Hebrews Chapter 9
Hebrews 9:1 MKJV Then truly the first tabernacle had also ordinances of divine service and an earthly sanctuary.
Chapter 9 contrasts the typical Law Covenant with the arrangements for the New Covenant to make its blessings effective to Israel and all people who shall eventually avail themselves of its privileges.
The tabernacle ordained by the Old Covenant was planned by God, but planned for an earthly service.
Then truly - Or, moreover. The object is to describe the tabernacle in which the service of God was celebrated under the former dispensation, and to show that it had a reference to what was future, and was only an imperfect representation of the reality. It was important to show this, as the Jews regarded the ordinances of the tabernacle and of the whole Levitical service as of divine appointment, and of perpetual obligation. The object of Paul is to prove that they were to give place to a more perfect system, and hence, it was necessary to discuss their real nature.
The first covenant (in the KJV—tabernacle in the MKJV) - The word “covenant” is not in the Greek, but is not improperly supplied. The meaning is, that the former arrangement or dispensation had religious rites and services connected with it.
Had also ordinances - Margin, “Ceremonies.” The Greek word means “laws, precepts, ordinances;” and the idea is, that there were laws regulating the worship of God. The Jewish institutions abounded with such laws.
Hebrews 9:2 MKJV For the first tabernacle was prepared, in which was both the lampstand, and the table, and the setting out of the loaves, which is called Holies.
For a tabernacle was prepared: The tabernacle was a tent 45 feet long, 15 feet wide, and 15 feet high, divided into two rooms. The larger room (the first part) was a 15 foot by 30 foot “holy place.” Behind the second veil was the smaller room was a 15 foot by 15 foot, called the Holiest of All.
The lampstand with a middle stem and six branches stood in the first part and was of an unspecified size, made of pure gold; it provided the only light for the tabernacle (Exo_25:31-40). Representing the complete Church of Christ selected throughout the Gospel.
In the general use of it, to hold forth light, so the church holds forth the light of the Gospel, being put into it by Christ; in the matter of it, which was pure gold, denoting the purity, worth, splendour, glory, and duration of the church; in the parts of it, it had one shaft in the middle of it, in which all the parts met and cemented, typical of Christ the principal, and head of the church, whose situation is in the midst of the church, and who unites all together, and is but one: the six branches of it may intend all the members of the church, and especially the ministers of the word; the seven lamps with oil in them, may have a respect to the seven spirits of God, or the Spirit of God with his gifts and graces, and a profession of religion with grace along with it: and it was typical of the church in its ornaments and decorations; its bowls, knops, and flowers, may signify the various gifts of the Spirit, beautifying ministers, and fitting them for usefulness.
And the table and the shewbread; the table, with the shewbread on it, was also in the tabernacle, on the north side of it: the table was typical of Christ, and of communion with him. The "shewbread", on the table, was typical either of the church of Christ, the saints, who may be signified by the unleavened cakes, being true and sincere, and without the leaven of malice and hypocrisy; and by twelve of them, which may represent the twelve tribes of Israel, the whole spiritual Israel of God; and by bread of faces, as the word for shewbread may be rendered, since they are always before the Lord, and his eyes are continually upon them; they are set upon the pure table, Christ, on whom they are safe, and by whom they are accepted with God or else the shewbread was typical of Christ himself, who is the bread of life (as well as the Logos—the Word of God), the food of his people; and may be signified by the shewbread for its fineness and purity, being made of fine flour, Christ is the finest of the wheat, bread from heaven, and angels' food; for its quantity, twelve cakes, with Christ, is bread enough, and to spare, for all the elect; for its continuance, Christ always abides, and such as feed upon him live forever; Christ's flesh is meat indeed, and his blood drink indeed; and for its being only for the priests, as only such who are made priests to God, live by faith on Christ; see Lev_25:5.
Hebrews 9:3 MKJV And after the second veil was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies,
Were there more vails than one? the Scripture speaks but of one, Exo_26:31 there was indeed an hanging for the door of the tent, but that is not called a vail; nor was there more than one vail in the tabernacle, nor in the temple of Solomon; but in the second temple, under which the apostle lived, there were two vails, which divided between the holy place, and the holy of holies; and the innermost of these the apostle means: and so the Jewish writers (r) constantly affirm, that there were two vails between the said places, and that two new ones were made every year (s). So on the day of atonement, when the high priest went into the most holy place, with the incense, it is said (t), that "he walked in the temple till he came between שתי הפרוכות, "the two vails", which divide between the holy, and holy of holies, and there was the space of a cubit between them.''
The reason of these two vails may be seen in the account Maimonides gives of this matter (u):
"in the first temple there was a wall which divided between the holy, and holy of holies, the thickness of a cubit; but when they built the second temple, it was doubted by them, whether the thickness of the wall was of the measure of the holy place, or of the measure of the holy of holies; wherefore they made the holy of holies twenty cubits complete, and the holy place forty cubits complete, and they left the space of a cubit between the holy, and the holy of holies; and they did not build a wall in the second temple, but they made שתי פרוכות, "two vails", one on the side of the holy of holies, and the other on the side of the holy place, and between them a cubit answerable to the thickness of the wall, which was in the first temple; but in the first temple there was but one vail only, as it is said, Exo_26:33 and the vail shall divide unto you, &c.''
And to this account other Jewish writers (w) agree; and the space between the two vails is called by them טרקסין (x), ταραξις, from the trouble and perplexity this affair gave them. This vail, or vails, might represent the sin of man, which separates between God and men, excludes from heaven; but is removed by the death of Christ, when the vail was rent in twain; so that now there is an open way to heaven; Christ has entered into it by his own blood; and saints have boldness to enter there by faith and hope now, and shall hereafter personally enter into it: or else this vail may signify the ceremonial law, which separated between Jew and Gentile, and is abolished by the death of Christ: or rather it was typical of the flesh, or human nature of Christ, called the vail of his flesh, Heb_10:20. Now within this second vail was the tabernacle, or that part of it, the second part,
which is called the holiest of all; which was typical of heaven, for the holy places, made with hands, were figures of heaven, Heb_9:24 for its holiness, it being the habitation of the holy God.
Hebrews 9:4 MKJV having a golden altar of incense, and the ark of the covenant overlaid all around with gold, in which was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant.
Hebrews 9:5 MKJV And over it were the cherubs of glory overshadowing the mercy-seat (about which we cannot now speak piece by piece.
The golden altar of incense was made of acacia wood covered with gold, 1½ feet square, and 3 feet high. It stood at the veil before the “holy of holies,” and was used to burn incense (Exo_30:1-8).
The ark of the covenant stood inside the Holiest of All, and was a chest made of acacia wood covered with gold, 3¾ feet long, 2¼ feet wide, and 2¼ feet high, with rings for polls along its side by which it would be carried (Exo_25:10-22).
Inside the ark was the golden pot that had the manna (Exo_16:33), Aaron’s rod that budded (Num_17:6-11), and the tablets of the covenant (Exo_25:16).
The manna reminded Israel of God’s provision and their ungratefulness. Aaron’s rod reminded them of their rebellion against God’s authority. The tablets of the covenant reminded them of their failure to keep the Ten Commandments and rest of the law.
The mercy seat was the ornate “lid” for the ark of the covenant, made with the designs of cherubim upon it; the blood of sacrifice was sprinkled upon it for the forgiveness of Israel’s sin on the Day of Atonement (Exo_25:17-22).
As God looked down into the ark, He saw the symbols of Israel’s sin, rebellion and failure. But when the blood of sacrifice was applied to the mercy seat, His sight of the sin of Israel was covered by the blood of sacrifice.(Guzik)
Cherubim of glory -- Upon it and of the same piece were two cherubs of gold--beaten work. Representing divine love and power. Neither divine love nor power can be exercised until justice is satisfied; hence they look inward toward justice to know when to move. (Russell)
Hebrews 9:6 MKJV Now when these things were ordained in this way, the priests always went into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
Hebrews 9:7 MKJV But once in the year into the second the high priest goes alone, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people)
The priests, as appointed, went daily into the “holy place” to perform priestly functions such as tending the lampstand and replacing the showbread.
But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year: The “holy of holies” was entered only once a year by the high priest alone, on the Day of Atonement.
The high priest went alone once a year, not without blood: His entrance into the second part was not for fellowship, but only for atonement, first for his own sin, then for the sins of his people.
a. Access into the Holiest of All was thus severely restricted, and even when someone could enter, it wasn’t for real fellowship with God.
b. The ancient Jewish Rabbis wrote of how the high priest would not prolong his prayer in the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, because it might make the people think he had been killed. When he came out, he threw a party for all his friends, because he had emerged safely from the presence of God.
The people’s sins committed in ignorance: Sins of ignorance were the specific aim of the Day of Atonement. It was assumed that known sin would be taken care of through the regular sin offerings and the daily sacrifices.
For the errors -- The sins. Not willful sins, but those which are committed through ignorance, superstition, blindness, etc., through heredity. Christ as the antitype presented the ransom-price for the people's sins.
The High Priest passing under the veil typified the man Christ Jesus, pouring out his soul on Calvary, laying down in death the body which God prepared him. The Priest had to have the blood with him or he would die.
If he had not followed every instruction of the Law, he would die under the veil; likewise, if Jesus had come short in any way, he would have no resurrection.
Hebrews 9:8 MKJV the Holy Spirit signifying by this that the way into the Holiest of all was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
First tabernacle -- The purpose was to shadow forth "good things to come." (Heb_9:11)
Entrance into the Holiest symbolized direct access to God, and the “way” into it had not been made evident or even open to man until He came who is “the way, the truth, and the life” (Joh_14:6). He is “the new and living way” (Heb_10:19-20).
while as the first tabernacle was yet standing] Rather, “while yet the outer Tabernacle is still standing,” i.e. so long as there is (for the Temple, which represented the continuity of the Tabernacle and the Old Covenant, had not sunk in flames, as it did a few years later) an outer Tabernacle, through which not even a Priest was ever allowed to enter into the Holiest. Hence the deep significance of the rending of the veil of the Temple from the top to the bottom at the Crucifixion. (Mat_27:51).
"the way into the holiest of all was not yet manifest": the Vulgate Latin and all the Oriental versions render it, "the way of the saints"; of the priests who ministered in holy things, and were holy to the Lord, their way to it was not so manifestly known; life and immortality were not so clearly brought to light, as now by the Gospel; though rather it designs holy places, even heaven itself, which was typified by the holy place within the vail; and may be called the holiest of all, it being the residence of the holy God, Jesus and angels; and that way was in some measure known, but it was not fully manifested; it lay hid in obscure prophecies, types, shadows, and sacrifices; hence being more clearly revealed under the Gospel dispensation, in comparison, of its former obscurity, and with respect to the manifestation of.
Hebrews 9:9 MKJV For it was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices that could not make him who did the service perfect as regards the conscience,
Hebrews 9:10 MKJV which stood only in meats and drinks, and different kinds of washings and fleshly ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
It was symbolic for the present time: Symbolic is the ancient Greek word parabole. The tabernacle itself and all that the Old Covenant represented were suggestive of deeper truths, parables of the New Covenant. The real work to be done afterward by Christ.
Cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience: The priestly service performed now (current at the writer’s time) does not make even the priests offering those sacrifices perfect and clean in regard to the conscience. If the cleansing is incomplete for the priest, how much more for the person the priest worked on behalf of! Perfect -- Each Day of Atonement a typical sacrifice was offered which never actually put away sin.
The weakness of the priestly service under the Old Covenant was its inability to address the need for inner transformation in man; therefore it was only imposed until the time of reformation.
“Reformation” -- refers to putting a thing in a right condition; making it better; or raising up and restoring what is fallen down. The idea here is, that those ordinances were only temporary in their nature, and were designed to endure until a more perfect system should be introduced. "the time of reformation", or of "correction", and emendation; in which, things that were faulty and deficient are amended and perfected, and in which burdensome rites and ceremonies are removed, and better ordinances introduced: or rather of direction: in which saints are directed to Christ, the sum and substance of all types, shadows, and sacrifices, and in whom alone perfection is.
Hebrews 9:11 MKJV But when Christ had become a high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building
Good things to come -- Represents the glorification of the Church and the blessing of Israel and all the families of the earth.
The phrase “high priest of good things to come,” seems to refer to those “good things” which belonged to the dispensation that was to come; that is, the dispensation under the Messiah. The Jews anticipated great blessings in that time. They looked forward to better things than they enjoyed under the old dispensation.
Perfect tabernacle -- The spiritual Temple. A higher Tabernacle or Temple than the Jewish earthly one, the Holy of Holies of which is heaven itself.
Not made with hands -- Not of earthly origin.
It seems to me that the whole scope of the passage requires us to understand it of the more perfect temple in heaven where Christ performs his ministry, and of which the tabernacle of the Hebrews was but the emblem. Christ did not belong to the tribe of Levi; he was not an high priest of the order of Aaron; he did not enter the holy place on earth, but he entered the heavens, and perfects the work of his ministry there.
Hebrews 9:12 MKJV nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
The blood of goats and calves was sufficient for a temporary covering of sin (but in reality possessed no real merit); but only a perfect ransom sacrifice could obtain eternal redemption.
He entered once for all into the Holies; The antitype of the earthly High Priests when they went into the Most Holy on the Day of Atonement to sprinkle the blood upon the Mercy Seat. “Holies” Representing heaven itself--from which in due time our great High Priest comes forth with the promised blessings of restitution, etc. In opposition to the annual entering of the high priest into the holiest, with the blood of the annual victim.
Every year, there were sacrifices for the people to cover sin only typically and not actually, but Jesus’ ransom sacrifice is a one time historical event that applies not only to the nation of Israel, but to every person who has ever lived all the way back to Father Adam—and those yet unborn until his kingdom comes on earth.
Hebrews 9:13 MKJV For if the blood of bulls and of goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean sanctifies to the purifying of the flesh,
The ashes -- The knowledge and remembrance of their faithfulness unto death.
The red heifer was taken outside the camp of Israel, killed and burned to ashes, except a little of the blood taken by the Priest and sprinkled seven times toward the front of the Tabernacle. The ashes were not brought into the Holy Place, but were left outside the Camp, and apparently accessible to any of the people who had use for them. Like the ashes laid up in a clean place, the results of the painful experiences of the "worthies" (Hebrews 11) will be a store of blessings, instruction and help to these "Princes."
An heifer -- The Old Testament Worthies (Hebrews 11); a heifer instead of a bullock, to show that it was not one of the sacrifices of the Day of Atonement. A class which laid down their lives outside the Camp; in every way honorable, and yet not a priestly class.
A feature of the ceremonial law of Israel, related in Numbers 19. No antitype is mentioned because it has nothing to do with our cleansing but relates to the world's cleansing in the Millennium.
Purifying of the flesh -- The typical sacrifices had served in a measure for purification, and made the creatures represented thereby typically acceptable with God for a time.
Hebrews 9:14 MKJV how much more shall the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God) purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
If these imperfect sacrifices were received as sufficient by Israel, how much more should they regard the ultimate sufficiency of the perfect sacrifice?
How much more -- Here is a contrast between the institution of the Law Covenant, and the institution of the New Covenant. If the typical arrangements of the Law Covenant needed a cleansing from sin by blood, how much more full of value should we esteem the sacrifice of Christ. How much greater must be the blessing which the greater, the antitypical High Priest would secure.
The sacrifices of the Day of Atonement are merely the means to an end. The end to be attained is the blessing of the world, and the bringing of the world back to at-one-ment, or harmony, with God. That work will require all of the Millennial Age. It will include the teaching of the world, the restoration of mankind to all that was lost in Adam and redeemed at Calvary. The Sin-Offerings of the Atonement Day merely represent God's Purpose in the use of the Sacrifices which must be completed before the world's at-one-ment with God can begin to go into effect.
So, then, let us hope that all will henceforth see clearly that the Sin-Offerings of the Atonement Day and its Sacrifices constitute a picture of the processes by which God accomplishes the world's blessings; while the Ransom is entirely distinct, and shows the work of Jesus alone and its ultimate effect for mankind throughout the whole wide world.
The blood of Christ -- The death of Christ, paying the penalty for sin.
How much more shall the blood of Christ . . . cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? The sacrifice of Jesus is sufficient to even restore our damaged conscience.
Our conscience is a wonderful tool from God. But it isn’t perfect. Our conscience can be seared (1Ti_4:2). Our conscience can be defiled (Tit_1:15). Our conscience can be evil (Heb_10:22).
Cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God: Dead works probably has the thought of sin in general, in the sense of “works that bring death.” But it must also speak to the vain continuation of Old Covenant sacrifice, which is certainly a dead work - and the very type of thing these discouraged Jewish Christians were tempted to go back to.
Has your conscience been purged from dead works to serve the living God?
Hebrews 9:15 MKJV And for this cause He is the Mediator of the new covenant, so that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, those who are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
In other words, BECAUSE; because the bullock and goat (verse 14) have been offered, he is authorized as mediator for this New Covenant. Paul will repeat this point in verses 16 and 17. Until the sacrifices are made, there can be no mediation of a covenant
We must read again with intense care. Note the NEB, which perhaps is the clearest English version:
“And therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, or testament, under which, now that there has been a death to bring deliverance from sins committed under the former covenant, those whom God has called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.”
In a number of different translations, it is possible to have two different interpretations for the rest of verse 15. However, the NEB seems most satisfying contextually.
Let’s first establish a point from another text by Paul. In Galatians 4:5, Paul establishes that Jesus’ birth needed TWO QUALIFICATIONS. Jesus needed to be “born of a woman.” He had to be a human (not of Adamic ancestry) in order to give a RANSOM. Yet Paul also stipulates that Jesus must be “born under the Law in order that he might redeem those who were under the Law.” This is the same point he is making in Hebrews 9:15. Jesus’ death not only provided a sin offering for the whole race to be blessed under the New Covenant, but he RELEASED ISRAEL from its bondage to the Old Covenant so that they too “may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.’’
To Gentiles this might seem unimportant. To the Jewish mind it was vital. Just as verse 14 released Jews from the Law so they could be disciples (“serve the living God”), so also verse 15 releases the rest of the Jews from the Law condemnation so they can participate in the blessings of this New Law which Jesus mediates, because the sin offerings make it “valid.” (New Albany)
Are we under the “New Covenant”?
Is Jesus our Mediator? Or Advocate? Can he be both at the same time?
Hebrews 9:16 MKJV For where a covenant is, the death of him covenanting must be offered.
Hebrews 9:17 MKJV For a covenant is affirmed over those dead, since it never has force when The one covenanting is living.
Nearly all translators miss the point here. The Diaglott is an exception.
“For where a covenant exists, the death of that which has ratified it is necessary to be produced; because a covenant is firm over dead victims since it is never valid when that which ratifies it is alive.” (See also Clarke.)
Paul is not speaking of last wills and testaments! He is speaking of Biblical covenants. He is continuing the same argument found in 9:7-15. He is continuing to tell us that there can be no New Covenant until the blood of the New Covenant (the antitypical sin offering of Leviticus 16) is complete—until all the victims (animals) have been slain, and their blood offered.
The death -- In the case of Moses, the death of the testator was represented by the slaying of the bullock and the goat. In the case of the antitypical Moses, it is shown in the sacrifice of our Lord and the Church. Not yet fully accomplished; hence restitution blessing is delayed and has not yet begun.
Hebrews 9:18 MKJV From which we see that neither was the first covenant dedicated without blood.
Hebrews 9:19 MKJV For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Hebrews 9:20 MKJV saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has enjoined to you."
Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood: Clearly, death was necessary to the Old Covenant. Virtually every part of the sacrificial system under the Law of Moses was touched by blood in some way or another.
His point is this: Just as the New Covenant will not be valid without blood sacrifices of Jesus and the Church, so also the Old Law Covenant was not valid until Moses sacrificed animals and applied their blood.
If we got that much from these verses, we have Paul’s point.
For when Moses -- The typical Mediator between God and Israel. Type of the greater Mediator; Jesus and the Church. He undertook to bless them by mediating for them the Law Covenant with God. "A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me." (Act_3:33)
When the better sacrifices are complete, the people will be sprinkled with the cleansing blood and pure water of truth, bringing them into harmony with God and therefore with his Law.
Verse 20 is, of course, the point. No blood, no Covenant! No Gospel Age sacrifices, no Millennium! No bullock and goat, no Red Heifer! (Hebrews 11:40)
Hebrews 9:21 MKJV And likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry.
Hebrews 9:22 MKJV And almost all things are by the law purged with blood, and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Verse 21 poses a few other questions. Clearly, Paul is jumping ahead in time. There was no tabernacle when the Law was instituted. Why, then, does he bring it up here? There are two reasons:
(1) He has been talking about it and how it served the Law (9:1). He also has shown how it was an annual re-affirmation of the Law (9:7).
(2) He is just about to return to discussing its antitypical applications (9:23-28). Thus in 9:21 he is showing that BLOOD made the typical tabernacle functional and does so also for the antitypical tabernacle (9:11, 12). BLOOD is Paul’s continuing topic. He wants us to know that the blood of the sin offering (Jesus and us) is the imperative to the salvation of the next age (9:28).
The problem, of course, is that it is difficult to show that Moses sprinkled the tent and “all the vessels of the ministry” with blood! He did sprinkle nearly everything with the anointing oil (Exodus 40:9); and in various services, he and Aaron sprinkled blood in various places (e.g., Leviticus 8:15, 19, 30; 9:9, etc.) But Paul’s all-inclusive sprinkling picture again makes us think that he knew more than was recorded in the writings of Moses.
An important principle is stated: Without shedding of blood there is no remission [of sin].
Modern people think that sin is remitted (forgiven) by time, by our good works, by our decent lives, or by simply death. But there is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood, and there is no perfect forgiveness without a perfect sacrifice.
Shedding of blood -- Implying a sacrificial death. The center of the plan--the cross of Christ. Jesus gave none too great a price, but one which corresponded exactly, with the penalty, viz. man's death. Redemption under the Law could be made only by an estimated equivalent value. When sin was involved, only blood could atone, or justify. "The life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls. For it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. (Lev_17:11)
The Bible alone explains the origin of sin and also our hope of relief through the Savior.
Hebrews 9:23 MKJV Therefore it was necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves were purified with better sacrifices than these.
Better sacrifices -- The sacrifices (plural) of Jesus and the Church. The justified humanity of the High Priest and the underpriesthood. Began eighteen centuries ago, continuing in his followers as they offer up their flesh. Two offerings typified by; the bullock (Jesus), and the goat (the members of his body.)
Hebrews 9:24 MKJV For Christ has not entered into the Holy of Holies made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.
Jesus’ sacrifice was made on earth, but it is the basis for His continuing work as our advocate and High Priest in heaven. The writer to the Hebrews proclaims it: now to appear in the presence of God for us. It’s not hard to believe that Jesus does appear in the presence of God. But to believe that He appears there for us is glorious!
We should not expect him to do this every year, as it was done in the type. It is not necessary that Christ should repeat his sacrifice every year, because his is the antitypical one and prevails everlastingly.
Hebrews 9:25 MKJV Nor yet that He should offer Himself often, even as the high priest enters into the Holy of Holies every year with the blood of others
Jesus’ ministry for us continues in heaven, but not in the sense of continuing to atone for our sin. His ministry continues for us in intercession and defending us against the accuser of God’s people (Rev_12:10). But it does not continue in the sense that He should offer Himself often. His sacrifice was once-for-all, and perfectly satisfied God’s holy justice.
i. This passage and principle is a direct rebuke to the Roman Catholic practice and theology of the mass. In the mass, the Roman Catholic Church desires to repeat - not remember, but repeat - the atoning sacrifice of Jesus innumerable times. This is absolutely indefensible Scripturally, and denies the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The Scriptures make it plain: not that He should offer Himself often. (Guzik)
Nor yet that he should offer himself often - The Jewish high priest entered the most holy place with blood once every year. In this respect the offering made by Christ, and the work which he performed, differed from that of the Jewish high priest. It was not needful that he should enter the holy place but once. Having entered there, he permanently remains there.
With the blood of others - That is, with the blood of calves, and goats. This is a second point in which the work of Christ differs from that of the Jewish high priest. Christ entered there with his own blood; notes on Heb_9:12. (Barnes)
Hebrews 9:26 MKJV (for then He must have suffered often since the foundation of the world), but now once in the end of the world He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
If the sacrifice of Jesus were not perfect, then it would have to be continual and constant - even since the foundation of the world. Imperfect sacrifices must be repeated continually but a perfect sacrifice can be made once for all time, and genuinely put away sin (not just cover sin, as with sacrifice under the Old Covenant). The message is clear: He has appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.
Once -- All the facts agree that his sacrifice was once and forever because it was a complete, perfect sacrifice, which the divine Law demanded. "The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." (Joh_1:29)
World -- Greek, aion, age. While it was at the end of the Jewish Age, the Gospel Age is the last dispensation of the Old World. Next comes the Millennial Age and the Ages beyond where righteousness rules and our prayers are answered “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Hebrews 9:27 MKJV And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment,
It is unreasonable to suppose that the Apostle has suddenly dropped his topic respecting Christ as the antitypical High Priest, and that he refers to mankind in general, out of all relationship to his subject. A lesson in type and antitype--comparing the work of the Jewish priests every year with the work of Christ.
Perhaps the best way to understand who is meant by “the men” (Greek), is to understand the first two words of verse 28. “SO CHRIST…” is how verse 28 opens. This is a contrast or comparison. Whoever “the men” of verse 27 are, they are THE TYPE of “the Christ.” In verse 28 we have seen already who this is! Paul has made the point continuously! Aaron is the type of Christ. Thus, “the men” of verse 27 are the successive high priests who have typified the sacrificial work of “the Christ” (head and body). The logic is inescapable!
When Paul opens verse 27 with this word, he is telling us the sum total of his lecture on the tabernacle sin offering lesson. He is saying, ‘Inasmuch as Leviticus 16 had the effect of saving Israel for the ensuing year…(verse 28), so its antitype will do for the world.’
As it is appointed -- There is no reference here to the death of mankind, but merely to the Priests offering their sacrifice. It is not true that God appointed man to die and after that the judgment. Adam was appointed to life and while thus appointed he had his judgment or trial. Death is the following, not preceding, penalty.
“Once” is a reference to the once-annual observance of this important type. (See 9:7.) “To die” means to die in figure— even as in Hebrews 11:19 Isaac was resurrected “in a figure.” Paul yet has 9:25, 26 in mind. The high priest “offered himself,” BUT with the “blood of others”! This means HE DIED, (but only figuratively—UNLIKE Jesus [verse 26], who died ACTUALLY).
How important! Paul still is making his oft-repeated point: no covenant, no blessing, until AFTER the sacrifices!
The Judgment: Israel was, because of the sacrifices, now again (for another year), in judgment (covenant) relationship with God. How lovely! How simple! How accurate with reality!
Contrary to the eternal torment theory, the Scriptures show that the Millennial day is to be the world's period of trial, of judgment.
Hebrews 9:28 MKJV so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. And to those who look for Him He shall appear the second time without sin to salvation.
THE Christ (as the antitype of the Jewish High Priest). The word “so” here is a confirmation that we have understood verse 27. If verse 27 makes sense in its relationship to verse 28, the word “so” is vindicated.
ALSO: Just like “the men” of verse 27 = Aaron, Head and Body. The two sacrifices on the Day of Atonement were really one, because the second was based upon the first. The first represented the Head, and the second the Body.
Once -- Never will it be repeated.
TO BEAR SINS: That’s the point of the sin offering. That’s the point of the first advent (and the Gospel Age which witnesses its total sacrificial accomplishment).
OF THE MANY: The sufferings of Christ have continued for 1800 years, and the sufferings of the Body must be complete before the glory should follow. He has not yet appeared for the blessing of the world.
The next thing to be expected, is Christ finishing the sprinkling of the blood the second time, and then coming out, as typed in the High Priest clothed "in garments of glory and beauty" representative of his elements in glory and power. "When he shall appear we shall also appear with him in glory." (Col_3:4)
The coming out of the earthly Priest from the Most Holy represented the second coming of Christ, to bless all the families of the earth, encouraging, helping, uplifting them, back into fellowship with God. To inaugurate the New Covenant, and as its Mediator, to set up its Kingdom for the overthrow of sin and death and the establishment of righteousness and life.
Quotes from David Guzik, Charles Russell, Albert Barnes, Adam Clarke, John Gill, New Albany, and more