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19For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

Christ’s Sacrifice Takes Away Sin

23 Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; 26for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, 28so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.


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19. For—confirming the general truth, Heb 9:16.

spoken … according to the law—strictly adhering to every direction of "the law of commandments contained in ordinances" (Eph 2:15). Compare Ex 24:3, "Moses told the people all the words of the Lord, and all the judgments; and all the people answered with one voice," &c.

the blood of calvesGreek, "the calves," namely, those sacrificed by the "young men" whom he sent to do so (Ex 24:5). The "peace offerings" there mentioned were "of oxen" (Septuagint, "little calves"), and the "burnt offerings" were probably (though this is not specified), as on the day of atonement, goats. The law in Exodus sanctioned formally many sacrificial practices in use by tradition, from the primitive revelation long before.

with water—prescribed, though not in the twenty-fourth chapter of Exodus, yet in other purifications; for example, of the leper, and the water of separation which contained the ashes of the red heifer.

scarlet wool, and hyssop—ordinarily used for purification. Scarlet or crimson, resembling blood: it was thought to be a peculiarly deep, fast dye, whence it typified sin (see on Isa 1:18). So Jesus wore a scarlet robe, the emblem of the deep-dyed sins He bore on Him, though He had none in Him. Wool was used as imbibing and retaining water; the hyssop, as a bushy, tufty plant (wrapt round with the scarlet wool), was used for sprinkling it. The wool was also a symbol of purity (Isa 1:18). The Hyssopus officinalis grows on walls, with small lancet-formed woolly leaves, an inch long, with blue and white flowers, and a knotty stalk about a foot high.

sprinkled … the book—namely, out of which he had read "every precept": the book of the testament or covenant. This sprinkling of the book is not mentioned in the twenty-fourth chapter of Exodus. Hence Bengel translates, "And (having taken) the book itself (so Ex 24:7), he both sprinkled all the people, and (Heb 9:21) moreover sprinkled the tabernacle." But the Greek supports English Version. Paul, by inspiration, supplies the particular specified here, not in Ex 24:7. The sprinkling of the roll (so the Greek for "book") of the covenant, or testament, as well as of the people, implies that neither can the law be fulfilled, nor the people be purged from their sins, save by the sprinkling of the blood of Christ (1Pe 1:2). Compare Heb 9:23, which shows that there is something antitypical to the Bible in heaven itself (compare Re 20:12). The Greek, "itself," distinguishes the book itself from the "precepts" in it which he "spake."

20. Ex 24:8, "Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has made with you concerning all these words." The change is here made to accord with Christ's inauguration of the new testament, or covenant, as recorded in Lu 22:20, "This cup (is) the new Testament in My blood, which is shed for you": the only Gospel in which the "is" has to be supplied. Luke was Paul's companion, which accounts for the correspondence, as here too "is" has to be supplied.

testament—(See on Heb 9:16, 17). The Greek "diathece" means both "testament" and "covenant": the term "covenant" better suits the old dispensation, though the idea testament is included, for the old was one in its typical relation to the new dispensation, to which the term "testament" is better suited. Christ has sealed the testament with His blood, of which the Lord's Supper is the sacramental sign. The testator was represented by the animals slain in the old dispensation. In both dispensations the inheritance was bequeathed: in the new by One who has come in person and died; in the old by the same one, only typically and ceremonially present. See Alford's excellent Note.

enjoined unto youcommissioned me to ratify in relation to you. In the old dispensation the condition to be fulfilled on the people's part is implied in the words, Ex 24:8, "(Lord made with you) concerning all these words." But here Paul omits this clause, as he includes the fulfilment of this condition of obedience to "all these words" in the new covenant, as part of God's promise, in Heb 8:8, 10, 12, whereby Christ fulfils all for our justification, and will enable us by putting His Spirit in us to fulfil all in our now progressive, and finally complete, sanctification.

21. Greek, "And, moreover, in like manner." The sprinkling of the tabernacle with blood is added by inspiration here to the account in Ex 30:25-30; 40:9, 10, which mentions only Moses' anointing the tabernacle and its vessels. In Le 8:10, 15, 30, the sprinkling of blood upon Aaron and his garments, and upon his sons, and upon the altar, is mentioned as well as the anointing, so that we might naturally infer, as Josephus has distinctly stated, that the tabernacle and its vessels were sprinkled with blood as well as being anointed: Le 16:16, 20, 33, virtually sanctions this inference. The tabernacle and its contents needed purification (2Ch 29:21).

22. almost—to be joined with "all things," namely almost all things under the old dispensation. The exceptions to all things being purified by blood are, Ex 19:10; Le 15:5, &c.; 16:26, 28; 22:6; Nu 31:22-24.

withoutGreek, "apart from."

shedding of bloodshed in the slaughter of the victim, and poured out at the altar subsequently. The pouring out of the blood on the altar is the main part of the sacrifice (Le 17:11), and it could not have place apart from the previous shedding of the blood in the slaying. Paul has, perhaps, in mind here, Lu 22:20, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

isGreek, "takes place": comes to pass.

remission—of sins: a favorite expression of Luke, Paul's companion. Properly used of remitting a debt (Mt 6:12; 18:27, 32); our sins are debts. On the truth here, compare Le 5:11-13, an exception because of poverty, confirming the general rule.

23. patterns—"the suggestive representations"; the typical copies (see on Heb 8:5).

things in the heavens—the heavenly tabernacle and the things therein.

purified with these—with the blood of bulls and goats.

heavenly things themselves—the archetypes. Man's sin had introduced an element of disorder into the relations of God and His holy angels in respect to man. The purification removes this element of disorder and changes God's wrath against man in heaven (designed to be the place of God's revealing His grace to men and angels) into a smile of reconciliation. Compare "peace in heaven" (Lu 19:38). "The uncreated heaven of God, though in itself untroubled light, yet needed a purification in so far as the light of love was obscured by the fire of wrath against sinful man" [Delitzsch in Alford]. Contrast Re 12:7-10. Christ's atonement had the effect also of casting Satan out of heaven (Lu 10:18; Joh 12:31, compare Heb 2:14). Christ's body, the true tabernacle (see on Heb 8:2; Heb 9:11), as bearing our imputed sin (2Co 5:21), was consecrated (Joh 17:17, 19) and purified by the shedding of His blood to be the meeting place of God and man.

sacrifices—The plural is used in expressing the general proposition, though strictly referring to the one sacrifice of Christ once for all. Paul implies that His one sacrifice, by its matchless excellency, is equivalent to the Levitical many sacrifices. It, though but one, is manifold in its effects and applicability to many.

24. Resumption more fully of the thought, "He entered in once into the holy place," Heb 9:12. He has in Heb 9:13, 14, expanded the words "by his own blood," Heb 9:12; and in Heb 9:15-23, he has enlarged on "an High Priest of good things to come."

not … into … holy places made with hands—as was the Holy of Holies in the earthly tabernacle (see on Heb 9:11).

figures—copies "of the true" holiest place, heaven, the original archetype (Heb 8:5).

into heaven itself—the immediate presence of the invisible God beyond all the created heavens, through which latter Jesus passed (see on Heb 4:14; 1Ti 6:16).

now—ever since His ascension in the present economy (compare Heb 9:26).

to appear—To PRESENT Himself; Greek, "to be made to appear." Mere man may have a vision through a medium, or veil, as Moses had (Ex 33:18, 20-23). Christ alone beholds the Father without a veil, and is His perfect image. Through seeing Him only can we see the Father.

in the presence of GodGreek, "to the face of God." The saints shall hereafter see God's face in Christ (Re 22:4): the earnest of which is now given (2Co 3:18). Aaron, the Levitical high priest for the people, stood before the ark and only saw the cloud, the symbol of God's glory (Ex 28:30).

for us—in our behalf as our Advocate and Intercessor (Heb 7:25; Ro 8:34; 1Jo 2:1). "It is enough that Jesus should show Himself for us to the Father: the sight of Jesus satisfied God in our behalf. He brings before the face of God no offering which has exhausted itself, and, as only sufficing for a time, needs renewal; but He himself is in person, by virtue of the eternal Spirit, that is, the imperishable life of His person, now and for ever freed from death, our eternally present offering before God" [Delitzsch in Alford].

25. As in Heb 9:24, Paul said, it was not into the typical, but the true sanctuary, that Christ is entered; so now he says, that His sacrifice needs not, as the Levitical sacrifices did, to be repeated. Construe, "Nor yet did He enter for this purpose that He may offer Himself often," that is, "present Himself in the presence of God, as the high priest does (Paul uses the present tense, as the legal service was then existing), year by year, on the day of atonement, entering the Holy of Holies.

with—literally, "in."

blood of othersnot his own, as Christ did.

26. then—in that case.

must … have suffered—rather as Greek, "It would have been necessary for Him often to suffer." In order to "offer" (Heb 9:25), or present Himself often before God in the heavenly holiest place, like the legal high priests making fresh renewals of this high priestly function. He would have had, and would have often to suffer. His oblation of Himself before God was once for all (that is, the bringing in of His blood into the heavenly Holy of Holies), and therefore the preliminary suffering was once for all.

since the foundation of the world—The continued sins of men, from their first creation, would entail a continual suffering on earth, and consequent oblation of His blood in the heavenly holiest place, since the foundation of the world, if the one oblation "in the fulness of time" were not sufficient. Philo [The Creation of the World, p. 637], shows that the high priest of the Hebrews offered sacrifices for the whole human race. "If there had been greater efficacy in the repetition of the oblation, Christ necessarily would not have been so long promised, but would have been sent immediately after the foundation of the world to suffer, and offer Himself at successive periods" [Grotius].

now—as the case is,

once—for all; without need of renewal. Rome's fiction of an UNBLOODY sacrifice in the mass, contradicts her assertion that the blood of Christ is present in the wine; and also confutes her assertion that the mass is propitiatory; for, if unbloody, it cannot be propitiatory; for without shedding of blood there is no remission (Heb 9:22). Moreover, the expression "once" for all here, and in Heb 9:28, and Heb 10:10, 12, proves the falsity of her view that there is a continually repeated offering of Christ in the Eucharist or mass. The offering of Christ was a thing once done that it might be thought of for ever (compare Note, see on Heb 10:12).

in the end of the worldGreek, "at the consummation of the ages"; the winding up of all the previous ages from the foundation of the world; to be followed by a new age (Heb 1:1, 2). The last age, beyond which no further age is to be expected before Christ's speedy second coming, which is the complement of the first coming; literally, "the ends of the ages"; Mt 28:20 is literally, "the consummation of the age," or world (singular; not as here, plural, ages). Compare "the fulness of times," Eph 1:10.

appearedGreek, "been manifested" on earth (1Ti 3:16; 1Pe 1:20). English Version has confounded three distinct Greek verbs, by translating all alike, Heb 9:24, 26, 28, "appear." But, in Heb 9:24, it is "to present Himself," namely, before God in the heavenly sanctuary; in Heb 9:26, "been manifested" on earth: in Heb 9:28, "shall be seen" by all, and especially believers.

put away—abolish; doing away sin's power as well by delivering men from its guilt and penalty, so that it should be powerless to condemn men, as also from its yoke, so that they shall at last sin no more.

sin—singular number; all the sins of men of every age are regarded as one mass laid on Christ. He hath not only droned for all actual sins, but destroyed sin itself. Joh 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin (not merely the sins: singular, not plural) of the world."

by the sacrifice of himselfGreek, "by (through) His own sacrifice"; not by "blood of others" (Heb 9:25). Alford loses this contrast in translating, "by His sacrifice."

27. as—inasmuch as.

it is appointedGreek, "it is laid up (as our appointed lot)," Col 1:5. The word "appointed" (so Hebrew "seth" means) in the case of man, answers to "anointed" in the case of Jesus; therefore "the Christ," that is, the anointed, is the title here given designedly. He is the representative man; and there is a strict correspondence between the history of man and that of the Son of man. The two most solemn facts of our being are here connected with the two most gracious truths of our dispensation, our death and judgment answering in parallelism to Christ's first coming to die for us, and His second coming to consummate our salvation.

once—and no more.

after this the judgment—namely, at Christ's appearing, to which, in Heb 9:28, "judgment" in this verse is parallel. Not, "after this comes the heavenly glory." The intermediate state is a state of joyous, or else agonizing and fearful, expectation of "judgment"; after the judgment comes the full and final state of joy, or else woe.

28. ChristGreek, "THE Christ"; the representative Man; representing all men, as the first Adam did.

once offered—not "often," Heb 9:25; just as "men," of whom He is the representative Head, are appointed by God once to die. He did not need to die again and again for each individual, or each successive generation of men, for He represents all men of every age, and therefore needed to die but once for all, so as to exhaust the penalty of death incurred by all. He was offered by the Father, His own "eternal Spirit" (Heb 9:14) concurring; as Abraham spared not Isaac, but offered him, the son himself unresistingly submitting to the father's will (Ge 22:1-24).

to bear the sins—referring to Isa 53:12, "He bare the sins of many," namely, on Himself; so "bear" means, Le 24:15; Nu 5:31; 14:34. The Greek is literally "to bear up" (1Pe 2:24). "Our sins were laid on Him. When, therefore, He was lifted up on the cross, He bare up our sins along with Him" [Bengel].

many—not opposed to all, but to few. He, the One, was offered for many; and that once for all (compare Mt 20:28).

look for himwith waiting expectation even unto the end (so the Greek). It is translated "wait for" in Ro 8:19, 23; 1Co 1:7, which see.

appear—rather, as Greek, "be seen." No longer in the alien "form of a servant," but in His own proper glory.

without sin—apart from, separate from, sin. Not bearing the sin of many on Him as at His first coming (even then there was no sin in Him). That sin has been at His first coming once for all taken away, so as to need no repetition of His sin offering of Himself (Heb 9:26). At His second coming He shall have no more to do with sin.

unto salvation—to bring in completed salvation; redeeming then the body which is as yet subject to the bondage of corruption. Hence, in Php 3:20 he says, "we look for THE Saviour." Note, Christ's prophetical office, as the divine Teacher, was especially exercised during His earthly ministry; His priestly is now from His first to His second coming; His kingly office shall be fully manifested at, and after, His second coming.




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