Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
INFERIORITY OF THE
OLD TO THE
COVENANT IN THE
1. Then verily--Greek, "Accordingly then." Resuming the
In accordance with the command given to Moses, "the first covenant
had--not "has," for as a covenant it no longer existed,
though its rites were observed till the destruction of Jerusalem.
ordinances--of divine right and institution.
a worldly sanctuary--Greek, "its (literally,
'the') sanctuary worldly," mundane; consisting of the elements
of the visible world. Contrasted with the heavenly sanctuary.
Heb 9:11, 12,
"not of this building,"
Material, outward, perishing (however precious its materials were), and
also defective religiously. In
"the worldly sanctuary" is discussed; in
&c., the "ordinances of worship." The outer tabernacle the Jews
believed, signified this world; the Holy of Holies,
heaven. JOSEPHUS calls the outer, divided
into two parts, "a secular and common place," answering to "the earth
and sea"; and the inner holiest place, the third part, appropriated to
God and not accessible to men.
2. Defining "the worldly tabernacle."
a tabernacle--"the tabernacle."
made--built and furnished.
the first--the anterior tabernacle.
candlestick . . . table--typifying light and
The candlestick consisted of a shaft and six branches of gold, seven in
all, the bowls made like almonds, with a knop and a flower in one
branch. It was carried in Vespasian's triumph, and the figure is to be
seen on Titus' arch at Rome. The table of shittim wood, covered
with gold, was for the showbread
showbread--literally, "the setting forth of the loaves," that
is, the loaves set forth: "the show of the bread" [ALFORD]. In the outer holy place: so the Eucharist
continues until our entrance into the heavenly Holy of Holies
which, &c.--"which (tabernacle) is called the holy place," as
distinguished from "the Holy of Holies."
3. And--Greek, "But."
second veil--There were two veils or curtains, one before the
Holy of Holies (catapetasma), here alluded to, the other before
the tabernacle door (calumma).
called--as opposed to "the true."
4. golden censer--The Greek, must not be translated
"altar of incense," for it was not in "the holiest" place "after
the second veil," but in "the holy place"; but as in
and Eze 8:11,
"censer": so Vulgate and Syriac. This
GOLDEN censer was only used on the day of
atonement (other kinds of censers on other days), and is therefore
associated with the holiest place, as being taken into it on
that anniversary by the high priest. The expression "which had," does
not mean that the golden censer was deposited there, for in that case
the high priest would have had to go in and bring it out before burning
incense in it; but that the golden censer was one of the articles
belonging to, and used for, the yearly service in the holiest
place. He virtually supposes (without specifying) the existence of the
"altar of incense" in the anterior holy place, by mentioning the
golden censer filled with incense from it: the incense answers to
the prayers of the saints; and the altar though outside the
holiest place, is connected with it (standing close by the second
veil, directly before the ark of the covenant), even as we find an
antitypical altar in heaven. The rending of the veil by Christ has
brought the antitypes to the altar, candlestick, and showbread of the
anterior holy place into the holiest place, heaven. In
Hebrew, "the altar" is said to belong to the
oracle, or holiest place (compare
ark--of shittim wood, that is, acacia. Not in the second temple,
but in its stead was a stone basement (called "the stone of
foundation"), three fingers high.
pot--"golden," added in the Septuagint, and sanctioned by
manna--an omer, each man's daily portion. In
it is said there was nothing in the ark of Solomon's temple save the
two stone tables of the law put in by Moses. But the expression that
there was nothing THEN therein save the two
tables, leaves the inference to be drawn that formerly there were the
other things mentioned by the Rabbis and by Paul here, the pot of manna
(the memorial of God's providential care of Israel) and the rod of
Aaron, the memorial of the lawful priesthood
(Nu 17:3, 5, 7, 10).
The expressions "before the Lord"
and "before the testimony"
thus mean, "IN the ark." "In," however, may be
used here (as the corresponding Hebrew word) as to things
attached to the ark as appendages, as the book of the law was
put "in the side of the ark," and so the golden jewels
offered by the Philistines
tables of the covenant--
(De 9:9; 10:2).
5. over it--over "the ark of the covenant."
cherubim--representing the ruling powers by which God acts in
the moral and natural world. (See on
Hence sometimes they answer to the ministering angels; but mostly to
the elect redeemed, by whom God shall hereafter rule the world and set
forth His manifold wisdom: redeemed humanity, combining in, and with
itself, the highest forms of subordinate creaturely life; not angels.
They stand on the mercy seat, and on that ground become the
habitation of God, from which His glory is to shine upon the world.
They expressly say,
"Thou hast redeemed us." They are there distinguished from
the angels, and associated with the elders. They were of one piece
with the mercy seat, even as the Church is one with Christ: their sole
standing is on the blood-sprinkled mercy seat; they gaze down at it as
the redeemed shall for ever; they are "the habitation of God through
of glory--The cherubim were bearers of the divine
glory, whence, perhaps, they derive their name. The Shekinah, or
cloud of glory, in which Jehovah appeared between the cherubim
over the mercy seat, the lid of the ark, is doubtless the reference.
THOLUCK thinks the twelve loaves of the showbread
represent the twelve tribes of the nation, presented as a
community before God consecrated to Him (just as in the Lord's
Supper believers, the spiritual Israel, all partaking of the one bread,
and becoming one bread and one body, present themselves before the Lord
as consecrated to Him,
1Co 10:16, 17);
the oil and light, the pure knowledge of the Lord, in which the
covenant people are to shine (the seven (lights), implying
perfection); the ark of the covenant, the symbol of God's kingdom in
the old covenant, and representing God dwelling among His own; the ten
commandments in the ark, the law as the basis of union between God and
man; the mercy seat covering the law and sprinkled with the blood of
atonement for the collective sin of the people, God's mercy [in Christ]
stronger than the law; the cherubim, the personified [redeemed]
creation, looking down on the mercy seat, where God's mercy, and God's
law, are set forth as the basis of creation.
mercy seat--Greek, "the propitiatory": the golden cover
of the ark, on which was sprinkled the blood of the propitiatory
sacrifice on the day of atonement; the footstool of Jehovah, the
meeting place of Him and His people.
we cannot--conveniently: besides what met the eye in the
sanctuary, there were spiritual realities symbolized which it would
take too long to discuss in detail, our chief subject at present being
the priesthood and the sacrifices. "Which" refers not
merely to the cherubim, but to all the contents of the sanctuary
6. The use made of the sanctuary so furnished by the high priest
on the anniversary of atonement.
always--twice at the least every day, for the morning and
evening care of the lamps, and offering of incense
(Ex 30:7, 8).
went--Greek, "enter": present tense.
7. once every year--the tenth day of the seventh month. He
entered within the veil on that day twice at least. Thus "once"
means here on the one occasion only. The two, or possibly more,
entrances on that one day were regarded as parts of the one whole.
not without blood--
errors--Greek, "ignorances": "inadvertent errors." They
might have known, as the law was clearly promulged, and they were bound
to study it; so that their ignorance was culpable (compare
Though one's ignorance may mitigate one's punishment
it does not wholly exempt from punishment.
8. The Holy Ghost--Moses himself did not comprehend the typical
(1Pe 1:11, 12).
signifying--by the typical exclusion of all from the holiest,
save the high priest once a year.
the holiest of all--heaven, the antitype.
the first tabernacle--the anterior tabernacle, representative of
the whole Levitical system. While it (the first tabernacle, and
that which represents the Levitical system) as yet "has a
standing" (so the Greek, that is, "has continuance":
"lasts"), the way to heaven (the antitypical "holiest place")
is not yet made manifest (compare
Heb 10:19, 20).
The Old Testament economy is represented by the holy place, the New
Testament economy by the Holy of Holies. Redemption, by Christ, has
opened the Holy of Holies (access to heaven by faith now,
Heb 4:16; 7:19, 25; 10:19, 22;
by sight hereafter,
Re 11:19; 21:2, 3)
to all mankind. The Greek for "not yet" (me po) refers to
the mind of the Spirit: the Spirit intimating that men should not
think the way was yet opened [TITTMANN]. The
Greek negative, "ou po," would deny the fact
objectively; "me po" denies the thing subjectively.
9. Which--"The which," namely, anterior tabernacle:
"as being that which was" [ALFORD].
figure--Greek, "parable": a parabolic setting forth of
the character of the Old Testament.
for--"in reference to the existing time." The time of
the temple-worship really belonged to the Old Testament, but
continued still in Paul's time and that of his Hebrew readers.
"The time of reformation"
stands in contrast to this, "the existing time"; though, in reality,
"the time of reformation," the New Testament time, was now
present and existing. So "the age to come," is the phrase
applied to the Gospel, because it was present only to believers,
and its fulness even to them is still to come. Compare
"good things to come."
in which--tabernacle, not time, according to the
reading of the oldest manuscripts. Or translate, "according to which"
parabolic representation, or figure.
could not--Greek, "cannot": are not able.
him that did the service--any worshipper. The Greek is
"latreuein," serve God, which is all men's duty; not
"leitourgein," to serve in a ministerial office.
make . . . perfect--perfectly remove the sense of
guilt, and sanctify inwardly through love.
as pertaining to the conscience--"in respect to the
(moral-religious) consciousness." They can only reach as far as the
outward flesh (compare "carnal ordinances,"
Heb 9:10, 13, 14).
stood--consisted in [ALFORD]; or,
"have attached to them" only things which appertain to the use of
foods, &c. The rites of meats, &c., go side by side with the
sacrifices [THOLUCK and WAHL]; compare
(Le 10:9; 11:4).
Usage subsequently to the law added many observances as to meats and
and carnal ordinances--One oldest manuscript, Syriac and
Coptic, omit "and." "Carnal ordinances" stand in apposition to
Carnal (outward, affecting only the flesh) is opposed to
spiritual. Contrast "flesh" with "conscience"
(Heb 9:13, 14).
imposed--as a burden
(Ac 15:10, 28)
continually pressing heavy.
until the time of reformation--Greek, "the season
of rectification," when the reality should supersede the type
11. But--in contrast to "could not make . . .
Christ--The Messiah, of whom all the prophets foretold; not
"Jesus" here. From whom the "reformation"
or rectification, emanates, which frees from the yoke of carnal
ordinances, and which is being realized gradually now, and shall be
perfectly in the consummation of "the age (world) to come." "Christ
. . . High Priest," exactly answers to
"the priest that is anointed."
being come an, &c.--rather, "having come forward (compare
a different Greek word, picturesquely presenting Him before us)
as High Priest." The Levitical priests must therefore retire.
Just as on the day of atonement, no work was done, no sacrifice was
offered, or priest was allowed to be in the tabernacle while the high
priest went into the holiest place to make atonement
(Le 16:17, 29).
So not our righteousness, nor any other priest's sacrifice, but Christ
alone atones; and as the high priest before offering incense had on
common garments of a priest, but after it wore his holy garments of
"glory and beauty"
(Ex 28:2, 40)
in entering the holiest, so Christ entered the heavenly holiest in His
good things to come--Greek, "the good things to
the "eternal inheritance,"
the "things hoped for,"
by a . . . tabernacle--joined with "He entered."
Translate, "Through the . . . tabernacle" (of which we
know) [ALFORD]. As the Jewish high priest passed
through the anterior tabernacle into the holiest place, so
Christ passed through heaven into the inner abode of the unseen
and unapproachable God. Thus, "the tabernacle" here is the heavens
through which He passed (see on
But "the tabernacle" is also the glorified body of Christ (see
"not of this building" (not of the mere natural "creation, but
of the spiritual and heavenly, the new creation"), the Head of
the mystical body, the Church. Through this glorified body He
passes into the heavenly holiest place
the immaterial, unapproachable presence of God, where He intercedes for
us. His glorified body, as the meeting place of God and all
Christ's redeemed, and the angels, answers to the heavens
through which He passed, and passes. His body is opposed to the
tabernacle, as His blood to the blood of goats, &c.
greater--as contrasted with the small dimensions of the earthly
more perfect--effective in giving pardon, peace, sanctification,
and access to closest communion with God (compare
not made with hands--but by the Lord Himself
12. Neither--"Nor yet."
by--"through"; as the means of His approach.
goats . . . calves--not a bullock, such as the
Levitical high priest offered for himself, and a goat for the people,
on the day of atonement
(Le 16:6, 15),
year by year, whence the plural is used, goats
. . . calves. Besides the goat offered for the people the
blood of which was sprinkled before the mercy seat, the high priest led
forth a second goat, namely, the scapegoat; over it he confessed the
people's sins, putting them on the head of the goat, which was sent as
the sin-bearer into the wilderness out of sight, implying that the
atonement effected by the goat sin offering (of which the ceremony of
the scapegoat is a part, and not distinct from the sin offering)
consisted in the transfer of the people's sins on the goat, and their
consequent removal out of sight. The translation of sins on the victim
usual in other expiatory sacrifices being omitted in the case of the
slain goat, but employed in the case of the goat sent away, proved the
two goats were regarded as one offering [ARCHBISHOP MAGEE]. Christ's death is
symbolized by the slain goat; His resurrection to life by the living
goat sent away. Modern Jews substitute in some places a cock for
the goat as an expiation, the sins of the offerers being transferred to
the entrails, and exposed on the housetop for the birds to carry out of
sight, as the scapegoat did; the Hebrew for "man" and "cock"
being similar, gebher [BUXTORF].
by--"through," as the means of His entrance; the key unlocking
the heavenly Holy of Holies to Him. The Greek is forcible,
"through THE blood of His own" (compare
once--"once for all."
having obtained--having thereby obtained; literally,
"found for Himself," as a thing of insuperable difficulty to all save
Divine Omnipotence, self-devoting zeal, and love, to find. The access
of Christ to the Father was arduous
None before had trodden the path.
eternal--The entrance of our Redeemer, once for all, into
the heavenly holiest place, secures eternal redemption to us;
whereas the Jewish high priest's entrance was repeated year by year,
and the effect temporary and partial, "On redemption," compare
PROOF OF AND
ENLARGEMENT ON, THE
For His blood, offered by Himself, purifies not only outwardly, as the
Levitical sacrifices on the day of atonement, but inwardly unto the
service of the living God
(Heb 9:13, 14).
His death is the inaugurating act of the new covenant, and of the
His entrance into the true Holy of Holies is the consummation of His
once-for-all-offered sacrifice of atonement
(Heb 9:24, 26);
henceforth, His reappearance alone remains to complete our redemption
(Heb 9:27, 28).
13. if--as we know is the case; so the Greek indicative
means. Argument from the less to the greater. If the blood of mere
brutes could purify in any, however small a degree, how much more shall
inward purification, and complete and eternal salvation, be wrought by
the blood of Christ, in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead?
ashes of an heifer--
The type is full of comfort for us. The water of separation, made of
the ashes of the red heifer, was the provision for removing ceremonial
defilement whenever incurred by contact with the dead. As she
was slain without the camp, so Christ (compare
Nu 19:3, 4).
The ashes were laid by for constant use; so the continually cleansing
effects of Christ's blood, once for all shed. In our wilderness journey
we are continually contracting defilement by contact with the
spiritually dead, and with dead works, and need therefore continual
application to the antitypical life-giving cleansing blood of Christ,
whereby we are afresh restored to peace and living communion with God
in the heavenly holy place.
the unclean--Greek, "those defiled" on any particular
the flesh--Their effect in themselves extended no further. The
law had a carnal and a spiritual aspect; carnal, as an
instrument of the Hebrew polity, God, their King, accepting, in minor
offenses, expiatory victims instead of the sinner, otherwise doomed to
death; spiritual, as the shadow of good things to come
The spiritual Israelite derived, in partaking of these legal rights,
spiritual blessings not flowing from them, but from the great antitype.
Ceremonial sacrifices released from temporal penalties and
ceremonial disqualifications; Christ's sacrifice releases from
and moral impurities on the conscience disqualifying from access
The purification of the flesh (the mere outward man) was by
"sprinkling"; the washing followed by inseparable connection
So justification is followed by renewing.
14. offered himself--The voluntary nature of the offering gives
it especial efficacy. He "through the eternal Spirit," that is, His
in contrast to His "flesh,"
"His inner personality" [ALFORD], which gave a
free consent to the act, offered Himself. The animals offered had no
spirit or will to consent in the act of sacrifice; they were
offered according to the law; they had a life neither enduring,
nor of any intrinsic efficacy. But He from eternity, with His divine
and everlasting Spirit, concurred with the Father's will of
redemption by Him. His offering began on the altar of the cross, and
was completed in His entering the holiest place with His blood. The
eternity and infinitude of His divine Spirit (compare
gives eternal ("eternal redemption,"
and infinite merit to His offering, so that not even the infinite
justice of God has any exception to take against it. It was "through
His most burning love, flowing from His eternal Spirit," that He
offered Himself [OECOLAMPADIUS].
without spot--The animal victims had to be without
outward blemish; Christ on the cross was a victim
inwardly and essentially stainless
purge--purify from fear, guilt, alienation from Him, and
selfishness, the source of dead works
(Heb 9:22, 23).
your--The oldest manuscripts read "our." The Vulgate,
however, supports English Version reading.
conscience--moral religious consciousness.
dead works--All works done in the natural state, which is a
state of sin, are dead; for they come not from living faith in,
and love to, "the living God"
As contact with a dead body defiled ceremonially (compare the allusion,
"ashes of an heifer,"
so dead works defile the inner consciousness spiritually.
to serve--so as to serve. The ceremonially unclean could
not serve God in the outward communion of His people; so the
unrenewed cannot serve God in spiritual communion. Man's works before
justification, however lifelike they look, are dead, and cannot
therefore be accepted before the living God. To have offered a dead
animal to God would have been an insult (compare
much more for a man not justified by Christ's blood to offer dead
works. But those purified by Christ's blood in living faith do
and shall more fully serve God
living God--therefore requiring living spiritual service
15. for this cause--Because of the all-cleansing power of His
blood, this fits Him to be Mediator
ensuring to both parties, God and us, the ratification) of the new
covenant, which secures both forgiveness for the sins not covered by
the former imperfect covenant or testament, and also an eternal
inheritance to the called.
by means of death--rather, as Greek, "death having taken
place." At the moment that His death took place, the necessary effect
is, "the called receive the (fulfilment of the) promise" (so
that moment divides the Old from the New Testament. The "called" are
the elect "heirs," "partakers of the heavenly calling"
redemption of . . . transgressions . . . under
. . . first testament--the transgressions of all
men from Adam to Christ, first against the primitive revelation,
then against the revelations to the patriarchs, then against the law
given to Israel, the representative people of the world. The "first
testament" thus includes the whole period from Adam to Christ, and not
merely that of the covenant with Israel, which was a concentrated
representation of the covenant made with (or the first
testament given to) mankind by sacrifice, down from the fall
to redemption. Before the inheritance by the New Testament (for
here the idea of the "INHERITANCE," following as
the result of Christ's "death," being introduced, requires the
Greek to be translated "testament," as it was before
covenant) could come in, there must be redemption of
(that is, deliverance from the penalties incurred by) the
transgressions committed under the first testament, for
the propitiatory sacrifices under the first testament reached only as
far as removing outward ceremonial defilement. But in order to obtain
the inheritance which is a reality, there must be a real propitiation,
since God could not enter into covenant relation with us so long as
past sins were unexpiated;
Ro 3:24, 25,
"a propitiation . . . His righteousness for the remission of
sins that are past."
might--Greek, "may receive," which previously they
(Heb 11:39, 40).
the promise--to Abraham.
16. A general axiomatic truth; it is "a testament"; not
the testament. The testator must die before his testament
This is a common meaning of the Greek noun diathece. So
"I appoint (by testamentary disposition; the cognate Greek verb
diatithemai) unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed
unto me." The need of death before the testamentary appointment takes
effect, holds good in Christ's relation as MAN to us; Of course not in
God's relation to Christ.
be--literally, be borne": "be involved in the case"; be
inferred; or else, "be brought forward in court," so as to give
effect to the will. This sense (testament) of the Greek
"diathece" here does not exclude its other secondary senses in
the other passages of the New Testament: (1) a covenant between
two parties; (2) an arrangement, or disposition, made by God
alone in relation to us. Thus,
may be translated, "Blood of the covenant"; for a
testament does not require blood shedding. Compare
(covenant), which Christ quotes, though it is probable He
included in a sense "testament" also under the Greek word
diathece (comprehending both meanings, "covenant" and
"testament"), as this designation strictly and properly applies to the
new dispensation, and is rightly applicable to the old also, not in
itself, but when viewed as typifying the new, which is properly a
speaks of the same thing as [Christ and] Paul. Moses, by the term
"covenant," does not mean aught save one concerning giving the heavenly
inheritance typified by Canaan after the death of the
Testator, which he represented by the sprinkling of blood. And
Paul, by the term "testament," does not mean aught save one having
conditions attached to it, one which is at the same time a
covenant [POLI, Synopsis]; the
conditions are fulfilled by Christ, not by us, except that we must
believe, but even this God works in His people. THOLUCK explains, as elsewhere, "covenant
. . . covenant . . . mediating victim"; the
masculine is used of the victim personified, and regarded as
mediator of the covenant; especially as in the new covenant a MAN (Christ) took the place of the victim. The
covenanting parties used to pass between the divided parts of the
sacrificed animals; but, without reference to this rite, the need of a
sacrifice for establishing a covenant sufficiently explains this
verse. Others, also, explaining the Greek as "covenant,"
consider that the death of the sacrificial victim represented in all
covenants the death of both parties as unalterably bound to the
covenant. So in the redemption-covenant, the death of Jesus
symbolized the death of God (?) in the person of the mediating victim,
and the death of man in the same. But the expression is not "there must
be the death of both parties making the covenant," but
singular, "of Him who made (aorist, past time; not
'of Him making') the testament." Also, it is "death," not
"sacrifice" or "slaying." Plainly, the death is supposed to be
past (aorist, "made"); and the fact of the death is
brought (Greek) before court to give effect to the will.
These requisites of a will, or testament, concur here: (1) a testator;
(2) heirs; (3) goods; (4) the death of the testator; (5) the fact of
the death brought forward in court. In
two other requisites appear: witnesses, the disciples; and a
seal, the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, the sign of His
blood wherewith the testament is primarily sealed. It is true
the heir is ordinarily the successor of him who dies and
so ceases to have the possession. But in this case Christ comes to life
again, and is Himself (including all that He hath), in the power of His
now endless life, His people's inheritance; in His being Heir
they are heirs.
17. after--literally, "over," as we say "upon the death
of the testators"; not as THOLUCK, "on the
condition that slain sacrifices be there," which the Greek
otherwise--"seeing that it is never availing"
[ALFORD]. BENGEL and
LACHMANN read with an interrogation, "Since, is it
ever in force (surely not) while the testator liveth?"
18. Whereupon--rather, "Whence."
dedicated--"inaugurated." The Old Testament strictly and
formally began on that day of inauguration. "Where the
disposition, or arrangement, is ratified by the blood of
another, namely, of animals, which cannot make a covenant, much
less make a testament, it is not strictly a testament,
where it is ratified by the death of him that makes the arrangement, it
is strictly, Greek 'diathece,' Hebrew
'berith,' taken in a wider sense, a testament"
[BENGEL]; thus, in
referring to the old dispensation, we may translate, "the first
(covenant)": or better, retain "the first (testament),"
not that the old dispensation, regarded by itself, is a
testament, but it is so when regarded as the typical
representative of the new, which is strictly a
19. For--confirming the general truth,
spoken . . . according to the law--strictly adhering
to every direction of "the law of commandments contained in ordinances"
"Moses told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the
judgments; and all the people answered with one voice," &c.
the blood of calves--Greek, "the calves," namely, those
sacrificed by the "young men" whom he sent to do so
The "peace offerings" there mentioned were "of oxen"
(Septuagint, "little calves"), and the "burnt offerings" were
probably (though this is not specified), as on the day of atonement,
goats. The law in Exodus sanctioned formally many sacrificial
practices in use by tradition, from the primitive revelation long
with water--prescribed, though not in the twenty-fourth chapter
of Exodus, yet in other purifications; for example, of the leper, and
the water of separation which contained the ashes of the red heifer.
scarlet wool, and hyssop--ordinarily used for purification.
Scarlet or crimson, resembling blood: it was thought to
be a peculiarly deep, fast dye, whence it typified sin (see on
So Jesus wore a scarlet robe, the emblem of the deep-dyed sins He bore
on Him, though He had none in Him. Wool was used as
imbibing and retaining water; the hyssop, as a bushy, tufty plant
(wrapt round with the scarlet wool), was used for sprinkling it. The
wool was also a symbol of purity
The Hyssopus officinalis grows on walls, with small
lancet-formed woolly leaves, an inch long, with blue and white flowers,
and a knotty stalk about a foot high.
sprinkled . . . the book--namely, out of which he had
read "every precept": the book of the testament or covenant. This
sprinkling of the book is not mentioned in the twenty-fourth chapter of
Exodus. Hence BENGEL translates, "And (having
taken) the book itself (so
he both sprinkled all the people, and
moreover sprinkled the tabernacle." But the Greek supports
English Version. Paul, by inspiration, supplies the particular
specified here, not in
The sprinkling of the roll (so the Greek for "book") of
the covenant, or testament, as well as of the people, implies that
neither can the law be fulfilled, nor the people be purged from
their sins, save by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ
which shows that there is something antitypical to the Bible in heaven
The Greek, "itself," distinguishes the book itself from
the "precepts" in it which he "spake."
"Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has
made with you concerning all these words." The change is here made to
accord with Christ's inauguration of the new testament, or covenant, as
"This cup (is) the new Testament in My blood, which is shed for you":
the only Gospel in which the "is" has to be supplied. Luke was
Paul's companion, which accounts for the correspondence, as here
too "is" has to be supplied.
Heb 9:16, 17).
The Greek "diathece" means both "testament" and
"covenant": the term "covenant" better suits the old dispensation,
though the idea testament is included, for the old was one in
its typical relation to the new dispensation, to which the term
"testament" is better suited. Christ has sealed the testament with His
blood, of which the Lord's Supper is the sacramental sign. The
testator was represented by the animals slain in the old dispensation.
In both dispensations the inheritance was bequeathed: in the new by One
who has come in person and died; in the old by the same one, only
typically and ceremonially present. See ALFORD'S
enjoined unto you--commissioned me to ratify in
relation to you. In the old dispensation the condition to be
fulfilled on the people's part is implied in the words,
"(Lord made with you) concerning all these words." But here Paul
omits this clause, as he includes the fulfilment of this condition of
obedience to "all these words" in the new covenant, as part of God's
Heb 8:8, 10, 12,
whereby Christ fulfils all for our justification, and will enable us by
putting His Spirit in us to fulfil all in our now progressive, and
finally complete, sanctification.
21. Greek, "And, moreover, in like manner."
The sprinkling of the tabernacle with blood is added by
inspiration here to the account in
Ex 30:25-30; 40:9, 10,
which mentions only Moses' anointing the tabernacle and its vessels. In
Le 8:10, 15, 30,
the sprinkling of blood upon Aaron and his garments, and upon his sons,
and upon the altar, is mentioned as well as the anointing, so that we
might naturally infer, as JOSEPHUS has distinctly
stated, that the tabernacle and its vessels were sprinkled with blood
as well as being anointed:
Le 16:16, 20, 33,
virtually sanctions this inference. The tabernacle and its contents
22. almost--to be joined with "all things," namely almost all
things under the old dispensation. The exceptions to all things
being purified by blood are,
&c.; 16:26, 28; 22:6;
without--Greek, "apart from."
shedding of blood--shed in the slaughter of the victim,
and poured out at the altar subsequently. The pouring out of the
blood on the altar is the main part of the sacrifice
and it could not have place apart from the previous shedding of
the blood in the slaying. Paul has, perhaps, in mind here,
"This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
is--Greek, "takes place": comes to pass.
remission--of sins: a favorite expression of Luke, Paul's
companion. Properly used of remitting a debt
(Mt 6:12; 18:27, 32);
our sins are debts. On the truth here, compare
an exception because of poverty, confirming the general rule.
23. patterns--"the suggestive representations"; the typical
copies (see on
things in the heavens--the heavenly tabernacle and the things
purified with these--with the blood of bulls and goats.
heavenly things themselves--the archetypes. Man's sin had
introduced an element of disorder into the relations of God and His
holy angels in respect to man. The purification removes this
element of disorder and changes God's wrath against man in heaven
(designed to be the place of God's revealing His grace to men and
angels) into a smile of reconciliation. Compare "peace in heaven"
"The uncreated heaven of God, though in itself untroubled light, yet
needed a purification in so far as the light of love was obscured by
the fire of wrath against sinful man" [DELITZSCH
in ALFORD]. Contrast
Christ's atonement had the effect also of casting Satan out of heaven
Christ's body, the true tabernacle (see on
as bearing our imputed sin
(Joh 17:17, 19)
and purified by the shedding of His blood to be the meeting place of
God and man.
sacrifices--The plural is used in expressing the general
proposition, though strictly referring to the one sacrifice of
Christ once for all. Paul implies that His one sacrifice, by its
matchless excellency, is equivalent to the Levitical many sacrifices.
It, though but one, is manifold in its effects and applicability to
24. Resumption more fully of the thought, "He entered in once
into the holy place,"
He has in
Heb 9:13, 14,
expanded the words "by his own blood,"
he has enlarged on "an High Priest of good things to come."
not . . . into . . . holy places made with
hands--as was the Holy of Holies in the earthly tabernacle (see on
figures--copies "of the true" holiest place, heaven, the
into heaven itself--the immediate presence of the invisible God
beyond all the created heavens, through which latter Jesus
passed (see on
now--ever since His ascension in the present economy (compare
to appear--To PRESENT
HIMSELF; Greek, "to be made to appear."
Mere man may have a vision through a medium, or veil, as Moses had
(Ex 33:18, 20-23).
Christ alone beholds the Father without a veil, and is His perfect
image. Through seeing HIM only can we see the
in the presence of God--Greek, "to the face of
God." The saints shall hereafter see God's face in Christ
the earnest of which is now given
Aaron, the Levitical high priest for the people, stood before
the ark and only saw the cloud, the symbol of God's glory
for us--in our behalf as our Advocate and Intercessor
"It is enough that Jesus should show Himself for us to the
Father: the sight of Jesus satisfied God in our behalf. He brings
before the face of God no offering which has exhausted itself, and, as
only sufficing for a time, needs renewal; but He himself is in person,
by virtue of the eternal Spirit, that is, the imperishable life of His
person, now and for ever freed from death, our eternally present
offering before God" [DELITZSCH in
25. As in
Paul said, it was not into the typical, but the true sanctuary, that
Christ is entered; so now he says, that His sacrifice needs not, as the
Levitical sacrifices did, to be repeated. Construe, "Nor yet
did He enter for this purpose that He may offer Himself often,"
that is, "present Himself in the presence of God, as the high
priest does (Paul uses the present tense, as the legal service
was then existing), year by year, on the day of atonement, entering the
Holy of Holies.
blood of others--not his own, as Christ did.
26. then--in that case.
must . . . have suffered--rather as Greek, "It
would have been necessary for Him often to suffer." In order to "offer"
or present Himself often before God in the heavenly holiest place, like
the legal high priests making fresh renewals of this high priestly
function. He would have had, and would have often to suffer. His
oblation of Himself before God was once for all (that is, the
bringing in of His blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies), and
therefore the preliminary suffering was once for all.
since the foundation of the world--The continued sins of men,
from their first creation, would entail a continual suffering on earth,
and consequent oblation of His blood in the heavenly holiest place,
since the foundation of the world, if the one oblation "in the
fulness of time" were not sufficient. PHILO
[The Creation of the World, p. 637], shows that the high priest
of the Hebrews offered sacrifices for the whole human race. "If there
had been greater efficacy in the repetition of the oblation, Christ
necessarily would not have been so long promised, but would have been
sent immediately after the foundation of the world to suffer, and offer
Himself at successive periods" [GROTIUS].
now--as the case is,
once--for all; without need of renewal. Rome's fiction of an
UNBLOODY sacrifice in the mass, contradicts her
assertion that the blood of Christ is present in the wine; and
also confutes her assertion that the mass is propitiatory; for, if
unbloody, it cannot be propitiatory; for without
shedding of blood there is no remission
Moreover, the expression "once" for all here, and in
and Heb 10:10, 12,
proves the falsity of her view that there is a continually repeated
offering of Christ in the Eucharist or mass. The offering of Christ was
a thing once done that it might be thought of for ever (compare
Note, see on
in the end of the world--Greek, "at the consummation of
the ages"; the winding up of all the previous ages from the foundation
of the world; to be followed by a new age
(Heb 1:1, 2).
The last age, beyond which no further age is to be expected before
Christ's speedy second coming, which is the complement of the first
coming; literally, "the ends of the ages";
is literally, "the consummation of the age," or world
(singular; not as here, plural, ages). Compare "the fulness of
appeared--Greek, "been manifested" on earth
English Version has confounded three distinct Greek
verbs, by translating all alike,
Heb 9:24, 26, 28,
"appear." But, in
it is "to present Himself," namely, before God in the heavenly
"been manifested" on earth: in
"shall be seen" by all, and especially believers.
put away--abolish; doing away sin's power as well by delivering
men from its guilt and penalty, so that it should be powerless to
condemn men, as also from its yoke, so that they shall at last sin no
sin--singular number; all the sins of men of every age are
regarded as one mass laid on Christ. He hath not only droned for
all actual sins, but destroyed sin itself.
"Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin (not merely
the sins: singular, not plural) of the world."
by the sacrifice of himself--Greek, "by (through) His
own sacrifice"; not by "blood of others"
ALFORD loses this contrast in translating, "by His
27. as--inasmuch as.
it is appointed--Greek, "it is laid up (as our
The word "appointed" (so Hebrew "seth" means) in the case
of man, answers to "anointed" in the case of Jesus; therefore "the
Christ," that is, the anointed, is the title here given
designedly. He is the representative man; and there is a strict
correspondence between the history of man and that of the Son
of man. The two most solemn facts of our being are here connected
with the two most gracious truths of our dispensation, our death and
judgment answering in parallelism to Christ's first coming to die for
us, and His second coming to consummate our salvation.
once--and no more.
after this the judgment--namely, at Christ's appearing, to
"judgment" in this verse is parallel. Not, "after this comes the
heavenly glory." The intermediate state is a state of joyous, or else
agonizing and fearful, expectation of "judgment"; after the
judgment comes the full and final state of joy, or else woe.
28. Christ--Greek, "THE Christ"; the
representative MAN; representing all men, as the
first Adam did.
once offered--not "often,"
just as "men," of whom He is the representative Head, are appointed by
God once to die. He did not need to die again and again for each
individual, or each successive generation of men, for He represents
all men of every age, and therefore needed to die but once for
all, so as to exhaust the penalty of death incurred by all. He was
offered by the Father, His own "eternal Spirit"
concurring; as Abraham spared not Isaac, but offered him, the son
himself unresistingly submitting to the father's will
to bear the sins--referring to
"He bare the sins of many," namely, on Himself; so "bear" means,
Nu 5:31; 14:34.
The Greek is literally "to bear up"
"Our sins were laid on Him. When, therefore, He was lifted up on the
cross, He bare up our sins along with Him"
many--not opposed to all, but to few. He, the One,
was offered for many; and that once for all (compare
look for him--with waiting expectation even unto the end
(so the Greek). It is translated "wait for" in
Ro 8:19, 23;
appear--rather, as Greek, "be seen." No longer in the
alien "form of a servant," but in His own proper glory.
without sin--apart from, separate from, sin. Not bearing the sin
of many on Him as at His first coming (even then there was no
sin in Him). That sin has been at His first coming once for all
taken away, so as to need no repetition of His sin offering of Himself
At His second coming He shall have no more to do with sin.
unto salvation--to bring in completed salvation; redeeming then
the body which is as yet subject to the bondage of corruption. Hence,
he says, "we look for THE
SAVIOUR." Note, Christ's prophetical
office, as the divine Teacher, was especially exercised during
His earthly ministry; His priestly is now from His first to His
second coming; His kingly office shall be fully manifested at,
and after, His second coming.