|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ's blood, and so purified from their defilement.
Verse 22. - And almost (rather, eve may almost say that) all things are according to the Law purified with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission. The essentiality of blood, which is "the life of all flesh," for atonement and consequent remission, is emphatically asserted in Leviticus 17:11, which expresses the principle of the whole sacrificial ritual. The idea seems to be that the life of man is forfeit to Divine justice (cf. Genesis 2:17), and so blood, representing life, must be offered instead of his life for atonement.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood,.... All "except a few things", as the Arabic version renders it; for some things were cleansed by water, and others purged by fire, Numbers 31:23. Some join the word almost with the word purged, as if the sense was, that all things were purged by blood, but not perfectly, only almost; but the former sense is best.
And without shedding of blood is no remission; that is, of sin; there was no typical remission without it; and there can be no real remission but by, the blood of Christ; no instance can be given of pardon without it; if it could have been otherwise, the blood of Christ had not been shed; for so it would seem to be shed in vain, and his satisfaction to be unnecessary; nor is it agreeable to the justice of God to forgive sin without satisfaction; nor is it consistent with his veracity, and faithfulness to his word, Genesis 2:17. It is a common saying with the Jews, and often to be met with in their writings, , "there is no atonement but by blood" (k); by the shedding of blood; not by the shedding of it, as it flows out of the body of the sacrifice, but as it is poured out on the altar; for the pouring of the blood at the four corners, and at the bottom of the altar, were the chief rites required in sacrifices; nor did they reckon expiation to be expiation, unless the altar was moistened by the blood of the sacrifice (l).
(k) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 5. 1. Zebachim, fol. 6. 1. & Menachot, fol. 93. 2.((l) Reland. Heb. Antiqu. par. 3. c. 2. sect. 8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. almost—to be joined with "all things," namely almost all things under the old dispensation. The exceptions to all things being purified by blood are, Ex 19:10; Le 15:5, &c.; 16:26, 28; 22:6; Nu 31:22-24.
without—Greek, "apart from."
shedding of blood—shed in the slaughter of the victim, and poured out at the altar subsequently. The pouring out of the blood on the altar is the main part of the sacrifice (Le 17:11), and it could not have place apart from the previous shedding of the blood in the slaying. Paul has, perhaps, in mind here, Lu 22:20, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."
is—Greek, "takes place": comes to pass.
remission—of sins: a favorite expression of Luke, Paul's companion. Properly used of remitting a debt (Mt 6:12; 18:27, 32); our sins are debts. On the truth here, compare Le 5:11-13, an exception because of poverty, confirming the general rule.
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