Hebrews 8:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 8:11, NIV: No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:11, ESV: And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:11, KJV: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

Hebrews 8:11, NASB: AND THEY WILL NOT TEACH, EACH ONE HIS FELLOW CITIZEN, AND EACH ONE HIS BROTHER, SAYING, ‘KNOW THE LORD,’ FOR THEY WILL ALL KNOW ME, FROM THE LEAST TO THE GREATEST OF THEM.

Hebrews 8:11, NLT: And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, 'You should know the LORD.' For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already.

Hebrews 8:11, CSB: And each person will not teach his fellow citizen,and each his brother or sister, saying, "Know the Lord,"because they will all know me,from the least to the greatest of them.

What does Hebrews 8:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The writer of Hebrews is using a quotation from Jeremiah 31:31–34 to make an important point. God, even while the Old Testament Law was in effect, was already promising to give His people a "new covenant." The nature of this promise is explained in Jeremiah's words, with a special emphasis on the new agreement being something "inside" of the people, rather than something "outside." This is the ultimate distinction between the old and new covenants. Levitical priesthood requires a reliance on laws, obedience, rituals, and ongoing, imperfect sacrifices for sins. Jesus Christ offers a personal, internal, eternal, and completed forgiveness for sins.

As part of this, those who are "brothers" in Christ will "know the Lord." This also speaks to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, as a guide and teacher for those who are saved (John 16:7–11). The focus of the old covenant was on adherence to rules and laws, taught and interpreted by others. The new covenant focuses on a personal relationship and response to God, through Christ.