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Hebrews 8:7-12

Context

8:7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one. 1  8:8 But 2  showing its fault, 3  God 4  says to them, 5 

Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

8:9It will not be like the covenant 6  that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in my covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord.

8:10For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put 7  my laws in their minds 8  and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. 9 

8:11And there will be no need at all 10  for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying,Know the Lord,since they will all know me, from the least to the greatest. 11 

8:12For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer. 12 

1 tn Grk “no occasion for a second one would have been sought.”

2 tn Grk “for,” but providing an explanation of the God-intended limitation of the first covenant from v. 7.

3 sn The “fault” or limitation in the first covenant was not in its inherent righteousness, but in its design from God himself. It was never intended to be his final revelation or provision for mankind; it was provisional, always pointing toward the fulfillment to come in Christ.

4 tn Grk “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tc ‡ Several witnesses (א* A D* I K P Ψ 33 81 326 365 1505 2464 al latt co Cyr) have αὐτούς (autous) here, “[in finding fault with] them, [he says],” alluding to Israel’s failings mentioned in v. 9b. (The verb μέμφομαι [memfomai, “to find fault with”] can take an accusative or dative direct object.) The reading behind the text above (αὐτοίς, autoi"), supported by Ì46 א2 B D2 0278 1739 1881 Ï, is perhaps a harder reading theologically, and is more ambiguous in meaning. If αὐτοίς goes with μεμφόμενος (memfomeno", here translated “showing its fault”), the clause could be translated “in finding fault with them” or “in showing [its] faults to them.” If αὐτοίς goes with the following λέγει (legei, “he says”), the clause is best translated, “in finding/showing [its] faults, he says to them.” The accusative pronoun suffers no such ambiguity, for it must be the object of μεμφόμενος rather than λέγει. Although a decision is difficult, the dative form of the pronoun best explains the rise of the other reading and is thus more likely to be original.

6 tn Grk “not like the covenant,” continuing the description of v. 8b.

7 tn Grk “putting…I will inscribe.”

8 tn Grk “mind.”

9 tn Grk “I will be to them for a God and they will be to me for a people,” following the Hebrew constructions of Jer 31.

10 tn Grk “they will not teach, each one his fellow citizen…” The Greek makes this negation emphatic: “they will certainly not teach.”

11 tn Grk “from the small to the great.”

12 sn A quotation from Jer 31:31-34.



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