Hebrews 10:16-25

Hebrews 10:16-25
Good Friday ABC


16 “This is the covenantA that I will makeB with them
    after those days, says the Lord:C
I will put my lawsD in their hearts,E
    and I will writeF them on their minds,”G

Notes on verse 16

A “covenant” = diatheke. From diatithemi (to place separately – to make a will or covenant; this is arranging ahead of time how things will be accomplished); {from dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + tithemi (to put, place, set, fix, establish in a literal or figurative sense; properly, this is placing something in a passive or horizontal position)}. This is a will, covenant, contract, or agreement.
B “make” = diatithemi. Related to “covenant” in v16. 7x in NT. See note A above.
C “Lord” = kurios. From kuros (authority, supremacy). This is a respectful address meaning master or sir. It refers to one who has control or power greater than one’s own. So, it was also applied to God and Jesus as Master or Lord.
D “laws” = nomos. From nemo (to parcel out). Literally, this is that which is assigned. It can be usage, custom, or law. This word can be used for human or divine law. It can be used specifically for the law of Moses or as a name for the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Sometimes it is used for scripture as a whole, used of the Gospel, or of any theology. It is also used for the “tradition of the elders,” which would be the oral Torah – the tradition of the laws plus their interpretations as they were passed down over time. We must carefully consider which meaning of “law” is meant when we interpret passages the word is found in.
E “hearts” = kardia. Literally the heart, but figuratively mind, character, inner self, will, intention, thoughts, feelings. Also, the center of something. The word heart is only used figuratively in the Old and New Testaments. This is where “cardiac” comes from.
F “write” = epigrapho. 5x in NT. From epi (on, upon, to, against, what is fitting) + grapho (to write, describe). This is to write on, inscribe, read. It can be a literal inscription or a mental one.
G “minds” = dianoia. 12x in NT. From dia (through, because of, across, thoroughly) + noieo (to perceive, think, understand); {from nous (mind, understanding, reasoning faculty, intellect, capacity to reflect)}. This is thought, intellect, or insight. It is thorough, critical thinking to reason through issues to reach a conclusion that is both logically sound and personal.

17 he also adds,

“I will rememberH their sinsI and their lawless deedsJ no more.”

18 Where there is forgivenessK of these, there is no longer any offeringL for sin.

Notes on verses 17-18

H “remember” = mimnesko. From mnaomai (to remember; by implication give reward or consequence); perhaps from meno (to stay, abide, wait, endure). This is to remind or remember. It is memory through an active, intentional process or being mindful of. It is not incidentally or accidentally remembering.
I “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
J “lawless deeds” = anomia. Related to “laws” in v16. 15x in NT. From anomos (lawless, wicked, not respecting authority); from a (not) + nomos (see note D above). This is lawlessness, disobedience, or sin. It means not respecting God’s law – either the sin itself or the consequences of that sin.
K “forgiveness” = aphesis. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to sent away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (to send, to go)}. This is sending away – a release or letting go. So, it can be releasing someone from debt, slavery, or some other obligation – thus, freedom or liberty. Figuratively it can mean to pardon as releasing from the debt of sin.
L “offering” = phosphora. 9x in NT. From prosphero (to bring or offer sacrifices or gifts); {from pros (at, to, toward, with) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense)}. This is offering or sacrifice, whether bloodless or not.

19 Therefore, my friends,M since we have confidenceN to enterO the sanctuaryP, Q by the bloodR of Jesus,S 

Notes on verse 19

M “friends” = adelphos. From a (with, community, fellowship) + delphus (womb). This is a brother in a literal or figurative sense. It is also used of another member of the Church.
N “confidence” = parresia. From pas (all, every, each) + rhesis (speech); {from rheo (say, speak of, command)}. This is confidence, openness, boldness, outspokenness. It can imply assurance – free speech.
O “enter” = eisodos. 5x in NT. From eis (to, into, towards, among) + hodos (way, road, path, journey). This is an entrance or reception in a literal of figurative sense.
P “sanctuary” = hagios. From hagnos (holy, sacred, pure ethically, ritually, or ceremonially; prepared for worship, chaste, unadulterated, pure to the core; undefiled by sin; figurative for innocent, modest, perfect). God is totally different from humanity and thus set apart. That which is consecrated to worship God (elements of worship) or to serve God (as the saints) are holy because they are now set apart for God’s purposes. Holy because important to God. This is sacred physically, pure. It can be morally blameless or ceremonially consecrated.
Q Literally “having therefore, brothers, confidence for the entering of the holy places…”
R “blood” = haima. This is blood in a literal sense as bloodshed. Figuratively, it can also be used to refer to wine or to kinship (being related).
S “Jesus” = iesous.From Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua, the Lord is salvation); {from YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; the self-existent and eternal one); {from havah (to become) or from hayah (to come to pass, become, be)} + yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue; properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. So, in a causative sense, this is to free someone). This is Jesus or Joshua in Greek – the Lord saves or the Lord is salvation.

20 by the newT and living wayU that he openedV for us through the curtainW (that is, through his flesh),X 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,Y 

Notes on verses 20-21

T “new” = prosphatos. 1x in NT. From pros (at, to, toward, with) + phen (to slay, kill) OR from pro (before, earlier, above) + sphazo (to slay, butcher an animal to eat or for sacrifice, slaughter, maim through violence). This is freshly slain – hence fresh. It can mean new or recent in a broader sense as made lately.
U “way” = hodos. Related to “enter” in v19. See note O above.
V “opened” = egkainizo. 2x in NT. From egkainia (dedication, innovativeness; used specially for the resumption or renewal of worship services and the feast of re-dedication); {from en (in, on, at, by with, among) + kainos (new, fresh, innovative)}. This is to consecrate or dedicate, renew or usher in. It leads one to a new dimension.
W “curtain” = katapetasma. 6x in NT. From kata (down, against, throughout, among) + petannumi (to spread out). This is the inner veil in the Temple. Literally, it is what spreads down i.e. hangs down. The curtain hung between the Holy of Holies, the innermost part of the Temple, from the rest of it.
X “flesh” = sarx. May be from saroo (to sweep, cleanse by sweeping); from sairo (to brush off). This is flesh, the body, human nature, materiality, kindred. Flesh is not always evil in scripture (as when it refers to Jesus taking on a human body). However, it is generally used in a negative way for actions made selfishly and not through faith. This can mean animal flesh, i.e. meat, or refer to body in contrast to soul/spirit. Flesh can be a way of talking about how things or people are related or talking about human frailty (physical or moral).
Y “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

22 let us approachZ with a trueAA heart in full assuranceBB of faith,CC

Notes on verse 22a

Z “approach” = proserchomai. From pros (for, at, towards) + erchomai (to come, go). This is to approach, draw near, come up to. It is also used figuratively to mean worship.
AA “true” = alethinos. From alethes (true, unconcealed; true because it is in concert with fact and reality – attested; literally, what cannot be hidden; truth stands up to the test and scrutiny and is undeniable, authentic); {from a (not) + lanthano (concealed, hidden, unnoticed; to shut one’s eyes to, unwittingly, unawares)}. This is literally made of truth – that which is true or real, authentic. Something that is true from its source and has integrity.
BB “full assurance” = plerophoria. Related to “offering” in v18. 4x in NT. From plerophoreo (to bring fully, fulfill, satisfy, fully believe, make full, accomplish, convince entirely); {from pleres (full, complete, abounding with); {from pletho (to fill, fulfill, fill to individual capacity)} + phoreo (to wear or carry regularly or habitually; having a burden or accomplishing something constantly); {from phero (see note L above) or from phoros (tax, tribute levied on individuals; properly, a load that one bears and so figuratively a tax); {from phero (see note L above)}}. This is full assurance, entire confidence, complete conviction.
CC “faith” = pistis. From peitho (to have confidence, urge, be persuaded, agree, assure, believe, have confidence, trust). This is less about knowing, believing, and repeating a list of doctrines then it is about trusting God. Faith means listening to God and seeking to live a holy life even (and especially) when we don’t understand how everything works or fits together. Faith is about being faithful (trusting and doing) rather than being all knowing.

with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evilDD conscienceEE and our bodiesFF washedGG with pureHH water. 

Notes on verse 22b

DD “evil” = poneros. From poneo (to toil); related to ponos (pain, trouble, labor, distress, suffering; toil, which implies anguish); from the base of penes (a laborer, poor person, starving or indigent person; someone who works for their living); from pernomai (working for a living; laborer, poor person; to work for daily bread); from peno (to toil to survive day by day). This is bad, evil, wicked, malicious, grievous, or toilsome. Properly, it is something that bears pain – it emphasizes the miseries and pains that come with evil. By contrast, the Greek kakos refers to evil as part of someone’s core character. Also contrasting the Greek sapros, which deals with falling away from a previously embodied virtue. This word can mean ill, diseased, morally culpable, derelict, vicious, malicious, or guilt. It can also refer to the devil or sinners.
EE “conscience” = suneidesis. From suneidon (to see together and so know, realize, consider, be conscious of); {from sun (with, together with) + eidon (shape, appearance, kind; something observable; form in a literal or figurative sense); from eido (to know, remember, perceive – to see and so understand)}. This is properly to know together. The conscience, found in all, is a moral and spiritual capacity granted by God so that we can understand together what is good and right.
FF “bodies” = soma. Perhaps from sozo (to save, heal, rescue); from sos (safe, well, rescued). This is body or flesh. It can be body in a literal or figurative sense (as the body of Christ). This is where the word “somatic” comes from.
GG “washed” = louo. 5x in NT. This is bathing and washing. It can be literal or ritual cleansing, but refers particularly to the whole body.
HH “pure” = katharos. This is clean, clear, pure, unstained; clean in a literal, ritual, or spiritual sense; so, also guiltless, innocent or upright; something that is pure because it has been separated from the negative substance or aspect; spiritually clean because of God’s act of purifying.

23 Let us hold fastII to the confessionJJ of our hopeKK without wavering,LL for he who has promisedMM is faithful.NN 

Notes on verse 23

II “hold fast” = katecho. Related to “have” in v19. 18x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + echo (to have, hold, possess). This is to hold fast, bind, possess, restrain, arrest, suppress. It is to hold down in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to hold something in one’s memory.
JJ “confession” = homologia. 6x in NT. From homologeo (to agree, speak the same, declare, promise, praise, celebrate; to align with, express the same conclusion, endorse); {from homologos (of one mind); {from homos (the same) + lego (to say, speak, tell)}}. This is agreement, confession, acknowledgment. It is professing or affirming a conclusion.
KK “hope” = elpis. From elpo (to anticipate, welcome, expect; usually to anticipate positively). This is expectation, hope, trust, confidence faith. The expectation can be abstract or concrete.
LL “without wavering” = aklines. 1x in NT. From a (not) + klino (to bend, recline, incline, bow, slant, slope, cause to yield). This is unbending, resolute, firm.
MM “promised” = epaggellomai. 15x in NT. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive)}. This is to proclaim, profess, or make a promise that is fitting.
NN “faithful” = pistos. Related to “faith” in v22. From peitho (see note CC above). This is faithful, reliable, true, sure, or trustworthy.

24 And let us considerOO how to provokePP one another to loveQQ and goodRR deeds, 

Notes on verse 24

OO “consider” = katanoeo. Related to “minds” in v16. 14x in NT. From kata (down, against, according to, throughout) + noeo (to perceive, think, consider, realize; to focus the mind on something, to observe; figuratively, to comprehend or obey); {from nous (see note G above)}. This is to consider carefully, discern, observe, take note of, to think through thoroughly.
PP “provoke” = paroxusmos. 2x in NT. From paroxuno (to sharpen; in a figurative sense, stimulate, provoke, anger, irritate; to cult close to, to jab someone to get their emotions up so that they will act; figuratively, to exasperate someone); {from para (from beside, by, close alongside) + oxuno (to sharpen) or oxus (sharp edge, swift, eager, rapid); {from akmen (even now, still yet); from the same as akmazo (ripe, to be vigorous); from acme (point, edge); related to ake (a point)}}. This is provocation, irritation, angry dispute. It is provocation like a jab, forcing the other side to respond. It can be inducing others to do good or stirring the pot so a dispute generates more anger. This is where the word “paroxysm” comes from.
QQ “love” = agapao. Perhaps from agan (much). This is love, longing for, taking pleasure in. It is divine love or human love that echoes divine love.
RR “good” = kalos. This is good, noble, beautiful, correct, or worthy. This is external signs of goodness like beauty, demonstrations of honorable character, showing moral virtues. A different word, agathos, speaks of intrinsic good.

25 not neglectingSS to meet together,TT as is the habitUU of some, but encouragingVV one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.WW

Notes on verse 24

SS “neglecting” = egkataleipo. From en (in, on, at, by, with) + kataleipo (to leave or leave behind, abandon, forsake, leave in reserve); {from kata (down, against, throughout, among) + leipo (to leave behind, remain, lack, abandon, fall behind while racing)}. This is left behind, left as a remainder, desert, forsake. Properly, it means to leave someone or something wanting or lacking – so, to forsake or cause someone to be helpless in a serious scenario.
TT “meet together” = episunagoge. Related to “promised” in v24. 2x in NT. From episunago (to gather together, assemble); {from epi (on upon, against, what is fitting) + sunago (to lead together and so to assemble, bring together, welcome with hospitality, or entertain); {from sun (with, together with, closely associated) + ago (see note MM above)}}. This is an assembly that works towards a goal or purpose together. It is used for Christians meeting for worship.
UU “habit” = ethos. 12x in NT. From etho (custom, what is customary). This is custom habit, rite – also, doing something that the law requires. It can be an unwritten custom, acting in accordance with tradition.
VV “encouraging” = parakaleo. From para (beside, by, in the presence of) + kaleo (to call by name, invite, to name, bid, summon, call aloud) {related to keleuo (to command, order, direct); from kelomai (to urge on)}. This is to call to, summon, invite, request, or beg. It can also be exhort or admonish. Also, this can be encourage, comfort, or console. This word has legal overtones and is used of one’s advocate in a courtroom. It is the root of the name of the Holy Spirit “paraclete” is our advocate and comforter.
WW “approaching” = eggizo. From eggus (nearby or near in time). This is extremely close by – approaching, at hand, immediately imminent.

Image Credit: “The Rending of the Veil” by William Bell Scott, 1869.

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