Hebrews 9:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it,

New Living Translation
Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.

English Standard Version
For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.

New American Standard Bible
For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it.

King James Bible
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established.

International Standard Version
For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be established.

NET Bible
For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For where there is a testament, it shows the death of him who made it;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In order for a will to take effect, it must be shown that the one who made it has died.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity intervene the death of the testator.

King James 2000 Bible
For where a will is, there must also of necessity be the death of the maker.

American King James Version
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

American Standard Version
For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For where there is a testament, the death of the testator must of necessity come in.

Darby Bible Translation
(For where [there is] a testament, the death of the testator must needs come in.

English Revised Version
For where a testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him that made it.

Webster's Bible Translation
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

Weymouth New Testament
For where there is a legal 'will,' there must also be a death brought forward in evidence--the death of him who made it.

World English Bible
For where a last will and testament is, there must of necessity be the death of him who made it.

Young's Literal Translation
for where a covenant is, the death of the covenant-victim to come in is necessary,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

9:15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ's blood, and so purified from their defilement.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For where a testament is,.... The covenant of grace, as administered under the Gospel dispensation, is a testament or will. The Jews have adopted the Greek word, here used, into their language, and pronounce it and by it understand a dying man's last will and testament (d). Some of them make it to be of Hebrew derivation; as if it was said, , "this shall be to confirm" (e), or this shall be stable and firm; though others own it to be the same with this Greek word (f). The covenant of grace, is properly a covenant to Christ, and a testament or will to his people: it is his and their Father's will, concerning giving them both grace and glory; it consists of many gifts and legacies; in it Christ is made heir of all things, and his people are made joint heirs with him; they are given to him as his portion; and they have all things pertaining to life and godliness bequeathed to them, even all spiritual blessings; the witnesses of it are Father, Son, and Spirit; and the seals of it are the blood of Christ, and the grace of the Spirit; and this is registered in the Scriptures by holy men as notaries; and is unalterable and immutable: and this being made,

there must also of necessity be the death of the testator; who is Christ; he has various parts in this will or testament; he is the surety and Mediator of it; and he is the executor of it; what is given in it, is first given to him, in order to be given to others; all things are put into his hands, and he has a power to give them to as many as the Father has given him; and here he is called the "testator": Christ, as God, has an equal right to dispose of the inheritance, both of grace and glory; and as Mediator, nothing is given without his consent; and whatever is given, is given with a view to his "death", and comes through it, and by virtue of it: hence there is a "necessity" of that, and that on the account of the divine perfections; particularly for the declaration of God's righteousness, or by reason of his justice; and also because of his purposes and decrees, which have fixed it, and of his promises, which are yea and amen in Christ, and are ratified by his blood, called therefore the blood of the covenant; and likewise on account of the engagements of Christ to suffer and die; as well as for the accomplishment of Scripture prophecies concerning it; and moreover, on account of the blessings which were to come to the saints through it, as a justifying righteousness, pardon of sin, peace and reconciliation, adoption and eternal life.

(d) T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 17. 4. & T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 152. 2.((e) T. Bab. Bava Metzia, fol. 19. 1. Maimon & Bartenora in Misn. Moed Katon, c. 3. sect. 3. & in Bava Metzia, c. 1. sect. 7. & in Bava Bathra, c. 8. sect. 6. (f) Cohen de Lara Ir David, p. 30.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

16. A general axiomatic truth; it is "a testament"; not the testament. The testator must die before his testament takes effect (Heb 9:17). This is a common meaning of the Greek noun diathece. So in Lu 22:29, "I appoint (by testamentary disposition; the cognate Greek verb diatithemai) unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me." The need of death before the testamentary appointment takes effect, holds good in Christ's relation as MAN to us; Of course not in God's relation to Christ.

be—literally, be borne": "be involved in the case"; be inferred; or else, "be brought forward in court," so as to give effect to the will. This sense (testament) of the Greek "diathece" here does not exclude its other secondary senses in the other passages of the New Testament: (1) a covenant between two parties; (2) an arrangement, or disposition, made by God alone in relation to us. Thus, Mt 26:28 may be translated, "Blood of the covenant"; for a testament does not require blood shedding. Compare Ex 24:8 (covenant), which Christ quotes, though it is probable He included in a sense "testament" also under the Greek word diathece (comprehending both meanings, "covenant" and "testament"), as this designation strictly and properly applies to the new dispensation, and is rightly applicable to the old also, not in itself, but when viewed as typifying the new, which is properly a testament. Moses (Ex 24:8) speaks of the same thing as [Christ and] Paul. Moses, by the term "covenant," does not mean aught save one concerning giving the heavenly inheritance typified by Canaan after the death of the Testator, which he represented by the sprinkling of blood. And Paul, by the term "testament," does not mean aught save one having conditions attached to it, one which is at the same time a covenant [Poli, Synopsis]; the conditions are fulfilled by Christ, not by us, except that we must believe, but even this God works in His people. Tholuck explains, as elsewhere, "covenant … covenant … mediating victim"; the masculine is used of the victim personified, and regarded as mediator of the covenant; especially as in the new covenant a MAN (Christ) took the place of the victim. The covenanting parties used to pass between the divided parts of the sacrificed animals; but, without reference to this rite, the need of a sacrifice for establishing a covenant sufficiently explains this verse. Others, also, explaining the Greek as "covenant," consider that the death of the sacrificial victim represented in all covenants the death of both parties as unalterably bound to the covenant. So in the redemption-covenant, the death of Jesus symbolized the death of God (?) in the person of the mediating victim, and the death of man in the same. But the expression is not "there must be the death of both parties making the covenant," but singular, "of Him who made (aorist, past time; not 'of Him making') the testament." Also, it is "death," not "sacrifice" or "slaying." Plainly, the death is supposed to be past (aorist, "made"); and the fact of the death is brought (Greek) before court to give effect to the will. These requisites of a will, or testament, concur here: (1) a testator; (2) heirs; (3) goods; (4) the death of the testator; (5) the fact of the death brought forward in court. In Mt 26:28 two other requisites appear: witnesses, the disciples; and a seal, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the sign of His blood wherewith the testament is primarily sealed. It is true the heir is ordinarily the successor of him who dies and so ceases to have the possession. But in this case Christ comes to life again, and is Himself (including all that He hath), in the power of His now endless life, His people's inheritance; in His being Heir (Heb 1:2), they are heirs.

Hebrews 9:16 Additional Commentaries
Context
Redemption through His Blood
15For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16For where a covenant is, there must of necessity be the death of the one who made it. 17For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.…
Cross References
Hebrews 9:15
For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance--now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

Hebrews 9:17
because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.
Treasury of Scripture

For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.

be. or, be brought in.

Hebrews 9:16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death …

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