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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 9 - Verse 18

Verse 18. Whereupon. oyenWhence. Or since this is a settled principle, or an indisputable fact, it occurred in accordance with this, that the first covenant was confirmed by the shedding of blood. The admitted principle which the apostle had stated, that the death of the victim was necessary to confirm the covenant, was the reason why the first covenant was ratified with blood. If there were any doubt about the correctness of the interpretation given above, that Heb 9:16,17 refer to a covenant, and not a will, this verse would seem to be enough to remove it. For how could the fact, that a will is not binding until he who makes it is dead, be a reason why a covenant should be confirmed by blood? What bearing would such a fact have on the question, whether it ought or ought, not to be confirmed in this manner. Or how could that fact, though it is universal, be given as a reason to account for the fact that the covenant made by the instrumentality of Moses was ratified by blood? No possible connexion can be seen in such reasoning. But admit that Paul had stated, Heb 9:16, Heb 9:17, a general principle that in all covenant transactions with God the death of a victim was necessary, and everything is plain. We then see why he offered the sacrifice and sprinkled the blood. It was not on the basis of such reasoning as this: "The death of a man who makes a will is indispensable before the will is of binding force, THEREFORE it was that Moses confirmed the covenant made with our fathers by the blood of a sacrifice; "but by such reasoning as this: "It is a great principle that in order to ratify a covenant between God and his people a victim should be slain, therefore it was that Moses ratified the old covenant in this manner, and therefore it was also that the death of a victim was necessary under the new dispensation." Here the reasoning of Paul is clear and explicit; but who could see the force of the former? Prof. Stuart indeed connects this verse with Heb 9:15, and says that the course of thought is, "The new covenant of redemption from sin was sanctioned by the death of Jesus; consequently, or wherefore, oyen, the old covenant, which is a type of the new, was sanctioned by the blood of victims." But is this the reasoning of Paul? Does he say that because the blood of a Mediator was to be shed under the new dispensation, and because the old was a type of this, that THEREFORE the old was confirmed by blood? Is he not rather accounting for the shedding of blood at all, and showing that it was necessary that the blood of the Mediator should be shed, rather than assuming that, and from that arguing that a typical shedding of blood was needful? Besides, on this supposition, why is the statement in Heb 9:16,17 introduced? What bearing have these verses in the train of thought? What are they but an inexplicable obstruction?

The first testament. Or rather covenant— the word testament being supplied by the translators.

Was dedicated. Marg. Purified. The word used to ratify, to confirm, to consecrate, to sanction. Literally, to renew.

Without blood. It was ratified by the blood of the animals that were slain in sacrifice. The blood was then sprinkled on the principal objects that were regarded as holy under that dispensation.

{1} "dedicated" "He that made it"

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