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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 8 - Verse 6

Verse 6. But now hath he obtained. That is, Christ.

A more excellent ministry. A service of a higher order, or of a more exalted nature. It was the real and substantial service of which the other was but the emblem; it pertained to things in heaven, while that was concerned with the earthly tabernacle; it was enduring, while that was to vanish away. See Barnes "2 Co 3:6, seq.

By how much. By as much as the new covenant is more important than the old, by so much does his ministry exceed in dignity that under the ancient dispensation,

He is the Mediator. See Barnes "Ga 3:19, See Barnes "Ga 3:19, where the word Mediator is explained. It means here that Christ officiates between God and man according to the arrangements of the new covenant.

Of a better covenant. Marg. "Or testament." This word properly denotes a disposition, arrangement, or ordering of things; and, in the Scriptures, is employed to describe the arrangement which God has made to secure the maintenance of his worship on earth, and the salvation of men. It is uniformly used in the Septuagint and in the New Testament to denote the covenant which God makes with men. The word which properly denotes a covenant or compact sunyhkhsuntheke, is never used. The writers of the New Testament evidently derived its use from the Septuagint; but why the authors of that version employed it as denoting a will, rather than the proper one denoting a compact, is unknown. It has been supposed by some, and the conjecture is not wholly improbable, that it was because they were unwilling to represent God as making a compact or agreement with men, but chose rather to represent him as making a mere arrangement or ordering of things. Compare See Barnes "Heb 8:8, and Heb 9:16,17. This is a better covenant than the old, inasmuch as it relates mainly to the heart; to the pardon of sin; to a spiritual and holy religion. See Heb 8:10. The former related more to external rites and observances, and was destined to vanish away. See Heb 8:13.

Which was established upon better promises. The promises in the first covenant pertained mainly to the present life. They were promises of length of days; of increase of numbers; of seed-time and harvest; of national privileges; and of extraordinary peace, abundance, and prosperity. That there was also the promise of eternal life it would be wrong to doubt; but this was not the main thing. In the new covenant, however, the promise of spiritual blessings becomes the principal thing. The mind is directed to heaven; the heart is cheered with the hopes of immortal life; the favour of God and the anticipation of heaven are secured in the most ample and solemn manner.

{d} "excellent ministry" 2 Co 3:6-9; Heb 7:22 {2} "better covenant" "testament"

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