Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 10

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Verse 1


The Jewish Law. The Jewish Law was a thing of pride, even to the point of fanaticism. Compare Acts 21:20-28 and notes. Is not. The Law did not display the coming realities in a form that people could understand. The earthly tent and the priests who served in it were not the reality of God’s blessing for man. It is only a faint outline. The greatness of the Law was only a faint outline of the REALITY which is Christ. Compare 1 John 5:20. The same sacrifices. This is implied in the previous chapter. “If these same sacrifices must be offered over and over again, they are useless! If they had the ability to make people perfect, there would be no need to offer them more than one time!”

Verse 2


Had been made really clean. “The fact that they continued to feel both guilt and fear of punishment shows they were not really made clean from their sins. When guilt and fear are removed by the sacrifice, it has no need to be repeated.”

Verse 3


The sacrifices serve to remind people. “The sacrifices of the Law on the Day of Atonement and the ritual with the scapegoat only serve to remind people of their sin and guilt, and increase their fear of punishment.” [Some Christian groups are guilty of doing this also.]

Verse 4


Can never take sins away. The animals killed on Jewish altars had a moral effect on the people, and pointed forward to the Messiah, but had no real effect on sins. Micah taught the same thing, and implied this was why the pagans used human sacrifices. “Will the Lord be pleased if I bring him thousands of sheep, or endless streams of olive oil? Shall I offer him my firstborn child to pay for my sins?” (Micah 6:7).

Verse 5


For this reason. To show that the sacrifices of the Law were useless, and could not take sins away. He said to God. The quotation is from Psalms 40:6-8 Septuagint. This was a prophecy of how Christ would view the ritual of the Law and his own mission. The point is that the Son’s offering of himself is the true sacrifice, which as prophecy shows, God wanted to be made. You do not want the sacrifices and offerings of the Law, because they are weak and useless. But you have prepared. As the Eternal Logos, Christ did not have a body. But the prophecy is that he would come in human form. See 1 John 4:1-3. Jesus had to take our flesh and blood to be able to destroy the Devil (Hebrews 2:14-15 and notes) by dying on the Cross.

Verse 6


You are not pleased. These were intended to be temporary. In time the people became superstitious toward them.

Verse 7


Then I said. The Psalmist shows Christ as a volunteer who comes of his own free will to do what God wants him to do! Compare John 10:17-18. Just as it is written. The Old Testament itself was full of prophecies about the coming Messiah who would die as The Sin Offering for all time!!! See John 5:39.

Verse 8


First he said. “The Only Son, who came into the world to disclose The Father to mankind (John 1:18;Hebrews 1:2), said that God was not pleased with the ritual worship of the Law.” Even though. “Yes, God did command them to be offered. But they were all to be terminated and superseded when the Messiah came into the world and offered himself as the true sacrifice.”

Verse 9


Then he said. “He volunteered to do this mission for God.” So God does away. “God himself terminates the old sacrifices of the first covenant! God himself puts the sacrifice of Christ in their place! It is God himself who supersedes the old covenant by the new covenant!”

Verse 10


Because. What God wanted, that the sacrifices of the Law could not do, was to make men clean from their sin. Notice that the sacrifices were not to appease an angry God, but to change estranged children! Because Jesus did what God wanted him to do (fulfill the will of God), we (who are Christians) are all made clean from sin. By the offering. Some Jews had said that Christianity had no offerings for sin, but that the Law did. Jesus Christ made the offering of his own crucified body in heaven itself. This is so perfect and complete that it had only to be done ONCE!!! We who are made clean from sin by Christ on the cross (1 Corinthians 1:23 and notes) are made friends of God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19) who are able to worship Him here and now, and enter the Eternal World later.

Verse 11


Every Jewish priest. “You can plainly see the futility of the sacrifices of the Law!”

Verse 12


Christ, however. “Notice the contrast!” Offered one sacrifice. “Not many times!” That is good forever. “What Christ DID will never be terminated or superseded!” And then sat down. “The Jewish priest stands and performs his service every day. Christ offered one sacrifice and sat down. The completeness of Christ’s ONE SACRIFICE is proved by the fact that he did sit down and now sits at God’s right side.”

Verse 13


There he now waits. “Until God destroys his enemies!” See Hebrews 1:13 and note. This means: “Christ must rule the universe until God crushes all his enemies!” Compare Jude 1:14-15; 1 Corinthians 15:25.

Verse 14


With one sacrifice. “This one act of God in Christ is the perfect antidote to the guilt of sin and the fear of punishment. It is available to everyone who will reach out through faith to seize it and make themselves part of it!!! He has made perfect forever those who are clean from sin because they participated in His sacrifice (Romans 6:3-11 and notes).”

Verse 15


And the Holy Spirit. “The claim just made (Hebrews 10:14) is verified by the Holy Spirit himself.”

Verse 16


This is the covenant. See Hebrews 8:10-12 and notes.

Verse 17


And then he says. This is the Holy Spirit speaking through Jeremiah. This means: “When sins are forgiven, no more sacrifices for sin are offered! When God forgives, he forgets!!! Every sin forgiven, is canceled, and no longer exists!!!”

Verse 18


Is no longer needed. “This is why Christianity does not have the continuing sacrifices which the Law had. When sin is canceled and God forgets it, no more sacrifice is necessary!!!” [But notice Acts 8:20-24 and notes.]

Verse 19


We have, then. “As our High Priest, Christ has opened the way for Christians to go into the Most Holy Place, by the sacrifice of his crucified body.”

Verse 20


Through the curtain. “Only the Jewish High Priest could go through the curtain into the Most Holy Place in the inside tent. Christ has opened for both Jews and Gentiles a new way, a living-way, through the curtain which is his own body. For us, the torn curtain (Matthew 27:51) which admits us to the true Most Holy Place, is the human body of Christ!”

Verse 21


We have. “Not only has our great priest opened the Most Holy Place to us; not only does he continue to serve as our High Priest in God’s presence; but our great priest is also God’s Son who serves over God’s house!” [God’s house = the true Temple and true Israel (Hebrews 3:6).]

Verse 22


Let us come near to God. Contrast this with Hebrews 12:18-21. “We have complete confidence that we can come near to God! We can worship the Pure and Undefiled One, because through Christ we are made to became pure and undefiled!!!” Sincere heart. “Not with empty formalism and endless rites, but in spirit and truth (John 4:23 and note).” Sure faith. “Believing not only that God is (Hebrews 11:6), but that our Great Priest has opened for us a new way to reach Him!” That have been made clean. See Hebrews 9:13 and note. Bodies washed with pure water. The Jewish mind would connect this with Christian baptism. See notes on Acts 19:3. Compare Exodus 29:4; Exodus 30:20; Exodus 40:30.

Verse 23


Let us hold on firmly. MacKnight says: “And being washed in body with the clean water of baptism, whereby we professed our faith in Christ as our only High Priest, let us hold fast [firmly] the confession [profession] of our hope of salvation through his ministrations [services for us], unmoved by the threats of our persecutors; for faithful is he who hath promised us pardon through Christ.”

Verse 24


With one another. See Hebrews 3:13 and note. Christians are not to quarrel and fight with each other, but rather to motivate each other to show love and to do good!

Verse 25


Let us not give up the habit. It was not God’s plan for individual Christians to exist in isolation, but for them to form communities. To fulfill the command of Hebrews 10:24, Christians must meet together for worship and encouragement. Persecution may have seemed like a good excuse to quit meeting together. [The Greek does not use SUNAGOGE (The Assembly), but EPISUNAGOGEN HEAUTON (a leading together of selves). This would include both formal and informal gatherings. Compare Acts 2:44-47.] The Day of the Lord. Since this is written to Jewish Christians, the Day is probably the destruction of Jerusalem. On that Day, the power of the unbelieving Jews was destroyed.

Verse 26


For there is no longer. “Giving up the habit of meeting together” in Hebrews 10:25 is not indifference or neglect, but a deliberate act. Some would renounce the New Covenant and try to go back to the sacrifices of the Law. But since Christ has offered the sacrifice of himself, THERE IS NO OTHER SACRIFICE!!!

Verse 27


Instead. “Since Christ is the only sacrifice for sin, if you leave him, all that is left for you is the Judgment and the fierce fire of destruction!”

Verse 28


Anyone who disobeys. “God’s justice in refusing to forgive those who renounce the Good News should be clear to you. Those who rebelled against the Law of Moses were put to death without any mercy. The evidence of two or three witnesses was enough to convict them.”

Verse 29


Who despises the Son of God? “You see how much harsher punishment will come on any who rebel against the Son of God and renounce the Good News!” The blood of God’s covenant. See Hebrews 9:15-17; Hebrews 13:20. See note on Hebrews 6:6. Who Insults the Spirit. The Spirit of grace is the unique gift of the Christian System (see John 7:37-39 and notes). This makes the Holy Spirit the exact opposite (direct antithesis) to the Law of Moses (see Galatians 3:2). One who renounced the Good News, must have then said the miraculous gifts came from the Devil (see Matthew 12:31-32). This would be an eternal sin, which they would not turn away from, and which God then could not forgive!

Verse 30


For we know who said. Since God is the real source of the New Covenant, any who renounce it and despise it must expect Him to take vengeance on them. The quotations are from Deuteronomy 32:35-36.

Verse 31


It is a terrible thing. Since God lives forever, he can punish forever!!! It is a terrible thing to insult the Son, the Spirit, and the Christians – and then fall into the hands of the God who revenges this!!! [The unbeliever is also insulting these things and in effect calling God a liar.]

Verse 32


Remember. The Letter suddenly turns from God’s vengeance, to appeal to their good works in the past. Compare Galatians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 7:15. After they had converted to Christ, they had suffered many things, yet stood strong! [There were many persecutions in Judea, such as Acts 8:1; Acts 12:1.]

Verse 33


You were at times. “Sometimes it was you who were publicly insulted, and other times it was your friends. You felt so strongly about it that you were ready to be a martyr with them!”

Verse 34


You shared. This shows how strong their faith had been in the past! MacKnight thinks Paul was one of the prisoners they shared with, during his first imprisonment at Rome.

Verse 35


Do not lose your courage, then. “Don’t act like cowards, who drop their weapons and run.” Evidently these Jewish Christians were undergoing some special time of persecution.

Verse 36


You need to be patient. “Patience, but like the farmer who, as he waits, does the things necessary to make it all come out the way he wants.” See Romans 5:3-5 and notes.

Verse 37


For, as the scripture says. The quotation is Habakkuk 2:3-4. “This persecution will not last long, because Christ will come (a spiritual coming, see notes on Matthew 24:29-31) to terminate the opposition of the Jewish leaders and destroy the Jewish state.”

Verse 38


Will believe and live. See note on Matthew 24:21. No Christian Jews died in the siege of Jerusalem, because they believed and escaped before the Roman armies surrounded the city!

Verse 39


We are not. “We Jewish Christians are not going to turn back and be destroyed by God! We live by faith and are saved!!!”

Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10". "The Bible Study New Testament". College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.