Any Commentaries on Heb.10:37-38?

I am interested in any Catholic, or Non-Catholic commentaries on this scripture with OT references:

37 For yet a little and a very little while, and he that is to come will come and will not delay. 38 But my just man liveth by faith: but if he withdraw himself, he shall not please my soul. (Douay-Rheims).

Thanks, and God bless.

I think the next verse explains it quite well, “39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

If you, having received the Heavenly gifts (the sacraments), turn away how will you be saved. In other words if you separate yourself from the means of grace which Christ gave the Church then by what means do you hope to be saved? And you have availed yourself of these means and then renounced them, then is not your last state worse than the first? No one may persevere by his own power apart from grace, but that grace is manifest by faith and by perseverance in the life of the one who is alive to Christ. A man who has received all of these gifts and then shrinks back from them, will be destroyed.

But, says the writer, we are not like those because we do persevere (show me your faith apart form works and I will show you mine by my works) and having persevered we have the confidence to run the race set before us.

I know that is not a commentary, but the Scripture answers the question for anyone who doubts.

However, Haydock’s Commentary is good. The CCC is a good source as well, cross reference to things like perseverance.

God Bless

Thanks Bogeydogg,

I followed your suggestion and looked up these verses in the Haydock’s Commentary. It says that verse 37 is a Messianic verse according to Jewish understanding.

It also says that in verse 38 that we should not fall away from the faith of Christ. So is the faith of the just one to be thought of as the faith of Jesus Christ? Haydock’s Commentary:

**Ver. 37. Yet a very little while, and the judge that is to come, and who is to judge every one, will come. (Witham) — O erchomenos, he who is coming. It is observed by commentators, that this is the appellation given by the Jews to the Messias. See Matthew xi. 3. and xxi. 9.

Ver. 38. But my [8] just man, he that liveth according to the doctrine I have taught, liveth by faith, which is the groundwork and foundation of a good life. — But if he withdraw himself, and fall from this faith of Christ, he shall not please my soul. **

Oh yes as Paul says in Romans 1 we have the life of Christ which from faith to faith. That is the faith we have is first Christ’s, who most certainly had faith in fact perfect faith, and His life and His faith is given to us by the Holy Spirit in baptism. So the faith we cling to and claim is not formally ours but is a gift of God (Eph 2) but is a faith in which we must do the works ordained thereby (Eph 2 and James). So all of the faith life is God working through us, but that work is still work to be done by us and those who fall away from that faith have abandoned their only hope for salvation. (1&2 Peter and Hebrews)

God Bless


My heart is smiling.
Does anyone have a commentary that says these verses are a quotation, or rewording of Hab.2:3-4?

God bless.

Heb 10:37-38
For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Isa 26:20-21
Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Hab 2:3-4
For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith.

‘Commentary on the New Testament use of the Old Testament’ (pp981-984) G.K. Beale
“The quotation in 10:37-38 conflates parts of two OT texts, Is26.20-21 and Hb2.3-4, and communicates a contrast between the righteous person, who lives by faith, and the wicked person, who shrinks back from doing the will of God. The two passages probably were brought together by virtue of their common reference to “the coming”, the author again working on the principle of verbal analogy…(2 page later)…The first line of the quotation comes from Is26.20 and the remainder from Hb 2.3-4LXX…The mikron hoson hoson of 10.37a (Is26.20) translates kim at-rega (‘for a little while’) in the Hebrew text…A number of adjustments are made by the LXX to the Hebrew text of Hb2.3-4 which together make for a different emphasis…(4pages).”

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Thank you so much for the commentary. So, ‘for yet a little while’ is to be thought as a reference to this part of Isaiah 26:20-21: and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were* for a little moment**, until the indignation be overpast*.?

This seems to be a powerful reminder of: “Nevertheless, shall the Son of Man find faith when he comes?”

While the rest of the quotation in Hebrews 10:37-38 is a reference to Hab.2:3-4?

Also, ‘the just shall live by his faith’ is a reference to whom?

God bless.

The verse in Habbakuk God is answering the prophet who is disbelieving that God would chasten His people witha people the prophet considers more wicked than Judah. God begins by telling His prophet that not only will He do so, but the prophet can write it down because it will not be delayed in slightest. However those who have faith will live because they are just.

Now consider in Ezekiel 9 that God showed the prophet that the angels went forth through the city of Jerusalem and placed a mark on the foreheads of all those who belonged to God before the siege came. Those who had the mark were spared but they still went into captivity. In the same way I think God is telling the prophet that the man who is just, that is the man who has faith, will escape the judgement of God.

Habbakuk is of course referring to a temporal escaping of judgement as did Ezekiel, but I think Paul is not out of place to appropriate this verse for the Christian Faith because the promise in Christ is that the wrath of God is turned away from those who have faith. Habbakuk was concerned that God not destroy all of the remnant and so the sealing of those who mourned over Judah’s sin temporally was his focus, but we know that he said more than he meant to because Paul (guided by the Holy Spirit) tells us this same principle applies to eternal salvation as well.

Concerning who’s faith it is I know that all faith finds its beginning and conclusion in Christ, however the faith given to us in Christ is still ours in the sense that we must walk in it. So our faith is His and ours as we become less us and more Him.

God Bless


Yes, from a historical perspective it was referring to the Jewish nation. This is quoted in the NT, so Hab.2:3 seems to be telling us that the Messiah will not tarry, surely He is to come, and that we are not to fall away from our faith that is in Him?

I find it interesting that Hab.2:5 onwards seems to be describing the anti-christ. So, could this scripture be speaking of the last days before the return of our Lord Jesus Christ?

I thought that it would be good to see what the Septuagint version of Hab.2:3-4 has to say:

"For the vision [is] yet for a time, and it shall shoot forth at the end, and not in vain: though he should tarry, wait for him; for he will surely come, and will not tarry. 4 If he should draw back,* my** soul has no pleasure in him: but the just shall live by my faith"*

‘My’ (mou) is apparently in the first personal singular, genetive, case. My gratitude and acknowledgement to this website:

So the Hebrew-English says, ‘his faith’, and the Greek-English says, ‘my faith’.
I think your conclusions that this scripture is referring to the faith of Christ working and living through us, and this is what justifies us in the eyes of our heavenly Father is correct.

Thank you so much, and God bless you.

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