Hebrews 10:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 10:28, NIV: Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28, ESV: Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28, KJV: He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

Hebrews 10:28, NASB: Anyone who has ignored the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28, NLT: For anyone who refused to obey the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

Hebrews 10:28, CSB: Anyone who disregarded the law of Moses died without mercy, based on the testimony of two or three witnesses.

What does Hebrews 10:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the Old Testament, God made certain provisions for sin. However, these temporary means of atonement assumed that the person who sinned did so in a moment of passion, or ignorance, or simple error. The reference here to those who "set aside the law of Moses" means those who willingly, purposefully, spitefully rejected God's laws (Numbers 15:27–31). In those cases, the old covenant made no provision for atonement. In simple terms, the Law of Moses treated intentional defiance of God as an unforgivable sin.

That level of sin, under the old covenant, carried the death penalty. As such, the Law of Moses required several independent witnesses in order for the charge to be valid. This letter to Jewish Christians has, to this point, placed great emphasis on how the new covenant is greater to the old covenant. In the next verses, the writer will extend this idea to the consequences of rejection. If rejecting the old covenant meant death, how severe are the consequences for those who reject the new covenant?