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Hebrews 10:30

ESV For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."
NIV For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."
NASB For we know Him who said, 'VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.' And again, 'THE Lord WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.'
CSB For we know the one who has said, Vengeance belongs to me; I will repay, and again, The Lord will judge his people.
NLT For we know the one who said, 'I will take revenge. I will pay them back.' He also said, 'The Lord will judge his own people.'
KJV For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.
NKJV For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

What does Hebrews 10:30 mean?

This verse is part of a passage which generates controversy. Read out of context, it can be misinterpreted to suggest that those who are saved, but sin, are at risk of being damned. The writer of Hebrews continues to use language in this passage which indicates he is speaking of a truly saved believer (Hebrews 10:29). However, the context of the New Testament does not support the idea that a saved Christian can lose that salvation (John 10:28–29), so the judgment being spoken of here must not be a reference to eternal judgment.

That being said, even in context, the exact meaning of these words can be difficult to untangle. One popular view is that this is an alert given to those who are "almost" saved—persons who have a clear understanding of the gospel, but reject it anyway. The more likely subject, given the whole context of the passage, is a warning to Christians in the same vein as the one given in chapter 3. Namely, that there will be consequences for disobedience, even for God's chosen people, even for God's saved believers. The prior verse pointed out that those who have the most knowledge of the truth—in this case, Christians—deserve all the more punishment for violating that truth.

To support this idea, the writer quotes from Deuteronomy 32:35–36, which is part of the song of Moses. That verse refers to God taking "vengeance" on the enemies of Israel for their aggression against His people. However, the context of that aggression, according to Deuteronomy, is the sin of Israel herself! So, while the quote specifically targets the enemies of Israel, it comes from a passage describing God's punishment of His own disobedient children.
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