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1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
Ver. 1. Who is set on the right hand ] And is therefore a King, as well as a Priest, as was Melchisedec.
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Ver. 2. A minister of the sanctuary ] λειτουργος . Or, a public officer, an agent for the saints, about holy things.
Which the Lord pitched ] Christ’s body was conceived in the virgin’s womb, not by human generation, but by divine operation. SeeHebrews 9:11; Hebrews 9:11 ; John 1:14 . He was the stone cut out of the mountain without hands,Daniel 2:34; Daniel 2:34 ; the rose of Sharon that grows without man’s care, Song of Solomon 2:1 .
3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
Ver. 3. Somewhat also to offer ] To wit, his own body, "an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour,"Ephesians 5:2; Ephesians 5:2 . By Mount Olivet stood the garden of Gethsemane, where Christ was taken and led into the city through the sheep gate to be offered up like an innocent sheep, on the altar of his cross, for the sins of his people.
4 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
Ver. 4. He should not be a priest ] Because not of the tribe of Levi, whose priesthood lasted so long as Christ lived on earth, and was done away by his death.
5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Ver. 5. Of heavenly things ] So he calleth the mystery of Christ, showed hereby to Moses in the mount, and shadowed out to the people by the services of the tabernacle. All which were Christ in figure; the ceremonial law was their gospel; indeed then all was in riddles, Moses was veiled, and that saying was verified, Et latet et lucet.
6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Ver. 6. Of a better covenant ] Or rather testament ( διαθηκη and not συνθηκη ), heaven being conveyed to the elect by legacy. It is part of God’s testament to write his laws in our hearts, &c. All that he requires of us, is to take hold of his covenant, to receive his gift of righteousness, to take all Christ, &c., and this also he hath promised to cause us to do, Hebrews 8:10 ; Isaiah 56:6 ; Romans 5:17 .
7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
Ver. 7. Had been faultless ] Such as had not been weak and unprofitable, Hebrews 7:18 ; see the note there. If the people could have performed it, and have been perfected by it. If it could have conveyed grace, as Hebrews 8:10 . The law may chain up the wolf, the gospel only changeth him; the one stops the stream, the other heals the fountain; the one restrains the practice, the other renews the principles. God therefore gave the law after the promise, Galatians 3:19 , to advance the promise.
8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
Ver. 8. For finding fault with them ] Or, finding fault with it, that is, with the covenant; he saith to them, "Behold, the days," &c. So Junlus readeth and senseth it.
9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
Ver. 9. The covenant that I made ] He meaneth not here the covenant of grace made with Abraham, but circumcision, the legal ceremonies and services, that burden which neither they nor their fathers could bear.
When I took them by the hand ] Teaching them to go, taking them by the arms, Hosea 11:3 , keeping their feet, 1 Samuel 2:9 , and leading them through the deep, as a horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble, Isaiah 63:13 .
And I regarded them not ] Heb. Although I was a husband unto them, q.d. Yet nevertheless they forsook the guide of their youth, and forgat the covenant of their God, Jeremiah 31:32 ; Proverbs 2:17 . Therefore God regarded them not, or cared not for them, as the Greek hath it, ημελησα . "If you forsake him, he will forsake you,"2 Chronicles 15:2; 2 Chronicles 15:2 .
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
Ver. 10. I will put my laws, &c. ] God’s covenant is to write his laws and promises "in his people’s minds," so that they shall have the knowledge of them; "and in their hearts," so that they shall have the comfort, feeling, and fruition of them.
11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Ver. 11. And they shall not teach ] The full performance of this promise is reserved to the life to come; when we shall need no ordinances, but shall be all taught of God.
For all shall know me ] Not apprehensively only, but effectively, and with a knowledge of acquaintance, as the Church thought she should know him amidst all his austerities, Isaiah 63:16 . "Art not thou our father?"
12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
Ver. 12. I will be merciful ] I will be propitious through Christ, the propitiation for our sins, 1 John 2:2 .
To their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities ] All kinds and degrees of sins, Exo 34:6-7 Micah 7:17 . All sins and blasphemies shall be forgiven to the sons of men Matthew 12:31 . I was a blasphemer, saith Paul (that was a grievous sin against the first table), I was a persecutor (that was a great sin against the second table), yet I obtained mercy; why then should any one despair
Will I remember no more ] Nihil oblivisci solet praeter iniurias, saith Cicero of Caesar. He was wont to forget nothing but shrewd turns. And of our Henry VI it is storied that he was of that happy memory that he never forgat anything but injury. (Daniel Contin. by Trussel.) Let us but remember our sins with grief, and God will forget them. Let us see them to confession, and we shall never see them to our confusion. He is a forgiving God,Nehemiah 9:31; Nehemiah 9:31 . None like him for that,Micah 7:18; Micah 7:18 . He doth it naturally, Exodus 20:6 ; abundantly, Isaiah 55:7 ; constantly,Psalms 130:4; Psalms 130:4 ; John 1:27 ; Malachi 3:6 .
13 In that he saith, A new covenant , he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.
Ver. 13. He hath made the first old ] He hath antiquated and abolished it. This the apostle often inculcates, because the Jews went about to establish their own righteousness, and it is a piece of Popery natural to us all, to think to go to heaven by our good meanings and good doings.
Is ready to vanish away ] So is the old man in God’s people; that is their comfort.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30