Hebrews 9

A comparison is now introduced between the priestly services of the first covenant, and the perfect priesthood of Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant. A tabernacle; the reference is to the movable tabernacle built by God's direction in the wilderness of Sinai, which had two divisions separated from each other by a curtain--the holy place and the most holy. See Ex 26. 1-37. The second veil; the first, or outer veil, answered for a door to the tabernacle. Ex 26:36,37. The second, or inner veil, separated the holy from the most holy place. Ex 26:31-33. The golden censer; in which the high-priest burned incense within the veil on the great day of atonement. Le 16:12. It seems to have been kept in the holy of holies; but however this may have been, it belonged to its furniture, and is properly reckoned to it. Le 16:12.

The ark; Ex 25:10-16.

The golden pot; Ex 16:33,34.

Aaron's rod; Nu 17:5,8,10.

Tables of the covenant; the two tables of stone containing the ten commandments. Ex 25:21; Ex 40:20. When Solomon removed the ark into the temple which he had built, there was nothing in it but these two tables. 1Ki 8:9; 2Ch 5:10. But it would seem that it originally contained the pot of manna and Aaron's rod.
Cherubim; Ex 25:18,22. Always; daily, habitually.

First tabernacle; the first apartment, called the holy place.
The second; second apartment, called the most holy.

Once; that is, on one day. He entered the most holy place on that day several times. Le 16:12,15.

Blood; that of the victims offered in sacrifice. Le 16:2-19,34.
Into the holiest of all; that is, into God's presence. It was in the most holy place between the cherubim that he had his earthly dwelling-place under the Mosaic economy. See not to chap Heb 6:19. It was not yet revealed how men could approach God with acceptance. As a sign of this, his earthly abode was concealed by a veil, and could be approached only once a year by the high-priest, and that not without blood. But when Christ died the veil was rent, Mt 27:51, and thenceforward all his disciples became "a royal priesthood," having admission, through his blood, into the true holy of holies.

The first tabernacle; that is, as in verses Heb 9:2, 6, the outer tabernacle, which represents the whole Mosaic dispensation.

Was standing; that is, standing as a valid ordinance of God's appointment, and thus barring the way to the holy of holies. This continued till the rending of the veil at Christ's death. The Jewish ritual was full of meaning. God designed by it to teach men their pollution by sin, their need of spiritual cleansing, and the way in which this would be obtained, through the shedding of the blood of Christ and the renewing influences of his Spirit. Many were led by it to depend on Christ and obtain salvation through him. Heb 11:13-16.
A figure; a shadow of good things to come under the Christian dispensation.

Perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; it could remove uncleanness and guilt only in a typical way. It had no power to quiet the conscience by removing its sense of guilt.
Stood--in; consisted of.

Reformation; the new and better order of things under the Christian dispensation.
Of good things to come; of the substance of those good things of which the rites of the Mosaic economy were only the shadow. Compare chap Heb 10:1.

By a greater and more perfect tabernacle; to be connected immediately with the words, "he entered in once," verse Heb 9:12. The meaning is, that just as the Jewish high-priest entered by the way of the earthly tabernacle into the earthly holy of holies, so Christ, our great High-priest, has entered through the tabernacle of the heavens not made with hands, into the true holy of holies above, there to present before God not the blood of bulls and goats, but his own blood, as an expiation for the sins of his people.
The ashes of a heifer; Nu 19.1-10.

To the purifying of the flesh; to the removal of outward and ceremonial defilement; the flesh here representing that which is outward in man, as distinguished from that which is inward and spiritual.
The eternal Spirit; the Holy Spirit, given him without measure, and under whose influence he offered himself a sacrifice for the sin of men.

Purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God; cleanse your consciences from the guilt and pollution of sin; make you spiritually alive, and enable you to offer the spiritual living sacrifice of holy obedience to God. Though the Jewish ritual has ceased as a mode of worship, yet its usefulness will continue to the end of time. It shows the evil nature of sin, the way of salvation from it through faith in Jesus Christ, the object of his death as an atoning sacrifice for sin, and the safety and blessedness of all who trust in him. Ga 3:24.
For this cause; in view of what has just been said of the superior efficacy of his priesthood.

The new testament; the words "covenant" and "testament" are, in the original, the same. The new covenant, of which Christ is the Mediator, is also a testament when considered as ratified and made valid by his expiatory death on the cross.

For the redemption of the transgressions; for their forgiveness through the payment of a ransom. The power of Christ's expiatory sacrifice extends backward to the beginning of the world, as it does forward to its end.

They which are called; the called of God of all ages, before and after Christ's advent.
Whereupon; for which reason.

The first testament; or covenant; God's arrangement with his people at Sinai.

Dedicated without blood; it was ratified by the blood of the sacrifice, which typified Christ, who ratified the second covenant with his own blood.
When Moses had spoken; Ex 24:4-11. Testament; covenant. See note to verse Heb 9:15. He sprinkled--all the vessels; Ex 29:12,20,36. Purged; purified. Le 4:20,26,35; 17:11. As there can be no remission of sin except through the shedding of the blood of Christ and the atonement he has made, those who continue to reject him must remain under the guilt of unpardoned sin for ever. Patterns of things in the heavens; the tabernacle and its furniture, typical of the true heavenly tabernacle. See note to verse Heb 9:11.

Better sacrifices; the blood of Christ, which cleanses the conscience of all who believe from sin, and thus prepares them to enter with Christ their forerunner into heaven, the true holy of holies.
In the end of the world; in the end of the ages; in those "last days" by which the Hebrew prophets represented the then distant future of the Christian dispensation. See note to 1Co 10:11.

To put away sin; to expiate it, and thus open the way for deliverance from its punishment, pollution, and power.
As it is appointed unto men; he points out in these words the agreement between the one death of men who are to be redeemed, and the one death of their Redeemer, the man Christ Jesus. To bear the sins of many; to die on account of them, in the room and stead of sinners; the just for the unjust. 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 3:18.

Them that look for him; his people, who expect his coming to judgment. Mt 25:31-46.

Without sin; not as before to suffer for sin, but to give his people free, full, and everlasting salvation. As Christ has borne the sins of his people, and is coming for their deliverance from all evil and their introduction to the eternal enjoyment of all good, they ought to be ever rejoicing; giving thanks to God through Jesus Christ, and adoring him who, though he was rich, for their sakes became poor, that they through his poverty might be for ever rich.
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