Hebrews 7:19
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
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7:11-25 The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.For the law made nothing perfect - The Levitical, ceremonial law. It did not produce a perfect state; it did not do what was desirable to be done for a sinner; see the note on Hebrews 7:11. That Law, as such, did not reconcile man to God; it did not make an atonement: it did not put away guilt; in one word, "it did not restore things to the condition in which they were before the Law was broken and man became a sinner." If man were saved under that system - as many undoubtedly were - it was not in virtue of any intrinsic efficacy which it possessed, but in virtue of that great sacrifice which it typified.

But the bringing in of a better hope did - Margin, "But it was." The correct rendering is, probably, "but there is the bringing in of a better hope, by which we have access to God." The Law could not effect this. It left the conscience guilty, and sin unexpiated. But there is now the introduction of a better system by which we can approach a reconciled God. The "better hope" here refers to the more sure and certain expectation of heaven introduced by the gospel. There is a better foundation for hope; a more certain way of obtaining the divine favor than the Law could furnish.

By the which - By which better hope; that is, by means of the ground of hope furnished by the gospel, to wit, that God is now reconciled. and that we can approach him with the assurance that he is ready to save us.

We draw nigh unto God - We have access to him; notes, Romans 5:1-2.

19. For, &c.—justifying his calling the law weak and unprofitable (Heb 7:18). The law could not bring men to: true justification or sanctification before God, which is the "perfection" that we all need in order to be accepted of Him, and which we have in Christ.

nothing—not merely "no one," but "nothing." The law brought nothing to its perfected end; everything in it was introductory to its antitype in the Christian economy, which realizes the perfection contemplated; compare "unprofitableness," Heb 7:18.

did—rather connect with Heb 7:18, thus, "There takes place (by virtue of Ps 110:4) a repealing of the commandment (on the one hand), but (on the other) a bringing in afterwards (the Greek expresses that there is a bringing in of something over and above the law; a superinducing, or accession of something new, namely, something better than the good things which the pre-existing law promised [Wahl]) of a better hope," not one weak and unprofitable, but, as elsewhere the Christian dispensation is called, "everlasting," "true," "the second," "more excellent," "different," "living," "new," "to come," "perfect." Compare Heb 8:6, bringing us near to God, now in spirit, hereafter both in spirit and in body.

we draw nigh unto God—the sure token of "perfection." Weakness is the opposite of this filial confidence of access. The access through the legal sacrifices was only symbolical and through the medium of a priest; that through Christ is immediate, perfect, and spiritual.

For the law made nothing perfect: the proof of this weakness and unprofitableness of the law is its imperfection; it had no supernatural moral power to justify or sanctify any person, or to bring him to perfection; neither did it perfect any person of itself so as to reconcile him to God, or bring him to salvation, whatever was expected by it, Hebrews 9:9 10:1,2.

But the bringing in of a better hope did: de but, shows the opposition of hope to the law; though the law could not perfect any, yet the better hope, the gospel, promulgated to and received by them, could perfect them. ’ Epeisagwgh, superinduction, i.e. it was brought in, and put in force, after the legal covenant expired; and brought in to abolish that, so as by it it was repealed and abrogated. The gospel law is styled

a better hope, because it is conveying better promises, Hebrews 8:6, which gives firm and certain hope of sinners’ perfection by it, viz. their enjoyment of justification, sanctification, and eternal life. This hope wrought by the Holy Ghost in their hearts, enableth them to obey the gospel, and seals the promises to them.

By the which we draw nigh unto God; and by this they have free access to God, as Hebrews 4:14,16; compare Hebrews 10:19-22 Romans 5:1,2; not only to worship him, but to receive the blessings of the covenant from him, without fear of displeasing him, or being consumed by him, as under the law, but in the greatest confidence of pleasing him in Jesus Christ, of having communion with him, and of being blessed in the enjoyment of him for ever: see Hebrews 12:18-22, and compare Hebrews 7:22-25 with them.

For the law made nothing perfect,.... Or no man; neither any of the priests that offered sacrifices, nor any of the people for whom they were offered: it could not perfectly make atonement for sin; nor make men perfectly holy or righteous; it could neither justify nor sanctify; neither bring in a perfect righteousness, nor bring men to perfect holiness, and so to eternal life and salvation:

but the bringing in of a better hope did; not the grace of hope; that is not something newly brought in, the saints under the Old Testament had it; nor is it better now than then, though it has greater advantages and more encouragement to the exercise of it: nor heaven and eternal glory, the thing hoped for; the saints under the legal dispensation hoped for this, as well as believers under the present dispensation; nor is what the latter hope for better than that the former did: nor is God the author and object of hope intended; the phrase of bringing in will not suit with him; besides, he is distinguished from it, in the next clause: to understand it of the Gospel, the means of hope, and of encouraging it, is no ill sense; that standing in direct contradistinction to the law: but the priesthood of Christ, of which the apostle is treating in the context, is generally understood, which is the ground of hope; for all promises respecting eternal life are confirmed by it, and all blessings connected with it procured; and it is better than the Aaronic priesthood, under the law; and a better ground of hope than the sacrifices of that law were: Christ himself may be designed, who is often called hope, being the object, ground, and foundation of it; and is a better one than Moses, or his law, Aaron, or his priesthood; and it is by him men draw nigh to God; and the bringing in of him or his priesthood shows that Christ's priesthood was not upon the foot of the law, and that he existed as a priest, before brought in, and as a better hope, though not so fully revealed; and it may have respect to his coming in the flesh, being sent, or brought in by his father: now the bringing in of him and his priesthood did make something perfect; it brought to perfection all the types, promises, and prophecies of the Old Testament, the whole law, moral and ceremonial; it brought in perfect atonement, reconciliation, pardon, righteousness, and redemption; it perfected the persons of all God's elect; and perfectly provided for their holiness, peace, comfort, and eternal happiness: some read the words "but it", the law, "was the bringing in of a better hope": the law led unto, made way for, and introduced. Christ, the better hope; and so the Arabic version, "seeing it should be an entrance to a more noble hope"; the Syriac version renders it, "but in the room of it entered a hope more excellent than that"; than the law:

by the which we draw nigh unto God; the Father, as the Father of Christ, and of his people in him, and as the Father of mercies, and the God of all grace and this drawing nigh to him is to be understood not locally but spiritually; it includes the whole worship of God, but chiefly designs prayer: and ought to be done with a true heart, in opposition to hypocrisy; and in faith, in opposition to doubting; and with reverence and humility, in opposition to rashness; and with freedom, boldness, and thankfulness: and it is through Christ and his priesthood that souls have encouragement to draw nigh to God; for Christ has paid all their debts, satisfied law and justice, procured the pardon of their sins, atonement and reconciliation for them; he is the way of their access to God; he gives them audience and acceptance; he presents their prayers, and intercedes for them himself.

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
19. the law made nothing perfect] This is illustrated in Hebrews 9:6-9.

but the bringing in of a better hope did] The better punctuation is “There takes place a disannulment of the preceding commandment on account of its weakness and unprofitableness—for the Law perfected nothing—but the superinduction of a better hope.” The latter clause is a nominative not to “perfected,” but to “there is,” or rather “there takes place,” in Hebrews 7:18. The “better hope” is that offered us by the Resurrection of Christ; and the whole of the New Testament bears witness that the Gospel had the power of “perfecting,” which the Law had not. Romans 3:21; Ephesians 2:13-15, &c.

Hebrews 7:19. Οὐδὲν ἐτλείωσεν ὁ νόμος, the law made nothing perfect) Paul speaks much in the same way of the powerlessness (τὸ ἀδύνατον) of the law, in that it was weak through the flesh, Romans 8:3.—ἐπεισαγωγὴ) properly, the bringing in afterwards [superintroductio]. It is construed with γίνεται, takes place, Hebrews 7:18, [—in the psalm, to wit.—V. g.] The antithesis is manifest: a disannulling indeed, but the bringing in. Ἐπὶ in ἐπεισαγωγὴ is opposed to the πρὸ in προαγούσης, and is the same as μετὰ, after, Hebrews 7:28.—κρείττονος, of a better) that is, not weak and unprofitable. The epithet, κρείττων, often occurs in this epistle, as well as αἰώνιος, ἀληθινὸς, δεύτερος, διαφορώτερος, ἓτερος, ζῶν, καινὸς, μέλλων, νέος, πρόσφατος, τέλειος.—ἐγγίζομεν, we draw near) This is true τελείωσις, perfection.

Hebrews 7:19For the law made nothing perfect (οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐτελείωσεν ὁ νόμος)

Parenthetical. The A.V. overlooks the parenthesis, ignores the connection of bringing in with disannulling, translates δὲ but instead of and, and supplies did; thus making an opposition between the law which made nothing perfect and the bringing in of a better hope, which did make something perfect. What the writer means to say is that, according to the Psalm, there takes place, on the one hand, a disannulling of the preliminary commandment because it was weak and unprofitable, unable to perfect anything, and on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope.

The bringing in of a better hope (ἐπεισαγωγὴ κρείττονος ἐλπίδος)

ΕπεισαγωγὴN.T.o, olxx, is "a bringing in upon" (ἐπὶ), upon the ground formerly occupied by the commandment. So Rev., correctly, "a bringing in thereupon." For κπείττων better, see on Hebrews 1:4. The comparison is not between the hope conveyed by the commandment, and the better hope introduced by the gospel, but between the commandment which was characteristic of the law (Ephesians 2:15) and the hope which characterized the gospel (Romans 5:2-5; Romans 8:24).

By the which we draw nigh to God (δι' ἧς ἐγγίζομεν τῷ θεῷ)

Giving the reason why the hope is better. Christianity is the religion of good hope because by it men first enter into intimate fellowship with God. The old priesthood could not effect this.

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