Commentary on Hebrews 8

And the sum concerning the things spoken of [is]: we have such a chief priest, who did sit down at the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens, of the holy places a servant, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord did set up, and not man, for every chief priest to offer both gifts and sacrifices is appointed, whence [it is] necessary for this one to have also something that he may offer; for if, indeed, he were upon earth, he would not be a priest -- (there being the priests who are offering according to the law, the gifts, who unto an example and shadow do serve of the heavenly things, as Moses hath been divinely warned, being about to construct the tabernacle, for `See (saith He) thou mayest make all things according to the pattern that was shewn to thee in the mount;') -- and now he hath obtained a more excellent service, how much also of a better covenant is he mediator, which on better promises hath been sanctioned, for if that first were faultless, a place would not have been sought for a second.

The text presents a kal v'chomer argument. As Yeshua's position of Heavenly High Priest is of a higher order, than that of the Aaronic priesthood, how much better then is the renewed covenant (promised in Jeremiah 33 and related Scriptures)? See our studies on the two tabernacles and on the heavenly priesthood.

For finding fault, He saith to them, `Lo, days come, saith the Lord, and I will complete with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, a new covenant, not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day of My taking [them] by their hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt -- because they did not remain in My covenant, and I did not regard them, saith the Lord, --

The "fault" spoken of was not with God's original covenant, but with the people. They had promised, "All the words which YHWH has spoken we do." (Exodus 24:7) but did not keep their promise, thus tainting the covenant, and creating a cause for it to be renewed on "better terms." The quote within the text is from Jeremiah 31.

because this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord, giving My laws into their mind, and upon their hearts I will write them, and I will be to them for a God, and they shall be to Me for a people; and they shall not teach each his neighbour, and each his brother, saying, Know thou the Lord, because they shall all know Me from the small one of them unto the great one of them, because I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawlessnesses I will remember no more;' -- in the saying `new,' He hath made the first old, and what doth become obsolete and is old [is] nigh disappearing.

The change in the Covenant is not that any of it has been abolished, as the "law" (God's Torah) is still to be followed, it now being in the minds and on the hearts of those who are part of faithful Israel - (Jew and gentile). Yeshua also made clear in Matthew 5:17-21 and Paul in Romans 3:31 that the Torah continues. Although we can experience elements of the New Covenant at this time, we are not yet in the New Covenant. (See our article on the New Covenant in the YashaNet library.) Note that in the time of the New Covenant there will no longer be any need to "witness" to people, as all will know God. The last verse, written well after Yeshua's death, states clearly that the original ("old") is still in effect, though it is "fading away."


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