Hebrews 10:16

Saturday, 2 February 2019

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,” Hebrews 10:16

The author now reaches back to his words of Chapter 8 where he cited Jeremiah 31. However, he only focuses on a select portion of that quote, and he makes some variations in it while citing it. Side by side, the variations can be noticed. (NOTE: the word “minds” is in the singular. It should be translated as “mind,” not “minds,” and so it is cited correctly below) –

“For this 
is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:”

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord:”


I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts;

I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their mind I will write them,”

It can be seen that though the substance of the verses is changed a bit, the intent remains the same. It also shows us that the heart and the mind carry the same general idea, and they are being taken synonymously, but that there is both a plurality (hearts) and a unity (mind).

The entire thought consistently points to a time when Israel, as a group of individual people, will collectively have their mind converted to Christ. The author has said in verse 13 that Christ is waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. The author then said that this is an ongoing process, and it will lead to a time when Israel will call out to Him. At that time, they will be having the laws put into their hearts (ongoing – the verb is a present participle, active), but they will have them written on their mind (future – the verb is a future indicative, active) at some point.

Life application: It isn’t easy to grasp all that the Bible is revealing to us because the parsing of words between languages, and the use of exacting words to convey specific meaning, takes precision. Translators often miss these subtleties, and thus the intent of the Greek is actually quite different than what the translation presents. In this one verse, the NKJV, following after the KJV, misses the action of the verb, and translates a singular as a plural. This makes it extremely difficult to see what the intent of the passage is. Don’t get stuck reading a single translation and think that you are being scholarly. In fact, it is generally quite the opposite, especially with marginal translations which are chock full of translational errors.

Thank You, O God, for the gift of Your Holy Spirit. In His fellowship, we can then begin to understand “the things of God” as revealed in Your word and to be able to grasp those truths more fully as we study it. And, how precious is Your word – it is sweeter than honey to our mouths! We love You Lord God, and we cherish Your word! Amen.

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