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Hebrews 8:9

    Hebrews 8:9 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, said the Lord.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Not like the agreement which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand, to be their guide out of the land of Egypt; for they did not keep the agreement with me, and I gave them up, says the Lord.

    Webster's Revision

    Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

    World English Bible

    not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they didn't continue in my covenant, and I disregarded them," says the Lord.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt; For they continued not in my covenant, And I regarded them not, saith the Lord.

    Clarke's Commentary on Hebrews 8:9

    Not according to the covenant - The new covenant is of a widely different nature to that of the old; it was only temporal and earthly in itself, though it pointed out spiritual and eternal things. The new covenant is totally different from this, as we have already seen; and such a covenant, or system of religion, the Jews should have been prepared to expect, as the Prophet Jeremiah had, in the above place, so clearly foretold it.

    They continued not in my covenant - It should be observed that the word διαθηκη, which we translate covenant, often means religion itself; and its various precepts. The old covenant in general stated, on God's side, I will be your God; on the Israelites' side, We will be thy people. This covenant they brake; they served other gods, and neglected the precepts of that holy religion which God had delivered to them.

    And I regarded them not - Καγω ημελησα αυτων· And I neglected them or despised them; but the words in the Hebrew text of the prophet are ואנכי בעלתי בם veanochi baalti bam, which we translate, although I was a husband to them. If our translation be correct, is it possible to account for this most strange difference between the apostle and the prophet? Could the Spirit of God be the author of such a strange, not to say contradictory, translation of the same words? Let it be observed:

    1. That the apostle quotes from the Septuagint; and in quoting a version accredited by and commonly used among the Jews, he ought to give the text as he found it, unless the Spirit of God dictated an extension of meaning, as is sometimes the case; but in the present case there seems to be no necessity to alter the meaning.

    2. The Hebrew words will bear a translation much nearer to the Septuagint and the apostle than our translation intimates. The words might be literally rendered, And I was Lord over them, or I lorded or ruled over them; i.e., I chastised them for their transgressions, and punished them for their iniquities; ημελησα, I took no farther care of them, and gave them up into the hands of their enemies, and so they were carried away into captivity. This pretty nearly reconciles the Hebrew and the Greek, as it shows the act of God in reference to them is nearly the same when the proper meaning of the Hebrew and Greek words is considered.

    Some suppose that the letter ע ain in בעלתי is changed for ח cheth, and that the word should be read בחלתי bachalti, I have hated or despised them. An ancient and learned Jew, Rab. Parchon, has these remarkable words on this passage,

    ואנכי בעלתי בם׃ פ

    שנאתים וזו העין מתחלבה כחית שג

    וגם נכשם כחלה בי׃ פ

    שנאה אותי,

    and I baalti baam, translate, I hated them; for ע ain is here changed and stands for ח cheth, as it is said, their soul bachalah bi, translate, hath hated me." None of the Hebrew MSS. collated by Kennicott and De Rossi give any various reading on this word. Some of the versions have used as much latitude in their translations of the Hebrew as the Septuagint. But it is unnecessary to discuss this subject any farther; the word בעל baal itself, by the consent of the most learned men, signifies to disdain or despise, and this is pretty nearly the sense of the apostle's expression.

    Barnes' Notes on Hebrews 8:9

    Not according to the covenant ... - An arrangement or dispensation relating mainly to outward observances, and to temporal blessings. The meaning is, that the new dispensation would be different from what was made with them when they came out of Egypt. In what respects it would differ is specified in Hebrews 8:10-12.

    Because they continued not in my covenant - In Jeremiah, in the Hebrew, this is, "while my covenant they brake." That is, they failed to comply with the conditions on which I promised to bestow blessings upon them. In Jeremiah this is stated as a simple fact; in the manner in which the apostle quotes it, it is given as a reason why he would give a new arrangement. The apostle has quoted it literally from the Septuagint, and the sense is not materially varied. The word rendered "because" - ὅτι hoti - may mean "since" - "since they did not obey that covenant, and it was ineffectual in keeping them from sin, showing that it was not perfect or complete in regard to what was needful to be done for man, a new arrangement shall be made that will be without defect." This accords with the reasoning of the apostle; and the idea is, simply, that an arrangement may be made for man adapted to produce important ends in one state of society or one age of the world, which would not be well adapted to him in another, and which would not accomplish all which it would be desirable to accomplish for the race. So an arrangement may be made for teaching children which would not answer the purpose of instructing those of mature years, and which at that time of life may be superseded by another. A system of measures may be adapted to the infancy of society, or to a comparatively rude period of the world, which would be ill adapted to a more advanced state of society. Such was the Hebrew system. It was well adapted to the Jewish community in their circumstances, and answered the end then in view. It served to keep them separate from other people; to preserve the knowledge and the worship of the true God, and to introduce the gospel dispensation.

    And I regarded them not - In Jeremiah this is, "Although I was an husband unto them." The Septuagint is as it is quoted here by Paul. The Hebrew is, ואנכי בצלתי בם wa'aanokiy baa‛altiy baam - which may be rendered, "although I was their Lord;" or as it is translated by Gesenius, "and I rejected them." The word בּצל bàal - means:

    (1) to be lord or master over anything Isaiah 26:13;

    (2) to become the husband of anyone Deuteronomy 21:13; Deuteronomy 24:1;

    (3) with ba-, "to disdain, to reject"; so Jeremiah 3:14. It is very probable that this is the meaning here, for it is not only adopted by the Septuagint, but by the Syriac. So Abulwalid, Kimchi, and Rabbi Tanchum understood it.

    The Arabic word means "to reject, to loath, to disdain." All that is necessary to observe here is, that it cannot be demonstrated that the apostle has not given the true sense of the prophet. The probability is, that the Septuagint translators would give the meaning which was commonly understood to be correct, and there is still more probability that the Syriac translator would adopt the true sense, for.

    (1) the Syriac and Hebrew languages strongly resemble each other; and,

    (2) the old Syriac version - the Peshito - is incomparably a better translation than the Septuagint.

    If this, therefore, be the correct translation, the meaning is, that since they did not regard and obey the laws which he gave them, God would reject them as his people, and give new laws better adapted to save people. Instead of regarding and treating them as his friends, he would punish them for their offences, and visit them with calamities.

    Wesley's Notes on Hebrews 8:9

    8:9 When I took them by the hand - With the care and tenderness of a parent. And just while this was fresh in their memory, they obeyed; but presently after they shook off the yoke. They continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not - So that covenant was soon broken in pieces.