Original Research

Warning through song and legislation? An intertextual study of Hebrews 10:26–31 and Deuteronomy

Albert J. Coetsee
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 45, No 1 | a3068 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v45i1.3068 | © 2024 Albert J. Coetsee | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 December 2023 | Published: 30 April 2024

About the author(s)

Albert J. Coetsee, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society, Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa


Just as in the rest of Hebrews, the warning passage in Hebrews 10:26–31 contains numerous references to the Old Testament. The passage has, among others, two explicit quotations from the Song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 (Dt 32:35a in Heb 10:30a; Dt 32:36a in Heb 10:30b), and one clear allusion to the legislation in Deuteronomy 17 (Dt 17:6 in Heb 10:28). The current article argued that Deuteronomy plays an even bigger role in the passage than has previously been noted. Moving from the clear to the less clear by discussing quotations from, allusions to, echoes and applications of, and conceptual and intertextual parallels with Deuteronomy, the intertextual study found that there are possible traces of Deuteronomy in every verse of Hebrews 10:26–31, and strikingly, that all these traces come from Deuteronomy 17 and 32. The article concluded by reflecting on the correlation between Deuteronomy 17 and 32, and how the author of Hebrews employs words and reminiscences from these chapters in order to warn his addressees against apostasy.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article contributed to the investigation of the Old Testament in the Book of Hebrews, and more specifically, the investigation of the occurrence and use of the Book of Deuteronomy in Hebrews.


Hebrews 10:26–31; Deuteronomy 17:6; Deuteronomy 17:12; Deuteronomy 32:22; Deuteronomy 32:35; Deuteronomy 32:36; Deuteronomy 32:39–41; intertextual study.

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