For yet ‘a very little while,’ and ‘he who is coming will arrive and will not delay.’” (Heb. 10:36, 37) Can we endure “yet ‘a very little while’” longer? If we do so, then God, “he who is coming,” will arrive on time and fulfill his promise to us.
“HE WHO IS COMING WILL ARRIVE”
5. According to the Hebrew reading of Habakkuk 2:2, 3, the observer of the vision was to keep in expectation of what?
5 In Hebrews 10:37 the apostle Paul makes quotations from the inspired pre-Christian Scriptures. But he does so, not from the original Hebrew reading, but from the Greek translation thereof known as the Greek Septuagint Version (LXX), made during the three centuries immediately before our Common Era. According to the Hebrew, Habakkuk 2:2, 3 reads: “And Jehovah proceeded to answer me and to say: ‘Write down the vision, and set it out plainly upon tablets, in order that the one reading aloud from it may do so fluently. For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it keeps panting on to the end, and it will not tell a lie. Even if it should delay, keep in expectation of it; for it will without fail come true. It will not be late.’”
6. According to the Greek Septuagint Version, from which Paul quoted, there is to be a waiting for a thing or for a person—which?
6 However, according to The Septuagint Bible by Charles Thomson and the Septuagint Version as published by S. Bagster and Sons, Ltd., Habakkuk 2:2, 3 reads: “And the Lord answered [me] and said: Write a vision; write it distinctly in a book that the reader may trace these things [may run]; for the vision is for a time yet to come. But it will spring up at last and will not be vain. Though he may tarry, wait for him; for he will assuredly come and will not fail [and will not tarry].”
7. How may Paul have been influenced by the Greek Septuagint to speak about “endurance” in order to receive the fulfillment of the promise?
7 Thus the Septuagint Version turns our attention from the vision to a coming person.
“A VERY LITTLE WHILE”
8. According to Paul’s quotation from Haggai 2:6, when, or how soon, will the coming one arrive as Executioner for our relief?
8 The coming one, who is to arrive on time, is Jehovah God, then bent on executing judgment, vengeance, against the oppressors of His people. His coming will also be in fulfillment of the recorded “vision.” When, or how soon, is He to come as Executioner? The apostle Paul writes: “Yet ‘a very little while.’” Here he quotes from Haggai 2:6, which reads: “This is what Jehovah of armies has said, ‘Yet once—it is a little while—and I am rocking the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry ground.’” Thus Jehovah applies to himself the time limit, “a little while.” And since the apostle Paul, under inspiration, connects up this same time period with Jehovah’s coming without any delay, we can be certain that Jehovah’s coming to execute judgment upon our opposers and persecutors will now occur before not very long.
9, 10. (a) Why may we be sure that what God specifies as “a very little while” will now not be a very long time for us? (b) What do Satan and his demon army know about their time of freedom of action here at the earth?
9 What is “a very little while” for the Eternal God could be a very long time for us. Nevertheless, let us ever remember where we are on the stream of the “time of the end.” (Ps. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8; Dan. 12:4) Our greatest adversary, Satan the Devil, realizes that we are close to the end of the system of things long under his control, inasmuch as he is “the ruler of this world.” (John 12:31) He knows that now it is practically six thousand years since he set out on his rebellious course and induced our first human parents to join him in rebellion against the universal sovereignty of the Most High God. His further time for freedom of action in misleading the entire inhabited earth is very near its end. After God’s Messianic kingdom was born in the heavens at the close of the Gentile Times in 1914, Satan the Devil and his army of demon angels were cast down in defeat from heaven to the vicinity of this earth. Then they heard the victorious cry ring out:
10 “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ, because the accuser of our brothers has been hurled down, who accuses them day and night before our God! And they conquered him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their witnessing, and they did not love their souls even in the face of death. On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing he has a short period of time.”—Rev. 12:10-12.