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Verse 19. For the law made nothing perfect. The Levitical, ceremonial law. It did not produce a perfect state; it did not do what was desirable to be done for a sinner. See Barnes "Heb 8:11".

That law, as such, did not reconcile man to God; it did not make an atonement; it did not put away guilt; in one word, it did not restore things to the condition in which they were before the law was broken and man became a sinner. If man were saved under that system—as many undoubtedly were—it was not in virtue of any intrinsic efficacy which it possessed, but in virtue of that great Sacrifice which it typified.

But the bringing in of a better hope did. Marg. "But it was." The correct rendering is, probably, "but there is the bringing in of a better hope by which we have access to God." The law could not effect this. It left the conscience guilty, and sin unexpiated. But there is now the introduction of a better system by which we can approach a reconciled God. The "better hope" here refers to the more sure and certain expectation of heaven introduced by the gospel. There is a better foundation for hope; a more certain way of obtaining the Divine favour than the law could furnish.

By the which. By which better hope; that is, by means of the ground of hope furnished by the gospel—to wit, that God is now reconciled, and that we can approach him with the assurance that he is ready to save us.

We draw nigh unto God. We have access to him. See Barnes "Ro 5:1"; See Barnes "Ro 5:2".


{1} "the bringing" "but it was" {d} "which we draw" Ro 3:20

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