Hebrews 8:5
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
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(5) Who serve unto . . .—Better, men who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. So in Hebrews 13:10 we read of those who “serve the tabernacle.” On the connection of thought, see Hebrews 8:3. “Copy,” not in the sense of perfect resemblance, but rather a token suggesting and designed to suggest the original. (See Note on Hebrews 9:23, where the same word is used.) “Shadow,” as the shadow has no substance or independent existence, but represents only the outline of an object. (Comp. Hebrews 10:1, where “shadow” is contrasted with “the very image”; and Colossians 2:17, where it is opposed to “the body.”) We must not confound these words, “token” and “shadow,” with “the pattern” mentioned in Exodus 25:40, quoted later in this verse. The “heavenly things” are “the sanctuary” and “the tabernacle “of Hebrews 8:2, the realities to which the true earthly tabernacle corresponded; their nature can be understood only when Christ has come as High Priest of the good things to come. (See Hebrews 9:11; Hebrews 10:1.) That every part of God’s earthly house might be a fitting emblem of spiritual truth to be afterwards revealed. Moses was charged in all respects to follow the pattern which had been shown him in the mount (Exodus 25:40). Jewish tradition understood these words to imply the presentation of a heavenly tabernacle to the sight of Moses, as a model to be imitated with exactness; and Stephen’s words in Acts 7:44, “according to the pattern” (the same word is here used) “which he had seen,” convey the same meaning. In itself, Exodus 25:40, when compared with Hebrews 8:9 in the same chapter, does not necessarily involve a visible representation. But whether we think of a pattern shown in vision, or merely of explicit direction received by Moses, the meaning of “the heavenly things” remains the same. The view here presented of the Jewish tabernacle involves no depreciation, except in comparison with “the good things to come.” It was only a shadow; but it rises above all temples and symbols of man’s art and device as being a shadow of the heavenly things.

Was admonished of God.—The words “of God” are not in the text, but are implied in “admonished.” (See the Note on Luke 2:26.) “Hath been admonished:” another example of the writer’s characteristic mode of regarding Scripture (Hebrews 4:9).



Hebrews 8:5I DO not intend to deal with the original bearing of these words, nor with the use made of them by the writer of Hebrews. Primarily they refer to the directions as to the Tabernacle and its furniture, which are given at such length, and with such minuteness, in Leviticus, and are there said to have been received by Moses on Sinai. The author of this Epistle attaches an even loftier significance to them, as supporting his contention that the whole ceremonial worship, as well as the Temple and its equipment, was a copy of heavenly realities, the heavenly sanctuary and its altar and priest. I wish to take a much humbler view of the injunction, and to apply it, with permissible violence, as a maxim for conduct and the great rule for the ordering of our lives. ‘See that thou,’ in thy shop and office, and wherever thou mayst be, ‘make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.’ A far-reaching, high-soaring commandment, not to be obeyed without much effort, and able to revolutionise the lives of most of us. There are three points in it: the pattern, its universal applicability, and the place where we get to see it.

I. The pattern.

The difference between noble and ignoble lives is very largely that the one has - and seeks, however partially and interruptedly, to follow - an ideal and the other has not. Or, to put it into plainer words, the one man regulates his life according to momentary inclinations and the obvious calls of sense, business and the like, and the other man has, far ahead and high up, a great light burning, to which he is ever striving to attain. The one has an aim to which he can only approximate, and the other largely lives from hand to mouth, as circumstances and sense, and the recurring calls of material necessities, or temptations that are put in his way every day, may dictate. And so, the one turns out a poor creature, and the other - God helping him - may turn out a saint. Which are you? Which we are depends very largely on the clearness with which we keep before us - like some great mountain summit rising above the mists, and stirring the ambition of every climber to reach the peak, where foot has never trod - the ideal, to use modern language, or to fall back upon the good old- fashioned Bible words, ‘the pattern shewed to us.’

You know that in mountain districts the mists are apt to gather their white folds round the summits, and that often for many days the dwellers in the plains have to plod along on their low levels, without a glimpse of the calm peak. And so it is with our highest ideal. Earth-born mists from the undrained swamps in our own hearts hide it too often from our eyes, and even when that is not the case, we are like many a mountaineer, who never lifts an eye to the sacred summit overhead, nor looks higher than his own fields and cattle-sheds. So it needs an effort to keep clear before us the pattern that is high above us, and to make very plain to ourselves, and very substantial in our thoughts, the unattained and untrodden heights. ‘Not in vain the distance’ should ‘beckon.’ ‘Forward, forward, let us range,’ should always be our word. ‘See that thou make all things after the pattern,’ and do not rule your lives according to whim, or fancy, or inclination, or the temptations of sense and circumstances.

To aim at the unreached is the secret of perpetual youth. No man is old as long as he aspires. It is the secret of perpetual growth. No man stagnates till he has ceased to see, or to believe in great dim possibilities for character, as yet unrealised. It is the secret of perpetual blessedness. No man can be desolate who has for his companion the unreached self that he may become. And so artist, poet, painter, all live nobler lives than they otherwise would, because they live, not so much with the commonplace realities round them, as with noble ideals, be they of melody or of beauty, or of musical words and great thoughts. There should be the same life with, and directed towards, attaining the unstrained in the moralist, and above all in the Christian.

But then, do not let us forget that we are not here in our text, as I am using it in this sermon, relegated to a pattern which takes its origin, after all, in our own thoughts and imaginations The poet’s ideal, the painter’s ideal, varies according to his genius. Ours has taken solidity and substance and a human form, and stands before us, and says: ‘If any man serve Me, let him follow Me.’ ‘See that thou make all things according to the pattern,’ and be thankful that we are not left to our own thoughts, or to our brethren’s teachings, or to abstract ideas of the true and the beautiful and the good for our pattern and mould of life, but that we have the law embodied in a Person, and the ideal made actual, in our Brother and our Saviour. There is the joy and the blessedness of the Christian aim after Christian perfection. There is something unsubstantial, misty, shadowy, in an ideal which is embodied nowhere. It is ghost-like, and has little power to move or to attract. But for Christians the pattern is all gathered into the one sweet, heart. compelling form of Jesus, and whatever is remote and sometimes cold in the thought of an unattained aim, changes when we make it our supreme purpose to be like Jesus Christ. Our goal is no cold, solitary mountain top. It is the warm, loving heart, and companionable purity and perfectness of our Brother, and when we can, even in a measure, reach that sweet resting-place, we are wrapped in the soft atmosphere of His love.

We shall be like Him when we see Him as He is; we grow like Him here, in the measure in which we do see Him, even darkly. We reach Him most surely by loving Him, and we become like Him most surely by loving Him, for love breeds likeness, and they who live near the light are drenched with the light, and become lights in their turn.

There is another point here that I would suggest, and that is

II. The universal applicability of the pattern - ‘See that thou make all things.’

Let us go back to Leviticus There you will find page after page that reads like an architect’s specification. The words that I have taken as my text are given in immediate connection with the directions for making the seven-branched candlestick, which are so minute and specific and detailed, that any brass-founder in Europe could make one to-day ‘after the pattern.’ So many bowls, so many knops, so many branches; such and such a distance between each of them; and all the rest of it - there it is, in most prosaic minuteness. Similarly, we read how many threads and fringes, and how many bells on the high priest’s robe. Verse after verse is full of these details; and then, on the back of them all, comes, ‘See that thou make all things according to the pattern.’ Which things are a parable - and just come to this, that the minutest pieces of daily life, the most commonplace and trivial incidents, may all be moulded after that great example, the life of Jesus Christ.

It is one of the miracles of revelation that it should be so. The life of Jesus Christ, in the fragmentary records of it in these four Gospels, although it only covered a few years, and is very imperfectly recorded, and in outward form was passed under conditions most remote from the strange complex conditions of our civilisation, yet fits as closely as a glove does to the hand, to all the necessities of our daily lives. Men and women, young men and maidens, old men and children, professional men and students, women in their houses, men of business, merchants, and they that sail the sea and they that dig in the mine; they may all find directions for everything that they have to do, in that one life.

And here is the centre and secret of it. ‘Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone.’ Therefore that which is the law for Jesus is the law for us, and the next verse goes on; ‘he that loveth hie life shall lose it,’ and the next verse hammers the nail farther in: ‘If any man serve Me, let him follow Me.’ - Take that injunction and apply it, in all the details of daily life, and you will be on the road to reproduce the pattern. But remember the ‘all things.’ It is for us, if we are Christian people, to bring the greatest principles to bear on the smallest duties, ‘Small duties?’ ‘ Great’ and ‘small’ are adjectives that ought never to be tacked on to ‘ duty.’ For all duties are of one size, and while we may speak, and often do speak, very mistakenly about things which we vulgarly consider ‘great,’ or superciliously treat as ‘small,’ the fact is that no man can tell what is a great thing, and what is a small one. For the most important crises in a man’s life have a strange knack of leaping up out of the smallest incidents; just as a whisper may start an avalanche, and so nobody can tell what are the great things and what the small ones. The tiniest pin in a machine drops out, and all the great wheels stop. The small things are the things that for the most part make up life. You can apply Christ’s example to the least of them, and there is very small chance of your applying it to the great things if you have not been in the way of applying it to the small ones. For the small things make the habits which the great ones test and require.

So ‘thorough’ is the word. ‘See that thou make all things according to the pattern.’

I remember once going up to the roof of Milan Cathedral, and finding there stowed away behind a buttress - where I suppose one man in fifty years might notice it, a little statuette, as completely chiselled, as perfectly polished, as if it had been of giant size, and set in the facade for all the people in the piazza to see. That is the sort of way in which Christian men should carve out their lives. Finish off the unseen bits perfectly, and then you may be quite sure that the seen bits will take care of themselves. ‘See that thou make all things’ - and begin with the small ones - ‘according to the pattern.’


III. Where we are to see the pattern. - ‘Shewed to thee in the mount.’

Ay, that is where we have to go if we are to see it. The difference between Christian men’s convictions of duty depends largely on the difference in the distance that they have climbed up the hill. The higher you go, the better you see the He of the land. The higher you go, the purer and more wholesome the atmosphere. And many a thing which a Christian man on the low levels thought to be perfectly in accordance with ‘the pattern,’ when he goes up a little higher, he finds to be hopelessly at variance with it. It is of no use to lay down a multitude of minute, red-tape regulations as to what Christian morality requires from people in given circumstances. Go up the hill, and you will see for yourselves.

Our elevation determines our range of vision. And the nearer, and the closer, and the deeper is our habitual fellowship with God in Christ, the more lofty will be our conceptions of what we ought to be and do. The reason for inconsistent lives is imperfect communion, mad the higher we go on the mountain of vision, the dearer will be our vision. On the other hand, whilst we see ‘the pattern’ in the mount, we have to come down into the valley to ‘make’ the ‘things.’ The clay and the potter’s wheels are down in Hinnom, and the mountain top is above. You have to carry your pattern- book down, and set to work with it before you. Therefore, whilst the way to see the pattern is to climb, the way to copy it is to descend. And having faithfully copied what you saw on the Mount of Vision, you will see more the next time you go back; for ‘to him that hath shall be given.’

Hebrews 8:5. Who serve — Which priests, according to the Jewish institutions, serve in the temple, which was not yet destroyed; unto, or, after, the example, or, pattern, and shadow of heavenly things — Of gospel mysteries, even of Christ himself, with all that he did and suffered, and still continues to do, including spiritual, evangelical worship, and everlasting glory. In other words, The whole ministry of the Jewish priests was about such things as had only a resemblance and obscure representation of things of the gospel. The word υποδειγμα, rendered example, or pattern, means somewhat expressed by the strokes pencilled out upon a piece of fine linen, which exhibit the figures of leaves and flowers, but have not yet received their splendid colours and curious shades; and σκια, the word rendered shadow, is that shadowy representation which gives some dim and imperfect idea of the body; but not the fine features, not the distinguishing air, none of those living graces, which adorn the real person. Yet both the pattern and shadow lead our minds to something nobler than themselves; the pattern to those spiritual and eternal blessings which complete it, the shadow to that which occasions it. Of the shadow, see on Hebrews 10:1. As Moses was admonished of God Κεχρηματισται, an expression which sometimes signifies to receive an oracle, or a revelation, or divine direction: as Hebrews 11:7, By faith Noah, χρηματισθεις, being directed by a revelation. Sometimes it denotes a direction from an angel, as Acts 10:22, Cornelius, χρηματισθεις υπο αγγελου αγιου, being warned by a holy angel. In the active voice it signifies to deliver an oracle, asAct Heb 10:25, If they did not escape who refused, τον χρηματιζοντα, him delivering oracles on earth. Here the expression means that Moses was divinely instructed, when he was about to make the tabernacle, concerning every part of it, by a model which was shown him in the mount, and which exhibited the form, fashion, dimensions, and all the utensils of it. For see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern, &c. — “The strictness of this charge implying that the tabernacle and its services were intended to be representations of heavenly things, may we not suppose that this purpose was discovered to Moses as the reason of the exactness required, and that the knowledge thereof was preserved among the Jews by tradition. God’s direction to Moses to make all according to the pattern showed him, is here appealed to by the apostle with great propriety, as a proof that the priests worshipped God in the tabernacle with a representation and shadow of heavenly things. For, since by this admonition Moses was required not only to make the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry, exactly according to the pattern showed him in the mount, but also, and indeed chiefly, to appoint the services of the priests in the tabernacles according to that pattern, the strictness of the injunction implied that there was some important reason for this exactness. Now what could that reason be, unless the one assigned by the apostle; namely, that the tabernacle was intended to be a shadow of the heavenly holy place, and the services of the tabernacles to be representations of the ministrations of Messiah as a priest in heaven?” Accordingly the tabernacles are called, Acts 10:23, τα υποδειγματα, the patterns, or representations, of the holy places in the heavens. And Acts 10:24, the holy places made with hands are called αντιτυπα, antitypes of the true. The ministry of the priests in the earthly tabernacles is represented as typical of the ministrations of Christ in heaven, Acts 10:7; and by the absolute exclusion of the priests and people from the most holy place, the representation of heaven, (Acts 10:8,) the Holy Ghost signified that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was yet standing; and (Acts 10:9) that the outward tabernacle with its services was a figure for the time then present, by which figure the Jews were taught the inefficacy of all the atonements made by men on earth for cleansing the conscience. To which add, that (Acts 10:11-12) Christ is called a High-Priest of good things to come, is said to have entered once into the holy place, and to have obtained eternal redemption for us. “These things show that the ministrations of the Levitical high-priests in the inward tabernacle on earth, were typical of the ministrations of Christ in the true tabernacle, that is, in heaven.” — Macknight.

8:1-6 The substance, or summary, of what had been declared was, that Christians had such a High Priest as they needed. He took upon himself human nature, appeared on earth, and there gave himself as a sacrifice to God for the sins of his people. We must not dare to approach God, or to present any thing to him, but in and through Christ, depending upon his merits and mediation; for we are accepted only in the Beloved. In all obedience and worship, we should keep close to God's word, which is the only and perfect standard. Christ is the substance and end of the law of righteousness. But the covenant here referred to, was that made with Israel as a nation, securing temporal benefits to them. The promises of all spiritual blessings, and of eternal life, revealed in the gospel, and made sure through Christ, are of infinitely greater value. Let us bless God that we have a High Priest that suits our helpless condition.Who serve unto the example - Who perform their service by the mere example and shadow of the heavenly things; or in a tabernacle, and in a mode, that is the mere emblem of the reality which exists in heaven. The reference is to the tabernacle, which was a mere "example" or "copy" of heaven. The word rendered here "example" - ὑποδείγμα hupodeigma - means a "copy, likeness, or imitation." The tabernacle was made after a pattern which was shown to Moses; it was made so as to have some faint resemblance to the reality in heaven, and in that "copy," or "example," they were appointed to officiate. Their service, therefore, had some resemblance to that in heaven.

And shadow - That is, in the tabernacle where they served there was a mere shadow of what was real and substantial. Compared with what is in heaven, it was what the shadow is compared with the substance. A shadow - as of a man, a house, a tree, will indicate the form, the outline, the size of the object; but it has no substance, or reality. So it was with the rites of the Jewish religion. They were designed merely as a shadow of the substantial realities of the true religion, or to present the dim outlines of what is true and real in heaven; compare the Colossians 2:17 note; Hebrews 10:1 note. The word "shadow" here - σκιᾶ skia - is used in distinction from the body or reality - σῶμα sōma - (compare Colossians 2:17), and also from εἰκών eikōn - a perfect image or resemblance; see Hebrews 10:1.

Of heavenly things - Of the heavenly sanctuary; of what is real and substantial in heaven. That is, there exists in heaven a reality of which the service in the Jewish sanctuary was but the outline. The reference is, undoubtedly, to the service which the Lord Jesus performs there as the great high priest of his people.

As Moses was admonished of God - As he was divinely instructed. The word used used - χρηματίζω chrēmatizō - means properly to give oracular responses; to make communications to people in a supernatural way - by dreams, by direct revelations, etc.; see Matthew 2:12, Matthew 2:22; Luke 2:26; Acts 10:22; Hebrews 11:7.

For, see, saith he - Exodus 25:9, Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30. In Exodus 11:1-10, it is also repeatedly said that Moses executed all the work of the tabernacle as he had been commanded. Great care was taken that an exact copy should be exhibited to him of all which he was to make, and that the work should be exactly like the pattern. The reason doubtless was, that as the Jewish service was to be typical, none but God could judge of the form in which the tabernacle should be made. It was not to be an edifice of architectural beauty, skill, or taste, but was designed to adumbrate important realities which were known only to God. Hence, it was needful that the exact model of them should be given to Moses, and that it should be scrupulously followed.

That thou make all things - Not only the tabernacle itself, but the altars, the ark, the candlestick, etc. The form and materials for each were specified, and the exact pattern shown to Moses in the mount.

According to the pattern - Greek τύπον tupon - "type;" that is, figure, form. The word τύπος tupos, "type," means properly anything produced by the agency or means of "blows" (from τύπτω tuptō, "to strike"); hence, a mark, stamp, print, impression - as that made by driving nails in the hands John 20:25; then a figure or form, as of an image or statue Acts 7:43; the form of a doctrine or opinion Romans 6:17; then an example to be imitated or followed 1 Corinthians 10:6-7; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:7; 2 Thessalonians 3:9; and hence, a pattern, or model after which anything is to be made; Acts 7:44. This is the meaning here. The allusion is to a pattern such as an architect or sculptor uses; a drawing, or figure made in wood or clay, after which the work is to be modelled. The idea is, that some such drawing or model was exhibited to Moses by God on mount Sinai, so that he might have an exact idea of the tabernacle which was to be made. A similar drawing or model of the temple was given by David to Solomon; 1 Chronicles 28:11-12. We are not indeed to suppose that there was in the case of the pattern shown to Moses, any miniature model of wood or stone actually created and exhibited, but that the form of the tabernacle was exhibited to Moses in vision (note, Isaiah 1:1), or was so vividly impressed on his mind that he would have a distinct view of the edifice which was to be reared.

In the mount - In mount Sinai; for it was while Moses was there in the presence of God, that these communications were made.

5. Who—namely, the priests.

serve unto the example—not "after the example," as Bengel explains. But as in Heb 13:10, "serve the tabernacle," that is, do it service: so "serve (the tabernacle which is but) the outline and shadow." The Greek for "example" is here taken for the sketch, copy, or suggestive representation of the heavenly sanctuary, which is the antitypical reality and primary archetype. "The mount" answers to heaven, Heb 12:22.

admonished—The Greek especially applies to divine responses and commands.

to make—"perfectly": so the Greek.

See—Take heed, accurately observing the pattern, that so thou mayest make, &c.

saith he—God.

the pattern—an accurate representation, presented in vision to Moses, of the heavenly real sanctuary. Thus the earthly tabernacle was copy of a copy; but the latter accurately representing the grand archetypical original in heaven (Ex 25:40).

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things; these Aaronical priests and their service in the literal tabernacle, were only subservient, as the model in the mind, to represent the truth, as the platform of a tabernacle serves toward the making and pitching of it. Upodeigmati is an obscure and underhand resemblance, the first draught, that which is the rough part of what is to be represented, Hebrews 11:23, such as the shadow is to the natural body, a dark resemblance of it: such were these of Christ’s person, ministry, and those heavenly things performed by him; they were leading them to, and instructing them in, Christ and his work, though the veil on their mind and hearts hindered them from discerning it. So true is that, John 1:17. Moses’s law was the shadow, Christ the truth of all; compare Hebrews 9:6,23 10:11. And it is not unlikely, that both the literal tabernacle and temple economy are but grosser and obscurer discoveries of that form and manner of the manifestation of God in glory, and the most excellently regulated service and ministry in the economy there.

As Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle; kecrhmatistai. Moses was in the mount, from God’s own mouth, (the best of oracles), charged and admonished about, and infallibly guided in, his duty, Exodus 25:1-40, confirmed by the Spirit in Acts 7:44: when he had his commission for the work resolved to enter on and perfect it according to God’s charge, then was this oracle given out about the earthly tabernacle, priesthood, and service.

For, See, saith he; look you to it, observe this, take heed and beware, saith he, who is Jehovah, the Sovereign Lord of him and Israel, a Being of power to enjoy, and command, and to require any neglect, Exodus 25:1-40.

That thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount; thou shalt make, frame, and work, by enjoining Israel what they are to make, and perfect what thou art to do, all those things of the vessels, parts, and structure of the tabernacle for officers and service, for conjoining, rearing, and pitching of it, Exodus 25:1-40:38; all after the type, copy, pattern, exemplar, showed thee by me, and seen and viewed by thee, when thou wert with me in the top of the Mount Sinai forty days and forty nights. This tabernacle was framed by its type, and was to be an ordinance resembling, figuring, and typifying a spiritual tabernacle and ministry of Christ that was to succeed and fulfil it, being different in the whole kind from this type; it being spiritual and heavenly, this a gross, material, earthly fabric. Moses was most exact in framing all as God commanded, after his own pattern; he did not add, diminish, nor alter any thing in it, Exodus 40:1-38.

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things,.... Things respecting the person, office, and grace of Christ; the priests themselves were types of him; the places they ministered in were an exemplar of the heavenly places, as the word may be rendered, where Christ is; and the things they ministered were shadows of the good things which are by Christ; and the shadows were mere representations; dark, obscure, glimmering ones, and were fleeting and transitory:

as Moses was admonished of God; by an oracle; he was a peculiar favourite of God, and was the mediator between God and the people of Israel, and what he received was oracle wise; what he delivered to the people was what he received from God; and what was thus delivered ought to be received as from God: and this admonition or oracle was given him

when he was about to make the tabernacle; the Levitical one, with everything appertaining to the worship of God in it: this is ascribed to Moses, though it was made by others, because it was by his direction, and under his care and oversight; and he had this admonition at the beginning of it; and at the finishing of it he looked upon it, and saw that it was all done as the Lord had commanded; Exodus 25:40,

for see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the Mount; Moses was taken up into a mountain with God, even Mount Sinai; and while he was there, a pattern was given him of the tabernacle and all its utensils; this was not a device of his own, but was shown him by God; and this pattern reached to every particular thing; and great care and circumspection were used that the most minute thing answered to it. The Jews think this pattern was given him by the ministry of angels; Gabriel, they say (f), girt himself with a girdle, and showed to Moses the work of the candlestick; and they further say, that an ark of fire, and a table of fire; and a candlestick of fire, descended from heaven, and Moses saw them, and made according to them: from whence it may be observed that the tabernacle, and tabernacle worship, were of divine institution; the ceremonious rites of the Jews were not, as some have affirmed, borrowed from the Egyptians; nor were they given as diversions to that people, nor only to preserve them from idolatry, and keep them separate from others, but were designed to lead them to Christ, whom they were typical of; wherefore the abuse, and not the use of them, were condemned under the former dispensation; though they were to continue no longer than till Christ came, and suffered and died; and now they are abolished: moreover, it may be gathered from hence, that whatever is done in a way of religious worship, should be according to a divine rule; a church of Christ ought to be formed according to the primitive pattern, and should consist, not of all that are born in a nation, province, or parish; nor should all that are born of believing parents be admitted into it; no unholy, unbelieving, and unconverted persons, only such as are true believers in Christ, and who are baptized according as the word of God directs; the officers of a church should be only of two sorts, bishops, elders, pastors or overseers, and deacons; the ordinances are baptism, which should only be administered to believers, and by immersion, and the Lord's supper, of which none should partake, but those who have tasted that the Lord is gracious; and this should be performed as Christ performed it, and as the Apostle Paul received it from him; the discipline of Christ's house should be regarded, and all the laws of it carefully and punctually in execution; and a conversation becoming the Gospel should be attended to.

(f) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 29. 1.

Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
Hebrews 8:5. The author at once attaches to the proof given, Hebrews 8:4,—that Christ must be High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary,—the testimony of Scripture that the earthly sanctuary, in which the Levitical priests officiate, is a mere copy of the heavenly, thus only an imperfect sanctuary. Schlichting: Vel rationem quandam div. autor his verbis exprimit, cur Christus, si in terris esset, sacerdos esse non posset, nempe quia sacerdotes illi, qui in terris degentes offerunt, umbrae tantum serviunt coelestium; vel tantum a contrario illustrat id, quod de pontifice nostro dixerat, nempe eum esse veri tabernaculi ministrum, legales vero pontifices umbrae tantum et exemplari illius coelestis tabernaculi servire. Not to enclose within a parenthesis (Griesbach, Schulz, Scholz, al.), since the same easily joins on syntactically to Hebrews 8:4, and διαφορωτέρας, Hebrews 8:6, points back to its subject-matter.

οἵτινες] nimirum qui.

ὑποδείγματι καὶ σκιᾷ] a copy and shadow. ὑποδείγματι corresponds to the δειχθέντα σοι in the ensuing citation, and denotes here (otherwise Hebrews 4:11) that which is shown only by way of hints, or only in its general outlines (comp. τὰ ὑποδείγματα, Hebrews 9:23), has thus the notion of a merely imperfect sketch or copy. Yet more emphatically is the notion of imperfection brought out by means of καὶ σκιᾷ. For σκιά stands not merely opposed to the σῶμα, as the unsubstantial to the substantial (Colossians 2:17; Josephus, de Bello Jud. ii. 2. 5 : σκιὰν αἰτησόμενος βασιλείας, ἧς ἥρπασεν ἑαυτῷ τὸ σῶμα, Philo, de confus. linguarum, p. 348; with Mangey, I. p. 434), but also to the εἰκών, as the shadowy image melting into obscurity, and only to be recognised in its exterior outlines to the likeness distinctly struck off, containing light and colour, and enabling one to recognise the original. Comp. Hebrews 10:1 : σκιὰνοὐκ αὐτὴν τὴν εἰκόνα τῶν πραγμάτων; Achilles Tatius, i. p. 47 (in Wetstein ad Hebrews 10:1): οὕτω τέθνηκεν καὶ τῆς εἰκόνος ἡ σκιά; Cicero, de Officiis, iii. 17: Sed nos veri juris germanaeque justitiae solidam et expressam effigiem nullam tenemus; umbra et imaginibus utimur.

λατρεύουσιν] is taken unnaturally by Calvin, Pareus, Bengel, Peirce, Schulz, and others in the absolute sense: “who serve God in a copy and shadow.” The datives ὑποδείγματι καὶ σκιᾷ τῶν ἐπουρανίων form the object of the verb (comp. Hebrews 13:10): “who minister (as priests) to that which is but a copy and shadow of the heavenly.”

λατρεύειν here, by virtue of the connection, entirely equivalent to λειτουργεῖν; in general, however, of wider signification, and differing from λειτουργεῖν as the Hebrew עָבַד from שֵׁרֵת.

τῶν ἐπουρανίων] not “of the heavenly things” (Luther), “of the heavenly relations and facts of redemption” (Ebrard), “of the heavenly relations and divine thoughts” (Moll), “of the ideal possessions in general, belonging to the kingdom of God” (Tholuck); but: of the heavenly sanctuary. Comp. the citation immediately following, as also Hebrews 8:2; Hebrews 9:23-24.

καθὼς κεχρημάτισται Μωϋσῆς] according to the response, or divine revelation, which Moses received. The passive χρηματίζεσθαι in this sense only in the N. T. (Hebrews 11:7; Matthew 2:22; Acts 10:22, al.) and in Josephus (Antiq. iii. 8. 8, xi. 8. 4).

ἐπιτελεῖν] denotes here not the completion of that which is already begun. What is meant is the execution of that which had previously only been resolved on.

The citation is from Exodus 25:40. The γάρ, even as φησίν, belongs to the author of our epistle, on which account ὅρα γάρ φησιν is to be written without placing a comma after γάρ.

φησίν] sc. ὁ χρηματισμός, the divine response, or, since in Exodus (Exodus 40:1) God is expressly named as the speaker: ὁ θεός (Heinrichs, Bleek, Stengel, Delitzsch, Alford, Maier, Kurtz, al.), not ἡ γραφή (Böhme).

πάντα] is wanting with the LXX.

κατὰ τὸν τύπον] in accordance with the pattern (תַּבְנִית), i.e. corresponding to the archetype presented to the contemplation of Moses in the manner of a revelation, or by means of a vision. Comp. Acts 7:44. Over-refined, indeed, although linguistically not less admissible than the other, is the interpretation of Faber Stapulensis, Rivetus, Schlichting, Grotius, Limborch, Storr, Bleek, and Maier, that in connection with τύπος we have to think of a mere copy of the archetype, so that the Levitical priests served in priestly guise the copy of a copy.

τὸν δειχθέντα] LXX.: τὸν δεδειγμένον.

ἐν τῷ ὄρει] upon the mount, namely Sinai.

Hebrews 8:5. οἵτινες ὑποδείγματι … “priests who serve a suggestion and shadow of the heavenly things even as Moses when about to make the tabernacle was admonished, for ‘See,’ He says, ‘that thou make all things after the pattern shown thee in the Mount’ ”. οἵτινες with its usual classifying and characterising reference, priests distinguished by the fact that they serve a shadow. λατρεύουσιν, originally to work for hire, from λάτρις, a hired servant (Soph., Trach., 70, etc.), but used especially in classics, LXX, and N.T. of service of God. It is followed by the dative of the person served (see reff.) Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 12:28; Hebrews 13:10 as here οἱ τῇ σκηνῇ λατρεύοντες. ὑποδείγματι, Phrynichus notes. ὑπόδειγμα· οὐδὲ τοῦτο ὀρθῶς λέγεται· παράδειγμα λέγε. To which Rutherford adds, “In Attic ὑποδείκνυμι was never used except in its natural sense of show by implication; but in Herodotus and Xenophon it signifies to mark out, set a pattern”. The meaning of ὑπόδειγμα accordingly is “a sign suggestive of anything,” “a delineation,” “outline,” perhaps “suggestion” would satisfy the present passage. σκιᾷ, “an adumbration of a reality which it does not embody” (Vaughan). A shadow has no substance in itself, no independent existence. It merely gives assurance that there is a reality to cast it, but itself is nothing solid or real. So the tabernacle gave assurance of the existence of a real dwelling of God which itself was not. Cf. Hebrews 10:1, and Colossians 2:17. τῶν ἐπουρανίων, as in Hebrews 9:23 τὰ ὑποδείγματα τῶν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖςαὐτὰ δὲ τὰ ἐπουράνια, heavenly things, in a comprehensive sense. καθὼς κεχρημάτισταικαθὼς, i.e. the description of the Mosaic tabernacle as a shadow of the heavenly accords with the directions given to Moses in its erection. κεχρημάτισται, χρηματίζω (from χρῆμα) originally means “to transact business,” “to advise” or “give answer to those asking advice”; hence “to give a response to those who consult an oracle”; then, dropping all reference to a foregoing consultation, it means “to give a divine command” and in passive to be commanded; see Thayer. The perfect tense is explained by Delitzsch thus: “as thou Moses hast received (in our Scriptures) the divine injunction (which we still read there)”. But cf. Burton, M. and T., 82. ἐπιτελεῖν, not, to complete what was already begun; but to realise what was determined by God; cf. Numbers 23:23, and Hebrews 9:6; so that it might be rendered “to bring into being”. Ὅρα γάρ φησιν … He now cites the authoritative injunction referred to and which determines that the earthly tabernacle was but a copy of the heavenly. γάρ of course belongs to the writer, not to the quotation, and φησιν has for its nominative the Θεός implied in κεχρημάτισται. ποιήσεις.… The words are quoted from Exodus 25:40 (adding πάντα and substituting δειχθέντα for δεδειγμένον) and are a literal rendering of the Hebrew, so that nothing can be gathered from them regarding N.T. usage. The future indicative being regularly used as a legal imperative (an unclassic usage) it naturally occurs here. κατὰ τὸν τύπον, a stamp or impression (τύπτειν) struck from a die or seal; hence, a figure, draft, sketch, or pattern. How or in what form this was communicated to the mind of Moses we do not know. “In the Mount,” i.e., in Sinai where Moses retired for communion with God, he probably pondered the needs of the people to such good purpose that from suggestions received in Egypt, together with his own divinely guided conceptions, he was able to contrive the tabernacle and its ordinances of worship. It is his spiritual insight and his anticipation of his people’s wants which give him his unique place in history. And it is both to trifle and to detract from his greatness to say with some of the Rabbis (vide Schoettgen) that models of the Ark and the candlestick and the other equipment descended from heaven, and that Gabriel in a workman’s apron showed him how to reproduce the articles shown.

5. who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things] Namely, the priests—who are ministering in that which is nothing but an outline and shadow (Hebrews 10:1; Colossians 2:17) of the heavenly things. The verb “minister” usually takes a dative of the person to whom the ministry is paid. Here and in Hebrews 13:10 the dative is used of the thing in which the service is done. It is conceivable that there is a shade of irony in this—they serve not a Living God, but a dead tabernacle. And this tabernacle is only a sketch, an outline, a ground pattern (1 Chronicles 28:11) as it were—at the best a representative image—of the Heavenly Archetype.

of heavenly things] Perhaps rather “of the heavenly sanctuary” (Hebrews 9:23-24).

as Moses was admonished …] “Even as Moses, when about to complete the tabernacle has been divinely admonished”.… On this use of the perfect see note on Hebrews 4:9, &c. The verb is used of divine intimations in Matthew 2:12; Luke 2:26; Acts 10:22 &c.

all things] This expression is not found either in the Hebrew or the LXX. of the passages referred to (Exodus 25:40; Exodus 26:30); it seems to be due to Philo (De Leg, Alleg. iii. 33), who may, however, have followed some older reading.

according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount] Here, as is so often the case in comments on Scripture, we are met by the idlest of all speculations, as to whether Moses saw this “pattern” in a dream or with his waking eyes; whether the pattern was something real or merely an impression produced upon his senses; whether the tabernacle was thus a copy or only “a copy of a copy and a shadow of a shadow,” &c. Such questions are otiose, because even if they were worth asking at all they do not admit of any answer, and involve no instruction, and no result of the smallest value. The Palestinian Jews in their slavish literal way said that there was in Heaven an exact literal counterpart of the Mosaic Tabernacle with “a fiery Ark, a fiery Table, a fiery Candlestick,” &c, which descended from heaven for Moses to see; and that Gabriel, in a workman’s apron, shewed Moses how to make the candlestick,—an inference which they founded on Numbers 8:4, “And this work of the candlestick” (Menachoth, f. 29. 1). Without any such fetish-worship of the letter it is quite enough to accept the simple statement that Moses worked after a pattern which God had brought before his mind. The chief historical interest in the verse is the fact that it was made the basis for the Scriptural Idealism by which Philo and the Alexandrian Jews tried to combine Judaism with the Platonic philosophy, and to treat the whole material world as a shadow of the spiritual world.

Hebrews 8:5. Ὑποδείγματι καὶ σκιᾷ) A Hendyadys. The latter is added, lest the former should be understood in too august a sense: each is repeated apart, chap. Hebrews 9:23, Hebrews 10:1. But it is the ablative in this passage, after the example and shadow. So ὑποδείγματι, ch. Hebrews 4:11.—λατρεὑουσι, serve) The same verb, ch. 9, often; Hebrews 10:2, Hebrews 13:10. He speaks in the present tense, as the temple was not yet destroyed, ch. Hebrews 9:6, Hebrews 13:11.—τῶν ἐπουρανίων, of heavenly things) which are both more ancient in design and more far-reaching in the finishing. Comp. Revelation 11:19. The mentioning of the mount accords with heaven.—κεχρημάτισται) he was commanded by God.—ὅρα, γάρ φησι, ποιήσῃς πάντα κατὰ τὸν τύπον τὸν δειχθέντα σοι ἐν τῷ ὄρει) Exodus 25:40, LXX., is the same as the above, with the exception of τὸν δεδειγμένον instead of τὸν δειχθέντα, and so ibid. Exodus 8:9; Exodus 26:30; Exodus 27:8.

Verse 5. - Who (i.e. being such as do so; οἵτινες) serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things (ὑπόδειγμα here, as in Hebrews 9:23, means" representation," in the way of copy, not of pattern. "Shadow" (σκιὰ) is opposed in Hebrews 10. I to εἰκὼν, which denotes the reality, and in Colossians 2:17 to σῶμα), even as Moses is admonished of God when about to make the tabernacle (literally, to complete; but not in the sense of finishing a thing begun, but of carrying out a design to entire completion); for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern that was showed thee in the mount. For the sense of κεχρημάτισται, according to Hellenistic usage, cf. Matthew 2:22, "Being warned of God in a dream (χρηματισθεὶς δὲ κατ ὄναρ)." The reference here is to Exodus 25:40; the words which "the LORD spake unto Moses." Rabbinical writers, holding the view of an actual heavenly tabernacle, the prototype of the earthly one, have concluded from the passage in Exodus that Moses had a vision of it, or that a visible representation of it was exhibited to him on the mount. All that is necessarily implied is that he was divinely admonished to make the tabernacle after the fashion conveyed, in whatever way, to his apprehension when on the mount, so that it might be a true representation of some heavenly reality (cf. Acts 7:44). Hebrews 8:5Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things (οἵτινες ὑποδείγματι καί σκιᾷ λατρεύουσιν τῶν ἐπουρανίων)

The connection is, "there are those who offer the gifts according to the law, such as (οἵτινες) serve," etc. For λατρεύουσιν serve, see on 2 Timothy 1:3. Omit unto. Rend. serve the copy and shadow, etc., or, as Rev., that which is a copy and shadow. For ὑπόδειγμα copy, see on 1 Peter 5:3; see on 2 Peter 2:6. Comp. Hebrews 9:23. Τῶν ἐπουρανίων "of heavenly things." Τὰ ἐπουράνια in N.T. usually "heavenly places." See Ephesians 1:3; Ephesians 2:6; Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12 : "heavenly things," John 3:12; Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 9:23.

As Moses was admonished (καθὼς κεχρημάτισται Μωυσῆς)

By God. This, and the remainder of the verse, explain the words copy and shadow. For χρηματίζειν see on Matthew 2:12; see on Luke 2:26; see on Acts 11:26. Comp. χρηματισμός answer (of God), Romans 11:4. In Exodus 40:1, where Moses is commanded to make the tabernacle, God is expressly named.

To make (ἐπιτελεῖν)

The margin of Rev. complete may easily convey a wrong idea. The sense is to carry out or execute the plan given to him.

For, See (ὅρα γάρ)

Γάρ for is not a part of the quotation, but is argumentative. Moses was admonished, for God said "See," etc.

That thou make (ποιήσεις)

A direct command. "See, thou shalt make."

Pattern (τύπον)

See on 1 Peter 5:3. The meaning is that, in all essential features, the Levitical system of worship was a copy of a heavenly reality. This was pressed into an absurd literalism by the Rabbins, who held that there were in heaven original models of the tabernacle and of all its appurtenances, and that these were shown to Moses in the Mount. The writer draws out of this vulgar conception the thought that the material tabernacle was an emblem of a spiritual, heavenly sanctuary. The Levitical priests, therefore, serve only a copy and shadow.

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