Written by Dr. Larry Petton
Hebrews 13:5 is a rare verse. It has been simply translated by many as, "He will never leave you or forsake you." That is good English, but it is not good Greek in this instance.
This verse contains an unusual triple negative. That is not good English, but it is good Greek. It should be translated, "He will never, never, never leave us or forsake us."
As I meditated on this verse, I once asked the Lord to help me understand why the need for a triple negative. Of course, my first answer was Jewish. It is very Hebraic to answer a question with a triplicate. Jewish commentators believe that it was a way of confirming the truth in the testimony of more than two witnesses. Jesus used that method often: "Verily, verily, verily I say unto you." One verily was not enough.
But, in Hebrews 13:5, I believe there is more than Jewish grammar at stake. I wonder if this isn’t the heart of God speaking to a hurting child to remind that little one that He is there always. And who is God? The three in One. The One in three. Then I saw this truth:
"Father, I am so weak. I have failed you in so many ways. Will you ever leave me?"
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