BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE
SHALL LIVE BY FAITH: o de dikaios mou ek pisteos zesetai (3SFMI) ek
pisteos: (Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11)
The writer now
quotes from Hab 2:4, which is used in 3 NT epistles with a slightly
different intended meaning. Warren Wiersbe sums up these
Romans emphasizes “the just,”
Galatians deals with “shall live,” and Hebrews centers on “by faith.”
the quote from Habakkuk emphasizes that the not
shrinking back even in persecution equates with saving faith and that the
person who has been declared righteous by God lives (and survives the coming
ordeal) by faith.
Habakkuk 2:4,5 is descriptive of the proud who do not live by faith. It is the
proud who are self-sufficient and who fail to realize the necessity of
patient endurance and trust in God. The proud Jew will be rejected if he
does not exercise faith. He will be judged along with the Gentiles.
comments on "the just shall live by faith"...
In the original prophecy the just man is contrasted with the haughty
Chaldean invaders, who are puffed up and not upright. Through his steadfast
obedience to God he shall be kept alive in the time of confusion and
one - This identifies this person as one who has been declared
righteous (just) by faith. John Owen observes that...
What is principally meant here is
that characteristic of a righteous person that is the opposite of
pride and unbelief, which makes people shrink back from God. The
righteous one is humble, meek, sincere, submissive to God’s will,
waiting to do his wishes. Sincere faith will carry people through all
difficulties, hazards, and troubles, to the certain enjoyment of
eternal blessedness. (Owen,
John: Hebrews - Crossway Classic Commentaries)
A W Pink...
The first half of this verse is a
quotation from Habakkuk 2:4, and its pertinency to the admonition
which the apostle was pressing upon the Hebrews is not difficult to
perceive. The prophet is cited in proof that perseverance is one of
the distinguishing characteristics of a child of God. He who has been
justified by God, through the imputation of Christ’s righteousness to
his account, lives by faith as the influencing principle of his life.
Thus the apostle declared, "The life which I now live in the flesh I
live by the faith of the Son of God" (Gal. 2:20). The one whom God has
exonerated from the curse and condemnation of the law, is not him who
has merely "believed," but is the man who continues "believing," with
all that that word includes, and involves. Let the reader fully note
the force of the present perfect "believeth" in John 3:15, 16, 18;
5:24 etc., and contrast the "for a while believed" of Luke 8:13!
The opposite of apostasy is faith,
the faith in this verse being a preview of the subsequent chapter
(Hebrews 11). It is faith which pleases God (Heb 11:6).
The individual who draws back from the knowledge of the gospel and faith
will prove his apostasy. Endurance proves (does not earn) one is
genuinely saved. Believers are saved from sin by faith, but must
continue to live by faith and this is a major theme in Hebrews
chapters 11 through 13.
This allusion to
Hab 2:4 and the vital relationship between faith and righteousness
serves as an introductory preview to Hebrews 11, well known as the
"hall of faith". In this this last section of Hebrews 10 and
throughout Hebrews 11, the writer's point is that faith alone pleases
God (cp Heb 11:6-note).
And so here in Hebrews 10:38 by faith equates with "holding on", not shrinking back
even in the face of persecution, but instead holding fast in obedience (He
He 4:2-note). The individual who
shrinks back from the truth of the Gospel is
demonstrating their lack of faith which in turn proves their
apostasy (their falling away from the truth of the Gospel). As
the writer has clearly and repeatedly stated in this epistle, these
individuals have heard the
truth but they have failed to receive/believe that truth, and thus are
left with no
hope in this life or the life to come (cp Ep 2:12-note)!
righteous shall live by faith was the truth that sparked the
Reformation. When Martin Luther, an Augustinian monk, had his eyes
opened to this great truth, he came to realize that a sinner is justified by God upon the basis of and in answer to his
faith in the Lord Jesus.
By - This
is the Greek preposition ek which is
genitive (expresses possession) in this verse and so serves as a marker
of personal possession of faith. In other words, whereas ek normally means
out of , in this verse ek means "of" (genitive);
i.e., ek means the person lives "as a result of" or
"by reason of" or "by means of" faith.
A W Pink...
The constant exercise of faith by
the saint is...essential...we can only be delivered from the power of
indwelling sin, from the temptations of Satan, from an enticing world
which seeks to destroy us, by a steady and persistent walking by
In other words
as MacArthur writes "the way to become righteous is by faith
and the way the righteous should live is by faith."
Phil Newton commenting on
the endurance needed (Heb 10:36) notes that this...
Endurance takes place
through faith being exercised.
"But My righteous one shall live
by faith." (He 10:38)
Faith is not punctiliar but
linear, not a one time experience but an ongoing trust and confidence
David Clarkson, the Puritan
pastor that followed John Owen wrote,
"This living by faith is not a
single and transient act, but something habitual and permanent" [The
Works of David Clarkson, vol. 1, 175].
Clarkson's exposition on this text
offers some great help for us in understanding how
"the object of faith is God in
Christ, as made known in his attributes, offices, relations, promises,
and providences" :
1. Divine attributes. Those are the pillows and grounds of faith,
rocks of eternity, upon which faith may securely repose.... [e.g.,
power, wisdom, justice, faithfulness, truth, mercy]
2. The offices of Christ. These are strong supports to faith as any,
though less made use of: in special his Priestly office... Regal
Office... Prophetical Office....
3. Mutual relations betwixt God and his people. These are the sweet
food of faith, which, digested, nourish it into strength, and enable
it to vigorous actings.... [e.g., "Thou, O Lord, art in the midst of
us, and we are called by thy name; leave [us] not" Jer. 14:9].
4. Promises. These and faith are so usually joined, as though they
were relatives.... These are the wells of salvation, out of which
faith draws joy....
5. Providences of God are objects and encouragements to faith. The
consideration of what he has done for others, and for themselves, has
supported the saints. These are the hands of God stretched out, on
which faith takes hold.... Now herein God offers himself to be seen
and felt, and leaves men without excuse if they continue in unbelief
[pp. 176-177]. (Sermons
from the Epistle to the Hebrews)
- occurs 243x in 227v = a major NT word!) on one hand means that which
evokes trust (thus it means faithfulness, reliability, fidelity, commitment)
and on the other hand (as in the present passage) it describes a personal
act of belief directed toward a person (in this case God and His Gospel
concerning Jesus). It is synonymous with trust and is the personal
conviction of the truth of respecting man's relationship to God and divine
relates to God, it is the conviction
that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the
Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith
to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus
is the Messiah, through Whom (as a result of His work of redemption, the
sacrifice of His blood to pay the price for sin) we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into
the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only
through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way (Acts 4:12, Jn 14:6).
A W Pink commenting on Hebrews
10:38 writes that...
Patient endurance is a fruit of faith, yet it is only as that vital and root
grace is in daily exercise, that the Christian is enabled to stand firm amid
the storms of life. Those whom God declares righteous in Christ are to pass
their lives here, not in doubt and fear, but in the maintenance of a calm
trust in and a joyful obedience to Him. Only as the heart is engaged with
God and feeds upon His Word, will the soul be invigorated and fitted to
press onwards when everything outward seems to be against him. It is by our
faith being drawn out unto things above that we receive the needed strength
which causes us to look away from the discouraging and distracting scene
around us. As faith lives upon Christ (Jn 6:56, 57), it draws virtue from
Him, as the branch derives sap from the root of the vine. Faith makes us
resign ourselves and our affairs to Christ’s disposing, cheerfully treading
the path of duty and patiently waiting that issue which He will give. Faith
is assured that our Head knows far better than we do what is good and best.
Saving of the Soul. Hebrews 10:35-39)
It is notable that only the book of
Romans surpasses the book of Hebrews (see the uses in Hebrews below)
in the number of uses of
(Romans = 35, Hebrews = 31, out of 243 NT
Pistis is translated
in the NAS as faith, 238; faithfulness, 3; pledge, 1;
(2) The obedience
True faith that saves one's soul includes at
least three main elements
(1) firm persuasion
or firm conviction,
a surrender to that
(3) a conduct
emanating from that surrender. In sum, faith shows itself genuine by a
changed life. (Click
W E Vine's similar definition of faith)
Respected theologian Louis Berkhof
defines genuine faith in essentially the same way noting that it includes an
intellectual element (notitia), which is
a positive recognition of the
truth”; an emotional element (assensus), which includes “a deep
conviction of the truth”; and a volitional element (fiducia), which
involves “a personal trust in Christ as Savior and Lord, including a
surrender … to Christ.” (Louis
Berkhof, Systematic Theology. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1939)
Faith is relying on what God has done rather than on one’s own efforts.
In the Old Testament, faith is rarely mentioned. The word trust is
used frequently, and verbs like believe and rely are used to
express the right attitude to God. The classic example is Abraham, whose
faith was reckoned as righteousness (Ge 15:6). At the heart of the
Christian message is the story of the cross: Christ’s dying to bring
salvation. Faith is an attitude of trust in which a believer receives
God’s good gift of salvation (Acts 16:30,31) and lives in that awareness
thereafter (Gal 2:20; cf. Heb 11:1).
J. B. Lightfoot discusses the concept of faith in his commentary on
Galatians. He notes that in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, the definition of the
word for faith
"hovers between two meanings:
trustfulness, the frame of mind which relies on another; and
trustworthiness, the frame of mind which can be relied upon...the senses
will at times be so blended together that they can only be separated by some
arbitrary distinction. The loss in grammatical precision is often more than
compensated by the gain in theological depth...They who have faith in God
are steadfast and immovable in the path of duty."
Faith, like grace, is not static. Saving faith is more than just
understanding the facts and mentally acquiescing. It is inseparable from
repentance, surrender, and a supernatural longing to obey. None of those
responses can be classified exclusively as a human work, any more than
believing itself is solely a human effort.
Faith is manifest by not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in
spite of consequence. John uses the related verb pisteuo to demonstrate the
relationship between genuine faith and obedience writing...
"He who believes (present
tense = continuous) in
the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see
life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36)
Charles Swindoll commenting on faith and obedience in John 3:36
In 3:36 the one who “believes in the Son
has eternal life” as a present possession. But the one who “does not obey
the Son shall not see life.” To disbelieve Christ is to disobey
Him. And logically, to believe in Christ is to obey Him. As I
have noted elsewhere, “This verse clearly indicates that belief is
not a matter of passive opinion, but decisive and obedient action.”
(quoting J. Carl Laney)...Tragically many people are convinced that it
doesn’t really matter what you believe, so long as you are sincere. This
reminds me of a Peanuts cartoon in which Charlie Brown is returning from a
disastrous baseball game. The caption read, “174 to nothing! How could we
lose when we were so sincere?” The reality is, Charlie Brown, that it takes
more than sincerity to win the game of life. Many people are sincere about
their beliefs, but they are sincerely wrong!" (Swindoll,
C. R., & Zuck, R. B. Understanding Christian Theology.: Thomas Nelson
Publishers) (This book is
recommended if you are looking for a very readable, non-compromising work on
"systematic theology". Wayne Grudem's work noted above is comparable.)
Subjectively faith is firm
persuasion, conviction, belief in the truth, veracity, reality or
faithfulness (though rare). Objectively faith is that which is
believed (usually designated as "the faith"), doctrine, the received
articles of faith.
separate study of "the
True faith is not based on empirical evidence but on divine assurance.
Spurgeon wrote that...
Faith is the foot of the soul by which it
can march along the road of the commandments.
was translating the
Scripture for the South Sea islanders, he was unable to find a word in their
vocabulary for the concept of believing, trusting, or having faith. He had
no idea how he would convey that to them. One day while he was in his hut
translating, a native came running up the stairs into Paton's study and
flopped in a chair, exhausted. He said to Paton,
“It’s so good to rest my whole weight in
Paton had his word: Faith is resting your whole weight on God. That
word went into the translation of their New Testament and helped bring that
civilization of natives to Christ. Believing is putting your whole weight on
God. If God said it, then it’s true, and we’re to believe it.
Nothing before, nothing behind,
The steps of faith
Fall on the seeming void, and find
The rock beneath -- Whittier
Clearly faith is a key word in Hebrews. Study the 31 uses of
in context (click the Scripture links to go to the notes on each verse)...
- For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but
the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith
in those who heard.
- Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press
on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works
and of faith toward God,
-so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith
and patience inherit the promises.
- let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed
with pure water.
- BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL
HAS NO PLEASURE IN
- But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those
who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
- By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of
God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
- By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which
he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his
gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
- By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT
FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his
being taken up he was pleasing to God.
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
- By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence
prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned
the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to
- By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which
he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he
- By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign
land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same
- By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the
proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
- All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen
them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that
they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
- By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had
received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
- By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.
- By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and
worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
- By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons
of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
- By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his
parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid
of the king's edict.
- By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of
- By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured,
as seeing Him who is unseen.
- By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that
he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
-By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing
through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
- By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for
- By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were
disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
-who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained
promises, shut the mouths of lions,
- And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive
what was promised,
- fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and
considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
AND IF HE
SHRINKS BACK MY SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM: kai ean huposteiletai (3SAMS)
ouk eudokei (3SPAI) e psuche mou en auto: (He 10:26,27; 6:4, 5,
6; Psalms 85:8; Ezekiel 3:20; 18:24; Zephaniah 1:6; Matthew 12:43, 44,
45; 13:21; 2Peter 2:19, 20, 21, 22; 1John 2:19) (Psalms 5:4; 147:11;
149:4; Isaiah 42:1; Malachi 1:10; Matthew 12:18; 1Thessalonians 2:15)
If = 3rd Class Condition: Ean (1437) + subjunctive mood implying
uncertainty. The persecution was coming...the question was "Would the
hearers hold fast firm to the end?" So again he goes to the familiar OT
Scriptures to teach that the person who has been made righteous by God
continues to live (and survives -- whether he lives or dies --the coming
ordeal) by faith.
notes that the writer has just emphasized the certainty of Christ's
return and that this is truth should motivate all believers...
to hope, holiness, and humility in
daily life. In light of this he reminds us of the danger of shrinking
back. Shrinking back involves not a momentary struggle or
weakness but a calculated moving away from confidence in Christ. It
is the opposite of living by faith in Christ. It throws away
confidence in Christ (He 10:35) to pursue one's own path. So our
writer quotes from Habakkuk 2:4, "But My righteous one shall live by
faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him."
Shrinking back meets with divine
displeasure and ends in "destruction," a clear warning of
eternal damnation. As we have seen on several occasions in this
epistle, the writer warns of apostasy, a deliberate turning away from
Christ after being under the influence of the gospel and having made a
profession of knowing Christ. It is the clear revelation that such
a person's faith is spurious; and God's displeasure meets him with
"destruction." (Bolding added) (Sermons
from the Epistle to the Hebrews)
A W Pink...
The practical application of this
solemn word to us is, that in order to have a scripturally-grounded
assurance of God’s taking pleasure in us, we must continue cleaving
closely unto Him.
Shrinks back (Withdraws) (5288)
from hupo = under, underneath + stello = to set, place;
in middle voice = take care against a thing, avoid = 2Co 8:20) is
usually found in the
(reflexive; subject initiates action and participates in result/effect
thereof) and conveys the sense of withdraw oneself and so to be timid,
to cower, to shrink from, to shy away from. In the active voice (only
in Gal 2:12) means to draw down and so to consciously withdraw from a
position. As noted in the comment appended to Galatians below,
hupostello was used in secular Greek to describe strategic military
writes that hupostello...
here in (Heb 10:38) the
suggesting determination in the act, signifies to withdraw from
holding the truth.
W. Collected writings of W. E. Vine. Nashville: Thomas Nelson
In classic Greek
hupostello was used to describe a dog tucking (letting down)
his tail, a ship's sail that was furled (= to wrap around a stay or
mast and fasten by a cord) or drawn down. The
lowering of the sail slackens the course. The point in Hebrews is that the
who "lowers his sail and slackens his course" is the one in whom God takes no
writes that hupostello...
1. This word means “to draw aside
or back,” “to retreat,” “to withdraw,” “to hold back,” “to keep away
from,” “to keep silence,” “to conceal.”
2. In the
the term means “to hide” in
Job 13:18, “to shrink from” in Dt 1:17, and “to hold back” in Hag.
1:10. The sense “to subordinate” occurs in Philo.
3.a. In the NT Paul says in Gal.
2:11, 12 that when certain people come from James to Antioch, Peter,
who has been eating with the Gentiles, “draws back,” or even perhaps
3.b. In Acts 20:18ff. Paul stresses
to the Ephesians elders (Acts 20:20, 27) that he has not shrunk or
held back from declaring all God’s truth to them.
3.c. Heb. 10:37, 38 has the verb in
a Christological quotation of Hab 2:4....there can thus be no confidence or reward if
guilty of shrinking back or concealment.
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the
New Testament. Eerdmans
- 4x in 4v - NAS = shrink(2), shrinks back(1), withdraw(1).
Acts 20:20 how I did not shrink
from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you
publicly and from house to
Vincent comments on hupostello:
A picturesque word. Originally, to draw in or contract. Used of
furling sails, and of closing the fingers; of drawing back for
shelter; of keeping back one’s real thoughts; by physicians, of
withholding food from patients. It is rather straining a point to say,
as Canon Farrar, that Paul is using a nautical metaphor suggested by
his constantly hearing the word for furling sail used during his
voyage. Paul’s metaphors lie mainly on the lines of military life,
architecture, agriculture, and the Grecian games. The statement of
Canon Farrar, that he “constantly draws his metaphors from the sights
and circumstances immediately around him,” is rather at variance with
his remark that, with one exception, he “cannot find a single word
which shows that Paul had even the smallest susceptibility for the
works of nature” (“Paul,” i., 19). Nautical metaphors are, to say the
least, not common in Paul’s writings. I believe there are but three
instances: Ep 4:14; 1Ti 1:19; 6:9. Paul means here that he suppressed
nothing of the truth through fear of giving offence. Compare Gal 2:12;
Acts 20:27 "For I did not
shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.
is emphasizes that Paul has no
reluctance to proclaim the whole truth. May his tribe increase in this
day of relative Biblical illiteracy, especially of the truth about God
and man in the Old Testament!
Galatians 2:12 For prior to
the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the
Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw
and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.
Hupostello is in the
indicating that “he was drawing back (over and over, again and
again),” suggesting a considerable degree of vacillation. The same
word is used of reluctance to proclaim the whole truth, Acts 20:20,
27, and of apostasy from the faith.
MacArthur explains that
hupostello "was used frequently to describe strategic military
operations. This suggests that it was part of Peter’s strategy in the
circumstances with which he was faced. Polybius used this word of the
drawing back of troops in order to place them under shelter. This
suggests a retreat on the part of Peter from motives of caution. The
indicating that Peter did not start his withdrawal from the Gentile
tables at once, but gradually, under the pressure of their criticism.
It gives a graphic picture of the Jerusalem apostle’s irresolute and
tentative efforts to withdraw from an intercourse that gave offense to
these visitors. The verb also was used of furling the sails of a boat.
Peter, the former fisherman, was expert at that. Now. he was trimming
his sails in a controversy that involved Jewish freedom from the
Mosaic law which had been set aside at the Cross."
J. Galatians. Chicago: Moody Press
Hebrews 10:38 BUT MY RIGHTEOUS
ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL HAS NO
PLEASURE IN HIM.
- 5x in the Septuagint - Exod 23:21; Deut 1:17; Job 13:8; Hab 2:4; Hag
Habakkuk 2:4 "Behold, as for
the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous
will live by his faith.
Comment: Here is the
Septuagint rendering -
Hab 2:4 If he should draw back (hupostello), my soul has no
pleasure (eudokeo) in him: but the just shall live by my faith.
Haggai 1:10 "Therefore,
because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has
withheld (Lxx = hupostello) its produce.
Check these parallel NT verses
that present a picture of one who "shrinks back":
Mt 13:21. Lk 8:13, 14,
9:62. 1Ti 1:19, 4:1, 5:15, 6:10 2Ti 4:10, 2Pe 2:19, 20, 21,22, 1Jn 2:19.
pleasure (2106) (eudokeo
from eu = well, good + dokeo = to think) means
literally to think well of and so to be well pleased, to take pleasure
or delight in (This is the sense in which eudokeo is used in He
10:38). The idea is to find satisfaction in something or someone or to
view with approval.
means to take great pleasure, to give keen enjoyment, to provide a
high degree of gratification.
In this regard
it is notable that five of the first six uses (the Gospels) refer to
the Father's taking pleasure in His Son (in Whom He was "well
pleased") (cf. Matt. 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22; cp 2Pe
A related sense
is to be well pleased with some object and thus to like, prefer or
approve of (1Th 3:1, 2Th 2:12). Be content, pleased, delighted (2Co
means to consider something as good and thus worthy of choice (Lk
12:32, 1Cor 1:21, Gal 1:15). To be glad to do. To be willing. The
sense is to take pleasure in doing, eg, in Lk 12:32 God expressed His
pleasure by His willingness to grant His kingdom to His children. In
1Cor 1:21, God was "well pleased" or willing to save those who believe
adds "as in secular authors, followed by an infinitive, it seems good
to one, is one's good pleasure; to think it good, choose, determine,
1) it seems good to one, is
one’s good pleasure.
1a) think it good, choose,
1b) to do willingly.
1c) to be ready to, to prefer, choose rather.
2) to be well pleased with,
take pleasure in, to be favorably inclined towards one.
The verb eudokeo is a
colloquial term from Hellenistic times (attested from the 3rd cent.
B.C.). It is thought to be derived from the hypothetical eudokos,
formed from eu, good, and dechomai, to accept. In
classic Greek it means to be well pleased or content, to consent,
approve; in the pass. to be favoured, i.e. prosper; to find favour
some 60 times. Where there is an underlying Heb. text, it generally
trans. rasâh, to take pleasure in, like, enjoy, decide upon, elect,
and denotes a passionate and positive volition. The godly man rejoices
over the sanctuary (1Chr. 29:3; Ps 101:15)... Yahweh takes pleasure in
his people (Ps. 44:3; Ps 149:4), in a pious man (2Sa 22:20), in those
who fear him (Ps. 147:11). A man prays that it may please Yahweh to
deliver him (Ps 40:13). On the other hand, Yahweh has no pleasure in
the calf (i.e. the strength) of a man’s leg (Ps 147:10), nor in anyone
who does evil (Mal. 2:17). A penitent mind is more pleasing to Yahweh
than a sacrifice (Ps. 51:16, 19; Jer 14:12).
adds that eudokeo...
means to think well of something by
understanding not only what is right and good, as in dokeo, but
stressing the willingness and freedom of an intention or resolve
regarding what is good (Lk 12:32; Ro 15:26, 27; 1Co 1:21; Gal 1:15;
Col 1:19; 1Th 2:8)
The same meaning of pleasure
regarding one's choice expressed in that person's will or purpose is
in the verb (eudokeo), translated "to be pleased" fifteen times
in the NIV (Mt 3:17; 17:5; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22; 12:32; Ro 15:26, 27; 1Co
1:21; 10:5; Gal 1:15; Col 1:19; Heb 10:6, 8, 38; 2Pe 1:17) out of the
twenty-one times it occurs in the NT. Thus, a statement that the
churches to which Paul ministered were "pleased" to make a
contribution to the poor (Ro 15:26, 27) indicates not only their state
of mind but also their determined choice.
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency
Computer Version - New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words)
21x in 21v - NAS = am well content(1), am well-pleased(5), been
pleased(1), chosen gladly(1), good pleasure(1), has...pleasure(1),
pleased(2), prefer(1), taken pleasure(1), taken...pleasure(1), thought
it best(1), took pleasure(1), well-pleased(4).
Matthew 3:17 and behold, a voice
out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am
Comment: "God had examined,
as it were, His beloved Son, who would offer Himself as a sacrifice
for the sins of those with whom He was willing to identify Himself. No
imperfection could be found in Him, and God was delighted."
J: Matthew 1-7 Chicago: Moody Press
"What does it mean when the NT
reports that God spoke of Jesus as one with whom he was "well
pleased" (Mt 3:17)? It means, among other things, that Jesus was
fulfilling the messianic role to which God had called him. In
contrast, God was not pleased with the sacrifices and offerings of the
OT system (Heb 10:6, 8). They could not be established in his purpose
as a way to cleanse humanity from sin."
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency
Computer Version - New International Encyclopedia of Bible Words)
Matthew 12:18 "BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN
WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM,
AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.
Matthew 17:5 While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed
them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved
Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!"
Mark 1:11 and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved
Son, in You I am well-pleased."
Luke 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a
dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You
I am well-pleased."
Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has
chosen gladly (YLT = did delight; NET =
"has been pleased") to give you the kingdom.
Romans 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make a
contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem.
27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For
if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are
indebted to minister to them also in material things.
Comment: Here eudokeo
means "to be well pleased, to think it good, stresses the willingness
and freedom of an intention or resolve as to what is good" (Vine)
1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through
its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the
foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe.
1 Corinthians 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not
well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.
2 Corinthians 5:8 we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to
be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:10-note Therefore I am
well content with weaknesses, with
insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for
Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Galatians 1:15 But when God, who had set me apart even from my
mother's womb and called me through His grace, was pleased ("to
reveal His Son in me" Gal 1:16))
Colossians 1:19-note For it was the Father's
good pleasure (was pleased) for all the
fullness to dwell in Him,
1 Thessalonians 2:8-note Having so fond an affection for you, we
well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our
own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 3:1-note Therefore when we could endure it no longer, we
thought it best (ESV = we were willing, NET, NLT = we decided;
) to be left behind at Athens alone,
2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that they all may be judged who did not
believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
Hebrews 10:6-note IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE
TAKEN NO PLEASURE.
After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT
OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU
TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law),
Comment: Contrast "well
pleased" in Mt 3:17 where eudokeo means, among other things, that
Jesus was fulfilling the messianic role to which God had called Him.
In contrast, God was not pleased with the sacrifices and
offerings of the OT system here in (Heb 10:6 and He 10:8) for they
could never fulfill his purpose as a way to cleanse humanity from sin.
BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY
SOUL HAS NO PLEASURE IN HIM.
2Pe 1:17-note For when He received honor and glory from God the Father,
such an utterance as this was made to Him by the Majestic Glory, "This
is My beloved Son with whom I am well-pleased "--
36x in the non-apocryphal
- Gen 24:26, 48;
33:10; Lev 26:34, 41; Judg 11:17; 15:18; 19:10, 25; 20:13; 2 Sam
22:20; 1 Chr 29:3, 23; 2 Chr 10:7; Esth 4:17; Job 14:6; Ps 40:13;
44:3; 49:13; 51:16, 19; 68:16; 77:7; 85:1; 102:14; 119:108; 147:10f;
149:4; Eccl 9:7; Jer 2:19; 14:10, 12; Hab 2:4; Hag 1:8; Mal 2:17
2 Samuel 22:20 "He also brought me
forth into a broad place; He rescued me, because He delighted
Psalm 40:13 Be pleased (Heb
= ratsah; Lxx = eudokeo), O LORD, to deliver me; Make haste, O LORD,
to help me
Psalm 51:16 For You do not
delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not
pleased (Heb = ratsah; Lxx = eudokeo) with burnt offering.
Psalm 51:19 Then You will
delight (Heb = ratsah; Lxx = eudokeo) in righteous sacrifices, In
burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then young bulls will be
offered on Your altar.
Psalm 147:11 The LORD favors
(Heb = ratsah; Lxx = eudokeo) those who fear Him, Those who wait for
Psalm 149:4 For the LORD takes
pleasure (Heb = ratsah; Lxx = eudokeo) in His people; He will
beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.
After stating clearly the manner of gaining a
righteous standing before God ("justification by faith", "justified by
faith", "declared righteous by faith") is by faith in Jesus the Great High
Priest, the writer warns those among his readers who had made a mere profession
of faith ("lip service"), that if they draw back to the temple sacrifices, renouncing their
professed faith in Messiah, God would have no pleasure in that person.
Keep in mind that
Hebrews is written to the assembly of those who professed belief in
Messiah but that the assembly was composed of both true
believers and false believers (unbelievers). In this passage the writer is
addressing the one who professes to be justified or righteous in God's
sight, but who in fact has only an intellectual
faith (head knowledge) and who lacks a heart trust as evidenced by his
"work" of shrinking back.
In Acts we
encounter Simon whose belief proved to be only a profession but not a
genuine possession of new life in Christ...
Acts 8:13 Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he
continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles
taking place, he was constantly amazed. ",
Acts 8:21 [Peter's direct pronouncement on Simon] = "You have no part
or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God."
F B Meyer...
THE Epistle has been for some time
glowing with ever-increasing heat; and now it flames out into a
vehement expostulation, which must have startled and terrified those
Hebrew Christians who were still wavering between Judaism and
Christianity. As we have had more than one occasion to remark, it had
become a great question with some of them whether they should go back
to the one, or go on with the other. The splendid ceremonial,
venerable age, and olden associations of Judaism, were fighting hard
to wean them away from the simplicity and spiritual demands of the
later faith. But surely the retrograde movement would be arrested, and
the impetus toward Christ accelerated, by these sublime and
I. THE THREEFOLD CONCLUSION ALREADY ARRIVED AT IS
Summed up in three momentous propositions.
We may boldly enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus. The holiest was
the chamber of innermost communion with God. To enter it was to speak
with God face to face. And its equivalent for us is the right to make
our God our confidant and friend, into whose secret ear we may pour
the whole story of sin and sorrow and need. Nor need the memory of
recent sin distress us; because the blood of Jesus is the pledge of
the forgiveness and acceptance of those who are penitent and
believing. We may go continually, and even dwell, where Israel's high
priests might tread but once each year.
Jesus has inaugurated a new and living way. The veil of the Temple was
rent when Jesus died, to indicate that the way to God was henceforth
free to man, without let or hindrance, and without the intervention of
a human priest. Priests have tried to block it, and to compel men to
pay them toll for Opening it. But their pretensions are false. They
have no such power. The way stands open still for every trembling
seeker. It is new, because, though myriads have trodden it, it is as
fresh as ever for each new priestly foot. It is living, because it is
through the living Saviour that we come to God. "No man cometh unto
the Father but by me." Stay here to note that the veil, with its
curious workmanship, was a symbol of the body of Christ. "The veil,
that is to say, his flesh." We get near to God through the death of
that Son of man who, in real human sorrow, hung on the cross for us.
We have a Great priest. We belong to the household of God by faith;
but we need a Priest. Priests need a Priest. And such a one we have,
who ever liveth to make intercession for us, and to offer our prayers
on the golden altar, mingled with the much incense of his own precious
merit. These are the three conclusions which recapitulate the
positions laid down and proved up to this point.
II. THE THREEFOLD EXHORTATION FOUNDED ON THE PREVIOUS CONCLUSIONS
"Let us draw near" (Heb 10:22).
"Let us hold fast" (Heb 10:23).
us consider one another" (Heb 10:24).
And each of these three
exhortations revolves around one of the three words which are so often
found in combination in the Epistles-Faith, Hope, and Love (R.V).
Consists of two parts belief, which accepts certain declarations as
true; and trust in the person about whom these declarations are made.
Neither will do without the other. On the one hand, we cannot trust a
person without knowing something about him; on the other hand, our
knowledge will not help us unless it leads to trust, any more than it
avails the shivering wretch outside the Bank of England to know that
the vaults are stored with gold. A mere intellectual faith is not
enough. The holding of a creed will not save. We must pass from a
belief in words to trust in the Word. By faith we know that Jesus
lives, and by faith we also appropriate that life. By faith we know
that Jesus made on the cross a propitiation for sin; and by faith we
lay our hand reverently on his dear head and confess our sin. Faith is
the open hand receiving Christ. Faith is the golden pipe through which
his fullness comes to us. Faith is the narrow channel by which the
life that pulses in the Redeemer's heart enters our souls. Faith is
the attitude we assume when we turn aside from the human to the
divine. We ought not to be content with anything less than the full
assurance of faith. The prime method of increasing it is in drawing
near to God. In olden days the bodies of the priests were bathed in
water and sprinkled with blood ere they entered the presence of God.
Let us seek the spiritual counterpart of this. Relieved from the
pressure of conscious guilt, with hearts as sincere and guileless as
the flesh is clean when washed with pure water, let us draw near to
God and keel) in fellowship with him; and in that attitude faith will
grow exceedingly. It will no longer sit in the dust, but clothe itself
in beautiful garments. It will wax from a thread to become a cable. No
longer the trembling touch of a woman's hand, it will grasp the
pillars of the Temple with a Samson's embrace.
Is more than faith, and has special reference to the unknown future
which it realizes, and brings to bear on our daily life. The veil that
hides the future parts only as smitten by the prow of our advancing
boat; it is natural, therefore, that we should often ask what lies
Foreboding is the prophet of ill; Hope of good. Foreboding cries, "We
shall certainly fall by the hand of; Hope replies, "No weapon that is
formed against us shall prosper." Foreboding cries, "Who shall roll
away the stone? " Hope sings merrily, "The Lord shall go before us,
and make the crooked places straight." Foreboding, born of unbelief,
cries, "The people are great and tall, and the cities walled up to
heaven"; Hope already portions out the land and chooses its
inheritance. But Christian hope is infinitely better and more reliable
than that of the worldling. In ordinary hope there is always the
element of uncertainty; it may be doomed to disillusion and
disappointment; things may not turn out as we expect: and so, being
the characteristic of youth, it dies down as the years advance. But
Christian hope is based on the promise of God, and therefore it cannot
disappoint; nay, it is the anchor of the aged soul, becoming brighter
and more enduring as the years pass by, because "he is faithful that
promised." But how may we increase our hope, so as never to let it
slip, but to hold it fast with unwavering firmness? There is nothing
which will sooner strengthen it than to consider his faithfulness
whose promises are hope's anchorage. Has he ever failed to fulfill his
engagements? Do not the stars return to their appointed place to a
hairbreadth of their time? Have not good men given a unanimous
testimony to the fidelity of the covenant-keeping God? He has never
suffered his faithfulness to fail-and never will. Our hope, therefore,
need not falter, but be strong and very courageous.
Comes last. She is queen of all the graces of the inner life. Love is
the passion of self-giving. It never stays to ask what it can afford,
or what it may expect to receive; but it is ever shedding forth its
perfume, breaking its alabaster boxes, and shedding its heart's blood.
It will pine to death if it cannot give. It must share its
possessions. It is prodigal of costliest service. Such love is in the
heart of God, and should also be in us; and we may increase it
materially by considering one another, and associating with our
fellow-believers. Distance begets coldness and indifference. When we
forsake the assembly of our fellow- Christians we are apt to wrap
ourselves in the chill mantle of indifference. But when we see others
in need, and help them; when we are willing to succor and save; when
we discover that there is something attractive in the least lovable;
when we feel the glowing sympathy of others-our own love grows by the
demands made on it, and by the opportunities of manifestation. Let us
seek earnestly these best gifts; and that we may have them and abound,
let us invoke the blessed indwelling of the Lord Jesus, whose entrance
brings with it the whole train of sweet Christian graces.
III. THE THREEFOLD REMONSTRANCE
Go forward! otherwise penally (Heb. 10:26). If a man unwittingly broke
Moses' law, he was forgiven; but if he willfully despised it, he died
without mercy. What then can be expected by those who sin willfully,
not against the iron obligations of Sinai, but against the gracious
words which distill from the lips of the dying Saviour! The heart that
can turn from the love and blood-shedding of Calvary, and ignore them,
and trample them ruthlessly under foot, is so hard, so hopeless, so
defiant of the Holy Spirit as to expose itself to the gravest
displeasure of God, and can expect no further offering for its sins.
There is no sacrifice for the atonement of the sin of rejecting
Go forward! otherwise past efforts nullified (Heb. 10:32). These
Hebrew Christians had suffered keenly on their first entrance into the
Christian life. The martyrdom of the saintly Stephen; the great havoc
wrought in the Church by Saul of Tarsus; the terrible famines that
visited Jerusalem, causing widespread destitution. They had become
even a gazing-stock by reproaches and afflictions. But they had taken
joyfully the spoiling of their goods, not shrinking from the ordeal.
To go back to Judaism now would annul the advantages which otherwise
might have accrued from their bitter experience; would miss the
harvest of their tears; would counterwork the respect with which they
were being regarded; and would rob them of the reward which the Lord
might give to them, if they only endured to the end. "Cast not away
your boldness, which hath great recompense of reward."
Go forward! the Lord is at hand (Heb. 10:36). Jesus was about to come
in the fall of Jerusalem, as lie will come ere long to close the
present age; and every sign pointed to the speedy destruction of the
Jewish polity by the all-conquering might of Rome. How foolish then
would it be to return to that which was on the eve of dissolution: to
the Temple that would burn to the ground; to sacrifices soon to cease;
to a priesthood to be speedily scattered to the winds! There was only
one alternative: not to go back to certain perdition, to the ruin of
all the nobler attributes of the soul, to disgrace and disappointment
and endless regret; but to go on through evil and good report, through
sorrow and anxiety and blood, until the faithful servant should be
vindicated by the Lord's approval, and welcomed into the realms of
endless blessedness. Are we amongst those who go on to the saving of
the soul? Here, as so often, the salvation of the soul is viewed as a
process. True, we are in a sense saved when first we turn to the cross
and trust the Crucified. But it is only as we keep in the current that
streams from the cross, only as we remain in abiding fellowship with
the Saviour, only as we submit ourselves habitually to the gracious
influences of the divine Spirit, that salvation pervades and heals our
whole being. Then the soul may be said to be gained (R.V., marg.),
i.e., restored to its original type as conceived in the mind of God
before he built the dust of the earth into man, and breathed into him
the breath of life, and he became a living soul.
F. B. Meyer. The Way Into the Holiest