COMMENTARY ON HEBREWS 8 AND 9

Explanatory comments are interjected between selected verses:

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 study on the heavenly priesthood in our Revelation study.)

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.

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."

Hebrews 9

It had, indeed, then (even the first tabernacle) ordinances of service, also a worldly sanctuary, for a tabernacle was prepared, the first, in which was both the lamp-stand, and the table, and the bread of the presence -- which is called `Holy;' and after the second vail a tabernacle that is called `Holy of holies,' having a golden censer,

The censer is said to be in the Holy of Holies, therefore the text is referring to Yom Kippur, as this was the only time the High Priest would bring this within.

... and the ark of the covenant overlaid all round about with gold, in which [is] the golden pot having the manna, and the rod of Aaron that budded, and the tables of the covenant, and over it cherubim of the glory, overshadowing the mercy-seat, concerning which we are not now to speak particularly. And these things having been thus prepared, into the first tabernacle, indeed, at all times the priests do go in, performing the services, and into the second, once in the year, only the chief priest,

Again, this time more specifically, the text points to Yom Kippur and not the daily sacrifices.

... not apart from blood, which he doth offer for himself and the errors of the people, the Holy Spirit this evidencing that not yet hath been manifested the way of the holy [places], the first tabernacle having yet a standing; which [is] a simile in regard to the present time,

The Temple. its artifacts, the priesthood and the feast days are all "representations" of their heavenly counterparts. See also Hebrews 8:4-5 and our background study on the Metatron and the Tabernacles in our Revelation study.

... in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered, which are not able, in regard to conscience, to make perfect him who is serving, only in victuals, and drinks, and different baptisms, and fleshly ordinances -- till the time of reformation imposed upon [them]. And Messiah being come, chief priest of the coming good things, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands -- that is, not of this creation --

Once more, the reference is to the heavenly Tabernacle that Moses was given a vision of.

... neither through blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, did enter in once into the holy places, age-during redemption having obtained;

The reference is a fulfillment of Daniel 9:24.

... for if the blood of bulls, and goats, and ashes of an heifer, sprinkling those defiled, doth sanctify to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of the Messiah (who through the age-during Spirit did offer himself unblemished to God) purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

The above is a "kal v'chomer" argument. If something of lesser value is true, then how much more is the greater example true? Note however, that the text states that the Yom Kippur sacrifice DID bring forgiveness - albeit not permanent.

... And because of this, of a new covenant he is mediator, that, death having come, for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, those called may receive the promise of the age-during inheritance, for where a covenant [is], the death of the covenant-victim to come in is necessary, for a covenant over dead victims [is] stedfast, since it is no force at all when the covenant-victim liveth,

Yeshua had to die in order for His "heirs" (those whose trust is in Him) to inherit the Kingdom.

... whence not even the first apart from blood hath been initiated, for every command having been spoken, according to law, by Moses, to all the people, having taken the blood of the calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, he both the book itself and all the people did sprinkle, saying, `This [is] the blood of the covenant that God enjoined unto you,' and both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the service with blood in like manner he did sprinkle, and with blood almost all things are purified according to the law, and apart from blood-shedding forgiveness doth not come.

This is another allusion to Yom Kippur, as forgiveness could also come in the daily offerings, through means other than blood (i.e., meal offering, money).

... [It is] necessary, therefore, the pattern indeed of the things in the heavens to be purified with these, and the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these; for not into holy places made with hands did the Messiah enter -- figures of the true -- but into the heaven itself, now to be manifested in the presence of God for us; nor that he may many times offer himself, even as the chief priest doth enter into the holy places every year with blood of others;

Again, the reference is to Yom Kippur.

... since it had behoved him many times to suffer from the foundation of the world, but now once, at the full end of the ages, for putting away of sin through his sacrifice, he hath been manifested; and as it is laid up to men once to die, and after this -- judgment, so also the Messiah, once having been offered to bear the sins of many, a second time, apart from a sin-offering, shall appear, to those waiting for him -- to salvation!

The last verses above show an important distinction. Salvation is not yet fully "accomplished," from our perspective. Messiah will come again to do this. He came to deal with sin the first time (riding lowly on a donkey). When He returns at the end of the age, He will effect salvation for those who trust in Him (arriving in the clouds - see comments on verse 7 below). The text helps point to an explanation regarding the difficulty in understanding Yeshua's role as Passover Lamb versus His roles as the Yom Kippur sacrifice, as they are not the same. (If He is the Yom Kippur sacrifice, why did He die at Passover?)

The answer if found, when it is understood that His return brings about the unification of all things (in the Millennial Sabbath), including the unification of the Feasts of God. From our earthly point (in time) these Feasts appear to be very distinct, but from the heavenly point of view (outside of time) they, along with all else, are in harmony. (This is why "Tipheret" [harmony] is the most important sephirah in Hebrew mystical literature.)

Thus, Scripture tells us that Yeshua was not only slain approximately 1970 years ago, but He is also the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 14:8), and that God's redemptive work was finished from the foundation of the world (Hebrews 4:3). As God (Yeshua) is the Aleph and the Tav, (the beginning and the end) these things are "already accomplished."

NOTE: A detailed explanation of spiritual time and space is presented in our Revelation study.


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