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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 8 - Verse 5
Verse 5. Who serve unto the example. Who perform their service by the mere example and shadow of the heavenly things; or in a tabernacle, and in a mode, that is the mere emblem of the reality which exists in heaven. The reference is to the tabernacle, which was a mere example or copy of heaven. The word here rendered example upodeigma means a copy, likeness, or imitation. The tabernacle was made after a pattern which was shown to Moses; it was made so as to have some faint resemblance to the reality in heaven, and in that "copy," or "example," they were appointed to officiate. Their service, therefore, had some resemblance to that in heaven.
And shadow. That is, in the tabernacle where they served there was a mere shadow of that which was real and substantial. Compared with what is in heaven, it was what the shadow is compared with the substance. A shadow—as of a man, a house, a tree—will indicate the form, the outline, the size of the object; but it has no substance or reality. So it was with the rites of the Jewish religion. They were designed merely as a shadow of the substantial realities of the true religion, or to present the dim outlines of what is true and real in heaven. Compare See Barnes "Col 2:17".
and also from eikwn— a perfect image or resemblance. See Heb 10:1.
Of heavenly things. Of the heavenly sanctuary; of what is real and substantial in heaven. That is, there exists in heaven a reality of which the service in the Jewish sanctuary was but the outline. The reference is, undoubtedly, to the service which the Lord Jesus performs there as the great High Priest of his people.
As Moses was admonished of God. As he was divinely instructed. The word here used—crhmatizw—means, properly, to give oracular responses; to make communications to men in a supernatural way—by dreams, by direct revelations, etc. See Mt 2:12,22; Lu 2:26
In Ex 40, it is also repeatedly said that Moses executed all the work of the tabernacle as he had been commanded. Great care was taken that an exact copy should be exhibited to him of all which he was to make, and that the work should be exactly like the pattern. The reason doubtless was, that as the Jewish service was to be typical, none but God could judge of the form in which the tabernacle should be made. It was not to be an edifice of architectural beauty, skill, or taste, but was designed to adumbrate important realities which were known only to God. Hence it was needful that the exact model of them should be given to Moses, and that it should be scrupulously followed.
That thou make all things. Not only the tabernacle itself, but the altars, the ark, the candlestick, etc. The form and materials for each were specified, and the exact pattern shown to Moses in the Mount.
According to the pattern. Gr. tupon—type; that is, figure, form. The word tupov type—means, properly, anything produced by the agency of blows, (from tuptw—to strike;) hence a mark, stamp, print, impression— as that made by driving nails in the hands, (Joh 20:25;) then a figure or form, as of an image or statue, (Ac 7:43;) the form of a doctrine or opinion, (Ro 6:17;) then an example to be imitated or followed, (1 Co 10:6,17; Php 3:17; 1 Th 1:7; 2 Th 3:9; ) and hence a pattern, or model, after which anything is to be made, Ac 7:44. This is the meaning here. The allusion is to a pattern such as an architect or sculptor uses; a drawing or figure made in wood or clay, after which the work is to be modelled. The idea is, that some such drawing or model was exhibited to Moses by God on Mount Sinai, so that he might have an exact idea of the tabernacle which was to be made. A similar drawing or model of the temple was given by David to Solomon, 1 Ch 28:11,12. We are not, indeed, to suppose that there was, in the case of the pattern shown to Moses, any miniature model of wood or stone actually created and exhibited; but that the form of the tabernacle was exhibited to Moses in vision, See Barnes "Isa 1:1, or was so vividly impressed on his mind that he would have a distinct view of the edifice which was to be reared.
In the Mount. In Mount Sinai; for it was while Moses was there, in the presence of God, that these communications were made.
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