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Bible Tidbit: Hebrews 10:37 It's The Answer To Your Prayer That's Coming.

        Little, but important, point about Hebrews 10:37:

For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Every translation I've checked, (Here’s a page with 18 different translations of this verse, and I’ve checked more than these.) translates this verse as though it's talking about a “he” coming or, a couple refer to, a “coming one.” The implication being that the verse refers to the coming of Jesus. The problem is that the word “he” isn't in that verse.

        Here's an interlinear Bible:

Heb 10-37 interlinear lrg
It's called "interlinear" because it has the Greek text of the Bible and underneath the English translation for each word. The black letters in the middle are the Greek words. The red letters beneath the black letters are the short English meanings of each Greek word. The blue letters above the black letters are the English transliterations of the Greek words.  The blue numbers at the top, above the english transliteration, are the "Strong's" numbers for each word and they will allow you to look up the definition of each Greek word in lots of English language lexicons, without having to know the Greek alphabet. If  you go to the link for this page and click on the number above a word it will take you to the definition for that word. Isn't the internet wonderfilled.

        The word we're talking about is the sixth word from the number 37. It looks like an "O" with a squiggly line coming out of the top and is the Greek letter "ὁ" "omicron,"  which is basically an "O." You'll see that the English underneath says, "he who," purporting to translate the Greek word "O." But if you look up the definition of the Greek "O" in any lexicon it will tell you that the definition of the Greek word "O" is not "he" but "the."  Here's the entry from one lexicon:

Strong's Concordance: Original Word:ὁ, ἡ, τό, Part of Speech: Definite Article, Transliteration: ho, he, to, Phonetic Spelling: (ho) Short Definition: the, Definition: the, the definite article;

         The word means "the" not "he." But I couldn't find a single translation that translated it that way. Not the five different literal translations I checked, not the interlinear Bibles I was able to check, most translated it "he." I found this so confusing that I finally asked Google to translate the phrase "o erchomenos" for me, and here's what came back:

The Coming heb 10-37

Google translated the phrase exactly as I would have, "the coming." So, at least according to Google and Greg, the literal translation of Hebrews 10:37 should be:

For yet a little while, and the coming will come, and will not tarry.

        What I like about the G&G translation of Hebrews 10:37 is that it allows for the traditional interpretation of that verse, that "the coming" is Jesus, but it also allows for what I believe is the correct interpretation, that it's what God promised that is coming.

        Hebrews is all about holding on to your faith, continuing in faith, holding on to your confidence, your boasting, your rejoicing until the promised answer comes. It's easy for us to start out in a blazing glory of faith, confidence and boasting and then just gradually fade out when things don't happen as quickly as we would like. Jesus talks about it in the parable of the sower:

Luke 8:13 NIV Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.


        Earlier in Chapter 10 the writer of Hebrews had told his readers they could have confidence in the effectiveness of their prayers, in coming before the throne of God:

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Why could they have confidence?

Hebrews 10:19…by the blood of Jesus…21 And having an high priest over the house of God…having our hearts srpinkled from an evil conscience…

Or as he had put it earlier in the chapter:

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

We can have confidence in the effectiveness of our prayers because we can come before God as though we had never sinned, because he has perfected us, because he will no longer remember our sins and iniquities, becasue we are sprinkled from an evil conscience. 

        Then the writer of Hebrews tells them that God will come through for them, he is faithful, but they must continue in faith if they are to receive what God has promised, if they are to receive the answer to their prayers:

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

He follows this with an exhortation that they continue meeting with the other Christians, continue going to church, and that they encourage one another not to give up, to hold fast to their faith, and then returns to the subject of not calling it quits, not letting go of their faith:

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. 36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Don't throw away your faith, it will produce great rewards, you just need patience so that you can receive the promise. And then we come to the verse we're dealing with here:

37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come the coming will come, and will not tarry.”

        You qualify to receive the answer because of the blood of Jesus.

        God will do what he has promised because He is faithful.

        You just need to be patient.

        It's coming!


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