Did Jesus Say That?

Q. Re: Hebrews 10:5-7. Do you think that these verses should be red letters since Christ spoke them? Are these the first words that Jesus spoke when He came to the earth?

A. Hebrews 10:5-7 is a quote from Psalm 40:6-8, which reads,

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire–but my ears you have opened–burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require. Then I said, “Here I am, I have come–it is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.” The wording is slightly different in Hebrews 10 because the writer was quoting from the Septuagint version, which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament.

The phrase “my ears you have opened” comes from the ceremony installing someone who has volunteered to become a bond servant, a servant for life. His ear was pierced and a gold earring was placed therein as a sign of his status. The piercing was called “opening the ear.” It’s interesting to me that the literal meaning of the phrase “do your will” in the Hebrew language is “to perform a voluntary favor in satisfaction of a debt.” Jesus didn’t have to die for us. He volunteered to die in satisfaction of the debt we owed to God.

Although Psalm 40:6-8 is a prophecy of the coming Messiah, the writer was speaking figuratively by attributing these words to Him. That means Jesus didn’t actually say them, but by His actions He fulfilled them.

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