV)
5 "Circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of
the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a
Paul received instructions from a Pharisee named Gamaliel,a member of the Sanhedrin and a Law teacher ,(Acts 5:34) this suggests that he came from a prominent family.
Acts 22:3 (NRSV)
3 “I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city
at the feet of Gamaliel, educated strictly according to our ancestral
law, being zealous for God, just as all of you are today."