Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Hebrews 10:1

For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.
New American Standard Version
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  1. Adam Clarke Commentary
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Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Atonement;   Law;   Offerings;   Types;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible, the;   Ceremonialism;   Law;   Types and Shadows;   The Topic Concordance - Desire;   Jesus Christ;   Law;   Pleasure;   Reconciliation;   Sacrifice;   Sanctification;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Church of Israel;   Jews, the;   Law of Moses, the;   Sacrifices;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Image;   Law;   Sacrifice;   Testament;   Type;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Interpretation;   Law;   Leviticus;   Priest;   Sacrifice;   Type, typology;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Law;   Life;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Atonement;   Covenant;   Law;   Peace;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Law;   Shadow;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Altar;   Atonement;   Christianity;   Hebrews, the Epistle to the;   High Priest;   Lord's Supper;   Sacrifice;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Expiation, Propitiation;   Forgiveness;   Hebrews;   Reconcilation;   Shadow;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Atonement;   Hebrews, Epistle to;   Law;   Priest;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Access ;   Allegory;   Art;   Blood ;   Day of Atonement ;   Gospel;   Hand;   Hebrews Epistle to the;   Image;   Old Testament;   Priest (2);   Sacraments;   Sacrifice;   Sacrifice (2);   Shadow ;   Sin;   Substance ;   Type;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Atonement, Day of;   19 To Accomplish, Finish, Fulfil;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Christ;   Priest;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Law;   Offering;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Law;   Mediator;   Psalms;   Sacrifice;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Tabernacle, the;   Peculiarities of the Law of Moses;   Law of Moses, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Accommodation;   Ascension;   Atonement, Day of;   Eschatology of the New Testament;   Forgiveness;   Hebrews, Epistle to the;   Shade;   Tabernacle;   Type;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for April 12;   Every Day Light - Devotion for November 26;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

The law, having a shadow of good things to come - A shadow, σκια, signifies,

  1. Literally, the shade cast from a body of any kind, interposed between the place on which the shadow is projected, and the sun or light; the rays of the light not shining on that place, because intercepted by the opacity of the body, through which they cannot pass.
  • It signifies, technically, a sketch, rude plan, or imperfect draught of a building, landscape, man, beast, etc.
  • It signifies, metaphorically, any faint adumbration, symbolical expression, imperfect or obscure image of a thing; and is opposed to σωμα, body, or the thing intended to be thereby defined.
  • It is used catachrestically among the Greek writers, as umbra is among the Latins, to signify any thing vain, empty, light, not solid; thus Philostratus, Vit. Soph., lib. i. cap. 20: Ὁτι σκια και ονειρατα αἱ ἡδοναι πασαι· All pleasures are but Shadows and dreams. And Cicero, in Pison., cap. 24: Omnes umbras falsae gloriae consectari. "All pursue the Shadows of False Glory." And again, De Offic., lib. iii. cap. 17: Nos veri juris germanaeque justitiae solidam et expressam effigiem nullam tenemus; umbra et itnaginibus utimur. "We have no solid and express effigy of true law and genuine justice, but we employ shadows and images to represent them."
  • And not the very image - Εικων, image, signifies,
    1. A simple representation, from εικω, I am like.
  • The form or particular fashion of a thing.
  • The model according to which any thing is formed.
  • The perfect image of a thing as opposed to a faint representation.
  • Metaphorically, a similitude, agreement, or conformity.
  • The law, with all its ceremonies and sacrifices, was only a shadow of spiritual and eternal good. The Gospel is the image or thing itself, as including every spiritual and eternal good.

    We may note three things here:

    1. The shadow or general outline, limiting the size and proportions of the thing to be represented.
  • The image or likeness completed from this shadow or general outline, whether represented on paper, canvass, or in statuary,
  • The person or thing thus represented in its actual, natural state of existence; or what is called here the very image of the things, αυτην την εικονα των πραγματων .
  • Such is the Gospel, when compared with the law; such is Christ, when compared with Aaron; such is his sacrifice, when compared with the Levitical offerings; such is the Gospel remission of sins and purification, when compared with those afforded by the law; such is the Holy Ghost, ministered by the Gospel, when compared with its types and shadows in the Levitical service; such the heavenly rest, when compared with the earthly Canaan. Well, therefore, might the apostle say, The law was only the shadow of good things to come.

    Can never - make the comers thereunto perfect - Cannot remove guilt from the conscience, or impurity from the heart. I leave preachers to improve these points.

    Copyright Statement
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    Bibliographical Information
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    For the law having a shadow - That is, the whole of the Mosaic economy was a shadow; for so the word “Law” is often used. The word “shadow” here refers to a rough outline of anything, a mere sketch, such as a carpenter draws with a piece of chalk, or such as an artist delineates when he is about to make a picture. He sketches an outline of the object which he designs to draw, which has “some” resemblance to it, but is not the “very image;” for it is not yet complete. The words rendered “the very image” refer to a painting or statue which is finished, where every part is an exact copy of the original. The “good things to come” here refer to the future blessings which would be conferred on man by the gospel. The idea is, that under the ancient sacrifices there was an imperfect representation; a dim outline of the blessings which the gospel would impart to people. They were a typical representation; they were not such that it could be pretended that they would answer the purpose of the things themselves which they were to represent, and would make those who offered them perfect. Such a rude outline; such a mere sketch, or imperfect delineation, could no more answer the purpose of saving the soul than the rough sketch which an architect makes would answer the purpose of a house, or than the first outline which a painter draws would answer the purpose of a perfect and finished portrait. All that could be done by either would be to convey some distant and obscure idea of what the house or the picture might be, and this was all that was done by the Law of Moses.

    Can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually - The sacrifices here particularly referred to were those which were offered on the great day of atonement. These were regarded as the most sacred and efficacious of all, and yet the apostle says that the very fact that they were offered every year showed that there must be some deficiency about them, or they would have ceased to be offered.

    Make the comers thereunto perfect - They could not free them from the stains of guilt; they could not give ease to a troubled conscience; there was in them no efficacy by which sin could be put away; compare the notes on Hebrews 7:11; Hebrews 9:9.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Bibliographical Information
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/hebrews-10.html. 1870.

    Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

    RECAPITULATION OF THE PREVIOUS ARGUMENT AND RESTATEMENT IN STRONGER TERMS;

    SANCTIFIED BY THE BODY OF CHRIST ONCE FOR ;

    THE FOURTH EXHORTATION

    For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh. (Hebrews 10:1)

    The law as boldly used here indicates that it is not merely certain types of offering and sacrifices, or selected regulations concerning priests, nor some limited portion of the old covenant that was abrogated by Christ, but the entire system.

    A shadow, not the very image brings into sharp contrast the old and new covenants, the old being likened to a shadow, and the new to the very image of the heavenly things. Just as a man's shadow would reveal far less information about him than a three-dimensional color photograph; just so, the shadow of the heavenly things as revealed in the law is far inferior to the knowledge of God and his divine fellowship available in the new covenant. We might even affirm that the true forgiveness available in Christ, along with the privileges of faith, and including all the attendant promises, hopes, and blessings of the Christian faith, actually are the REALITIES typified by the shadows of the old covenant; and yet, significantly, the sacred text falls far short of any such declaration, the marvelous benefits and blessings of the new institution THEMSELVES being here hailed as "the very image" of still greater realities yet to be realized and revealed in heaven. As Westcott said,

    Theophylact ... carries our thoughts still further. As the image is better than the shadow, so, he argues, will the archetype be better than the image, the realities of the unseen world than the "mysteries" that now represent them.[1]

    Likewise, Bruce said, "Within the New Testament itself, we have Paul's repeated description of Christ as the [@eikon] (image) of God" (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15).[2]

    It would be wrong, however, to attribute any lack of efficacy to the new covenant, wherein Christians are "workers together with God," and have been blessed with "all spiritual blessings" in Christ, and have been made to stand upon the threshold of eternal life. The magnificent endowments of the faith in Christ are more than sufficient for all the needs and desires of life in man's present condition; and, therefore, it is with the deepest wonder and admiration that one reads,

    For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away ... For now we see in a mirror darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known (1 Corinthians 13:9-12).

    Can never ... make perfect them that draw nigh is the conclusion dependent on the truth that the law and all of its provisions had the status of a mere shadow. They were only typical, carnal, earthly, material, and mortal devices, having no efficacy at all, except as they directed the minds of the worshipers to the holy and heavenly things prefigured.

    Them that draw nigh brings before us the whole purpose and intent of holy religion, that of restoring man's lost fellowship with his Creator. The law, far from making that possible, actually dramatized the separation between God and men; and such drawing nigh as took place under the law was certainly not on any general scale but upon the most limited scope, being only for a few, and for them on very rare occasions.

    [1] Brooke Foss Westcott, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1965), p. 304.

    [2] F. F. Bruce, The Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1967), p. 227.

    Copyright Statement
    Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
    Bibliographical Information
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/hebrews-10.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come,.... By which is meant not the moral law, for that is not a shadow of future blessings, but a system of precepts; the things it commands are not figuratively, but really good and honest; and are not obscure, but plain and easy to be understood; nor are they fleeting and passing away, as a shadow, but lasting and durable: but the ceremonial law is intended; this was a "shadow", a figure, a representation of something true, real, and substantial; was dark and obscure, yet had in it, and gave, some glimmering light; and was like a shadow, fleeting and transitory: and it was a shadow of good things; of Christ himself, who is the body, the sum and substance of it, and of the good things to come by him; as the expiation of sin, peace and reconciliation, a justifying righteousness, pardon of sin, and eternal life; these are said to be "to come", as they were under the former dispensation, while the ceremonial law was in force, and that shadow was in being, and the substance not as yet.

    And not the very image of the things; as it had not neither the things themselves, nor Christ, the substance of them, so it did not give a clear revelation of them, as is made in the Gospel, nor exhibit a distinct delineation of them, such as an image expresses; it only gave some short and dark hints of future good things, but did not exactly describe them: and therefore

    can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually: namely, the sacrifices of bullocks and goats, which were offered on the day of atonement, year after year, in successive generations, from the first appointment of that day, to the writing of this epistle: sacrifices of such a kind, and so often repeated, could never

    make the comers thereunto perfect; either the people that came to the temple, and brought them to the priests to offer them for them, or the priests that offered them; so the Syriac and Ethiopic versions render it, "perfect them that offer"; and if not one, then not the other: legal sacrifices could not make perfect expiation of sin; there is no proportion between them and sin: nor did they extend to all sin, and at most only typically expiated; nor could they justify and cleanse from sin. Contrary to this, the JewsF16Zohar in Gen. fol. 107. 1. say,

    "when Israel was in the holy land, there was no iniquity found in them, for the sacrifices which they offered every day stoned for them;'

    but spiritual sacrificers and worshippers were expiated, justified, and cleansed another way, even by the blood of Christ, slain from the foundation of the world in purpose, promise, and type, and to which their faith had respect in every sacrifice.

    Copyright Statement
    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
    Bibliographical Information
    Gill, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/hebrews-10.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    For 1 the law having a shadow of good things to a come, [and] not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    (1) He prevents a private objection. Why then were those sacrifices offered? The apostle answers, first concerning the yearly sacrifice which was the solemnest of all, in which (he says) there was made every year a remembrance again of all former sins. Therefore that sacrifice had no power to sanctify: for to what purpose should those sins which are purged be repeated again, and why should new sins come to be repeated every year, if those sacrifices abolished sin?

    (a) Of things which are everlasting, which were promised to the fathers, and exhibited in Christ.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
    Bibliographical Information
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/hebrews-10.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    Hebrews 10:1-39. Conclusion of the foregoing argument. The yearly recurring law sacrifices cannot perfect the worshipper, but Christ‘s once-for-all offering can.

    Instead of the daily ministry of the Levitical priests, Christ‘s service is perfected by the one sacrifice, whence He now sits on the right hand of God as a Priest-King, until all His foes shall be subdued unto Him. Thus the new covenant (Hebrews 8:8-12) is inaugurated, whereby the law is written on the heart, so that an offering for sin is needed no more. Wherefore we ought to draw near the Holiest in firm faith and love; fearful of the awful results of apostasy; looking for the recompense to be given at Christ‘s coming.

    Previously the oneness of Christ‘s offering was shown; now is shown its perfection as contrasted with the law sacrifices.

    having — inasmuch as it has but “the shadow, not the very image,” that is, not the exact likeness, reality, and full revelation, such as the Gospel has. The “image” here means the archetype (compare Hebrews 9:24), the original, solid image [Bengel] realizing to us those heavenly verities, of which the law furnished but a shadowy outline before. Compare 2 Corinthians 3:13, 2 Corinthians 3:14, 2 Corinthians 3:18; the Gospel is the very setting forth by the Word and Spirit of the heavenly realities themselves, out of which it (the Gospel) is constructed. So Alford. As Christ is “the express image (Greek, ‹impress‘) of the Father‘s person” (Hebrews 1:3), so the Gospel is the heavenly verities themselves manifested by revelation - the heavenly very archetype, of which the law was drawn as a sketch, or outline copy (Hebrews 8:5). The law was a continual process of acted prophecy, proving the divine design that its counterparts should come; and proving the truth of those counterparts when they came. Thus the imperfect and continued expiatory sacrifices before Christ foretend, and now prove, the reality of, Christ‘s one perfect antitypical expiation.

    good things to come — (Hebrews 9:11); belonging to “the world (age) to come.” Good things in part made present by faith to the believer, and to be fully realized hereafter in actual and perfect enjoyment. Lessing says, “As Christ‘s Church on earth is a prediction of the economy of the future life, so the Old Testament economy is a prediction of the Christian Church.” In relation to the temporal good things of the law, the spiritual and eternal good things of the Gospel are “good things to come.” Colossians 2:17 calls legal ordinances “the shadow,” and Christ “the body.”

    never — at any time (Hebrews 10:11).

    with those sacrifices — rather, “with the same sacrifices.

    year by year — This clause in the Greek refers to the whole sentence, not merely to the words “which they the priests offered” (Greek, “offer”). Thus the sense is, not as English Version, but, the law year by year, by the repetition of the same sacrifices, testifies its inability to perfect the worshippers; namely, on the YEARLY day of atonement. The “daily” sacrifices are referred to, Hebrews 10:11.

    continuallyGreek, “continuously,” implying that they offer a toilsome and ineffectual “continuousround of the “same” atonement-sacrifices recurring “year by year.”

    comers thereunto — those so coming unto God, namely, the worshippers (the whole people) coming to God in the person of their representative, the high priest.

    perfect — fully meet man‘s needs as to justification and sanctification (see on Hebrews 9:9).

    Copyright Statement
    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
    Bibliographical Information
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    Shadow (σκιανskian). The contrast here between σκιαskia (shadow, shade caused by interruption of light as by trees, Mark 4:32) and εικωνeikōn (image or picture) is striking. Christ is the εικωνeikōn of God (2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15). In Colossians 2:17 Paul draws a distinction between σκιαskia for the Jewish rites and ceremonies and σωμαsōma for the reality in Christ. Children are fond of shadow pictures. The law gives only a dim outline of the good things to come (Hebrews 9:11).

    Continually (εις το διηνεκεςeis to diēnekes). See this phrase also in Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 9:12, Hebrews 9:14. Nowhere else in N.T. From διηνεγκαdiēnegka (διαπερωdiapherō), to bear through.

    They can
    (δυνανταιdunantai). This reading leaves ο νομοςho nomos a nominativus pendens (an anacoluthon). But many MSS. read δυναταιdunatai (it - the law - can). For the idea and use of τελειωσαιteleiōsai see Hebrews 9:9.

    Copyright Statement
    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
    Bibliographical Information
    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/hebrews-10.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    d The arrangement of the verse is much disputed. Rend. “The law, with the same sacrifices which they continually renew year by year, can never make the comers thereunto perfect.”

    A shadow ( σκιὰν )

    The emphasis is on this thought. The legal system was a shadow. Σκιὰ is a rude outline, an adumbration, contrasted with εἰκὼν , the archetypal or ideal pattern. Σκιὰ does not accurately exhibit the figure itself. Comp. Hebrews 8:5.

    Of good things to come ( τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν )

    From the point of view of the law.

    The very image of the things ( αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα τῶν πραγμάτων )

    For εἰκὼν imagesee on Revelation 13:14; see on Philippians 2:7. Πραγμάτων thingsexpresses a little more distinctly than μελλόντων the idea of facts and realities.

    Can ( δύναται )

    Δύναται might be expected with ὁ νόμος thelaw as the subject. If δύναται , the plural, is retained, the clause the law - image of the things must be taken absolutely, the construction of the sentence breaking off suddenly, and the subject being changed from the law to the priests: “The priests can never,” etc. It is better to read δύναται in the singular, with Tischendorf, Westcott and Hort, and Weiss.

    Continually ( εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς )

    See on Hebrews 7:3, and comp. Hebrews 10:12, Hebrews 10:14. Const. with offer.

    Copyright Statement
    The text of this work is public domain.
    Bibliographical Information
    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/hebrews-10.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    From all that has been said it appears, that the law, the Mosaic dispensation, being a bare, unsubstantial shadow of good things to come, of the gospel blessings, and not the substantial, solid image of them, can never with the same kind of sacrifices, though continually repeated, make the comers thereunto perfect, either as to justification or sanctification. How is it possible, that any who consider this should suppose the attainments of David, or any who were under that dispensation, to be the proper measure of gospel holiness; and that Christian experience is to rise no higher than Jewish?

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
    Bibliographical Information
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/hebrews-10.html. 1765.

    Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

    However a shadow; containing only a shadow or representation of the things.--The very image; the substance.

    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Bibliographical Information
    Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/hebrews-10.html. 1878.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    Закон, имея тень. Апостол заимствует подобие от изобразительного искусства. Ведь тень понимается здесь иначе, нежели в Кол.2:17, где апостол называет таким образом древние обряды, поскольку последние не имели внутри себя подлинной сути изображаемых вещей. Теперь же он уподобляет их грубым наброскам, как бы оттеняющим живое изображение. Ибо художники, прежде чем нанести кистью живые краски, обычно углем набрасывают то, что намереваются изобразить. Это начальное изображение по-гречески зовется σκιαγραφία, а по латыни можно сказать: оттенение. Подобно тому, как έικών для греков – это ярко выраженный образ. Откуда изображения, живо представляющие либо человека, либо животное или пейзаж, даже у латинян зовутся иконами. Итак, между законом и Евангелием апостол проводит следующее различие: в законе лишь набросками и грубыми линиями было оттенено то, что сегодня изображается ярко и живыми красками. Так он еще раз подтверждает сказанное прежде: закон не бездеятелен, и обряды его не напрасны. Хотя там и не было образа небесных вещей, не было (как говорится) последнего решающего взмаха кисти живописца, для отцов это, пусть и слабое, изображение приносило немалую пользу, несмотря на то, что наше положение много лучше по сравнению с ними. И следует отметить: им, хоть и менее отчетливо, показывались те же самые вещи, которые явлены сегодня и нам. Итак, и для нас, и для них один и тот же Христос, одна и та же праведность, освящение и спасение. Различие кроется только в способе изображения.

    Будущие блага, думаю, означают здесь блага вечные. Признаю, что будущее царство Христово, ныне явное для нас, некогда было возвещено. Но слова апостола гласят: мы имеем живой образ будущих благ. Итак, он подразумевает нечто духовное, полное наслаждение которым отложено до воскресения и будущего века. Хотя я снова признаю: эти блага стали открываться с самого начала Христова Царства. Однако сейчас речь идет о том, что блага являются будущими не только относительно ветхого завета, но ожидаются также и нами.

    Каждый год постоянно приносимыми. Прежде всего, речь идет о ежегодной жертве, о которой упоминается в Лев.17. Хотя видовое название употребляется здесь для обозначения рода. Апостол рассуждает так: там, где больше нет осознания греха, также нет употребления жертве. Однако во времена закона те же самые жертвы повторялись регулярно. Значит, ни Богу не приносилось удовлетворение, ни вина не снималась, ни совесть не обретала мира. Иначе цель жертвоприношения была бы достигнута. Далее надо тщательно отметить, что апостол называет теми же самыми жертвы, у которых было похожее основание. Ведь жертвы оценивались скорее по установлению Божию, чем по различию приносимых животных.

    Уже одного этого вполне достаточно для опровержения тонкой уловки папистов, с помощью которой, как им кажется, они гениально избегают абсурдность учения о жертвоприношении мессы. Ибо когда им возражают, что повторение жертвы напрасно, если вечна сила единократного Христова приношения, оно тут же говорят, что жертва, совершаемая на мессе, не другая, а та же самая. Таков их ответ. Но что говорит апостол? Он отрицает, что жертва, приносимая повторно, даже если является той же самой, действенна или пригодна для умилостивления. Так что пусть паписты тысячу раз возгласят, что та же самая, а не другая жертва однажды была принесена Христом на кресте и ежедневно совершается сегодня, я всегда буду настаивать, ссылаясь на апостола, на следующем: если приношение Христово способно умилостивить Бога, то не только положен конец другим жертвам, но и ее саму никак не подобает повторять. Отсюда явствует: приношение Христа во время мессы является святотатством.

     

     

     

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.

    Scofield's Reference Notes

    perfect

    (See Scofield "Matthew 5:48").

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    Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Hebrews 10:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/hebrews-10.html. 1917.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    Ver. 1. A Shadow of good things, &c.] That is, of Christ, saith one. When the sun is behind, the shadow is before; when the sun is before, the shadow is behind. So was it in Christ to them of old. This Sun was behind, and therefore the law or shadow was before; to us under grace the Sun is before, and so now the ceremonies of the law, these shadows, are behind, yea, vanished away.

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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/hebrews-10.html. 1865-1868.

    Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

    Hebrews 10:1. For the law, having a shadow, &c.— The for in this verse seems to connect the discourse here with the former part of the foregoing chapter; wherein the apostle speaks of the earthly or worldly sanctuary, or holy of holies under the law, as a figure, Hebrews 10:9. Nor need we confine the connection merely to what is there said; but refer it more generally to what he has spoken in any part of his epistle before concerning this matter; as particularly ch. Hebrews 8:5, Hebrews 9:23-24. The word εικονα, rendered image, seems from the tenor of the apostle's argument to be used for the essential, or substantial form of a thing; that is, for the very thing itself; as opposed to its σκια, shadow, or delineation. So it is paralleled to σωμα, the body, or substance, which the apostle elsewhere opposes in like manner to its σκια or shadow, Colossians 2:17. Accordingly the Syriac version explains the word εικονα by the substance; and Chrysostom by the truth or reality, as opposed to types or emblems. Cicero has used almost the same expression with our author; Nos veri juris germanaeque justitiae solidam et expressam effigiem nullam tenemus; umbra et imaginibus utimur. See De Offic. lib. 3: 100: 17. "We have no perfect and express image of true and native justice; but are obliged to make use of the shadow and picture of it." The apostle is going to shew the imperfection of the law, that it neither could by the frame of it, nor had it in its design, to bring men to perfection; that the good things it promised were but a shadow of the great realities promised by Christ; the veriest sketch or outlines, in comparison of the perfect and exact picture. Dr. Heylin observes here, upon the word image, that it does not signify what represents, but the original or model represented by the shadows. The apostle, says he, seems to refer to ch. Hebrews 8:5. The sacrifices offered on the day of atonement, being by far the most solemn of any of the expiatory kind among the Jews, are mentioned in this verse with the utmost propriety. Heylin renders the last words, Render those perfect who approach the altar. See Parkhurst on the word ' Εικων .

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    Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/hebrews-10.html. 1801-1803.

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    In the former part of this chapter, the apostle proves the impotency and imperfection of the Levitical sacrifices by sundry arguments; namely, first from the nature of them, they were but shadows; from the plurality of them, they were many; from the repetition of them, they were often; and from the efficaciousness of them, they could not take away sin.

    The former of these is taken notice of, in this first verse, The law having a shadow of good things to come. An allusion probably to the art of painting, wherein a shadow is first drawn; and afterwards the very image itself: or a metaphor taken from the shadow of a body in the light of the sun. As a shadow is the representation of a body; a just and true representation of a body; the life, vigour, and spirit of a body, cannot be represented by it:

    Thus was it between the sacrifices of the law, and the sacrifice of Christ; the blood of those sacrifices were representations of Christ: They were a just representation of Christ: He was the idea in the mind of God, whan Moses was charged to make all things according to the pattern showed him in the mount; and they were but an obscure and dark representation of him; the glory and efficacy of these good things appeared not visible in them.

    Learn hence, That whatever there may be in religious institutions, and the diligent observation of them, if they only shadow forth Jesus Christ, and do not actually exhibit him to the faith of believers, with the benefits of his mediation, they cannot make us perfect, nor give us acceptance with God.

    Here we have a second argument to prove the impotency and weakness of the legal sacrifices; and it is drawn from the repetition and non-cessation of them.

    Thus, "Those sacrifices which were often repeated, year by year, could not of themselves make satisfaction for sin, or purge the conscience of the sinner from guilt. Had justice been satisfied, and conscience quited, there had been no reason why those sacrifices should have been so often repeated. But the case was otherwise, for in their most solemn sacrifices there was a commemoration and confession made of their former sins by the High Priest every year; which was an intimation to them, that they needed a new and better sacrifice for the expiation of sin, namely, that of the Messiah, in and by which alone remission of sin was to be expected and obtained."

    Learn hence, 1. That the repetition and reiteration of the same sacrifices, is an evident demonstration of their weakness and insufficiency. Accordingly the church of Rome, by affirming the sacrifice in the mass to be the very same with that which Christ offered on the cross, do prove an insufficiency in the sacrifice of Christ for the expiation of sin, if the apostle's argument here be good: For he affirms, that all sacrifices that must be repeated are weak and insufficient.

    Learn, 2. That although repeated sins have need of repeated confession, and renewed pardon, yet they have no need of a sacrifice; For he who is once purged has no more conscience of sin, that is, though he knows he has many sins, yet he has not a trembling, tormenting, accusing conscience, because he is purged, and his sins pardoned, through that one sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

    Learn, 3. That the discharge of conscience from the guilt of sin, by virtue of the sacrifice of Christ, is a full demonstration of the sufficiency of the virtue of that sacrifice: And that there needs no reiteration of it, but only fresh applications made unto it by repeated acts and exercises of faith.

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    Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/hebrews-10.html. 1700-1703.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    1.] For ( γάρ connects with the whole passage ch. Hebrews 9:24-28; hitherto has been shewn the impossibility of Christ’s offering being repeated as were those of the law: now is to be shewn its absolute perfection as compared with those of the law) the law, having (as it has; the participle has a ratiocinative force, which passes on upon what follows) a shadow (or, ‘the shadow,’ which in sense would be much the same. The putting forward of the word to the beginning of the sentence would render it anarthrous. I prefer, however, ‘a shadow,’ because of the meaning of σκιάν, presently to be treated of: see below) of the good things to come (viz. the same good things of which, in ch. Hebrews 9:11, Christ is said to be the High Priest,—which belong to the μέλλων αἰών of ch. Hebrews 6:5, whose δυνάμεις are working in the present dispensation,—and to the completion of the οἰκουμένη μέλλουσα of ch. Hebrews 2:5; the good things which are still future to us as they were to those under the law, but are now made sure to us in and by Christ), not the very image of the things (every representation of μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν must be an εἰκών, whether it be in words, or in types, or in any other method of representation. The full description and entire revelation of the things thus designated will be αὐτὴ ἡ εἰκὼν τῶν πραγμάτων: which we possess in the gospel covenant: the very setting forth and form of the heavenly realities themselves. So that the gen. πραγμάτων is the ‘genitivus substantiæ,’ as in Colossians 3:10, τὸν ἀνακαινούμενονκατʼ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν, and Romans 8:29, συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ,— ὁ κτίσας in the one and ὁ υἱὸς αὐτοῦ in the other, being and furnishing the εἰκών. But the law had no such εἰκών constructed out of the heavenly realities themselves, “ipsas res, certa sua forma et effigie præditas,” as Stier: it had merely σκιάν, merely a rough sketch or outline: so Chrys., not however to my mind entirely apprehending the identity of the εἰκών with the πράγματα which furnish it,— σκιὰντουτέστιν οὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν ἀλήθειαν. ἕως μὲν γὰρ ἂν ὡς ἐν γραφῇ περιάγῃ τις τὰ χρώματα, σκιά τις ἐστίν· ὅταν δὲ τὸ ἄνθος ἐπαλείψῃ τις καὶ ἐπιχρίσῃ τὰ χρώματα, τότε εἰκὼν γίνεται. See also Thdrt. and Œc.), year by year with the same sacrifices (most Commentators assume some inversion of arrangement in constructing the words κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν: some (Calvin, Erasm. Schmid, Wolf, Heinrichs, Bleek, De Wette, Stuart, al.) joining them with αἷς προσφέρουσιν, others (Lünem., al.) with ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, others (Carpzov, al.) with τοὺς προσερχομένους. But there is no need to disturb the plain order of the sentence, in which κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν belongs to all that follows, viz. to the verb, οὐδέποτε δύναται, with its instrumental clause, ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις αἷς κ. τ. λ. And so Ebrard, Hofmann, and Delitzsch. “This,” says Del., “is more accordant with the sense of the Writer: for he does not say, that the law by means of the offerings which were always the same year by year never was able to perfect, &c.,—but that the law, year by year, by the repetition of the same offerings, testified its inability to perfect, &c., viz. on the day of atonement, on which the same expiatory offerings were always repeated, being necessary, not withstanding the many offerings brought throughout the year, and after which the same round of offerings again began anew.” It will be evident that ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις must refer, not to the daily offering, but to those of propitiation on the great day of atonement) which they (the ministering priests, not οἱ προσερχόμενοι, as Hofmann ii. 1. 314, which would be against all the terminology of the Epistle, in which προσφέρειν is without exception confined to priests. We have the same distinction as regards the προσερχόμενοι in ch. Hebrews 7:25) offer continually (Hofmann would join this with what follows, alleging that εἰς τὸ διηνεκές does not mean continually but continuously. And so Lachmann punctuates. But against such a construction I conceive it to be decisive, that thus αἷς προσφέρουσιν would be in the last degree flat and unmeaning, and that the verb δύναται would have two qualifying adverbial predicates, εἰς τὸ διηνεκές and οὐδέποτε. I do not imagine that any one accustomed to the style of our Epistle would tolerate such a sentence. And with regard to εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, granting the meaning to be continuously, why may not that meaning be applicable here? Hofmann says that it is not applicable to a continually repeated act, but only to a continuously enduring agency. But why should not the offering of these sacrifices be looked upon as continuous, being unbroken from year to year? When I say, ‘The celebration of the day of atonement continued unbroken till the destruction of Jerusalem,’ I use the same method of expression, and might express my meaning in Greek by διηνεκὴς ἦν, ἕως) never (not even at any time) is able to perfect (see on ref., where I have entered into the meanings of τελειοῦν in our Epistle) those who draw near (to God, by means of them. Tholuck well remarks that this threefold κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν, ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, graphically sets forth the ever recurring cycle of the yearly sacrifices for sin).

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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/hebrews-10.html. 1863-1878.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    Hebrews 10:1. Establishment of the ἅπαξ προσενεχθεὶς εἰς τὸ πολλῶν ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας, Hebrews 9:28, as being the main thought lying in Hebrews 9:25-28, by making good the opposite state of the case in the province of the O. T. theocracy: “For since the law contains only a shadow of the future good things, not the actual likeness of the things, it is not able by means of the same sacrifices every year, which are unceasingly offered, ever to make perfect them that draw nigh.” The emphasis of the proposition rests partly upon the characterization of the law as σκιὰν ἔχων κ. τ. λ., partly upon κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις, ἃς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκές. The author, however, cannot thereby mean, as the words at first hearing might seem to imply, that the law, in case its contents were no mere σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, would in reality effect the τελείωσις by means of its ever-repeated expiatory sacrifices. For, as is shown by Hebrews 10:2-3, the author already bases upon the very fact of the yearly repetition of the Mosaic expiatory sacrifices the proof for their inadequacy. We must therefore suppose that two independent particulars of thought have been blended together into a single statement. One can resolve the matter either in such wise that οὐδέποτε δύναται τελειῶσαι is looked upon as the common predicate for both particulars: the law is incapable of leading to τελείωσις, because it contains a mere σκιά κ. τ. λ.; and certainly it is incapable, by means of its ever-repeated sacrifices, of leading to τελείωσις. Or in such wise that the second particular is thought of originally as an inference from the first, from which the οὐδέποτε δύναται κ. τ. λ. is then progressively derived: because the law contains a mere σκιὰ τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, there is found in its domain an unceasing repetition of the same expiatory sacrifices; by this unceasing repetition, however, it is never able to lead to perfection. The latter analysis is to be preferred, because by means of it the opposition, required by the course of the argument, between the once offered and the ofttimes repeated expiatory sacrifice, comes out clearly and definitely in all its severity; while the characterization of the νόμος, on the other hand, as σκιὰν ἔχων κ. τ. λ., is made only that which here, in harmony with the context, it alone can be, i.e. a mere subsidiary factor in the argument.

    σκιάν] a shadow, which is unsubstantiated, melts away into obscurity, and only enables us to recognise the external outlines. Opposite to this is the εἰκών, the image or impress, which sets before us the figure itself, sharply and clearly stamped forth. See on Hebrews 8:5. Freely, but not incorrectly, does Luther translate: “the very substance of the good things.”

    τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν] see at Hebrews 9:11.

    τῶν πραγμάτων] different from τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν only as respects the more general form of expression.

    κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν] belongs neither to οὐδέποτε δύναται (Ebrard, Delitzsch, Hofmann, Schrifibew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 446; Alford) nor to ἃς προσφέρουσιν (Calvin, Er. Schmid, Wolf, Heinrichs, Bleek, de Wette, Bloomfield, and others), in which latter case the words would have to be resolved by ταῖς θυσίαις, ἃς κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν τὰς αὐτὰς προσφέρουσιν, or something similar. But κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν is rather to be taken in intimate combination with ταῖς αὐταῖς: with the same sacrifices every year. The author forebore writing ταῖς αὐταῖς κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν θυσίαις, in order that he might accentuate each notion equally strongly. As, moreover, with κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν in this place, so also elsewhere with adverbs which in point of meaning may be compared with it, such as ἀεί, πολλάκις, etc., a transposing is nothing rare. Comp. Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 514 f.

    ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις] Those meant are, as is required by κατʼ ἐνιαυτόν (comp. also Hebrews 10:4), only the sacrifices on the great day of atonement, not also the daily sacrifices of propitiation (Hebrews 10:11), as Böhme, Stein, and others suppose.

    προσφέρουσιν] sc. the Levitical high priests. Wrongly Hofmann (Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 446), who in general has entirely failed in his interpretation of the statement:(96) the προσερχόμενοι.

    εἰς τὸ διηνεκές] Note of time to προσφέρουσιν. If we should seek, with Paulus, Lachmann, and Hofmann, l.c., to conjoin εἰς τὸ διηνεκές with that which follows, the relative clause ἃς προσφέρουσιν would be deprived of all signification.

    τοὺς προσερχομένους] those who approach God through the medium of the Levitical priests, thus identical with τοὺς λατρεύοντας, Hebrews 10:2; Hebrews 9:9.

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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/hebrews-10.html. 1832.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    Hebrews 10:1. σκιὰν, shadow) The antithesis is εἰκόνα, image.— αὐτὴν την εἰκόα, the very image) the archetype, the original and solid image, ch. Hebrews 9:24, note. The shadow,(56) although it was the prelude of future events, did not however precede, as in a picture, but followed a little after. See by all means ch. Hebrews 8:5.— κατʼ ἐνιαυτὸν, yearly) This refers to the whole sentence to the end of the verse.— ταῖς αὐταῖς, with the same) the same, not in the number, but in the kind of sacrifices.— ἃς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς, which they offer continually) offer, viz. those who offer, who draw near and perform the service. They offer for ever; that is, they do not cease to offer, nor will they cease, unless they be compelled.— οὐδέποτε δύναται, never can) So. Hebrews 10:11.

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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/hebrews-10.html. 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    HEBREWS CHAPTER 10

    Hebrews 10:1-4 The sacrifices of the law, being often repeated,

    could not take away sins.

    Hebrews 10:5-9 The abolition of them, and substitution of Christ’s

    body in their stead, foretold by the psalmist,

    Hebrews 10:10-18 by the offering of which body once for all we obtain

    perfect remission.

    Hebrews 10:19-25 An exhortation to steadfastness in the faith, and to

    love and good works.

    Hebrews 10:26-31 The danger of a wilful relapse after having received

    the knowledge of the truth,

    Hebrews 10:32-39 and of forfeiting the reward of a good beginning for

    want of perseverance.

    For: this for is connecting this to the foregoing discourse, and is a further improvement of the argument laid down, Heb 9, proving the necessity and excellency of the one sacrifice offered by Christ for sinners unto God, from the weakness of all the legal ones. For if all the multitude of them were not able to take away sins, and Christ’s one offering is mighty to abolish them, and to perfect all who use it, then not these legal ones, but his is necessary to be valued by the Hebrews, and preferred to that end; the demonstration of which takes up from Hebrews 10:1-18 of this chapter.

    The law; the whole Mosaical economy given from God to Israel by him in the wilderness of Sinai; priesthood, covenant, sacrifices, and services, which that did contain.

    Having a shadow of good things to come: see Hebrews 8:5. A shadow is lower than an image, and of another kind from the reality or substance; a dark, obscure representation sentation of what was to fulfil them, viz. of Christ, with all his ministry and privileges attending his covenant, both for time and eternity; this the Mosaical law-real comprehended, but all in shadow-work.

    And not the very image of the things; they are not the very essence and substance themselves of these things, the pattern, or real sampler, but a shadowy representation; they lead their users to Christ and his matters, which they represented, but were not the substantial good things themselves. So image is read, 1 Corinthians 15:49, we have borne the image of the earthy Adam, that is, his nature.

    Can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect: the legal sacrifices are not only impotent in respect of their constitution, but of their very nature, being only shadows, so as they cannot render a soul complete, either in respect of justification or sanctification; they could not free any either from the guilt or punishment of sin at present, much less eternally: with all the renovation of them either on the day of atonement yearly, or those daily offered by them, though they should continue to be offered for ever, yet could they not perfect either the priests ministering, or those for whom they ministered, who were externally humbling themselves on the expiation day; they being designed only to point the people to this better sacrifice of Christ, which was to perfect them, that work being so noble, and above, the power of shadows to perform.

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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/hebrews-10.html. 1685.

    Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

    тень См. пояснение к 8:5. Греческое слово, переведенное как «тень», обозначает бледное изображение по сравнению с четким и ясным. Слова «самый образ», с другой стороны, обозначают эту четкую и ясную копию (ср. Кол. 2:17). благ См. пояснение к 9:11. совершенными Слово это постоянно используется в Послании к Евреям когда говорится о спасении. См. пояснения к 5:14; 7:11; 9:9. Несмотря на то, что жившие под законом желали приблизиться к Богу, система левитов не позволяла им войти в Его святое присутствие (ср. Пс. 14:1; 15:11; 23:3, 4).

    (10:1-18) Жертва Иисуса была принесена раз и навсегда, превосходя все жертвы левитов.

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    MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/hebrews-10.html.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    The law; the ceremonial law, or Jewish economy.

    A shadow; an emblem of the blessings of the gospel, but not the blessings themselves, or even an exact likeness of them.

    The comers thereunto; to the service prescribed by the law.

    Perfect, that is, as elsewhere expressed, "perfect as pertaining to the conscience," chap Hebrews 9:9. See also below, verses Hebrews 10:2; Hebrews 10:22. It could not cleanse the consciences of the worshippers from a sense of guilt.

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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/hebrews-10.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

    CONTENTS

    In this Chapter the Inefficacy of the Law, and the Sufficiency of the Gospel are stated, The Lord Jesus, is most blessedly represented, under the Spirit of Prophecy, as coming for the Salvation of his People. The gracious Encouragement, of drawing nigh by his Blood.

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    Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/hebrews-10.html. 1828.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    ‘For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually (or ‘in perpetuity’), make perfect those who draw near.’

    For the fact is that the old ceremonial Law could not make men perfect so that they could come openly and without restraint before God, because it dealt in shadows, in what were only partial representations of the full reality. The outward purpose of the full Law was to make men perfect before God, but it could only partially achieve it because it was not in itself sufficient. It served its purpose until men were more in a position to receive the full truth, the reality, ‘the very image (full and accurate representation) of the thing’.

    And one reason why it could only partially succeed was that it only contained within it a shadow of the good things to come, a partial, clouded representation (as of God at Sinai) but not the full reality. The ‘good things’ include such good things as full forgiveness of sins, fullness of spiritual life, understanding of truth in the heart, and the ability to approach God directly and walk with Him. And these were to be introduced through the Coming One, through Jesus, and His perfect life and teaching, and through Who He is as made known to men, and through His equally perfect sacrifice of Himself. The Law could not contain a true image of those things. It simply portrayed shadows, a visible but vague outline of the real thing, which was partial and had no lasting substance and was therefore eventually to pass away as all shadows do when the sun comes to its height.

    It did this through an earthly sanctuary, with its sacred furniture, and its continuously active priesthood, with its message of ‘come, but do not come too close’, and its ever continuing sacrificial system which endlessly and unceasingly made offerings for sin. All this brought home the holiness and mercy of God. But they were shadows of the truth (although far better than the nations around enjoyed). They could not accomplish the reality. They were like a vague dark shape resulting from a partially revealed light, a promise of what might be, without giving a full, true illumination. Rather than bringing men right into God’s presence they kept them at a safe distance from Him, (although this in itself revealed something about Him), while still allowing limited approach on the right terms. They said, ‘thus far and no further’. For they could never achieve the end of perfecting God’s people sufficiently for them to come directly under the searching eye of a holy God. They could never perfect them so that they could enjoy a perfect relationship with the Holy One. And this was because they failed to fully remove men’s sin or transform men and did not reveal the full true image, the heavenly reality. Thus they could not bring men fully to God. And this was especially true of the sacrifices which were offered continually year by year on the Day of Atonement.

    It may be asked, in that case why did God introduce them to these sacrifices and this ritual? While we cannot enter fully into the mystery of God’s ways, for not all is known to us, the answer undoubtedly partly lies in their inability to grasp anything more at that time, and in their unfitness to receive it. Truth had to be revealed on the basis of what they could appreciate. And God clearly saw it as best to reveal it under conditions that they could understand because it was in some way related to what they saw around them.

    At that stage they had no conception of Heaven, no real conception of the holiness of God, no deep conception of sin. (Many of them, the mixed multitude (Exodus 12:38) had no background at all in the things of Yahweh). It was through these very sacrifices and ritual, and the history that followed, that such conceptions were slowly built up. They were a preparation for what was to come. Indeed we must remember that when something of the greater reality was first revealed to them through the glory of God on the face of Moses, they pleaded for it to be hidden from them. They did not want to come too close to God.

    Furthermore we must remember that they also had to be wooed from the worship of those round about them. Had they not had a ritual that was as good as, and even better than, that of others they would have been constantly tempted to stray as they saw what others seemed to have (as they in fact later did because they were unable to trust God). But at the same time as they seemingly shared the experience of those around them, they did so with the knowledge that their God was invisible, that He was not like any earthly parallel, that He was not a part of nature, and that He was God over all while having a personal interest in them. And they were made aware of the awfulness of sin, and that there was a God-provided way back to Him when they did sin. They were made aware of the moral dimension and that it was closely connected with Who and What their God was. It is doubtful whether at that stage and under those conditions they could have taken in any more.

    We must consider how even today, when we have the greater truth, men still seek to depend on, and are led astray by, great buildings and a ritual that can blind men to the truth about God. They still seek after material rather than spiritual worship. How much more then in their day. If they had had nothing similar they would have seen the pagan temples, the pagan ceremonials, and in large numbers would have been drawn to them and away from God’s Law.

    Furthermore the ritual that they were given did lead those whose hearts were right in the right way. Not for them idolatrous representations of gods that were no gods. Not for them gods who could be manipulated and controlled. Not for them gods which could be easily made, and as easily broken. Rather they knew God as One Who could not be too easily approached and manipulated. One Who was in control rather than being controlled by them. Thus it was for their good, and was certainly sufficient, for those whose hearts were right were enabled to find forgiveness (on the basis of what their offerings pointed forward to) and to come to a deeper knowledge of God than they had previously had. As with the Psalmists, there were those who knew God intimately in their hearts and who walked with Him daily. And that was why the prophets had to prophesy of heavenly things in earthly terms. Which is why those who even now cannot see this have invented a future Millennium. But the fuller perfection awaited a future day, the days of the Messiah, and now that age has come nothing further is required but the eternal kingdom in which our present experience comes to full fruition.

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    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/hebrews-10.html. 2013.

    Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

    The very nature of the Mosaic Law made it impossible to bring believers into intimate relationship with God since it dealt with externals.

    "Both Paul and our author speak of the law as "a shadow"; but whereas Paul in Colossians 2:17 has in mind the legal restrictions of Old Testament times (food-laws and regulations about special days), our author is thinking more especially of the law prescribing matters of priesthood and sacrifice in relation to the wilderness tabernacle and the Jerusalem temple." [Note: Bruce, The Epistle ..., p226.]

    "The "shadow" [Gr. skia] then is the preliminary outline that an artist may make before he gets to his colors, and the eikon [lit. image, "form"] is the finished portrait. The author is saying that the law is no more than a preliminary sketch. It shows the shape of things to come, but the solid reality is not there." [Note: Morris, p95]

    "Make perfect" does not mean to make sinless but to make acceptable to God. Jesus Christ provided perfect cleansing for us by His death, as the following verses show.

    "This verse (and in fact the whole chapter) continues our writer"s argument regarding the superiority of the sacrifice of Christ over the Mosaic rites." [Note: Jeffrey R. Sharp, "Typology and the Message of Hebrews," East Asia Journal of Theology4:2 (1986):100.]

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    Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/hebrews-10.html. 2012.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Hebrews 10:1. For—a particle that connects the argument with the last verses of chap. 9. The sacrifice of Christ will not be repeated, we are told in Hebrews 9:28. Nor need it, is the statement here

    the law having, as we know it has, a shadow only—a mere outline of the good things which belong to the world to come (chap. Hebrews 6:5), of which Christ is High Priest (Hebrews 9:11), not the very image—the very form—of the things, i.e the heavenly realities themselves (comp. Romans 8:29), they can never—at any time or anyhow—with the same sacrifices year by year which they offer continually—words that describe the ever-recurring cycle of the same sacrifices for sin—make perfect those who are ever drawing nigh to God.

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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/hebrews-10.html. 1879-90.

    Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

    Hebrews 10:1. The apostle, in order to display Christ’s dignity as a High-Priest, having illustrated what he affirmed, (Hebrews 8:7,) namely, that the Levitical priests worshipped God in the tabernacle with the representations of the services to be performed by Christ in heaven; also having contrasted the ineffectual services performed by these priests in the tabernacle on earth, with the effectual services performed by Christ in heaven; and the covenant of which they were the mediators, with the covenant of which Christ is the Mediator; and the blessings procured by the services of the Levitical priests in the earthly tabernacle, with the blessings procured by the services performed by Christ in heaven; he, in the beginning of this chapter, as the necessary consequence of these things, infers, that since the law contained nothing but a shadow, or emblematical representation, of the blessings to come, through the services of the greater and more perfect heavenly tabernacle, and not these blessings themselves, it never could, with the same emblematical sacrifices which were offered annually by the high-priest on the day of atonement, make those who came to these sacrifices perfect in respect of pardon. Thus, For, &c. — As if he had said, From all that has been advanced, it appears that the law — The Mosaic dispensation; being a bare unsubstantial shadow of good things to come — Of gospel blessings and gospel worship; and not the very image — The substantial, solid representation, or complete delineation; of the things, can never, with the same kind of sacrifices — Though continually repeated; make the comers thereunto perfect. In the terms shadow and image, there seems to be an allusion, as Doddridge observes, “to the different state of a painting, when the first sketch only is drawn, and when the picture is finished; or to the first sketch of a painting, when compared with what is yet more expressive than even the completest picture, and exact image:” or between the shadow of a man, made by his body’s intercepting the sun’s rays, and a good portrait or statue of him, or the reflection of his person in a mirror. The good things of which the law contained only a shadow, were, 1st, The cleansing of the mind of believers from evil dispositions, by the doctrines of the gospel, and by the influences of the Spirit of God. Of this the washings and purifications of the bodies of the Israelites, enjoined in the law, were a shadow. 2d, That real atonement for sin, which was made by the offering of the body of Christ once for all, Hebrews 10:10. Of this the Levitical atonements, made by the offering of beasts, were a shadow. 3d, The eternal pardon of sin, procured for believers by the atonements which Christ made. Of this the political pardon, obtained for the Israelites by the sacrifice of beasts which the priests offered, was a shadow. 4th, Access to worship God on earth through the blood of Christ with the hope of acceptance. Of this the drawing nigh of the Israelites to worship in the court of the tabernacle, through the blood of the Levitical sacrifices, was a shadow. 5th, The eternal possession of heaven, through believing and obeying the gospel. Of this the continued possession of Canaan, secured to the Israelites by their obedience to the law, was a shadow. Now since the good things which Christ hath obtained for believers through his ministrations in the heavenly tabernacle, were not procured, but only typified, by the ministrations of the high-priests in the tabernacle on earth, it was fit that those shadows should be done away after the things of which they were shadows were accomplished.

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    Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/hebrews-10.html. 1857.

    George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

    ===============================

    [BIBLIOGRAPHY]

    Umbram,...non ipsam imaginem rerum, Greek: skian, ouk auten ten eikona. It seems hard to take Greek: eikona for the things themselves represented; but only to signify, expressam imaginem.

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    Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/hebrews-10.html. 1859.

    John Owen Exposition of Hebrews

    σκιὰν γὰρ ἔχων ὁ νόμος τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, οὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα τῶν πραγμάτων, κατ᾿ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις ἅς προσφέρουσιν εἰς τὸ διηνεκὲς, οὐδέποτε δὺναται τοὺς προσερχομένους τελειῶσαι.

    There is no difficulty in the reading, nor much difference about the translation of the words. Syr., נָמוּסָא גֵיר טְלָנִיהָא אִית הֲוָא בֵה“for the law, a shadow was in it;” לָא הֲוָא קִנוּמָא, “not the substance itself.”

    προσερχομένους, דַּמְקַיְבִין לְהוּן, “that shall offer them.” εἰς τὸ διηνεκές that translator omits, supposing it the same with κατ ᾿ ἐνιαυτόν. But it hath its own signification: “Continenter,” “in assiduum,” “in perpetuum.” “ ῎εχων, “habens,” “obtinens,” “continens.” αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα, “ipsam expressam formam,” “ipsam imaginem.” τελειῶσαι, “sanctificare,” “perfecte sanctificare,” “perfectos facere,” Vulg. Lat.; “make perfect;” “perficere,” “confirmare;” “to perfect,” “to confirm.”

    Hebrews 10:1. — For the law having a shadow of good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offer year by year continually, make the comers thereunto [the worshippers] perfect.

    There are in these words,

    1. A note of inference, giving a connection unto the preceding discourse; “for.”

    2. The subject spoken of; “the law.”

    3. An ascription made unto it; it had “a shadow of good things to come.”

    4. A negation concerning it, derogatory unto its perfection; it had “not the very image of the things” themselves.

    5. An inference or conclusion from both; “can never with those sacrifices,” etc.

    First, The conjunctive particle γάρ, “for,” intimates that what follows or is introduced thereby is an inference from what he had before discoursed, or a conclusion made thereon. And this is the necessity of the sacrifice of Christ. For having declared that he had perfectly expiated sin thereby, and confirmed the new covenant, he concludes from thence and proves the necessity of it, because the legal sacrifices could not effect those ends which they seemed to be appointed for. Wherefore they must be taken away, to give place unto that whereby they were perfectly accomplished. This, therefore, he now proceeds to prove. God having designed the complete consummation or sanctification of the church, that which only made a representation of it, and of the way whereby it was to be done, but could not effect it, was to be removed. For there was an appointed time wherein he would perfectly fulfill the counsel of his infinite wisdom and grace towards the church herein. And at this time, which was now come, a full, clear understanding of the insufficiency of all legal sacrifices for that end was to be given unto it. For he requires not faith and obedience in any, beyond the means of light and understanding which he affords unto them. Therefore the full revelation and demonstration hereof were reserved for this season, wherein he required express faith in the way whereby these things were effected.

    Secondly, The subject spoken of is ὁ νόμος, the law, — תּוֹרָה. That which he immediately intends is the sacrifices of the law, especially those which were offered yearly by a perpetual statute, as the words immediately following do declare. But he refers what he speaks unto the law itself, as that whereby those sacrifices were instituted, and whereon all their virtue and efficacy did depend. They had no more of the one or other but what they had by and from the law. And “the law” here, is the covenant which God made with the people at Sinai, with all the institutions of worship thereunto belonging. It is not the moral law, which originally, and as absolutely considered, had no expiatory sacrifices belonging unto it; nor is it the ceremonial law alone, whereby all the sacrifices of old were either appointed or regulated: but it is the first testament, the first covenant, as it had all the ordinances of worship annexed unto it, as it was the spring and cause of all the privileges and advantages of the church of Israel; and whereunto the moral law as given on mount Sinai, and both the ceremonial law and the judicial also did belong. This he calls “the law,” Hebrews 7:19; and the “covenant” or “testament” completely, Hebrews 9.

    Thirdly, Concerning this law or covenant the apostle declares two things:

    1. Positively, and by way of concession, it had “a shadow of good things to come;” 2. Negatively, that it had “not the very image of the things” themselves: which we must consider together, because they contribute light unto one another.

    These expressions are metaphorical, and have therefore given occasion unto various conjectures about the nature of the allusions in them, and their application unto the present subject-matter. I shall not trouble the reader with a repetition of them; they may be found in most commentators. I shall therefore only fix on that sense of the words which I conceive to be the mind of the Holy Ghost, giving the reasons why I conceive it so to be.

    Both the expressions used and the things intended in them, a “shadow,” and “the very image,” have respect unto the “good things to come.” The relation of the law unto them is that which is declared. Wherefore the true notion of what these good things to come are, will determine what it is to have a shadow of them, and not the very image of the things themselves.

    First, The “good things” intended may be said to be μέλλοντα, either with respect unto the law or with respect unto the gospel; and were so either when the law was given or when this epistle was written. If they were yet to come with respect unto the gospel, and were so when he wrote this epistle, they can be nothing but the good things of heaven and eternal glory. These things were then, are still, and will always be, unto the church militant on the earth, “good things to come;” and are the subject of divine promises concerning future times: “In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began,” Titus 1:2. But this cannot be the sense of the words. For, —

    1. The gospel itself hath not the very image of these things, and so should not herein differ from the law. For that “the very image” of these things is the things themselves shall be immediately declared.

    2. The apostle in this whole discourse designs to prove that the law, with all the rites of worship annexed unto it, was a type of the good things that were really and actually exhibited in and by the gospel, or by the Lord Christ himself in the discharge of his office. Wherefore they are called “good things to come” with respect unto the time of the administration of the law. They were so whilst the law or first covenant was in force, and whilst the institutions of it were continued. They had, indeed, their original in the church, or were “good things to come,” from the first promise. They were more declared so to be, and the certainty of their coming more confirmed, by the promise made unto Abraham. After these promises, and their various confirmations, the law was given unto the people. Howbeit the law did not bring in, exhibit, or make present, the good things so promised, that they should no more yet be to come. They were still “good things to come” whilst the law was in force. Nor was this absolutely denied by the Jews; nor is yet so to this day. For though they place more in the law and covenant of Sinai than God ever placed in them, yet they acknowledge that there are good,things to come promised and fore- signified in the law, which, as they suppose, are not yet enjoyed. Such is the coming of the Messiah; in which sense they must grant that “the law had a shadow of good things to come.”

    Hence it is evident what are those “good things to come;” namely, Christ himself, with all the grace, and mercy, and privileges, which the church receiveth by his actual exhibition and coming in the flesh, upon the discharge of his office. For he himself firstly, principally, and evidently, was the subject of all promises; and whatever else is contained in them is but that whereof, in his person, office, and grace, he is the author and cause. Hence he was signally termed ὁ ὲρχόμενος, — “he who was to come,” “he that should come:” “Art thou he who is to come?” And after his actual exhibition, the denying of him to be so come is to overthrow the gospel, 1 John 4:3.

    And these things are called τὰ ἀγαθά, “these good things,”

    1. Because they are absolutely so, without any alloy or mixture. All other things in this world, however in some respect, and as unto some peculiar end, they may be said to be good, yet are they not so absolutely. Wherefore,

    2. These things only are good things: nothing is good, either in itself or unto us, without them, nor but by virtue of what it receives from them. There is nothing so but what is made so by Christ and his grace.

    3. They are eminently “good things;” those good things which were promised unto the church from the foundation of the world, which the prophets and wise men of old desired to see; the means of our deliverance from all the evil things which we had brought upon ourselves by our apostasy from God. These being evidently “the good things” intended, the relation of the law unto them, namely, that it had the “shadow,” but “not the very image” of them, will also be apparent, The allusion, in my judgment, unto the art of painting, wherein a shadow is first drawn, and afterwards a picture to the life, or the very image itself, hath here no place, nor doth our apostle anywhere make use of such curious similitudes taken from things artificial, and known to very few; nor would he use this among the Hebrews, who of all people were least acquainted with the art of painting. But he declares his intention in another place, where, speaking of the same things, and using some of the same words, their sense is plain and determined: Colossians 2:17, “They are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” “They are a shadow of things to come,” is the same with this, “The law hath a shadow of good things to come;” for it is the law with its ordinances and institutions of worship concerning which the apostle there discourseth, as he doth in this place. Now the “shadow” there intended by the apostle, from whence the allusion is taken, is the shadow of a body in the light or sunshine, as the antithesis declares, “But the body is of Christ.” Now such a shadow is,

    1. A representation of the body. Any one who beholds it, knows that it is a thing which hath no subsistence in itself, which hath no use of its own; only it represents the body, follows it in all its variations, and is inseparable from it.

    2. It is a just representation of the body, as unto its proportion and dimensions. The shadow of any body represents that certain individual body, and nothing else: it will add nothing unto it, nor take anything from it, but, without an accidental hinderance, is a just representation of it; much less will it give an appearance of a body of another form and shape, different from that whereof it is the shadow.

    3. It is but an obscure representation of the body; so as that the principal concernments of it, especially the vigor and spirit of a living body, are not figured nor represented by it.

    Thus is it with the law, or the covenant of Sinai, and all the ordinances of worship wherewith it was attended, with respect unto these “good things to come.” For it must be observed, that the opposition which the apostle makes in this place is not between the law and the gospel, any otherwise but as the gospel is a full declaration of the person, offices, and grace of Christ; but it is between the sacrifices of the law and the sacrifice of Christ himself. Want of this observation hath given us mistaken interpretations of the place.

    This shadow of good things the law had: ἔχων, — “having it.” It obtained it, it was in it, it was inlaid in it, it was of the substance and nature of it; it contained it in all that it prescribed or appointed, some of it in one part, some in another, — the whole in the whole. It had the whole shadow, and the whole of it was this shadow. It was so, —

    1. Because, in the sanction, dedication, and confirmation of it, by the blood of sacrifices; in the tabernacle, with all its holy utensils; in its high priest, and all other sacred administrations; in its solemn sacrifices and services; it made a representation of good things to come. This hath been abundantly manifested and proved in the exposition of the foregoing chapter. And according unto the first property of such a shadow, without this use it had no bottom, no foundation, no excellency of its own. Take the significancy and representation of Christ, his offices and grace, out of the legal institutions, and you take from them all impressions of divine wisdom, and leave them useless things, which of themselves will vanish and disappear. And because they are no more now a shadow, they are absolutely dead and useless.

    2. They were a just representation of Christ only, the second property of such a shadow. They did not signify any thing more or less but Christ himself, and what belongs unto him. He was the idea in the mind of God, when Moses was charged to make all things according to the pattern showed him in the mount. And it is a blessed view of divine wisdom, when we do see and understand aright how every thing in the law belonged unto that shadow which God gave in it of the substance of his counsel in and concerning Jesus Christ.

    3. They were but an obscure representation of these things, which is the third property of a shadow. The glory and efficacy of these good things appeared not visible in them. God by these means designed no further revelation of them unto the church of the old testament but what was in types and figures; which gave a shadow of them, and no more.

    Secondly, This being granted unto the law, there is added thereunto what is denied of it, wherein the argument of the apostle doth consist. It had “not the very image of the things.” The πράγματα are the same with the τὰ ἀγαθὰ μελλοντα before mentioned. The negation is of the same whereof the concession was made, the grant being in one sense, and the denial in another. It had not αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα, — “the very image” itself; — that is, it had not the things themselves; for that is intended by this “image” of them. And the reasons why I so interpret the words are these: —

    1. Take “the image” only for a clear, express delineation and description of the things themselves, as is generally conceived, and we invalidate the argument of the apostle. For he proves that the law by all its sacrifices could not take away sin, nor perfect the church, because it had not this image. But suppose the law to have had this full and clear description and delineation of them, were it never so lively and complete, yet could it not by its sacrifices take away sin. Nothing could do it but the very substance of the things themselves, which the law had not, nor could have.

    2. Where the same truth is declared, the same things are expressly called “the body,” and that “of Christ;” that is, the substance of the things themselves, and that in opposition unto “the shadow” which the law had of them, as it is here also: Colossians 2:17, “Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.” And we are not without cogent reasons to depart from the explication of the metaphor there given us; for these expressions are every way the same. They had not the body, which is Christ.

    3. That is intended which doth completely expiate sin, which doth consummate and perfect the church; which is denied unto the law. Now this was not done by an express and clear declaration of these things, which we acknowledge to be contained in the gospel; but it was done by the things themselves, as the apostle hath proved in the foregoing chapter, and doth further confirm in this; that is, it was done by Christ alone, in the sacrifice of himself.

    4. It is confessed by all that there is an εἰκὼν ἀρχέτυπος, a “substantial image;” so called, not because it is a representation of what it is not, but because it is that whereof somewhat else is an image and representation, as the law in its institutions and sacrifices was of these good things. And this the apostle directs us unto by his emphatical expression, αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα, “ipsissimam rerum imaginem;” “the things themselves.” So it is rendered by the Syriac translation, ‘“ipsam rem,” or “ipsam substantiam;” the “substance itself.” And εἰκών is frequently used in the New Testament in this sense: Romans 1:23, ᾿εν ὁμοιώματι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου, — “Into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man;” that is, into the likeness of a corruptible man. The image of the man is not something distinct from him, something to represent him, but the man himself. See Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Colossians 1:15; Colossians 3:10.

    This, therefore, is that which the apostle denies concerning the law: It had not the actual accomplishment of the promise of good things; it had not Christ exhibited in the flesh; it had not the true, real sacrifice of perfect expiation: it represented these things, it had a shadow of them, but enjoyed not, exhibited not the things themselves. Hence was its imperfection and weakness, so that by none of its sacrifices it could make the church perfect.

    Obs. 1. Whatever there may be in any religious institutions, and the diligent observation of them, if they come short of exhibiting Christ himself unto believers, with the benefits of his mediation, they cannot make us perfect, nor give us acceptation with God. — For,

    1. It was he himself in his own person that was the principal subject of all the promises of old. Hence they who lived not to enjoy his exhibition in the flesh are said to “die in faith,” but “not to receive the promise,”

    Hebrews 11:39. But it is through the promise that all good things are communicated unto us.

    2. Nothing is good or useful unto the church but through its relation unto him. So was it with the duties of religious worship under the old testament. All their use and worth lay in this, that they were shadows of him and his mediation. And that of those in the new testament is, that they are more effcacious means of his exhibition and communication unto us.

    3. He alone could perfectly expiate sin and consummate the state of the church by the sacrifice of himself.

    Fourthly, This being the state of the law, or first covenant, the apostle makes an application of it unto the question under debate in the last words of the verse: “Can never with those sacrifices, which they offer year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect.” We must first speak unto the reading of the words, and then unto the sense and meaning.

    Expositors generally take notice that in the original there is a trajection in the words, or that they are placed out of their proper order; which translators do rectify: κατ᾿ ἐνιαυτὸν ταῖς θυσίαις, — “Every year” (or “yearly”) “with the sacrifices which they offer;” for ταῖς κατ᾿ ἐνιαυτὸν θυσίαις, — “With those sacrifices which they offer year by year,” as we have rendered the words. But the apostle seems to place κατ᾿ ἐνιαυτόν in the entrance of the words to signalize the annual sacrifice, which he principally intended. But there is a great difficulty in the distinction and pointing of the words that follow: εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, “in perpetuum,” “continually,” or “for ever;” that is, say some, which they were so to do indispensably by the law whilst the tabernacle or temple was standing, or those ordinances of worship were in force.

    But neither the signification of the word nor the use of it in this epistle will allow it in this place to belong unto the words and sentence going before; for it doth not anywhere signify a duration or continuance with a limitation. And the apostle is far from allowing an absolutely perpetual duration-unto the law and its sacrifices, were they of what use soever, especially in this place, where he is proving that they were not perpetual, nor had an efficacy to accomplish any thing perfectly; which is the other signification of the word. And it is used only in this epistle, Hebrews 7:3, in this place, and verses 12, 14, of this chapter. But in all these places it is applied only unto the office of Christ, and the efficacy of it in his personal ministry. It is of the same signification with εἰς τὸ παντελές, Hebrews 7:25, “for ever,” “to the uttermost,” “perfectly.” Wherefore that which is affirmed of Christ and his sacrifice, verses 12, 14, of the chapter, is here denied of the law. And the words should be joined with those that follow: “The law by its sacrifices could not perfect for ever” (or “unto the utmost’) “the comers thereunto.”

    In the words thus read there are three things:

    1. The impotency of the law; οὐδέποτε δύναται, — “It can never.”

    2. That with respect whereunto this impotency is charged on it; that is, “the sacrifices which it offered.”

    3. The effect itself denied with respect unto that impotency; which is, “to perfect for ever the comers thereunto.”

    1. The impotency of the law as unto the end mentioned is emphatically expressed, οὐδέποτε δύναται, — “It can never do it:” ‘it can do it by no means, no way; it is impossible it should.’And it is thus expressed to obviate all thoughts in the minds of the Hebrews of all expectations of perfection by the law. For thus they were apt to think and hope, that, by one way and means or another, they might have acceptance with God by the law. Wherefore it was necessary thus to speak unto them who had an inveterate persuasion unto the contrary.

    2. That with respect whereunto this impotency is ascribed unto the law is its “sacrifices” For from them was the perfect expiation of sin to be expected, or from nothing prescribed by the law. To deny this power unto them, is to deny it absolutely unto the whole law, and all its institutions. And these sacrifices are expressed with respect unto their nature, the time of their offering, and those by whom they were offered.

    (1.) For their nature, he says, ταῖς αὐταῖς θυσίαις: “Iisdem sacrificiis;” “iis ipsis hostiis” or “sacrificiis.” Our translation rendereth not the emphasis of the expression. “lis hostiis quas quotannis, — “with the same sacrifices,” or “those sacrifices which were of the same kind and nature.” αὐταῖς is omitted in our translation. ταῖς θυσίαις, is “with those sacrifices;” the article being demonstrative. “The same;” — not individually the same, for they were many, and offered often, or every year, when a sacrifice was offered again materially the same; but they were of the same kind. They could not by the law offer a sacrifice of one kind one year, and a sacrifice of another the next; but the same sacrifices in their substance and essence, in their matter and manner, were annually repeated, without variation or alteration. And this the apostle urgeth, to show that there was no more in any one of them than in another; and what one could not do, could not be done by its repetition, for it was still the same. Great things were effected by these sacrifices: by them was the first covenant consecrated and confirmed; by them was atonement and expiation of sin made, — that is, typically and declaratively; by them were the priests themselves dedicated unto God; by them were the people made holy. Wherefore this impotency being ascribed unto them, it absolutely concludes unto the whole law, with all other privileges and duties of it.

    (2.) He describes them from the time and season of their offering. It was κατ᾿ ἐνιαυτόν, “yearly, every year, year by year.” It is hence manifest what sacrifices he principally intends, namely, the anniversary sacrifices of expiation, when the high priest entered into the most holy place with blood, Leviticus 16. And he instanceth therein, not to exclude other sacrifices from the same censure, but as giving an instance for them all in that which was most solemn, had the most eminent effects, at once respecting the whole church, and that which the Jews principally trusted unto. Had he mentioned sacrifices in general, it might have been replied, that although the sacrifices which were daily offered, or those on especial occasions, might not perfect the worshippers, at least not the whole congregation, yet the church itself might be perfected by that great sacrifice which was offered yearly, with the blood whereof the high priest entered into the presence of God. Accordingly, the Jews have such a saying among them, “That on the day of expiation all Israel was made as righteous as in the day wherein man was first created.” But the apostle, applying his argument unto those sacrifices, and proving their insufficiency unto the end mentioned, leaves no reserve unto any thoughts that it might be attained by other sacrifices which were of another nature and efficacy. And besides, to give the greater cogency unto his argument, he fixeth on those sacrifices which had the least of what he proves their imperfection by. For these sacrifices were repeated only once a-year. And if this repetition of them once a-year proves them weak and imperfect, how much more were those so which were repeated every day, or week, or month!

    (3.) He refers unto the offerers of those sacrifices: “Which they offer,” — that is, the high priests, of whom he had treated in the foregoing chapter.

    And he speaks of things in the present tense. “The law cannot,” and “which they offer:” not “The law could not,” and “which they offered.” The reason hereof hath been before declared. For he sets before the Hebrews a scheme and representation of all their worship at its first institution, that they might discern the original intention of God therein. And therefore he insists only on the tabernacle, making no mention of the temple. So he states what was done at the first giving of the law, and the institution of all its ordinances of worship, as if it were now present before their eyes. And if it had not the power mentioned at their first institution, when the law was in all its vigor and glory, no accession could be made unto it by any continuance of time, any otherwise but in the false imagination of the people.

    3. That which remains of the words is an account of what the law could not do or effect by its sacrifices: “It could not make the comers thereunto perfect for ever.”

    There are in the words,

    (1.) The effect denied.

    (2.) The persons with respect unto whom it is denied.

    (3.) The limitation of that denial.

    (1.) The effect denied; what it cannot do, is τελειῶσαι, — “dedicate,” “consummate, “consecrate,” “perfect,” “sanctify.” Of the meaning of the word in this epistle I have spoken often before. As also, I have showed at large what that τελείωσις is which God designed unto the church in this world, wherein it did consist, and how the law could not effect it. See the exposition on Hebrews 7:11. Here it is the same with τελειῶσαι κατὰ συνείδησιν, Hebrews 9:9, — “perfect as pertaining unto the conscience;” which is ascribed unto the sacrifice of Christ, verse 14. Wherefore the word principally in this place respects the expiation of sin, or the taking away the guilt of it by atonement; and so the apostle expounds it in the following verses, as shall be declared.

    (2.) Those with respect unto whom this power is denied unto the law are προσερχόμενοι; say we, “the comers thereunto; “accedentes.” The expression is every way the same with that of Hebrews 9:9, τελειῶσαι κατὰ συνείδησιν τὸν λατρεύσντα. οἱ λατρεύοντες and οἱ προσερχόμενοι, “the worshippers” and “the comers,” are the same, as is declared Hebrews 9:2-3; those who make use of the sacrifices of the law in the worship of God, who approach unto him by sacrifices. And they are thus expressed by Lord comers,” partly from the original direction given about the observation, and partly from the nature of the service itself. The first we have, Leviticus 1:2, אָדָם כִּיאּיַקִרִינ מִכֶּם קָרְבָּן.

    The word signifies “to draw nigh,” “to come near with an oblation:’These are the “comers,” those who draw nigh with, and bring their oblations unto the altar. And such was the nature of the service itself.. It consisted in coming with their sacrifice unto the altar, with the priests approaching unto the sacrifice; in all which an access was made unto God. Howbeit the word here is of a larger signification, nor is it to be limited unto them who brought their own sacrifices, but extends unto all that came to attend unto the solemnity of them; whereby, according to God’s appointment, they had a participation in the benefit of them. For respect is had unto the anniversary sacrifice, which was not brought by any, but was provided for all. But as the priests were included in the foregoing words, “which they offer;” so by these “comers,” the people are intended, for whose benefit these sacrifices were offered. For, as was said, respect is had unto the great anniversary sacrifice, which was offered in the name and on the behalf of the whole congregation. And those, if any, might be made perfect by the sacrifices of the law, namely, those that came unto God by them, or through the use of them, according unto his institution.

    (3.) That wherein the law failed, as unto the appearance it made of the expiation of sin, was that it could not effect it εἰς τὸ διηνεκές, “absolutely, completely,” and “for ever.” It made an expiation, but it was temporary only, not for ever. It did so both in respect unto the consciences of the worshippers and the outward effects of its sacrifices. Their effect on the consciences of the worshippers was temporary; for a sense of sin returned on them, which forced them unto a repetition of the same sacrifices again, as the apostle declares in the next verse. And as unto the outward effects of them, they consisted in the removal of temporal punishments and judgments, which God had threatened unto the transgressors of the old covenant. This they could reach unto, but no farther. To expiate sin fully, and that with respect unto eternal punishment, so as to take away the guilt of sin from the consciences, and all punishments from the persons of men, — which is to “perfect them for ever,” which was done by the sacrifice of Christ, — this they could not do, but only represent what was to be done afterwards.

    If any shall think meet to retain the ordinary distinction of the words, and refer εἰς τὸ διηνεκές to what goes before, so taking the word adverbially, “they offer them year by year continually,” then the necessity of the annual repetition of those sacrifices is intended in it. This they did, and this they were to do always whilst the tabernacle was standing, or the worship of the law continued. And from the whole verse sundry things may be observed.

    Obs. 2. Whatever hath the least representation of Christ, or relation unto him, the obscurest way of teaching the things concerning his person and grace, whilst it is in force, hath a glory in it. — He alone in himself originally bears the whole glory of God in the worship and salvation of the church; and he gives glory unto all institutions of divine worship. The law had but a shadow of him and his office, yet was the ministration of it glorious. And much more is that of the gospel and its ordinances so, if we have faith to discern their relation unto him, and experience of his exhibition of himself and the benefits of his mediation unto us by them. Without this they have no glory, whatever order or pomp may be applied unto their outward administration.

    Obs. 3. Christ and his grace were the only good things, that were absolutely so, from the foundation of the world, or the giving of the first promise. — In and by them there is not only a deliverance from the curse, which made all things evil; and a restoration of all the good that was lost by sin, in a sanctified, blessed use of the creatures; but an increase and addition is made unto all that was good in the state of innocency, above what can be expressed. Those who put such a-valuation on the meaner, uncertain enjoyment of other things, as to judge them their “good things,” their “goods,” as they are commonly called, so as not to see that all which is absolutely good is to be found in him alone; much more they who seem to judge almost all things good besides, and Christ with his grace good for nothing; will be filled with the fruit of their own ways, when it is too late to change their minds.

    Obs. 4. There is a great difference between the shadow of good things to come, and the good things themselves actually exhibited and granted unto the church. This is the fundamental difference between the two testaments, the law and the gospel, from whence all others do arise, and whereinto they are resolved. Some, when they hear that there was justification, sanctification, and eternal life, to be obtained under the old covenant and its administrations, by virtue of the promise which they all had respect unto, are ready to think that there was no material difference between the two covenants. I have spoken at large hereunto in the eighth chapter. I shall now only say, that he who sees not, who finds not a glory, excellency, and satisfaction, producing peace, rest, and joy in his soul, from the actual exhibition of these good things, as declared and tendered in the gospel, above what might be obtained from an obscure representation of them as future, is a stranger unto gospel light and grace.

    Obs. 5. The principal interest and design of them that come to God, is to have assured evidence of the perfect expiation of sin. — This of old they came unto God by the sacrifices of the law for; which could only represent the way whereby it was to be done. Until assurance be given hereof, no sinner can have the least encouragement to approach unto God. For no guilty person can stand before him. Where this foundation is not laid in the soul and conscience, all attempts of access unto God are presumptuous. This, therefore, is that which the gospel in the first place proposeth unto the faith of them that do receive it.

    Obs. 6. What cannot be effected for the expiation of sin at once by any duty or sacrifice, cannot be effected by its reiteration or repetition. — Those generally who seek for atonement and acceptation with God by their own duties, do quickly find that no one of them will effect their desire. Wherefore they place all their confidence in the repetition and multiplication of them; what is not done at one time, they hope may be done at another; what one will not do, many shall. But after all, they find themselves mistaken. For, —

    Obs. 7. The repetition of the same sacrifices doth of itself demonstrate their insufficiency unto the end sought after. — Wherefore those of the Roman church who would give countenance unto the sacrifice of the mass, by affirming that it is not another sacrifice, but the very same that Christ himself offered, do prove, if the argument of the apostle here insisted on be good and cogent, an insufficiency in the sacrifice of Christ for the expiation of sin; for so he affirms it is with all sacrifices that are to be repeated, whereof he esteems the repetition itself a sufficient demonstration.

    Obs. 8. God alone limiteth the ends and efficacy of his own institutions. — It may be said, that if these sacrifices did not make perfect them that came unto God by them, then their so coming unto him was lost labor, and to no purpose. But there were other ends and other uses of this their coming unto God, as we have declared; and unto them all they were effectual. There never was, there never shall be, any loss in what is done according unto the command of God. Other things, however we may esteem them, are but hay and stubble, which have no power or efficacy unto any spiritual ends.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Owen, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "John Owen Exposition of Hebrews". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/joc/hebrews-10.html. 1862.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    not, &c. = not itself (emph.)

    image. Greek. eikon. See Romans 1:23.

    never. Greek. oudepote. See Hebrews 10:11.

    year, &c. Greek. kat" eniauton, as Hebrews 9:25.

    continually. Greek. eis to dienekes. App-151.

    make . . . perfect. Greek. teleioo. App-125.

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    Bibliographical Information
    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/hebrews-10.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    Instead of the daily ministry of priests, Christ's service is perfected, by the one sacrifice, whence He now sits on Gods right hand as Priest-King, until all His foes shall be subdued unto Him. Thus the new covenant (Hebrews 8:8-12) is inaugurated, whereby the law is written on the heart, so that an offering for sin is needed no more. Wherefore we ought to draw near the Holiest in firm faith and love: fearful of the awful results of apostasy; looking for the recompense at Christ's coming.

    Previously the oneness of Christ's offering was shown: now is shown its perfection, contrasted with the law-sacrifices.

    Having - inasmuch, as it has but 'the shadow, not the very image;' i:e., exact likeness, reality, such as the Gospel has. The "image" [ eikona (Greek #1504)] is the archetype (cf. Hebrews 9:24) of those heavenly verities of which the law furnished but a shadowy outline. The law is the primer, teaching the elements of Christianity by object-lessons (cf. 2 Corinthians 3:13-14; 2 Corinthians 3:18). As Christ is 'the express image (character) of the Father's person' (Hebrews 1:3), so the Gospel is the very realization to us of the heavenly archetype, of which the law was drawn as a sketch, or outline copy (Hebrews 8:5). The law was a continual acted prophecy, showing the divine design that its counterparts should come, and proving their truth when they came. Thus the imperfect and continued sacrifices before Christ foreshowed, and now prove the reality of Christ's one perfect antitypical expiation.

    Good things to come (Hebrews 9:11) - belonging to 'the world (age) to come.' Good things in part made present by faith, and to be fully realized hereafter in perfect enjoyment. 'As Christ's Church on earth is a prediction of the future life, so the Old Testament economy is a prediction of the Christian Church' (Lessing). In relation to the law's temporal goods, the Gospel's spiritual and eternal goods are "good things to come." Colossians 2:17, calls legal ordinances 'the shadow,' and Christ "the body."

    Never, [ oudepote (Greek #3763)] - at any time (Hebrews 10:11).

    With those sacrifices, [ tais (Greek #3588) autais (Greek #846)] - 'with the same sacrifices.'

    Year by year - referring to the whole sentence, not merely to "which they (the priests) offered" [ prosferousin (Greek #4374), 'offer']. The law year by year, by the repetition of the same sacrifices, testifies its inability to perfect the worshippers-namely, on the YEARLY day of atonement. The "daily" sacrifices are, referred to, Hebrews 10:11.

    Continually, [ eis (Greek #1519) to (Greek #3588) dieenekes (Greek #1336)] - 'continuously.' Implying, they offer a toilsome and, ineffectual 'continuous' round of the 'same' atonement sacrifices "year by year."

    Comers thereunto - the worshippers (the whole people) coming to God in the person of their representative, the high priest.

    Perfect - fully meet man's needs as to justification and sanctification (note, Hebrews 9:9).

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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews-10.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (1) A Shadow of good things to come.—These words have already come before us; the “shadow” in Hebrews 8:5, and “the good things to come” in the ordinary reading of Hebrews 9:11.

    Not the very image.—The antithesis is hardly what we should have expected. The word “image” is indeed consistent with the very closest and most perfect likeness; but why is the contrast to “shadow” expressed by a word which cannot denote more than likeness, and not by a reference to the things themselves? The answer would seem to be that, from the very nature of the “good things to come,” the law could not be conceived of as having the things themselves; but had it possessed “the very image” of them, a representation so perfect might have been found to bring with it equal efficacy.

    Can never with those sacrifices.—It is difficult to ascertain the exact Greek text in the latter half of this verse. With the ordinary reading the general construction of the sentence is that which the Authorised version represents, “For the law . . . can never . . . make perfect.” The better MSS., however, read “they can,” a change which introduces some irregularity of construction: the pronoun “they” must probably in this case be understood of the priests. The order of the Greek is also very peculiar. Two translations of the verse (with the changed reading) may be given: (1) “They can never with the same sacrifices year by year which they offer continually make them that draw nigh perfect.” (2) “They can never year by year, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually, make them that draw nigh perfect.” The difference between the two renderings will be easily seen. The former makes the whole sentence to relate to the annual sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, and gives to “continually” almost the same meaning as “year by year.” The meaning of the latter is that by the annual sacrifices, which are the same as those which the priests are offering for the people day by day (for the sacrifice of the Day of Atonement did not in itself differ from the ordinary sin offering), they cannot make the worshippers perfect. The latter translation agrees best with the original, and conveys a very striking thought. It is open, however, to a very serious objection—that it separates the verse into two incongruous parts. That annual sacrifices not different in kind from the sin offerings which were presented day by day (and which the very institution of the Day of Atonement declared to be imperfect) could not bring to the worshippers what they needed, is an important argument; but it has no connection with the first words of the verse. Hence, though the Greek does not very readily yield the former translation, it is probably to be preferred. With the expression “them that draw nigh” or “approach” (to God) comp. Hebrews 7:26, where the same word is used. On “make perfect” see Hebrews 7:11; Hebrews 9:9.

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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/hebrews-10.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
    having
    8:5; 9:9,11,23; Colossians 2:17
    with
    3,4,11-18; 7:18,19; 9:8,9,25
    perfect
    Reciprocal: Exodus 40:26 - GeneralLeviticus 9:16 - manner;  Leviticus 16:30 - GeneralPsalm 119:18 - wondrous;  Song of Solomon 2:9 - he standeth;  Song of Solomon 2:17 - the shadows;  Isaiah 29:1 - add;  Ezekiel 46:15 - a continual;  Luke 22:16 - until;  Luke 24:44 - in the law;  John 19:30 - It is;  Acts 6:14 - change;  Romans 3:21 - being;  Romans 8:3 - For what;  1 Corinthians 10:4 - that Rock;  2 Corinthians 3:13 - to the;  Galatians 3:24 - the law;  Ephesians 2:15 - the law;  1 Timothy 6:21 - have;  Hebrews 7:11 - perfection;  Hebrews 7:16 - the law

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/hebrews-10.html.

    E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

    The difference between shadow and very image is the same as between type and antitype, or between form and substance. The sacrificial system under the law was a figure of the one under Christ. Can never . . . make . . . perfect which means complete. (See the comments at verse4.)

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    Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/hebrews-10.html. 1952.

    Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews

    For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    For the law...—The law is here described as a shadow, and not an image. Here the law, as in many other places, denotes the whole of the Mosaic dispensation. It had been previously characterized as standing only in meats: " Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation." Chap. Under these carnal ordinances, spiritual and heavenly things were concealed. The carnal ordinances constituted the vail on Moses" face, which concealed the glory of his countenance. There is an important distinction between a shadow and an image. A shadow is a mere outline, having only two proportions, length and breadth; an image has three—length, breadth, and thickness, and gives an exact representation of the object. Should it be asked whether it would not have been better had the law been an image of the new and spiritual dispensation, the reply is easy, By no means. Had this been the case, the people to whom it was given must have been gathered from all nations; and this would have defeated one important end of the separation of Israel, that the faithfulness of God in fulfilling his promise to Abraham, that he should be the progenitor of Christ, might be manifest. Again, as believers under the Gospel have but one priest, there could only have been one under the law. There would also have been but one sacrifice, one baptism. Once more the law must have been written on the hearts of all the people of the old, because this is the privilege of all the children of the new covenant. In short, every purpose of the giving of the law would have been made void; and, long before the expiration of the two thousand years which elapsed between the call of Abraham and the coming of Christ, the promise of the appearing of the Savior would have been forgotten.

    But the wisdom of God, by the separation of the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, redeeming them from bondage, feeding them in the wilderness, and putting them in possession of a land flowing with milk and honey, appointing a priesthood in the family of Aaron, and, in connexion with this, establishing the daily and yearly sacrifices, purifications, and festivals, kept up during the space of fifteen hundred years a memorial of the new and more glorious dispensation under which God's people should be made free by the truth, should go up through the wilderness, should pass through the valley of the shadow of death, and inherit the better country.

    Can never.—The sacrifices which were constantly offered could never make the worshippers [Those who are described as the comers thereto, verse1, are spoken of as worshippers, verse2.] perfect by removing their guilt and obtaining their acceptance with God.

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    Haldane, Robert. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Haldane's Exposition on the Epistle to the Romans and Hebrews". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hal/hebrews-10.html. 1835.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    1.For—Referring to the repeated declarations reigning through Hebrews 9:24-28, that Christ has made a decisive, perfecting atonement, once for all.

    Shadow—A dim representation.

    Good things to come—That is, to come in this our Messianic dispensation. See notes on Hebrews 2:5; Hebrews 6:5; Hebrews 9:11.

    Image of the things—That is, image, consisting of the things; the form filled with the substance. For though the good things of the present dispensation look forward to a higher completion hereafter, yet in Christ and his atonement it possesses the shape and substance of that future glory.

    Year by year—The yearly offering on the great day of atonement.

    Continually—Without interruption of the annual rite.

    Perfect—Pure from the guilt and power of sin; right before God; fit for heaven.

     

     

     

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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/hebrews-10.html. 1874-1909.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    Hebrews 10:1. ’ The intimates that we have here a further explanation of the finality of Christ’s one sacrifice (Hebrews 9:28) and therefore of its superiority to the sacrifices of the law. The explanation consists in this that the law had only “a shadow of the good things that were to be, not the very image of the things”. is in the emphatic place, as that characteristic of the law which determines its inadequacy. “A shadow” suggests indefiniteness and unsubstantially; a mere indication that a reality exists. suggests what is in itself substantial and also gives a true representation of that which it images. “The brings before us under the conditions of space, as we can understand it, that which is spiritual” (Westcott). So Kübel, etc. The contrast is between a bare intimation that good things were to be given, and an actual presentation of these good things in an apprehensible form. It is implied that this latter is given in Christ; but what is asserted is, that the law did not present the coming realities in a form which brought them within the comprehension of the people. [Bleek cites from Cicero, De Off., iii. 17, 69, “nos veri juris germanaeque justitiae solidam et expressam effigiem nullam tenemus, umbra et imaginibus utimur”.]

    That the law possessed no more than a shadow of the coming good was exhibited in its constantly renewed sacrifices. belongs to , “with the same annually repeated sacrifices,” further explained and emphasised by the relative clause, , “which they perpetually offer”. ’ the law can never with these perpetually renewed offerings perfect the worshippers”. “No repetition of the shadow can amount to the substance” (Davidson). The proof is given in the following words, Hebrews 10:2: . The constant renewal of the yearly round of sacrifices proves that they were inefficacious, for had the worshippers once been cleansed they would have had no longer any consciousness of sins and would therefore have sought no renewal of sacrifice. , “since,” if the O.T. sacrifices had perfected those who used them. corresponding to , and to of previous verse. ., that is, once delivered from a sense of guilt, cf.Hebrews 9:14, where is also used in same sense as here, the consciousness of sin as barring approach to God. The sinner once cleansed may, no doubt, be again defiled and experience a renewed consciousness of guilt. But in the writer’s view this consciousness is at once absorbed in the consciousness of his original cleansing. Cf.John 13:10. .’ So far from these O.T. sacrifices once for all cleansing the conscience and thus perfecting the worshippers, “by and in them there is a yearly remembrance of sins,” that is, of sins not yet sufficiently atoned for by any past sacrifice. Cf.Numbers 5:15. , and Philo, De Plantat., 25, , . . . This remembrance of sins is , which is most naturally referred to the annual confession of the whole people on the day of Atonement. The remembrance was not of sins previously atoned for but of sins committed since the previous sacrifice; there was no perception that any previous atonement was sufficient for all sin. The underlying ground of this inadequacy being expressed in Hebrews 10:4. .’ “For it is impossible that the blood of oxen and goats should take away sins”. This obvious truth needs no proof. There is no relation between the physical blood of animals and man’s moral offence. Cf. the Choephori of Æschylus, 70, “all waters, joining together to cleanse from blood the polluted hand, may strive in vain”. , “to take away sins,” in the sense of removing their guilt as in Numbers 14:18, Leviticus 10:17, Romans 11:27.

     

     

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    Bibliographical Information
    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/hebrews-10.html. 1897-1910.

    The Bible Study New Testament

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

     

     

     

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    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/hebrews-10.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    1.For the Law having a shadow, etc. He has borrowed this similitude from the pictorial art; for a shadow here is in a sense different from what it has in Colossians 2:17; where he calls the ancient rites or ceremonies shadows, because they did not possess the real substance of what they represented. But he now says that they were like rude lineaments, which shadow forth the perfect picture; for painters, before they introduce the living colors by the pencil, are wont to mark out the outlines of what they intend to represent. This indistinct representation is called by the Greeks σκιαγραφία, which you might call in Latin, “umbratilem “, shadowy. The Greeks had also the εἰκὼν, the full likeness. Hence also “eiconia” are called images (imagines ) in Latin, which represent to the life the form of men or of animals or of places.

    The difference then which the Apostle makes between the Law and the Gospel is this, — that under the Law was shadowed forth only in rude and imperfect lines what is under the Gospel set forth in living colors and graphically distinct. He thus confirms again what he had previously said, that the Law was not useless, nor its ceremonies unprofitable. For though there was not in them the image of heavenly things, finished, as they say, by the last touch of the artist; yet the representation, such as it was, was of no small benefit to the fathers; but still our condition is much more favorable. We must however observe, that the things which were shown to them at a distance are the same with those which are now set before our eyes. Hence to both the same Christ is exhibited, the same righteousness, sanctification, and salvation; and the difference only is in the manner of painting or setting them forth.

    Of good things to come, etc. These, I think, are eternal things. I indeed allow that the kingdom of Christ, which is now present with us, was formerly announced as future; but the Apostle’s words mean that we have a lively image of future blessings. He then understands that spiritual pattern, the full fruition of which is deferred to the resurrection and the future world. At the same time I confess again that these good things began to be revealed at the beginning of the kingdom of Christ; but what he now treats of is this, that they are not only future blessings as to the Old Testament, but also with respect to us, who still hope for them.

    Which they offered year by year, etc. He speaks especially of the yearly sacrifice, mentioned in Leviticus 16:1, though all the sacrifices are here included under one kind. Now he reasons thus: When there is no longer any consciousness of sin, there is then no need of sacrifice; but under the Law the offering of the same sacrifice was often repeated; then no satisfaction was given to God, nor was guilt removed nor were consciences appeased; were it otherwise there would have been made an end of sacrificing. We must further carefully observe, that he calls those the same sacrifices which were appointed for a similar purpose; for a better notion may be formed of them by the design for which God instituted them, than by the different beasts which were offered.

    And this one thing is abundantly sufficient to confute and expose the subtlety of the Papists, by which they seem to themselves ingeniously to evade an absurdity in defending the sacrifice of the mass; for when it is objected to them that the repetition of the sacrifice is superfluous, since the virtue of that sacrifice which Christ offered is perpetual, they immediately reply that the sacrifice in the mass is not different but the same. This is their answer. But what, on the contrary, does the Apostle say? He expressly denies that the sacrifice which is repeatedly offered, though the same, is efficacious or capable of making an atonement. Now, though the Papists should cry out a thousand times that the sacrifice which Christ once offered is the same with, and not different from what they make daily, I shall still always contend, according to the express words of the Apostle, that since the offerings of Christ availed to pacify God, not only an end was put to former sacrifices, but that it is also impious to repeat the sacrifice. It is hence quite evident that the offering of Christ in the mass is sacrilegious. (164)

    The words, “no more conscience of sins,” are rendered by Beza, “no more conscious of sins;” by Doddridge, “no more consciousness of sins;” and by Stuart, “no longer conscious of sins.” The true meaning is no doubt thus conveyed. We meet with two other instances of conscience , συνειδήσης, being followed by what may be called the genitive case of the object, “conscience of the idol,” i.e., as to the idol, 1 Corinthians 8:7, — “conscience of God,” i.e., as to God, or towards God, 1 Peter 2:19. And here, “conscience of sins,” must mean conscience with reference to sins, i.e., conviction of sins, a conscience apprehensive of what sins deserve. It is a word, says Parkhurst, which “is rarely found in the ancient heathen writers;” but it occurs often in the New Testament, though not but once in the Sept., Ecclesiastes 10:20. Its common meaning is conscience, and not consciousness, though it may be so rendered here, consistently with the real meaning of the passage. Michaelis in his Introduction to the New Testament, is referred to by Parkhurst, as having produced two instances, one from Philo, and the other from Diod. Siculus, in which it means “consciousness.” — Ed

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    Calvin, John. "Commentary on Hebrews 10:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/hebrews-10.html. 1840-57.