NAS Hebrews 8:7-13 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second. 8 For finding fault with them, He says, “Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant With the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 Not like the covenant which I made with their fathers On the day when I took them by the hand To lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they did not continue in My covenant, And I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel After those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their minds, And I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.
“THE SUPERSESSION OF THE OLD COVENANT WAS NOT DUE SIMPLY TO THE UNFAITHFULNESS OF THE PEOPLE TO THE STIPULATIONS OF THE COVENANT. It occurred because a new unfolding of God’s redemptive purpose had taken place, which called for a new covenant action on the part of God. That God took the initiative in announcing His intention to establish a NEW COVENANT with Israel (v. 8a) indicates that He fully intended the first covenant to be provisional. Thus God finds fault with the Mosaic covenant, and not simply with the people. The writer’s use of the present tense in the verb ‘He says’ makes the quotation contemporary with the readers.
“THE PROPHETIC WORD OF CENSURE AND PROMISE FOUND IN JEREMIAH 31(LXX 38):31-34 IS QUOTED IN FULL IN SUBSTANTIAL AGREEMENT WITH THE LXX4 TEXT.
“THERE ARE, HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF NOTABLE VARIANTS FROM THE CRITICALLY ESTABLISHED TEXT” (A SEEMINGLY HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT POINT STRANGELY SELDOM DISCUSSED AT LENGTH BY NEW COVENANT AUTHORS, EVEN OF NOTE – TAR).
“IT HAS BEEN ARGUED THAT THE DEVIATIONS FROM THE LXX TEXT HAVE INTERPRETIVE SIGNIFICANCE. SPECIFICALLY, THOMAS ASSERTS THAT THE GREEK EXPRESSIONS ‘I WILL ESTABISH… A NEW COVENANT (v. 8), AND ‘THE COVENANT WHICH I MADE’ (v. 9), REFLECT AN IDIOMATIC USAGE IN JEREUIUMIAH (cf. JER 41:8, 15, 18 LXX), WHICH INDICATE THAT THE NEW COVENANT WILL BE KEPT, WHEREAS THE OLD COVENANT WILL BE BROKEN.
“APART FROM THE QUESTION WHETHER THE FIRST HEARERS WOULD HAVE RECOGNIZED THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SUBTLE DISTINCTION IN FORMULTION DETECTED BY THOMAS, HIS ANALYSIS WILL NOT SUSTAIN CRITICAL SCRUTINY. The variation is, in fact, a stylistic change, as are the other variants from the LXX text. It is possible that these stylistic alterations reflect liturgical usage of the oracle in the early Church.
“JEREMIAH 31 (LXX 38):31-34 IS THE ONLY PASSAGE IN THE O.T. THAT PROMISES THE FUTURE ESTBLISHMENT OF A DEFINITE RELATIOSHIP WITH GOD THAT IS DESCRIBED AS QUALITATIVE ‘NEW.’
“THE CENTRAL AFFIRMATION OF THE NEW COVENANT IS THE PLEDGE OF THE PRESENCE OF THE LAW IN THE HEARTS OF BELIEVERS AS THE GIFT OF GOD (V. 10). THE MENTION OF SUCH A GIFT OCCURS NOWHERE ELSE IN THE O.T. (THE CLOSEST PARALLEL IS JEREMIAH 24:7…
NAS Jeremiah 24:7 ‘And I will give them a heart to know Me, for I am the LORD; and they will be My people, and I will be their God, for they will return to Me with their whole heart.
“GOD WILL GIVE HIS PEOPLE A NEW HEART CAPABLE OF KNOWING HIM.
“THE QUALITY OF NEWNESS INTRINSIC TO THE NEW COVENANT CONSISTS IN THE NEW MANNER OF PRESENTING GOD’S LAW AND NOT IN THE NEWNESS OF CONTENT. The people of God will be inwardly established in the law and knowledge of the Lord. The emphasis falls on the interior quality of the human response to God through the NEW COVENANT.” – Lane
THE FOLLOWING SUMMARY OF LANE’S SHOULD BE MOST HELPFUL TO US ALL IN GAINING SOME SUBSTANTIAL ASSURANCE WE HAVE A SOLID GRIP ON THE PASSAGE…
“VERSES 10 – 12: THE NEW COVENANT THUS BRINGS TO ITS CONSUMMATION THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GOD AND HIS PEOPLE, WHICH IS AT THE HEART OF ALL COVENANT DISCLOSURE FROM ABRAHAM ONWARD (cf. v. 10c). The relationship between God and His people, which was the intention of the covenant concluded at Sinai but which was broken by the past failure of Israel to observe the conditions of the relationship established by God (v. 9), will be restored.
“REDEMPTIVE GRACE REACHES ITS ZENITH IN THE FULL AND FINAL REALIZATION OF THIS PROMISE THROUGH CHRIST.
“THE INAUGURATION OF THE NEW COVENANT WITH THE ENTRANCE OF THE ESCHATOLOGICAL HIGH PRIEST INTO THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY (v. 6) INDICATES THE PRIVILEGED STATUS OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY.” – Lane
CERTAINLY THAT IS A HIGH WATER REMARK OF SUMMARY STATEMENTS IN HEBREWS 9, AND PROBABLY THE ENTIRE BOOK OF HEBREWS – TAR.
“IN THIS IMMEDIATE CONTEXT IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE WRITER APPLIED DIRECTLY TO JESUS CHRIST THE PROMISE THAT IT WILL BE UNNECESSARY TO INSTRUCT SOMEONE ‘KNOW THE LORD’ (cf. 2:3; 7:14; 13:20, WHERE ‘LORD’ DESIGNATES JESUS).
“WHEN A SECOND, ABBREVIATED CITATION FROM THE SAME PROPHECY CONCLUDES THE CENTRAL EXPOSITION OF THE WORK OF CHRIST (10:16-17). IT IS CLEAR THAT THE ORACLE WAS VITAL TO THE WRITER’S THEOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING.” – Lane
I KNOW I’M PUSHING THE NUMBER OF THESE RATHER REPETITIOUS BLOGS TO A REASONABLE LIMIT, BUT I’M APOLOGETICALLY NOT READY YET TO MOVE ON. I BELIEVE THERE’S STILL MORE TO BE GAINED IN THE WAY OF PRECIOUS INSIGHT.
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm