Hebrews 10:20
By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
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10:19-25 The apostle having closed the first part of the epistle, the doctrine is applied to practical purposes. As believers had an open way to the presence of God, it became them to use this privilege. The way and means by which Christians enjoy such privileges, is by the blood of Jesus, by the merit of that blood which he offered up as an atoning sacrifice. The agreement of infinite holiness with pardoning mercy, was not clearly understood till the human nature of Christ, the Son of God, was wounded and bruised for our sins. Our way to heaven is by a crucified Saviour; his death is to us the way of life, and to those who believe this, he will be precious. They must draw near to God; it would be contempt of Christ, still to keep at a distance. Their bodies were to be washed with pure water, alluding to the cleansings directed under the law: thus the use of water in baptism, was to remind Christians that their conduct should be pure and holy. While they derived comfort and grace from their reconciled Father to their own souls, they would adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things. Believers are to consider how they can be of service to each other, especially stirring up each other to the more vigorous and abundant exercise of love, and the practice of good works. The communion of saints is a great help and privilege, and a means of stedfastness and perseverance. We should observe the coming of times of trial, and be thereby quickened to greater diligence. There is a trying day coming on all men, the day of our death.By a new and living way - By a new method or manner. It was a mode of access that was till then unknown. No doubt many were saved before the Redeemer came, but the method by which they approached God was imperfect and difficult. The word which is rendered here "new" - πρόσφατον prosphaton - occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It properly means "slain, or killed thereto;" that is, "newly killed, just dead; and then fresh, recent." Passow. It does not so much convey the idea that it is new in the sense that it had never existed before, as new in the sense that it is recent, or fresh. It was a way which was recently disclosed, and which had all the freshness of novelty. It is called a "living way," because it is a method that imparts life, or because it leads to life and happiness. Doddridge renders it "ever-living way," and supposes, in accordance with the opinion of Dr. Owen, that the allusion is to the fact that under the old dispensation the blood was to be offered as soon as it was shed, and that it could not be offered when it was cold and coagulated. The way by Christ was, however, always open. His blood was, as it were, always warm, and as if it had been recently shed. This interpretation seems to derive some support from the word which is rendered "new." See above. The word "living," also, has often the sense of perennial, or perpetual, as when applied to a fountain always running, in opposition to a pool that dries up (see the notes on John 4:10), and the new way to heaven may be called living - in all these respects. It is away that conducts to life. It is ever-living as if the blood which was shed always retained the freshness of what is flowing from the vein. And it is "perpetual" and "constant" like a fountain that always flows - for it is by a sacrifice whose power is perpetual and unchanging.

Which he hath consecrated for us - Margin, "or new made." The word here used means properly to renew, and then to initiate, to consecrate, to sanction. The idea is, that he has dedicated this way for our use; as if a temple or house were set apart for our service. It is a part consecrated by him for the service and salvation of man; a way of access to the eternal sanctuary for the sinner which has been set apart by the Redeemer for this service alone.

Through the veil, that is to say, his flesh - The Jewish high priest entered into the most holy place through the veil that divided the holy from the most holy place. That entrance was made by his drawing the veil aside, and thus the interior sanctuary was laid open. But there has been much difficulty felt in regard to the sense of the expression used here. The plain meaning of the expression is, that the way to heaven was opened by means, or through the medium of the flesh of Jesus; that is, of his body sacrificed for sin, as the most holy place in the temple was entered by means or through the medium of the veil. We are not to suppose, however, that the apostle meant to say that there was in all respects a resemblance between the veil and the flesh of Jesus, nor that the veil was in any manner typical of his body, but there was a resemblance in the respect under consideration - to wit, in the fact that the holy place was rendered accessible by withdrawing the veil, and that heaven was rendered accessible through the slain body of Jesus. The idea is, that there is by means both of the veil of the temple, and of the body of Jesus, a medium of access to God. God dwelt in the most holy place in the temple behind the veil by visible symbols, and was to be approached by removing the veil; and God dwells in heaven, in the most holy place there, and is to be approached only through the offering of the body of Christ. Prof. Stuart supposes that the point of the comparison may be, that the veil of the temple operated as a screen to hide the visible symbol of the presence of God from human view, and that in like manner the body of Jesus might be regarded as a "kind of temporary tabernacle, or veil of the divine nature which dwelt within him." and that "as the veil of the tabernacle concealed the glory of Yahweh in the holy of holies, from the view of people, so Christ's flesh or body screened or concealed the higher nature from our view, which dwelt within this veil, as God did of old within the veil of the temple."

See this and other views explained at length in the larger commentaries. It does not seem to me to be necessary to attempt to carry out the point of the comparison in all respects. The simple idea which seems to have been in the mind of the apostle was, that the veil of the temple and the body of Jesus were alike in this respect, that they were the medium of access to God. It is by the offering of the body of Jesus; by the fact that he was clothed with flesh, and that in his body he made an atonement for sin, and that with his body raised up from the dead he has ascended to heaven, that we have access now to the throne of mercy.

20. which, &c.—The antecedent in the Greek is "the entering"; not as English Version, "way." Translate, "which (entering) He has consecrated (not as though it were already existing, but has been the first to open, INAUGURATED as a new thing; see on [2579]Heb 9:18, where the Greek is the same) for us (as) a new (Greek, 'recent'; recently opened, Ro 16:25, 26) and living way" (not like the lifeless way through the law offering of the blood of dead victims, but real, vital, and of perpetual efficacy, because the living and life-giving Saviour is that way. It is a living hope that we have, producing not dead, but living, works). Christ, the first-fruits of our nature, has ascended, and the rest is sanctified thereby. "Christ's ascension is our promotion; and whither the glory of the Head hath preceded, thither the hope of the body, too, is called" [Leo].

the veil—As the veil had to be passed through in order to enter the holiest place, so the weak, human suffering flesh (Heb 5:7) of Christ's humanity (which veiled His God head) had to be passed through by Him in entering the heavenly holiest place for us; in putting off His rent flesh, the temple veil, its type, was simultaneously rent from top to bottom (Mt 27:51). Not His body, but His weak suffering flesh, was the veil; His body was the temple (Joh 2:19).

By a new and living way; which way is figuratively setting out the means of entering into the holiest in heaven by the blood of Christ. By way is understood that by which approach to God in heaven is made, and wherein we must have our access to him, even Christ himself, John 14:6: prosfaton, a way newly made manifest by Christ’s sacrifice newly slain and offered, rending the veal that hid heaven from them, so as they could not so clearly discern the throne of grace then, as now; and the way is not only new, but zwsan, a quickening way, giving life and ability for motion and refreshment to those who walk in it, John 14:6, such as is everlasting, and is opened, not as the legal way, only to the high priest, but to all true Israelites to enter into it, and that not once a year, but continually. This is the way of life permanent and safe, Isaiah 35:8-10.

Which he hath consecrated for us; this way Christ himself hath newly made, finished and opened unto them that they might walk therein, and reach home to God; nothing could obstruct or hinder them in it, he having perfected it unto this end.

Through the veil, that is to say, his flesh: the inner veil, that separated the holiest of all from the holy place, was a type of the flesh of Christ, veiling his Deity; through the breaking and rending of which by death, he opens the way to the throne of grace in the holy of holiest in heaven, and so made God accessible to believers there, Hebrews 9:12; compare Matthew 27:51.

By a new and living way,.... Which is Christ, the God-man and Mediator; who is called the "new" way, not as to contrivance, revelation, or use; for it was contrived before the world was, and was revealed to our first parents, immediately after the fall, and was made use of by all the Old Testament saints; but in distinction to the old way of life, by the covenant of works; and because newly revealed with greater clearness and evidence; see Hebrews 10:8 and because it is always new, it never will be old, nor otherwise, there never will be another way: some render it, "a new slain way"; because Jesus was but newly slain, and his blood lately shed, by which the way is, and entrance is with boldness: and Christ is a "living way"; in opposition to the dead carcasses of slain beasts, and to the dead and killing letter of the law; Christ gives life to all his people; and all that walk in him, the way, live; and none in this way ever die; it leads to eternal life, and infallibly brings them thither:

which he hath consecrated for us; either God the Father, and so it intends the designation of Christ to be the way to life and happiness, and the qualification of him for it, by preparing a body, an human nature for him, and anointing it with the Holy Spirit, and the instalment of him into his priestly office, called a consecration, Hebrews 10:28 or else Christ himself, and so designs his compliance with his Father's will, and his devoting of himself to this service; his preparation of himself to be the way, by the shedding of his blood, and by his entrance into heaven, and by giving a clearer discovery of this way in the Gospel, by which life and immortality are brought to light: and this is

done through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; the human nature of Christ, through which the way to heaven is opened, renewed, and consecrated, is compared to the vail of the tabernacle, Exodus 26:31 the matter of which that was made, was fine twined linen, which the Jews (y) say was of thread six times doubled; which may denote the holiness of Christ's human nature; the strength, courage, and steadfastness of it, under all its sorrows and sufferings; and the purity and duration of his righteousness; the colours of it were blue, purple, and scarlet, which may signify the sufferings of the human nature; the preciousness of Christ's blood, and the dignity of his person, and his royalty; purple and scarlet being wore by kings: the vail was of cunning work, which may intend the curious workmanship of Christ's human nature, and the graces of the Spirit, with which it is adorned; and it was made with "cherubim", pointing to the ministration of angels, both to Christ, and to his people. The pillars of it may signify the deity of Christ, the support of his human nature, in which it has its personal subsistence; and being of Shittim wood, may denote his eternity: and being covered with gold, his glory: its hooks and sockets may be symbolical of the union of the two natures in him.

(y) Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 8. sect. 14. Jarchi in Exodus 26.1. Kimchi in Sepher Shorash. rad.

By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his {h} flesh;

(h) So Christ's flesh shows us the Godhead as if it were under a veil, For otherwise we could not stand the brightness of it.

Hebrews 10:20. Ἥν] sc. εἴσοδον. Not as yet with ὁδόν (Carpzov, Stuart, and others) is ἥν to be combined as indication of object, in such wise that merely πρόφατον καὶ ζῶσαν would form the predicate; but still less is παῤῥησίαν (Seb. Schmidt, Hammond, al.) to be supplemented to ἥν. For against the former decides the order of the words, against the latter the manifest correspondence in which εἴσοδον, Hebrews 10:19, and ὁδόν, Hebrews 10:20, stand to each other. The ὁδός, namely, characterized Hebrews 10:19 as to its goal (as εἴσοδος τῶν ἁγίων), is, Hebrews 10:20, further described with regard to its nature and constitution (as ὁδὸς πρόσφατος and ζῶσα).

ἣν ἐνεκαίνισεν ἡμῖν ὁδὸν πρόσφατον καὶ ζῶσαν] which He for us (in order that we may walk in it) has consecrated (inaugurated, in that He Himself first passed through it) as a new (newly-opened, hitherto inaccessible, comp. Hebrews 9:8; Theodoret: ὡς τότε πρῶτον φανεῖσαν) and living way. πρόσφατος, originally: fresh slain; then in general: fresh, new, recens. See Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 374 f.

ζῶσα, however, that way or entrance is called, not because it “ever remains, and needs not, like that into the earthly sanctuary, to be consecrated every year by fresh blood” (Bleek, after the precedent of Ernesti, Schulz, and others; comp. also Chrysostom, Oecumenius, and Theophylact), but because it is living in its efficacy (comp. ὁ ἄρτος ὁ ζῶν, John 6:51), in such wise that it leads to the goal of everlasting life. The contrast is found in the inefficaciousness of the entrance into the earthly holy of holies.

διὰ τοῦ καταπετάσματος, τουτέστιν τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ,] through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. As the high priest must pass through the concealing veil, in order to come within the earthly Holy of Holies, thus also the flesh of Christ formed a veil, which must first be withdrawn or removed (comp. Matthew 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45) ere the entrance into the heavenly Holy of Holies could be rendered possible.

διά] is to be taken locally,—wrongly is it understood by Stein as instrumental,—and is not to be combined with ἐνεκαίνισεν (Böhme, Delitzsch, Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 253; Alford, Kluge), but is to be attached to ὁδόν, as a nearer definition, standing upon a parallel with πρόσφατον καὶ ζῶσαν, seeing that an οὖσαν or ἄγουσαν naturally suggests itself by way of supplement.

τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ] depends immediately upon the preceding διά, not first, as Peirce and Carpzov maintain, upon a τοῦ καταπετάσματος to be supplied.

20. by a new and living way] The word rendered “new” is not kainos as elsewhere in this Epistle, but prosphatos, which means originally “newly-slain.” It may be doubted however whether the writer intended the oxymoron “newly-slain yet living.” That the road was “new” has already been shewn in Hebrews 9:8-12. It is called “living” not as “life-giving” or “enduring,” but because “the Lord of life” is Himself the way (John 14:6; comp. Ephesians 3:12).

which he hath consecrated] The verb is the same as in Hebrews 9:18, “which He inaugurated for us.”

through the vail, that is to say, his flesh] There is here a passing comparison of Christ’s human body to the Parocheth or Veil (Hebrews 6:19, Hebrews 9:3) through which the High Priest passed into the Holiest, and which was rent at the crucifixion (Matthew 27:51). It was through His Suffering Humanity that He passed to His glory.

Hebrews 10:20. Ἣν) namely, εἴσοδον, for there follows ὁδὸν, which is as it were synonymous. They are not, however, simply synonymous, but in as far as ἡ ὁδὸς, the way, extends to (reaches) the goal, THROUGH the veil.—ἐνεκαίνισεν, hath consecrated) The same verb occurs, ch. Hebrews 9:18. It is intimated by this verb, that it is our duty to follow in that way by which Christ has gone.—πρόσφατον) The LXX, often use this word. Πρόσφατον is properly applied to an animal recently killed as a victim.—πρόσφατον καὶ ζῶσαν, new and living) The way, as being secured by the shed blood and death of Christ, is a new, and it is a living way. It is opposed to a thing old and lifeless. Life is ascribed to the way by personification, from the very life of Christ, who is the way. It denotes the vigour of the New Testament as a living hope. It stands in opposition to dead works. It is as it were an Oxymoron, because πρόσφατος (recently killed) and living are conjoined. As soon as Christ had passed the point of death, unmixed power and life were at hand.—τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ, His flesh) which was likewise rent like the veil.

Hebrews 10:20By a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us (ἣν ἐνεκαίνισεν ἡμῖν ὁδὸν πρόσφατον καὶ ζῶσαν)

The A.V. is wrong. Ἣν which is to be construed with εἴσοδον entrance. Thus: "having boldness for the entrance which he has inaugurated (or opened) for us - a way new and living." For ἐνεκαίνισεν see on Hebrews 9:18. The way must be opened, for every other way is closed. Ἐνκαινίζειν in lxx of the inauguration of a house, kingdom, temple, altar. See Deuteronomy 20:5; 1 Samuel 11:14; 1 Kings 8:63; 2 Chronicles 15:8. Πρόσφατον new, N.T.o. In lxx, see Numbers 6:3; Deuteronomy 32:17; Psalm 80:9; Ecclesiastes 1:9. The derivation appears to be πρὸς near to, and φατός slain (from πέμφαμαι, the perfect of φένειν to kill). According to this the original sense would be newly-slain; and the word was used of one so recently dead as to retain the appearance of life: also, generally, of things which have not lost their character or appearance by the lapse of time; of fishes, fruits, oil, etc., which are fresh; of anger which has not had time to cool. Later the meaning was weakened into new. Note that the contrast is not between a new and an old way, but between a new way and no way. So long as the old division of the tabernacle existed, the way into the holiest was not opened, Hebrews 9:8. Ζῶσαν living. A living way seems a strange expression, but comp. Peter's living stones, 1 Peter 2:5. Christ styles himself both way and life. The bold figure answers to the fact. The new way is through a life to life.

Through the veil (διὰ τοῦ καταπετάσματος)

The veil of the holy of holies is rent. Christ's work does not stop short of the believer's complete access to God himself.

That is to say his flesh (τοῦτ' ἔστιν τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ)

Const. with veil: the veil which consisted in his flesh. His flesh was the state through which he had to pass before he entered heaven for us. See Hebrews 2:9-18; Hebrews 5:7-9; Hebrews 10:5. When he put off that state, the veil of the temple was rent. He passed through humanity to glory as the forerunner of his people, Hebrews 6:20.

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