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11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.


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11. But—in contrast to "could not make … perfect" (Heb 9:9).

Christ—The Messiah, of whom all the prophets foretold; not "Jesus" here. From whom the "reformation" (Heb 9:10), or rectification, emanates, which frees from the yoke of carnal ordinances, and which is being realized gradually now, and shall be perfectly in the consummation of "the age (world) to come." "Christ … High Priest," exactly answers to Le 4:5, "the priest that is anointed."

being come an, &c.—rather, "having come forward (compare Heb 10:7, a different Greek word, picturesquely presenting Him before us) as High Priest." The Levitical priests must therefore retire. Just as on the day of atonement, no work was done, no sacrifice was offered, or priest was allowed to be in the tabernacle while the high priest went into the holiest place to make atonement (Le 16:17, 29). So not our righteousness, nor any other priest's sacrifice, but Christ alone atones; and as the high priest before offering incense had on common garments of a priest, but after it wore his holy garments of "glory and beauty" (Ex 28:2, 40) in entering the holiest, so Christ entered the heavenly holiest in His glorified body.

good things to comeGreek, "the good things to come," Heb 10:1; "better promises," (Heb 8:6; the "eternal inheritance," Heb 9:15; 1Pe 1:4; the "things hoped for," Heb 11:1).

by a … tabernacle—joined with "He entered." Translate, "Through the … tabernacle" (of which we know) [Alford]. As the Jewish high priest passed through the anterior tabernacle into the holiest place, so Christ passed through heaven into the inner abode of the unseen and unapproachable God. Thus, "the tabernacle" here is the heavens through which He passed (see on Heb 4:14). But "the tabernacle" is also the glorified body of Christ (see on Heb 8:2), "not of this building" (not of the mere natural "creation, but of the spiritual and heavenly, the new creation"), the Head of the mystical body, the Church. Through this glorified body He passes into the heavenly holiest place (Heb 9:24), the immaterial, unapproachable presence of God, where He intercedes for us. His glorified body, as the meeting place of God and all Christ's redeemed, and the angels, answers to the heavens through which He passed, and passes. His body is opposed to the tabernacle, as His blood to the blood of goats, &c.

greater—as contrasted with the small dimensions of the earthly anterior tabernacle.

more perfect—effective in giving pardon, peace, sanctification, and access to closest communion with God (compare Heb 9:9; Heb 10:1).

not made with hands—but by the Lord Himself (Heb 8:2).

12. Neither—"Nor yet."

by—"through"; as the means of His approach.

goats … calves—not a bullock, such as the Levitical high priest offered for himself, and a goat for the people, on the day of atonement (Le 16:6, 15), year by year, whence the plural is used, goats … calves. Besides the goat offered for the people the blood of which was sprinkled before the mercy seat, the high priest led forth a second goat, namely, the scapegoat; over it he confessed the people's sins, putting them on the head of the goat, which was sent as the sin-bearer into the wilderness out of sight, implying that the atonement effected by the goat sin offering (of which the ceremony of the scapegoat is a part, and not distinct from the sin offering) consisted in the transfer of the people's sins on the goat, and their consequent removal out of sight. The translation of sins on the victim usual in other expiatory sacrifices being omitted in the case of the slain goat, but employed in the case of the goat sent away, proved the two goats were regarded as one offering [Archbishop Magee]. Christ's death is symbolized by the slain goat; His resurrection to life by the living goat sent away. Modern Jews substitute in some places a cock for the goat as an expiation, the sins of the offerers being transferred to the entrails, and exposed on the housetop for the birds to carry out of sight, as the scapegoat did; the Hebrew for "man" and "cock" being similar, gebher [Buxtorf].

by—"through," as the means of His entrance; the key unlocking the heavenly Holy of Holies to Him. The Greek is forcible, "through THE blood of His own" (compare Heb 9:23).

once—"once for all."

having obtained—having thereby obtained; literally, "found for Himself," as a thing of insuperable difficulty to all save Divine Omnipotence, self-devoting zeal, and love, to find. The access of Christ to the Father was arduous (Heb 5:7). None before had trodden the path.

eternal—The entrance of our Redeemer, once for all, into the heavenly holiest place, secures eternal redemption to us; whereas the Jewish high priest's entrance was repeated year by year, and the effect temporary and partial, "On redemption," compare Mt 20:28; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1Ti 2:5; Tit 2:14; 1Pe 1:19.




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