Hebrews 9:17
Parallel Verses
New International Version
because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.

New Living Translation
The will goes into effect only after the person's death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect.

English Standard Version
For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.

New American Standard Bible
For a covenant is valid only when men are dead, for it is never in force while the one who made it lives.

King James Bible
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in force while the one who made it is living.

International Standard Version
For a will is in force only when somebody has died, since it never takes effect as long as the one who made it is alive.

NET Bible
For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But it is only valid concerning one who is dead, because as long as he who made it lives, there is no use for it.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
A will is used only after a person is dead because it goes into effect only when a person dies.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For a testament is confirmed by the death: otherwise it is not valid as long as the testator lives.

King James 2000 Bible
For a will is in force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the maker lives.

American King James Version
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.

American Standard Version
For a testament is of force where there hath been death: for it doth never avail while he that made it liveth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For a testament is of force, after men are dead: otherwise it is as yet of no strength, whilst the testator liveth.

Darby Bible Translation
For a testament [is] of force when men are dead, since it is in no way of force while the testator is alive.)

English Revised Version
For a testament is of force where there hath been death: for doth it ever avail while he that made it liveth?

Webster's Bible Translation
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.

Weymouth New Testament
And a will is only of force in the case of a deceased person, being never of any avail so long as he who made it lives.

World English Bible
For a will is in force where there has been death, for it is never in force while he who made it lives.

Young's Literal Translation
for a covenant over dead victims is stedfast, since it is no force at all when the covenant-victim liveth,
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 a testament is of force after men are dead,.... The necessity of Christ's death is here urged, from the nature and force of a testament or will, among men, which does not take place, and cannot be executed, till a man is dead.

Otherwise it is of no strength at all whilst the testator liveth; no claim can be made by the legatees for the part they have in it, nor can any disposition be made by the executor of it; not that hereby is suggested, that the testament or will of God was uncertain and precarious till the death of Christ, and subject to change and alteration as men's wills are till they die; nor that the inheritance could not be enjoyed by the Old Testament saints; for it is certain, it was entered upon by them before the death of Christ; but the sense is, that there was a necessity of it, that the saints right unto it, upon the foot of justice, might be evident by it.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

17. after—literally, "over," as we say "upon the death of the testators"; not as Tholuck, "on the condition that slain sacrifices be there," which the Greek hardly sanctions.

otherwise—"seeing that it is never availing" [Alford]. Bengel and Lachmann read with an interrogation, "Since, is it ever in force (surely not) while the testator liveth?"

Hebrews 9:17 Additional Commentaries
Context
Redemption through His Blood
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. 18Therefore even the first covenant was not inaugurated without blood.…
Cross References
Hebrews 9:16
In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it,

Hebrews 9:18
This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.
Treasury of Scripture

For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator lives.

Genesis 48:21 And Israel said to Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, …

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you: not as the world …

Galatians 3:15 Brothers, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's …

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NT Letters: Hebrews 9:17 For a will is in force where (Heb. He. Hb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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