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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 8

Dummelow's Commentary on the BibleDummelow on the Bible

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Verses 1-13

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.

Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 8". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcb/hebrews-8.html. 1909.
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