Hebrews 9:22
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
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(22) And almost all things.—The meaning of the word “almost,” as it stands in the Greek, is rather, “One may almost lay down the rule,” “One may almost say.” What follows, in both parts of the verse, is a general saying, modified by these introductory words. And one may almost say—according to the Law, all things are cleansed in blood, and apart from the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. To the first rule an exception is found in the various purifications by water or by fire (see Numbers 31:22-24); to the second in the remarkable law of Leviticus 5:11-13. The expression “in blood” is used because sprinkling with the blood of the slain victim was in figure a surrounding with, or inclusion within, the purifying element. On “cleansed” (Hebrews 1:3) the best comment is found in Leviticus 16:19; Leviticus 16:30; on “forgiveness,” in the words which in Leviticus 4 are repeatedly (Leviticus 4:20; Leviticus 4:26; Leviticus 4:31; Leviticus 4:35) used of the effect of the sin offering, “it shall be forgiven him.” The second clause of the verse is founded on Leviticus 17:11. By “shedding of blood” we must probably understand the slaying of the animal, rather than the pouring out of the blood by the altar (Leviticus 4:34, et al.) With these words compare Luke 22:20.

9:15-22 The solemn transactions between God and man, are sometimes called a covenant, here a testament, which is a willing deed of a person, bestowing legacies on such persons as are described, and it only takes effect upon his death. Thus Christ died, not only to obtain the blessings of salvation for us, but to give power to the disposal of them. All, by sin, were become guilty before God, had forfeited every thing that is good; but God, willing to show the greatness of his mercy, proclaimed a covenant of grace. Nothing could be clean to a sinner, not even his religious duties; except as his guilt was done away by the death of a sacrifice, of value sufficient for that end, and unless he continually depended upon it. May we ascribe all real good works to the same all-procuring cause, and offer our spiritual sacrifices as sprinkled with Christ's blood, and so purified from their defilement.And almost all things - It is a general custom to purify everything by blood. This rule was not universal, for some things were purified by fire and water, Numbers 31:22-23, and some by water only; Numbers 31:24; Leviticus 16:26, Leviticus 16:28. But the exceptions to the general rule were few. Almost everything in the tabernacle and temple service, was consecrated or purified by blood.

And without shedding of blood is no remission - Remission or forgiveness of sins. That is, though some things were purified by fire and water, yet when the matter pertained to the forgiveness of sins, it was "universally" true that no sins were pardoned except by the shedding of blood. Some impurities might be removed by water and fire, but the stain of "sin" could be removed only by blood. This declaration referred in its primary meaning, to the Jewish rites, and the sense is, that under that dispensation it was universally true that in order to the forgiveness of sin blood must be shed. But it contains a truth of higher order and importance still. "It is universally true that sin never has been, and never will be forgiven, except in connection with, and in virtue of the shedding of blood." It is on this principle that the plan of salvation by the atonement is based, and on this that God in fact bestows pardon upon people. There is not the slightest evidence that any man has ever been pardoned except through the blood shed for the remission of sins. The infidel who rejects the atonement has no evidence that his sins are pardoned; the man who lives in the neglect of the gospel, though he has abundant evidence that he is a sinner, furnishes none that his sins are forgiven; and the Mussulman and the pagan can point to no proof that their sins are blotted out. It remains to be demonstrated that one single member of the human family has ever had the slightest evidence of pardoned sin, except through the blood of expiation. In the divine arrangement there is no principle better established than this, that all sin which is forgiven is remitted through the blood of the atonement; a principle which has never been departed from hitherto, and which never will be. It follows, therefore:

(1) that no sinner can hope for forgiveness except through the blood of Christ;

(2) that if people are ever saved they must be willing to rely on the merits of that blood;

(3) that all people are on a level in regard to salvation, since all are to be saved in the same way; and,

(4) that there will be one and the same song in heaven - the song of redeeming love.

22. almost—to be joined with "all things," namely almost all things under the old dispensation. The exceptions to all things being purified by blood are, Ex 19:10; Le 15:5, &c.; 16:26, 28; 22:6; Nu 31:22-24.

without—Greek, "apart from."

shedding of blood—shed in the slaughter of the victim, and poured out at the altar subsequently. The pouring out of the blood on the altar is the main part of the sacrifice (Le 17:11), and it could not have place apart from the previous shedding of the blood in the slaying. Paul has, perhaps, in mind here, Lu 22:20, "This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you."

is—Greek, "takes place": comes to pass.

remission—of sins: a favorite expression of Luke, Paul's companion. Properly used of remitting a debt (Mt 6:12; 18:27, 32); our sins are debts. On the truth here, compare Le 5:11-13, an exception because of poverty, confirming the general rule.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; all such things as are capable of purifying, and which were not to be so by the water of separation, or by fire, as Leviticus 16:28 Numbers 31:23, were ceremonially purged by blood.

And without shedding of blood is no remission; and without the death of some living creature as a sacrifice, and the blood of it not only shed, but sprinkled, there could be neither legal pardon of guilt, nor purging of ceremonial filth. By this God signified to Israel, that without the blood of Christ his Son, and the Testator of his testament, shed as a sacrifice, to purchase and procure both remission and the Spirit, there could be neither pardon of the guilt of sin, and removal of the punishment, nor purging the filth, or renewing the nature of the sinner, his blood being the inestimable price purchasing both for them.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood,.... All "except a few things", as the Arabic version renders it; for some things were cleansed by water, and others purged by fire, Numbers 31:23. Some join the word almost with the word purged, as if the sense was, that all things were purged by blood, but not perfectly, only almost; but the former sense is best.

And without shedding of blood is no remission; that is, of sin; there was no typical remission without it; and there can be no real remission but by, the blood of Christ; no instance can be given of pardon without it; if it could have been otherwise, the blood of Christ had not been shed; for so it would seem to be shed in vain, and his satisfaction to be unnecessary; nor is it agreeable to the justice of God to forgive sin without satisfaction; nor is it consistent with his veracity, and faithfulness to his word, Genesis 2:17. It is a common saying with the Jews, and often to be met with in their writings, , "there is no atonement but by blood" (k); by the shedding of blood; not by the shedding of it, as it flows out of the body of the sacrifice, but as it is poured out on the altar; for the pouring of the blood at the four corners, and at the bottom of the altar, were the chief rites required in sacrifices; nor did they reckon expiation to be expiation, unless the altar was moistened by the blood of the sacrifice (l).

(k) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 5. 1. Zebachim, fol. 6. 1. & Menachot, fol. 93. 2.((l) Reland. Heb. Antiqu. par. 3. c. 2. sect. 8.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
Hebrews 9:22. Confirmation of the special historic facts adduced Hebrews 9:19-21, by the general rule, which throughout the whole domain of Mosaic law was recognised as, with hardly any exception, of binding obligation.

σχεδόν] almost, nearly (Acts 13:44; Acts 19:26), does not belong to ἐν αἵματι (Bengel, Böhme). Still less is it to be joined to καθαρίζεται, as is done by Chrysostom, Oecumenius, Theophylact, and Primasius, who, in opposition to the cohesion with that which precedes and follows, will find the thought expressed that the purification accomplished in accordance with the law is only a partial, bodily one, and thus only imperfect, since it is not able to cancel sins. It belongs logically to πάντα. The author, however, does not write καὶ ἐν αἵματι σχεδὸν πάντα καθαρίζεται, but, on the contrary, prefixes σχεδόν to the whole clause, in order to imply that the limitation contained in this expression extends to both members of the clause. The sense is consequently: and one must almost say that all things are according to the law purified with blood, and that without the shedding of blood no remission takes place. So, rightly, Bleek, Winer, Gramm., 7 Aufl. p. 514 f.; Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 500; Alford, Maier, Hofmann, and Woerner. As concerns the thought, Grotius in his day aptly refers us to the saying of the Talmud (tract. Joma, fol. 5. 1; Menachoth, fol. 93. 2): אֵין כַּפָּרָה אָלָּא בַדָּם, non est expiatio nisi per sanguinem. The conceding, moreover, of the existence of single exceptions, by virtue of σχεδόν, finds its justification, as regards the first half of the clause, in Exodus 19:10; Leviticus 15:5 ff., Leviticus 15:27; Leviticus 16:26; Leviticus 16:28; Leviticus 22:6; Numbers 31:22-24; as regards the second half, in Leviticus 5:11-13.

πάντα] all universally (men as well as things), which as Levitically impure has need of cleansing. Wrongly Peirce and Riehm (Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 563): all the furniture and utensils of the sanctuary.

κατὰ τὸν νόμον] in conformity with the law, i.e. so soon as the norm fixed by the Mosaic law is taken into account. The addition κατὰ τὸν νόμον is likewise to be supplied in thought to the second member of the clause.

αἱματεκχυσία] a word not elsewhere met with in Greek literature. What is meant is not specially the pouring out of the blood upon the altar (de Wette, Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 1, 2 Aufl. p. 435, al.), but in general, the blood-shedding by the slaying of sacrificial animals (Bleek, Delitzsch, Maier, Kurtz, Hofmann, Comm. p. 363).

ἄφεσις] remission, sc. of the guilt incurred.

Hebrews 9:22. καὶ σχεδὸν ἐν αἵματι πάντα … “And one may almost say that according to the law all things are cleansed with blood, and without blood-shedding is no remission”. σχεδὸν qualifies the whole clause and not only πάντα. Whether it qualifies both clauses, as Bleek, Weiss and others suppose, is more doubtful. Westcott and Delitzsch confine its reference to the first clause. ἐν αἵματι “with blood” the usual instrumental ἐν. πάντα, all things, especially, of course, those that were used in God’s worship or brought into His tabernacle. Water was used for cleansing from certain pollutions. κατὰ τὸν νόμον, it was not only a contrivance of man but the law of God which enacted that cleansing must be by blood. καὶ χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας, “without blood-shedding,” a word which occurs only here in Bibl. Greek. See Stephanus s.v. In all the instances cited in Stephanus it means the shedding of blood. Rendall, then, is quite wrong in maintaining (after Tholuck and De Wette) that it means, not the shedding but the outpouring of the blood at the foot of the altar. “The essential idea attached to the one act was destruction of life, of the other devotion of the same life to God. Hence the typical significance of the two acts was also quite distinct; outpouring of blood typified in fact, not physical death, but spiritual martyrdom by the surrender of a living will to God in perfect obedience even unto death”. Weiss is strictly accurate in his remark, “αἱμ. kann ohne eine lokale Näherbestimmung nicht die Ausgiessung des Blutes am Altare bezeichnen”. The evidence is furnished by Bleek. The words, if not suggested by, inevitably recall our Lord’s words (Matthew 26:28) τοῦτο γάρ ἐστιν τὸ αἷμά μου τῆς διαθήκης τὸ περὶ πολλῶν ἐκχυννόμενον εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν. Cleansing was required of everything connected with God’s worship, because it was stained through contact with men. And that this stain was guilt is implied in the use of ἄφεσις. It is by remission of sin the stain is removed. And according to the great law of Leviticus 17:11, this remission was attained by the shedding of blood τὸ γὰρ αἶμα ἀντὶ ψυχῆς ἐξιλάσεται. ἄφεσις is used absolutely only here and in Mark 3:29; elsewhere it is used with ἁμαρτιῶν or παραπτωμάτων. In Luke 4:18 it signifies “release”.

22. almost all things] There were a few exceptions (Exodus 19:10; Leviticus 5:11-13; Leviticus 15:5; Leviticus 16:26, &c.) The word σχεδὸν, “almost,” is only found in two other passages of the N.T. (Acts 13:44; Acts 19:26).

without shedding of blood] This, and not “pouring out of blood” at the foot of the altar (Exodus 29:16, &c.), is undoubtedly the true rendering. Comp. Leviticus 17:11; Luke 22:20. The Rabbis have a proverb, “no expiation except by blood.” The writer merely mentions this as a revealed fact: he does not attempt to construct any theory to account for the necessity.

Hebrews 9:22. Σχεδὸν, almost) [with blood for the most part]. The force of this restrictive particle does not fall upon πάντα, all things; for it admits of no exception: but upon the next word, with blood; because other material things besides the blood were also used, Hebrews 9:19.—χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας, οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις, there is no remission, without shedding of blood) This axiom is found in so many words in Tr. Talmudico Joma. See especially Leviticus 17:11.—ἄφεσις, remission) Levitical.

Verse 22. - And almost (rather, eve may almost say that) all things are according to the Law purified with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission. The essentiality of blood, which is "the life of all flesh," for atonement and consequent remission, is emphatically asserted in Leviticus 17:11, which expresses the principle of the whole sacrificial ritual. The idea seems to be that the life of man is forfeit to Divine justice (cf. Genesis 2:17), and so blood, representing life, must be offered instead of his life for atonement. Hebrews 9:22The historical facts are summed up, emphasizing one point - cleansing by blood.

Almost all things (σχεδον - πάντα)

The A.V. is wrong. Σξεδὸν almost or nearly is prefixed to the entire clause, and applies to both its members. Rend. "and I may almost say, it is in blood," etc. Almost provides for such exceptions as Exodus 19:10; Exodus 32:30-32; Exodus 5:11-13; Leviticus 15:5; Leviticus 16:26-28; Leviticus 22:6; Numbers 16:46-48; Numbers 31:23, Numbers 31:24; Psalm 51:1-17; Psalm 32:1, Psalm 32:2.

And without shedding of blood is no remission (καὶ χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις)

This sentence also is covered by "I may almost say." It does not state that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins, which "would be in conflict with the history and literature of the Old Testament." See exceptions above. Ἁιματεκχυσία shedding of blood, N.T.o , olxx, oClass. Οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις, lit. remission does not take place or ensue. For ἄφεσις see on James 5:15; most frequent in Luke and Acts. In Hebrews only here and Hebrews 10:18. Commonly with a genitive, in the phrase remission of sins: but sometimes absolutely as here, Mark 3:29; Luke 4:18.

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