Hebrews 10:30
For we know him that has said, Vengeance belongs to me, I will recompense, said the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(30) By a new and living way.—Better, by the way which He dedicated (or inaugurated) for us, a new and living way. This way was opened to us by Him; in it we follow Him. For Him, the way into the Holiest led through the veil, His flesh. As the veil concealed from the high priest the place of God’s presence, which he could enter only by passing through the veil; so, although in His earthly life Jesus dwelt in the presence of God, yet as our representative He could not enter the heavenly sanctuary until He had passed through and out of His life of flesh (see Hebrews 9:11). There is probably a covert allusion to the rending of the Temple veil in the hour when Jesus thus passed through the rent veil of His flesh. This way is new (Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 9:12), it is living, for in truth this “way” is living union with Christ (John 14:6).

(30) Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense.—This quotation from Deuteronomy 32:35 completely preserves the sense of the original words, “To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence,” whilst departing from their form. The LXX. shows still wider divergence, neglecting entirely the emphasis which rests on the words “to Me” It is therefore very remarkable that this quotation is given, in exactly the same form, in Romans 12:19. As, however, the words “I will recompense” are found in the most ancient of the Targums (that of Onkelos) it is very possible that St. Paul may have there adopted a form already current amongst the Jews. (See Note on Romans 12:19.) If so, there is no difficulty in accounting for the coincidence in this place. But, even if this supposition is. without foundation, and the saying in this form was first used in Romans 12:19, is there any real cause for wonder if a disciple of St. Paul in a single instance reproduces the Apostle’s words? It should be observed that the words “saith the Lord” must be omitted from the text, according to the best authorities.

The Lord shall judge his people.—This, again, is a quotation, and from the same chapter (Deuteronomy 32:36). If the context of the original passage be examined, there will be no doubt as to the meaning of the words. As in Psalm 43:1; Psalm 135:14, “to judge,” as here used, signifies to maintain the right of one who is exposed to wrong. “The Lord shall judge His people” (see Hebrews 10:27) when He shall appear to establish their cause by taking vengeance on His enemies and theirs. With what impressive force would the quotations in this section (Hebrews 10:27-28; Hebrews 10:30)—differing widely in form, but presenting a very striking agreement in their meaning—fall on the ears of readers familiar from childhood with the ideas and language of the Old Testament Scriptures!

Hebrews

HOW TO OWN OURSELVES

Hebrews 10:30THE writer uses a somewhat uncommon word in this clause, which is not altogether adequately represented by the translation ‘saving.’ Its true force will be apparent by comparing one or two of the few instances in which it occurs in the New Testament. For example, it is twice employed in the Epistles to the Thessalonians; in one case being rendered, ‘God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain’ {or, more correctly, to the obtaining of} ‘salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ’; and in another, ‘called to the obtaining of glory through Jesus Christ.’ It is employed twice besides in two other places of Scripture, and in both of these it means ‘possession.’ So that, though practically equivalent to the idea of salvation, there is a very beautiful shade of difference which is well worth noticing.

The thought of the text is substantially this - those who believe win their souls; they acquire them for their possession. We talk colloquially about ‘people that cannot call their souls their own.’ That is a very true description of all men who are not lords of themselves through faith in Jesus Christ. ‘They who believe to the gaining of their own souls’ is the meaning of the writer here.

And I almost think that we may trace in this peculiar expression an allusion, somewhat veiled but real, to similar words of our Lord’s. For He said, when, like the writer in the present context, He was encouraging His disciples to steadfastness in the face of difficulties and persecutions, ‘In your patience’ - in your persistent adherence to Me, whatever might draw you away, - ‘ye shall win’ - not merely possess, as our Bible has it, and not a commandment, but a promise - ‘in your patience ye shall win your souls.’ Whether that allusion be sustainable or no matters comparatively little; it is the significant and beautiful thought which underlies the word to which I wish to turn, and to present you with some illustrations of it.

I. First, then, if we lose ourselves we win ourselves.

All men admit in theory that a self-centred life is a blunder. Jesus Christ has all moralists and all thoughtful men wholly with Him when He says, ‘He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that loseth his life shall find it.’ There is no such way of filling a soul with enlargement and blessedness and of evolving new powers and capacities as self-oblivion for some great cause, for some great love, for some great enthusiasm. Many a woman has found herself when she held her child in her arms, and in the self-oblivion which comes from maternal affections and cares has sprung into a loftier new life. Many a heart, of husband and wife, can set its seal to this truth, that the blessedness of love is that it decentralises the soul, and substitutes another aim for the wretched and narrow one that is involved in self-seeking. And even if we do not refer to these sacred heights of maternal or of wedded love, there are many other noble counterpoises to the do-grading influence of self- absorption, which all men recognise and some men practise. Whoever has once tasted the joy and rapture of flinging himself into some great enthusiasm, and has known how much fuller life is when so inspired than in its ordinary forms, needs no words to convince him that the secret of blessedness, elevation, and power, if it is to be put into one great word, must be put into this one, ‘self-oblivion.’

But whilst all these counterpoises to the love of self are, in their measure and degree, great and noble and blessed, not one of them, nor all of them put together, will so break the fetters from off a prisoned soul and let it out into the large place of utter and glad self-oblivion as the course which our text enjoins upon us when it says: If you wish to forget yourselves, to abandon and lose yourselves, fling yourselves into Christ’s arms, and by faith yield your whole being, will, trust, purposes, aims, everything - yield them all to Him; and when you can say, ‘We are not our own,’ then first will you belong to yourselves and have won your own souls.

There is nothing except that absolute departure from all reliance upon our own poor powers, and from all making of ourselves our centre and aim in life, which gives us true possession of ourselves. Nothing else is comparable to the talismanic power of trust in Jesus Christ. When thus we lose ourselves in Him we find ourselves, and find Him in ourselves.

I believe that, at bottom, a life must either spin round on its own axis, self- centred and self-moved, or else it must be drawn by the mass and weight and mystical attractiveness of the great central sun, and swept clean out of its own little path to become a satellite round Him. Then only will it move in music and beauty, and flash back the lustre of an unfading light. Self or God, one or other will be the centre of every human life.

It is well to be touched with lofty enthusiasms; it is well to conquer self in the eager pursuit of some great thought or large subject of study; it is well to conquer self in the sweetness of domestic love; but through all these there may run a perverting and polluting reference to myself. Affection may become but a subtle prolongation of myself, and study and thought may likewise be tainted, and even in the enthusiasm for a great cause there may mingle much of self-regard; and on the whole there is nothing that will sweep out, and keep out, the seven devils of selfishness except to yield yourselves to God, drawn by His mercies, and say, ‘I am not my own; I am bought with a price.’ Then, and only then, will you belong to yourselves.

II. Secondly it we will take Christ for our Lord we shall be lords of our own souls.

I have said that self-surrender is self-possession. It is equally true that self- control is self-possession; and it is as true about this application of my text as it was about the former, that Christianity only says more emphatically what moralists say, and suggests and supplies a more efficient means of accomplishing the end which they all recognise as good. For everybody knows that the man who is a slave to his own passions, lusts, or desire is not his own master. And everybody knows that the man who is the sport of circumstance, and yields to every temptation that comes sweeping round him, as bamboos bend before every blast; or the man who is guided by fashion, conventionality, custom, and the influence of the men amongst whom he lives, and whom he calls ‘the world,’ is not his own master. He ‘dare not call his soul his own.’

What do we mean by being self-possessed, except this, that we can so rule our more fluctuating and sensitive parts as that, notwithstanding appeals made to them By external circumstances, they do not necessarily yield to these? He possesses himself who, in the face of antagonism, can do what is right; who, in the face of temptation, will not do what is wrong; who can dare to be in the right with one or two; and who is not moulded By circumstances, howsoever they may influence him, but reacts upon them as a hammer, and is not as an anvil. And this superiority over the parts of my nature which are meant to be kept down, and this assertion of independent power in the face of circumstances, and this freedom from the dominion of cliques and parties and organs of opinion and loud voices round us, this is best secured in its fulness and completeness by the path which my text suggests.

Trust in Jesus Christ, and let Him be your Commander-in-chief, and you have won your souls. Let Him dominate them, and you can dominate them. If you will give your wills into His hands, He will give them back to you and make you able to subdue your passions and desires. Put the reins into Christ’s hands and say, ‘Here, O Lord, guide Thou the horses and the chariot, for I cannot coerce them, but Thou canst.’ Then He will come and bring a new ally in the field, and cast a new weight into the scale, and you will no longer be the slave of the servile and inferior parts of your nature; nor be kicked about, the football of circumstances; nor be the echo of some other body’s views, but you will have a voice of your own, and a will of your own, and a soul of your own, because you have given them to Christ, and He will help you to control them. Such a man - and I verily believe, from the bottom of my heart, such a man only - in the fullest sense, is

‘Free from slavish bands,

Of hope to rise, or fear to fall;

Lord of himself, though not of lands;

And having nothing, yet hath all.’


What does some little rajah, on the edge of our great Indian Empire, do when troubled with rebels whom he cannot subdue? He goes and makes himself a feudatory of the great central power at Calcutta, and then down comes a regiment or two, and makes very short work of the rebellion that the little kinglet could do nothing with. If you go to Christ and say to Him, ‘Dear Lord, I take my crown from my head and lay it at Thy feet. Come Thou to help me to rule this anarchic realm of my own soul,’ you will win yourself.

III. Thirdly, if we have faith in Christ we acquire a better self.

The thing that most thoughtful men and women feel, after they have gone a little way into life, is not so much that they want to possess themselves, as that they want to get rid of themselves - of all the failures and shame and disappointment and futility of their lives. That desire may be accomplished. We cannot strip ourselves of ourselves by any effort. The bitter old past keeps living on, and leaves with us seeds of weakness and memories that sometimes corrupt, and always enfeeble: memories that seem to limit the possibilities of the future in a tragic fashion. Ah, brethren! we can get rid of ourselves; and, instead of continuing the poor, sin-laden, feeble creatures that we are, we can have pouring into our souls the gift most real -though people nowadays, in their shallow religion, call it mystical - of a new impulse and a new life. The old individuality will remain, but new tastes, new aspirations, aversions, hopes, and capacities to realise them may all be ours, so that ‘if any man be in Christ he is a new creature’; and in barter for the old garment he receives the robe of righteousness. You can lose yourselves, in a very deep and earnest sense, if, trusting in Jesus Christ, you open the door of the heart to the influx of that new life which is His best gift. Faith wins a better self, and we may each experience, in all its fulness and Blessedness, the paradox of the apostle when he said, ‘I live’ now, at last, in triumphant possession of this better life: ‘I live’ now - I only existed before - ‘yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.’ And with Christ in me I first find myself.

IV. Lastly, if by faith we win our souls here, we save them from destruction hereafter.

I have said that the word of my text is substantially equivalent to the more frequent and common expression ‘salvation’; though with a shade of difference, which I have been trying to bring Out. And this substantial equivalence is more obvious if you will note that the text is the second member of an antithesis of which the first is, ‘we are not of them which draw back into perdition.’

So, then, the writer sets up, as exact opposites of one another, these two ideas - perdition or destruction on the one hand, and the saving or winning of the soul on the other. Therefore, whilst we must give due eight to the considerations which I have already been suggesting, we shall not grasp the whole of the writer’s meaning unless we admit also the thought of the future. And that the same blending of the two ideas, of possession and salvation in the more usual sense of the word, was implied in the Lord’s saying, of which I have suggested there may be an echo here, is plain if you observe that the version in St. Luke gives the text which I have already quoted: ‘In your patience ye shall win your souls’; and that of St. Matthew, in the same connection, gives, instead, the saying, ‘he that endureth’ - which corresponds with patience - ‘he that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.’

So, then, brethren, you cannot be said to have won your souls if you are only keeping them for destruction, and such destruction is clearly laid down here as the fate of those who turn away from Jesus Christ.

Now, it seems to me that no fair interpretation can eject from that word ‘perdition,’ or ‘destruction,’ an element of awe and terror. However you may interpret the ruin, it is ruin utter of which it speaks. And I am very much afraid that in this generation eager discussions about the duration of punishment, and the final condition of those who die impenitent, have had a disastrous influence on a great many minds and consciences in reference to this whole subject, by making it rather a subject of controversy than a solemn truth to be pondered. However the controversies be settled, there is terror enough left in that word to make us all bethink ourselves.

I lay it on your hearts, dear friends - it is no business of mine to say much about it, but I lay it on your hearts and on my own; and I beseech you to ponder it. Do not mix it up with wholly independent questions as to what is to become of people who never heard about Jesus Christ. ‘The Judge of all the earth will do right.’ What this verse says applies to people that have heard about Him - that is, to you and me - and to people that do not accept Him - and that is some of us; and about them it says that they ‘draw back unto perdition.’

Now, remember, the alternative applies to each of us. It is a case of ‘either- or’ in regard to us all. If we have taken Christ for our Saviour, and, as I said, put the reins into His hands and given ourselves to Him by love and submission and confidence, then we own our souls, because we have given them to Him to keep, ‘and He is able to keep that which is committed to Him against that day.’

But I am bound to tell you, in the plainest words I can command, that if you have not thus surrendered yourself to Jesus Christ, His sacrifice, His intercession, His quickening Spirit, then I know not where you are to find one foothold of hope that upon you there will not come down the overwhelming fate that is darkly portrayed in that one solemn word.

Oh, brethren! let us all ponder the question, ‘ What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’Hebrews 10:30-31. For we know him — As if he had said, We may well think that such shall be punished very severely, because God has declared as much, saying, Vengeance belongeth unto me, Deuteronomy 32:35; Psalm 94:1-2. Though this was originally said of the idolatrous nations who oppressed the Israelites, it was very properly applied by the apostle to apostates, being a general maxim of God’s government, according to which he will act in all cases where vengeance or punishment is due. I will recompense — Recompense is the actual exercise of vengeance, and vengeance is the actual execution of judgment on sinners, according to their desert, without mitigation by mercy. He however oftentimes exercises great patience and forbearance even then, when vengeance might justly be expected. And this commonly adds to the security of wicked men, who take occasion from it to despise all the threatenings of the divine judgments which they have deserved; concluding from it, that either vengeance doth not belong to God, or that it shall be executed when and where they are not concerned. And the Lord will judge his people — If they rebel against him; and that far more rigorously than he will judge the heathen. It is a fearful thing — A thing above all others the most to be dreaded; to fall into the hands — To be exposed to the avenging justice; of the living God — Who, living for ever, can for ever punish, in what degree he pleases, the wretched creatures who have made themselves the objects of his final displeasure.10:26-31 The exhortations against apostacy and to perseverance, are urged by many strong reasons. The sin here mentioned is a total and final falling away, when men, with a full and fixed will and resolution, despise and reject Christ, the only Saviour; despise and resist the Spirit, the only Sanctifier; and despise and renounce the gospel, the only way of salvation, and the words of eternal life. Of this destruction God gives some notorious sinners, while on earth, a fearful foreboding in their consciences, with despair of being able to endure or to escape it. But what punishment can be sorer than to die without mercy? We answer, to die by mercy, by the mercy and grace which they have despised. How dreadful is the case, when not only the justice of God, but his abused grace and mercy call for vengeance! All this does not in the least mean that any souls who sorrow for sin will be shut out from mercy, or that any will be refused the benefit of Christ's sacrifice, who are willing to accept these blessings. Him that cometh unto Christ, he will in no wise cast out.For we know him that hath said - We know who has said this - God. They knew this because it was recorded in their own sacred books.

Vengeance belongeth unto me ... - This is found in Deuteronomy 32:35; see it explained in the notes on Romans 12:19. It is there quoted to show that we should not avenge ourselves; it is here quoted to show that God will certainly inflict punishment on those who deserve it. If any should apostatize in the manner here referred to by the apostle, they would, says he, be guilty of great and unparalleled wickedness, and would have the certainty that they must meet the wrath of God.

And again, The Lord shall judge his people - This is quoted from Deuteronomy 32:36. That is, he will judge them when they deserve it, and punish them if they ought to be punished. The mere fact that they are his people will not save them from punishment if they deserve it, any more than the fact that one is a beloved child will save him from correction when he does wrong. This truth was abundantly illustrated in the history of the Israelites; and the same great principle would be applied should any sincere Christian apostatize from his religion. He would have before him the certainty of the most fearful and severe of all punishments.

30. him—God, who enters no empty threats.

Vengeance belongeth unto me—Greek, "To Me belongeth vengeance": exactly according with Paul's quotation, Ro 12:19, of the same text.

Lord shall judge his people—in grace, or else anger, according as each deserves: here, "judge," so as to punish the reprobate apostate; there, "judge," so as to interpose in behalf of, and save His people (De 32:36).

For we know him that hath said: For brings in the proof of the soreness of God’s punishment to be inflicted on apostates, from God’s own testimony about it; which we, who are conversant with the Scriptures, are well acquainted with; we know what God hath spoken, and by whom he hath spoken it, John 9:29. Their knowledge of it was clear and certain, it being spoken to them by Moses, and written for them, Deu 32:35,36.

Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense; to me is vengeance and recompence; which are the words of the Hebrew text. To me, the sovereign Being, the supreme and universal Lawgiver and Judge, doth belong the universal right and power of vindictive justice. It is his propriety, as he will avenge all injuries against his people, he will much more avenge the sins and injuries against his Son; and will actually return to evil-doers, as a recompence for their sins, the evil of punishment. He is not only just and powerful, but actually manifesting both in his retribution on them, Deu 32:41,43 Psa 94:1 Romans 12:19 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

Saith the Lord; Jehovah saith it, who is faithful and true, powerful, and constant to his threatenings, as well as his promises. This he saith to, and threatens apostate Jeshurun with, who revolted from God, and served idols, Deu 32:15-17.

And again, The Lord shall judge his people: a further testimony is urged from God’s vindication of his people, when he hath punished apostates, taken from Deu 32:6, and Psalm 135:14. The sovereign Being of righteousness, the same Jehovah as before, will rule, justify, save, deliver, and vindicate his covenant people from the contempt and vilifying of his Son and them, by punishing severely such who, by their apostacy from him and them, are guilty of it. He will certainly take vengeance on them, and thereby clear the innocency, truth, and goodness of his, who are trampled on by them. For we know him that hath said,.... That is, God, whom the apostle and the Hebrews knew; not merely by the works of creation and providence, but by the Scriptures, which they were favoured with, and by which they were distinguished from the Gentiles, and by which they knew his being, nature, and perfections; particularly, that what he said he was able to perform, and that he was true and faithful to every word of his, and to what he has said, Deuteronomy 32:35

vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompence, saith the Lord. Vengeance belongs to God, not as to the affection, as if there was any such passion in him; but as to the effect, there being that produced by him, which answers to the effect of such a passion among men, namely punishment: and punishment for sin belongs to God, against whom it is committed; and not to Heathen deities, one of which goes by the name of Vengeance, Acts 28:4 nor to Satan, and his spiteful angels; nor to men, to exercise it in a private and personal way; though civil magistrates, being in God's stead, are allowed to exercise it in a public way, according to the laws of God: and there is good reason to believe, that what the Lord here says, "I will recompence", or revenge sin, shall be done; which may be concluded from his hatred of sin; from his purity, holiness, and justice; from his faithfulness to his word; from his omnipotence; from the notice he takes of sin, in his own people, in a way of chastisement, and correction; and from the vengeance he has poured on his own Son, as their surety.

And again, in Deuteronomy 32:36 the Lord shall judge his people; such as are truly so, his chosen and covenant people, his redeemed and called ones; these he judges by chastising them in a fatherly way, that they may not be condemned with the world; and by governing and protecting them; and by vindicating and pleading their cause, and avenging them on their enemies: or else such as are only his people by profession; on these he will write a "Lo-ammi"; he distinguishes them from his own, and judges between them and his people, and will condemn them; nor will their profession screen them from his wrath and vengeance.

{10} For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall {o} judge his people.

(10) The reason of all these things is, because God is a revenger of those who despise him: otherwise he could not rightly govern his Church. Now there is nothing more horrible then the wrath of the living God.

(o) Rule or govern.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 10:30. The χείρονος ἀξιωθήσεται τιμωρίας, Hebrews 10:29, is a matter for the most serious consideration. This the declarations of God Himself in the Scriptures prove.

οἴδαμεν γὰρ τὸν εἰπόντα] for we know Him who hath spoken, i.e. we know what it means when God makes predictions like those which follow.

The first utterance is without doubt from Deuteronomy 32:35. It deviates from the Hebrew original (לִי נָקָם וְשִׁלֵּם), but still more from the LXX. (ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐκδικήσεως ἀνταποδώσω); on the other hand, it agrees to so great an extent with Paul’s mode of citing the same in Romans 12:19, that even the λέγει κύριος, which is wanting in Deuteronomy, is found in both these places. This agreement arises, according to Bleek, de Wette, Delitzsch, and Reiche, Comm. Crit. p. 97 (comp. also Böhme), from a deriving of the citation from the Epistle to the Romans; while according to Meyer (at Rom. xii. 19, 2, 3, and 4 Aufl.) the identical words: ἐγὼ ἀνταποδώσω, are to be traced back to the paraphrase of Onkelos (וַאֲנִא אֲשַׁלֵּם) as the common source employed by Paul and the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Yet with much greater probability is the coincidence to be explained by the supposition that the utterance, in the form adopted here as with Paul, had become proverbial. This was also the later view of Meyer (see Meyer on Rom. xii. 19, 5 Aufl. p. 551 f.).

The second utterance: κρινεῖ κύριος τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ, attached by means of καὶ πάλιν (Hebrews 1:5, Hebrews 2:13), is found in like form, Deuteronomy 32:36 and Psalm 135:14. This κρίνειν τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ has, in the mind of the author of the epistle, the general signification of the holding of judgment upon His people, so that the recreant members among the same will not be able to escape punishment. Different is the sense of the original: He shall do justice for His people. Delitzsch, it is true, who is followed therein by Maier, Kluge, Moll, and Hofmann, will not acknowledge such diversity of the sense. But he is able to remove such diversity only, in that—manifestly led thereto in the interest of a mistaken harmonistic method—he foists upon the author of the epistle the statement: “the Lord will do justice for His church, and punish its betrayers and blasphemers;” a statement of which the first half—as opposed to the grammatical meaning of κρίνειν, as well as to the connection with Hebrews 10:26, since this latter leads of necessity not to the idea of rendering justice to any one, but exclusively to the idea of punitive judgment—is only arbitrarily imported.

At Hebrews 10:31 the whole train of thought, Hebrews 10:26-30, is briefly summed up, and with this the warning brought to a close. Fearful is it to fall into the hands of the living God, i.e. to fall a victim to the divine punitive judgment. Comp. Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4-5.

ἐμπίπτειν εἰς χεῖρας κυρίου occurs also with the LXX. 2 Samuel 24:14, 1 Chronicles 21:13, Sir 2:18, but is there used in the mild sense, in that it is opposed to falling into the hands of men. Bengel: Bonum est incidere cum fide; temere terribile.

θεοῦ ζῶντος] see at Hebrews 3:12.Hebrews 10:30. οἴδαμεν γὰρ τὸν εἰπόντα.… “For we know Him who said, vengeance is mine, I will repay.” The certainty of the punishment spoken of is based upon the righteousness of God. “We know who it is that said”; it is the living God (Hebrews 10:31). The quotation is from Deuteronomy 32:35 not as in the LXX but as given in Romans 12:19 where it is used as an argument for the surrender of private vengeance. In Deut. LXX the words are Ἐν ἡμέρᾳ ἐκδικήσεως ἀνταποδώσω. The second quotation, κρινεῖ κύριος … is from the following verse where the words intimate God’s protecting care of His people, using κρινεῖ in the sense common in O.T. Delitzsch thinks that sense may be retained here, but this is less relevant and consistent with the passage. Cf. Sir 27:28 ἡ ἐκδίκησις ὡς λέων. and Sir 28:1. φοβερὸν τὸ ἐμπεσεῖν.… “It is dreadful to fall into the hands of the living God”. Where David (2 Samuel 24:14) prefers to do so [ἐμπεσοῦμαι δὴ εἰς χεῖρας κυρίου] it is because he knows his chastisement will be measured and that no unjust advantage will be taken. The dreadfulness of the impenitent’s doom arises from the same certainty that absolute justice will be done. As Judge, God is “the living God,” who sees and has power to execute just judgment, cf. Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 12:22, cf. Hebrews 12:29.30. Vengeance belongeth unto me] The Scripture warrant adduced in support of this stern language is Deuteronomy 32:35, and a similar phrase (“O God, to whom vengeance belongeth”) is used in Psalm 94:1-2. It is remarkable that the citation does not agree either with the Hebrew or the LXX., but is quoted in the same form as in Romans 12:19, where however the application is quite different, for it is there used as an argument against avenging our own wrongs. The writer of this Epistle, as a friend of St Paul and one who was of his school, may have been familiar with this form of the quotation, or may have read it in the Epistle to the Romans, with which he seems to have been familiar (comp. Hebrews 13:1-6 with Romans 12:1-21); and indeed there are traces that the quotation in this form was known in the Jewish schools. Perhaps it had become proverbial.

saith the Lord] The words are omitted in א, D, and most ancient versions, and may have been added from Romans 12:19.

And again] Deuteronomy 32:36.

The Lord shall judge his people] In the original passage the “judgment” consists in saving His people from their enemies, as also in Psalm 135:14.Hebrews 10:30. Τὸν εἰπόντα, Him, who hath said) GOD, who does not threaten in vain.—ἐμοὶ, to me) See Romans 12:19, note, from Deuteronomy 32:35.—πάλιν, again) after a few words intervening in the same song of Moses.—Κύριος κρινεῖ τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ, the Lord will judge His people) Deuteronomy 32:36, LXX., κρινεῖ Κύριος τὸν λαὸν αὐτοῦ. This epistle has very often a reference to the song of Moses and to Deuteronomy, a book which is well explained by it. He will judge, in grace and in anger, according as He shall find each individual.We know him that hath said (οἴδαμεν γὰρ τὸν εἰπόντα)

The retribution (τιμωρία) is certain, because assured by the word of God in Scripture.

Vengeance (ἐκδίκησις)

An unfortunate translation, since it conveys the idea of vindictiveness which does not reside in the Greek word. It is the full meting out of justice to all parties. The quotation is an adaptation of the lxx of Deuteronomy 32:35. The second citation is literally from lxx of Deuteronomy 32:36.

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