|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
9:23-28 It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it. Sin would still have been upon us, and have had dominion over us; but Jesus Christ, by one sacrifice, has destroyed the works of the devil, that believers may be made righteous, holy, and happy. As no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from being condemned at the day of judgment, except the atoning sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus.
Verse 24. - For not into holy places made with hands did Christ enter, which are figures (ἀντίτυπα, antitypes) of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of (literally, before the face of) God for us. This verse confirms the view that "the heavenly things" of ver. 23 denoted the heavenly regions into which Christ is entered. Ἅγια at the beginning of the verse may be better translated "holy place" (as at vers. 12 and 25) rather than "places," since here the heavenly counterpart of the holy of holies, as distinguished from the" first tabernacle," appears to be in view, viz. "heaven itself," the heaven of heavens, the immediate presence or "face" of God, the "throne of the Majesty on high," to which Christ passed through the intermediate heavens. There he now (the perpetual now of the new era of accomplished redemption), in his humanity, in behalf of and representing all humanity, beholds for ever the very face of the eternal God, which Moses could not see and live, and of which the typical high priest saw from year to year but the emblem, in transitory glimpses, through intervening clouds of incense. The word ἀντίπυπα, like ὑποδείγματα in ver. 23, expresses the idea of the earthly sanctuary being a visible representation answering to a heavenly reality. The original τύπος (type) was shown to Moses in the mount (Hebrews 8:5); what was constructed by him on the earth below was the antitype to it. The words τύπος and ἀντίτυπος are elsewhere used to express respectively a prophetic figure of a fulfillment to come and the fulfillment itself (as in Romans 5:14 and 1 Peter 3:21, baptism in the latter text being regarded as the ἀντίτυπον of the Deluge), but still with the same idea of the type being prior to the antitype, the latter answering to the former.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands,.... The most holy place in the tabernacle of Moses, or in the temple built by Solomon, and rebuilt by Zerubbabel, and repaired by Herod,
which are the figures of the true; that is, the most holy place in the tabernacle and temple, was a figure of the truth of that type; see Hebrews 9:9 as follows. Josephus (m) suggests the same, when speaking of the most holy place; he says, that it was inaccessible to the priests, that it might be as heaven to God.
But into heaven itself; not the visible heavens, the airy and starry ones, through which he passed, but the third heaven, the habitation of God, angels, and glorified saints: this shows that heaven is a place; that Christ, as man, was out of it when on earth; and that at his ascension he entered into it, having done the work he came about, and that with acceptance: the end of his entrance was
now to appear in the presence of God for us; Christ, as God, was always in his presence, from everlasting; as Mediator, he was with him in the council of peace; while he was here on earth his Father was with him, he was not alone; but now in his human nature he is at his right hand, where he appears before him, as a favourite before his Prince, on the behalf of another, or as an advocate on the behalf of his client: Christ appears in the court of heaven for his elect, by representing their persons; by presenting himself, his blood, sacrifice, and righteousness, before God on their account; by introducing them into the presence of God, and offering up their prayers with the incense of his mediation; by presenting them to himself, and to his Father, and obtaining every blessing for them. And this he does "now", since his entrance; not that he did not appear before God for the saints of the Old Testament, for he was the angel of God's presence then, though he did not appear then in the manner he does now, as the Lamb in the midst of the throne, as if it had been slain; but it denotes the continuance and perpetuity of his appearance for his people; he is ever interceding for them.
(m) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 5. sect. 4. & c. 7. sect. 8.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. Resumption more fully of the thought, "He entered in once into the holy place," Heb 9:12. He has in Heb 9:13, 14, expanded the words "by his own blood," Heb 9:12; and in Heb 9:15-23, he has enlarged on "an High Priest of good things to come."
not … into … holy places made with hands—as was the Holy of Holies in the earthly tabernacle (see on Heb 9:11).
figures—copies "of the true" holiest place, heaven, the original archetype (Heb 8:5).
into heaven itself—the immediate presence of the invisible God beyond all the created heavens, through which latter Jesus passed (see on Heb 4:14; 1Ti 6:16).
now—ever since His ascension in the present economy (compare Heb 9:26).
to appear—To PRESENT Himself; Greek, "to be made to appear." Mere man may have a vision through a medium, or veil, as Moses had (Ex 33:18, 20-23). Christ alone beholds the Father without a veil, and is His perfect image. Through seeing Him only can we see the Father.
in the presence of God—Greek, "to the face of God." The saints shall hereafter see God's face in Christ (Re 22:4): the earnest of which is now given (2Co 3:18). Aaron, the Levitical high priest for the people, stood before the ark and only saw the cloud, the symbol of God's glory (Ex 28:30).
for us—in our behalf as our Advocate and Intercessor (Heb 7:25; Ro 8:34; 1Jo 2:1). "It is enough that Jesus should show Himself for us to the Father: the sight of Jesus satisfied God in our behalf. He brings before the face of God no offering which has exhausted itself, and, as only sufficing for a time, needs renewal; but He himself is in person, by virtue of the eternal Spirit, that is, the imperishable life of His person, now and for ever freed from death, our eternally present offering before God" [Delitzsch in Alford].
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