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Bible Commentaries
Hebrews 9

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and HomileticalLange's Commentary

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Verses 1-10


Superiority of the New Covenant mediated by Jesus Christ
The typical and symbolical character of the Mosaic sanctuary points in itself to but an imperfect communion with God

Hebrews 9:1-10

1Then verily [There belonged indeed now even to εἶχε μὲν οὖν καί] the first1 covenant had also [om. had also] ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary [its sanctuary as one belonging to this world]. 2For there was a tabernacle made [κατεσκευάσθη, constructed and fitted out, Hebrews 3:4]; the first [foremost], wherein was the candlestick, and the table, 3and the shewbread; which is called the [om. the] sanctuary. And after [μετά, after =behind] the second vail, the tabernacle which is called the holiest of all; 4Which had the golden censer [a golden altar of incense, θυμιατήριον], and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; 5And over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which [things] we cannot now speak particularly. 6Now when these things were thus ordained [And these things having been thus arranged], the priests went [enter indeed] always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God [their ministrations, λατρείας,]; 7But into the second went [enters] the high priest alone once every year [in, the year], not without blood, which he offered [offers] for himself, and for the errors of the people: 8The Holy Ghost this signifying [signifying this], that the way into the holiest of all [the sanctuary, τῶν ἁγίων] was not [has not been] yet made manifest, while as [om. 9as] the first [foremost] tabernacle was [is] yet standing: Which was [is] a figure for the time then [om. then] present, in which [according to which, viz., figure]2 were [are] offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not [cannot] make him that did the service [him that renders the service, τὸν λατρεύοντα] perfect, as pertaining to the 10conscience; Which stood only in [standing merely in connection with] meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances,3 imposed on them until the time of reformation.

[Εἶχε μὲν οὖν, had indeed, to be sure, now. Οὖν, as usual, links the coming discussion with, what precedes; the concessive μέν intimates that the prerogatives here conceded to the Old Covenant, are to find by and by their limitations, as at Hebrews 9:6, or at Hebrews 9:11. The “then verily” of the Eng. ver. has no warrant either in the original or in the context. Alford’s rendering “now accordingly,” is very little better.—τὸ ἅγιον κοσμικόν not, and a worldly sanctuary, but and its sanctuary, as one belonging to the world. It is difficult to take the words as=τὸ ἅγ τὸ κοσ., the, or its, worldly sanctuary. It is also hard here to take κοσμικόν as purely predicative, via., its sanctuary a worldly one=the sanctuary which it had belonged to the world. Better, perhaps, to regard it as quasi predicative, as a sort of after thought=and its sanctuary, to wit, one belonging to the world.

Hebrews 9:2.—Κατεσκευάσθη, was constructed, reared, established, not exactly, made—ἅγια, holy place, sanctuary, not, the sanctuary.

Hebrews 9:3.—θυμιατήριον, probably not censer, but altar of incense. (See below).

Hebrews 9:6.—τούτων δε οὕτως κατεσ., and these things having been thus arranged,—the priests enter, etc. This construction is scarcely a solecism, as Alford calls it, but is, I think, perfectly good English, although “being thus arranged,” would here express nearly the same idea, and would give the sense with sufficient exactness.—εἰσίασιν, not went, but enter, as Hebrews 9:7.—προσφέρει, not offered, but offers, and so of other verbs in this passage. And the explanation is not that the author “conceives of the whole system and arrangement as still subsisting,” but simply employs the historical present, transporting himself back into the past, and indicating that the priestly and high-priestly entrances which he describes, followed upon the previously described arrangements. It seems extraordinary that this simple and obvious, and only natural explanation of the passage, should have been so generally lost sight of, and the author charged with ignorance and mistakes which in such a writer, to say nothing of his inspiration, are utterly inconceivable, and which are in fact purely factitious, being chargeable only on the failure of his critics to recognize a natural and elegant rhetorical usage. The idea that the author fancied that the sacred articles above described were found either in the then existing temple, or even in the temple of Solomon, is countenanced by nothing in the text. There is no good reason for supposing that his mind past beyond the Mosaic tabernacle, the original and proper symbol of the Old Covenant, whose grand leading features indeed were reproduced in the temple, of which, however, the author makes no mention.

Hebrews 9:7.—ὃ προσφέρει, which he offers—ὑπὲρ ἑαυτοῦ, on behalf of himself.

Hebrews 9:8.—πεφανερῶσθαι, has been (not “was”) made manifest, the Perf. in keeping with the Pres. εἰσίασι, and προσφέρει, and προσφέρονται (Hebrews 9:9).—τῆς πρώτης σκηνῆς,the foremost tabernacle.—ἐχούσης στάσιν, holding or retaining its standing, place, position.

Hebrews 9:9.—ἥτις, as usual characteristic; as one which=quippe quæ.—παραβολή (έστιν, understood), is a likeness, similitude, figure: supply is, not was (ἦν), because the whole construction is in the historical present.—εἰς τὸν καιρὸν τὸν ἐνεστηκότα, for the present, or existing season, viz., not that of the time of the writer (as supposed by some), but that of the Old Economy of which and for which the outer tabernacle was a παραβολή; and the Part, ἐνεστηκότα keeps up the figure of the present time, as in the verb εἰσίασιν, etc. To make this ἐνεστ. καιρόν refer to the Messianic period, even with Alford’s explanation, that it is not a figure of, but for the present time, is still to deprive it of nearly all its significance, and, when taken in connection with the following καθ’ ἣν δῶρα προσφέρονται, is inextricably to confuse the whole passage.—καθ’ ἥν, according to which, scil. παραβολήν, figure, or emblem.—προσφέρονται, are being offered in this present ante-Christian time into which the author has thrown himself back.

Hebrews 9:10.—μόνον ἐπί, only conditioned upon, or, as Moll, standing in connection with; hardly, with Alf. and Eng. ver., consisting in, or standing in, which could scarcely be affirmed of the gifts and sacrifices. They stood connected with them, or as it were conditioned upon them.—μέχρι καιροῦ διορθώσεως, until the season of rectification.—ἐπικείμενα, lying upon, as burdens.—K.].


Hebrews 9:1. There belonged, indeed, now also to the first, etc.—The καί, also or even, points to a parallel instituted between the Old and the New Covenant. Μἐν οὖν intimates that, in accordance with the preceding representation, this actual result is to be recognized, that the concession here made of the excellencies of the Old Covenant [εἶχε μέν, had to be sure, had, I grant] is to be followed by its limitations, which reduce these arrangements of the Old Covenant to their true value, and at Hebrews 9:6 ff. bring out the contrasted features of the New Covenant. The preterites εἶχε and κατεσκευάσθη prove not that the destruction of the temple has as yet actually taken place, but refer, the former to the covenant which God Himself has made antiquated (πεπαλαίωκεν, Hebrews 8:13), the other to that Mosaic sanctuary which stood connected with it, and was copied after the heavenly pattern. As the language has to do with arrangements for worship, the word δικαιώματα, ordinances, needs a more precise limitation. Hence we are not, with Luth., Grot., etc., to take λατρείας as Acc. plur., but as Gen. sing. The δικ. are thus characterized as ordinances of divine worship, and are, by the particle τε, closely attached to ἅγιον. This word should not, therefore, with Luth., Carpz., and others, be taken in an ethical sense; but designates the sanctuary whose constituent parts are immediately recounted. Previously, however, it is more exactly characterized by the adj. κασμικόν, which either, according to later usage, is connected with the noun without the article (Bernhardy Synt., p. 323), or, since it is common to connect ἔχειν with a definite object, and a predicative adj. without the article (Madvig § 12), and since this construction is also familiar to our author (Hebrews 5:14; Hebrews 7:23), gives predicatively the characteristic quality of the sanctuary in question. A comparison with Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 9:24, shows that it stands in contrast with ἐπουράνιον, and hence can mean only sæculare (Vulg.), belonging to this world; not, “accessible to the whole world, and thus even to the heathen” (Chrys., Erasm., and others)—which, in fact, was true of only a part of the sanctuary, the court of the Gentiles—nor “celebrated throughout the whole world” (Kypke); nor “adorned, decorated, well-furnished and arranged” (Homberg); nor “symbolizing the universe” (as Theodor. Mops., Theodoret, Grot., and others).

Hebrews 9:2. For a tabernacle, etc.—The author designates the two parts of the tabernacle, separated by a veil, the holy place, and the Holy of holies, as two tabernacles (Hebrews 9:2-3); hence ἡ πρώτη, added to define the preceding general word σκηνή, is here not temporal, but local, and the neut. plur. ἅγια stands contrasted with the ἅγια ἁγίων. It is erroneously taken by Erasm., Luth., and others, as fem. sing. ἁγία. In the temple of Solomon there were ten candlesticks, 1 Kings 7:49; 2 Chronicles 4:7; in that of Herod, on the contrary (after Exodus 25:31 ff; Exodus 37:17 ff.), only one (Joseph. Bell. Jud., Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 9:5; VII. 5, 5) of fine gold with seven branches, standing on the south side. On the north side stood the table of cedar-wood, overlaid with gold plates, two cubits long, one broad, one cubit and a-half high, with golden rings at its feet for two poles by which it was carried. On this table were the censers and the “loaves of the presence” (shew bread), i.e., twelve cakes of finest meal, each six palms long, five broad, and a finger in thickness, which lay supported on golden forks and cross-pieces, and were each week eaten by the priests. Our author appears to name, not the things themselves, but their sacred use, viz., πρόθεσις τῶν ἄρτων, the setting forth of the loaves. Since the LXX., however, use this expression, 2 Chronicles 13:11, for the translation of מַעַרֶכֶת הַלֶּחֶם, the keeping up of the bread, we need not, with Bl., De W., and Lün., maintain against Thol., that the passive meaning is, perhaps, possible in Heb. and Lat. (strues), but not in Greek. Nor may we, with Grot., Beng., and others, assume a hypallage, nor a hendyadis with Valckenaer.

Hebrews 9:3. And behind the second veil.—In this verse the author appears to commit an archæological error in transferring to the inner sanctuary the altar of incense. For Joseph. (Bell. Jud., Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 9:5) and Philo (Ed. Mang., I. 504) place the altar of incense (two cubits high, a cubit in length, and a cubit in breadth, and overlaid with gold), consisting of acacia wood (in the temple of Solomon of cedar wood, 1 Kings 6:20), in the holy place between the candlestick and the table. The great importance of this springs from the fact that Exodus 30:10, this, as well as at Exodus 40:10, the altar of burnt offering, is designated by the name ἅγιον τῶν ἁγίων, and that, on the annual great day of atonement, this was purified by the high-priest with the same blood which he bore into the Holiest of all, Leviticus 16:18. Also it is called, Exodus 40:5; Exodus 40:24; Numbers 4:11, τὸ θυσιαστήριον τὸ χρυσοῦν. It is hence inadmissible to suppose that our author has entirely omitted to mention this altar, and that θυμιατήριον may denote the censer (Pesh., Vulg., Theoph., Luth., Grot., Wets., Beng., Stier, Bisp., etc.). These expositors (including some profoundly versed in Heb. antiquities, as Reland, De Dieu, Braun, Deyling, J. D. Michael.) appeal, indeed, to the fact that the altar of incense is commonly called τὸ θυσιαστήριον θυμιάματος, while the censer on the other hand is called (Eze 8:11; 2 Chronicles 26:19; Joseph. Antt. IHebrews Hebrews 9:2; Hebrews 9:4) θυμιατήριον. From this, however, we can draw no certain inference, as we can point out no constant and uniform mode of designating these utensils. The word θυμιατήριον appears in Joseph., Philo, Clem. Alex., Orig., as the common term for the altar of incense, and is even found several times as a various reading in the Sept. Besides, the golden censer is only mentioned in the ritual of the second temple, under the name of כַּף, but not in the Law, to which alone our author refers. There is only a shovel-formed basin mentioned Leviticus 16:12, with which the high-priest brought the coals from the altar of burnt offering, and this is called מַחְתָּה, πυρεῖον, and is not spoken of as gold. Nor need we attach any weight to the fact that Joseph. (Bell. Jud. I. 7, 6; Antt. XIHebrews Hebrews 9:4; Hebrews 9:4), in enumerating the objects which Pompey saw in the sanctuary, mentions only the golden table and candlestick, the abundance of incense and the sacred presents, but not the altar; and (Bell. Jud., Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 9:5) speaks only of the carrying away of the candlestick and table. For, however surprising it may be, that even on the triumphal arch of Titus are sculptured only the golden table, the candlesticks, and the vessels of incense, still all this proves nothing for our passage, in which the author is speaking of the divinely instituted arrangements of the tabernacle, not describing the later temple; for in this temple were found no longer, even in the time of Solomon (1 Kings 8:6), the here mentioned pot of manna, the budding rod of Aaron, and, after the loss of the ark of the Covenant, its place was indicated in the temple of Herod only by a stone. Bleek, Lün., and others, therefore, assume, in explanation of the error which they charge upon our author regarding the position of the altar of incense, that, a stranger to Jerusalem, he has drawn his knowledge of the sanctuary of Israel only from the writings of the Old Testament, and has been led astray, 1, by Exodus 26:35, where only table and candlestick are mentioned as furniture of the sanctuary; 2, by the indefinite and easily misunderstood statement regarding the position of the altar, Exodus 30:6; Exodus 40:5; Exodus 40:26; Leviticus 4:7; Leviticus 16:12; Leviticus 16:18; Leviticus , 3, by the special distinguishing of the altar of incense at the great day of atonement. But it is scarcely conceivable, that in matters so generally known, and in a communication to the Hebrews so carefully elaborated, and so intrinsically important, the author should have allowed himself in so gross an error as that of placing the altar of incense behind the second veil (which was called καταπέτασμα in distinction from the first, the κατάλυμμα). Add to this that the author would then have involved himself in contradiction with another well-known fact, and even with himself. For at Hebrews 9:7 he notices the fact that the high-priest went but once a year into the holiest of all. Must he, then, not have known that on the altar of incense the incense offering was daily made as symbol of prayer (Revelation 8:3), not merely by the priests on whom the lot fell (Luke 1:9), but frequently by the high-priest himself? Most unquestionably, since Hebrews 9:6 he himself refers to this service of the priests. We are, therefore, justified in assuming that the author does not refer here to local position (for which he uses ἐν) but that the part. ἔχουσα, having, may probably denote the idea of belonging to, which in Heb. is denoted by לְ. This explanation is, in fact, adopted by many of those interpreters, who, referring it, indeed, to the censer, yet suppose that this latter had its permanent place not in the Most Holy place, but in the utensil chamber (Theophyl., Grot., Beng., Menken, Stier, etc.), since, according to Leviticus 16:13, the precise purpose of the incense was to prevent the high-priest from beholding the Capporeth, and it seemed unnatural to suppose that the high-priest had let the incense-vessel remain over the whole year in the inner sanctuary, and then on the day of atonement should have exchanged it with the one recently brought from the utensil chamber of the temple; or that the high-priest should have brought in incense and coals in a golden vessel, and shaken these upon a special incense-vessel, which had its fixed place in the inner sanctuary (Peirce). Surrendering the local sense of ἔχειν (as we certainly must, Hebrews 9:1), it is assuredly more natural to refer the term to the far more important altar of incense; and we may point in confirmation to the fact, that not only Isaiah 6:6 introduces an altar belonging to the heavenly sanctuary, but that at 1 Kings 6:22, the connection between the altar of incense and the holy of holies is expressed by the form הַמִּזְבֵּחַ אֲשֶׁר לַדְּבִיר = the altar belonging to the inner shrine, the adytum (Keil against Thenius: so also Ebr., Del., Riehm); so also according to Exodus 30:6; Deut. 40:5, it would seem to have been placed over against the ark of the Covenant, and on the day of atonement to have been, like the Capporeth, sprinkled with the blood of the sacrifice (Leviticus 16:18). The only ground of doubt would lie in the circumstance that the mention of the ark of the Covenant immediately follows (connected by καί), and that this most unquestionably had its place (Exodus 26:34) in the holiest of all. But we must not forget that though the ark of the Covenant was, indeed, brought (1 Kings 8:0) into the temple of Solomon, yet it perished in the destruction of that temple by the Chaldeans, so that the second temple had, in its most holy place, absolutely none of these articles, as Joseph. (Bell. Jud. Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 9:5) expressly testifies (ἔκειτο δὲ οὐδὲν ὄλως ἐν αὐτῷ). This also confirms our belief that the purpose of the author is not to describe the holy localities and furniture of the second temple, but that these things are mentioned only in order to exhibit that which mirrored forth the peculiar nature and dignity, and especially the symbolical and typical character, of the Mosaic sanctuary. The assumption of Wieseler, that the temple at Leontopolis had precisely the arrangement here mentioned, and possessed sacred objects and utensils, modelled after the pattern of those here enumerated, is a hypothesis quite destitute of any historical proof.

In which was a golden pot, etc.—Ἐν ᾗ refers not to σκηνή (Justiniani, Pyle, Peirce), but to κιβωτός, and stands in contrast with ὑπεράνω. The same idea that the pot of manna and the rod of Aaron were kept in the ark of the Covenant itself, is found with later writers, who appeal to the authority of tradition (see Wetst.); and the expressions of Scripture make rather for than against it. The locality is indeed, Exodus 16:33, left undetermined by the mere regulation that the pot shall be kept for a memorial “before Jehovah.” But it is said of it, Exodus 9:34, and, Numb. 17:25, of the rod of Aaron, that they were placed לִפְנֵי הָעֵדוּת before the testimony. This term, however, never denotes the ark, but often designates the law. Besides the tables of the law, such objects might perhaps well have their most fitting place in the sacred ark, as being essentially memorials and symbols of the miraculous interpositions of Divine grace (Ebr.), and not mere contrasts to those fruits and products of the earth which were daily or weekly presented in the sanctuary. In the sojourn of the ark among the Philistines, these objects, fraught indeed with religious significance, yet not belonging to the rites of worship, might have disappeared, since we are told, 1 Kings 8:9, that on the removal of the ark into the temple of Solomon, it contained nothing but the two tables of the law.

Hebrews 9:5. The cherubim of glory.—The article before δόξης, in Griesb. and Schultz, is, according to all the uncial MSS., to be expunged The Gen., however, serves here not to designate the glorious or splendid quality of the two symbolical figures, wrought massively out of fine gold, which occupied the two extremities of the cover of the ark of the Covenant, upon which, with faces turned toward each other, they looked down, and which they covered with their outspread wings. We must rather refer it to the δόξα θεοῡ, which also stands at 1 Samuel 4:22; Sir 49:8, without an article, because regarded as a proper name, and which was throned above the cherubim, 1 Samuel 4:4; 2Sa 6:2; 2 Kings 19:15; Isaiah 37:16. But the throne of God is called, Ezekiel 9:3; Ezekiel 10:4; Ezekiel 10:18-19, a throne of glory, כִםֵּא הַכָּבוֹד. But from this throne of the sacred service God was pleased also to speak to Moses, Exodus 25:22; Numbers 7:89. For the massive golden cover of the ark of the Covenant (which ark itself was overlaid within and without with plates of gold) had essentially the significance of a mediation between the ark of the Covenant and the God who was enthroned above it, 1 Chronicles 28:2; Psalms 99:5; Psalms 132:7; Isaiah 66:1; Lam. Jeremiah 2:1. Primarily it was the footstool of the throne, whose bearers or symbols are the cherubim, and which rests upon the covenant of the law. For equity and righteousness, as revealed in the law of God, form the pillars of this throne, Psalms 89:15; Psalms 97:2; whence also the sanctuary, and particularly the ark of the Covenant itself, is the throne of Jehovah, Exodus 15:17; 1 Kings 8:13. By the sprinkling of the blood of the sin-offering, however, the Capporeth becomes not so much the cover to that law which worketh the wrath of God (Hofm. after Hengst.), as a ἰλαστήριον ἐπίθεμα, propitiatory covering, Exodus 25:16, and then a ἱλαστήριον in general, according to Leviticus 16:15 ff. The idea of covering has transformed itself into that of expiation, i.e., covering of sin, whence also, 1 Chronicles 28:11, the most holy place is called בֵּית הַכַּפֹּרֶת. While Josephus writes οἱ and αἱ χερουβεῖς, and Philo always τὰ χερουβίμ, the LXX. fluctuate between the ordinary form of the neut. and the rarer one of the masc. The closing syllable also varies between βείμ, βείν, βίμ, and βίν. The neut. springs from the fact of their being regarded as ζῶα, Ezekiel 10:15. The περὶ ὦν, concerning which things, refers not (as Ebr.) merely to the cherubim.

Hebrews 9:6. Once in the year, etc.—Since the high-priest, on the tenth day of the seventh month, Tisri, the day of atonement (יוֹם הַכִּפֻּרִּים), was obliged to go at least twice into the inner sanctuary, Leviticus 16:12 ff.; according to the Mishna tract., Joma Hebrews 9:1; vii. 4, four times,—ἄπαξ, once, is best understood of what took place once in a year, although consisting of several separate acts,—a sense belonging to the words at 3 Macc. 11:1; Joseph. Bell. Jud. Hebrews 9:5; Hebrews 9:7. To this view we are also led by the following verses. For with the blood of the heifer the high-priest made expiation for his own sin; with the blood of the goat expiation for the sins of the congregation; and this distinction is here made, and this rightly so, that the sins are called ἀγνοήματα; see at Hebrews 5:2. The accomplishment of this twofold expiation required, however, a twofold entrance into the inner sanctuary, both of which principal acts were preceded by an entrance with a dish of coals and a censer of incense, and followed by a fourth after the evening sacrifice for the bringing out of these utensils. In accordance with his hypothesis, Wieseler connects the words “not without blood,” etc., closely with the leading clause; which produces, however, an entirely false contrast with Hebrews 9:6. Nor are we necessarily to infer from the Perf. Part. κατεσκευασμένων—to be referred, at all events, to Hebrews 9:2—that the author regards the two grand divisions of the Mosaic sanctuary, together with their contents, as also still existing in the Jewish temple of his time (Lün.), nor do the present tenses, εἰσίασιν and προσφερει, of themselves lead necessarily to the conclusion that the author wrote before the destruction of the temple. We need only suppose that this form of expression in its connection with the context implies that the legal worship was still in existence, and that on the basis of the old Mosaic arrangements, reaching down into the time of the author, while the preservation or loss of certain vessels or utensils of the service is a matter of as profound indifference as the replacing of the tabernacle by the temple of Solomon, and the differences in this before and after the exile.

Blood which he offers, etc.—The expression, προσφέρειν τὸ αἶμα, Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 7:33; Ezekiel 44:7; Ezekiel 44:15, points to the sprinkling (הַזָּאָה), which was made once upwards, and seven times downwards, towards the Capporeth. This was followed by the נְתִינָה, besmearing of the horns of the altar of incense with the mingled blood of the heifer and goat, with which the altar itself was seven times sprinkled; then the (שְׁפִיכָה, Pouring out on the altar of burnt offering. The slaughter (שְׁחִיטָה) connected with the laying on of the hand (םְמִיכִה) merely rendered possible the offering of the blood; but this, in that it was the means of expiation, rendered possible that presentation of the gift upon the altar, or offering (הַקְּטָרָה), which was acceptable to God. On the strength of this blood-accomplished expiation, the priests could, throughout the year, present in the sanctuary the daily and weekly offerings. The absence of the article before ἑαυτοῦ proves that this word is not (with the Vulg., Luth., Calv., Grot., and others) to be made dependent on ἀγνοημάτων.

Hebrews 9:8. The Holy Spirit showing this, etc.—The τοῦτο refers to the following Acc. with Inf., and δηλοῦν is used here of prophecy by act or symbol, while at Hebrews 12:27; 1 Peter 1:11, it is used of prophetic foreshowing by word (Hebrews 9:12). The τῶν ἁγίων, too, refers not to persons (Peshito, Schultz), but to the true sanctuary (Hebrews 10:19). The Gen. stands, as Jeremiah 2:18, τῇ ὁδῷ Αἰγύπτου, and Matthew 10:5, ὁδὸς ἐθνῶν, of the end or goal of the way. Πρώτη designates here not the first Jewish sanctuary—first in time (as Grot., Carpz., Beng., Böhme, etc.), but the first or forward tabernacle, in contrast with that behind it (the second, Hebrews 9:7).

Hebrews 9:9. Which is an image for the time, etc.—Erasm., Beng., etc., refer ἤτις in the sense of ὅτι to the entire preceding clause, and explain the fem. by the attraction of παραβολή: the ὁ καιρὸς ὁ ἐνεστηκώς thus becomes the time in which the author wrote; and the circumstance that the outer and the inner sanctuary stood separated beside and distinct from each other, is regarded as an image of that time in which the yet undestroyed Theocracy of Israel forms, as it were, the outer space and locality for the Christianity which has sprung up within its bosom. The same view is shared by Boehme and Klee, yet with the difference that they connect ἥτις with παραβολή, and make it, as such, the subject of the clause=which figure or symbol applies to the present time. De W. adheres to the latter construction, but=with most intpp., explains the ὁ καιρ. ὁ ἐνεσ. of the antechristian period extending down into the present, thus=ὁ αἰὼν ὁ ἐνεστώς, Galatians 1:4. Granting the possibility of this meaning of the phrase (which Del. on insufficient grounds controverts), it is still more natural to refer ἥτις to σκηνή, not to στάσιν (Chr. F. Schmid), nor by any means to ὁδόν (Cramer). For if the author has previously designated the Holy of holies as παραβολή, likeness, emblem (Luth., erroneously, type), of the Christian economy, why should not he now designate the “holy place” as an emblem of the Jewish economy, especially as it is his precise purpose to state in how far Judaism, as a merely intermediate system, appeared precisely represented by the sanctuary? (Thol. against De Wette). In still closer correspondence with the mere words, indeed, we might (with Del. and Alf., after John Damasc. and Primas.) refer the καιρὸς ὁ ἐνεστ. to the present time, as commencing with the inauguration of the New Covenant, and interpret it of the καιρὸς διορθώσεως, and either with Carpz., Hermann and others, translate “clear down to the present time” [or, with Alf., render for, in reference to, the present time].4 But this is forbidden by the context (Riehm, Reiche, Lün.), inasmuch as the καιρὸς διορθώσεως, Hebrews 9:10, or the time of restoration and rectification appointed of God, is here evidently the Christian period of the world’s history, and with it stands contrasted the ὁ καιρὸς ὁ ἐνεστηκώς, whose emblem is the outer sanctuary, separated from the All-holy by a veil, and in accordance with which figure or παραβολή there exist, of course, only external and merely ceremonial institutions for securing perfection. Lönemann less fittingly refers the καθ’ ἥν to πρώτη σκηνή. [There can be no doubt that in the first place, ἡ πρώτη σκηνή is here, as at Hebrews 9:2, the first in place, the foremost, tabernacle, as distinguished from the second one, the Holy of holies. In the second place, ἥτις, with the author, refers properly to σκηνή, and marks the σκηνή as a proper symbol and emblem of Judaism, which it precisely was. The foremost tabernacle or sanctuary was cut off from the second by a veil, which none could pass but the high-priest alone, and he only once a year, and for but the briefest stay within. The first tabernacle, therefore, stood there confronting, and indeed formed by, that awful veil, and the dread Holy Presence behind it, as a standing reminder to priests and people of their separation from God; that the way into the most holy place was not yet made manifest, and of course that the Jewish ritual, in connection with which they stood, was utterly unable to secure true forgiveness, and bring in the needed perfection. That foremost tabernacle, then, was the emblem and figure of Judaism. In the third place, the εἰς τὸν καιρὸν τὸν ἐνεστηκότα refers decidedly (as against Del. and Alf.) not to the now present time of the writer, the time of fulfilment and completion, but to the antechristian period, the era of Judaism, in reference to which and for which this outer tabernacle stood as an emblem. Nor need we, with many, and apparently Moll, suppose this time to be represented as extending down to the present, and thus explain the ἐνεστηκώς. Like all the tenses of the passage in this connection, it stands of the past conceived as present, the author throwing himself back in the whole representation into the past, although I would not deny the justice of the view that perhaps the author the more readily adopted this figure because the Jewish sacrifices had even yet a lingering existence: though I see no necessity for this. Thus this outer tabernacle is a παραβολή, an emblem of the imperfect character of Judaism for the existing time, etc.—K.].

To render perfect as to the conscience, etc.—The idea of συνείδησις (E. V., conscience), is more comprehensive on the one hand than that of conscience, on the other than that of internal consciousness. The word designates the inmost conviction of our moral self-consciousness, so that Hebrews 10:2, we can have the words συνείδησις ἁμαρτιῶν, and 1 Peter 2:19, συνείδησις θεοῦ. The words thus refer not merely to the quieting of an accusing conscience (Theodoret, Calov, etc.), and not merely to the moral perfection of the consciousness (Schultz, Bl., De W.), but to the fact that the worshipper could not by the presentation of his offerings, attain his end in a way that met the demands of his moral and religious self-consciousness, could not, that is to say, attain to ἁγιότης.

Hebrews 9:10. Purely in connection with meats, etc.—Ἐπί designates not the objects for the sake of which the offerings are to be brought (Schlicht., Limb., etc.), or in respect of which a Levitical perfection actually takes place, as an outward and provisional means of justification. For μόνον ἐπί is to be connected neither with τελειῶσαι (Schlicht., Ebr.), nor with λατρευοντα (Luth., Este, etc.), but with ἐπικείμενα, which stands parallel with δυνάμεναι, and as, along with this participle, it refers to δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίαι, might on account of the intervening clauses, be easily changed to the neuter. It is by no means to be referred, with the Vulg., to δικαιώμασιν, being thus taken=ἐπικειμένοις. Nor with the amended text is it either necessary or proper to take ἐπικείμενα as apposition to δικαιώματα, and refer μόνον to this latter word (Lün.). Ἐπί can, to be sure, express the adding or accession of something to something else, or outward neighborhood or proximity. But “meats and drinks” are not—as neither are ordinances regarding food—equivalent to forbidden meats. Quite as little does the term refer to sacrificial feasts (Peirce, Storr, Heinr., etc.), or to the Paschal supper (Bl., De W.). For δικαιώματα are not means of justification, but ordinances, and precisely such, and referring to the flesh, are the δικαιώματα λατρείας of the Old Testament. Ἐπί with the dat. signifies commonly the foundation on which, and at the same time, the circumstances connected with which, any thing is done. The Gen. σαρκός may also denote that the things bear in themselves the nature of the trap σάρξ. We should here refer the term to the historical superficiality and perishableness of these legal institutions (Hebrews 7:16), but that the connection indicates the Gen. as referring here not to the quality, but to that which is the object of the ordinances, as 1 Samuel 8:9; 1Sa 8:11; 1 Samuel 10:25, τὸ δικαίωμα τοῡ βασιλέως denotes the Divine ordinance regarding the king.


1. From the fact that God Himself has declared the Old Covenant incapable of attaining its purpose of salvation, and doomed it to abrogation, it still does not follow that its peculiar ordinances of Divine worship were therefore valueless. Nor, on the other hand, does the fact that they owe their origin to Divine revelation, and hence have an authority transcending that of any mere human arrangements, prove that they are binding upon the subjects of the New Covenant, or put them on the same level with its institutions of grace. They have rather, in accordance with the character of the Old Covenant, partly a typical and symbolical nature, partly a pedagogical and disciplinary significance, and as such possessed a high value.

2. With all the glory evinced in the furnishing of the Holy place and the Holy of holies, and with all the sacredness and majesty of the acts of religious service which transpired within them, still the entire arrangement of the vessels of the service, the separation of the outer from the inner sanctuary by the veil which concealed the latter, the distinction of people, priests and high-priests, the nature of the sacred acts which each separate class was characteristically to perform, their ritual and ceremonial character, incontrovertibly show that reconciliation with God and the dwelling of God with His people, here existed only in mere representation, promise, and symbolical expression.

3. This relation of the Old Testament sanctuary and worship as a type and emblem, to the actual communion of redeemed men with the holy God in the time of the real and actual reëstablishment of right relations, is no arbitrary one, but is prophetically announced and made known by the Holy Spirit Himself. In this lies the Scriptural ground and justification of a historical treatment which seeks the typical reference in the symbols of the Old Covenant itself. Still the principle must be judiciously and cautiously applied.


We need no longer seek the way to the heavenly sanctuary as if it were unknown, and may not complain, as if it were closed to us; rather we can and should walk on the way which has been opened to us.—What the Holy Spirit has instituted and produced, can only through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, be rightly understood and treated.—No outward splendor of religious worship can make good the absence of true communion with God.—By its employment in the service of God even the earthly and the outward comes into relation to the eternal, and stands connected with the inner life of man.—Nature, value, and use of the means supplied by Divine worship for our spiritual well being.

Starke:—No service of God can be without ceremonies; but that is the most excellent which has cast off external parade and has the most of the power of the Spirit.—If the Lord’s house on earth has been glorious, much more is that above in heaven.—If every Christian is under obligation to serve God publicly in His temple, much more must preachers be always at hand when the public worship of God is celebrated.—Heaven stands open; but the place is holy; nothing common and impure will be admitted, Revelation 21:27.—Preachers bear their treasure in earthen vessels; they too are sinners, and must, like others, seek the cleansing away of their sins.—The outward worship of God is nothing without the inward; it then becomes only sin to him who renders the service, and ministers condemnation rather than salvation.—Under the New Covenant we may, without violating the conscience, eat and drink that which contributes to our enjoyment; only with moderation and thanksgiving, Colossians 2:16; 1 Timothy 4:3.—Outward and bodily washing and cleansing stand in no proper relation to Divine worship. But as neatness and cleanliness are always becoming and attractive, it behooves us also to appear before and serve God in outward purity, 1 Timothy 2:9.—The outward chastening of the body is but a miserable service of God; but to crucify the flesh with its lusts and desires, is pleasing to God, 1 Corinthians 4:8; Galatians 5:24.

Rieger:—The higher blessing bestowed on our age is to be sought not in doing away but in fulfilling the commandments.

Heubner:—A survey of the institutions of the Old Testament is not without utility to the Christian; it shows him the prerogatives which he possesses, viz., no longer merely the shadow, but real, essential blessings.—The whole ancient world is crying out after a Reconciler; the modern world will not have Him.—In Christianity lies the germ of the general improvement and perfection of the entire condition of humanity.—The tranquillizing of the conscience is the end of all sacrifices. The more the conscience was awakened, the less could sacrifices appease and satisfy it.


Hebrews 9:1; Hebrews 9:1.—The word σκηνή of the lect. rec. is, according to all authorities, to be stricken out, and is not, with Peirce, Wetst., Seml., to be understood. The capital thought is διαθήκη, covenant [and this as, in Eng. ver., is clearly to be supplied in thought with ἡ πρώτη].

Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 9:9.—For the Rec. καθ’ ὅν, we are, with Sin. A. B. D*., 17, 23*, 27, to read καθ’ ἥν [referring to παραβολή].

Hebrews 9:10; Hebrews 9:10.—For the Rec. καὶ δικαιώμασι σαρκός, the reading δικαιώματα σαρκός was approved by Grot., Mill and Beng., recommended by Griesb., and by all recent editors is received into the text. The καί is wanting in Sin. A. D*., 6, 17, 27, 31, and δικαιώματα, is found in Sin. A. B. and ten minusc., the sing. δικαίωμα in D*.

[4][So I fill out the apparently imperfect sentence of the original.—K.].

Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 9:11.—Lachmann’s reading γενομἐνωνinstead of μελλόντων is not sufficiently vouched for by B. D*., although followed by Chrys., cum., Ital. Pesh. Philox.

Verses 11-15

Perfect communion with God is rendered possible by the perfect mediatorship of Jesus Christ, on the ground of a real expiation

Hebrews 9:11-15

11But Christ being come [coming forward,5 παραγενόμενος] a high priest of [the] good things to come, by a [by means of the διὰ τῆς] greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building [world, or creation, κτίσεως]; 12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he [om. he] entered in once [for all] into the holy place, having obtained [obtaining] eternal redemption for us [om. for us]. 13For if the blood of bulls and goats [goats and bulls],6 and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying [in respect to the purity] of the flesh, 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the [an] eternal,7 Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your [our]8 conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15And for this cause he is the mediator of the [a] new testament [covenant] that by means of death [a death taking place] for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament [covenant], they which are [have been] called might [may] receive the promise of the eternal inheritance [or, those called to the eternal inheritance may receive the promise].

[Hebrews 9:11.—χριστὸς δὲ παραγενόμενος, but Christ coming forward, presenting himself, i. e., appearing upon the stage of history, Matthew 3:1, etc.—τῶν μελλόντων�, of the future good things.—διὰ τῆς μείζ., by means of the greater, etc., with def. article.—οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως, not of this creation, thus not κοσμικόν, belonging to the world, Hebrews 9:1.

Hebrews 9:12.—οὐδε δι’ αἵματος, nor, or, and not by or through the blood: not “neither by the blood.”—εἰσῆλθεν, entered; the pron. he, of the Eng. ver., is not needed, χριστόςis the subject.—εὑράμενος, not having procured (as if εὑρημένος), but procuring; his “procuring” is represented as coincident with, and in fact conditioned upon his entering. The added for us, of the Eng. ver. (especially standing where it does), is unnecessary and enfeebling. The emphasis is on αἰωνίαν, eternal.

Hebrews 9:13.—τοὺς κεκοινωμένους, those who have been defiled.—πρὸς τὴν σαρκὸς καθαρότητα, in reference to the purity of the flesh.

Hebrews 9:14.—καθαριεῖ, shall cleanse, with reference to καθαρότητα, cleanness above.—εἰς τὸ λατρεύειν, into or unto our serving=in order that we may serve.

Hebrews 9:15.—διαθ. καινῆς, of a (not, the) new covenant—θανάτου γενομένου, a death talking place.—οἱ κεκλημένοι τῆς αἰων. κληρον. Moll constructs: “the called ones of the eternal inheritance,” as Thol., Ebr., and some older expositors. Alford objects that thus κληρονομία, which receives “the stress, as being presently taken up in the next verse, would hardly be introduced in the most insignificant place possible, as a mere adjunct to the description of the subject of the sentence.” But the stress seems not upon κληρονομίας, but rather on the eternal (as contradistinguishing the character of the New Covenant inheritance from that of the Old), and partly also upon the λάβωσιν, may receive, in order to characterize the New Covenant, as one under which, by the death of the great sacrificial victim, the called ones receive that inheritance which had before been only promised. And so in the verses following, it is not the κληρονομία, that is dwelt upon, but the connection between the death of the testator (the θανάτου γενομένου), and the obtaining of the promised inheritance. The real objection to the construction in question (adopted by Moll, Tholuck, Ebrard, Luther, the Peshito, etc.), is that, although not without examples, especially in Greek poetic diction, it has no warrant elsewhere in the usage of the author, and is rather too harsh to be assumed without necessity.—K.].


Hebrews 9:11.—But Christ coming forward, etc.—Παραγενόμενος is used with reference to a historical appearance or advent, 1Ma 4:46; Matthew 3:1; Luke 12:51. But had he had in mind the entrance of Christ upon His heavenly priesthood, he would have employed γενόμενος, Hebrews 1:4; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:26. Still the words are not to be referred to His incarnation, but to His actual appearance as matter of historical fact, in the character and function immediately designated. For the words ἀρχιερεὺς τῶν μελλόντων�, are not to be separated by a comma from παραγέν, (Beng., Griesb.) and not to be resolved into εἰς τὸ εἶναι�, but to be taken as predicate. But the τὰ� good things are not styled future (μελλ. to come), as being future to the believers of the Old Test., but as belonging to the οἰκουμένη Hebrews 2:5, the αἰὼν μέλλων Hebrews 6:5, the μέλλουσα πόλις Hebrews 13:14.

By means of the greater and more perfect tabernacle, etc.—With Primas., Luth. and others we connect the much-vexed words διὰ τῆς μείζονος—κτίσεως immediately with the preceding, which we, however, construct as in apposition to Χριστός. Hofm. extends this connection clear to αἵματος, but the majority of interpreters make both dependent on εἰσῆλθεν, and commonly refer the “greater tabernacle” to the heavens, through which Christ passed into the inner sanctury, as God’s real dwelling-place, as the earthly high-priest passed through the outer tabernacle. Undoubtedly, διά may denote in the one case the local place and way, in the other the means whereby Christ entered into the Holiest of all. Nor does the repeated declaration of Scripture that the hands of God formed and stretched out the heavens, forbid our inferring that the heavens could be here meant, on the ground that the tabernacle is here designated as “not made with hands.” For this we might appeal to Hebrews 9:24, where heaven is contrasted with the Mosaic sanctuary, and this latter is called in the contrast χειροποίητα. Nor need we again, if we adopt this view, restrict ourselves to the mere material heaven of clouds, but might refer the words to the invisible worlds, the dwelling-place of angels and of the blessed, which, as a tabernacle not made with hands, are contrasted with the hand-wrought tabernacle of Moses. In favor of this too is the emphatic heightening of the import of the term χειροποιήτου by the appended οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως. For we must conceive these supramundane heavens as God’s creation and work, but not belonging to this perishable creation, with which we have immediately to do. And if we distinguish these supramundane, but still created heavens, in which are “many mansions,” John 14:2, to which thus still a locality is ascribed, from the uncreated dwelling-place of God Himself, as the heaven exalted above all relations of time and space (Stier, Del.), then we could not charge on the view under consideration the objection urged by Beza: “perabsurde diceretur per cælum ingressus esse in cælum.” But, after all, this interpretation furnishes no proper point of comparison between heaven and the outer tabernacle. For this tabernacle was not a mere passage-way to an interior locality; and we again see no object in so detailed and elaborate a description. This studious elaborateness is decidedly at war with Tholuck’s idea that the representation of the lower heavens is but as it were a mere foil to the conception of the heavenly holy of holies. Still less can we understand by the outer tabernacle, the world in general (Justiniani, Carpz.) in which case we should have to render “not of this mode of building,” i.e, not like the tabernacle of Moses; which false translation, with a different conception of the meaning, is given by Erasm., Luth., Beng., and others. With just as little reason finally can the words be applied (with reference to Hebrews 10:20; John 1:14) to the body of Christ, whether it be understood of His human nature (Chrys., Primas., Calv., Bez., Grot., Est., Beng. and others), or of His holy life in the flash (Ebr.), or of His glorified body (Hofm.), or of His mystical body the church militant on earth (Cajet., Calov, Braun, Ramb., etc.). We get under each explanation either an unnatural idea, or an unnatural parallel, even though we take the first διά not locally but instrumentally; or we subject the words to a sense which they will not bear. For σκηνή may indeed denote the body, but scarcely life in the body, or the sacrifice of the body, or the glorified body. To the sinlessness and holiness of Christ the phrase cannot refer; for the high-priest attained these not in the outer sanctuary, but only in the most holy place by the sprinkling of the blood of the heifer. To me the very contrast presented with the purely symbolical and typical nature of the old covenant, a nature illustrated in the character of the Mosaic tabernacle by the Holy Spirit Himself, seems utterly to exclude the carrying over of the distinction of a hither and inner tabernacle to the New Testament dispensation, and to this the figurative language here used has exclusive reference. I regard, therefore, σκηνή as a designation of the tabernacle in general, and prefer the perfectly simple explanation previously touched upon (at Hebrews 8:2), which is supported by the very arrangement of the words, and corroborated by the much more natural force thus given to οὐδέ. The manner in which Christ has become a high-priest is here not in the slightest degree in question: the author is simply setting forth the fact that, by His high-priesthood, not a symbolical, but a true and actual reconciliation with God has been effected. He is a high-priest, not of the earthly, but, as has been already shown by the author, of the heavenly tabernacle. This heavenly sanctuary which Hebrews 8:2 he called σκηνὴ�, genuine tabernacle, of which Christ is λειτουργός, he here styles the better and more perfect tabernacle, which he characterizes as that not built by hands, i.e., founded indeed, but not belonging to this world, by means of which Christ has historically appeared and exists as high-priest of the good things to come, in the same way as the Jewish high-priest, by means of the Mosaic tabernacle, became the priest of symbolical and typical blessings. In accordance with this, or as such, has He also not (οὐδέ) by means of the blood of goats entered into the holy place, which corresponds to the holiest of all, or the dwelling-place of God. Εὑράμενος is the second Aorist (formed in imitation of the first Aorist (which Alexandrine peculiarity became, by means of the Sept., an ordinary Hellenistic usage), and coincides in time with that of the finite verb [i.e., not having procured, but procuring]. The feminine formation αἰωνία is found in the New Test only here, and 2 Thessalonians 2:16.

[There is no point, in my opinion, in which Moll has shown sounder judgment as an interpreter than in the clear and simple way in which he has here (as at Hebrews 8:2) brushed aside the numerous vagaries and conceits in which eminent expositors have indulged regarding the heavenly tabernacle. Christ’s holy life on earth, His sacrifice on the cross, His earthly human body, His heavenly glorified body, the lower local heavens, the heaven of the angels and glorified saints, have all been made to answer to the outer tabernacle, through which the Saviour past into the inner sanctuary. The lower local heavens, as being those through which Christ actually did pass, is the only one of these that does not at once strike one as purely arbitrary and capricious; and these heavens stand in no conceivable relation to the proper significance of the outer tabernacle. This, as Moll justly remarks, was no mere passage-way into the holiest of all, but stood with its own expressive import, and as a theatre of constant priestly service. The other meanings too are such as could only by the harshest straining of terms, be called a tabernacle, or as utterly fail of correspondence to the idea of the outer tabernacle of Moses. The language of the author at first view, indeed, seems to favor this distinction of the two tabernacles. Christ, he says, entered διὰ τῆς σκηνῆς, into the sanctuary. It is natural here to interpret διά locally, and to think, therefore, of the Levitical high-priests passing through the outer into the inner tabernacle, and thus to make διὰ τῆς σκηνῆς here analogous to the former. But against it there are several serious objections, as would be readily conjectured by one who considers the numerous and widely diverse and discordant opinions regarding the nature and significance of this outer tabernacle through which the heavenly high-priest passed. These objections are chiefly four: First, the outer tabernacle of Moses is not represented as a mere place for passing through, but as a place of constant priestly service; and although the high-priest must have past through it when he entered the holy of holies, yet that is a mere incident upon which no stress is laid, which the author does not even mention, and of which he does not appear to have thought. It is not supposable, therefore, that he would have selected as a prominent feature of Christ’s entrance into the heavenly Sanctuary, that which it had not even occurred to him to mention with reference to the earthly. Secondly, there is in the figurative tabernacle of the New Testament no outer sanctuary. There cannot be any. There is no place for it. The outer Sanctuary of the Mosaic tabernacle stood as the “emblem for the time then existing,” the Holy Ghost signifying, while that anterior tabernacle yet had place, that the way into the holiest of all had not been yet made manifest. There is here a most explicit and unmistakable declaration on the subject. The outer Mosaic tabernacle stood as the symbol of imperfection, of distance from God—of approach to Him only typically, but not really effected. With the rending of the veil of the temple at the death of Christ, that distinction between outer and inner tabernacle disappeared for ever. Unless, therefore, we are willing to reverse the author’s entire doctrine, and maintain that the sacrifice of Christ has not fulfilled what was before symbolized, producing a real approach to God, and converting the whole Christian body into a “royal priesthood,” we must concede that there is and can be in the New Testament arrangements nothing answering to the outer tabernacle of Moses. Thirdly, in perfect correspondence with this is the brief but emphatic and striking description which the author gives of this σκηνή, through which Christ passed into the Sanctuary on high. It is “the greater and more perfect tabernacle”—“not made with hands,” i.e., not “of this material creation.” This clearly stands in antithesis, not to a part of the tabernacle of Moses, but to the whole of it. That was typical; this is ἀληθινή, the genuine archetypal tabernacle. That was κοσμική, belonging to the world, material, made with hands: this is heavenly, spiritual, not made with hands, not of this creation. These epithets and descriptive phrases, which would have no significance as referring to the outer Mosaic tabernacle, are strikingly pertinent as referring to it as a whole, and as characterizing the archetypal, true, heavenly, greater, and more perfect tabernacle, in which the New Testament high-priest ministers in distinction from the worldly, typical, material tabernacle of the Levitical priesthood. Fourthly, with this view, and only with this, the author’s parallel becomes complete. The parallel has reference to two points, the tabernacle, in which the respective priests ministered, and the offerings which they brought. The Levitical priest ministered in the earthly, worldly, typical tabernacle, and brought into it the blood of bulls and goats; Christ ministers in the heavenly, spiritual, archetypal tabernacle, and His offering is His own blood. The διά may, in both cases, be taken instrumentally; or in the first locally, and the second instrumentally: the author having his mind on the fact, that in the tabernacle the priest did really pass through a considerable portion of it before reaching the adytum, and transferring the same imagery to the skies.—K].

Hebrews 9:13. The ashes of an heifer, etc.—Besides the expiatory offering, the author mentions the rite of purification, by which those contaminated by contact with dead bodies, i.e., persons and utensils that had become Levitically unclean, might, by means of spring water mingled with the ashes of a red, spotless heifer, burnt outside of the court, sprinkled upon them with a hyssop branch, become again Levitically clean (Numbers 19:0). It is better, with Erasm., Bez., etc., to connect τοὺς κεκοινωμένους with ῥαντίζουσα, which requires an object, than with ἁγίάζει (Vulg., Luth., Calv., Beng.), which may easily stand absolutely, and differs essentially from ἁγνίζει.

Hebrews 9:14. By means of an eternal Spirit.—The words διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου belong as well to ἄμωμον as to προσήνεγκεν, which, however, belongs not to the offering of the blood poured out upon the earth in the inner sanctuary (Socin., Schlicht., Grot., Limb., Bl., in part Riehm), but, as shown by the technical expressions, to the offering on the cross. Nor is the πνεῦμα αἰων. identical with the δύναμις ζωῆς�, Hebrews 7:16 (Socin., Schlicht., Grot., Limb., Carpz., Riehm, Reuss), but its cause; nor does it apply either to Christ’s glorified condition after His exaltation (Döder., Storr), nor to the spirit of the law in contrast with its letter (Michael.), nor to the spirit of prophecy in the prophets (Planck). It is undoubtedly by design that the Holy Spirit Himself is not expressly named, and the absence of the article implies that the noun is to be taken generically (Lün.) as Romans 1:3. But it must be still referred, as to the matter of fact, to the Holy Spirit dwelling in Christ, and not to the divine nature of Christ (Bez., Calov, Bisp., etc.), or to the Spirit of God that made Christ a living man (Hofm.), or to His divine personality (Del.). But this view, which brings into clear relief the ethical features of Christ’s sacrifice of Himself, is by Bleek, De Wette, and others, raised into undue prominence, while others, again, with Este, refer the words too exclusively to the Third Person of the Trinity. The author, on the contrary, is laying stress, on the spiritual power of the offering of Christ, as an unblemished and spotless mediator, in its attribute of eternal. In this epithet is, of course, then implied a contrast. It implies, however, not a contrast with the fire which consumed the Levitical offerings (Chrys., Œc., Theophyl., etc.); nor with the perishing animal soul in the blood of the sacrificial victim (Hofm., Del.), inasmuch as it is not the offering itself that is secured by the agency of this Eternal Spirit, but the atoning efficacy of the blood, a fact which Riehm II. 527 Anmerk, appears to overlook. The words rather express a contrast with that which originates and perishes in time; and they bring the offering of Christ upon the cross into immediate dependence upon the ministry of a Spirit whose agency for this purpose at once reaches back into the eternity of the past, and carries its influence forward into the eternity of the future. Tholuck regards the words as expressing a contrast with the fleshly character of the law, taking with Fritzsche the διά to denote not so much condition as the sphere, in which the offering takes place; thus, “in a true and eternal manner” (similarly Socin. and Beng.). The ἔργα νεκρά are not sinful, and hence death-bringing actions, but the works of the law which, as they have in themselves no life, so produce no life, comp. Hebrews 6:1.

Hebrews 9:15. And for this reason he is mediator of a new covenant, etc.—Διὰ τοῦτο is to be referred, not to what follows, merely anticipating the ὅπως (Schlicht., Bl., Ebr., etc.), but in view of the close connection with the preceding, to the whole train of thought, Hebrews 9:9-14, not specially to αἷμα (Sykes, Chr. F. Schmid). The final clause, ὅπως, etc., gives not so much the goal to which, according to the divine counsel, the New Covenant was to lead, and with this the way and means by which the attainment of this goal should be accomplished (Lün.), as the purpose of God to bring by the way that has been described, those who have been called to the eternal inheritance into the fruition of the promise. We are certainly not to connect εἰς� with λάβωσιν, but, as a clause denoting object and purpose, with θανάτου γενομένου. But to connect τῆς κληρον. with ἐπαγγ. (Erasm., Luth., Calv., Bl., De W., Lün., Hofm., Del.), though intrinsically possible, is less natural than with the immediately preceding κεκλημένοι (Pesh., Thol., Ebr., Riehm, etc.), inasmuch as the called here are not Christians as such (κλητοί) or exclusively, but also according to Hebrews 9:26 and Hebrews 11:39-40, embrace the believers of the Old Testament, and the word, therefore, seems to need a qualifying addition,. The λαβεῖν τὴν ἐπαγγ. occurs also, Hebrews 11:13; Acts 2:33, of the reception of the substance of the promise, as κληρονομεῖν τὴν ἐπαγγ. Hebrews 6:12; Hebrews 6:17; ἐπιτυχεῖν τῆς ἐπαγγ. Hebrews 6:15; κομίσασθαι τὴν ἐπαγγ. Hebrews 10:36; Hebrews 11:39. The importance to the following discussion of the idea of that inheritance (κληρονομία), which even in the Old Testament is promised, and by the counsel of God designed for all the members of the covenant people, but into whose possession the κεκλημένοι can enter only by means of a new διαθήκη, renders it natural even here to link with the διαθήκη the idea of a testament. Since, however, this signification develops itself only from the connection of the following verses, it is more appropriate, in this introductory sentence, to, use a word which, like διαθήκη, can admit, according to the exigency, of being specialized either into covenant or testament.—Löffler (on the Church Doctrine of Satisfaction), Bretschn. (Dogmatic II. § 155), and Reiche at Rom. (3:25) regard the idea as expressed that the reconciliation refers only to sins committed before the transition to Christianity. But Calvin says rightly: non quæ tempore Vet. Test. Commissæ, sed quæ Vet. Test vigore manebant irremissæ; and Tholuck remarks how it springs from the train of thought that only he who stands in the New Covenant, can have continually and forever the consolation of feeling the sense of guilt completely done away.


1. Christ has, indeed, historically, that is to say, in time and on earth, appeared as a High-priest, but on the one hand His priesthood is not merely the fulfilment of the Aaronic, but also of the Melchisedec type; and, on the other, the sanctuary, of which He is High-priest in both relations, is not the earthly sanctuary, reared by human hands after a divinely indicated pattern, and by its typical and symbolical character destined to pass away; but the sanctuary belonging to the heavenly world, imperishable and opening the way to the fulfilment of all the promises of God. The same character is, for this reason, also borne by all the good things of which Christ, as High-priest, is mediator.

2. In the ritual of the Old Testament there lies between the means and the result no internal and essential connection. That which unites the two, is merely a divine ordination. But on account of the covenant relation, the Israelites in believing obedience to God, yielded themselves to this ordination, and in carrying out its requirements received from it a blessing. Still, the whole bore merely the stamp of externality, alike in the means and in the result, and also in the union of atonement, cleansing and sanctification.

3. In the New Covenant, also, expiation, cleansing, sanctification, are still distinguished, but are at the same time internally and essentially united. The same blood of Christ, which objectively expiates, subjectively purifies the moral consciousness, so that the consequence of this redemption is a priestly service, in which the ransomed one no longer in individual rites and under the compulsion of the law, but with his whole person, by means of the new spirit, is sanctified, and henceforth continually sanctifying himself for the living God.

4. Precisely the same remark applies to the features of the sacrifice of Christ, which latter stands not in an outward relation and one merely approved and determined by God, but in an internal and essential relation to this result as the alone sufficient, and eternally efficacious means of accomplishing the divine purpose of redemption. For Christ has offered Himself, and that as a spotless and blameless victim in the sense of the High-priestly sacrifice, and all this has been effected through the instrumentality of an Eternal Spirit.

5. There is, indeed, a ransom and a redemption, in a more general sense, as simple deliverance; but taken in connection with high-priestly arrangements, we must here adhere to the more specific sense of “ransoming” or freeing, by the payment of a ransom-price. This ransom-price is the blood of Christ as of an entirely spotless lamb, 1 Peter 1:19; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14, and is here, as always, in Scripture, designated as a price divinely offered; so that the idea of the ransom price as paid to Satan (Origen, Basil, and others till St. Bernhard) is to be totally rejected. It can, indeed, be said that Christ has been made unto us of God redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30. But this expression merely gives prominence to the divine agency alike in the sending of Christ into the world, and particularly in the work of redemption, and points at the same time to the acceptance on the part of God, of the ransom which has been paid. In that we have been sold under sin, Romans 7:14, we have become helpless victims of the wrath, or avenging justice of God. Against this we are, according to the Hebrew mode of expression, covered by the blood shed for us, which, as sacrificial blood, has an expiatory significance. The redemption can thus, on the one hand, be conceived as the payment of a כֹפֶּר, i.e., λύτρωσις; on the other as a כַּפָּרָה, i.e., ἱλασμός. It is invariably effected by means of a substitutionary satisfaction, and by a perfectly valid expiation.

6. The efficacious element in the blood lies not in its matter or substance, but the life which moves in it, and which, by means of a special act, not connected with the course of nature, has been yielded up to death, Leviticus 17:11. Since, then, the crucifixion of Christ falls not under the category of the slaughter of an innocent person, or of the murder, for the ends of justice, of a righteous man, but under that of the surrendering up of His own person at once freely and in accordance with the purpose of God, Titus 2:14; 1 Timothy 2:5, the significance, power and efficacy of this death must correspond entirely with the peculiar nature and dignity of the person of Jesus Christ. He Himself, however, expressly indicates, Matthew 20:28, His death as the substitutionary offering of a ransom-price. On account of the nature of His person, consequently, this vicariousness must be complete, the satisfaction all sufficient, the ransom actual and eternal. As against the false and distorted interpretations of Hofmann, see Delitzsch’s Second Appendix “on the firm Scriptural basis for the Church doctrine of vicarious satisfaction” (in his Commentary, p. 708 ff.).

7. The sacrifice of Christ is also not compared with the human sacrifices of the heathen, but is brought into direct relation with the high-priestly expiatory offering ordained by God, as being the accomplishment of its type, and the realization of its symbol. In this very fact lies the certainty that the relation of God to this offering is neither that of mere passive permission, nor that of Divine wrath quenched in the blood of human sacrifices, nor that of any caprice or unrighteousness on the part of God in His acceptance of this sacrifice, and holding the substitution as valid. This becomes perfectly clear, if we regard, on the one hand, the position of Christ alike in reference to God and to mankind, and, on the other, His relation to the Spirit of God.

8. It is not enough to bring into prominence the thoroughly moral character of the sacrifice of Christ; neither is it sufficient to lay stress on the religious purity and acceptableness in the sight of God of this act, with its moving grounds and impelling causes. In this case we should merely have a sacrifice accomplished such as, in respect of conscientiousness, love of truth, zealous faith, and fidelity of compassion, all true Christians are enabled by the influences of the Holy Spirit to accomplish in a death by martyrdom. We have to do with a movement and working of the Spirit in Christ, which has its ground and beginning not within the limits of time and of humanity, and thus with a sacrifice freely determined upon in eternity, and accomplished within the limits of time in perfect unity with the eternal Spirit, who works perpetually through Christ’s whole career of life and suffering—a sacrifice which, precisely for this reason, has a world-embracing and ever-during significance, and has become the means of the establishment of a new covenant.

9. On the basis, and under the authority of the Mosaic law and worship, there was indeed a calling to the eternal inheritance of the children of God; but the promised inheritance could not be received, because the law was able only to sharpen the consciousness of guilt, and with this the sense of deserved punishment and death, while the ritual could, in its turn, produce only, as a Levitical purification, a typical redemption, a merely symbolical approach to God. It was only through the truly expiatory death of the God-man, who expiated, suffered and died, not for Himself, but vicariously, and rendered satisfaction not merely to the righteousness, but to the punitive righteousness of God, that a change was wrought in the entire relation of humanity to God, and a real taking away of man’s guilty condition and relations became possible.

10. All this mirrors itself indeed in human feelings, experiences, and testimonies, and finds in them expression; but it has its ground in no human conditions and conceptions, but in the arrangements and promises of God. The necessary consequence of the death of Jesus Christ is, therefore, a new covenant; so that this death is not merely the antitype of the High-priestly offering of atonement, but also, of the Paschal Lamb, 2 Corinthians 5:7, and, as is immediately intimated in what follows by the author of our Epistle, is the antitype of the covenant sacrifice, Exodus 24:0., whereby Israel, sprinkled by the blood of atonement, was dedicated as the people of God, and as a royal priesthood (LeHebrews Hebrews 9:8).

11. The death of Christ is, in its significance in sacred history, just as little to be conceived apart from the glorification of the Royal Priest enthroned at the right hand of God, which followed upon His resurrection and ascension, as from the perfected life of the Incarnate One, which was secured by His obedience and sufferings. In the passage before us, however, these intermediate and conditioning acts are merely indicated, and not brought into prominence. The emphasis lies rather on the fact that the accomplished entrance of Christ into the heavenly sanctuary accomplished once and for ever, in that it wrought eternal redemption, had its ground and efficiency in His own blood, and for this reason infinitely transcends its one-sided and shadowy type in the expiatory rites of the Old Covenant.

12. It is only by a reference to the High-priestly offering of atonement, that an emphasis is laid upon the blood (see particularly Hebrews 13:11). Elsewhere an offering of the body is also mentioned (Hebrews 10:10), but, of course, comprehending this, in that Christ is said to have offered up Himself (Hebrews 7:26; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 9:25; Ephesians 5:2); since we have to do with the full and undivided person of the Redeemer, alike in His earthly and His glorified state. At all events, our author is not chargeable with that sensuous mode of conception and expression employed by the Socinians, which characterizes the school of Bengel and Höttinger, and has been followed by Stier, and, in part, by Hofmann—a mode of expression which, while unduly pressing the analogy of the earthly high-priest’s proceedings in the act of expiation, is fraught with misconceptions, false assumptions, and dangerous consequences. It assumes that the blood of sprinkling (Hebrews 10:22; Hebrews 12:24) is even in heaven a separate thing, existing beside the glorified but bloodless body of the exalted Redeemer. Quenstädt has strikingly expressed the correct view, while Calov, on the other hand, has indulged in many sensuous representations, and in an undue admixture of merely sensuous and poetic with dogmatic elements.


The perfection of the mediatorship of Jesus Christ consists in the perfection: 1, of the sanctuary in which He exercises His office; 2, of the office which He exercises; 3, of the sacrifice which He has offered; 4, of the covenant which He established; 5, of the blessings which He procures.—The power of the blood of Jesus Christ: a. whence it springs; b. what it accomplishes; c. how it is appropriated.—The death of Jesus Christ as a High-priestly sacrificeThe nature, the causes, and the effects of the sacrifice offered by Jesus Christ.—We are redeemed: 1, from what? 2, by what? 3, for what?—The purging of our conscience: a. in its necessity; b. in its means; c. in its consequences.—The consequences of Christ’s offering of Himself are: 1, His entrance into the heavenly sanctuary; 2, an eternal redemption; 3, the New Covenant.—What defiles and what purifies us.—Redeemed by Christ, we yet cannot do whatever we would; we are members of the New Covenant.—The New Covenant in: 1, its object; 2, its foundation; 3, its means.—The death of Christ is the most perfect offering: 1, as an offering of Himself; 2, as a sin-offering; 3, as a cleansing offering; 4, as a covenant offering; 5, as a peace-offering.—The Redemption through Jesus Christ is: 1, an eternal one; 2, a complete one.—We have in our redemption to look: 1, at the Mediator, who has procured it; 2, at the price which it has cost; 3, at the gain which it has secured; 4, at the covenant which it has established; 5, at the end which it proposes.

Starke:—Saviours [healers] and redeemers [ransomers] from bodily needs are distinguishable; but Jesus is the true Saviour, who saves us even from our sins; He alone has procured an eternal redemption.—Grand redemption of the human race! The Son of God Himself has redeemed us by His own blood.—The blood of Christ is a free, public boundary fixed against sin.—How heavy, great and dreadful must our sins be in the sight of God! They are assuredly dead works, which bring not only temporal, but also eternal death.—A believer may indulge in defiance and glorying against the Devil. Out of Christ I am to and in myself a sinner; In Christ I am a sinner no longer.—The atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus is efficacious not only for the future, but for the past; for the believers of the Old as well as of the New Testament.—Many children of the world imagine that they are able to live well and rightly before others, when behold, their works are purely dead works, which spring from a heart spiritually dead, and lead to eternal death. Matthew 23:27; Revelation 3:1.

Rieger:—Purification and propitiation comprehend God’s entire work of rescuing from sin. 1 John 2:2; Colossians 1:14; Colossians 1:22.—With the plague of an evil conscience, or with the halting movements of an unpurified conscience, there is no service acceptable to the living God.

Menken:—The way into the holiest of all was no path of pleasure pursued by self-will and self-glorification; but a path of the deepest self-abasement, which, through the Eternal Spirit, offered itself unto the uttermost before God.—The New Testament is nothing but the history of the fulfilment of the Divine promise, and thus the history of the appearance of the Promised One, and along with this, the history of an accomplished, the announcement of an existing, reconciliation of the world with God.

Heubner:—The infinite value of the reconciliation wrought by Christ: 1. In the way and manner in which it has been made; a. as an immediate propitiation of God in the sanctuary of God; b. by Christ’s offering of Himself. 2. In the effects of this reconciliation, since a. it purifies the conscience; b. gives power for a holy life; c. has established God’s covenant with men, so that they now have full entrance into life.

Textor:—(Epistolary Sermons, 1853). The high-priestly office of Jesus Christ: 1. how this is already prefigured in the Old Testament; 2. how Jesus Christ has exercised it; 3. the benefit which it brings us.

Fricke:—The blood of Jesus Christ purifies 1. the conscience; 2. from dead works; 3. to serve the living God.

L. Harms:—(At Hermannsburg): The heavenly high-priesthood of our Lord Jesus on the new earth: 1. His Church; 2. the altar; 3. the congregation (1863).


[6][Hebrews 9:13—τράγων καὶ ταύρων, goats and balls instead of bulls and goats, is the reading of A. B. D. Sin., etc.—K.].

Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 9:14.—The reading of the Vulg. πνεύματος ἁγίου, found in D*., and in many minusc, is only an interpretation. In the Cod. Sin. it appears only as a correction.

Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 9:14.—Instead of the Rec. ὑμῶν, we are to read after A. D*. K., 44, 47, 67, ἡμῶν. The Rec. has, however, the sanction of the Cod. Sin.

Verses 16-22

In the concluding of this New Covenant the blood of Christ was indispensable

Hebrews 9:16-22

16For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be [be adduced or declared, φέρεσθαι] the death of the testator. 17For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all [since it scarcely is of any force] while the testator 18liveth. Whereupon [whence, ὅθεν] neither [not even, οὐδέ]9 the first testament was [has been] dedicated [inaugurated] without blood. 19For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the10 law, he took the blood of calves and of goats,11 with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled12 both the book [itself, 20 αὐτό] and all the people, Saying, This is the blood of the testament [or, covenant] 21which God hath [om. hath] enjoined unto you. Moreover [And] he sprinkled likewise with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry [service]. 22And almost [parety nearly, or about, σχεδόν] all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is [there takes place] no remission.

[Hebrews 9:16.—φέρεσθαι, not be, as E. V., but, adduced, declared, Alf., implied; Words., brought to pass; many, afferri coram judice, of establishing judicially; Moll renders “beigebracht werden.

Hebrews 9:17.—ἐπὶ νεκροῖς, over the dead, in case of the dead, lit., on condition of persons as dead.—ἐπεί μήποτε elegantly softening and appealing rather to the judgment of the reader; “for look whether perchance it has force;” see if it be not perhaps invalid. It is by no means intensive, as in the E. V., “it has no force at all.” Otherwise it should be taken as a question: “Since does it at all=it does not at all, does it?”

Hebrews 9:18.—ὃθεν, whence, logical.—οὐδέ., not even.—ἐγκεκαίνισται, Perf., has been inaugurated, not, was dedicated. The Perf, implies that it stands before our eyes.

Hebrews 9:19.—λαληθείσης γάρ, for after every commandment was spoken, etc.—αὐτό τε τὸ βιβλίον, both the book itself.

Hebrews 9:20.—ἐνετείλατο, Aor., enjoined, not, hath enjoined.

Hebrews 9:21.—καὶ τὴν σκηνὴν δέ, and the tabernacle too; so καί—δέ, constantly and elegantly used in Greek. Not quite as in E. V. and Alf., and moreover.

Hebrews 9:22.—καὶ σχεδόν, and pretty much, pretty nearly, as one might say. It does not like our almost (Gr. ὀλίγου δεῖν) positively exclude a part, but simply declines to guarantee the exact accuracy of the statement. Almost, therefore, is never its proper rendering. Alf. renders almost, but adds parenthetically, one may say that, which is sufficiently exact.—αὶματεκχυσία, either shedding of blood in the slaughter of the victim, or pouring out of the blood of the victim when slaughtered; the former here seems more probable. Αἱματεκ., “seems to be a word coined by the sacred writer, to express his meaning.” Alf.—γίνεται, takes place.—K.].


Hebrews 9:16. For where a testament is, etc.—Attempts have been very naturally made (springing from the ὄθεν of Hebrews 9:18, and the γάρ connecting this verse with Hebrews 9:15), to take διαθήκη here in its ordinary sense of covenant (Crit. Sacr., VII. 2 p., 1067 sq., Seb. Schmidt, Michaelis, Cramer, Ebrard, etc.). They are convicted at once, however, of error, by the utter falseness of the idea that in the formation of a covenant the death of Him who framed it is indispensable to its validity, as well as by the intolerable harshness of any other mode of explaining ὁ διαθέμενος. For although ἐπὶ νεκροῖς might indeed denote “over slaughtered sacrificial victims,” inasmuch as in later usage τὸ νεκρόν, is frequently=τὸ πτῶμα,—it is impossible that ὁ διαθέμενος can be applied either to the animal offered in sacrifice in confirmation of the covenant, or to the man regarded as replaced and represented by the victim, and thus pledging himself as it were to a moral death, or to the mediator of the covenant. If, on the other hand, in allusion to the above mentioned inheritance (κληρονομία), we evolve here out of the more general signification of διαθήκη (arrangement, dispositio) the more special one of testamentary arrangement, testament, we must beware of extending the application of the comparison made in illustration of the thought, beyond the immediate sentiment and purpose of the writer, and thus of introducing alien and incongruous elements into the passage. Such is the idea advanced by Menken, who says (Homilies on Chapters 9 and 10., p. 142) that only He who by His death has proved Himself worthy of the inheritance, could make others fellow-heirs with Him; as also that of Hofmann, who (Weissag. II., 165) appeals in proof of the necessity of the death of the ὁ διαθέμενος, to the fact that during His life He could add something to His possessions, and thus could not during His life-time make any one an heir of the whole property that He should leave behind Him. The question is not now of a setting forth of the ultimate ground of the death of Christ, a ground already assigned at Hebrews 9:15—but of an illustration of its practical necessity, in order for the delivering over of the blessings of salvation, as an inheritance. Compare as to the idea, Luke 22:29 : κἀγὼ διατίθεμαι ὑμῖν καθὼς διέθετό μοι ὁ πατήρ μου βασιλείαν. Among the ancient Hebrews there were, it is true, no arbitrary testamentary bequests, Deuteronomy 21:16. But among the later Jews they were by no means unknown (Michaelis, Mos. Recht. II., § 80), and the sentiment in question is conceived and expressed not from a Hebrew, but a Hellenic point of view. If we decline giving to φέρεσθαι the signification adduced (Hofm. Schriftb. II. 1, 428) or endured (referred by Wittich to the relatives), the most probable rendering will be that of sermone ferri=constare (Bretschn.). The juristic application of the word=afferri coram judice (Hammond, Elsner, and the majority, since Valckenaer) is restricted properly to the adducing of evidence in court, and applies not to the right of inheritance. The rendering esse, extare=γίγνεσθαι [be or become), which, with the ancients and up to the time of Valck., was the prevalent one, is held among later comm. only by Schultz and Böhme, and cannot be sustained. The rendering expectari (Grot.) is totally inadmissible. Grammatically indefensible too is the making μήποτε=μήπω, not yet (Vulg., Erasm., Luth., Schlicht., Böhme). In a strictly objective sentence we should indeed have expected οὐ; but the later writers in causal sentences with ὅτι and ἐπεί frequently confound οὐ and μή (Madvig, Synt., § 207, Anm. 2). If, with Winer, we decline ascribing to our author a negligence belonging properly to the vulgar idiom (Mullach, Gramm. der Griech. Vulgarsprache, p. 29), but give to μή its subjective force, we must then (with Œc., Beng., Lachm., Hofm., Del., etc.) assume an interrogation; and this all the more, as ἐπεί, also at Hebrews 10:2; Romans 3:6; 1 Corinthians 14:16; 1 Corinthians 15:29; introduces a proof in the form of interrogation, and μήποτε appears alike in direct (John 7:26) and indirect (Luke 3:15; 2 Timothy 2:25) interrogations. Quite unnecessarily Isidor. Pelus. (Ep. IV., 113) prefers the reading μὴ τότε found only in D13.

Hebrews 9:18. Whence, also, neither has the first covenant, etc.—The reference of ὅθεν to Hebrews 9:15 by putting Hebrews 9:16-17, in parenthesis (Zachar., Mor., Storr, Heinr., Bisp.,) is inadmissible. The words κατὰ τὸν νόμον are not to be connected with πάσης ἐντολῆς=(“Every commandment as contained in the law,” (Schlicht., Calov, Beng., Bl., Bisp., etc.,) but with λαληθείσης, Œc. Erasm., Calv., Bez., Grot., etc.,); not, however, in the sense of “according to the command” in reference to the injunction, Exodus 20:22, (Bez., etc.,) but, “in accordance with the law received on Sinai;” inasmuch as in concluding the covenant, an exact repetition of the divine commands was indispensable.

Hebrews 9:19. He took the blood, etc.—The καί after βιβλίον which we must not (with Colomes. and Valcken.) strike out, and which cannot possibly, with Beng., be taken as corresponding to the καὶ δέ of Hebrews 9:21, forbids our making αὐτὸ τὸ βιβ. dependent on λαβών. We are to assume here, as also in the mention of the goats which might be chosen for burnt offering, (Leviticus 1:10 f.; Leviticus 4:23 f.; Leviticus 9:2 f.; Numbers 6:10 f.; Hebrews 7:27; comp. Exodus 24:5); and were also used in the expiatory offerings mentioned in Hebrews 9:12-13, and in like manner in respect to the means of purification, (which elsewhere are found only in the case of lepers, LeHebrews Hebrews 9:14 and those defiled by dead bodies, Numbers 19:0.) an expression drawn from tradition, (and which, at least in respect to that which immediately follows, is also found in Joseph. Antt. III. 8, 6), of the event recorded, Exodus 24:0. In the citation we have τοῦτο instead of the ἰδοὐ of the Sept., ὁ θεός instead of κύριος, and ἐνετείλατο instead of διέθετο.

Hebrews 9:21. And the tabernacle, too.—Since the tabernacle and vessels were constructed at a later period, the author cannot refer to anything that is contemporaneous with what is hitherto mentioned. To this fact points the καὶ δέ=but also, on the other hand also. The anointing is that enjoined, Exodus 40:10, which is probably identical with that which was performed, Leviticus 8:10, during the seven days of priestly consecration, an account of which, similar to that here recorded, is given by Josephus, while the original text recounts only the sprinkling with oil, as of the positive means of consecration, but mentions the purifying by the blood of atonement only in reference to the altar, Leviticus 8:15; Leviticus 8:19; Leviticus 8:24.

Hebrews 9:22. And all things, as one might say, are purified with blood, etc.—Also, water and fire are a means of purification; but when the question is of forgiveness of sin, then blood is demanded, according to Leviticus 17:11. The vegetable sin-offering of the poor, Leviticus 5:11-13, forms no exception, but is a recognized substitute. Chrys., Primas., etc., erroneously refer σχεδόν to καθαρίζεται as if expressing the imperfection of this purification, neither, however, does it belong to ἐν αἵματι, (Beng., Böhm.), but to πάντα. The word αἱματεκχυσία is understood by De W., Thol., Hofm., Keil, of the pouring out of blood on the altar, and the sprinkling, while Bl., Lün., Del., Kurtz, on the contrary, refer it to the slaughter, which is parallel to the death of Christ upon the cross. Del. recalls the language of the last Supper, Luke 22:20, as in point of symbol and of fact, furnishing the closest parallel, without yet being insensible to what, on purely archæological grounds, may be urged in favor of the former explanation (comp. Einhorn, Prinzip des Mosaismus, p. 82 ff.).


1. Even in the Old Test the salvation promised by God to His people, under certain terms and conditions, appears as an inheritance. נַחֲלָה. It is thus not unscriptural, and not even surprising, but merely uncommon, when Christ, who previously was regarded as the accomplisher of the revelation of God, and as royal head and leader of His people to salvation, as pledge and mediator of that new covenant which was promised and typified in the Old, is now represented as a Testator, in that, for the vivid illustration of the close connection, lying in the very nature of the case, between the death of Jesus Christ and the attainment of the inheritance of the children of God, promised to us by God, and given over as His own, to Christ, for transmission to us, this comparison opens the most appropriate and the most instructive analogies.

2. Since such is the state of the case, for this reason even in the formation of the old covenant, the application of blood, for cleansing and for expiation, was indispensable, and during the existence of that economy was always employed for such a purpose, in accordance with the express command of God. It was then, with a reference to the death of Jesus Christ, as the true and efficacious sacrifice, that this arrangement was instituted; and it is no accommodation to Jewish prejudices, and Rabbinical modes of expression, to regard Christ as a priest and an offering; rather, on the contrary, the Levitical offerings are to be conceived under the point of view of a divinely ordained type of the sacrifice determined in the eternal counsels of God, and freely undertaken by Christ, (Hebrews 10:5 ff.). Hence the ὅθεν, Hebrews 9:18.

3. In this connection becomes explicable, also, the sprinkling of the Tabernacle, and of the sacred vessels, and of the sacred records of the divine revelation and covenant, with blood, as well as the sprinkling of the people, although this belongs only to tradition. It expresses the obligation inhering in both parties for the offering of the efficient sacrifice, and the present inability to furnish it with the means existing at the time. Remittere peccata non est opus absolutæ misericordiæ, sed fit interveniente simul satisfactione eaque sufficientissima licet a misericordia divina procurata. (Seb. Schmidt).


Obedience to the ordinances of God is not merely the duty of men, but our best auxiliary in the struggle against sin.—The law of God which makes acquainted with and condemns sin, points also the way to the forgiveness of sin.—Sin is a stain which can be removed only by blood.—On the connection of sin, expiation, and forgiveness.

Starke:—Just as surely as Christ has died, so sure is the covenant of grace with God.—Divine justice demanded blood, and without this God could not be propitiated, Colossians 1:14; Colossians 1:20.—Moses, a faithful servant in the house of God. Blessed are they who are his imitators!—There is, in itself, nothing pure before God, not even the holy place, nor the teachers who enter thither to conduct the service of God, as the people who assemble there to serve God, and this even in their best acts; yet the blood of Christ purifies all.—How capital a point of faith is furnished by the blood and death of Jesus Christ! without this, all His suffering were in vain, and that even though it had been far heavier than it was. By this we are reconciled with God.

Rieger:—Only through Christ, and His death, has the whole blessing of redemption, which God would apply to us miserable wretches for our salvation, amounted to a proper testament and bequest, i.e., to a gracious economy confirmed by the death of its Author.

Heubner:—If everything is defiled by the impure hands of men, if the whole earth is desecrated by sin, then does everything stand in need of cleansing and consecration, Job 15:4.—In the expiatory power of the death of Jesus lies its proper significance, Isaiah 53:0.—Without a surrender to death there is no reconciliation. The yielding up of life an expiation for desecrated life, Exodus 17:11.


Hebrews 9:18; Hebrews 9:18.—Instead of οὐδ’ A. C. D. E. L., 4, 44, 55 (but at the Sin.), write οὐδέ.

Hebrews 9:19; Hebrews 9:19.—The article before νόμον is vouched for by A. C. D*. L., 21, 47, 71. In the Sin. it comes from a second hand.

Hebrews 9:19; Hebrews 9:19.—The Art. before τράγων is required by Sin. A. C. D. E., 80.

Hebrews 9:19; Hebrews 9:19.—For ἐῤῥάντισε all the Uncial MSS. have ἐράντισεν.

[13]Alford criticises the Eng. ver. “must have suffered” on the ground that the antecedent time, being already indicated by the ἔδει, need not be again expressed by παθεῖν. The criticism would be just if the ἔδει were in the English version instead of in the Greek. But in English the must, which translates the ἔδει, not having in itself the idea of past time, this idea has to be put into the accompanying Infinitive. The rendering of the common version is therefore, I think, idiomatic and unexceptionable.—K.].

Verses 23-28

The necessary, yet never repeated sacrificial death of Christ has introduced a perfectly satisfactory propitiation

Hebrews 9:23-28

23It was therefore necessary that the patterns [copies] of the things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24For Christ is not entered [did not enter] into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures [counterparts] of the true [genuine, ἀληθινῶν]; but into heaven itself, now to appear [to be manifested, ἐμφανισθῆναι] in the presence of God 25for us: Nor yet [and not, οὐδέ] that he should [may] offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with the blood of others: 26For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now [as it is, νυνί] once in the end of the world [ages, αἰώνων] hath he appeared [been manifested, πεφανέρωται] 27to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself [by means of his sacrifice]. And as [in so much as καθ̓ ὅσον] it is appointed [reserved, ἀπόκειται] unto men once to die, but after 28that the judgment: So [also]14 Christ was once [for all] offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

[Hebrews 9:23.—τὰ μὲν ὑποδείγματα, the copies indeed; or while the copies. ὑπόδειγμα something shown or exhibited under in subordination to, something else, whether as a pattern, or a copy; here clearly the latter; though perhaps it may be better to take ὑπό as lessening, lowering down, the signification, thus faint sketch, delineation, outline.

Hebrews 9:24.—οὐ γὰρ εἰς χειροποίητα εἰσῆλ., for not into a sanctuary made with hands did Christ enter=for it was no sanctuary made with hands, into which, etc.—Τῶν�, the genuine, the archetypal.—ἐμφανισθῆναι to be manifested, not simply to appear.

Hebrews 9:25.—οὐδ ἵνα—προσφἐρῃ nor that he may (not might) offer himself.

Hebrews 9:26.—ἐπεὶ ἔδει=ἔδει ἄν, since it were, would be, necessary for him frequently to suffer; ἔδει logical as Hebrews 2:1,=he must frequently have suffered.* The meaning is not, with Del. and Alf., that His making repeated offerings now in the heavenly sanctuary, would necessitate His having previously frequently suffered on earth, inasmuch as each offering in the sanctuary presupposes a previous suffering on earth. This is a thought altogether too far-fetched for the scope of the passage. The writer argues, in my judgment, simply from the historical fact, or perhaps rather confirms his statement by a reference to the historical fact. If He were entered into the heavenly sanctuary, in order to make, as the high-priest did, repeated entrances into it, it would follow, as a logical conclusion, that there must have been a series of such acts in former ages. If, like the entrances of the Levitical high-priest, His entrance and presentation of Himself were of such a nature as to require repetition, then, of course, there should have been a series of sufferings and entrances in former times. But in contrast with that, and as showing the single and decisive character of His High-Priestly entrance, he has, in fact, (νυνὶ δέ) been manifested but once, and that, once for all, at the consummation of the ages.—διὰ τῆς θυσίας αὐτοῦ, by His sacrifice=the sacrifice which He made. It was, indeed, a sacrifice of Himself, but this is not expressed in the text.

Hebrews 9:27.—καθ’ ὅσον not simply as (ὡς, or καθώς) but inasmuch as, assigning a ground or reason.—ἀπόκειται, it (lies away) is reserved for, not is appointed.—εἰς σωτηρίαν for salvation is by some connected with the Part. ἀπεκδεχ. but by most better with ὀφθήσεται, will appear for salvation.—K.].


Hebrews 9:23. It was necessary now, etc.—The nature of the following verse renders it more desirable to supply ἧν (Ebr., Del.), than ἐστίν (Lün.). The ἐπουράνια are not the heavenly blessings (Seb. Schmidt, Ramb., and others); not the Christian Church (Chrys., Theod., Este, Lapid., Calov, Heubn. etc.); but the heavenly εanctuary in contrast with its earthly copy made with hands. The plur. κρείττοσι θυσίαις points not to the sufferings, prayers, and works of love of Christians, in common with the sacrificial death of Jesus (Grot., Paul.). It is the plural of kind, or class. But to transform purification into consecration (Bl., Lün., De W., etc.) is totally unallowable, as is also the substituting in the place of the heavenly sanctuary, the men who belong to the New Test. economy (Thom. Aqu., Beng., Menk., Thol., etc.). But neither is the cleansing in question an actual purging of heaven by the casting out of Satan, which Akersloot would refer to Luke 10:18, John 12:31; while Bleek would explain in accordance with Revelation 12:7-9. The context demands an expiatory purification, i.e., a doing away of the influence of human sin upon the heavenly sanctuary (Stier, Hofm., Del., Riehm, Alf.).

Hebrews 9:24. For not into a sanctuary made with hands, etc.—The author is not assigning the ground why there is now need of better sacrifices for the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary (Hofm.), nor giving the proof that Christ has actually entered into the heavenly sanctuary, (Bl., Lün.,) nor illustrating the contrast between the earthly and the heavenly sanctuary (Ebr.), nor is he demonstrating the necessity of better offerings for the heavenly world from the reality of the one which has been furnished and offered to God (Del.). He is confirming the declaration of the previous verse, that the purification argued as necessary, has been actually accomplished. Hofm. now concedes, that the Infin. Aor. ἐμφανισθῆναι constitutes no ground of objection (Win. § 44; Matthew 20:26; 1 Peter 4:2) to our understanding the νῦν of the permanent presence of Christ before the unveiled face of God in heaven. The position of the ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν at the end of the clause, throws intentional and weighty emphasis upon the soteriological significance of this ἐμφανισθῆυαι, a significance referable in its purpose to the persons of the readers. This word expresses (Acts 24:1) strikingly the reciprocal and unveiled face to face manifestation of God and Christ, and is found in no corresponding sense among the technical expressions of the old covenant.

Hebrews 9:25.—May offer himself, etc.—The προσφέρειν ἑαυτόν refers not to Christ’s offering Himself on earth. In that case it were virtually =παθεῖν, Hebrews 9:26, which, as Hebrews 13:12, is to be understood of the suffering of death. But the offering of the blood in the heavenly all-holy presupposes the slaying of the victim outside of the Adyton, and is brought about by the entrance of the high-priest, of whom after his entrance, was required a two-fold offering of different kinds of blood (Hebrews 9:7), as his entrance was preceded by the slaughter of two different victims. To this refer the expressions of our passage, in which to avoid a misapprehension of the plur. θυσίαις, used in Hebrews 9:23, the idea is repelled that in the heavenly all-holy, whither Christ has entered, not in alien but in His own blood, He has now to offer Himself at repeated times. Had repeated offerings of Himself been the purpose of His entrance into heaven, which assuredly is in every case to be conceived of as but a single one (Schlicht. and Böhme, Bl., Hofm., Del.), then must also a πολλάκις παθεῖν have preceded, and that indeed “from the foundation of the world,” i.e., Christ would have been obliged to suffer just as many times before His entrance to God, as He now was repeatedly to offer Himself before God (Hofm., Del., Alf.). But this would contradict the fact that Christ has become man, not at the beginning, but at the end of the world. This explanation is far more probable than the common one that Christ would otherwise have been obliged every time to return into the world.

[I do not see much to choose between the two explanations: viz., that which urges the singleness of Christ’s entrance and offering in the heavenly sanctuary, on the ground that otherwise He would have had repeatedly to descend and suffer, inasmuch as every προσφέρειν implied a previous παθεῖν, and that which urges the singleness of His προσφέρειν, on the ground that otherwise He must have gone through a series of sacrificial sufferings while remaining on earth, in order to accumulate, as it were, a stock of sacrificial suffering, on the strength of which He might make an equal number of priestly offerings in the heavenly sanctuary. Or rather it seems to me that the latter view, though supported by Del., Alf., and Moll, is much the harsher and more improbable of the two. For although it is undoubtedly true, as Del. urges, that the author takes his stand on the assumption of only a single presentation of Christ in heaven, yet it is equally true that this is based on the actually existing state of facts, viz., on the singleness of Christ’s sacrificial suffering on earth. For it surely is not more monstrous to assume a series of descents to earth and reëntrances into heaven after suffering death, than to assume a series of deaths continuously occurring on earth to be followed subsequently by as many successive high-priestly entrances into the heavenly sanctuary. The latter seems to me, considering the analogy of the Jewish rites, much the more unnatural of the two. In point of fact I do not believe that the writer had in mind precisely either of the above ideas, though that which he had comes much nearer to the first than the second. The question is not in his mind a question of the relation between a supposed series of priestly offerings in heaven, and a corresponding series of sufferings on earth. It is simply a logical deduction from a matter of fact. If Christ’s entrance into heaven were of the nature of the Jewish priest’s entrances into the Mosaic sanctuary, such, viz., as to involve a repetition of His entrances, and offerings from time to time, this must have led inevitably to, and manifested itself in, His repeated sufferings in the successive ages of the world. But there has been no such manifestation. He has, in fact, (νυνί) appeared and suffered but once, and that at the very close of the old period, and when the former age is about to merge into the new. This fact is in itself decisive of the nature of His priesthood. It at once grows out of, and demonstrates the fact, that His priesthood, unlike that of the Levitical priests, is one in which one act of suffering on earth, and one priestly entrance into and offering in heaven, accomplish the whole work.—K.].

The πεφανέρωται refers not to the appearance in heaven before God, (Grot., Schultz, etc.), but to the φανέ ρωσις ἐν σαρκί, 1Ti 3:16; 1 Peter 1:20; 1Pe 5:4; 1 John 2:28; 1Jn 3:5; 1 John 3:8. The expression ἐπὶ συντελείᾳ τῶν αἰώνων is in sense=ἐπ’ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων Hebrews 1:1; and like the Pauline (1 Corinthians 10:11) τὰ τέλῃ τῶν αἰώνων, is a translation of the Heb. קֵץ הָעוֹלָם. The connection of the words διὰ τῆς θυσίας αὐτοῦ with πεφανέρωται (Grot., Carpz., Böhme, Thol. etc.), is unnatural, “since θυσία appears much rather as expressing the end of the manifestation of Christ than the means of that manifestation.” (Del.). These words are thus to be closely connected with εἰς�, which gives the object of Christ’s appearance on the world’s theatre of action, viz., “the doing away, absolutely, and beyond the need of being supplemented with any second similar manifestation, of all that is sinful.”

Hebrews 9:27. And inasmuch as it is reserved, etc.—Καθ̓ ὅσον constitutes not, like καθώς, merely a comparison, but at the same time a reason, in this case for the fact that in Christ also, along with His death, the work of His first appearance on earth has been once for all completed, and admits no repetition; but that something corresponding to the judgment is still also in reference to Him to be looked for. This reason lies in His real assumption of human nature. The author for this reason also employs the Pass. προσενεχθείς, “being offered,” because in this comparison the sacrifice of Christ is regarded not as a voluntary offering, but as a suffering appointed to Him, as something befalling Him (Hofm.). We must therefore not, with Chrys., supply ὑφ’ ἑαυτοῦ, by Himself. Ἀνενεγκεῖν is understood by the Pesh., Chrys., Œc., Theoph., Michael., of the presenting and offering up of sins in sacrifice; by Luth., Schlicht., Grot., Bl., Hofm. (Schriftb. 1 Ed.), Lün., etc., of the taking them away=ἀφαιρεῖν, Hebrews 10:4; by Hofm. in 2 Ed. of Schriftb., in its classic sense of bearing up under, sustaining, enduring them; by Jac. Cappell., Calov, Beng., etc., of bearing them to the cross, according to 1 Peter 2:24; by August., Este, Seb. Schmidt, Böhme, De W., Bisp., Del., Riehm, Alf., of vicarious bearing, according to Isaiah 53:12, where it is said of the Servant of Jehovah: αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν�. This latter view, now also ably defended by Ebr. (Allg. Kirchenzeit., 1856, Nr. 116–127) has specially in its favor the declaration that Christ, at His second coming will appear χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας. Chrys., Theod., Grot, and others refer erroneously this latter expression to the redeemed, who will then be entirely perfected. It refers to the person of Christ. Even in His first appearance His person was sinless, and sin was not in Jesus in the form of concupiscentia, as maintained by Dippel, Menken, Irving. But it partly assailed Him in the form of temptation, Hebrews 4:15, partly lay upon Him in the form of punishment, 2 Corinthians 5:21. The expression χωρὶς αμαρτίας stands in antithesis to the εἰς τὸ πολλὰ�. ἁμαρτ. Thus in the main rightly Œc., Theophyl., Carpz., De W., Bisp., Hofm., Del. and others. We need not, however, for this reason take ἁμαρτία as sin-offering (J. Capp., Storr, etc.), or as punishment for sin (Klee, Thol., etc.), or (with Schultz) having to do with sin. Unauthorized alike by the language and by the fact, is the view of Theodor. Mops., Theodoret, Bl., that the phrase in question implies that there will then be no realm of evil and of sin which could require the work and agency of the reappearing Christ. A visible return is indicated by the ὀφθήσεται, and it is characterized as the second appearance, because the appearances to the disciples, which took place after the resurrection and before the ascension, belong to the period of Christ’s first coming to earth. The reading διὰ πίστεως either after or before εἰς σωτηρίαν (adopted by Lachm. after A. 31, 47, but in 1850 again expunged), is a gloss. Still less are we authorized to connect εἰς σωτηρίαν with ἀπεκδεχομένοις (Primas., Camerar., Klee, Stein, etc.). It elongs to ὀφθήσεται, and points to final deliverance from all misery.


1. In the death of Christ that has been really fulfilled which the sprinkling of the sacred book and of the sacred vessels of the temple with blood, symbolically represented. The sanctuary originated in reference to human guilt and sin, but has been purified from the guilt of the general corruption, by the fact that the Son of God, who, by the establishment of the covenant with sinful men, has, although from pure grace, yet assumed the obligation of their ransom, has actually and all-sufficiently offered Himself as a vicarious offering.

2. By Jesus Christ’s single and unrepeated, yet all-sufficient offering of Himself, the guilty relations of collective humanity are objectively removed, at whatever time its members may live upon the earth; so that neither does a repeated presentation of Himself take place in heaven (which would presuppose a corresponding repetition of the sufferings of Christ, since the beginning of the world), nor is the second coming of the Messiah, which is in the certain future, for the purpose of a second vicarious suffering. By virtue of the true deity of the Saviour, His single offering is for ever sufficient; by virtue of His true humanity He is incapable of rendering it more than once.

3. The “now” of the manifestation of Christ on our behalf before the face of God in heaven, so that no veiling cloud intervenes, such as was in the Mosaic sanctuary, Leviticus 16:2, is the present period of salvation, which, as the closing period, lasts until the parousia, and has, as its condition and historical commencement, the appearance of Christ in the flesh with His single and final offering.

4. Christ has not merely entered, from love and compassion, into the fellowship of human suffering, but He has taken upon Himself the burden of human sin; and this burden, under which men were in danger of utterly succumbing, He has been able to lift from them in no other way than by voluntarily enduring for them the punishment of sins which they had deserved, and by His vicarious death taking it from all the guilty—who here, as Hebrews 2:10, are called many, not in the particularistic sense of an exclusion of some from salvation merely by virtue of the electing purpose of God, nor in reference to the failure of some to fulfil the condition of a participation in salvation, but, as Matthew 20:28; Matthew 26:28; Luke 22:20; Mark 14:34, with reference to the fact that the single offering of the one God-man, is forever efficacious for humanity in all its manifold members. To the application of the doctrine of vicarious suffering to the passage before us, it cannot, with Hofm., be objected, that an expiatory bearing of sin cannot be designated as the aim and object of His offering of Himself. With entire correctness Del. replies to the objection: “Atonement for sin was not indeed the purpose of men in bringing upon Him this infliction; but might be none the less the purpose of God in subjecting Him to it, and his own in submitting to it.”

5. The earlier opinion, still held by Heubner, that for individuals judgment follows immediately upon their death, but that after the resurrection follows the manifestation of the judgment in relation to all, cannot at least be deduced from our passage. The contemporaneousness of the judgment and of the second coming of Christ, follow clearly from Hebrews 10:25; Hebrews 10:37 ff.; and the decision according to which the lot of the one class is perdition (ἀπώλεια) and that of the other περιποίησις ψυχῆς, is mentioned Hebrews 10:38 ff., as a consequence of the coming of Christ. Nevertheless, when the Judge in our Epistle is expressly designated (Hebrews 10:30 ff; Hebrews 12:23; Hebrews 12:25; Hebrews 12:29; Hebrews 13:4) not Christ, but God is named, which might stand connected with the fact (D. Schultz) that God is the being that makes the enemies of Christ His footstool. Since, however, the glory and majesty of Christ, are elsewhere strongly emphasized in our Epistle, it might at first seem surprising that the judgment is no where expressly ascribed to Christ. From this, however, we may not with Bleek, deduce the inference that that Divine judgment which destroys the adversaries, precedes the parousia. This may, with Riehm, be more simply and satisfactorily explained, from the fact that the exalted Christ stood before the author’s mind as a heavenly High-priest, and it was therefore entirely natural to regard as the object of His reappearance upon earth, merely the consummation of His high-priestly work, i.e., the complete salvation of believers, and on the other hand, to ascribe to God Himself the accompanying judgment, and the punishment of the adversaries.


The appearance of Jesus Christ on earth terminates one, and opens another section of the history of the world.—How does the entrance of Christ into heaven stand related to the object of His appearance on earth?—The likeness and the unlikeness of the death of Jesus Christ, and of the dying of the children of men, 1, in their causes, 2, in their results.—The divine ordering in the connection of sin, death, and judgment.—How does the second appearance of Jesus Christ in the world distinguish itself from the first? 1, in respect to His person; 2, in His relation to sin; 3, in His influence on the world.—In Christ we experience that there is a contact with sin, which does not defile, but which annihilates sin.—The doing away of the hinderances to our blessedness.—The looking forward of believers to the appearance of the Lord, 1, in its authorization; 2, in its satisfaction; 3, in its obligation.

Starke:—There are, indeed, many offerings made to the Lord, but the most from hypocrisy, and although such have great outward show, yet they do not please Him. The sacrifices which please God, are a broken heart and a contrite spirit, Psalms 51:19.—The appearance of Christ in the presence of God is not merely the presentation and holding forth of His person and of His propitiatory sacrifice; but extends also to a true, glorious, and powerful intercession, in the strictest sense of the word. But He prays no longer thus humbly as when He was upon earth; for His prayer belongs to His state of exaltation, and is a fruit of His sitting at the right hand of God, the Father.—Men are at no time so holy as to be absolutely beyond sinning; but since we daily sin much, and deserve punishment, we always need purification through the blood of Jesus.—The single offering of Christ upon the cross, takes away sin.—Only once has He been sacrificed, and more than once He may not be sacrificed, and therefore not in the sacred Supper.—The last judgment is as certain as death.—Observe, that upon death follows the judgment. Look to it, then, and strive with the highest industry, that thou die happy, and that thou mayest await with joy the appearance of thy Saviour for thy salvation.—To await Christ’s coming unto salvation is the prerogative of believers, who have received for this, in a living hope, the first fruits of the Spirit; who love the appearing of the Lord, and, in order that they may hold themselves in readiness for a blissful death, deny the world and say: Even so, Come Lord Jesus, Revelation 22:20.—The ungodly will not be looking for the coming of Christ at the final judgment, although He will appear unto them, whether they will or no; and this undesired appearing will to them be full of sadness (Judges 15:0, Revelation 1:7).—Only when Christ shall appear will believers become perfectly blessed, Colossians 3:4.

Rieger:—The heavenly sanctuary which Christ has entered in His appearing before God, is also the goal to which He will bring all who come to God by Him.—Whosoever learns from the Gospel the cause and fruit of the appearance of Jesus in the flesh, and of His offering for sin, and learns it with a loving knowledge, he may look with joy for His appearance in glory, and for the consummation of His own blessedness.—What a difference between the two appearances of Jesus, in weakness and in glory! then, under the burden of our sins, with the accompaniments of shame, the cross, and death; now, in His endless life, in the power of God and His revelation in glory.

Heubner:—Only in eternity shall we see from what an abyss Christ has rescued us, and into what glory He translates us.—Redemption was, in the mind of God, virtually effected from eternity, 2 Timothy 1:9. There was, then, need of no appearance in the presence of God; but that appearance of the crucified One which has taken place in time, was made to reveal the counsel of God to the world of spirits.—The duration of the world is limited to a fixed period of time. As surely as it has a beginning, so surely will it have an end.—Waiting is the Christian’s art. He waits for the appearance of Christ, whereby the truth of faith is victoriously confirmed, and Christ is manifested to be the Being whom Christians regard Him.

Steinhofer:—Jesus, the founder of the new covenant, has gathered up the sin of the whole world, together with all its evil fruits, upon the cross, and has, once for all, so completely driven them away, that, under the testimony of the Gospel, we need make no further distinction in respect of many, or of great sins.

Menken:—If even the earthly figures of heavenly things were desecrated and defiled by the communion which sinful men had with them, and could, therefore, remain in connection with them only on account of offered sacrifices, and only by means of certain holy expiations and purifyings, how much less could we anticipate an immediate, unconditional, unobstructed communion of dying and sinful men with heavenly things!

Hahn:—The heavenly things flee before us in our impurity, and thither may no impure person come; and yet all the treasures of the suffering and death of Christ are deposited there, and thence must we obtain them. If we wish anything therefrom, we must again be reconciled with the sanctuary. But this is accomplished only through the blood of Christ.—Happy is he who has laid the foundation of his faith in the first appearing of Christ; he will behold Him with joy in the second.


Hebrews 9:27; Hebrews 9:27.—καί is to be read after οὕτως, according to the united testimony of the Uncials.

Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Hebrews 9". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lcc/hebrews-9.html. 1857-84.
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