The Letter to the Hebrews
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield,
HOLY SPIRIT RECAPS TWO CHAPTERS
The first 18 verses of chapter 10 review ideas presented in chapters 8 and 9.
New material is introduced in order to show forcefully and vividly that the
sacrifice of Christ abundantly provides for forgiveness of sins.
The chapter[ 1 ] begins by showing once more that animal sacrifices cannot actually
take away sins. However, the death of Christ that fulfills the will of God does
take them away. Therefore, Christians are urged to hold fast the confession of
their hope The topic of willful sinning is highlighted together with the exhortation
not to forsake the assembly. The original readers were asked to recall past
persecutions and be encouraged never to draw back to perdition (see chart
HEBREWS 10 OUTLINE).
HEBREWS 10 OUTLINE
1. Animal sacrifices did not take away sins
2. Death of Christ fulfills the will of God (Heb 10:5-10).
3. Christ's offering takes sins away (Heb 10:11-18).
4. Hold fast the confession (Heb 10:19-25).
5. Sinning willfully (Heb 10:26-31).
6. Recall past persecutions (Heb 10:32-34).
7. Encouraged to never draw back to perdition
THE LAW NEVER PROVIDED COMPLETE FORGIVENESS
10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the
very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they
offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.
THE NEW AND LIVING WAY
1. Way into Most Holy Place [heaven] now manifest
2. Christ entered, made atonement by own blood
(Heb 9:24, 28).
3. He remains in heaven reigning [He sat down]
(Heb 1:3; 10:12; 12:2).
4. Under His new covenant people enjoy His complete
forgiveness (Heb 10:1, 10).
1. Animal sacrifices can never make perfect
2. Impossible for blood of bulls and goats to take away
sins (Heb 10:4).
3. Sacrifice and offering You did not desire
(Heb 10:5, 8).
4. In burnt offerings, sacrifices, no pleasure
(Heb 10:6, 8).
5. Can never take away sins (Heb 10:11).
OFFERINGS FOR SPECIAL SINS
1. For sin of ignorance, a one-year old female goat
(Le 4:28; Nu 15:27, 28).
2. For sin of a priest who brought guilt on the people,
a bull (Le 4:3).
3. For the sin of the whole congregation, a bull
(Le 4:13, 14).
4. For the sin of a leader, a male goat (Le 4:23).
OT SACRIFICES MADE NOTHING PERFECT
1. The Law made nothing perfect but bringing in of a
better hope did (Heb 7:19).
2. Cannot make perfect in regard to conscience
3. Same sacrifices year by year could never perfect
those who approach (Heb 10:1).
4. By one offering He has perfected forever
those who are being sanctified (Heb 10:14;
For the law [for since the law].[ 2 ] The Law of Moses was divinely given.
Under it, many women and men of faith were saved eternally (see Heb 11:1, 2,
39). In connection with it, thousands of animals were sacrificed. The Law of
Moses was vastly better than laws given by uninspired men among heathen
nations. Nevertheless, since the blood of animals could not provide real
forgiveness but the blood of Christ can, God chose to end the Mosaic Law at the
Having a shadow [had, has, but a shadow].[ 3 ] The Law presented a faint
shadow or dim outline of the blessings in Christ. The fact that it was shadowy
was a weakness. However, it had value in that its types and shadows looked
forward to Christ and the church. An understanding of them does three important
things: (1) People are enabled to see the marvelous unity of old and new testament
Scriptures, thus engendering strong confidence (faith) in God's word. (2) Its types
perfectly match NT events, institutions and doctrines. An OT study firms up
concepts of the NT doctrine of Christ and His church. (3) Hope is made stronger.
Having been grounded with a sturdy faith and an adequate understanding of God's
dealings with His people, there comes about a trust in God that He will bring to
pass the eternal blessings He has promised.
Of the good things to come [of good things to come, of the coming good
things].[ 4 ] The "good things to come" are the realities foreshadowed by OT
persons, objects, events and blessings. Of the many blessings in Christ, not the
least is forgiveness of sins. There is also abundant life in Him followed by
resurrection and eternal life.
And not the very image of the things [not, instead of, the true form of these
realities, the image itself of the things].[ 5 ] The Hebrew writer employs "image"
or "form" in the sense of reality. The Law could make perfect only in a
metaphorical sense (see Ps 19:7). Sins were forgiven on a "passing over" basis
under the OT Law but it alone never ultimately made anybody perfect. It did not
provide actual and real forgiveness.
Can never with these same sacrifices [it can never, it could not, by those, the
same, sacrifices].[ 6 ] "Can never" is singular in certain Greek manuscripts. It
refers to the OT Law (see charts NEGATIVES; OFFERINGS FOR SPECIAL
SINS; OT SACRIFICES MADE NOTHING PERFECT). The Jews were noted
for turning from pure worship of God.
"Did you offer Me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O
house of Israel? 26 You also carried Sikkuth[ 7 ] your king and Chiun,[ 8 ] your
idols, the star of your gods, which you made for yourselves. 27 Therefore
I will send you into captivity beyond Damascus," says the LORD, whose
name is the God of hosts (Am 5:25-27; compare the following from Ac 7).
Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is
written in the book of the Prophets: "Did you offer Me slaughtered animals
and sacrifices during forty years in the wilderness, O house of Israel? 43
You also took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god
Remphan,[ 9 ] images which you made to worship; and I will carry you away
beyond Babylon" (Ac 7:42, 43).
Which they offer continually year by year [which are continually offered,
which they offered, year after year, yearly, continually].[ 10 ] The wandering
Israelites did not offer sacrifices to God continually. They diverted some sacrifices
to heathen idols.
YEARLY OFFERINGS (A)
PASSOVER, UNLEAVENED BREAD 1/14-22).*
1. Offering by fire for seven days (Le 23:8).
2. Day after Sabbath, wave sheaf of first fruits; a year
old male lamb [with flour, oil, wine] (Le 23:10-13).
1. Two loaves leavened bread for wave offering.
2. Seven one-year old male lambs, a bull, two rams
for burnt offering.
3. One goat, two year old male lambs for peace
*Months and days from Jewish calendar.
YEARLY OFFERINGS (B)
DAY OF ATONEMENT (7/10).*
1. Offering for priests (Le 16:11-14).
2. Offering for people (Le 16:15).
3. Scape-goat for miscellaneous sins (Le 16:20-22).
TABERNACLES, BOOTHS (7/15-21):
1. Offering by fire for seven days (Le 23:36).
2. Offering by fire on eighth day.
*Jewish months and days are from Jewish calendar.
OT priests, including high priests, offered continually. In connection with yearly
sacrifices offered on the Day of Atonement God passed over but did not actually
Make those who approach perfect [perfect, make perfect, them that draw
near, nigh, came to it, make the comers thereunto perfect].[ 11 ] Some
translators may not have fully understood what the present context means by
drawing near to God. The ultimate intent of the Scriptures is to restore fellowship
with Deity by making people perfect in conscience, that is, completely forgiven.
Offering animal sacrifices was not merely a form of worship, it was mainly the
seeking of pardon. It was endeavoring to obtain salvation from sins. Only a
person being forgiven can enjoy the restoration of fellowship with God and
worship Him acceptably. Only one who has been pardoned can worship in spirit
and in truth (see Joh 4:24; Jas 5:16, 19, 20).
WOULD THEY NOT HAVE CEASED TO BE OFFERED?
10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers,
once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins.
For then would they not have ceased to be offered? [otherwise, since, else,
would they not indeed have ceased being offered, offering them?].[ 12 ] If all
guilt had been removed by one offering, there would have been no requirement for
For the worshipers, once purified [if, because the, on account of, that the
worshippers, those who offered them, once purged, had, having, once been,
been once, once for all, cleansed].[ 13 ]
Would have had no more consciousness of sins [they would, should, having,
no longer, no longer have, any, no further, conscience of sin].[ 14 ] However,
continuous sacrificing was done under the OT Law, it brought continuous
reminders of guilt. In Christ, when a sinner enjoys complete forgiveness the
conscience is clear.
A REMINDER OF SINS EVERY YEAR
10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.
But in those sacrifices [but in these, these sacrifices].[ 15 ] OT sacrifices served
as reminders, not removers of sin. Every year when the Day of Atonement rolled
around, astute people of God were made to question just why another sacrifice
would be necessary the next year for the same sins.
There is a reminder of sins every year [there was a calling to mind, a
remembrance, a remembrance made, again made, of sin year after year, year
by year, yearly].[ 16 ] In various ways, the Hebrew writer makes it clear that the
annual remembrance of sins kept the conscience from becoming entirely clean and
ANIMAL BLOOD COULD NOT TAKE AWAY SINS
10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away
Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life; you
may not eat the life with the meat (De 12:23).
For it is not possible [for it is impossible, is incapable, could not].[ 17 ] There
you have it. It was beyond the realm of possibility for animal sacrifices to remit
sins. The Jews knew that the blood is the life and that they were to offer bloody
sacrifices. However, it is doubtful that many of them living under the Law of
Moses made the connection between the blood of the Messiah and eternal life.
That the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins [for blood of bulls
and of goats should take, of taking, away sins]. Bulls and goats were offered
monthly as well as more frequently for special sins (see chart OFFERINGS FOR
SPECIAL SINS at verse 1). On the Day of Atonement the high priest offered a
bull for himself and his household (Le 16:11-14). In addition to the scape-goat
that was released he slaughtered a goat for a sin-offering for the people (see Le
16:15; 20-22). Another goat was offered once a year on Pentecost.
Why would anyone think that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins?
The reason may appear somewhat obscure but verses 5-8 will explain it. For the
time being, we can be sure of one thing. If it could have been so, God would
have spared His own Son the awful death on Calvary (see Joh 3:16). His wisdom
is so great that we trust Him, not only in this but in all things revealed. For
whatever reason, in God's mind, animal blood could never achieve ultimate
salvation (see chart OT SACRIFICES MADE NOTHING PERFECT at verse 1).
THE ONE AND ONLY SACRIFICE OF CHRIST
10:5 Therefore, when He came into the world, He said: "Sacrifice and
offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me."
Therefore [consequently, wherefore].[ 18 ] For reasons given above, we have
learned that the compelling motivation why the Savior "came into the world" was
because it was impossible that the blood of bulls and goats "could take away sins."
When He came into the world [when Christ cometh, coming, into the
world].[ 19 ] Christ is pictured by the Greek present tense as "coming" into the
world. He "is" born of a virgin for the specific purpose of dying on Calvary. He
comes to serve and to die.
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give
His life a ransom for many (Mt 20:28).
To give His life was Jesus' great determination. His earthly destination was a
cross on a hill just outside the city wall of Jerusalem.
Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up,
that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem (Lu 9:51; compare 13:22;
17:11; 18:31; 19:11, 28).
He said: Sacrifice and offering You did not desire [he saith, he says,
Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired, wouldest, willedst, want].[ 20 ]
Christ needed no sacrifice of bull or goat for any sins of His own because He had
none. The Hebrew writer implies that the thoughts he quotes from Psalm 40 were
voiced by the Son of God who eventually came to earth to suffer and die as a
sacrifice for the sins of the world. He intimates that OT Levitical offerings were
not really desired by Heaven. However, since Christ came to do the will of the
Father, He would willingly become a perfect sacrifice for sins.
Sacrifice and offering You did not desire; my ears You have opened; burnt
offering and sin offering You did not require. 7 Then I said, "Behold, I
come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me. 8 I delight to do Your
will, O my God, and Your law is within my heart. 9 I have proclaimed the
good news of righteousness in the great assembly; indeed, I do not restrain
my lips, O LORD, You Yourself know" (Ps 40:6-9).
But a body You have prepared for Me [but a body hast thou, thou hast,
prepared, didst thou prepare, but you prepared, me a body, a body for
me].[ 21 ] In the above quotation from Psalm 40, notice the expression, "My ears
You have opened."[ 22 ] In ancient times, when a slave voluntarily chose to serve
his master permanently, his owner took him to the door post and pierced his ear
with an awl (Ex 21:6). Jesus took upon Himself the form of a bond-servant (Php
2:7). He chose to serve His heavenly Father forever, not only by being born of
a virgin but being nail-pierced on the cross. He "opened His ears," an allusion to
the ear-piercing of a slave. Were His ears literally pierced by the crown of
thorns? We know that He became as a slave and became obedient unto death. In
a secondary sense, God "prepared" His body as He was raised from the tomb. It
is generally thought that His body was later changed for His ascension into heaven.
YOU HAD NO PLEASURE
10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin [with whole burnt offerings, and sin
offerings, sacrifices for sin].
You had no pleasure [thou hast taken, thou hadst, hast had, tookest, no
pleasure, you were not pleased]. Even when sincerely offered, OT sacrifices did
not please God sufficiently for Him to grant remission of sins. In addition many
shoddy sacrifices were offered to Him (see Mal 1:8, 13; chart OT SACRIFICES
MADE NOTHING PERFECT at verse 1).
TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD
10:7 Then I said, "Behold, I have come-- in the volume of the book it is
written of Me-- to do Your will, O God."
Then I said, Behold, I have come [then said I, Lo, I come, am come].[ 23 ]
These prophetic words from Psalm 40 picture Christ speaking to the Father. Some
versions have completely omitted a translation of "Behold."[ 24 ] Christ was saying
to the Father, "Behold!" Then He added that He has come to do God's will, that
is, to sacrifice His own life.
In the volume of the book [in the roll of the book].[ 25 ] Many say that the OT
writings were on scrolls rolled up. Such was the ancient manuscript of Isaiah that
the writer has examined at Jerusalem. The particular Scripture quoted here (Ps
40:7-9) was in a roll that contained that psalm. That passage was written about
When Uzziah died (740 BC), Isaiah received his prophetic calling from God
in a stirring vision of God in the Temple (Isa 6).[ 26 ]
SEVEN PLAIN PROPHECIES OF CHRIST
1. Seed of woman to bruise Satan's head (Ge 3:15).
2. In Abraham's seed all nations to be blessed
3. Scepter not to depart from Judah until Shiloh comes
4. A prophet like Moses (De 18:15-18).
5. A virgin to conceive and bear a son (Isa 7:14).
6. Numbered with transgressors; bore the sin of many
7. To be born in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2).
It is written of Me-- to do Your will, O God [as it is written of me, to do thy
will, to do, O God, thy will]. Many prophecies, including this one in Psalm
40:7, 8, were written of Jesus Christ (see chart SEVEN PLAIN PROPHECIES OF
CHRIST CAME TO DO GOD'S WILL
1. Not as I will, but as You will (Mt 26:39).
2. My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and
to finish His work (Joh 4:34).
3. I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father
who sent Me (Joh 5:30).
4. Have come down from heaven, not to do My own
will, but the will of Him who sent Me (Joh 6:38).
5. Of His death and resurrection: This command I have
received from My Father (Joh 10:18).
6. By one Man's obedience many will be made
righteous (Ro 5:19).
7. Became obedient to the point of death (Php 2:8).
DID NOT DESIRE NOR HAD PLEASURE IN SACRIFICES
10:8, 9 Previously saying, "Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and
offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them" (which are
offered according to the law), 9 then He said, "Behold, I have come to do
Your will, O God." He takes away the first that He may establish the second.
Previously saying [when he said above, above when he said, saying above,
having said before]. The Hebrew writer again alludes to the quotation from
Psalm 40. The present verse is basically a reiteration and condensation of thoughts
above (see notes on verses 5, 6).
Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings and offerings for sin [sacrifices and
offerings and burnt offerings, whole burnt offerings, and sin offerings, and
sacrifices for sin, and offering, and those, for sin].
You did not desire [Thou hast neither desired, thou wouldest, willedst, not,
You did not want]. Why did God not desire nor take pleasure in the various
sacrifices and offerings made under the Law of Moses? Somehow animal
sacrifices did not atone for sins.
Nor had pleasure in them [neither taken, have, hadst, tookest, pleasure
therein] (see notes on verses 5, 6).
Which are offered according to the law [these, the which, being offered, by
the Law]. OT animal sacrifices and the OT Law are coupled together by the Holy
Spirit. Both the Law and the sacrifices were taken out of the way at the cross.
[10:9] Then He said, Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God [then he
added, said he, hath he said, Lo, I come, am come, to do thy will, O God][ 27 ]
(see chart CHRIST CAME TO DO GOD'S WILL).
He takes away the first [He abolishes, taketh away, the first]. "The first" is
the OT Law, the Law of Moses including the Ten Commandments. It, along with
its animal sacrifices, was nailed to the cross and taken out of the way (Eph 2:15;
Col 2:14). After Jesus died and after the temple veil was torn from top to bottom,
the Law and its sacrifices were no longer valid in any sense of the word. Soon
many of the priests obeyed the gospel (see Ac 6:7). Nevertheless, some of the
unyielding Jewish priests kept on offering animals until about AD 70. James
Burton Coffman emphasized that the entire OT Law was taken away.
In this verse it is plain why the parenthesis was introduced in the verse
above; it was to show that "the first" does not apply to sacrifices, offerings,
or the ceremonial part of the Jewish institution, nor to the law concerning
priests, but to the first "law," that entire covenant with its ten
commandments and everything else that pertained to it.[ 28 ]
Christ took away more than the Levitical sacrifices.[ 29 ] He removed the entire
OT system of laws (see note on Heb 7:12). He had said:
Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come
to destroy but to fulfill (Mt 5:17).
He fulfilled the Law by keeping it perfectly. He fulfilled the Prophets by
accomplishing every Messianic detail. On the cross, He cried, "It is finished!"
(Joh 19:30). He had arranged the consummation of both the sacrifices and the
Law. He had fulfilled all the prophecies culminating in His death. He took the
Law out of the way by abolishing it.[ 30 ] Paul, when writing of himself and others
having been made alive and forgiven by Christ, referred back to Calvary and said:
Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments
contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the
two, thus making peace (Eph 2:15).
Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us,
which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed
it to the cross (Col 2:14).
That He may establish the second in order to establish the second].[ 31 ] The
"second" is Christ's law (Ga 6:2; 1Co 9:21). It is the NT with its better sacrifice
of Jesus who came to do the will of the Father. The will of God for Christians is
revealed in the NT. That will is the law of faith (Ro 3:27), the perfect law of
liberty (Jas 1:25) and the doctrine of Christ (2Jo 9).
SANCTIFIED BY THE WILL OF CHRIST
10:10 By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body
of Jesus Christ once for all.
By that will [and by that, by which, the which, according to his, will].[ 32 ]
The "will" sanctifies (Joh 17:17). Robert Milligan perspicaciously[ 33 ] observed:
In the accomplishing of this will, embracing as it does the whole Gospel
plan of salvation, "we are sanctified through the offering of the body of
Jesus Christ once for all."[ 34 ]
We have been sanctified [we are sanctified].[ 35 ] Elsewhere more is written
about the continuing process of sanctification. Suffice it to say here that the
Hebrew writer asserted:
Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid
them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father
of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as
seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His
holiness[ 36 ] (Heb 12:9, 10).
Through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ.[ 37 ]
Once for all[ 38 ] (see charts ONCE FOR ALL OFFERING OF CHRIST A and
ONCE FOR ALL OFFERING OF CHRIST (A)
1. Once for all when He offered up Himself (Heb 7:27).
2. With His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place
once for all, having obtained eternal redemption
3. Once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put
away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb 9:26).
4. Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many
ONCE FOR ALL OFFERING OF CHRIST (B)
1. By that will we have been sanctified through the
offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all
2. After He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God (Heb 10:12).
3. For by one offering He has perfected forever those
who are being sanctified (Heb 10:14).
MONOTONY OF REPETITIOUS SACRIFICES
10:11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the
same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
And every priest [every priest].[ 39 ] The OT priests were divided into twenty-four courses (1Ch 24:4, 5; compare Lu 1:5; Josephus, Antiquities 7.14.7).[ 40 ]
Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from
continuing (Heb 7:23).
Stands ministering daily [standeth daily, indeed standeth day by day, at his
service].[ 41 ] There were no chairs in the tabernacle. Levitical priests stood to
offer sacrifices. Christ, on the other hand, is seated at the right hand of God (see
note on verse 12).
Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person,
and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by
Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high
And offering repeatedly [offering, repeatedly, often, oftentimes, the same
sacrifice].[ 42 ] The Levitical priests did the same things over and over again and
again (see chart TIRING WORK OF PRIESTS).
The same sacrifices.[ 43 ] Note the dreary, tedious, wearisome grind.
TIRING WORK OF PRIESTS
1. Stand daily.
2. Ministering and offering.
3. Time after time.
4. Same sacrifices.
5. Which can never take away sins.
Which can never take away sins [the which can never take away sins, remove
sin].[ 44 ]ONE SACRIFICE FOR SINS FOREVER
10:12, 13 But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever,
sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies
are made His footstool.
But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins [but he, but when
he, Christ, having offered a single sacrifice for sins]. The Priestly ministry of
Christ is contrasted to that of the Levitical priests. He died only once (Heb 9:27,
28). He offered only one sacrifice for sins (see also verse 14). The importance
of this summary of Jesus' sacrifice is beautifully expressed by the well-known
Lutheran scholar, R. C. H. Lenski:
This is the climax. The whole will of God and the whole sacrifice of
[Christ's] death is the removal of our sins. Freed of these, heaven is ours.
Without Christ's expiation there are no remission and deliverance from sin.
This is the heart of all Scripture. Those who remove this heart because they
regard it as "the old blood theology" have left only a hopeless corpse.[ 45 ]
For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died
for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live
no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again
(2Co 5:14, 15).
Forever [for all time, in perpetuity].[ 46 ] The Jewish priests offered the same
sacrifices time after time (verse 11). Christ made one sacrifice for all time, for
Sat down at the right hand of God [he sat down on the right hand of God].
OT priests were never able to sit down to perform their bloody duties. To some,
their work must have seemed grisly and repulsive. Did some of them serve
nervously and uneasily? Were they in a hurry to finish and leave a tense work
situation? By contrast, Jesus finished His work on the cross, ascended and sat
down. He remains in the serenity of heaven.[ 47 ]
[10:13] From that time waiting [then to wait, henceforth, from henceforth,
the rest of the time, expecting].[ 48 ] From the time when Christ finished His
sacrificial work and sat down in heaven, he waits, "expecting."
Till His enemies are made His footstool [until his enemies be made, should
be made, be set for the, a, stool, of, for, his feet]. Instead of receiving the
reward of an eternal inheritance, he who rejects the blood of Christ can only look
forward to being the "footstool" of the Savior. This would be a great tragedy.
Not only that, but if a Christian turned back to Judaism, he would once again have
to rely on mere animal sacrifices. He would, in effect, have aligned himself with
those who cried out for the crucifixion of the Son of God. He would be one with
the enemies of Christ. Consider the awful suffering and death awaiting many of
them in the destruction of Jerusalem when untold thousands of Jews perished by
starvation, famine, disease, sword and fire.
PERFECTED FOREVER BY ONE OFFERING
10:14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being
For by one offering [by a single offering]. The "one" sacrifice was Jesus
Himself (Heb 9:14).
1. Not through Levitical priesthood (Heb 7:11).
2. The Law made nothing perfect; the bringing in of a
better hope did (Heb 7:19).
3. Gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make
him who performed the service perfect in regard to
the conscience (Heb 9:9).
4. The Law, having a shadow, could never with those
same sacrifices make those who approach perfect
5. Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith
He has perfected forever [he hath perfected for all time, in perpetuity].[ 49 ]
The Hebrew writer has demonstrated from the OT beyond debate that, under the
blood of the new covenant, men and women receive true and complete pardon that
lasts eternally (see Mt 26:28). The emphasis is upon "forever." The one sacrifice
of Christ is effective, full, absolute and everlasting. My comment here is not
intended to deny the possibility that a Christian can draw back to perdition (see
Those who are being sanctified [the, those that are, sanctified]. Those who
are sanctified are "perfected." They are the redeemed. They are the saved of all
ages (see charts THOSE BEING SANCTIFIED A and B).
THOSE BEING SANCTIFIED (A)
1. Have an inheritance (Ac 20:32).
2. Walk in newness of life (Ro 6:4).
3. Are saints by calling (1Co 1:2).
4. Clothed selves with Christ (Ga 3:27).
5. That He might sanctify and cleanse her with
the washing of water by the word (Eph 5:26).
THOSE BEING SANCTIFIED (B)
1. Raised up with Christ through faith in the working
of God (Col 2:12).
2. Seek those things which are above, where Christ is,
sitting at the right hand of God (Col 3:1).
3. Christ's brethren (Heb 2:11).
4. Sanctified with His own blood (Heb 13:12).
THE GODHEAD IN SANCTIFICATION
1. The will of God (Heb 10:9, 10).
2. The work of Christ (Heb 10:10, 14).
3. The witness of the Spirit (Heb 10:15-17).
WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT
1. By speaking through apostles (Joh 15:26; 16:13).
2. By signs, wonders, gifts (Ac 5:32; Heb 2:3, 4).
3. By words (Ac 28:25; Heb 3:7).
4. Bears witness with our spirit (Ro 8:16).
5. Signified by work of OT priests (Heb 9:8-13).
6. Within prophets who predicted sufferings of Christ
(1Pe 1:11, 12).
7. Holy men spoke as they were moved by Holy
Spirit (2Pe 1:21).
SINS REMEMBERED NO MORE
10:15-17 But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said
before, 16 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,
says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will
write them," 17 then He adds, "Their sins and their lawless deeds I will
remember no more."
But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us [whereof, and, but also, the Holy
Ghost beareth, bears, bears us, witness, is a witness of it to us]. The Holy
Spirit bears witness through the inspired word (2Ti 3:16, 17; 2Pe 1:20, 21). By
saying, "The Holy Spirit also witnesses" and "had said before," the Hebrew writer
implies that the Holy Spirit spoke through Jeremiah the prophet (see chart
WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT).
For after He had said before [for after saying, for after that, he hath said,
he had said before, what was said, for after saying]. What the Spirit says is the
inspired message of the Bible. The third person of the Godhead actually spoke
through the prophet. In the OT passage in Jeremiah, the prophet himself wrote
"says the LORD" four times (see Jer 31:31-34).
This is the covenant that I will make with them [this is the covenant I, which
I, will establish towards them]. Once more the Hebrew writer refers to Jeremiah
31:31-34 in order to show that the will by which we are sanctified is none other
than the new covenant. Remember that Hebrews 10:1-18 recaps Hebrews 8, 9
(see chart LAW IN THE HEART at Hebrews 8:10).
After those days, says the Lord [saith the Lord, the Lord says]. By the
phrase "After those days," the LORD refers to the time after Jesus fulfilled God's
OT covenant and took it out of the way. After that great event the NT became
effective (see notes on Heb 9:16, 17).
SACRIFICES AND OBEDIENCE (A)
1. Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice (1Sa 15:22).
2. Offer to God thanksgiving (Ps 50:14).
3. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken
and a contrite heart-- these, O God, You will not
despise (Ps 51:17).
4. I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams and the
fat of fed cattle. I do not delight in the blood of
bulls, or of lambs or goats (Isa 1:11).
SACRIFICES AND OBEDIENCE (B)
1. For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the
knowledge of God more than burnt offerings
2. Though you offer Me burnt offerings and your grain
offerings, I will not accept them (Am 5:22).
3. Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
ten thousand rivers of oil? (Mic 6:7).
SIN'S CONSEQUENCE AND CURE
[I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE]
1. Debt (forgiven).
2. Bondage (redemption).
3. Alienation (reconciliation).
4. Suffering (rejoicing).
5. Despair (hope).
6. Death (resurrection).
7. Eternal punishment (eternal life).
I will put My laws into their hearts [giving my laws on, upon, their heart].
Christians who have God's laws in their hearts are those who sincerely want to
obey Him (see note on Heb 8:10).
And in their minds I will write them [and them also, and I will, also will I,
write them, on, and upon, their understandings, their mind]. Faith comes by
reading or hearing the word, the gospel (Joh 20:30, 31; Ro 10:17). All who
become Christians by faith have some knowledge of God. They have obeyed from
the heart (Ro 6:17). They have an inner desire to do the Lord's will in
[10:17] Then He adds, Their sins and their lawless deeds [then saith he, says
also, And their misdeeds, iniquities, lawlessnesses]. "Then He adds" introduces
an additional part of the quotation from Jeremiah 31. The words are omitted from
my Greek text in Hebrews 10:17. Nevertheless, the words from Jeremiah 31 are
important. A glance back at Hebrews 10:14 will reveal that sanctification has to
do with being perfected. That is, the permanent forgiveness of sins. Contrast that
with the old Law. Under it there was a "reminder" of sins every year (see Heb
I will remember no more [will I remember no more, never remember any
more, I will not remember again]. Under Christ, the sins and lawless deeds of
forgiven Christians are remembered no more! Contrast this with all other
religions, none of which have an effective sacrifice for sins.
WHERE THERE IS REMISSION
10:18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for
Now where there is remission of these [where, but where, there is
forgiveness, remission, of these is]. Under the new covenant, "remission" of sins
is given at the point of baptism into Christ (see Ac 2:38; Ro 6:3, 4; Ga 3:27; 1Pe
3:21). They are forgiven forever.
There is no longer an offering for sin [there is no more any offering, a
sacrifice, for sin]. After Christ offered Himself for every sinner (see Joh 1:29),
the need for the work of Levitical priests ended. He brought complete
forgiveness. There is no longer any purpose at all to be served by continuing the
sacrificing of animal. Those offered by Levitical priests would never even make
one worshipper perfect. Looking from another standpoint, there is no additional
offering for sin in God's plan. Neither can substitute offerings by heathen priests
avail. The so-called "sacrifice of the mass" effects nothing.[ 50 ] The offering of
Christ was final, complete and efficacious and quite wonderful!
The words of Heb 10:18 are beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words
of life. They abundantly display the tenderness of the heart of God. Salvation is
not by human merit. Sinners are bought with a price--the precious blood of the
This brings to an end the first section of Hebrews (see charts HEBREWS 10
OUTLINE at Heb 1:1; ENCOURAGEMENT AND WARNING [OUTLINE OF
ENCOURAGEMENT AND WARNING
[OUTLINE OF HEB 10:19-39]
1. Draw near to God (Heb 10:19-22).
2. Hold fast (Heb 10:23).
3. Encourage one another; not forsaking assembly
(Heb 10:24, 25).
4. A fearful thing to fall into hands of living God
5. Prior steadfastness (Heb 10:32-34).
6. Reward for endurance (Heb 10:35, 36).
7. Coming of Christ (Heb 10:37-39).
BLOOD OF JESUS
1. Blood of covenant for forgiveness of sins
2. Purchased the church (Ac 20:28).
3. Justified by His blood (Ro 5:9).
4. Cleanses conscience from dead works (Heb 9:14).
5. Redeemed by precious blood (1Pe 1:18, 19).
6. Keeps on cleansing from all sin (1Jo 1:7).
7. Washed from sins by blood (Re 1:5; 12:11).
LET US DRAW NEAR TO CHRIST
10:19-22 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the
blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us,
through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house
of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure
Therefore, brethren [then, brethren]. "Therefore" begins a new section of the
Hebrew letter. The new section is called the "hortatory" part of the epistle.[ 51 ]
Even if some of the original readers of the Hebrew epistle were on the verge of
turning back into Judaism, they were all affectionately known as "brethren."
Having boldness [since we have confidence].[ 52 ] Every Christian should
understand and appreciate the accessibility of the most holy place (heaven) and
have corresponding appreciation and joyful courage in approaching God.
To enter the Holiest [for entering into the sanctuary, holy place, holy of
holies].[ 53 ] Another version renders the Greek HAGION holy as "Most Holy
Place" because contextually it refers to heaven (see note on Heb 9:25).
By the blood of Jesus.[ 54 ] It is implied that, in heaven, Christ offered Himself.
He entered with blood that was "His own" (Heb 9:25; see chart BLOOD OF
THE LIVING WAY
1. The living Christ opened the way to heaven.
2. Whoever believes in Him should not perish but have
everlasting life (Joh 3:16).
3. He is "the way, the truth and the life" (Joh 14:6;
compare Joh 1:4; 11:25; Ro 5:2).
4. "He always lives" to make intercession (Heb 7:25).
5. He gives us "a living hope" (1Pe 1:3).
6. He is the living One "alive forevermore" (Re 1:18).
GOD AND THE CRUCIFIXION
1. He was "smitten by God" (Isa 53:4).
2. It pleased the LORD to bruise Him (Isa 53:10).
3. Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and
foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless
hands, have crucified, and put to death (Ac 2:23).
4. The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world
[10:20] By a new and living way which He consecrated for us [the new and
living way, by the way, new and living way, that he has opened, dedicated,
has dedicated, hath consecrated, for us].[ 55 ] The old earthly way into the most
holy place was for the high priest alone. That seldom-trodden path led into a
mysterious room. To the people, it was veiled and obscure. For the Jewish
populace the unworn path was no way at all. A curtain blocked its doorway (see
Heb 9:8). By contrast, the new and living way leads to glory. It is heaven's entry
and its only one. It is fresh and clean. While the Hebrew letter was being
written, it had been only recently consecrated, dedicated, inaugurated and opened.
Why is it "living"? Because of the Christ who opened it is living. He is the living
One who is "alive forevermore." He is "the way, the truth and the life" (Joh
14:6; compare Joh 1:4; 11:25; Ro 5:2). It is living because it leads to life eternal
(Heb 7:25). The risen Jesus said of Himself:
I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.
Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death (Re 1:18).
Through the veil [through the curtain].[ 56 ] The tearing of the temple veil
opened the way to the most holy place (Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Lu 23:45). The
rending of Christ's body revealed His true nature. A centurion was standing right
in front of the cross (Mk 15:39). He began glorifying God saying,
"Certainly this was a righteous Man!" (Lu 23:47). He, together with those with
him keeping guard over Jesus, upon experiencing the earthquake, were very
frightened. They said, "Truly this was the Son of God!" (Mt 27:54).
That is, His flesh [that is to say, through his flesh].[ 57 ] On earth, Christ took
on the form of a servant. His earthly body, like a veil, partly concealed His deity
(see Php 2:7). On crucifixion day, His with thorn-pierced head was torn. His feet
and hands were punctured with nails. His suffering flesh was like a torn curtain
through which He had to pass to re-enter heaven (see Heb 2:9-18; 5:7-9; 10:5-7,
10). The rending of His body on the cross opened the way to heaven by the
shedding of His precious blood.
[10:21] And having a High Priest [and by, and since we have, a great priest,
an high priest].[ 58 ] The priesthood of Christ is without equal. He is not merely
a High Priest, He is a great priest! He is great because He is Creator (Col 1:16).
He is great because He now rules as King as well as priest (Zec 6:13). He is
great because He has all authority (Mt 28:18). He is great because He is God the
Son (implied in Ac 20:28). He is great because His reign is in heaven (Heb 9:24).
He is great because He made a great sacrifice for sins (Heb 10:12).
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb
HOUSE OF GOD=THE CHURCH
1. A temple of God (1Co 3:16, 17).
2. Temple of the living God (2Co 6:16).
3. A dwelling of God in the Spirit (Eph 2:22).
4. The house of God which is the church of the
living God (1Ti 3:15).
5. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the
house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will
be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of
God? (1Pe 4:17).
Over the house of God.[ 59 ] Israel was once God's house (see notes on Heb 3:2,
5). Christians are now the house of Christ (Heb 3:6). Christ is over the church
(Eph 2:22, 23) which is the house of God (1Ti 3:15; compare Mt 16:18; chart
HOUSE OF GOD=THE CHURCH). When Jewish Christians understood this
they were greatly strengthened and influenced to remain steadfast.
[10:22] Let us draw near [let us approach].[ 60 ] "Let us draw near" is another
exhortation in the Hebrew letter (see Heb 4:16).[ 61 ] In the OT, the LORD was to
be reverenced by all those who came to Him. For example, in preparation for His
coming down to Mount Sinai, the people were to consecrate themselves for two
days and wash their garments (Ex 19:10). Nadab and Abihu, sons of Aaron,
offered strange fire and died before the LORD. By "doing their own thing" in
worship they failed to sanctify and honor Him (see Le 10:10).
And Moses said to Aaron, "This is what the LORD spoke, saying: 'By those
who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; and before all the people I
must be glorified.' So Aaron held his peace (Le 10:3).
HOW TO APPROACH GOD
1. With a true, sincere heart.
2. In full assurance of faith.
3. Having hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.
4. Bodies washed with pure water.
Through Christ, Christians have access in one Spirit to the Father (Eph 2:18).
They draw near because of the work of the High Priest Jesus through whom they
find mercy and grace (Heb 4:16). With the "better hope" they draw near (Heb
Nearness to God has inspired several well-known hymns. Among them are
"Near to the Heart of God," "Nearer My God, to Thee," "Nearer, Still Nearer,"
"Near the Cross," "Nearer the Cross" and "I Am Thine, O Lord," a verse of
Consecrate me now to Thy service, Lord,
By the pow'r of grace divine;
Let my soul look up with a steadfast hope,
And my will be lost in Thine.
Draw me nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
To the cross where Thou hast died;
Draw me nearer, nearer, nearer, blessed Lord,
To Thy precious, bleeding side. (Fanny J. Crosby)
With a true heart.[ 62 ] A true heart is one that loves the truth and renounces
false doctrine (1Th 5:21; 2Th 2:10). It is a heart that trusts and obeys (see note
on Heb 11:6). When Hezekiah was mortally ill, Isaiah recorded his prayer in
which he said:
"Remember now, O LORD, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth
and with a loyal heart, and have done what is good in Your sight." And
Hezekiah wept bitterly (Isa 38:3).
The sincerity of king Hezekiah was demonstrated by his bitter weeping. One
cannot enter the Most Holy Place (heaven) without a right attitude and sincerity
of heart. Some words that characterize the true heart of a Christian are assurance,
confidence, belonging, boldness, faith, fidelity, gladness, gratefulness, honesty,
hope, integrity, veracity and penitent humility.
In full assurance of faith [with fullness of faith].[ 63 ] "The fool has said in his
heart, 'There is no God'" (Ps 14:1; 53:1). On the other hand, an understanding
of the gospel brings full conviction (1Th 1:5; compare Joh 20:30, 31; Ro 10:17).
By perseverance and diligence in God's service, confidence, assurance and hope
may be fully developed.
And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full
assurance of hope until the end (Heb 6:11; compare Ro 8:25).
The boldness of Christians to approach God is in Christ and through faith in
Him (Eph 3:12). Because of their hope they have boldness to approach Him (2Co
Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience [having the hearts, with
our hearts, sprinkled clean, sprinkled as to our hearts, from a wicked
conscience].[ 64 ] When Levites were made priests, they were sprinkled with blood
from a sacrifice. Sprinkling the heart is the divine action of cleansing from sin.
The heart is cleansed by the blood of Christ (Heb 9:13, 14, 23, 25). It is
sprinkled clean with His blood when one is immersed into Christ in obedience to
Him (1Pe 1:2; compare Ac 22:16; Ro 6:3-6, 17, 18; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; 1Pe 3:20,
21; Re 1:5). It continues to be sprinkled with His blood as the Christian is
cleansed daily from his sins (1Jo 1:7).
And our bodies washed with pure water [and having our, and the, body,
washed, and washed as to our body, in pure water].[ 65 ] Before serving,
Levitical priests washed with water. That act typified obedience to the gospel in
baptism. All Christians are priests (1Pe 2:5, 9). They have been baptized (Ro
6:3, 4; Ga 3:27). They have had their sins washed away (Ac 22:16; Eph 5:26;
Tit 3:5; 1Pe 3:21). They offer up sacrifices of praise to God (Heb 13:15).
1. But toward you, goodness, if you continue in His
goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off
2. But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose
house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the
rejoicing of the hope firm to the end(Heb 3:6).
3. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold
the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end
4. Let us hold fast our confession (Heb 4:14).
5. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without
wavering, for He who promised is faithful
HOLD FAST THE CONFESSION OF HOPE
10:23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He
who promised is faithful.
GOD WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL (A)
1. The faithful God who keeps covenant (De 7:9).
2. There has not failed one word of all His good
promise (1Ki 8:56).
3. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds (Ps 36:5).
4. Your faithfulness You shall establish in the very
heavens (Ps 89:2).
5. He remembers His covenant forever (Ps 105:8).
Let us hold fast [let us hold].[ 66 ] Eternal salvation is conditional upon
faithfulness (Re 2:10). It is important to hold fast the confession of our hope (see
Php 2:12, 13; see chart HOLDING FAST).
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent.
Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you
will not know what hour I will come upon you (Re 3:3).
The confession of our hope [the profession of our faith, of the hope, the hope
we profess].[ 67 ] The confession of our hope is the same as the profession of our
hope. This is done with words as well as by daily life.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a
defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with
meekness and fear (1Pe 3:15).
Without wavering [that it waver not, unwavering].[ 68 ]
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding
in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord
GOD WHO PROMISED IS FAITHFUL (B)
1. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the
fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord
2. God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted
beyond what you are able, but with the temptation
will also make the way of escape (1Co 10:13).
3. It is impossible for God to lie (Heb 6:18).
4. By faith Sarah . . . judged Him faithful who had
promised (Heb 11:11).
5. A faithful Creator (1Pe 4:19).
BEWARE OF FALSE CONCEPTS
1. I'm okay, you're okay!
2. No atonement needed!
3. I can work my way to heaven!
4. As long as the good outweighs the bad!
5. Generosity is sufficient!
6. All roads lead to heaven!
7. All God requires is faith alone!
For He who promised is faithful [for he is faithful that promised, who has
promised]. The original readers of the Hebrew letter were assured that Christ is
faithful and dependable. Faithful Christians maintain "a full assurance of hope"
(Heb 6:11). They declare their hope as well as their faith. Their confession is the
"rejoicing" or "boast" of their hope (Heb 3:6). They confess their faith in Christ
(Mt 10:32, 33; Ro 10:9, 10). They confess the gospel of Christ (2Co 9:13).
They continue to make the good confession (1Ti 6:12, 13; see charts GOD WHO
PROMISED IS FAITHFUL A and B).
Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the
immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, 18 that by two
immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have
strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set
before us. 19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and
steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil (Heb 6:17-19).
FAITH HOPE AND LOVE
1. Full assurance of faith (Heb 10:22).
2. Hold fast the confession of our hope (Heb 10:23).
3. Consider one another in order to stir up love and
good works (Heb 10:24; compare 1Co 13:13; Col
1:4; 1Th 1:3; 5:8).
STIR UP LOVE AND GOOD WORKS
10:24, 25 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good
works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner
of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day
And let us consider one another [let us consider one another].[ 69 ]
Consideration of others is a mark of love. It occurs in thought, prayer and
encouragement. It is expressed both by words and action.
In order to stir up [how to stir up, to provoke, for provoking].[ 70 ] Members
of the Lord's church care deeply for one another. They confirm their concern by
That there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should
have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the
members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members
rejoice with it (1Co 12:25, 26).
Love and good works [to, unto, love and to good works].[ 71 ] Notice that love
is placed before good works. It stands behind them. Good deeds grow out of
[10:25] Not forsaking [not neglecting].[ 72 ] NT Christians met together. They
held regular Sunday meetings (see Ac 2:42; 1Co 16:1, 2; compare Ps 118:22).
The apostles met with Christians on that day. Their participation gave "official"
approval to the practice. This is one reason assembling on the first day of the
week has been accepted as a divine directive. Christ meets with saints
everywhere. Those who absent themselves miss meeting with Him and receiving
The assembling of ourselves together [to meet together, our assembling, our
own assembling together].[ 73 ] The Holy Spirit had in mind the act of assembling.
This is suggested by His use of the word "manner," "custom" or "habit."
As is the manner of some [as is the habit of some, as the custom of some is,
is with some].[ 74 ] During times of persecution, a strong faith was required to be
seen assembling regularly with the saints (see Heb 10:32-34; 12:4). Weaker
Christians may have neglected or abandoned their assembling together. Some of
the Jewish Christians were tempted to give up church attendance altogether. That
would leave the impression that they had nothing to do with Christians or the
church. Their example would have a negative effect upon others who might be
considering obeying the gospel.
But exhorting one another [but encouraging one another]. "One another" is
not in the Greek but is appropriately supplied from verse 24. No church meeting
should ever be a discouragement because one purpose of assembling is to
encourage one another.
And so much the more [and all, and by so much, more].[ 75 ] At certain times
Christians rise to the occasion because much more encouragement may be
required. The ones encouraged may rise to greater service and themselves become
an encouragement to others.
As you see the Day approaching [as ye see the Day drawing nigh, near].[ 76 ]
The early Hebrew Christians did not see the resurrection day approaching.
Perhaps they did recognize that the day of Jerusalem's destruction was only a year
or so in the future. Christians who assembled regularly would be encouraged
according to Christ's instructions to flee to the mountains (see Mt 24:15, 16; Mk
13:14; Lu 21:20, 21).
But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its
desolation is near. 21 Then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, let
those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the
country enter her (Lu 21:20, 21; compare Mt 24:16; Mk 13:14).
It is good for believers to invite and encourage one another as they see each
Lord's day approaching (see Ac 2:42; 20:7; 1Co 11:23-26; 16:1, 2). A few Bible
students see in this verse an allusion to the day of death that comes to all.
Whatever day one thinks is right, encouraging needs to be done.
WHAT WILLFUL SIN IS NOT (A)
[THESE WERE FORGIVABLE]
1. Failure to treat God as holy (De 32:51).
2. Adultery (2Sa 12:9, 13).
3. Despising the word of the LORD (2Sa 12:9, 13).
4. Murder (2Sa 12:9, 13).
5. Denying Christ (Joh 18:25-27).
WHAT WILLFUL SIN IS NOT (B)
[THESE WERE FORGIVABLE]
1. Trying to buy the gift of God (Ac 8:20-22).
2. Having one's father's wife (1Co 5:1).
3. Uncleanness (2Co 12:21).
4. Fornication (2Co 12:21).
5. Lasciviousness (2Co 12:21).
6. Not being straightforward about the truth of
the gospel (Ga 2:14).
10:26, 27 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the
truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful
expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the
For if we sin willfully [for where we sin deliberately, willingly continue to
sin].[ 77 ]
After we have received the knowledge of the truth [after receiving, after that
we have received, the full knowledge of the truth].[ 78 ]
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who
desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge[ 79 ] of the truth
(1Ti 2:3, 4).
There no longer remains a sacrifice for sins [there remaineth no more
sacrifice, any sacrifice, there is no sacrifice left, for sins].[ 80 ] The OT sacrifices
had been abolished. The sacrifice of Christ "once for all" is the only one that
remains (see Ro 6:10, Heb 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). When one rejects that by willful
sinning, no sacrifice for sins remains.
[10:27] But a certain fearful expectation of judgment [but only a fearful
prospect, looking for, of judgment].[ 81 ]Lest some think a backsliding Christian
need not be concerned, the Hebrew writer boldly calls attention to the day of
judgment. The ordeal of judgment is something to be greatly feared. Willful
sinners are terrified by it.
And fiery indignation [and a fury, and a fierceness, and heat, of fire].[ 82 ]
Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy
who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the
covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit
of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will
repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people." 31
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:29-31;
compare Re 21:8).
Isaiah's song about his trust in God's protection describes the fiery destruction
of God's enemies, saying in part:
LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. But they will see
and be ashamed for their envy of people; yes, the fire of Your enemies shall
devour them (Isa 26:11).
The country in which we live needs a revival of fiery preaching. Preaching that
fails to sound the alarm like Jesus and the Hebrew writer is nearly worthless (see
Eze 3:18-21; 33:7-9; Ac 20:31; 1Co 4:14; 1Th 5:14). Some modern preachers
seem to think weak and "positive" sermons will build up the church. They may
make people feel good but what if they need to be warned against hell?
Which will devour the adversaries [about to, which shall, consume, the
adversaries].[ 83 ] If the Hebrew writer is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem,
he alludes to the unbelieving Jews as adversaries. They had certainly been
adversaries of Christ as well as the apostles (see 1Th 2:14-16). On the other hand,
any who oppose Christ or the gospel are adversaries.
DYING WITHOUT MERCY
10:28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the
testimony of two or three witnesses.
Anyone who has rejected Moses' law [he that, a man that, despised, hath set
at nought, disregarded, violated, the law of Moses].[ 84 ] One who abandons
Christ for the OT system (or for atheism or for any man-made religion for that
matter) should realize that there is left for them no sacrifice for sins. OT
sacrifices carried on during the church age do not count. If one rejects the Savior,
he repudiates the only true sacrifice for sins ever to be given.
DEATH PENALTY UNDER OT LAW (A)
1. Cursing or striking a parent (Ex 21:15, 17).
2. Kidnapping (Ex 21:16).
3. Sorcery (Ex 22:18).
4. Idolatry (Le 20:2).
5. Adultery (Le 20:10).
6. Incest (Le 20:11).
DEATH PENALTY UNDER OT LAW (B)
1. Marrying a woman and her mother (Le 20:14).
2. Bestiality (Le 20:16).
3. Blasphemy (Le 24:14, 16, 23).
4. Violating the Sabbath (Nu 15:32-36).
5. Certain false accusations (implied in De 19:19-21).
6. Raping a virgin (De 22:25).
OT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
1. Sword (Ex 32:27).
2. Burning (Le 20:14; 26:9).
3. Stoning (De 22:24).
4. Hanging (2Sa 21:6, 9; Ga 3:13).
5. Strangulation [from Rabbinical writings].
Dies [dieth, died].[ 85 ] The Law demanded the death penalty for several sins (see
charts OT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT; DEATH PENALTY UNDER OT LAW A
Without mercy [without compassion].[ 86 ]
WITNESSES UNDER OT LAW
1. One witness is not sufficient testimony against a
person for the death penalty (Nu 35:30).
2. Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death
on the testimony of two or three witnesses
3. One witness shall not rise against a man concerning
any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the
mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be
established (De 19:15).
On the testimony of two or three witnesses [under, on the word of, on the
basis of, two or three witnesses].[ 87 ] The requirement of two or three witnesses
is both an OT and a NT principle (see Jos 7:3; 2Ki 9:32; Isa 17:6; Mt 18:16, 20;
2Co 13:1; 1Ti 5:19; chart WITNESSES UNDER OT LAW).
TRAGEDY OF COUNTING CHRIST'S BLOOD COMMON
10:29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought
worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the
covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit
Of how much worse [how much sorer].[ 88 ]
Punishment.[ 89 ] The Hebrew writer considers punishment under the new
covenant to be much more severe than a death sentence without mercy under the
Law. Those who minimize or deny the teaching of punishment for sinners in the
NT age are themselves deserving of punishment for changing the word of God
(please study Re 22:18, 19).
Do you suppose, will he be thought worthy [do you think, think ye, suppose
ye, will be deserved, he will deserve, shall he be judged worthy].[ 90 ] One who
sins willfully is "thought worthy" of his punishment. He deserves it.
Who has trampled the Son of God underfoot [by the man who has spurned,
who hath trodden underfoot the Son of God]. Turning from Christ to go back
into the world or to a Christless religion is equal to trampling the dear Savior
Counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified [and hath
esteemed, and who considers, the blood of the covenant in which, whereby,
wherewith, he has been sanctified].
A common thing [an unholy thing, common, profaned]. To leave Christ is
to leave the only means of salvation (see Ac 4:11, 12).
And insulted the Spirit of grace [and outraged, has, hath, insulted, done
despite unto, the Spirit of grace] (see chart INSULTING THE SPIRIT).
INSULTING THE SPIRIT
1. Lying to the Spirit (Ac 5:3).
2. Resting the Spirit (Ac 7:51).
3. Grieving the Spirit (Eph 4:30; Isa 63:10).
4. Quenching the Spirit (1Th 5:19).
5. Insulting the Spirit of grace (Heb 10:29).
VENGEANCE IS MINE SAYS THE LORD
10:30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay," says
the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people."
For we know Him who said [for we know him that, that hath, said].[ 91 ] Both
the Hebrew writer and his readers knew full well that God had made a statement
about His vengeance.
Vengeance is Mine [vengeance belongeth unto me, to me belongs vengeance,
the right to punish is mine].[ 92 ] Use is made of part of one of Moses' sermons,
more fully given as follows:
Vengeance is Mine, and recompense; their foot shall slip in due time; for
the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things to come hasten upon
them. 36 For the LORD will judge His people and have compassion on His
servants, when He sees that their power is gone, and there is no one
remaining, bond or free (De 32:35, 36).
Paul[ 93 ] referred to the same OT passage when he wrote:
Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is
written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord (Ro 12:19).
I will repay, says the Lord [I will recompense saith the Lord].[ 94 ] Turning
away from Christ will be punished in kind. That is, God will turn His face away
from the sinner. Even so, there is forgiveness for those who can and will come
back to Him in true repentance. "Says the Lord," omitted from some manuscripts,
adds authenticity to the quotation from Deuteronomy 32.
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you
sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded (Jas 4:8).
And again, The Lord will judge His people [and again, The Lord shall judge
his people]. Another part of the above quotation from Deuteronomy 32 is given.
The NASB has: "For the LORD will vindicate His people" (De 32:36).
1. My flesh trembles for fear of You (Ps 119:120).
2. The LORD of hosts, Him you shall hallow; let Him
be your fear, and let Him be your dread (Isa 8:13).
3. When I heard, my body trembled; my lips quivered
at the voice (Hab 3:16).
4. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul
and body in hell (Mt 10:28).
5. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear
Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast
into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! (Lu 12:5).
A FEARFUL THING
10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
It is a fearful thing [it is a terrifying thing].[ 95 ]
And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar
off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 Then he cried and said, "Father
Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of
his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame"
(Lu 16:23, 24).
FALLING AWAY FROM GOD
1. Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed
lest he fall (1Co 10:12).
2. You have become estranged from Christ, you who
attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from
grace (Ga 5:4)
3. Some having rejected, concerning the faith have
suffered shipwreck (1Ti 1:19).
4. Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times
some will depart from the faith (1Ti 4:1).
5. Beware lest you also fall from your own
steadfastness, being led away with the error of the
wicked (2Pe 3:17).
To fall into the hands of the living God [falling into the hands of the living
God].[ 96 ] When one falls away from God, he falls into His hands.
Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in
departing from the living God (Heb 3:12)
After David sinned by numbering Israel, he pleaded:
I am in great distress. Please let us fall into the hand of the LORD, for His
mercies are great; but do not let me fall into the hand of man (2Sa 24:14).
Even so, 70,000 men from Dan to Beersheba died (2Sa 24:15). In spite of His
great mercy, it is dreadful and terrifying to fall into God's hands for punishment.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one
may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done,
whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we
persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust are well
known in your consciences (2Co 5:10, 11).
BEING MADE A SPECTACLE
10:32-34 But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you
endured a great struggle with sufferings: 33 partly while you were made a
spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became
companions of those who were so treated; 34 for you had compassion on me
in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing
that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.
But recall the former days in which [but remember, call to mind, to
remembrance, those, earlier days]. Exactly how far into the past the "former
days" went is not known. However, the church could not have been established
more than 40 years when the Hebrew letter was written. The Jerusalem
persecution against Christians that was endorsed by the Sanhedrin began very soon
after the Pentecost of Acts 2 with a great wave sweeping over the church after the
stoning of Stephen. Several years later, in AD 64, Nero began using the
Christians as a scapegoat for the great fire in Rome. Hundreds of Christians were
murdered by his authority.
After you were illuminated [when, in which, after ye, having been
enlightened].[ 97 ] Being "illuminated" or "enlightened" refers to entrance into the
kingdom of light (Col 1:13). It is synonymous with being baptized into Christ (see
note on Heb 6:4).
You endured a great struggle [ye endured, in which you endured, a hard,
conflict, fight, much conflict].[ 98 ] At Jerusalem, Stephen was stoned to death.
Christians were scattered (Acts 8:1). James was killed by Herod. Later, the high
priest Ananus had James the Less martyred.
With sufferings [of afflictions].[ 99 ] Sufferings of many kinds were expected by
early Christians (see Mt 5:11; 10:22, 39; 19:;29; Ro 8:17, 36; 2Co 1:7; 11:23;
Php 3:10; 2Ti 2:12; Jas 5:10; 1Pe 2:20; 3:14; 4:16; 5:10). Only a part of the
great struggle with sufferings is reflected in their being made "a spectacle."
TRIALS OF HEBREW CHRISTIANS
1. Poverty (Ac 11:29; Ro 15:25-28; 2Co 8:1-4;
9:1, 2, 12).
2. A great conflict of sufferings (Heb 10:32).
3. Made a gazingstock (Heb 10:33).
4. Imprisonment (Heb 10:34).
5. Loss of property (Heb 10:34).
[10:33] Partly while you were made a spectacle [sometimes, on the one hand,
being, by being, when, whilst, ye were, made a gazingstock, a public display,
being publicly exposed].[ 100 ] On the cross, Christ was made "a public spectacle."
And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying,
"You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If
You are the Son of God, come down from the cross" (Mt 27:39, 40).
Likewise, Paul said the apostles were made a public spectacle.
For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned
to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and
to men (1Co 4:9).
Both by reproaches and tribulations [to, in, abuse, insults, and affliction,
afflictions].[ 101 ] Early Christians were insulted and abused. They suffered
physically due to the violence of militant unbelieving Jews, Romans and possibly
And partly while you became companions of those [and sometimes, and on
the other, being, by being, whilst, when, ye becoming, partakers, partners,
with, to, them].[ 102 ] In the first century, the unity of believers was so great that
loyalty to each other during persecution was expected.
Who were so treated [that were living like this, so used, passing through
them].[ 103 ] The reference is to those who became a public spectacle. Jews who
obeyed the gospel were ridiculed (or often worse) by their relatives and friends.
Christians stood up for each other during the difficult times.COMPASSION WITH PRISONERS
[10:34] For you had compassion on me in my chains [you, for ye both,
sympathized, had sympathy for, of, me in my bonds, with prisoners, the
prisoners, those in prison, them that were in bonds].[ 104 ] A textual variation
accounts for the differences in translation: "Me in my bonds" or "Them that were
And joyfully [and you cheerfully, and with joy].[ 105 ] Jesus warned the
disciples that they would suffer.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in
heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets (Lu 6:23).
Early Christians followed the example of the apostles who, with backs bleeding,
rejoiced when suffering shame for the Lord.
And they agreed with him, and when they had called for the apostles and
beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of
Jesus, and let them go. 41 So they departed from the presence of the
council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His
name (Ac 5:40, 41; compare 16:22).
Accepted the plundering [took, you accepted, the spoiling, the plunder, the
seizure].[ 106 ] An OT example of seizure of property is the murder of Naboth by
Jezebel and Ahab in order to take over his vineyard (1Ki 21). During times of
severe persecution, property was confiscated or destroyed. In the first century,
when a Jew became a Christian his relatives regarded him as dead. He was
disinherited and his property "legally" seized.
Of your goods [of your property, possessions].[ 107 ] Many of the Jerusalem
Christians wisely began to sell everything before it was seized and gave the money
to the Lord (see Ac 2:45; 4:34, 35). Those who did not had their goods
Knowing that you have a better [since you knew that you yourselves had,
knowing in, of, yourselves that ye have for yourselves, a better].[ 108 ] The
persecutors who took over the possessions of the saints got the worse bargain.
The Christians had a better, eternal possession with the Lord.
And an enduring possession [substance, and an abiding one, enduring
substance, one that is permanent].[ 109 ] Words like "eternal," everlasting,"
"heavenly" and "forever" describe the home that Christ has gone to prepare for the
saved ones (see Joh 14:2, 3). Generous Christians laid up treasures in heaven (see
Mt 6:20; 19:21; Lu 12:33; 1Ti 6:19).
For yourselves in heaven [in heaven]. There is some manuscript evidence that
"in heaven" ought to be in the Bible. The words are carried in the KJV and NKJV
but not in several other versions. CONFIDENCE HAS GREAT REWARD
10:35 Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
Therefore do not cast away [so do not throw away, cast not away therefore].
An allusion may be made here to the practice of cowardly soldiers discarding their
shields and turning their backs to the enemy.[ 110 ] A Christian has eternity to lose
by casting aside his faith (see verse 34). He can make no greater mistake than to
cast aside his shield of faith and helmet of salvation (see Eph 6:11-18; chart
1. The gospel which I preached to you, which also you
received and in which you stand (1Co 15:1).
2. Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong
3. Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might
4. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ
has made us free (Gal 5:1).
5. Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my
joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved
6. Wage the good warfare (1Ti 1:18).
7. You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is
in Christ Jesus (2Ti 2:1).
Your confidence [your boldness][ 111 ] (see note on Heb 3:6).
Which has great reward [which hath a great, great recompense of,
reward].[ 112 ] The eternal heavenly reward for faithful children of God is great
THE NEED FOR ENDURANCE
10:36, 37 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the
will of God, you may receive the promise: 37 "For yet a little while, and He
who is coming will come and will not tarry."
For you have need of endurance [for ye have need of patience].[ 113 ]
So that after you have done the will of God [that, in order that, you may do,
having done, after ye have done, after doing, the will of God]. Doing the will
of God is equivalent to obeying Him (see Heb 5:9). It is His will that every
accountable person become a Christian and not only that but that each Christian
remain faithful in His service to the very end of life, even if that had to be by
martyrdom (see note on Re 2:10).
You may receive the promise [and receive, ye might receive, what is
promised].[ 114 ] The promise in the present verse is an eternal inheritance (Heb
9:15) or eternal life (1Jo 2:25). If one casts away the confidence that leads to
heaven, he loses everything.
ONLY A LITTLE WHILE
[10:37] For yet a little while [in, yet, a very little while].[ 115 ] The same
expression is used in the Greek Septuagint in Isaiah 26:20 where it is translated
"a little moment" [footnote, literally, moment]. The phrase "a little while" or "a
very little while" from Haggai 2:6 rules out the interpretation that this is the final
coming of Christ to judge the world. The final coming was far too distant. In the
present century, it easy to see that. Many believe that the Holy Spirit alludes to
Christ's figurative coming in judgment upon Jerusalem in AD 70.
A LITTLE WHILE WAS 24 YEARS
In the book of Hosea, a "little while" turned out to be several years. Hosea
began prophesying about 746 BC. The northern kingdom went into captivity about
twenty-four years later.
Then the LORD said to him: "Call his name Jezreel, for in a little while I
will avenge the bloodshed of Jezreel on the house of Jehu, and bring an end
to the kingdom of the house of Israel" (Ho 1:4).
A LITTLE WHILE WAS 19 YEARS
Although the exact date is uncertain, it is thought that Habakkuk prophesied
about 605 BC. If so, Judah was taken captive some nineteen years later. God
used the Chaldeans (Babylonians) to punish His own people who had become
apostates. They were guilty of plundering and violence (Hab 1:3). They had
ignored God's Law. Justice was not upheld (Hab 1:4). Although there was a
brief delay, God promised that their punishment would be soon coming.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and
it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it
will not tarry (Hab 2:3).
And He who is coming will come [and the coming one, He that, and he that,
comes, cometh, shall come].
And will not tarry [and not delay, shall not delay]. Evidently the Hebrew
writer alludes to the vengeful coming of Christ to destroy Jerusalem in AD 70
which may have been a year or, at most a few years, in the future when Hebrews
was written. However, to each person in whatever era, death surely comes. The
end result to him or her is as significant as what will occur on judgment day.
Preparation ought to be made for that event.
PERILS OF DRAWING BACK
10:38 "Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has
no pleasure in him."
Now the just shall live by faith [but the just, my righteous one, will live by
faith]. "The just" or "My righteous one" is a child of God. A Christian must not
draw back but be bold and full of confidence to always be faithful to the Lord (Re
Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by
his faith [footnote, faithfulness] (Hab 2:4; compare Ro 1:17).
The Hebrew writer alludes to faithful saints, all who have been saved by the
gospel of Christ and remain faithful to Him. We may infer that "faith" is
faithfulness because the opposite of it is drawing back. Paul substantiates this
interpretation in his letter to the Galatians, where he quotes Habakkuk 2:6.
But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for "the
just shall live by faith" (Ga 3:11).
But if anyone draws back [and if he, any man, draw, shrink, shrinks,
back].[ 116 ] "Draws back" or "shrinks back" describes a person who was once a
faithful Christian but has apostatized.
My soul has no pleasure in him [my soul hath, will have, no pleasure, does
not take pleasure, in him].[ 117 ] God looks within a person in order to determine
whether he is pleasing to Him. In the above quotation from Haggai the prophet
says, "His soul is not upright within him" (Hab 2:4). Such a spirit cannot be
pleasing to God.
BELIEVE TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL
10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who
believe to the saving of the soul.
But we are not of those who draw back [but we are not of them that shrink
back, are not drawers back].[ 118 ] Throughout the book of Hebrews, by the
phrase "Let us" the writer has encouraged everyone to be faithful. He now
includes them among those called "we" who are not of the number who draw back
to perdition or destruction.
To perdition [and are destroyed, unto destruction].[ 119 ] "Perdition" or
"destruction" means that the person who draws back from Christ loses his eternal
But of those who believe [but of faith, but of them, who have, that have,
faith, that believe].[ 120 ] Faith in Christ is essential to the saving of the soul but
some of the readers of the Hebrew letter were on the verge of giving it up. Even
the weak ones had an opportunity to return to Christ, become strong in the faith,
and inherit eternal life.
To the saving of the soul [and keep their souls, unto saving, of the soul].[ 121 ]
In the present context, the soul is the inner person that returns to God at death (see
Ec 12:7; Mt 10:28; 16:26) The goal of every Christian should be the saving of
his own soul and, then, the souls of others.
Dear reader, are you among those who have confident hope of eternal life? Or,
are you like some of the Hebrew Christians who were drawing back to perdition?
The door of mercy is still open to you if you will but return to the Savior in faith,
repentance and prayer (see Ac 8:22; notes on Heb 11; 1Jo 1:7-9).
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns
him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his
way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (Jas 5:19,
[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV, RSV and occasionally another version.
Greek transliteration tends to follow the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]GAR HO NOMOS, for the law (Marshall 877; Lenski 322); the law, with the same sacrifices
which they continually renew year by year, can never make the comers thereunto perfect (Vincent
4.495); for since the law (Williams);.
[ 3 ]SKIAN ECHOON, having a shadow (Marshall 877); ECHOON is the present active participle,
nominative singular masculine of ECHOO (Han 402); a rude outline, an adumbration, contrasted with
EIKON the archetypal or ideal pattern. The emphasis is on this thought. The legal system was a
shadow (Vincent 4.495); cast only a shadow (Williams); having [only] a shadow (Lenski 322).
[ 4 ]SOON MELLONTOON AGATHOON, of the coming good things (Marshall 877);
MELLONTOON is the present active participle, genitive plural masculine of MELLOO (Han 402);
from the point of the law (Vincent 4.495); things future, things to come, that is, according to the
context, the more perfect state of things which will exist in the AIOON MELLOON [Col 2:12] (Thayer
396; Arndt 500); of the blessings to come (Williams); of the good things about to come (Lenski 322).
[ 5 ]OUK AUTEEN TEEN EIKONA TOON PRAGMATOON, not [it]self the image of the matters
(Marshall 877); PRAGMATGOON things expresses a little more distinctly than MELLONTOON
AGATHOON [good things to come] the idea of facts and realities (Vincent 4.495); EIKONA, of
subjects relative to things spiritual, negatively of the Law as having "a shadow of the good things to
come, not the very image of the things," that is, not the essential and substantial form of them; the
contrast has been likened to the difference between a statue and the shadow cast by it (Vine 576); form
of things in contrast with their SKIA [shadow] (Arndt 222); and did not possess the reality itself [Greek,
image itself, suggesting reality] (Williams); not the image itself of the things (Lenski 322).
[ 6 ]TAIS AUTAIS THUSIAS OUDEPOTE DUNATAI, by the same sacrifices never can (Marshall
877); DUNATAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of DUNAMAI (Han 402);
DUNANTAI [plural]. DUNATAI might be expected with HO NOMOS the law. It is better to read
DUNATAAI [singular] with Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort and Weiss (Vincent 4.496); with the same
sacrifices cannot (Williams); with the same sacrifices is never able (Lenski 322).
[ 7 ]Instead of Rikkuth, some versions have Moloch.
[ 8 ]Other spellings for "Chiun" are Kaiwan, Kiyyun, Romphan, Rempham, Raiphan, Rephan.
[ 9 ]For Remphan, some versions have Rephan or Rompha.
[ 10 ]HAS PROSPHEROUSIN EIS TO DIEENEKES, which they offer continually (Marshall 877);
PROSPHEROUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of PROSPHEROO (Han 402);
[DIEENEKES] construe with offer (Vincent 4.496); literally, unto the carried-through [DIA through,
ENENKA to carry], that is, unto [the] unbroken continuance, used of the continual offering of sacrifices
under the Law (Vine 227); that are perpetually offered (Williams); which they are offering in perpetuity
[ 11 ]TOUS PROSERCHOMENOUS TELEIOOSAI, the [ones] approaching to perfect (Marshall 877);
PROSERCHOMENOUS is the present middle participle, accusative plural masculine of
PROSERCHOMAI; TELEIOOSAI is the first aorist active infinitive of TELEIOOO (Han 402); draw
near (Vine 329); means come to God (Arndt 713); draw near to God in order to seek his grace and
favor; Christians draw near to Christ "to attach [themselves] to Him; to come to a participation in the
benefits procured by him" (Thayer 545; see 1Pe 2:4); make perfect those who come to worship
(Williams);to bring to completion those who draw near (Lenski 322).
[ 12 ]EPEI OUK AN EPAUSANTO PROSPHEROMENAI, since would not they have ceased being
offered (Marshall 877); EPAUSANTO is third person plural, first aorist middle indicative of PAUOO;
PROSPHEROMENAI is the present passive participle, nominative plural feminine of PROSPHEROO
(Han 402); the present participle PROSPHEROMENAI brings out more forcibly the continuous
repetition: "Ceased being offered" (Vincent 4.496); EPEI, agreeably to a very common abbreviation
of speech, we must often supply in thought between EPEI and the proposition depending upon it some
such phrase as if it is [or were] otherwise; so that the participle, although retaining the force of since,
is yet to be rendered otherwise, else, or for then (Thayer 229); otherwise, would they not have ceased
offering them (Williams); else would they not have ceased being offered? (Lenski 324).
[ 13 ]DIA . . . TOUS LATREUONTAS HAPAX KEKATHARISMENOUS, because of the [ones]
serving once having been cleansed (Marshall 877); LATREUONTAS is the present active participle,
accusative plural masculine of LATREUOO; KEKATHARISMENOUS is the perfect passive participle,
accusative plural masculine of KATHARIZOO (Han 402); LATREUONTAS, present participle,
literally, "[the ones] worshipping" (Vine 1248); KEKATHARISMENOUS, pronounced clean in a
Levitical sense; consecrated by cleansing (Vine 187); because those who offered them, having once
been purified (Williams); because the worshippers, once having been cleansed (Lenski 324).
[ 14 ]MEEDEMIAN ECHEIN ETI SUNEIDEESIN HAMARTIOON, no to have still conscience of
sins (Marshall 877); ECHEIN is the present active infinitive of ECHOO (Han 402); would have had
no further consciousness [conscience used in the sense of consciousness] of sins (Williams); have no
more conscience in regard to sins (Lenski 324).
[ 15 ]ALL' EN AUTAIS, but in them (Marshall 877); though these sacrifices (Williams); but in
connection with them [these annual sacrifices] (Lenski 325).
[ 16 ]ANAMNEESIS HAMARTIOON KAT' ENIAUTON, [there is] a remembrance of sins yearly
(Marshall 877); ANAMNEESIS, literally, a calling to mind [of sins]. Each successive sacrifice was
a fresh reminder of sins to be atoned for (Vincent 4.496); there is given a real reminder of their sins
(Williams); [there is] a remembrance of sins year by year (Lenski 325).
[ 17 ]ADUNATON GAR HAIMA, for [it is] not possible (Marshall 877); [A negative, DUNATOS
able, strong], of things, "impossible" (Vine 581); for [the blood of bulls and goats] is unable
(Williams);l for [it is] impossible (Lenski 325).
[ 18 ]DIO, wherefore (Marshall 877); inferential conjunction, therefore, for this reason (Arndt 198);
so (Williams); for (Lenski 325).
[ 19 ]EISERCHOMENOS EIS TON KOSMON, entering into the world (Marshall 877);
EISERCHOMENOS is the present middle participle, nominative singular masculine of EISERCHOMAI
(Han 402); comes [in, into], enters into the world (Arndt 232); when Christ was coming into the world
(Williams); coming into the world (Lenski 326).
[ 20 ]LEGEI: THUSIAN KAI PROSPHORAN OUK EETHELEESAS, he says: Sacrifice and offering
thou didst not wish (Marshall 877); LEGEI is third person singular, present active indicative of
LEGOO; EETHELEESAS is second person singular, first aorist active indicative of ETHELOO (Han
403); THUSIAN KAI PROSPHORAN, the animal-offering and the meal-offering (Vincent 4.497); He
said: Sacrifice and offering you did not wish (Williams); he says: Sacrifice and offering thou dost not
want (Lenski 326).
[ 21 ]SOOMA DE KATEERTISOO MOI, but a body thou didst prepare for me (Marshall 877);
KATEERTISOO is second person singular, first aorist middle indicative of KATARTIZOO (Han 403);
furnished completely, prepared, translated "didst Thou prepare" [KATA used intensively, SKEUEE,
equipment] (Vine 877); fitted or framed for, prepared (Thayer 336); prepared for (Arndt 418); but a
body you have prepared for me (Williams); but a body didst thou fit for me (Lenski 326).
[ 22 ]There are minor differences between Psalm 40:6 and the quotation by the Hebrew writer. The
latter does not exactly match the Hebrew text nor the Greek Septuagint. The major difference is
between "My ears Thou hast opened [literally, dug; possibly pierced] and "But a body Thou hast
prepared for Me." The latter phrase follows the Septuagint. Various explanations have been given for
the apparent difference, ranging from an outright error to an explanation that may have been made by
Nathan, Samuel or some other priest or prophet so that its meaning would be clearer and better agree
with the quotation as given in the NT. Another explanation is that kings were required to write for
themselves a copy of the Law in the presence of the Levitical priests (De 17:18-20). Perhaps Samuel
the prophet-priest explained the meaning of the psalm to David whose inspired explanation that perfectly
matches the NT quotation has now been passed on to us. In any case, the Holy Spirit knew what the
meaning should be and conformed the NT quotation to the true meaning.
[ 23 ]IDOU HEEKOO, Behold I have come (Marshall 878); HEEKOO is first person singular, present
active indicative of HEEKOO (Han 403); imperative mood, middle voice of EIDON to see, calling
attention to what may be seen or heard or mentally apprehended in any way, regularly rendered
"behold." HEEKOO means to come, to be present, stresses the arrival (Vine 106, 195, 196); see, I
have come (Williams); Lo, I am here (Lenski 326).
[ 24 ]NIV, NEB, RSV, TEV and others.
[ 25 ]EN KEPHALIDI BIBLIOU, in a heading of a scroll (Marshall 878); KEPHALIDI is diminutive,
meaning little head . . . a roll of parchment, a book-roll . . . the Scriptures of the OT (Vincent 4.497);
literally, a little head [a diminutive of KEPHALEE a head; Latin CAPITULUM, a diminutive of
CAPUT]; hence, a capital of a column, then, a roll [of a book], literally, "in the heading of the scroll"
(Vine 975); just as the Scripture writes about me in the book (Williams); in the bookroll (Lenski 326).
[ 26 ]Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (C) 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers.
[ 27 ]Here again, the NIV and TEV omit the translation of IDOU behold (see footnote on verse 7).
[ 28 ]Coffman 216.
[ 29 ]"The first," which are the sacrifices; the second, which is the will of God (Howson 872).
[ 30 ]"Discharged" in Romans 7:6 is KATEERGEETHEEMEN and means "reduced to inactivity"
[KATA down, ARGOS inactive] (Vine 5, 307). "Having abolished" in Ephesians 2:15 is
KATARGEESAS and is translated "was passing away" or "was being done away (Vine 5).
[ 31 ]HINA TO DEUTERON STEESEE, in order that the second he may set up (Marshall 878);
STEESEE is third person singular, first aorist active subjunctive of HISTEEMI (Han 403); STEESEE
is the first aorist active subjunctive of HISTEEMI [to establish] (Thayer 721); that he may establish that
which God does will, the offering of an obedient will (Vincent 4.497); to cause to stand, establish (Vine
371); to establish, confirm, make or consider valid, opposite of ANAIREIN TO PROOTON [He takes
away the first] (Arndt 382); TO DEUTERON [the second] is abstract neuter indicating the new
covenant or law (R. Milligan 272); to let the second take its place (Williams); in order to establish the
[ 32 ]EN HOO THELEEMATI, by which will (Marshall 878); objectively, that which is willed, of
the will of God (Vine 1228, 1229); objective, what is willed, what one wishes to happen (Arndt 354);
what one wishes or has determined shall be done [that is, objectively, thing willed] (Thayer 285); it is
by this will of God (Williams); in connection with which will (Lenski 331).
[ 33 ]Perspicaciously is a synonym of astutely or discerningly.
[ 34 ]R. Milligan 272.
[ 35 ]HEEGIASMENOI ESMEN, having been sanctified we are (Marshall 878); HEEGIASMENOI
is the perfect passive participle, nominative plural masculine of HAGIAZOO (Han 403); literally, we
are having been sanctified; that is, in a sanctified state, as having become partakers of the spirit of
Christ (Vincent 4.497); that we are consecrated [purified first, then consecrated--verb has double
meaning] (Williams); we have been sanctified (Lenski 331).
[ 36 ]Holiness is from HAGIOTEETOS, sanctity (Marshall 889); sanctity, the abstract quality of
holiness (Vine 555); compare HAGIASMOS translated holiness in the KJV but always rendered
sanctification in the ASV.
[ 37 ]DIA TEES PROSPHORAS TOU SOOMATOS 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, through the offering of
the body of Jesus Christ (Marshall 878); through the offering of Jesus' body (Williams); by means of
the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (Lenski 331).
[ 38 ]EPHAPAX, once for all (Marshall 878; Lenski 331); construe with are sanctified (Vincent
4.497); a strengthened form of HAPAX [once, one time] [EPI upon], signifies once for all (Vine 809);
once for all (Williams).
[ 39 ]KAI PAS HIEREUS, and every priest (Marshall 878; Lenski 333); PAS, suggesting many priests
(Vincent 4.498); every other priest (Williams); .
[ 40 ]There may have been a change from twenty-four courses of priests to four. Josephus wrote: "A
different Josephus reference has only four courses. "For although there be four courses of the priests,
and every one of them have above five thousand men in them, yet they officiate on certain days only"
(Josephus, Against Apion 2.8).
[ 41 ]MEN HESTEEKEN KATH' HEEMERAN, on one hand stands daily (Marshall 878);
HESTEEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of HISTEEMI (Han 403); perfect tense
of HISTEEMI (Vine 1084); servile attitude, contrasted with that of the exalted Savior (Vincent 4.498);
stands by, stands near (Thayer 308); stands day after day (Williams); stands day by day (Lenski 333).
[ 42 ]KAI LETOURGOON POLLAKIS, and ministering often (Marshall 878); LETOURGOON is
the present active participle, nominative singular masculine of LEITOURGEOO (Han 403); officiating
(Williams); doing official service (Lenski 333).
[ 43 ]KAI TAS AUTAS THUSIAS, and the same sacrifices (Marshall 878); [PROS to, PHEROO to
bring], of animal and other sacrifices under the Law (Vine 985); the same sacrifices (Williams; Lenski
[ 44 ]HAITINES OUDEPOTE DUNANTAI PERIELEIN HAMARTIAS, which never can to take
away sins (Marshall 878); PERIELEIN is the second aorist active infinitive of PERIAIREOO (Han
403); never [OUDE not even, POTE at any time], used in definite negative statements (Vine 781);
literally, strip off all round (Vincent 4.498); although they are unable to take away our sins (Williams);
such as are never able all around to remove sins (Lenski 333).
[ 45 ]Lenski 333.
[ 46 ]EIS TO DIEENEKES, in perpetuity (Marshall 878; Lenski 333); construe with offered (Vincent
4.498); for all and for all time (Williams).
[ 47 ]This is not to say that tremendous energies are not required to reign over the church and the
universe, while at the same time interceding for Christians.
[ 48 ]TO LOIPON EKDECHOMENOS, henceforth expecting (Marshall 878); EKDECHOMENOS
is the present middle participle, nominative singular masculine of EKDECHOMAI (Han 403); literally
and primarily, taking or receiving from [EK from, DECHOMAI to receive], hence denotes awaiting,
expecting, the only sense of the word in the NT; it suggests a reaching out in readiness to receive
something; "expecting" (Vine 391); from that time waiting (Williams); henceforth waiting (Lenski 333).
[ 49 ]TETELEIOOKEN EIS TO DEEENEKES, he has perfected in perpetuity (Marshall 879);
TETELEIOOKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of TELEIOOO (Han 403); note the
continued emphasis upon the TELEIOOSIS perfection (Vincent 4.498); He has made perfect for all time
(Williams); he has brought to completion in perpetuity (Lenski 334).
[ 50 ]The Roman Catholic Church represents "the sacrifice of the mass to be a true and propitiatory
sacrifice for sin" (Council of Trent 22.1,3). This plainly contradicts the Catholic error. Christ did not
suffer "often" (Heb 9:25). "He then would have had to suffer often since the foundation of the world;
but now, once at the end of the ages, He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (Heb
[ 51 ]Hortatory (or exhortatory) is synonymous with exhortation or encouragement.
[ 52 ]PARREESIAN, confidence (Marshall 879); [PAS all, RHEESIS speech], the absence of fear in
speaking boldly; hence, confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, without any connection necessarily with
speech (Vine 130); we have free access (Williams); .
[ 53 ]EIS TEEN EISODON TOON HAGIOON, for the entering of the holies (Marshall 879); literally,
for the entering of the holiest (Vincent 4.499); sanctuary, of the heavenly sanctuary (Arndt 10); of
heaven (Thayer 7); to the real sanctuary [the very presence of God in heaven] (Williams); the entrance
of the Sanctuary (Lenski 342).
[ 54 ]EN TOO HAIMATI 'IEESOU, by the blood of Jesus (Marshall 879); literally, "in the blood,"
in the power or virtue of (Vincent 4.499); through the blood of Jesus (Williams); in connection with
the blood of Jesus (Lenski 342).
[ 55 ]HEEN ENEKAINISEN HEEMIN HODON PROSPHATON KAI ZOOSAN, which he dedicated
for us], a way fresh and living (Marshall 879); ENEKAINISEN is third person singular, first aorist
active indicative of ENKAINIZOO; ZOOSAN is the present active participle, accusative singular
feminine of ZAOO (Han 403); having boldness for the entrance which he has inaugurated [or opened]
for us--a way new and living (Vincent 4.499); recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn (Thayer
317; Arndt 554); the new and living way which He opened for us (Williams); which [entrance] he
inaugurated for us a way newly made and living (Lenski 342).
[ 56 ]DIA TOU KATAPETASMATOS, through the veil (Marshall 879); literally, that which is spread
out [PETANNUMI] before [KATA] ; hence, a veil, used metaphorically of the "flesh" of Christ, that
is, His body which He gave up to be crucified, thus by His expiatory Death providing a means of the
spiritual access of believers, the "new and living way," into the presence of God (Vine 1196); through
the curtain (Williams); by means of the veil (Lenski 342).
[ 57 ]TOUT' ESTIN TEES SARKOS AUTOU, this is the flesh of him (Marshall 879); ESTIN is third
person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 403); construe with veil: the veil which
consisted in his flesh (Vincent 4.500); that is, His physical nature (Williams); that is, of his flesh
[ 58 ]KAI HIEREA MEGAN and priest a great (Marshall 879); literally, a great priest (Vincent
4.500); a Great Priest (Williams); and [having] a great Priest (Lenski 342).
[ 59 ]EPI TON OIKON TOU THEOU, over the household of God (Marshall 879); of believers; Christ
is spoken of as "over God's House" [the word "own" in Heb 3:6 is rightly omitted] (Vine 566); over
the house of God (Williams; Lenski 342).
[ 60 ]PROSERCHOOMETHA, let us approach (Marshall 879); first person plural, present middle
subjunctive of PROSERCHOMAI (Han 403); approach to God through the sacrifice of Christ (Vincent
4.431); come to, go to, draw near (Vine 330, 776); let us continue to draw near (Williams); let us
continue to draw near (Lenski 342, 347).
[ 61 ]Other exhortations are in Hebrews 2:1; 3:1; 4:1, 11, 14; 4:16: 6:1, 10:23, 24; 12:1, 28; 13:13,
[ 62 ]META ALEETHINEES KARDIAS, with a true heart (Marshall 879; Lenski 347); a right and
genuine inward attitude toward God (Vincent 4.501); with sincere hearts (Williams).
[ 63 ]EN PLEEROPHORIA PISTEOOS, in full assurance of faith (Marshall 879); full conviction
engendered by faith (Vincent 4.501); and perfect faith (Williams); in full assurance of faith (Lenski
[ 64 ]RHERANTISMENOI TAS KARDIAS APO SUNEIDEESEOOS PONEERAS, having been
sprinkled [as to] the hearts from conscience an evil (Marshall 879, 880); is perfect participle, denoting
the sprinkling clean of the hearts was an accomplished fact; passive voice, of the purging [on the
ground of the same efficacy] of the hearts of believers from an evil conscience. This application of the
blood of Christ is necessary for believers, in respect of their committal of sins, which on that ground
receive forgiveness [1Jo 1:9] (Vine 1082); with our hearts cleansed from the sense of sin (Williams);
having been sprinkled as to our hearts [to free them] from a wicked conscience (Lenski 347).
[ 65 ]KAI LELOUSMENOI TO SOOMA HUDATI KATHAROO, and having been bathed [as to] the
body water in clean (Marshall 880); LELOUSMENOI is the perfect passive participle, nominative
plural masculine of LOUOO (Han 403); perfect participle, alluding to an accomplished fact; literally,
"having been washed as to the body," metaphorically, of the effect of the Word of God upon the
activities of the believer (Vine 1211); and our bodies bathed in clean water [referring to baptism]
(Williams); and having been washed as tko body with pure water (Lenski 347).
[ 66 ]KATECHOOMEN, let us hold fast (Marshall 880); first person plural, present active subjunctive
of KATECHOO (Han 403); hold firmly, hold fast [KATA down, ECHOO to have or hold], hold fast
(Vine 553; hold fast, retain faithfully, keep the confidence firm (Arndt 423); let us keep on holding
(Williams); let us continue to hold fast (Lenski 351).
[ 67 ]TEEN HOMOLOGIAN TEES ELPIDOS, the confession of the [our] hope (Marshall 880);
confession of our hope (Vincent 4.501); to the hope that we profess (Williams); the confession of the
hope (Lenski 351).
[ 68 ]AKLINEE, unyieldingly (Marshall 880); without bending [A negative, KLINOO to bend] (Vine
1214); without wavering (Arndt 30); not inclining, firm, unmoved (Thayer 22); without ever wavering
(Williams); unbent (Lenski 351).
[ 69 ]KAI KATANOOOMEN ALLEELOUS, and let us consider one another (Marshall 880);
KATANOOOMEN is first person plural, present active subjunctive of KATANOEOO (Han 403);
attentive, continuous care. Take careful note of each other's spiritual welfare (Vincent 4.502); let us
continue so to consider one another (Williams); and let us continue to consider each other (Lenski 352).
[ 70 ]EIS PAROXUSMON, to incitement (Marshall 880); [from PAROXUNEIN to sharpen]; hence,
stimulate, literally, with a view to incitement, the act of incitement (Vincent 4.502); to stimulate
(Williams); as regards provocation (Lenski 352).
[ 71 ]AGAPEES KAI KALOON ERGOON, of love and of good works (Marshall 880); AGAPEE is
a characteristic word of Christianity, and since the Spirit of revelation has used it to express ideas
previously unknown, enquiry into its use, whether in Greek literature or in the Septuagint, throws but
little light upon its distinctive meaning in the NT; KALOON ERGOON is every activity undertaken for
Christ's sake (Vine 692, 1243); to love and good deeds (Williams); to love and good works (Lenski
[ 72 ]MEE ENKATALEIPONTES, not forsaking (Marshall 880); ENKATALEIPONTES is the
present active participle, nominative plural masculine of ENKATALEIPOO (Han 403); [EN in,
KATALEIPOO strengthened form of LEIPOO to leave], forsake, abandon, leave in straits, or helpless,
[negatively of assembling] by Christians (Vine 456); desert, forsake (Thayer 166); not abandoning
(Lenski 352); forsake, abandon, desert assembling (Arndt 215); let us stop neglecting (Williams); in
Hebrews 13:5, God promises not to ENKATALIPOO forsake us.
[ 73 ]TEEN EPISUNAGOOGEEN HEAUTOON, the coming together of [our]selves (Marshall 880);
the act of assembling, although some explain assembly (Arndt 215); our meeting together (Williams);
the assembly of ourselves (Lenski 352).
[ 74 ]KATHOOS ETHOS TISIN, as custom with some [is] (Marshall 880); literally, as is custom unto
some (Vincent 4.502); as some do (Williams); as some have a custom [of doing] (Lenski 352).
[ 75 ]KAI TOSOUTOO MALLON, and by so much more (Marshall 880); by so much (Vine 753);
all the more, since (Arndt 489); and all the more (Williams); and by so much the more (Lenski 352).
[ 76 ]HOSOO BLEPETE ENGIZOUSAN TEEN HEEMERAN, as ye see drawing near the day
(Marshall 880); BLEPETE is second person plural, present active indicative of BLEPOO;
ENGIZOUSAN is the present active participle, accusative singular feminine of ENGIZOO (Han 403);
the day of Christ's second coming, bringing with it the judgment of Israel. He could say "ye see,"
because they were familiar with Christ's prophecy concerning the destruction of the temple; and they
would see this crisis approaching in the disturbances which heralded the Jewish war (Vincent 4.503);
the Day" of Christ's coming was seen approaching at this time by the threatening prelude of the great
Jewish war, wherein He came to judge that nation (Howson 873); because you see that the great day
[Christ's return] is drawing near (Williams); you see the day drawing near (Lenski 352).
[ 77 ]HEKOUSIOOS GAR HAMARTANONTOON HEEMOON, wilfully For sinning us=when we
sin wilfully (Marshall 880); HAMARTANONTOON is the present active participle, genitive plural
masculine of HAMARTANOO (Han 403); HEKOUSIOOS is used only here and in 1 Peter 5:2;
compare Philemon 14, KAT' HEKOUSION of free will. The wilful sin is the abandonment of
Christianity for Judaism (Vincent 4.503); denotes voluntarily, willingly, Hebrews 10:26, [of sinning]
"wilfully;" in 1 Peter 5:2, "willingly" [of exercising oversight over the flock of God] (Vine 1228); for
if we go willfully sinning (Williams); for when willingly we go on sinning (Lenski 356).
[ 78 ]META TO LABEIN TEEN EPIGNOOSIN TEES ALEETHEIAS, after the to receive=receiving
the full knowledge of the truth (Marshall 881); LABEIN is the second aorist active infinitive of
LAMBANOO (Han 403); the truth is the revelation through Christ (Vincent 4.503); after we have
received full knowledge of the truth (Williams); after receiving the realization of the truth (Lenski 356).
[ 79 ]In 1 Timothy 2:4, "knowledge" is from EPIGNOOSIN, a full knowledge.
[ 80 ]OUKETI PERI HAMARTIOON APOLEIPETAI THUSIA, no more concerning sins remains
a sacrifice (Marshall 880); APOLEIPETAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of
APOLEIPOO (Han 403); APOLEIPETAI, passive voice, is reserved, remains (Vine 945); [no] sacrifice
remains=can be made (Arndt 94); there is no sacrifice left to be offered (Williams); no longer is there
left a sacrifice for sins (Lenski 356).
[ 81 ]PHOBERA DE TIS EKDOCHEE KRISEOOS, fearful but some expectation of judgment
(Marshall 880); a kind of fearful expectation (Vincent 4.503); but [only] some frightful expectation of
judgment (Lenski 356); but only a terrifying prospect of judgment (Williams).
[ 82 ]KAI PUROS ZEELOS, and of fire zeal (Marshall 880); the seething zeal of fire (Lenski 362);
[from ZEIN to boil], literally, indignation of fire (Vincent 4.503); zeal, jealousy, is rendered
"fierceness" [of fire], [akin to PURA and PURETOS a fever], used [besides its ordinary natural
significance] of the holiness of God, which consumes all that is inconsistent therewith (Vine 422, 432);
of the fire of judgment which, with its blazing flames, appears like a living being intent on devouring
God's adversaries (Arndt 337, 730); metaphorical, fiery, burning anger, the fierceness of indication,
punitive zeal, PUROS [of penal fire, which is personified], (Thayer 271, 558); and that fiery
indignation (Williams); and an eagerness of fire (Lenski 356).
[ 83 ]ESTHIEIN MELLONTOS TOUS HUPENANTIOUS, to consume being about the adversaries
(Marshall 880); ESTHIEIN is the present active infinitive of ESTHIOO; MELLONTOS is the present
active participle, genitive singular masculine or neuter of MELLOO (Han 403); the adversaries,
contrary, opposed, a strengthened form of ENANTIOS [EN in, ANTIOS set against], in Hebrews
10:27, "adversaries." . . . a more violent form of opposition is suggested than in the case of
ENANTIOS [opposed, contrary, hostile] (Vine 27); which is going to devour God's enemies (Williams);
about to eat those hostile (Lenski 356).
[ 84 ]ATHETEESAS TIS NOMON MOOUSEOOS, Disregarding anyone law of Moses (Marshall
880); ATHETEESAS is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of ATHETEOO
(Han 403); literally, one that despised; any transgressor (Vincent 4.504); anyone who breaks the law
of Moses (Williams); one having defied Moses' law (Lenski 358).
[ 85 ]APOTHNEESKEI, dies (Marshall 880; Lenski 358); APOTHNEESKEI is third person singular,
present active indicative of APOTHNEESKOO (Han 403); literally, dieth (Vincent 4.504); present
tense, translated as past tense by the KJV (Howson 874); pays the death penalty (Williams).
[ 86 ]CHOORIS OIKTIRMOON, without compassion (Marshall 880; Lenski 358); without pity (Arndt
890); without any show of pity (Williams).
[ 87 ]EPI DUSIN EE TRISIN MARTUSIN, on [the word of] two or three witnesses (Marshall 880);
EPI with dative signifying on condition of two or three witnesses testifying (Vincent 4.504); on the basis
of [from EPI upon] on the basis of (Littrell); on the evidence of two or three witnesses only (Williams);
before two or three witnesses (Lenski 358).
[ 88 ]POSOO, by how much (Marshall 880); not qualifying CHEIRONOS sorer, but the whole clause:
"by how much think ye shall he be thought worthy of sorer punishment" (Vincent 4.504); how much
greater a punishment do you think one will deserve? (Arndt 694); how much (Williams); of how much
[ 89 ]TIMOORIAS, punishment (Marshall 880; Williams; Lenski 359); purely retributive (Vincent
4.504); primarily, help, denotes vengeance, punishment (Vine 903).
[ 90 ]AXIOOTHEESETAI, will be thought worthy (Marshall 880); AXIOOTHEESETAI is third
person singular, future passive indicative of AZIOOO (Han 404); [do you] think or count worthy, used
unfavorably, "of how much sorer punishment" (Vine 1249); considered worthy, deserving (Arndt 78);
do you suppose that one deserves (Williams); he will be counted worthy (Lenski 359).
[ 91 ]OIDAMEN GAR TON EIPONTA, For we know the [one] having said (Marshall 881);
OIDAMEN is first person plural, perfect active indicative of OIDA; EIPONTA is the second aorist
active participle, accusative singular masculine of EIPON (Han 404); the retribution [TIMOORIA] is
certain, because assured by the word of God in Scripture (Vincent 4.505); for we know who it was that
said (Williams); for we know [you as well as I] him who said (Lenski 360).
[ 92 ]EMOI EKDIKEESIS, To me vengeance=Vengeance is mine (Marshall 881); vengeance,
punishment, vengeance belongs to me (Arndt 238); literally, [that which proceeds] out of justice, not
as often with human vengeance, out of a sense of injury or merely out of a feeling of indignation. The
judgments of God are holy and right [Re 16:7], and free from any element of self-gratification or
vindictiveness (Vine 1196); an unfortunate translation since it conveys the idea of vindictiveness which
does not reside in the Greek word. It is the full meting out of justice to all parties (Vincent 4.505);
vengeance belongs to me (Williams); to me [belongs] vengeance [the act of exacting justice] (Lenski
[ 93 ]Paul quotes Deuteronomy exactly like the Hebrew writer. This may be explained by the Holy
Spirit making corrections in the minds of both writers, if indeed they were different men.
[ 94 ]EGOO ANTAPODOOSOO, I will repay (Marshall 891); ANTAPODOOSOO is first person
singular, future active indicative of ANTAPODIDOOMI (Han 404); [I will] give in return for, give
back as an equivalent, requite, recompense [the ANTI expressing the idea of a complete return];
compare the noun ANTAPODOMA retribution in Romans 11:9 (Vine 951); I will pay back! (Williams);
I, I will give back due return! (Lenski 361).
[ 95 ]PHOBEROU, A fearful thing [it is] (Marshall 881); used only in the active sense in the NT, that
is, causing fear, terrible, Hebrews 10:27, 31; 12:21 (Vine 415); it is a terrifying thing (Williams);
frightful (Lenski 361).
[ 96 ]TO EMPESEIN EIS CHEIRAS THEOU ZOONTOS, the to fall in into [the] hands God of a
living (Marshall 881); EMPESEIN is the second active infinitive of EMPIPTOO (Han 404); "hands"
is definite without the article. The defining genitive makes it definite (Nunn 68); the living God,
revealed in the living Christ, will not suffer his sacrificial gift and his covenant to be slighted and
insulted with impunity (Vincent 4.506); to fall into the hands of the ever living God! (Williams); to fall
into the hands of the living God! (Lenski 361).
[ 97 ]EN AIS PHOOTISTHENTES, in which being enlightened (Marshall 881); PHOOTISTHENTES
is the first aorist passive participle, nominative plural masculine of PHOTIZOO (Han 404); enlightened
(Vincent 4.444); [from PHOOS light], enlightened, illuminated (Vine 361); when first you received the
light (Williams); after having been enlightened (Lenski 362).
[ 98 ]POLLEEN ATHLEESIN HUPEMEINATE, a much [great] struggle ye endured (Marshall 881);
HUPEMEINATE is second person plural, first aorist active indicative of HUPOMENOO (Han 404);
much, great, strong, severe, hard, deep profound; you have had to endure a hard struggle (Arndt 21,
688); combat, contest of athletes; hence, a struggle, fight, with reference to affliction (Vine 219); and
then endured so great a struggle (Williams); you endured a great contest (Lenski 362).
[ 99 ]PATHEEMATOON, of sufferings (Marshall 881; Lenski 362); sufferings (Vine 1104); a struggle
with suffering (Arndt 602); with persecution [literally, sufferings] (Williams).
[ 100 ]THEATRIZOMENOI TOUTO DE, being exposed this on the other (Marshall 881);
THEATRIZOMENOI is the present passive participle, nominative plural masculine of
THEATRIZOMAI (Han 404); literally, exhibited in the theater (Vincent 4.506); signifies to make a
spectacle [from THEATRON a theater, spectacle, show]; it is used in the passive voice in Hebrews
10:33, "being made a gazingstock" (Vine 473); partly by being exposed as a public spectacle
(Williams); partly being made a theatrical show (Lenski 362).
[ 101 ]TOUTO MEN ONEIDISMOIS TE KAI THLIPSESIN, this on one hand to reproaches both and
to afflictions (Marshall 881); to insults and violent sufferings (Williams); by means of reproaches and
afflictions (Lenski 362).
[ 102 ]TOUTO DE KAI KOINOONOI, this on the other sharers (Marshall 881); by becoming
partakers (Vincent 4.506); an adjective, signifying having in common [KOINOS common], is used as
a noun, denoting a companion, partner, partaker, translated "partakers" (Vine 833); and partly by
showing yourselves ready to share (Williams); partly by having gotten to be in the fellowship (Lenski
[ 103 ]TOON HOUTOOS ANASTREPHOMENOON GENEETHENTES, of the [ones] thus living
having become (Marshall 881); ANASTREPHOMENOON is the present middle participle, genitive
plural masculine or neuter of ANASTREPHOO; GENEETHENTES is the first aorist passive participle,
nominative plural masculine of GINOMAI (Han 404); render by becoming partakers (Vincent 4.506);
with those who were living in this condition (Williams); of those faring thus (Lenski 362).
[ 104 ]KAI TEEN HARPAGEEN DESMIOS SUNEPATHEESATE, For indeed in the bonds ye
suffered together (Marshall 881); SUNEPATHEESATE is second person plural, first aorist active
indicative of SUMPATHEOO (Han 404); HARPAGEEN, allied with HARPAZEIN to snatch away
(Vincent 4.507); for you showed sympathy with those who were in prison (Williams); for you both
sympathized with the prisoners (Lenski 362).
[ 105 ]META CHARAS, with joy (Marshall 881; Lenski 362); and cheerfully (Williams).
[ 106 ]KAI TEEN HARPAGEEN, and the seizure (Marshall 881); submitted to the violent seizure
(Williams); the snatching (Lenski 362).
[ 107 ]TOON HUPARCHONTOON HUMOON, of the possessions of you (Marshall 881);
HUPARCHONTOON is the present active participle, genitive plural neuter of HUPARCFHOO (Han
404); the verb HUPARCHEIN means originally to begin, or begin to be; hence of anything that has
begun to be, to come forth, be there; then simply to be. . . . Hence TO HUPARCHONTA things which
are to one; possessions, goods (Vincent 4.507); ;to be in existence, and, in a secondary sense, to belong
to, is used with this meaning in the neuter plural of the present with the article signifying one's
possessions (Vine 866); of your property (Williams); of your properties (Lenski 362).
[ 108 ]GINOOSKONTES ECHEIN HEAUTOUS KREISSONA, knowing to have [your]selves a better
(Marshall 881); GINOOSKONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of
GINOOSKOO (Han 404); knowing that ye yourselves have a better," etc. (Vincent 4.507); that ye have
yourselves, or for yourselves, that is, as your own; not knowing in yourselves" (Howson 874); for you
knew that you had in yourselves and in heaven (Williams); knowing that you yourselves have property
better (Lenski 362).
[ 109 ]HUPARXIN KAI MENOUSAN, possession and remaining (Marshall 881); MENOUSAN is
third person plural, present active indicative of MENOO (Han 404); possession (Vincent 4.507);
excellent possessions (Vine 114, 866); one that was lasting (Williams); property and abiding (Lenski
[ 110 ]See Robert Milligan 291.
[ 111 ]TEEN PARREESIAN HUMOON, the confidence of you (Marshall 881); boldness (Vincent
4.508); your confident courage (Williams); your assurance (Lenski 367).
[ 112 ]HEETIS ECHEIMEGALEEN MISTHAPODOSIAN, which has a great recompense (Marshall
881); for it holds a rich reward for you (Williams); [it being] such as has a pay-gift due [you] (Lenski
[ 113 ]HUPOMONEES GAR ECHETE CHEIAN, of endurance For ye have need (Marshall 881);
ECHETE is second person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 404); patience, literally,
a remaining under [HUPO under, MENOO to abide] (Vine 360); you need endurance for (Williams);
for of perseverance you have need (Lenski 368).
[ 114 ]KOMISEESTHE TEEN EPANGELIAN, ye may obtain the promise (Marshall 881);
KOMISEESTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle subjunctive of KOMIZOO (Han 404); the
verb implies, not mere obtaining, but receiving and carrying away for use and enjoyment (Vincent
4.508); and to receive the blessing He has promised (Williams); you may carry off the promise (Lenski
[ 115 ]ETI GAR MIKRON HOSON HOSON, For yet little a very (Marshall 881); MIKRON is the
neuter of MIKROS little, small [opposite of MEGAS great], with the repeated HOSON, "how very,"
literally, "a little while, how little, how little!" (Vine 678); strictly, a very little while (Vincent 4.508);
in a very little while=soon (Arndt 521, 586); yet a little how very, how very, that is, yet a very little
while, of time, short brief (Thayer 414, 456); in just a very little while (Williams); for yet a little, how
very, very [little]! (Lenski 369).
[ 116 ]KAI EAN HUPOSTEILEETAI, and if he withdraws (Marshall 881, 882); HUPOSTEILEETAI
is third person singular, first aorist middle subjunctive of HUPOSTELLOO (Han 404); omit if any man.
Render "and if he draw back," that is, the just man (Vincent 4.508, 509); in the middle voice, the
prefix HUPO underneath, is here suggestive of stealth. In verse 39 the corresponding noun
HUPOSTOLEE is translated "of them that shrink back" (Vine 330); but if a man draws back
(Williams); and if he shall shrink back (Lenski 369).
[ 117 ]OUK EUDOKEI HEE PSUCHEE MOU EN AUTOO, is not well pleased the soul of me in him
(Marshall 882); EUDOKEI is third person singular, present active indicative of EUDOKEOO (Han
404); hath no pleasure (Vincent 4.509); soul [here] is the equivalent of the personal pronoun (Vine
1067); my soul has no delight in him (Williams); my soul takes no pleasure in him (Lenski 369).
[ 118 ]HEEMEIS DE OUK ESMEN HUPOSTOLEES, But we are not of withdrawal (Marshall 882);
ESMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 404); but we are not of a
disposition to draw back (Williams); but to us on our part does not belong turning back (Lenski 371);
literally, we are not of shrinking back . . . We do not partake of drawing back, which is characteristic
of recreants (Vincent 4.509); recreants are cowards, defectors or heretics.
[ 119 ]EIS APOOLEIAN, to destruction (Marshall 882); of destruction. Drawing back makes for and
terminates in [EIS] destruction (Vincent 4.509); of persons, signifying their spiritual and eternal
perdition . . . of professing Hebrew adherents who shrink back into unbelief (Vine 295, 296); so as to
perish (Williams); to perdition (Lenski 371).
[ 120 ]ALLA PISTEOOS, but of faith (Marshall 882); of faith (Vincent 4.509); but we have faith
(Williams); on the contrary, faith (Lenski 371).
[ 121 ]EIS PERIPOIEESIN PSUCHEES, to possession of soul (Marshall 882); PSUCHEES, the seat
of personality (Vine 1067); gaining of the soul, and thus equivalent to salvation (Howson 875); that
leads to the saving of the soul (Williams); for soul preservation! (Lenski 371).
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington,
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise,
are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various
sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV.
Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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