Hebrews 9:11
But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Jump to: AlfordBarnesBengelBensonBICalvinCambridgeChrysostomClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctExp GrkGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsICCJFBKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWMeyerParkerPNTPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBVWSWESTSK
(11, 12) The changes of translation required in these verses are not considerable in themselves, but important for the sake of bringing out the unity of the sentence and the connection of its parts. But Christ having come a High Priest of the good things to come (or, the good things that are come, see below), through the greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, also not through blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, entered once for all into the Holy Place, having won eternal redemption. With Hebrews 9:11 begins the contrast to the first verse. In that we read of the first covenant as possessing ordinances of service and its holy place—both, however, “of this world,” and the following verses describe the sanctuary itself (Hebrews 9:1-5) and the ordinances (Hebrews 9:6-10). Now, the Mediator of the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:6), “Christ,” whose name brings with it the thought of the satisfaction of all hope and fulfilment of all promises, has appeared as High Priest; and entering into the true Holy of Holies has accomplished once for all what the earlier ministrations typified. This is the main thought; but in few verses do the single words require more careful study. The various-reading mentioned above, “the good things that are come,” is very interesting. It is not supported by a large number of authorities, but amongst them are the Vatican MS. (whose guidance, it may be remarked, we shall soon lose, as the ancient text breaks off suddenly in the middle of a word in Hebrews 9:14), the Claromontane MS., and two Syriac versions. One strong argument in its favour presents itself on a comparison with Hebrews 10:1 (where there is no doubt about the reading), “the good things to come.” A scribe who had in mind those words, confirmed by the repeated occurrence of a similar thought in different parts of the Epistle (Hebrews 2:5; Hebrews 6:5), might easily substitute them for words expressing a less familiar thought. The two phrases differ more in form than in reality. In one we look at the new order of things, which is never to pass away, as already introduced by Christ (see Note on Hebrews 1:2); and in the other the same new order is thought of as future to those who waited through long ages for “the Christ,” and in its consummation still future to ourselves (Hebrews 6:5). The form of expression reminds us of Hebrews 3:1, where Jesus is called the High Priest of our confession (compare also Malachi 3:1, “the Messenger of the covenant”): He is associated with “the good things” as having brought them in, as Mediator of the covenant to which they belong.

Through (or, by means of) the more perfect Tabernacle, through (or, by means of) His own blood, Christ entered into the Holy Place. The two-fold reference to the type is very plain. It was by passing through “the first Tabernacle” that the high priest reached the Holiest Place; it was by means of the blood of the sin-offering that he was enabled to enter into that place of God’s presence (Hebrews 9:7). But what in the antitype answers to this Tabernacle? The expression of Hebrews 4:14, perhaps, first presents itself to the mind: if, however, we were right in understanding the words “that has passed through the heavens” as descriptive of our Lord’s ascension far above all heavens (Ephesians 4:10), it seems evident that this verse is no real parallel. In Hebrews 10:20 the thought is somewhat different, but yet sufficiently akin to be suggestive in regard to these words. There the veil is spoken of as symbolising “the flesh” of our Lord. Here we have in all probability an extension of the same thought, “the more perfect Tabernacle” being the human nature of our Lord. We think at once of a number of passages presenting the same idea: “The Word was made flesh and made His tabernacle among us” (John 1:14); “He spake of the temple of His body (John 2:19); “The Father that dwelleth in Me” (John 14:10); “In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily” (Colossians 2:9). As in Him God gave to the world the first true revelation of Himself (Hebrews 1:2), God’s dwelling-place amongst His people was a type of the Incarnate Word. The symbolism of the present verse compels us to think of the first and second Tabernacles as separate. It was otherwise in Hebrews 8:2, a verse which can only receive its proper explanation when the words now before us are considered. There the reference is to the High Priest who has already entered the Holiest Place and has “sat down at the right hand” of God. The distinction of outer and inner sanctuary has disappeared; and, carrying out more fully the thought of the passages quoted above, we may say that, as “the sanctuary” of Hebrews 8:2 symbolises the place of God’s immediate presence, “the true Tabernacle” represents the place of His continued and unceasing revelation of Himself to man, “in Christ.” There is no difficulty now in explaining the epithets, “greater,” “more perfect,” “not of this creation.” By means of this assumption of human nature He received power to become High Priest, power also to become Himself the sin-offering. Once before only in the Epistle have we read of this two-fold relation of our Lord to the sacrificial act. There it is mentioned parenthetically (Hebrews 7:26) and by anticipation, here it is the leading thought (Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 9:26; Hebrews 9:28; Hebrews 10:10, et al.). The efficacy of this offering is taken up again in Hebrews 9:13-14; the entering into the Holiest Place, in the latter part of the chapter. A new thought is introduced in the last words of this verse, “having won eternal redemption.” Through the sacrifice atonement has been made and sin expiated: the blessing won, which in Hebrews 5:9 is called eternal salvation (see Note on Hebrews 7:25), is here “eternal redemption.” The latter figure enlarges the former by the additional thought of the payment of a price. The deliverance of man from God’s wrath and the penalty of sin, which Jesus effected by means of the offering of Himself, is the “eternal redemption which He won” (see Hebrews 9:14, and Ephesians 1:7). The words, “for us,” are not in the text: they are too intimately present in the whole thought to need direct expression.

; Hebrews 9:24-28Hebrews


Hebrews 9:11-14; Hebrews 9:24-28.

SPACE forbids attempting full treatment of these pregnant verses. We can only sum up generally their teaching on the priesthood of Jesus.

I. Christ, as the high priest of the world, offers Himself. Obviously verse 14 refers to Christ’s sacrificial death, and in verse 26 His ‘sacrifice of Himself’ is equivalent to His ‘having suffered.’

The contention that the priestly office of Jesus begins with His entrance into the presence of God is set aside by the plain teaching of this passage, which regards His death as the beginning of His priestly work. What, then, are the characteristics of that offering, according to this Writer? The point dwelt on most emphatically is that He is both priest and sacrifice. That great thought opens a wide field of meditation, for adoring thankfulness and love. It implies the voluntariness of His death. No necessity bound Him to the Cross. Not the nails, but His, love; fastened Him there. Himself He would not save, because others He would save. The offering was ‘through the Eternal Spirit,’ the divine personality in Himself, which as it were, took the knife and slew the human life. That sacrifice was ‘without blemish,’ fulfilling in perfect moral purity the prescriptions of the ceremonial law, which but clothe in outward form the universal consciousness that nothing stained or faulty is worthy to be given to God. What are the blessings brought to us by that wondrous self-sacrifice? They are stated most generally in verse 26 as the putting away of sin, and again in verse 28 as being the bearing of the sins of many, and again in verse 14 as cleansing conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Now the first of these expressions includes the other two, and expresses the blessed truth that, by His death, Jesus has made an end of sin, in all its shapes and powers, whether it is regarded as guilt or burden, or taint and tendency paralysing and disabling. Sin is guilt, and Christ’s death deals with our past, taking away the burden of condemnation. Thus verse 28 presents Him as bearing the sins of many, as the scapegoat bore the sins of the congregation into a land not inhabited, as ‘the Lord made to meet’ on the head of the Servant ‘the iniquities of us all.’ The best commentary on the words here is, ‘He bare our sins in His own body on the tree.’ But sin has an effect in the future as in the past, and the death of Christ deals with that, So verse 14 parallels it not only with the sacrifice which made access to God possible, but with the ceremonial of the red heifer,’ by which pollution from touching a corpse was removed. A conscience which has been in contact with ‘dead works’ {and all works which are not done from ‘the life’ are so} is unfit to serve God, as well as lacking in wish to serve; and the only way to set it free from the nightmare which fetters it is to touch it with ‘the blood,’ and then it will spring up to a waking life of glad service. ‘The blood’ is shed to take away guilt; ‘the blood’ is the life, and, being shed in the death, it can be transfused into our veins, and so will. cleanse us from all sin. Thus, in regard both to past and future, sin is put away by the sacrifice of Himself. The completeness of His priestly work is further attested by the fact, triumphantly dwelt on in the lesson, that it is done once for all, and needs no repetition, and is incapable of repetition, while the world lasts.

II. Christ, as the high priest of the world, passes into heaven for us.

The priest’s office of old culminated in his entrance into the Holy of Holies, to present the blood of sacrifice. Christ’s priesthood is completed by His ascension and heavenly intercession. We necessarily attach local ideas to this, but the reality is deeper than all notions of place. The passage speaks of Jesus as ‘entering into the holy place,’ and again as entering ‘heaven itself for us.’ It also speaks of His having entered ‘through the greater and more perfect tabernacle,’ the meaning of which phrase depends on the force attached to ‘through.’ If it is taken locally, the meaning is as in chapter 4:14, that He has passed through the [lower] heavens to ‘heaven itself’; if it is taken instrumentally {as in following clause}, the meaning is that Jesus used the ‘greater tabernacle’ in the discharge of His office of priest. The great truth underlying both the ascension and the representations of this context is, as verse 24 puts it, that He appears ‘before the face of God,’ and there carries on His work, preparing a place for us. Further. we note that Jesus, as priest representing humanity, end being Himself man, can stand before the face of God, by virtue of His sacrifice, in which man is reconciled to God. His sinless manhood needed no such sacrifice, but, as our representative, He could not appear there without the blood of sacrifice. That blood, as shed on earth, avails to ‘put away sin’; as presented in heaven, it avails ‘for us,’ being ever present before the divine eye, and influencing the divine dealings. That entrance is the climax of the process by which He obtained ‘eternal redemption’ for us. Initial redemption is obtained through His death, but the full, perfect unending deliverance from all sin and evil is obtained, indeed, by His passing into the Holy Place above, but possessed in fact only when we follow Him thither. We need Him who ‘became dead’ for pardon and cleansing; we need Him who is ‘alive for evermore’ for present participation in His life and present sitting with Him in the heavenly places, and for the ultimate and eternal entrance there, whence we shall go no more out.

III. Christ, as the high priest of the world, will come forth from the holy place.

The ascension cannot end His connection with the world. It carries in itself the prophecy of a return. ‘If I go,... I will come again.’ The high priest came forth to the people waiting for him, so our High Priest will come. Men have to die, and ‘after death,’ not merely as following in time, but as necessarily following in idea and fact, a judgment in which each man’s work shall be infallibly estimated and manifested. Jesus has died ‘to bear the sins of many.’ There must follow for Him, too, an estimate and manifestation of His work. What for others is a judgment,’ for Him is manifestation of His sinlessness and saving power. He shall be seen, no longer stooping under the weight of a world’s sins, but ‘apart from sir,’ He shall be seen ‘unto salvation,’ for the vision will bring with it assimilation to His sinless likeness. He shall be thus seen by those that wait for Him, looking through the shows of time to the far-off shining of His coming, and meanwhile having their loins girt and their lamps burning.Hebrews 9:11-12. But Christ being come — As if he had said, Though the types and legal ceremonies could not make the worshippers perfect, yet Christ, the antitype and truth, can. Here he comes to interpret and show the end of the typical services he had spoke of; a high-priest of good things to come — Described Hebrews 9:15; that is, a dispenser of those benefits and advantages which were prefigured by the Mosaic institutions, but could only be obtained for us, and bestowed upon us, by the Messiah. By a greater and more perfect tabernacle — That is, not by the service of the Jewish tabernacle, (Hebrews 9:23,) but by a service performed in a greater and more perfect tabernacle above; not made with hands, that is, not of this building — Namely, the building of this worldly sanctuary, or not making any part of this lower creation. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, &c., did he procure a right to enter and minister in that tabernacle, but by his own blood — By the merit of his death; he entered in once into the holy place above — That is, once for all: not once, or one day every year, as the Jewish high-priest into the holy place of the emblematical tabernacle: having obtained — By his one perfect sacrifice; eternal redemption and salvation for us — Of which all the remissions, and all the benefits procured by the ministration of the Aaronical priesthood, were but very imperfect figures. Beza, Pierce, and many others, by the greater and more perfect tabernacle, understand our Lord’s human nature. In support of which notion Beza says, that his human nature may as properly be called a tabernacle as his flesh is called a veil, Hebrews 10:24. “But, not to dispute about the propriety of the figure, it appears an absurdity to say that Christ entered into the holy place through his own human nature, as through a tabernacle. He entered into heaven clothed with his human nature, and not through it, as through a place: for, on that supposition, he did not carry his human nature with him into heaven.” — Macknight.9:11-14 All good things past, present, and to come, were and are founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ's offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.But Christ being come - Now that the Messiah has come, a more perfect system is introduced by which the conscience may be made free from guilt.

An high priest of good things to come - see Hebrews 10:1. The apostle having described the tabernacle, and shown wherein it was defective in regard to the real wants of sinners, proceeds now to describe the Christian system, and to show how that met the real condition of man, and especially how it was adapted to remove sin from the soul. The phrase "high priest of good things to come," seems to refer to those "good things" which belonged to the dispensation that was to come; that is, the dispensation under the Messiah. The Jews anticipated great blessings in that time. They looked forward to better things than they enjoyed under the old dispensation. They expected more signal proofs of the divine favor; a clearer knowledge of the way of pardon; and more eminent spiritual enjoyments. Of these, the apostle says that Christ, who had come, was now the high priest. It was he by whom they were procured; and the time had actually arrived when they might enjoy the long-anticipated good things under the Messiah.

By a greater and more perfect tabernacle - The meaning is, that Christ officiated as high priest in a much more magnificent and perfect temple than either the tabernacle or the temple under the old dispensation. He performed the great functions of his priestly office - the sprinkling of the blood of the atonement - in heaven itself, of which the most holy place in the tabernacle was but the emblem. The Jewish high priest entered the sanctuary made with hands to minister before God; Christ entered into heaven itself. The word "by" here - διὰ dia - means probably through, and the idea is, that Christ passed through a more perfect tabernacle on his way to the mercy-seat in heaven than the Jewish high priest did when he passed through the outer tabernacle Hebrews 9:2 and through the veil into the most holy place. Probably the idea in the mind of the writer was that of the Saviour passing through the "visible heavens" above us, to which the veil, dividing the holy from the most holy place in the temple, bore some resemblance. Many, however, have understood the word "tabernacle" here as denoting the "body of Christ" (see Grotius and Bloomfield in loc.); and according to this the idea is, that Christ, by means of his own body and blood offered as a sacrifice, entered into the most holy place in heaven. But it seems to me that the whole scope of the passage requires us to understand it of the more perfect temple in heaven where Christ performs his ministry, and of which the tabernacle of the Hebrews was but the emblem. Christ did not belong to the tribe of Levi; he was not an high priest of the order of Aaron; he did not enter the holy place on earth, but he entered the heavens, and perfects the work of his ministry there.

Not made with hands - A phrase that properly describes heaven as being prepared by God himself; see notes on 2 Corinthians 5:1.

Not of this building - Greek "of this "creation" - κτίσεως ktiseōs. The meaning is, that the place where he officiates is not made by human power and art, but is the work of God. The object is to show that his ministry is altogether more perfect than what could be rendered by a Jewish priest, and performed in a temple which could not have been reared by human skill and power.

11. But—in contrast to "could not make … perfect" (Heb 9:9).

Christ—The Messiah, of whom all the prophets foretold; not "Jesus" here. From whom the "reformation" (Heb 9:10), or rectification, emanates, which frees from the yoke of carnal ordinances, and which is being realized gradually now, and shall be perfectly in the consummation of "the age (world) to come." "Christ … High Priest," exactly answers to Le 4:5, "the priest that is anointed."

being come an, &c.—rather, "having come forward (compare Heb 10:7, a different Greek word, picturesquely presenting Him before us) as High Priest." The Levitical priests must therefore retire. Just as on the day of atonement, no work was done, no sacrifice was offered, or priest was allowed to be in the tabernacle while the high priest went into the holiest place to make atonement (Le 16:17, 29). So not our righteousness, nor any other priest's sacrifice, but Christ alone atones; and as the high priest before offering incense had on common garments of a priest, but after it wore his holy garments of "glory and beauty" (Ex 28:2, 40) in entering the holiest, so Christ entered the heavenly holiest in His glorified body.

good things to come—Greek, "the good things to come," Heb 10:1; "better promises," (Heb 8:6; the "eternal inheritance," Heb 9:15; 1Pe 1:4; the "things hoped for," Heb 11:1).

by a … tabernacle—joined with "He entered." Translate, "Through the … tabernacle" (of which we know) [Alford]. As the Jewish high priest passed through the anterior tabernacle into the holiest place, so Christ passed through heaven into the inner abode of the unseen and unapproachable God. Thus, "the tabernacle" here is the heavens through which He passed (see on [2562]Heb 4:14). But "the tabernacle" is also the glorified body of Christ (see on [2563]Heb 8:2), "not of this building" (not of the mere natural "creation, but of the spiritual and heavenly, the new creation"), the Head of the mystical body, the Church. Through this glorified body He passes into the heavenly holiest place (Heb 9:24), the immaterial, unapproachable presence of God, where He intercedes for us. His glorified body, as the meeting place of God and all Christ's redeemed, and the angels, answers to the heavens through which He passed, and passes. His body is opposed to the tabernacle, as His blood to the blood of goats, &c.

greater—as contrasted with the small dimensions of the earthly anterior tabernacle.

more perfect—effective in giving pardon, peace, sanctification, and access to closest communion with God (compare Heb 9:9; Heb 10:1).

not made with hands—but by the Lord Himself (Heb 8:2).

But; the Spirit, by this adversative But, opposeth and applieth the truth to the type, and brings in view the antitype, the office, tabernacle, sacrifice, and ministration of Christ, which vastly exceedeth the Mosaical one.

Christ being come an High Priest of good things to come; the High Priest preferred is no less person than God the Son manifested in the flesh, and anointed to his office with the Holy Ghost and power, Acts 10:38. In the fulness of time, before the antiquating and removing the former order, was he exhibited and consecrated the true High Priest, of which all the other were but types, and bringing with him all those good things which were figured and promised under that economy, all pardon, reconciliation, righteousness, holiness, adoption, and glorious salvation, which were under that dispensation to come, being present and exhibited with, as effected by, this High Priest at his first coming, but to be completed and perfected at his second, which is intimated, Hebrews 9:26,28.

By a greater and more perfect tabernacle; the anti-type of the Mesaical sanctuary and tabernacle, where there was the holy place, and the holy of holiest, correspondent to, and figured out by, these, was the more glorious sanctuary of this High Priest; he passeth through the tabernacle of his church on earth, of which he is the minister, as hath been cleared, Hebrews 9:10, and Hebrews 8:2, and so enters into the heaven of heavens, the holiest of all, Hebrews 9:24, where God sits on his throne of grace.

Tabernacle here cannot signify the body of Christ, for that is the sacrifice that answereth to the legal ones offered in the court, and without the gate, Hebrews 13:11-13, and with the blood of which he enters the holy of holiest as the high priest did, and he doth not pass through his flesh there, but carrieth it with him. The word eskhnwsen, John 1:14, may not only refer to the Godhead’s tabernacling in flesh, but that God the Son incarnate tabernacled in his church; those with whom Christ dwelt while on earth, for his human nature dwelt or had a tabernacle in this world as well as his Deity; and this is such a tabernacle where he in his whole person and his church may meet and communicate together. This tabernacle is greater than the Mosaical for quantity, as it refers to earth the place, even the whole world, where his church is dispersed, beyond all comparison larger than its type, which was a little limited and confined place; and more perfect than that, which was only made of boards, gold, silver, brass, silk, linen, skins, &c. This being a spiritual temple and tent, in which God will inhabit and dwell for ever, 1 Corinthians 3:9,16,17 2 Corinthians 6:16 Ephesians 2:12,20-22 1 Peter 2:5; it is far more glorious than that tabernacle, Haggai 2:7-9.

Not made with hands; what is hand wrought, or made by men, is at the best mouldering and decaying; but this was wrought by the Spirit of God himself, most excellent for the quality, permanency of the materials, and work, Ephesians 2:22. Man had neither power nor skill to form, polish, frame, or pitch this, Hebrews 8:2. Creation work is God’s work, as to the old and new creation. Hands may frame and pitch the other, and pluck it up; but he that worketh, frameth, raiseth, createth this, is God, 2 Corinthians 5:5 Ephesians 2:20. But Christ being come an high priest,.... Christ is come, as appears from the cessation of civil government among the Jews, which was not to be till Shiloh came; from the destruction of the second temple, into which the Messiah was to come, and did; from the expiration of Daniel's weeks, at which he was to appear, and be cut off; from the coming of John the Baptist, his forerunner, and from the preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, and the calling and conversion of them, and the effusion of the Spirit upon them: and he is come an high priest; he was called to be one, and was constituted as such in the council and covenant of peace; and he agreed to do the work of one; he was typified by the high priest under the law; and he came as such into this world, and has done the work of an high priest, by offering himself a sacrifice for sin, and by his entrance into the holiest of all, with his own blood: and he is come an high priest of good things to come; such as peace, reconciliation, and atonement, a justifying righteousness, pardon of sin, eternal life and salvation, which the law was a shadow and figure of; and which under the former dispensation were to come, as to the actual impetration of them by Christ; who is called the high priest of them, to distinguish him from the high priests under the law, who could not bring in these good things, nor make the comers to them and to their offerings perfect; but Christ is the author and administrator of them; and these things are owing to the performance of his priestly office; and such rob Christ of his glory, as a priest, who ascribe these good things to their own merits, or the merits of others: and the way in which he is come is,

by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; meaning the human body of Christ, which was greater than tabernacle of Moses; not in bulk and quantity, but in value, worth, and dignity; and was more perfect than that, that being only an example, figure, shadow, and type, this being the antitype, the sum and substance of that; and by it things and persons are brought to perfection, which could not be, in and by that; and this is a tabernacle which God pitched, and not man; which was reared up without the help, of man: Christ was not begotten by man, but was conceived in the womb of a virgin, under the power of the Holy Ghost; he came not into the world in the way of ordinary generation, but in a supernatural manner; and so his human body is a tabernacle, not of the common building, or creation, as the word may be rendered, as other human bodies are.

{6} But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, {7} by a {h} greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

(6) Now he enters into the declaration of the types, and first of all comparing the Levitical high priest with Christ, (that is to say, the figure with the thing itself) he attributes to Christ the administration of good things to come, that is, everlasting, which those carnal things had respect to.

(7) Another comparison of the first corrupt tabernacle with the latter, (that is to say, with the human nature of Christ) which is the true incorruptible temple of God, into which the Son of God entered, as the Levitical high priests into the other which was frail and transitory.

(h) By a more excellent and better.

Hebrews 9:11-12. Antithesis to Hebrews 9:9-10. What the religion of the Mosaic covenant was unable to effect, that has been accomplished by Christ.

παραγενόμενος ἀρχιερεὺς τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν] having appeared as High Priest of the good things to come. The verb in the same sense as Matthew 3:1, 1Ma 4:46; synonymous with ἀνίστασθαι, Hebrews 7:11; Hebrews 7:15. Strangely misapprehending the meaning, Ebrard: παραγενόμενος is to be looked upon as an “adjectival attribute” to ἀρχιερεύς, and the thought is, “as a present High Priest,”—an acceptation which is incompatible with the participle of the aorist.

High Priest of the good things to come (comp. Hebrews 10:1) is Christ called, inasmuch as these good things are the consequence and result of His high-priestly activity. They are the blessings of everlasting salvation, which the author, Hebrews 9:12, sums up in the expression αἰωνία λύτρωσις; and they are called future, inasmuch as they are proper to the αἰὼν μέλλων (Hebrews 6:5), or the οἰκουμένη μέλλουσα (Hebrews 2:5), and the full enjoyment of them will first come in at the consummation of the kingdom of God, to be looked for with the return of Christ.

διὰ τῆς μείζονος καὶ τελειοτέρας σκηνῆς κ.τ.λ.] through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, which is not made with hands—that is to say, not of this world. The words belong to εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὰ ἅγια, Hebrews 9:12, and διά is used in the local sense: “through” (not instrumentally, as the διά, Hebrews 9:12). To join the words to that which precedes, and find in them an indication of that by means of which Christ became ἀρχιερεὺς τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν (Primasius, Luther, Dorscheus, Schulz, Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, pp. 409, 412 f., 2 Aufl.,—which latter will accordingly also take the διά, Hebrews 9:12, in both cases along with ἀρχιερεὺς τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν; otherwise, however, in the Comm. p. 337,

Moll, and others), is erroneous, because by virtue of οὐδέ, Hebrews 9:12, the existence of an already preceding link in the nearer definition of εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὰ ἅγια is presupposed.

But to interpret the σκηνή through which Christ has entered into the Most Holy Place as the body of Christ, or His human nature (so, on account of Hebrews 10:20, Chrysostom, Theodoret, Oecumenius, Theophylact, Primasius, Clarius, Calvin, Beza, Estius, Piscator, Jac. Cappellus, Grotius, Hammond, Owen, Bengel, Peirce, Sykes, Ernesti, Chr. Fr. Schmid, Friederich, Symbolik des Mos. Stiftshütte, Leipz. 1841, p. 296 ff., and others; also Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, p. 415, 2 Aufl., who, however, will have us think of the glorified human nature of Christ), or as the holy life of Christ (Ebrard), or as the (militant) church upon earth (Cajetan, Corn. a Lapide, Calov, Wittich, Braun, Wolf, Rambach, Michaelis, ad Peirc., Cramer, Baumgarten), or, finally, as the world in general (Justinian, Carpzov), is inconsistent with the point of comparison suggested by the comparatives μείζονος and τελειοτέρας in accordance with the foregoing disquisition, in general is opposed to the connection with Hebrews 9:1-10, and has against it the antithesis in which τὰ ἅγια, Hebrews 9:12, stands to σκηνή, Hebrews 9:11, as also the addition οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως. The lower spaces of the heavens are intended—corresponding to the πρώτη σκηνή of the earthly sanctuary (Hebrews 9:2; Hebrews 9:6; Hebrews 9:8)—as the preliminary stage of the heavenly Holy of Holies. Comp. Hebrews 4:14 : διεληλυθότα τοὺς οὐρανούς.

μείζονος καὶ τελειοτέρας] sc. than the Mosaic σκηνή.

οὐ χειροποιήτου] Comp. Hebrews 8:2 : ἣν ἔπηξεν ὁ κύριος, οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, Acts 7:48; Acts 17:24; Mark 14:58; 2 Corinthians 5:1.

οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως] not belonging to the earthly created world (the earth) lying before one’s eyes (ταύτης). Wrongly Erasmus, Luther, Clarius, Vatablus, Beza, Jac. Cappellus, Wolf, Bengel, Kuinoel, Friederich, l.c. p. 296, and others: not of this kind of building, sc. the same as the earthly sanctuary; or: as earthly things in general.Hebrews 9:11. Χριστὸς δὲ παραγενόμενος … “But Christ having arrived a High Priest of the good things that were to be, He, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, nor yet through blood of he-goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered once for all into the Holy of Holies, and obtained eternal redemption.” The main thought of the verse is that Christ has obtained eternal redemption; the δὲ, therefore, which introduces it, refers to the inability of the Levitical gifts and sacrifices to perfect the worshipper. The greater efficiency of Christ’s ministry results from its being exercised in a more perfect tabernacle and with a truer sacrifice. παραγενόμενος, scarcely, as Vulg. “assistens” rather “having arrived,” as in Matthew 2:1; Matthew 3:1; Matthew 3:13; and frequently in Luke and Acts. Cf. Isaiah 62:11. Ἰδού σοι ὁ σωτὴρ παραγίνεται … Here it is in fulfilment of the expectation aroused by μέχρι. ἀρχιερεὺς τῶν μελ. “The genitive gives the subject of the high priestly action. High Priest, concerned about, ministering in, securing and applying by His ministry τὰ πέλλ. ἀγαθά. The genitive here is nearly equivalent to the accusative τὰ μρὸς τὸν Θεόν in Hebrews 2:17” (Vaughan). The good things that were to be under the new covenant are specified in Hebrews 8:10-12; they surpassed all expectation, however. “The High Priest” of the good things coming, is a notable title. Possibly it is only equivalent to “High Priest of the new covenant,” the contents being used to stand for the whole dispensation, but more probably the writer has in view the slender benefits obtained by the Levitical High Priest, and contrasts them with the illimitable good mediated by Christ. διὰ τῆςσκηνῆςοὐ ταύτης τῆς κτἰσεως. The meaning of διὰ in Hebrews 9:11 favours the understanding of it here not in a local (Weiss, etc.) but an instrumental sense, “by means of”. It was because He was High Priest not in the earthly but the heavenly tabernacle that He was able to secure these great results. No doubt διὰ in a similar connection in Hebrews 4:14 and Hebrews 10:20 is used locally. But this sense is not so applicable here. Christ is represented here as the High Priest ministering in the tabernacle, not passing through it (Cf. Davidson and Westcott). τῆς μείζονος καὶ τελ. σκηνῆς, the tabernacle greater and more perfect than that which has been described in the preceding verses, and which has itself been mentioned as the scene of Christ’s ministry, Hebrews 8:2. This tabernacle is “not made with hands” οὐχειροποιήτου, as in Hebrews 9:24; equivalent to ἣν ἔπηξεν ὁ Κύριος οὐκ ἄνθρωπος, Hebrews 8:2. Our Lord characterised the temple as χειροποίητον, Mark 14:58. Being of human manufacture, Hebrews 8:2, it could be only a symbolic dwelling for God and a symbolic worship was appropriate. The words οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως are added in explanation, although, as Bleek remarks, they are certainly no clearer than the words they are meant to explain. They are, however, more significant; for they point out that the tabernacle in which Christ ministers does not belong to this world at all, has no place among created things and is thus in striking contrast to the ἅγιον κοσμικόν of Hebrews 9:1. It must, however, be acknowledged that Field (Otium Norv., p. 229) has shown reason for believing that we should translate “not of ordinary erection”. “By ταύτης I understand vulgaris, quae vulgo dicitur”; and κτίσις he sees no occasion to take in any other sense than that in which κτίζειν is commonly applied to a city (3 Esd. 4:53) or to the tabernacle itself (Leviticus 16:16). This meaning of ταύτης, though warranted by the LXX cited by Field is, however, rare; and the sense is a little flat, whereas the other interpretation is full of significance.11–14. Assurance of Conscience, the condition of access to God, was secured through Christ alone

11. being come] “Being come among us.”

a high priest of good things to come] Another and perhaps better reading is “of the good things that have come” (γενομένων B, D, not μελλόντων). The writer here transfers himself from the Jewish to the Christian standpoint. The “good things” of which the Law was only “the shadow” (Hebrews 10:1) were still future to the Jew, but to the Christian they had already come.

by a greater and more perfect tabernacle] The preposition dia rendered “by” may mean either “through”—in which case “the greater and better tabernacle” means the outer heavens through which Christ (anthropomorphically speaking) passed (see Hebrews 9:24 and Hebrews 4:14); or “by means of”—in which case “the better tabernacle” is left undefined, and may here mean either the human nature in which for the time “He tabernacled” (Hebrews 10:20; John 1:14; John 2:19; Colossians 2:9; 2 Corinthians 5:1), or as in Hebrews 8:2, the Ideal Church of the firstborn in heaven (comp. Ephesians 1:3).

not made with hands] Because whatever tabernacle is specifically meant it is one which “the Lord pitched, not man.”

not of this building] The word ktisis may mean either” building “or “creation.” If the latter, then the meaning is that the better tabernacle, through which Christ entered, does not belong to the material world. But since ktizo means “to build,” ktisis may mean “building,” and then the word “this” by a rare idiom means “vulgar,” “ordinary’ (Field, Otium Norvicense, iii. 142); otherwise the clause would be a mere tautology.Hebrews 9:11. Χριστὸςἀρχιερεὺς, Christ—High Priest) So Leviticus 4:5, ὁ ἱερεὺς ὁ χριστός, the priest that is anointed. Paul also here has respect to Christ as the Priest, but with Moses χριστὸς, anointed, is an epithet.—παραγενόμενος, being made present, being come) He then said suddenly, Withdraw, ye sons of Levi, ch. Hebrews 10:5; Hebrews 10:7.—τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν, of good things to come) So ch. Hebrews 10:1. Those good things are described at the end of Hebrews 9:15.—διὰ, by) Construed with εἰσῆλθεν, entered, Hebrews 9:12.—μείζονος) which was greater and more noble. So, πλείονα, a more excellent, ch. Hebrews 11:4.—σκηνῆς, tabernacle) That was His own Body, ch. Hebrews 10:5; Hebrews 10:20; comp. John 2:21. His body is opposed to the tabernacle, as His blood to the blood of goats, etc., Hebrews 9:12. Schomerus says correctly, in exig. on this passage, p. 33, the tabernacle is here taken for the way to the inner sanctuary. For the subsequent appellation, κτίσεως, of this institution or building, proves an abstract notion of that sort; so that, not the Tabernacle itself is denoted, but the building or institution, die Anstalt (establishment or arrangement). Therefore the Body, or Flesh (for flesh is inseparable from the body), is the veil, and the sanctuary is Heaven. Thus, as I hope, the matter is distinctly explained.—οὐ χειροποιήτου, not made with hands) Therefore this was greater, Hebrews 9:24. So, Paul, Colossians 2:11.—οὐ ταύτης, not of that) The Tabernacle, through which Christ entered, was not of that workmanship or structure.Verses 11, 12. - But Christ having come (παραγενόμενος, cf. Matthew 3:1; Luke 12:51) a High Priest (or, as High Priest) of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation (κτίσεως), nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all (ἐφάπαξ) into the holy place, having obtained (εὑράμενος, not necessarily antecedent to εἰσῆλθεν) eternal redemption. On the futurity expressed (here and Hebrews 10:1) by "the good things to come" (the reading μελλόντων being preferred to γενομένων), see under Hebrews 1:1 (ἐπ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων) and Hebrews 2:5 (τὴν οἰκουμένεν τὴς μέλλουσαν). Here, certainly, the period of the earthly tabernacle having been the temporal standpoint in all the preceding verses, futurity with regard to it may, without difficulty, be understood; and hence "the good things" may still be regarded as such as have already come in Christ. On the other hand, there is no difficulty in regarding them as still future. For the full and final result of even Christ's perfected high priesthood is not yet come. But what is "the greater and more perfect tabernacle," through which he entered the heavenly holy of holies? It seems evidently, in the first place, to be connected with εἰσῆλθεν, being regarded as the antitype of that "first tabernacle" through which the high priests on earth had passed in order to enter within the veil; διὰ having here a local, not an instrumental, sense. The instrumental sense of the same preposition in the next clause (διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος) is not against this view. In English, "through his own blood he entered through the tabernacle" presents no difficulty, though "through" is used in two different senses. But what is exactly meant by the tabernacle through which Christ has passed? Bearing in mind what was said under Hebrews 8:2 of the prophetic visions of a heavenly temple - corresponding to the earthly one - and that the epithet ἀχειροποίητος is applied also (ver. 24) by implication to the counterpart of the holy of holies, and also the expression (Hebrews 4:14), "having passed through the heavens (διεληλυθόντα τοὺς οὑρανοὺς)," we may regard it as denoting the heavenly region beyond this visible sphere of things (οὐ ταύτης τῆς  ᾿τίσεως), intervening between the latter and the immediate presence, or "face," of God. Thus "through the greater and more perfect tabernacle" of this verse answers to "having passed through the heavens" of Hebrews 4:14; and "entered once for all into the holy place" of ver. 12 to "entered into heaven itself" (the very heaven) of ver. 24. Thus also the symbolical acts of the Day of Atonement are successively, and in due order, fulfilled. As the high priest first sacrificed the sin offering outside the tabernacle, and then passed through the holy to the holy of holies, so Christ first offered himself in this mundane sphere of things, and then passed through the heavens to the heaven of heavens. Delitzsch, taking this view, offers a still more definite explanation; thus: "The former (τὰ ἅγια) is that eternal heaven of God himself (αὐτὸς ὁ οὐρανὸς) which is his own self-manifested eternal glory (John 17:5), and existed before all worlds; the latter (ἡ σκηνή) is the heaven of the blessed, in which he shines upon his creatures in 'the light of love' - 'the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven' of Revelation 15:5, which the apocalyptic seer beheld filled with incense-smoke from 'the glory of God, and from his power.'" There are other views of what is meant by "the greater and more perfect tabernacle." The most notable, as being that of Chrysostom and the Fathers generally, is that it means Christ's human nature, which he assumed before passing to the throne of the Majesty on high. This view is suggested by his having himself spoken of the temple of his body (John 2:21), and calling it, if the "false witnesses" at his trial reported him truly, ἀχειροποίητον (Mark 14:58); by the expression (John 1:14), "The Word was made flesh, and tabernacled (ἐσκήνωσεν) among us;" by St. Paul's speaking of the human body as a tabernacle (2 Corinthians 5:1, 4); and by Hebrews 10:19, 20, where the "veil" through which we have "a new and living way into the holy place through the blood of Jesus" is said to be his flesh. There is thus abundant ground for thinking of Christ's body as signified by a tabernacle; and the expression in Hebrews 10:19, 20 goes some way to countenance such an interpretation here. The objection to it is that it seems neither suggested by the context nor conformable to the type of the high priest on the Day of Atonement. For, if the human body of Christ assumed at his birth is meant, he entered into that before, not after, his atoning sacrifice; and if, with Hofmann, we think rather of his glorified body, in what sense in accordance with the type can it be said that he entered through it? We should rather say that he ascended with it to the right hand of God. The further points of contrast between Christ's entrance and that of the earthly high priests are:

(1) The instrumental medium was not the blood of goats and calves (specified here as having been the sin offerings on the Day of Atonement), but his own blood; he was both Priest and Victim.

(2) He entered, not yearly, but once for all; there was no need of continual repetition. And the conclusion is drawn flint the redemption he thus wrought is consequently complete and eternal. The first of these contrasts is enlarged on from ver. 13 to ver. 24; the second (denoted by ἐφάπαξ) is taken up at ver. 25. On the word "redemption" (λύτρωσις: in some other passages ἀπολύτρωσις) it is to be observed that it means, according to its etymology, release obtained by payment of a ransom (λύτρον), and thus in itself involves the doctrine of atonement according to the orthodox view. It is true that in many Scripture passages it is used (as also λυτρούσθαι and λυτρωτή`) in a more general sense to express deliverance only, but never where the redemption of mankind by Christ is spoken cf. In such cases the λύτρον is often distinctly specified, as in Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45, "his life;" in 1 Timothy 2:6 and Titus 2:14, "himself;" in Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; 1 Peter 1:19, "his blood;" cf. also infra, ver. 14. As to how the availing power of the atonement is to be understood, more will be said under the verses that follow.

The time of reformation introduces a higher sanctuary, a better offering, a more radical salvation.

Having come (παραγενόμενος)

Having appeared in the world. Only here in Hebrews, and only once in Paul. 1 Corinthians 16:3. Most frequent in Luke and Acts.

Of good things to come (τῶν γενομένων ἀγαθῶν)

According to this reading the A.V. is wrong. It should be "of the good things realized," or that have come to pass. The A.V. follows the reading μελλόντων about to be. So Tischendorf and Rev. T. Weiss with Westcott and Hort read γενομένων. Blessings not merely prophetic or objects of hope, but actually attained; free approach to God, the better covenant, personal communion with God, the purging of the conscience.

Through a greater and more perfect tabernacle (διὰ)

The preposition is instrumental. Comp. Hebrews 9:12. Const. with ἀρχιερεὺς high priest, and as qualifying it. "A high priest with a greater and more perfect tabernacle." It has been shown that the new high priest must have a sanctuary and an offering (Hebrews 8:2-8). Accordingly, as the Levitical priests were attached to (were priests with) an inferior tabernacle, so Christ appears with a greater and more perfect tabernacle. For this use of διὰ see Romans 2:27; Romans 14:20; 2 Corinthians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 3:11. Note the article with tabernacle, his greater, etc.

That is to say not of this building (τοῦτ' ἔστιν οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως)

For building rend. creation. See on Romans 8:19; see on 2 Corinthians 5:17; see on Colossians 1:15. The meaning is, not belonging to this natural creation either in its materials or its maker.

Hebrews 9:11 Interlinear
Hebrews 9:11 Parallel Texts

Hebrews 9:11 NIV
Hebrews 9:11 NLT
Hebrews 9:11 ESV
Hebrews 9:11 NASB
Hebrews 9:11 KJV

Hebrews 9:11 Bible Apps
Hebrews 9:11 Parallel
Hebrews 9:11 Biblia Paralela
Hebrews 9:11 Chinese Bible
Hebrews 9:11 French Bible
Hebrews 9:11 German Bible

Bible Hub

Hebrews 9:10
Top of Page
Top of Page