Hebrews 9:16

16 In the case of a will,[a] it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it,

Images for Hebrews 9:16

Hebrews 9:16 in Other Translations

KJV
16 For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
ESV
16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
NLT
16 Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead.
MSG
16 Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus' death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way.
CSB
16 Where a will exists, the death of the testator must be established.

Hebrews 9:16 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 9:16

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 (yqytyyd) , and by it understand a dying man's last will and testament F4. Some of them make it to be of Hebrew derivation; as if it was said, (Mqyml yht ad) , "this shall be to confirm" F5, or this shall be stable and firm; though others own it to be the same with this Greek word (diayhkh) F6. 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.


FOOTNOTES:

F4 T. Hieros. Peah, fol. 17. 4. & T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 152. 2.
F5 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.
F6 Cohen de Lara Ir David, p. 30.

Hebrews 9:16 In-Context

14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
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.
16 In the case of a will, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it,
17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living.
18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Same Greek word as "covenant" ; also in verse 17
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