Hebrews 10:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming--not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship.

New Living Translation
The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship.

English Standard Version
For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the actual form of those realities, it can never perfect the worshipers by the same sacrifices they continually offer year after year.

International Standard Version
For the Law, being only a reflection of the blessings to come and not their substance, can never make perfect those who come near by the same sacrifices repeatedly offered year after year.

NET Bible
For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
For The Written Law had a shadow in it of good things that were coming. It was not the essence of those matters; because of this, while they were offering those sacrifices every year, they could never perfect those who offered them.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Moses' Teachings with their yearly cycle of sacrifices are only a shadow of the good things in the future. They aren't an exact likeness of those things. They can never make those who worship perfect.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never make perfect those who come by the same sacrifices which they offer year by year continually.

King James 2000 Bible
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 ones approaching perfect.

American King James Version
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.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things; by the selfsame sacrifices which they offer continually every year, can never make the comers thereunto perfect:

Darby Bible Translation
For the law, having a shadow of the coming good things, not the image itself of the things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually yearly, perfect those who approach.

English Revised Version
For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, they can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 to them perfect.

Weymouth New Testament
For, since the Law exhibits only an outline of the blessings to come and not a perfect representation of the things themselves, the priests can never, by repeating the same sacrifices which they continually offer year after year, give complete freedom from sin to those who draw near.

World English Bible
For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near.

Young's Literal Translation
For the law having a shadow of the coming good things -- not the very image of the matters, every year, by the same sacrifices that they offer continually, is never able to make perfect those coming near,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

10:1-10 The apostle having shown that the tabernacle, and ordinances of the covenant of Sinai, were only emblems and types of the gospel, concludes that the sacrifices the high priests offered continually, could not make the worshippers perfect, with respect to pardon, and the purifying of their consciences. But when God manifested in the flesh, became the sacrifice, and his death upon the accursed tree the ransom, then the Sufferer being of infinite worth, his free-will sufferings were of infinite value. The atoning sacrifice must be one capable of consenting, and must of his own will place himself in the sinner's stead: Christ did so. The fountain of all that Christ has done for his people, is the sovereign will and grace of God. The righteousness brought in, and the sacrifice once offered by Christ, are of eternal power, and his salvation shall never be done away. They are of power to make all the comers thereunto perfect; they derive from the atoning blood, strength and motives for obedience, and inward comfort.

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 1-19. - CONCLUDING SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT WITH RESPECT TO CHRIST'S ETERNAL PRIESTHOOD. Verse 1. - For the Law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. The Law is said here to exhibit a shadow (σκιὰν) of the good things to come (τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν), viz. of the "good things" of which Christ is come as "High Priest" (Hebrews 9:11), belonging to the μέλλων αἰών (Hebrews 6:5), μέλλουσα οἰκουμένη (Hebrews 2:5), which is still, in its full realization, future to us, though already inaugurated by Christ, and though we have already tasted the powers of it (Hebrews 6:5). Similarly (Hebrews 8:5) the priests under the Law are said to have served a copy and shadow of the heavenly things; i.e. of the heavenly realities to be revealed in the "coming age." To "shadow" is opposed "very image" (εἰκόνα), which means, not a representation apart from the things (as a statue or portrait may be called an image), but (as emphasized by αὐτὴν) the actual presentment of the things themselves; which were, in fact, archetypal and prior to the shadows of the Law, though their manifestation was reserved to the future age. Such is the sense of εἰκὼν in Colossians 3:10, κατ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν: and Romans 8:29, συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ. (Cf. Colossians 1:15, where Christ is called εἰκὼν τοῦ Θεοῦ τοῦ ἀοράτου: cf. also Colossians 2:17, where σκιὰ is opposed to σῶμα ( σηαδοω to body.) In the latter part of the verse, "they," who "offer," are the priests of the Law; "the comers thereunto" (οἱ προσερχομένοι) are the people who resort to the rites. "Make perfect" (τελειῶσαι) means full accomplishment for them of what is aimed at; in this case, remission of sin, and acceptance after complete atonement. The verb τελειοῦν, though variously applied, signifies always full completion of the purpose in view (cf. Hebrews 7:19, οὐδεν γὰρ ἐτελείωσεν ὁ νόμος). (For its application to Christ himself, see under Hebrews 2:10; 5:9.)

Gill's Exposition of the Entire 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 Jews (p) 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.

(p) Zohar in Gen. fol. 107. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

CHAPTER 10

Heb 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 (Heb 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.

1. 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 Heb 9:24), the original, solid image [Bengel] realizing to us those heavenly verities, of which the law furnished but a shadowy outline before. Compare 2Co 3:13, 14, 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" (Heb 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 (Heb 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—(Heb 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." Col 2:17 calls legal ordinances "the shadow," and Christ "the body."

never—at any time (Heb 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, Heb 10:11.

continually—Greek, "continuously," implying that they offer a toilsome and ineffectual "continuous" round 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 [2573]Heb 9:9).

Hebrews 10:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Christ's Sacrifice Once for All
1For 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. 2Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins?…
Cross References
Romans 8:3
For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,

Colossians 2:17
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Hebrews 7:11
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood--and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood--why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?

Hebrews 7:19
(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.

Hebrews 8:5
They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: "See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain."

Hebrews 9:9
This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper.

Hebrews 9:11
But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation.

Hebrews 10:4
It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Hebrews 10:11
Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

Hebrews 10:14
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.

Hebrews 10:22
let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
Treasury of Scripture

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. See on ch.

Hebrews 8:5 Who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses …

Hebrews 9:9,11,23 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered …

Colossians 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

with.

Hebrews 10:3,4,11-18 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year…

Hebrews 7:18,19 For there is truly a cancellation of the commandment going before …

Hebrews 9:8,9,25 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of …

perfect.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

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Alphabetical: a after and are by can come coming continually draw endlessly For form good has is it law make near never not of offer only perfect realities reason repeated sacrifices same shadow since that The themselves they things this those to very which who worship year

NT Letters: Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow (Heb. He. Hb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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