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The High Priest of the Heavenly Sanctuary and the Fulfilment of Jeremiah’s Prophecy
Christ, as Melchizedek-High-Priest, has a higher ministry than the Levitical priesthood, because He ministers in the true Tabernacle in heaven which indeed was the pattern for the earthly tabernacle (Hebrews 8:1-5). Besides He is superior in proportion as the new covenant is better than the first (Hebrews 8:6-13).
1. The sum] RV ’the chief point.’
2. A minister] i.e. an officiating high priest.
The sanctuary] corresponds to the innermost chamber of the tabernacle, which is a general name for the whole place of ministry. It is called the ’true’ tabernacle, i.e. authentic or primary, that on earth being secondary, a copy of the heavenly (Hebrews 8:5).
3. Gifts and sacrifices] see on Hebrews 5:1. A high priest implies an offering, and this Christ has: see on Hebrews 7:27 and references there.
4. The connexion is with Hebrews 8:2. Christ’s ministry must be in the heavenly tabernacle, for there is already a priesthood on earth; the office on earth is preoccupied. ’He would not be a priest at all’ (so RV), much less a high priest. It has been inferred from this v. that the Epistle was written while the Levitical priesthood was still in existence, i.e. before the destruction of Jerusalem: see Intro. § 3, ’Recipients and Probable Date.’ Otherwise it must be supposed that the writer is speaking generally from the view-point of the OT.
5. Example] RV ’copy,’ implying that there is an original in heaven. Observe that the heavenly is the real; the earthly is the copy and shadow. The reference is to Exodus 25:40: cp. Acts 7:44.
6. Now] is logical, not temporal, and means,’ this being so.’ Better promises] see Hebrews 8:10-12.
8-12. The promise is taken from Jeremiah 31:31-34.
9. Regarded them not] i.e. rejected them after they had broken the covenant; or, let them alone: cp. Matthew 23:38; RM.
10-12. The second covenant is better than the first, because, (1) it is an internal principle instead of an external code; (2) it is universally realised; every member of the covenant is in direct and personal communion with God; (3) it secures real righteousness. This is the ground of the two preceding promises.
13. Even in the time of Jeremiah mention was made of a new covenant, showing that the first was destined to be superseded. Since then it has actually vanished away.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 8". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent