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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 9 - Verse 10

Verse 10. Which stood only in meats and drinks. The idea is, that the ordinances of the Jews, in connexion with the services of religion, consisted much of laws pertaining to what was lawful to eat and drink, etc. A considerable part of those laws related to the distinction between clean and unclean beasts, and to such arrangements as were designed to keep them externally distinct from other nations. It is possible, also, that there may be a reference here to meat and drink offerings. On the grammatical difficulties of this verse, see Stuart on the Hebrews, in loc.

And divers washings. The various ablutions which were required in the service of the tabernacle and the temple—washing of the hands, of the victim that was to be offered, etc, It was for this purpose that the laver was erected in front of the tabernacle, Ex 30:18; 31:9 Ex 35:16, and that the brazen sea and the lavers were constructed in connexion with the temple of Solomon, 2 Ch 4:3-5; 1 Ki 7:26. The Greek word here is baptisms. On its meaning, See Barnes "Mt 3:6"; See Barnes "Mr 7:4".

 

And carnal ordinances. Marg. "Or, rites or ceremonies." Or, "Ordinances of the flesh;" that is, which pertained to the flesh, or to external ceremonies. The object was rather to keep them externally pure than to cleanse the conscience and make them holy in heart.

Imposed on them. Laid on them—epikeimena. It does not mean that there was any oppression or injustice in regard to these ordinances, but that they were appointed for a temporary purpose.

Until the time of reformation. The word here rendered reformationdiorywsiv means, properly, emendation, improvement, reform. It refers to putting a thing in a right condition; making it better; or raising up and restoring that which is fallen down. Passow. Here the reference is undoubtedly to the gospel, as being a better system—a putting things where they ought to be. Comp. See Barnes "Ac 3:21".

The idea here is, that those ordinances were only temporary in their nature, and were designed to endure till a more perfect system should be introduced. They were of value to introduce that better system; they were not adapted to purify the conscience and remove the stains of guilt from the soul.

{e} "meats and drinks" Le 11:2 {f} "washings" Nu 19:7 {1} "ordinances" "rites or ceremonies" {g} "imposed" Eph 2:15

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