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Hebrews 8:11

    Hebrews 8:11 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And they shall not teach every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And there will be no need for every man to be teaching his brother, or his neighbour, saying, This is the knowledge of the Lord: for they will all have knowledge of me, great and small.

    Webster's Revision

    And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them.

    World English Bible

    They will not teach every man his fellow citizen, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And they shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen, And every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: For all shall know me, From the least to the greatest of them.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 8:11

    They shall not teach every man his neighbor - Under the old covenant, properly speaking, there was no public instruction; before the erection of synagogues all worship was confined at first to the tabernacle, afterwards to the temple. When synagogues were established they were used principally for the bare reading of the law and the prophets; and scarcely any such thing as a public ministry for the continual instruction of the common people was found in the land till the time of John the Baptist, our Lord, and his apostles. It is true there were prophets who were a sort of general teachers, but neither was their ministry extended through all the people; and there were schools of the prophets and schools of the rabbins, but these were for the instruction of select persons. Hence it was necessary that every man should do what he could, under that dispensation, to instruct his neighbor and brother. But the prophecy here indicates that there should be, under the Gospel dispensation, a profusion of Divine light; and this we find to be the case by the plentiful diffusion of the sacred writings, and by an abundant Gospel ministry: and these blessings are not confined to temples or palaces, but are found in every corner of the land; so that, literally, all the people, from the least to the greatest, know and acknowledge the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. Almost every man, at least in this land, has a Bible, and can read it; and there is not a family that has not the opportunity of hearing the Gospel preached, explained, and enforced.

    Some have thought that from the least to the greatest is intended to signify the order in which God proceeds with a work of grace; he generally begins with the poor, and through these the great and the high often hear the Gospel of Christ.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 8:11

    And they shall not teach every man his neighbor ... - That is, no one shall be under a necessity of imparting instruction to another, or of exhorting him to become acquainted with the Lord. This is designed to set forth another of the advantages which would attend the new dispensation. In the previous verse it had been said that one advantage of that economy would be, that the Law would be written on the heart, and that they who were thus blessed would be regarded as the people of God. Another advantage over the "old" arrangement or covenant is here stated. It is, that the knowledge of the Lord and of the true religion would be deeply engraved on the minds of all, and that there would be no necessity for mutual exhortation and counsel. "They shall have a much more certain and effectual teaching than they can derive from another." "Doddridge." This passage does not refer to the fact that the true religion will be universally diffused, but that among those who are interested in the blessings of the new covenant there would be an accurate and just knowledge of the Lord. In some way they would be so taught respecting his character that they would not need the aid to be derived from others. All under that dispensation, or sustaining to him the relation of "a people," would in fact have a correct knowledge of the Lord. This could not be said of the old dispensation, for.

    (1) their religion consisted much in outward observances.

    (2) it was not to such an extent as the new system a dispensation of the Holy Spirit.

    (3) there were not as many means as now for learning the true character of God.

    (4) the fullest revelations had not been made to them of that character. That was reserved for the coming of the Saviour, and under him it was intended that there should be communicated the full knowledge of the character of God.

    Many mss., and those among the best, here have πολίτην politēn - "citizen;" "fellow-citizen," instead of πλησίον plēsion, "neighbor," and this is adopted by Griesbach, Tittman, Rosenmuller, Knapp, Stuart, and by many of the fathers. It is also in the version of the Septuagint in the place quoted from Jeremiah. It is not easy to determine the true reading, but the word "neighbor" better agrees with the meaning of the Hebrew - רץ rēà - and there is strong authority from the mss. and the versions for this reading.

    And every man his brother - Another form of expression, meaning that there would be no necessity that one should teach another.

    Saying, Know the Lord - That is, become acquainted with God; learn his character and his will. The idea is, that the true knowledge of Yahweh would prevail as a characteristic of those times.

    For all shall know me - That is, all those referred to; all who are interested in the new covenant, and who are partakers of its blessings. It does not mean that all persons, in all lands, would then know the Lord - though the time will come when that will be true; but the expression is to be limited by the point under discussion. That point is not that the knowledge of the Lord will fill the whole world, but that all who are interested in the new dispensation will have a much more full and clear knowledge of God than was possessed under the old. Of the truth of this no one can doubt. Christians have a much more perfect knowledge of God and of his government than could have been learned merely from the revelations of the Old Testament.