Hebrews 9:25
Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
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(25) Nor yet that he shouldi.e., Nor yet (did He enter into heaven) that He may offer Himself often. The connection has been pointed out already in the last Note. The “offering “which is here in thought does not correspond to the actual sacrifice of the sin-offerings on the Day of Atonement, but to the presentation of the blood in the Holiest Place. In this really consisted the presentation of that sacrifice to God. That this is the meaning here is shown by the contrast in the latter part of the verse, where we read of the high priest’s entering the Holy Place (i.e., the Holy of Holies; see Note on Hebrews 9:2) “with blood not his own,” and by the argument of Hebrews 9:26.

9:23-28 It is evident that the sacrifices of Christ are infinitely better than those of the law, which could neither procure pardon for sin, nor impart power against it. Sin would still have been upon us, and have had dominion over us; but Jesus Christ, by one sacrifice, has destroyed the works of the devil, that believers may be made righteous, holy, and happy. As no wisdom, learning, virtue, wealth, or power, can keep one of the human race from death, so nothing can deliver a sinner from being condemned at the day of judgment, except the atoning sacrifice of Christ; nor will one be saved from eternal punishment who despises or neglects this great salvation. The believer knows that his Redeemer liveth, and that he shall see him. Here is the faith and patience of the church, of all sincere believers. Hence is their continual prayer as the fruit and expression of their faith, Even so come, Lord Jesus.Nor yet that he should offer himself often - The Jewish high priest entered the most holy place with blood once every year. In this respect the offering made by Christ, and the work which he performed, differed from that of the Jewish high priest. It was not needful that he should enter the holy place but once. Having entered there, he permanently remains there.

With the blood of others - That is, with the blood of calves, and goats. This is a second point in which the work of Christ differs from that of the Jewish high priest. Christ entered there with his own blood; notes on Hebrews 9:12.

25. As in Heb 9:24, Paul said, it was not into the typical, but the true sanctuary, that Christ is entered; so now he says, that His sacrifice needs not, as the Levitical sacrifices did, to be repeated. Construe, "Nor yet did He enter for this purpose that He may offer Himself often," that is, "present Himself in the presence of God, as the high priest does (Paul uses the present tense, as the legal service was then existing), year by year, on the day of atonement, entering the Holy of Holies.

with—literally, "in."

blood of others—not his own, as Christ did.

The excellency of Christ’s sacrifice beyond the Aaronical is argued here from its singularity; it needs no repetition, as their multiplied sacrifices did.

Nor; oude, introducing it, is but inferring this excellency of Christ’s sacrifice, by denying in it that weakness which was annexed to the legal ones; there was no need that he should die yearly, to fulfil the type of the often yearly sacrifices of the legal high priest, who entered with the blood of bulls and goats, strange blood to him, and not his own, into the holy of holiest in the tabernacle, and entered so every year once, to show the virtue of his sacrifice to be only signal, typical, and passing, to make room for a better, that single, individual one of Christ, in respect of sacrifice and oblation.

Nor yet that he should offer himself often,.... Or at all again; which shows the perfection of his sacrifice, for justice was satisfied, the law fulfilled, sin done away, and complete salvation obtained at once; which lies against the errors of the Socinians, who say he offers himself now in heaven; and of the Papists, who pretend to offer the body of Christ daily in their mass:

as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; not his own, nor other men's, but the blood of goats and calves; but Christ entered into heaven with his own blood, he having been altar, priest, and sacrifice: the high priest went into the most holy place every year, but Christ has entered into heaven once for all, where he sits down and continues, having done his work effectually.

{14} Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;

(14) Another double comparison: the Levitical high priest offered other blood, but Christ offered his own: he every year once repeated his offering: Christ offering himself but once, abolished sin altogether, both of the former ages and of the ages to come.

Hebrews 9:25. Οὐδέ] nor yet, sc. εἰσῆλθεν εἰς τὸν οὐρανόν.

προσφέρειν ἑαυτόν] denotes not the presentation of Himself with His blood before God in the heavenly Holy of Holies (Böhme, Bleek, Delitzsch, Alford, Kurtz, and others; comp. also Riehm, Lehrbegr. des Hebräerbr. p. 474), but the offering of Himself as a sacrifice upon earth. The sense is: Christ entered into the heavenly Holy of Holies, not that He might presently leave it again, in order afresh to offer Himself as a sacrifice upon earth.

ὁ ἀρχιερεύς] the Levitical high priest.

τὰ ἅγια] the earthly Holy of Holies.

ἐν αἵματι ἀλλοτρίῳ] with blood not his own.

ἀλλοτρίῳ] opposition to ἑαυτόν.

Hebrews 9:25-28. Renewed (comp. Hebrews 7:27-28, Hebrews 9:12) emphasizing of the manifestation once for all (and thus the full sufficiency) of the sacrifice of Christ.

Hebrews 9:25. οὐδʼ ἵνα πολλάκις … “Nor yet [did He enter in] in order to offer Himself repeatedly,” that is, He did not enter in for a brief stay from which He was to return to renew His sacrifice. Westcott holds that the “offering” corresponds with the offering of the victim upon the altar, not with the bringing of the blood into the Holy of Holies. He refers to Hebrews 9:14 ἑαυτὸν προσήνεγκεν, to Hebrews 9:28, and also to Hebrews 10:10. Similarly Weiss and others. But in Hebrews 9:7 προσφέρει distinctly refers to the bringing in and application of the blood in the Holy of Holies, and the context of the present passage seems decidedly to make for the same interpretation. The sequence of the ἵνα clause after εἰσῆλθεν; the analogy presented in the clause under ὥσπερ; and the consequence stated under ἐπεὶ (Hebrews 9:26) all combine in favouring this meaning. The High Priest enters the Holiest annually, but Christ’s entering in was of another kind, not requiring repetition. The reason for the reiterated entering in of the High Priest, as well as the possibility of it, is given in the words ἐν αἵματι ἀλλοτρίῳ. ἐν: “The High Priest was, as it were, surrounded, enveloped, in the life sacrificed and symbolically communicated” (Westcott). It is safer to take ἐν in its common instrumental sense: the blood was the instrument which enabled the High Priest to enter. The reason why the entrance had to be annually renewed is given in Hebrews 10:4. The same contrast between αἷμα ἀλλότριον and αἶμα ἴδιον is found in Hebrews 9:12. A sacrifice of blood not one’s own is necessarily imperfect, Christ’s entrance to God being διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος and διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου had eternal efficacy.

25. entereth into the holy place every year] In this entrance of the High Priest once a year, on the Day of Atonement, into the Holiest Place culminated all that was gorgeous and awe-inspiring in the Jewish ritual. The writer therefore purposely chose it as his point of comparison between the ministrations of the Two Covenants. For if he could shew that even the ceremonies of this day—called by the Jews “the Day”—were a nullity compared with the significance of the Gospel, he was well aware that no other rite would be likely to make a converted Hebrew waver in his faith. The Day of Atonement was called “the Sabbath of Sabbatism” or “perfect Sabbath.” It was the one fast-day of the Jewish Calendar. The 70 bullocks offered during the Atonement-week were regarded as a propitiation for all the 70 nations of the world. On that day the very Angels were supposed to tremble. It was the only day on which perfect pardon could be assured to sins which had been repented of. On that day alone Satan had no power to accuse, which is inferred by “Gematria” from the fact that “the Accuser” in Hebrew was numerically equivalent to 364, so that on the 365th day of the year he was forced to be silent. On the seven days before the day of Atonement the High Priest was scrupulously secluded, and was kept awake all the preceding night to avoid the chance of ceremonial defilement. Till the last 40 years before the Fall of Jerusalem it was asserted that the tongue of scarlet cloth tied round the neck of the goat “for Azazel” (“the Scape Goat”) used to turn white in token of the Remission of Sins. The function of the High Priest was believed to be attended with much peril, and the people awaited his reappearance with deep anxiety. The awful impression made by the services of the day is shewn by the legends which grew up respecting them, and by such passages as Sir 50:5-16; Sir 45:6-22. See an Excursus on this subject in my Early Days of Christianity, ii. 549–552.

with blood of others] Namely of the goat and the bullock. See Hebrews 9:22. A Rabbinic book says “Abraham was Circumcised on the Day of Atonement; and on that Day God annually looks on the blood of the Covenant of the Circumcision as atoning for all our iniquities.”

Hebrews 9:25. Οὐδʼ ἵνα) He did not enter for this purpose, viz. that.

Verses 25, 26. - Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others (i.e. blood not his own, ἀλλοτρίῳ); for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now (probably νυνί, not νῦν, meaning "as it is ") once at the end of the ages hath he appeared (rather, been manifested, πεφανέρωται) to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Here (as above noted) the idea of ἐφάπαξ in ver. 12 is taken up. That Christ's offering of himself is once for all, needing no repetition, follows from the view of it already given, viz. that it is a perpetual presentation of himself, after fully availing sacrifice of himself, before the very face of God. That this is of necessity once for all is now further shown by the consideration that repeated offerings of himself would involve the impossible condition of repeated deaths. Observe that "offer himself" in ver. 25 does not refer to the death upon the cross, but to the intercession before the eternal mercy-seat after accomplished atonement, answering to the high priest's entrance, with the blood of previous sacrifice, within the veil. The death itself is denoted in ver. 26 by παθεῖν ("suffered"). The argument rests on the principle, already established as being signified by the whole of the ancient ritual, that, for acceptable intercession in behalf of man, previous death or blood-shedding is in every case required. But why add "since the foundation of the world"? We must supply the thought of the retrospective efficacy of Christ's atonement. Ever since sin entered, man needed atonement, signified, but not effected, by the ancient sacrifices. Christ's one offering of himself has supplied this primeval need, availing, not only for the present and future, but also for all past ages. This view was definitely expressed, with reference to "transgressions which were under the first covenant," in ver. 15, and, though not repeated here, is prominent in the writer's mind (cf. Romans 3:25, where God's righteousness is said to have been shown in Christ with regard to "the passing over of sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God," as well as to justification of believers now; also Romans 5, where the effect of Christ's obedience is declared to be coextensive with that of Adam's transgression). This view accounts for "since the foundation of the world," the idea being that, the transgressions requiring atonement having been since then, repeated deaths since then would have been needed had not Christ's one offering of himself availed for all time, just as repeated sacrifices were needed for the high priest's symbolical yearly intercessions. The question is not asked, nor is any reason given, why this one all-sufficient offering was deferred till so long after the need began. It is enough to know that such has been, in fact, the Divine will, viz. that not till the fullness of time was come - not till the end (or consummation) of the long preceding sinful ages - should the Redeemer once for all be manifested for atonement. The phrase, ἐπὶ συντελείᾳ τῶν αἰώνων, seems certainly to imply the idea, otherwise known to have been prevalent in the apostolic age, of the end of all things being close at hand; and this expectation further accounts for the reference to the past rather than the future in the expression, "since the foundation of the world." For, with regard to the future, the second coming of Christ was the one great idea present to the minds of Christians, the intervening time being regarded by them as but the dawn of coming day (see, on this head, what was said under Hebrews 1:2). The strong expression, εἰς ἀθέτησιν ἁμαρτίας (for the sense of ἀθέτησις, cf. Hebrews 7:18, where it means "abrogation"), used as it here is with reference to all the transgressions of the ages past, though not to be pressed so as to invalidate what is elsewhere said of the future penal consequences of all willful and unrepented sin, may still be cited among the texts supporting the view of those who "trust the larger hope." Hebrews 9:25Nor yet that (οὐ δ' ἵνα)

Supply did he enter. "Nor yet did he enter that he might offer," etc.

He should offer himself often (πολλάκις προσφέρῃ ἑαυτόν)

His offering did not need repetition like the Levitical sacrifices. Offer himself refers rather to Christ's entrance into the heavenly sanctuary and presentation of himself before God, than to his offering on the cross. See on Hebrews 9:14. The sacrifice on the cross is described by παθεῖν suffer, Hebrews 9:26, and is introduced as a distinct thought. The point is that, being once in the heavenly sanctuary, Christ was not compelled to renew often his presentation of himself there, since, in that case, it would be necessary for him to suffer often. Each separate offering would necessitate a corresponding suffering.

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