Hebrews 9
ICC New Testament Commentary
Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
1 The first covenant had indeed its regulations for worship and a material sanctuary. 2 A tent was set up (κατασκευάζω as in 3:3), the outer tent, containing the lampstand, the table, and the loaves of the Presence; this is called the Holy place. 3 But behind (μετά only here in NT of place) the second veil was the tent called the Holy of Holies, 4 containing the golden altar of incense, and also the ark of the covenant covered all over with gold, which held the golden pot of manna, the rod of Aaron that once blossomed, and the tablets of the covenant; 5 above this were the cherubim of the Glory overshadowing the mercy-seat—matters which (i.e. all in 2-5) it is impossible for me to discuss at present in detail.

The καινὴ διαθήκη of 8:7-13 had been realized by the arrival of Christ (9:11); hence the older διαθήκη was superseded, and the writer speaks of it in the past tense, εἶχε. As for ἡ πρώτη (sc. διαθήκη) of which he has been just speaking (8:13), the antithesis of the entire passage is between ἡ πρώτη διαθήκη (vv. 1-10) and ἡ καινὴ διαθήκη (vv. 11-22), as is explicitly stated in v. 15. The καί (om. B 38 206*. 216*. 489 547 1739 1827 boh pesh Origen) before ἡ πρώτη emphasizes the fact that the old had this in common with the new, viz. worship and a sanctuary. This is, of course, out of keeping with the Jeremianic oracle of the new διαθήκη, which does not contemplate any such provision, but the writer takes a special view of διαθήκη which involves a celestial counterpart to the ritual provisions of the old order.

The former διαθήκη, then, embraced δικαιώματα, i.e. regulations, as in Luke 1:6 and 1 Mac 2:21, 22 (ἵλεως ἡμῖν καταλείπειν νόμον καὶ δικαιώματα τὸν νόμον τοῦ βασιλέως οὐκ ἀκουσόμεθα, παρελθεῖν τὴν λατρίαν ἡμῶν), rather than rights or privileges (as, e.g., OP. 1119:15 τῶν ἐξαιρέτων τῆς ἡμετέρας πατρίδος δικαιωμάτων), arrangements for the cultus. Λατρείας grammatically might be accusative plural (as in v. 6), but is probably the genitive, after δικαιώματα, which it defines. Λατρεία or (as spelt in W) λατρία (cp. Thackeray, 87) is the cultus (Romans 9:4), or any specific part of it (Exodus 12:25, Exodus 12:27). The close connexion between worship and a sanctuary (already in 8:2, 3) leads to the addition of τό τε (as in 1:3, 6:5) ἅγιον κοσμικόν. By τὸ ἅγιον the author means the entire sanctuary (so, e.g., Exodus 36:3, Numbers 3:38), not the innermost sacred shrine or ἅγια ἅγιων. This is clear. What is not so clear is the meaning of κοσμικόν, and the meaning of its position after the noun without an article. Primarily κοσμικός here as in Titus 2:12 (τὰς κοσμικὰς ἐπιθυμίας) is an equivalent for ἐπὶ γῆς (8:3), i.e. mundane or material, as opposed to ἐπουράνιον or οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως (v. 11). A fair parallel to this occurs in Test. Joshua 17:8, διὰ τὴν κοσμικήν μου δόξαν. But did our author use it with a further suggestion? It would have been quite irrelevant to his purpose to suggest the “public” aspect of the sanctuary, although Jews like Philo and Josephus might speak of the temple as κοσμικός in this sense, i.e. in contrast to synagogues and προσευχαί, which were of local importance (Philo, ad Caium. 1019), or simply as a place of public worship (e.g. Jos. Bell. iv. 5, 2, τῆς κοσμικῆς θρησκείας κατάρχοντας, προσκυνουμένους τε τοῖς ἐκ τῆς οἰκουμένης παραβάλλουσιν εἰς τὴν πόλιν). Neither would our author have called the sanctuary κοσμικός as symbolic of the κόσμος, though Philo (Vit. Mosis, iii. 3-10) and Josephus (Ant. iii. 6, 4, iii. 7, 7, ἕκαστα γὰρ τούτων εἰς ἀπομίμησιν καὶ διατύπωσιν τῶν ὅλων) also play with this fancy. He views the sanctuary as a dim representation of the divine sanctuary, not of the universe. Yet he might have employed κοσμικόν in a similar sense, if we interpret the obscure phrase μυστήριον κοσμικὸν ἐκκλησίας in Did. 11:11 (see the notes of Dr. C. Taylor and Dr. Rendel Harris in their editions) as a spiritual or heavenly idea, “depicted in the world of sense by emblematic actions or material objects,” “a symbol or action wrought upon the stage of this world to illustrate what was doing or to be done on a higher plane.” Thus, in the context of the Didache, marriage would be a μυστήριον κοσμικόν (cp. Ephesians 5:32) of the spiritual relation between Christ and his church. This early Christian usage may have determined the choice of κοσμικόν here, the sanctuary being κοσμικόν because it is the material representation or parabolic outward expression of the true, heavenly sanctuary. But at best it is a secondary suggestion; unless κοσμικόν could be taken as “ornamented,” the controlling idea is that the sanctuary and its ritual were external and material (δικαιώματα σαρκὸς, χειροποιήτου, χειροποίητα). The very position of κοσμικόν denotes, as often in Greek, a stress such as might be conveyed in English by “a sanctuary, material indeed.”

The ἅγιον is now described (v. 2f.), after Ex 25-26. It consisted of two parts, each called a σκηνή. The large outer tent, the first (ἡ πρώτη) to be entered, was called Ἅγια (neut. plur., not fem. sing.). The phrase, ἥτις λέγεται Ἅγια1 would have been in a better position immediately after ἡ πρώτη, where, indeed, Chrysostom (followed by Blass) reads it, instead of after the list of the furniture. The lampstand stood in front (to the south) of the sacred table on which twelve loaves or cakes of wheaten flour were piled (ἡ πρόθεσις τῶν ἄρτων = οἱ ἄρτοι τῆς προθέσεως), the Hebrew counterpart of the well-known lectisternia: ἡ τράπεζα … ἄρτων is a hendiadys for “the table with its loaves of the Presence.” Such was the furniture of the outer σκηνή. Then (vv. 3-5) follows a larger catalogue (cp. Joma 2:4) of what lay inside the inner shrine (ἅγια ἁγίων) behind the curtain (Exodus 27:16) which screened this from the outer tent, and which is called δεύτερον καταπέτασμα, δεύτερον, because the first was a curtain hung at the entrance to the larger tent, and καταπέτασμα, either because that is the term used in Exodus 26:31f. (the particular passage the writer has in mind here), the term elsewhere being usually κάλυμμα or ἐπίσπαστρον (Exodus 26:36 etc.), or because Philo had expressly distinguished the outer curtain as κάλυμμα, the inner as καταπέτασμα (de vita Mosis, iii. 9). This inner shrine contained (v. 4) χρυσοῦν θυμιατήριον, i.e. a wooden box, overlaid with gold, on which incense (θυμίαμα) was offered twice daily by the priests. The LXX calls this θυσιαστήριον τοῦ θυμιάματος (Exodus 30:1-10), but our writer follows the usage of Philo, which is also, on the whole, that of Josephus, in calling it θυμιατήριον (so Symm. Theodotion, Exodus 30:1, Exodus 31:8); θυμιατήριον, in the non-biblical papyri, denotes articles like censers in a sanctuary, but is never used in the LXX of levitical censers, though Josephus occasionally describes them thus, like the author of 4 Mac 7:11. The ordinary view was that this θυμιατήριον stood beside the λυχνία and the sacred τράπεζα in the outer sanctuary. Both Philo (e.g. quis rer. div. 46, τριῶν ὄντων ἐν τοῖς ἁγίοις σκευεῶν, λυχνίας, τραπέζης, θυμιατηρίου: de vita Mos. iii. 9 f., in the outer tent, τὰ λοιπὰ τρία σκευή … μέσον μὲν τὸ θυμιατήριον … τὴν δὲ λυχνίαν … ἡ δὲ τράπεζα) and Josephus (Ant, iii. 6. 4 f.; cp. viii. 4, for the reproduction in Solomon’s temple) are quite explicit on this. Indeed no other position was possible for an altar which required daily service from the priests; inside the ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων it would have been useless. But another tradition, which appears in the contemporary (Syriac) apocalypse of Baruch (6:7), placed the altar of incense1 inside the ἅγια ἁγίων, a view reflected as early as the Samaritan text of the pentateuch, which put Exodus 30:1-10 (the description of the altar of incense) after 26:35, where logically it ought to stand, inserting a לפני יהוה in Exodus 40:27 (where the altar of incense is placed “before the veil”). The earliest hint of this tradition seems to be given in the Hebrew text of 1 K 6:22, where Solomon is said to have overlaid with gold “the altar that is by the oracle” (i.e. the ἅγια ἁγίων). But our author could not have been influenced by this, for it is absent from the LXX text. His inaccuracy was rendered possible by the vague language of the pentateuch about the position of the altar of incense, ἀπέναντι τοῦ καταπετάσματος τοῦ ὄντος ἐπὶ τῆς κιβωτοῦ τῶν μαρτυριῶν (Exodus 30:6), where ἀπέναντι may mean “opposite” or “close in front of” the curtain—but on which side of it? In Exo_37 the τράπεζα, the λυχνία, and the altar of incense are described successively after the items in the ἅγια ἁγίων; but then the LXX did not contain the section on the altar of incense, so that this passage offered no clue to our writer. In Exodus 40:5 it is merely put ἐναντίον τῆς κιβωτοῦ. This vagueness is due to the fact that in the original source the sketch of the σκηνή had no altar of incense at all; the latter is a later accretion, hence the curious position of Exodus 30:1-10 in a sort of appendix, and the ambiguity about its site.

After all it is only an antiquarian detail for our author. It has been suggested that he regarded the ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων, irrespective of the veil, as symbolizing the heavenly sanctuary, and that he therefore thought it must include the altar of incense as symbolizing the prayers of the saints. But there is no trace of such a symbolism elsewhere in the epistle; it is confined to the author of the Apocalypse (8:3f.). The suggestion that he meant ἔχουσα to express only a close or ideal connexion between the inner shrine and the altar of incense, is popular (e.g. Delitzsch, Zahn, Peake, Seeberg) but quite unacceptable; ἔχουσα as applied to the other items could not mean this,1 and what applies to them applies to the θυμιατήριον. Besides, the point of the whole passage is to distinguish between the contents of the two compartments. Still less tenable is the idea that θυμιατήριον really means “censer” or “incense pan.” This way out of the difficulty was started very early (in the peshiṭta, the vulgate), but a censer is far too minor a utensil to be included in this inventory; even the censer afterwards used on atonement-day did not belong to the ἅγια τῶν ἁγίων, neither was it golden. What the σκηνή had was merely a brazier (πυρεῖον, Leviticus 16:12). Since it is not possible that so important an object as the altar of incense could have been left out, we may assume without much hesitation that the writer did mean to describe it by θυμιατήριον,2 and that the irregularity of placing it on the wrong side of the curtain is simply another of his inaccuracies in describing what he only knew from the text of the LXX. In B the slip is boldly corrected by the transference of (καὶ) χρυσοῦν θυμιατήριον to v. 2, immediately after ἄρτων (so Blass).

The second item is τὴν κιβωτὸν τῆς διαθήκης covered with gold all over (πάντοθεν: Philo’s phrase is ἔνδοθεν καὶ ἔξωθεν, de Ebriet. 21), a chest or box about 4 feet long and 2½ feet broad and high (Exodus 25:10f.), which held three sacred treasures, (a) the golden pot (στάμνος, Attic feminine) of manna (Exodus 16:32-34); (b) Aaron’s rod ἡ βλαστήσασα (in the story of Numbers 17:1-11, which attested the sacerdotal monopoly of the clan of Levi); and (c) αἱ πλάκες τῆς διαθήκης (Exodus 25:16f. Exodus 25:31:18), i.e. the two stone tablets on which the decalogue was written (πλάκας διαθήκης, Deuteronomy 9:9; ἐνέβαλον τὰς πλάκας εἰς τὴν κιβωτόν, 10:5), the decalogue summarizing the terms of the διαθήκη for the People. In adding χρυσῆ to στάμνος the writer follows the later tradition of the LXX and of Philo (de congressu, 18); the pot is not golden in the Hebrew original. He also infers, as later Jewish tradition did, that the ark contained this pot, although, like Aaron’s rod, it simply lay in front of the ark (Exodus 16:33, Exodus 16:34, Numbers 17:10). He would gather from 1 K 8:9 that the ark contained the tablets of the covenant. He then (v. 5) mentions the χερουβείν (Aramaic form) or χερουβεὶμ (Hebrew form) δόξης, two small winged figures (Exodus 25:18-20), whose pinions extended over a rectangular gold slab, called τὸ ἱλαστήριον, laid on the top of the ark, which it fitted exactly. They are called cherubim Δόξης, which is like Μεγαλωσύνης (1:3, 8:1) a divine title, applied to Jesus in Jam 2:1, but here used as in Romans 9:4. The cherubim on the ἱλαστήριον represented the divine Presence as accessible in mercy; the mystery of this is suggested by the couplet in Sir 49:8(10):

Ἰεζεκιήλ, ὃς εἶδεν ὅρασιν Δόξης

ἣν ὑπέδειξεν αὐτῷ ἐπὶ ἅρματος χερουβείμ.

Philo’s account of τὸ ἱλαστήριον is given in de vita Mosis, iii. 8, ἡ δὶ κιβωτὸς … κεχρυσωμένη πολυτελῶς ἔνδοθέν τε καὶ ἔξωθεν, ἧς ἐπίθεμα ὡσανεὶ πῶμα τὸ λεγόμενον ἐν ἱεραῖς βιβλοις ἱλαστήριον … ὅπερ ἔοικεν εἶναι σύμβολον φυσικώτερον μὲν τῆς ἵλεω τοῦ θεοῦ δυνάμεως. Lower down, in the same paragraph, he speaks of τὸ ἐπίθεμα τὸ προσαγορευόμενον ἱλαστήριον, and τὸ ἱλαστήριον is similarly used in De Cherub. 8 (on the basis of Exodus 25:19). The ἐπίθεμα or covering of the ark was splashed with blood on atonement-day; perhaps, even apart from that, its Hebrew original meant “means of propitiation,” and was not incorrectly named ἱλαστήριον (cp. Deissmann in EBi 3027-3035), but our author simply uses it in its LXX sense of “mercy-seat.” He does not enter into any details about its significance; in his scheme of sacrificial thought such a conception had no place. Philo also allegorizes the overshadowing wings of the cherubim as a symbol of God’s creative and royal powers protecting the cosmos, and explains Exodus 25:22 as follows (Quaest. in Exodus 25:22): τὰ μὲν οὖν περὶ τὴν κιβωτὸν κατὰ μέρος εἴρηται· δεῖ δὲ συλλήβδην ἄνωθεν ἀναλαβόντα τοῦ γνωρίσαι χάριν τίνων ταῦτά ἐστι σύμβολα διεξελθεῖν· ἦν δὲ ταῦτα συμβολικά· κιβωτὸς καὶ τὰ ἐν αὐτῇ θησαυριζόμενα νόμιμα καὶ ἐπὶ ταύτης τὸ ἱλαστήριον καὶ τὰ ἐπὶ τοῦ ἱλαστηρίου Χαλδαίων γλώττῃ λεγόμενα χερουβίμ, ὑπὲρ δὲ τούτων κατὰ τὸ μέσον φωνὴ καὶ λόγος καὶ ὑπεράνω ὁ λέγων κτλ. But our author does not enter into any such details. He has no time for further discussion of the furniture, he observes; whether he would have allegorized these items of antiquarian ritual, if or when he had leisure, we cannot tell. The only one he does employ mystically is the καταπέτασμα (10:20), and his use of it is not particularly happy. He now breaks off, almost as Philo does (quis rer. div. 45, πολὺν δʼ ὄντα τὸν περὶ ἑκάστου λόγον ὑπερθέτεον εἰσαῦθις) on the same subject. Κατὰ μέρος is the ordinary literary phrase in this connexion (e.g. 2 Mac 2:30; Polybius, i. 67. 11, περὶ ὧν οὐχ οἷόν τε διὰ τῆς γραφῆς τὸν κατὰ μέρος ἀποδοῦναι λόγον, and Poimandres [ed. Reitzenstein, p. 84] περὶ ὧν ὁ κατὰ μέρος λόγος ἐστὶ πολύς). Οὐκ ἔστιν as in 1 Corinthians 11:20.

Worship in a sanctuary like this shows that access to God was defective (vv. 6-8), as was inevitable when the sacrifices were external (vv. 8-10). Having first shown this, the writer gets back to the main line of his argument (8:2), viz. the sacrifice of Jesus as pre-eminent and final (v. 11f.).

6 Such were the arrangements for worship. The priests constantly enter the first tent (v. 2) in the discharge of their ritual duties, 7 but the second tent is entered only once a year by the highpriest alone—and it must not be without blood, which he presents on behalf of (cp. 5:3) himself and the errors of the People. 8 By this the holy Spirit means that the way into the Holiest Presence was not yet disclosed so long as the first tent 9 (which foreshadowed the present age) was still standing, with its offerings of gifts and sacrifices which cannot (μή as in 4:2) possibly make the conscience of the worshipper perfect, 10 since they relate (sc. οὖσαι) merely to food and drink and a variety of ablutions—outward regulations for the body, that only hold till the period of the New Order.

In v. 6; διὰ παντός = continually, as in BM i. 42 6 (ii b.c.) οἱ ἐν οἴκῳ πάντες σου διαπαντὸς μνείαν ποιούμενοι. Εἰσίασιν (which might even be the present with a futuristic sense, the writer placing himself and his readers back at the inauguration of the sanctuary: “Now, this being all ready, the priests will enter,” etc.) ἐπιτελοῦντες (a regular sacerdotal or ritual term in Philo) λατρείας (morning and evening, to trim the lamps and offer incense on the golden altar, Exodus 27:21, Exodus 30:7f. etc.; weekly, to change the bread of the Presence, Leviticus 24:8f., Jos. Ant. iii. 6, 6). The ritual of the inner shrine (v. 3) is now described (v. 7, cp. Joma 5:3); the place is entered by the highpriest ἅπαξ τοῦ ἐνιαυτοῦ, on the annual day of atonement (Leviticus 16:29, Leviticus 16:34, Exodus 30:10): only once, and he must be alone (μόνος, Leviticus 16:17), this one individual out of all the priests. Even he dare not enter χωρὶς αἵματος (Leviticus 16:14f.), i.e. without carrying in blood from the sacrifice offered for his own and the nation’s ἀγνοημάτων. In Genesis 43:12 ἀγνόημα is “an oversight,” but in Jdg 5:20, Tob 3:3, 1 Mac 13:39, Sir 23:2 ἀγνοήματα and “sins” are bracketed together (see above on 5:2), and the word occurs alone in Polyb. xxxviii. 1, 5. as an equivalent for “offences” or “errors” in the moral sense. There is no hint that people were not responsible for them, or that they were not serious; on the contrary, they had to be atoned for. Ὑπέρ κτλ.; for a similarly loose construction cp. 1 John 2:2 (οὐ περὶ ἡμετέρων [ἁμαρτιῶν] δὲ μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ περὶ ὅλου τοῦ κόσμου).

Rabbi Ismael b. Elischa, the distinguished exegete of i-ii a.d., classified sins as follows (Tos. Joma 5:6): Transgressions of positive enactments were atoned for by repentance, involving a purpose of new obedience, according to Jeremiah 22:23 (“Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings”). The day of atonement, however, was necessary for the full pardon of offences against divine prohibitions: according to Leviticus 16:30 (“On that day shall the priest make atonement for you, to cleanse you, that ye may be clean from all your sins”). An offender whose wrongdoing deserved severe or capital punishment could only be restored by means of sufferings: according to Psalm 89:32 (“Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes”). But desecration of the divine Name could not be atoned for by any of these three methods; death alone wiped out this sin (Jeremiah 24:4).

The author now (v. 8) proceeds to find a spiritual significance in this ceremonial. Δηλοῦντος is used of a divine meaning as in 12:27, here conveyed by outward facts. In 1 P 1:11 the verb is again used of the Spirit, and this is the idea here; Josephus (Ant. iii. 7, 7, δηλοῖ δὲ καὶ τὸν ἥλιον καὶ τὴν σελήνην τῶν σαρδονύχων ἑκάτερος) uses the same verb for the mystic significance of the jewels worn by the highpriest, but our author’s interpretation of the significance of the σκηνή is naturally very different from that of Josephus, who regards the unapproachable character of the ἄδυτον or inner shrine as symbolizing heaven itself (Ant. iii. 6, 4 and 7, 7, ὃ τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν ἦν ἄβατον, ὡς οὐρανὸς ἄνειτο τῷ θεῷ … διὰ τὸ καὶ τὸν οὐρανὸν ἀνεπίβατον εἶναι ἀνθρώποις). For ὁδόν with gen. in sense of “way to,” cp. Genesis 3:24 (τὴν ὁδὸν τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς), Jdg 5:14 (εἰς ὁδὸν τοῦ Σινά). Τῶν ἁγίων here (like τὰ ἁγία in vv. 12, 25, cp. 13:11) as in 10:19 means the very Presence of God, an archaic liturgical phrase suggested by the context. The word φανεροῦσθαι was not found by the writer in his text of the LXX; it only occurs in the LXX in Jer_40 (33):6, and the Latin phrase “iter patefieri” (e.g. Caesar, de Bello Gall. iii. i) is merely a verbal parallel. In τῆς πρώτης σκηνῆς ἐχούσης στάσιν (v. 9), the writer has chosen στάσιν for the sake of assonance with ἐνεστηκότα, but ἔχειν στάσιν is a good Greek phrase for “to be in existence.” The parenthesis ἥτις1 παραβολὴ (here = τύπος, as Chrysostom saw) εἰς τὸν καιρὸν τὸν ἐνεστηκότα means that the first σκηνή was merely provisional, as it did no more than adumbrate the heavenly reality, and provisional εἰς (as in Acts 4:3 εἰς τὴν αὔριον) τὸν καιρὸν τὸν ἐνεστηκότα, i.e. the period in which the writer and his readers lived, the period inaugurated by the advent of Jesus with his new διαθήκη. This had meant the supersession of the older διαθήκη with its sanctuary and δικαιώματα, which only lasted μέχρι καιροῦ διορθώσεως. But, so long as they lasted, they were intended by God to foreshadow the permanent order of religion; they were, as the writer says later (v. 23), ὑποδείγματα τῶν ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς, mere copies but still copies. This is why he calls the fore-tent a παραβολή. For now, as he adds triumphantly, in a daring, imaginative expression, our ἀρχιερεύς has passed through his heavenly fore-tent (v. 11), and his heavenly sanctuary corresponds to a heavenly (i.e. a full and final) sacrifice. In the levitical ritual the high priest on atonement-day took the blood of the victim through the fore-tent into the inner shrine. Little that accomplished! It was but a dim emblem of what our highpriest was to do and has done, in the New Order of things.

When readers failed to see that ἥτις … ἐνεστηκότα was a parenthesis, it was natural that καθʼ ἥν should be changed into καθʼ ὅν (D c K L P, so Blass).

The failure of animal sacrifices (9b-10) lies κατὰ συνείδησιν. As the inner consciousness here is a consciousness of sin, “conscience” fairly represents the Greek term συνείδησις. Now, the levitical sacrifices were ineffective as regards the conscience of worshippers; they were merely ἐπὶ βρώμασιν καὶ πόμασιν καὶ διαφόροις βαπτισμοῖς, a striking phrase (cp. 13:9) of scorn for the mass of minute regulations about what might or might not be eaten or drunk, and about baths, etc. Food and ablutions are intelligible; a book like Leviticus is full of regulations about them. But πόμασιν? Well, the writer adds this as naturally as the author of Ep. Aristeas does, in describing the levitical code. “I suppose most people feel some curiosity about the enactments of our law περί τε τῶν βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν” (128); it was to safeguard us from pagan defilement that παντόθεν ἡμᾶς περιέφραξεν ἁγνείαις καὶ διὰ βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν (142), ἐπὶ τῶν βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν ἀπαρξαμένους εὐθέως τότε συγχρῆσθαι κελεύει (158). It is curious that this defence of the levitical code contains an allusion which is a verbal parallel to our writer’s disparaging remark here; the author asserts that intelligent Egyptian priests call the Jews “men of God,” a title only applicable to one who σέβεται τὸν κατὰ ἀλήθειαν θεόν, since all others are ἄνθρωποι βρωτῶν καὶ ποτῶν καὶ σκέπης, ἡ γὰρ πᾶσα διάθεσις αὐτῶν ἐπὶ ταῦτα καταφεύγει. τοῖς δὲ παρʼ ἡμῶν ἐν οὐδενὶ ταῦτα λελόγισται (140, 141). Libations of wine accompanied certain levitical sacrifices (e.g. Numbers 5:15, Numbers 5:6:15, Numbers 5:17, Numbers 5:28:7f.), but no ritual regulations were laid down for them, and they were never offered independently (cp. EBi 4193, 4209). It is because the whole question of sacrifice is now to be restated that he throws in these disparaging comments upon the δῶρά τε καὶ θυσίαι and their accompaniments in the older σκηνή. Such sacrifices were part and parcel of a system connected with (v. 10) external ritual, and in concluding the discussion he catches up the term with which he had opened it: all such rites are δικαιώματα σαρκός, connected with the sensuous side of life and therefore provisional, μέχρι καιροῦ διορθώσεως ἐπικείμενα. Here ἐπικείμενα is “prescribed,” as in the description of workmen on strike, in TebtP 26:17 (114 b.c.) ἐγκαταλείποντας τὴν ἐπικειμένην ἀσχολῖαν. Διόρθωσις means a “reconstruction” of religion, such as the new διαθήκη (8:13) involved; the use of the term in Polybius, iii. 118. 12 (πρὸς τὰς τῶν πολιτευμάτων διορθώσεις), indicates how our author could seize on it for his own purposes.

The comma might be omitted after βαπτισμοῖς, and δικαιώματα taken closely with μόνον: “gifts and sacrifices, which (μόνον κτλ. in apposition) are merely (the subject of) outward regulations for the body,” ἐπί being taken as cumulative (Luke 3:20) —“besides,” etc. This gets over the difficulty that the levitical offerings had a wider scope than food, drink, and ablutions; but ἐπί is not natural in this sense here, and ἐπὶ … βαπτισμοῖς is not a parenthetical clause. The insertion of καί before δικαιώματα (by אc B Dc etc. vg hkl Chrys.), = “even” or “in particular” (which is the only natural sense), is pointless. Δικαιώμασιν (Dc K L vg hkl) was an easy conformation to the previous datives, which would logically involve ἐπικειμένοις (as the vg implies: “et justitiis carnis usque ad tempus correctionis impositis”), otherwise ἐπικείμενα would be extremely awkward, after δυνάμεναι, in apposition to δῶρα τε καὶ θυσίαι.

Now for the better sanctuary and especially the better sacrifice of Christ as our ἀρχιερεύς (vv. 11-28)!

11 But when Christ arrived as the highpriest of the bliss that was to be, he passed through the greater and more perfect tent which no hands had made (no part, that is to say, of the present order), 12 not (οὐδέ = nor yet) taking any blood of goats and calves but his own blood, and entered once for all into the Holy place. He secured an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on defiled persons, give them a holiness that bears on bodily purity, 14 how much more shall (καθαριεῖ, logical future) the blood of Christ, who in the spirit of the eternal offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve a living God.”

This paragraph consists of two long sentences (vv. 11, 12, 13, 14). The second is an explanation of αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑράμενος at the close of the first. In the first, the sphere, the action, and the object of the sacrifice are noted, as a parallel to vv. 6, 7; but in vv. 13, 14 the sphere is no longer mentioned, the stress falling upon the other two elements. The writer does not return to the question of the sphere till vv. 21f.

χριστὸς δὲ παραγενόμενος (v. 11). But Christ came on the scene,1 and all was changed. He arrived as ἀρχιερεύς, and the author carries on the thought by an imaginative description of him passing through the upper heavens (no hand-made, mundane fore-court this!) into the innermost Presence. It is a more detailed account of what he had meant by ἔχοντες ἀρχιερέα μέγαν διεληλυθότα τοὺς οὐρανούς (4:14). Χειροποιήτου, like χειροποίητα (v. 24), means “manufactured,” not “fictitious” (as applied to idols or idol-temples by the LXX and Philo). Τουτʼ ἔστιν οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως reads like the gloss of a scribe, but the writer is fond of this phrase τουτʼ ἔστιν, and, though it adds nothing to οὐ χειροποιήτου, it may stand. Κτίσις, in this sense of creation or created order, was familiar to him (e.g. Wis 5:17, 19:6). Μελλόντων, before ἀγαθῶν, was soon altered into γενομένων (by B D 1611 1739 2005 vt syr Orig. Chrys.), either owing to a scribe being misled by παραγενόμενος or owing to a pious feeling that μελλόντων here (though not in 10:1) was too eschatological. The ἄγαθα were μέλλοντα in a sense even for Christians, but already they had begun to be realized; e.g. in the λύτρωσις. This full range was still to be disclosed (2:5, 13:14), but they were realities of which Christians had here and now some vital experience (see on 6:5).

Some editors (e.g. Rendall, Nairne) take τῶν γενομένων ἀγαθῶν with what follows, as if the writer meant to say that “Christ appeared as highpriest of the good things which came by the greater and more perfect tabernacle (not made with hands—that is, not of this creation).” This involves, (a) the interpretation of ούδέ as = “not by the blood of goats and calves either,” the term carrying on παραγενόμενος; and (b) διά in a double sense. There is no objection to (b), but (a) is weak; the bliss and benefit are mediated not through the sphere but through what Jesus does in the sphere of the eternal σκηνή. Others (e.g. Westcott, von Soden, Dods, Seeberg) take διὰ τῆς σκηνής with Χριστός, “Christ by means of the … sanctuary.” This sense of διά is better than that of (a) above, and it keeps διά the same for vv. 11 and 12. But the context (παραγενόμενος … εἰσῆλθεν) points to the local use of διά in διὰ τῆς … σκηνῆς, rather than to the instrumental; and it is no objection that the writer immediately uses διά in another sense (διʼ αἵματος), for this is one of his literary methods (cp. διά with gen. and accus. in 2:1, 2, 2:9, 10, 7:18, 19, 23, 24, 25).

Continuing the description of Christ’s sacrifice, he adds (v. 12) οὐδὲ διʼ αἵματος τράγων (for the People) καὶ μόσχων (for himself), which according to the programme in Lev_16 the priest smeared on the east side of the ἱλαστήριον. The later Jewish procedure is described in the Mishna tractate Joma, but our author simply draws upon the LXX text, though (like Aquila and Symmachus) he uses μόσχων instead of χίμαρων. Διά is graphically used in διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος, as in διʼ αἵματος τράγων καὶ μόσχων, but the idea is the self-sacrifice, the surrender of his own life, in virtue of which1 he redeemed his People, the αἷμα or sacrifice being redemptive as it was his. The single sacrifice had eternal value, owing to his personality. The term ἐφάπαξ, a stronger form of ἅπαξ, which is unknown to the LXX, is reserved by our author for the sacrifice of Jesus, which he now describes as issuing in a λύτρωσις—an archaic religious term which he never uses elsewhere; it is practically the same as ἀπολύτρωσις (v. 15), but he puts into it a much deeper meaning than the LXX or than Luke (1:68, 2:38), the only other NT writer who employs the term. Though he avoids the verb, his meaning is really that of 1 P 1:18 (ἐλυτρώθητε τιμίῳ αἵματι ὡς ἀμνοῦ ἀμώμου καὶ ἀσπίλου Χριστοῦ) or of Titus 2:14 (ὃς ἔδωκεν ἑαυτὸν ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, ἵνα λυτρωσήται ἡμᾶς ἀπὸ πάσης ἀνομίας καὶ καθαρίσῃ ἑαυτῷ λαὸν περιούσιον).

In this compressed phrase, αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑράμενος, (a) αἰωνίαν offers the only instance of αἰώνιος being modified in this epistle. (b) Εὑράμενος, in the sense of Dion. Hal. Ant. v. 293 (οὕτε διαλλαγὰς εὕρατο τοῖς ἀνδράσν καὶ κάθοδον), and Jos. Ant. 1:19. 1 (πάππου δόξαν ἀρετῆς μεγάλης εὐράμενου), is a participle (for its form,2 cp. Moulton, 1. p. 51), which, though middle, is not meant to suggest any personal effort like “by himself,” much less “for himself”; the middle in Hellenistic Greek had come to mean what the active meant. what he secured, he secured for us (cp. Aelian, Var. Hist. iii. 17, καὶ αὐτοῖς σωτηρίαν εὔραντο). The aorist has not a past sense; it either means “to secure” (like εὑράμενοι in 4 Malachi 3:13 and ἐπισκεψάμενοι in 2 Mac 11:36), after a verb of motion (cp. Acts 25:13), or “securing” (by what grammarians call “coincident action”).

The last three words of v. 12 are now (vv. 13, 14) explained by an a fortiori argument. Why was Christ’s redemption eternal? What gave it this absolute character and final force? In v. 13 τράγων καὶ ταύρων reverses the order in 10:4, and ταύρων is now substituted for μόσχων. The former led to ταύρων καὶ τράγων being read (by the K L P group, Athanasius, Cyril, etc.), but “the blood of goats and bulls” was a biblical generalization (Psalm 50:13, Isaiah 1:11), chosen here as a literary variation, perhaps for the sake of the alliteration, though some editors see in ταύρων a subtle, deliberate antithesis to the feminine δάμαλις. According to the directions of Numbers 19:9f. a red cow was slaughtered and then burned; the ashes (ἡ σπόδος τῆς δαμάλεως) were mixed with fresh water and sprinkled upon any worshipper who had touched a dead body and thus incurred ceremonial impurity, contact with the dead being regarded as a disqualification for intercourse with men or God (see above on 6:1). This mixture was called ὕδωρ ῥαντισμοῦ. The rite supplies the metaphors of the argument in vv. 14, 15; it was one of the ablutions (v. 10) which restored the contaminated person (τοὺς κεκοινωμένους) to the worshipping community of the Lord. The cow is described as ἅμωμον, the purified person as καθαρός; but our author goes ouside the LXX for κεκοινωμένους, and even ῥαντίζειν is rare in the LXX. “The red colour of the cow and the scarlet cloth burnt on the pyre with the aromatic woods, suggest the colour of blood; the aromatic woods are also probably connected with primitive ideas of the cathartic value of odours such as they produce” (R. A. S. Macalister in ERE xi. 36a). The lustration had no connexion whatever with atonement-day, and it was only in later rabbinic tradition that it was associated with the functions of the highpriest. According to Pesikta 40a, a pagan inquirer once pointed out to Rabbi Jochanan ben Zakkai the superstitious character of such rites. His disciples considered his reply unsatisfactory, and afterwards pressed him to explain to them the meaning of the ashes and the sprinkling, but all he could say was that it had been appointed by the Holy One, and that men must not inquire into His reasons (cp. Bacher’s Agada d. Pal. Amoräer, i. 556; Agada der Tannaiten2, i. 37, 38). Our author does not go into details, like the author of Ep. Barnabas (8), who allegorizes the ritual freely in the light of the Jewish tradition; he merely points out that, according to the bible, the rite, like the similar rite of blood on atonement-day, restored the worshipper to outward communion with God. Ἁγιάζει means this and no more.

The removal of the religious tabu upon persons contaminated by contact with the dead was familiar to non-Jews. The writer goes back to the OT for his illustration, but it would be quite intelligible to his Gentile Christian readers (cp. Marett’s The Evolution of Religion, pp. 115f.; ERE iv. 434, x. 456, 483, 485, 501), in a world where physical contact with the dead was a μίασμα. Philo’s exposition (de spec. legibus. i. περὶ θυόντων, 1 f.) of the rite is that the primary concern is for the purity of the soul; the attention needed for securing that the victim is ἄμωμον, or, as he says, παντελῶς μούμων ἀμέτοχον, is a figurative expression for moral sensitiveness on the part of the worshipper; it is a regulation really intended for rational beings. Οὐ τῶν θυομένων φροντίς ἐστιν … ἀλλὰ τῶν θυόντων, ἵνα περὶ μηδὲν πάθος κηραίνωσι. The bodily cleansing is only secondary, and even this he ingeniously allegorizes into a demand for self-knowledge, since the water and ashes should remind us how worthless our natures are, and knowledge of this kind is a wholesome purge for conceit! Thus, according to Philo, the rite did purge soul as well as body: ἀναγκαῖον τοὺς μέλλοντας φοιτᾶν εἰς τὸ ἱερὸν ἐπὶ μετουσίᾳ θυσίας τὸ τε σῶμα φαιδρύνεσθαι καὶ τὴν ψυχὴν πρὸ τοῦ σώματος. Our author does not share this favourable view (cp. Seeberg’s Der Tod Christi, pp. 53 f.; O. Schmitz’s Die Opferanschauung des späteren Judentums, pp. 281 f.). He would not have denied that the levitical cultus aimed at spiritual good; what he did deny was that it attained its end. Till a perfect sacrifice was offered, such an end was unattainable. The levitical cultus “provided a ritual cleansing for the community, a cleansing which, for devout minds that could penetrate beneath the letter to the spirit, must have often meant a sense of restoration of God’s community. But at best the machinery was cumbrous: at best the pathway into God’s presence was dimly lighted” (H. A. A. Kennedy, The Theology of the Epistles, p. 213).

Our author does not explain how the blood of goats and bulls could free the worshiper from ceremonial impurity; the cathartic efficacy of blood is assumed. From the comparative study of religion we know now that this belief was due to the notion that “the animal that has been consecrated by contact with the altar becomes charged with a divine potency, and its sacred blood, poured over the impure man, absorbs and disperses his impurity” (Marett, The Evolution of Religion, p. 121). But in Πρὸς Ἑβραίους, (a) though the blood of goats and bulls is applied to the people as well as to the altar, and is regarded as atoning (see below), the writer offers no rationale of sacrifice. Χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις. He does not argue, he takes for granted, that access to God involves sacrifice, i.e. blood shed. (b) He uses the rite of Num_19 to suggest the cathartic process, the point of this lustration being the use of “water made holy by being mingled with the ashes of the heifer that had been burnt.” “The final point is reached,” no doubt (Marett, op. cit. 123), “when it is realized that the blood of bulls and goats cannot wash away sin, that nothing external can defile the heart or soul, but only evil thoughts and evil will.” Yet our writer insists that even this inward defilement requires a sacrifice, the sacrifice of Christ’s blood. This is now (v. 14) urged in the phrase ἑαυτὸν προσήνεγκεν, where we at last see what was intended by προσφέρειν τι in 8:3. We are not to think of the risen or ascended Christ presenting himself to God, but of his giving himself up to die as a sacrifice. The blood of Christ means his life given up for the sake of men. He did die, but it was a voluntary death—not the slaughter of an unconscious, reluctant victim; and he who died lives. More than that, he lives with the power of that death or sacrifice. This profound thought is further developed by (a) the term ἄμωμον, which is in apposition to ἑαυτόν; and (b) by διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου, which goes with προσήνεγκεν. (a) Paul calls Christians, or calls them to be, ἄμωμοι; but our writer, like the author of 1 P (1:19), calls Christ ἄμωμος as a victim. It is a poetic synonym for ἀμώμητος, taken over as the technical term (LXX) for the unblemished (מוּם) animals which alone could be employed in sacrifice; here it denotes the stainless personality, the sinless nature which rendered the self-sacrifice of Jesus eternally valid. Then (b) the pregnant phrase διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου, which qualifies ἑαυτὸν προσήνεγκεν, means that this sacrifice was offered in the realm or order of the inward spirit, not of the outward and material; it was no δικαίωμα σαρκός, but carried out διὰ πνεύματος, i.e. in, or in virtue of, his spiritual nature. What the author had called ζωὴ ἀκατάλυτος (7:16) he now calls πνεῦμα αἰώνιον. The sacrificial blood had a mystical efficacy; it resulted in an eternal λύτρωσις because it operated in an eternal order of spirit, the sacrifice of Jesus purifying the inner personality (τὴν συνείδησιν) because it was the action of a personality, and of a sinless personality which belonged by nature to the order of spirit or eternity. Christ was both priest and victim; as Son of God he was eternal and spiritual, unlike mortal highpriests (7:16), and, on the other side, unlike a mortal victim. The implication (which underlies all the epistle) is that even in his earthly life Jesus possessed eternal life. Hence what took place in time upon the cross, the writer means, took place really in the eternal, absolute order. Christ sacrificed himself ἐφάπαξ, and the single sacrifice needed no repetition, since it possessed absolute, eternal value as the action of One who belonged to the eternal order. He died—he had to die—but only once (9:15-10:18), for his sacrifice, by its eternal significance, accomplished at a stroke what no amount of animal sacrifices could have secured, viz. the forgiveness of sins. It is as trivial to exhaust the meaning of πνεῦμα αἰώνιον in a contrast with the animal sacrifices of the levitical cultus as it is irrelevant to drag in the dogma of the trinity. Αἰωνίου closely describes πνεύματος (hence it has no article). What is in the writer’s mind is the truth that what Jesus did by dying can never be exhausted or transcended. His sacrifice, like his διαθήκη, like the λύτρωσις or σωτηρία which he secures, is αἰώνιος or lasting, because it is at the heart of things. It was because Jesus was what he was by nature that his sacrifice had such final value; its atoning significance lay in his vital connexion with the realm of absolute realities; it embodied all that his divine personality meant for men in relation to God. In short, his self-sacrifice “was something beyond which nothing could be, or could be conceived to be, as a response to God’s mind and requirement in relation to sin … an intelligent and loving response to the holy and gracious will of God, and to the terrible situation of man” (Denney, The Death of Christ, p. 228).

A later parallel from rabbinic religion occurs in the Midrash Tehillim on Psa_31: “formerly you were redeemed with flesh and blood, which to-day is and to-morrow is buried; wherefore your redemption was temporal (גאולת שׂעה). But now I will redeem you by myself, who live and remain for ever; wherefore your redemption will be eternal redemption (גאולח עולם, cp. Isaiah 45:17).”

One or two minor textual items may be noted in v. 14.

πνεύματος] J. J. Reiske’s conjecture ἁγνεύματος (purity) is singularly prosaic. Αἰωνίου (א* A B Dc K L syrvg hkl arm Ath) is altered into the conventional ἁγίου by אc D* P 35. 88. 206. 326. 547, etc. lat boh Chrys. Cyril. Liturgical usage altered ὑμῶν into ἡμῶν (A D* P 5. 38. 218. 241. 256. 263. 378. 506. 1319. 1831. 1836*. 1912. 2004. 2127 vt syrvg boh Cyr.), and, to ζῶντι, καὶ ἀληθινῷ (a gloss from 1 Thessalonians 1:9) is added in A P 104 boh Chrys. etc.

In the closing words of v. 14 καθαριεῖ is a form which is rare (Matthew 3:12, Jam 4:8?) in the NT, so rare that καθαρίσει is read here by 206. 221. 1831 Did. Ath It is a Hellenistic verb, used in the inscriptions (with ἀπό) exactly in the ceremonial sense underlying the metaphor of this passage (Deissmann, Bible Studies, 216 f.). The cleansing of the conscience (cp. v. 9) is ἀπὸ νεκρῶν ἔργων, from far more serious flaws and stains than ceremonial pollution by contact with a corpse (see above, and in 6:1). As Dods puts it, “a pause might be made before ἔργων, from dead—(not bodies but) works.” The object is εἰς τὸ λατρεύειν θεῷ ζῶντι. The writer uses the sacerdotal term (8:5) here as in 10:2 and 12:28, probably like Paul in a general sense; if he thought of Christians as priests, i.e. as possessing the right of access to God, he never says so. Religion for him is access to God, and ritual metaphors are freely used to express the thought. When others would say “fellowship,” he says “worship.” It is fundamental for him that forgiveness is essential to such fellowship, and forgiveness is what is meant by “purifying the conscience.” As absolute forgiveness was the boon of the new διαθήκη (8:12), our author now proceeds (vv. 15f.) to show how Christ’s sacrifice was necessary and efficacious under that διαθήκη. A sacrifice, involving death, is essential to any διαθήκη: this principle, which applies to the new διαθήκη (v. 15), is illustrated first generally (vv. 16, 17) and then specifically, with reference to the former διαθήκη (vv. 18-22).

15 He mediates a new covenant for this reason, that those who have been called may obtain the eternal inheritances they have been promised, now that a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions involved in the first covenant. 16 Thus in the case of a will, the death of the testator must be announced. 17 A will only holds in cases of death, it is never valid so long as the testator is alive. 18 Hence even the first (ἡ πρώτη, sc. διαθήκη as in 9:1) covenant of God’s will was not inaugurated apart from blood; 19 for after Moses had announced every command in the Law to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, together with water, scarlet wool and hyssop, sprinkling the book and all the people, and saying, 20 “This is the blood of that covenant which is God’s command for you.” 21 He even (καὶ … δέ, only here in Heb.) sprinkled with blood the tent and all the utensils of worship in the same way. 22 In fact, one might almost say that by Law everything is cleansed with blood. No blood shed no remission of sins!

The writer thus weaves together the idea of the new διαθήκη (9:15 echoes 8:6) and the idea of sacrifice which he has just been developing. In v. 15 διὰ τοῦτο carries a forward reference (“now this is why Christ mediates a new διαθήκη, ὅπως κτλ.”), as, e.g., in Xen. Cyrop. ii. I. 21, οἱ σύμμαχοι οὐδὲ διʼ ἓν ἄλλο τρέφονται ἢ ὅπως μαχοῦνται ὑπὲρ τῶν τρεφόντων. As the climax of the promises in the new διαθήκη is pardon (8:12), so here its purpose is described as ἀπολύτρωσις, which obviously is equivalent to full forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7 τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν διὰ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτοῦ, τὴν ἄφεσιν τῶν παραπτωμάτων). Ἀπολύτρωσιν τῶν … παραβάσεων is like καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν in 1:3. But pardon is only the means to fellowship, and the full scope of what has been promised is still to be realized. Yet it is now certain; the “bliss to be” is an eternal κληρονομία, assured by Christ. Note that the ἐπί in ἐπὶ τῇ πρώτῃ διαθήκῃ is not exactly temporal = “under,” i.e. during the period of (cp. ἐπὶ συντελείᾳ τῶν αἰωνῶν in v. 26), but causal. The transgressions, which had arisen “in connexion with” the first διαθήκη, like unbelief and disobedience, are conceived as having taken their place among men; they are the standing temptations of life towards God. The writer does not say, with Paul, that sin became guilt in view of the law, but this is near to his meaning; with the first διαθήκη sins started, the sins that haunt the People. They are removed, for the penitent, by the atoning death of Jesus, so that the People are now unencumbered. There is a similar thought in Acts 13:38, Acts 13:39, where Paul tells some Jews that through Jesus Christ ὑμῖν ἄφεσις ἁμαρτιῶν καταγγέλλεται, καὶ ἀπὸ πάντων ὧν οὐκ ἠδυνήθητε ἐν νόμῳ Μωυ—σέως δικαιωθῆναι, ἐν τούτῳ πὰς ὁ πιστεύων δικαιοῦται. For the sake of emphasis, τὴν ἐπαγγελίαν is thrown forward, away from κληρονομίας, like θάνατον in the next verse.

Ἀπολύτρωσις, which in 11:35 is used in its non-technical sense of “release” from death (at the cost of some unworthy compliance), is used here in its LXX religious sense of a redemption which costs much, which can only be had at the cost of sacrifice. The primitive idea of “ransom” had already begun to fade out of it (cp. Daniel 4:32; Philo, quod omnis probus, 17), leaving “liberation” at some cost as the predominant idea (so in Clem. Alex. Strom vii. 56). Here it is a synonym for λύτρωσις (v. 12), or as Theophylact put it, for deliverance. But its reference is not eschatological; the retrospective reference is uppermost.

For the first and only time he employs οἱ κεκλημένοι to describe those whom he had already hailed as κλήσεως ἐπουρανίου μέτοχοι (3:1). To be “called” was indispensable to receiving God’s boon (11:8), so that κεκλημένοι here is an appropriate term for those who are no longer hampered by any obstacles of an inadequate pardon. The κεκλημένοι are the faithful People; “the objects of redemption are united in one category, for the One and Only Sacrifice is not of the sphere of time” (Wickham). It is not an aoristic perfect ( = κλήθεντες), as if the κεκλημένοι were simply those under the old διαθήκη, though these are included, for the sacrificial death of Jesus has a retrospective value; it clears off the accumulated offences of the past. The writer does not work out this, any more than Paul does in Romans 3:25f.; but it may be implied in 11:40, 12:23 (see below), where the “perfecting” of the older believers is connected with the atonement. However, the special point here of θανάτου … παραβάσεων is that the death which inaugurates the new διαθήκη deals effectively with the hindrances left by the former διαθήκη. Not that this is its exclusive function. That the death inaugurates an order of grace in which forgiveness is still required and bestowed, is taken for granted (e.g. 4:16); but the κληρονομία, which from the beginning has been held out to the People of God, has only become attainable since the sacrifice of Jesus, and therefore (a) his death avails even for those who in the past hoped for it, yet could not obtain it, and also (b) deals with the παράβασεις set up by the older διαθήκη among men.

But how was a death necessary to a διαθήκη? The answer is given in v. 16f. through a characteristic play on the term. In ὅπου γὰρ (sc. ἐστι) διαθήκη κτλ. he uses διαθήκη as equivalent to “will” or testamentary disposition, playing effectively upon the double sense of the term, as Paul had already done in Galatians 3:15f.. The point of his illustration (vv. 16, 17) depends upon this; βεβαία and ἰσχύει are purposely used in a juristic sense, applicable to wills as well as to laws, and ὁ διαθέμενος is the technical term for “testator.” The illustration has its defects, but only when it is pressed beyond what the writer means to imply. A will does not come into force during the lifetime of the testator, and yet Jesus was living! True, but he had died, and died inaugurating a διαθήκη in words which the writer has in mind (v. 20); indeed, according to one tradition he had spoken of himself figuratively as assigning rights to his disciples (κἀγὼ διατίθεμαι ὑμῖν, Luke 22:29). The slight incongruity in this illustration is not more than that involved in making Jesus both priest and victim. It is a curious equivoque, this double use of διαθήκη, the common idea of both meanings being that benefits are “disponed,” and that the διαθήκη only takes effect after a death. The continuity of argument is less obvious in English, where no single word conveys the different nuances which διαθήκη bore for Greek readers. Hence in v. 18 some periphrasis like “the first covenant of God’s will” is desirable.

That διαθήκη in vv. 16, 17 is equivalent to “testamentary disposition,” is essential to the argument. No natural interpretation of vv. 15-20 is possible, when διαθήκη is understood rigidly either as “covenant” or as “will.” The classical juristic sense is richly illustrated in the papyri and contemporary Hellenistic Greek, while the “covenant” meaning prevails throughout the LXX; but Philo had already used it in both senses, and here the juristic sense of κληρονομία (v. 15) paved the way for the juristic sense which v. 17 demands. The linguistic materials are collected, with a variety of interpretations, by Norton in A Lexicographical and Historical Study of Διαθήκη (Chicago, 1908), Behm (Der Begriff Διαθήκη im Neuen Testament, Naumburg, 1912), Lohmeyer (Διαθήκη: ein Beitrag zür Erklärung des Neutestamentlichen Begriffs, Leipzig, 1913), and G. Vos in Princeton Theological Review (1915, pp. 587 f.; 1916, pp. 1-61).

In v. 16 φέρεσθαι is “announced,” almost in the sense of “proved” (as often in Greek); in v. 17 μή ποτε (cp. on οὔπω in 2:8) is not equivalent to μήπω (nondum, vg) but simply means “never” (non unquam), as, e.g., in Eurip. Hipp. 823, ὥστε μήποτε ἐκπνεῦσαι πάλιν, μή here following the causal particle ἐπεί, like ὅτι in John 3:18; it had begun to displace οὐ in later Greek. Moulton quotes BGU 530 (I a.d.), μέμφεταί σε ἐπ(ε)ὶ μὴ ἀντέγραψας αὐτῇ, and Radermacher (171) suggests that the change was sometimes due to a desire of avoiding the hiatus. Ἰσχύει has the same force as in Galatians 5:6, cp. OP 286:7 (ii a.d.) νομὴ ἄδικος [οὐ]δὲν εἰσχύει. Some needless difficulties have been felt with regard to the construction of the whole sentence. Thus (a) ἐπεὶ … διαθέμενος might be a question, it is urged: “For is it ever valid so long as the testator is alive?” In John 7:26 μήποτε is so used interrogatively, but there it opens the sentence. This construction goes back to the Greek fathers Oecumenius and Theophylact; possibly it was due to the feeling that μήποτε could not be used in a statement like this. (b) Isidore of Pelusium (Ep. iv. 113) declares that πότε is a corruption of τότε (Π from T, a stroke being added by accident), and that he found τότε “ἐν παλαιοῖς ἀντιγράφοις.” Two old MSS (א* D*) do happen to preserve this reading, which is in reality a corruption of πότε.

Why, it may be asked, finally, does not the writer refer outright to the new διαθήκη as inaugurated at the last supper? The reason is plain. Here as throughout the epistle he ignores the passover or eucharist. As a non-sacerdotal feast, the passover would not have suited his argument. Every Israelite was his own priest then, as Philo remarks (De Decalogo, 30, πάσχα … ἐν ᾗ θύουσι πανδημεὶ αὐτῶν ἕκαστος τοὺς ἱερεῖς αὐτῶν οὐκ ἀναμένοντες, ἱερωσύνην τοῦ νόμου χαρισαμένου τῷ ἔθνει παντὶ κατὰ μίαν ἡμέραν κτλ.). Hence the absence of a passover ritual from the entire argument of the epistle, and also perhaps his failure to employ it here, where it would have been extremely apt.

Reverting now to the other and biblical sense of διαθήκη, the writer (vv. 18f.) recalls how the διαθήκη at Sinai was inaugurated with blood. Ὅθεν—since διαθήκη and θάνατος are correlative—οὐδὲ ἡ πρώτη (sc. διαθήκη) χωρὶς αἵματος ἐνκεκαίνισται (the verb here and in 10:20 being used in its ordinary LXX sense, e.g., 1 K 11:14 ἐγκαινίσωμεν ἐκεῖ τὴν βασιλείαν, 1 Mac 4:36 ἀναβῶμεν καθαρίσαι τὰ ἅγια καὶ ἐνκαινίσαι). This fresh illustration of death or blood being required in order to inaugurate a διαθήκη, is taken from the story in Exodus 24:3f., but he treats it with characteristic freedom. Five points may be noted. (i) He inserts1 τὸ αἷμα … τῶν τράγων, a slip which was conscientiously corrected by a number of MSS which omitted καὶ τῶν τράγων (אc K L Ψ 5, 181, 203, 242, 487, 489, 506, 623, 794, 917, 1311, 1319, 1739, 1827, 1836, 1845, 1898, 2143) as well as by syr Origen and Chrysostom. Moses merely had μοσχάρια slaughtered; our author adds goats, perhaps because the full phrase had become common for OT sacrifices (see on v. 13). (ii) He inserts μετὰ ὕδατος καὶ ἐρίου κοκκίνου καὶ ὑσσώπου, as these were associated in his mind with the general ritual of sprinkling; water, hyssop, and scarlet thread (κόκκινον), for example, he remembered from the description of another part of the ritual in Num_19. The water was used to dilute the blood; and stems of a small wall plant called “hyssop” were tied with scarlet wool (κεκλωσμένον κόκκινον) to form a sprinkler in the rite of cleansing a leper (Leviticus 14:6f.), or for sprinkling blood (Exodus 12:22). But of this wisp or bunch there is not a word in Exodus 24:3f. (iii) Nor is it said in the OT that Moses sprinkled2 αὐτὸ τὸ βιβλίον. He simply splashed half of the blood πρὸς τὸ θυσιαστήριον, καὶ λαβὼν τὸ βιβλίον (i.e. the scroll containing the primitive code) τῆς διαθήκης, read it aloud to the people, who promised obedience; whereupon λαβὼν δὲ Μωυσῆς τὸ αἷμα κατεσκέδασεν τοῦ λαοῦ καὶ εἶπεν κτλ. An ingenious but impracticable attempt to correct this error is to take αὐτό τε τὸ βιβλίον with λαβών, but the τε goes with the next καὶ πάντα τὸν λαόν. The βιβλίον may have been included, since as a human product, for all its divine contents, it was considered to require cleansing; in which case the mention of it would lead up to v. 21, and αὐτό τε τὸ βιβλίον might be rendered “the book itself.” This intensive use of αὐτός occurs just below in αὐτὰ τὰ ἐπουράνια. But αὐτός may be, according to the usage of Hellenistic Greek, unemphatic, as, e.g., in 11:11 καὶ αὐτὴ Σάρρα, John 2:24 αὐτὸς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς. (iv) In quoting the LXX ἰδοὺ τὸ αἷμα τῆς διαθήκης ἧς διέθετο Κύριος πρὸς ὑμᾶς ( = ὑμῖν), he changes ἰδού into τοῦτο (possibly a reminiscence of the synoptic tradition in Mark 14:22), διέθετο into ἐνετείλατο (after ἐντολῆς in v. 19; but the phrase occurs elsewhere, though with the dative, e.g. Joshua 23:16), and κύριος πρὸς ὑμᾶς into πρὸς ἡμᾶς ὁ θεός. This is a minor alteration. It is more significant that, (v) following a later Jewish tradition, which reappears in Josephus (Ant. iii. 8, 6 [Moses cleansed Aaron and his sons] τήν τε σκηνὴν καὶ τὰ περὶ αὐτὴν σκεύη ἐλαίῳ τε προθυμιωμένῳ καθὼς εἶπον, καὶ τῷ αἵματι τῶν ταύρων καὶ κριῶν σφαγέντων κτλ), he makes Moses use blood to sprinkle the σκηνή and all τὰ σκεύη τῆς λειτουργίας (a phrase from 1 Chronicles 9:28). The account of Exodus 40:9, Exodus 40:10 mentions oil only; Josephus adds blood, because the tradition he followed fused the oil-dedication of the σκηνή in Exodus 40:9, Exodus 40:10 with the (oil) sprinkling at the consecration of the priests (Leviticus 8:10f.), which was followed by a blood-sprinkling of the altar alone. Philo had previously combined the oil-dedication of the σκηνή with the consecration of the priests (vit. Mos. iii. 17); but he, too, is careful to confine any blood-sprinkling to the altar. Our author, with his predilection for blood as a cathartic, omits the oil altogether, and extends the blood to everything.

This second illustration (vv. 18f.) is not quite parallel to the first; the death in the one case is of a human being in the course of nature, in the other case of animals slaughtered. But αἷμα and θάνατος were correlative terms for the writer. The vital necessity of αἷμα in this connexion is reiterated in the summary of v. 22. Σχεδόν, he begins—for there were exceptions to the rule that atonement for sins needed an animal sacrifice (e.g. Leviticus 5:11-13, where a poverty-stricken offender could get remission by presenting a handful of flour, and Numbers 31:22f., where certain articles, spoils of war, are purified by fire or water). But the general rule was that πάντα, i.e. everything connected with the ritual and every worshipper, priest, or layman, had to be ceremonially purified by means of blood (καθαρίζεται as the result of ἐρράντισεν). The Greek readers of the epistle would be familiar with the similar rite of αἱμάσσειν τοὺς βωμούς (Theokr. Epigr. i. 5, etc.). Finally, he sums up the position under the first διαθήκη by coining a term αἱματεκχυσία (from ἔκχυσις αἵματος, 1 K 18:28 etc.) for the shedding of an animal victim’s blood in sacrifice; χωρὶς αἱματεκχυσίας οὐ γίνεται ἄφεσις, i.e. even the limited pardon, in the shape of “cleansing,” which was possible under the old order. Ἄφεσις here as in Mark 3:29 has no genitive following, but the sense is indubitable, in view of 10:18 ὅπου δὲ ἄφεσις τούτων (i.e. of sins). The latter passage voices a feeling which seems to contradict the possibility of any forgiveness prior to the sacrifice of Christ (cp. 9:15, 10:4f.), but the writer knew from his bible that there had been an ἄφεσις under the old régime as the result of animal sacrifice; καὶ ἐξιλάσεται περὶ (or περὶ τῆς ἁμαρτίας) αὐτοῦ ὁ ἱερεύς … καὶ ἀφεθήσεται αὐτῷ was the formula (cp. Leviticus 5:10, Leviticus 5:16, Leviticus 5:18 etc.). The underlying principle of the argument is practically (cp. Introd., p. xlii) that laid down in the Jewish tract Joma v. 1 (“there is no expiation except by blood”), which quotes Leviticus 17:11, a text known to the writer of Hebrews in this form: ἡ γὰρ ψυχὴ πάσης σαρκὸς αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἐστίν, καὶ ἐγὼ δέδωκα αὐτὸ ὑμῖν ἐπὶ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου ἐξιλάσκεσθαι περὶ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶν· τὸ γὰρ αἷμα αὐτοῦ ἀντὶ τῆς ψυχῆς ἐξιλάσεται. Blood as food is prohibited, since blood contains the vital principle; as there is a mysterious potency in it, which is to be reserved for rites of purification and expiation, by virtue of the life in it, this fluid is efficacious as an atonement. The Greek version would readily suggest to a reader like our author that the piacular efficacy of αἷμα was valid universally, and that the αἷμα or sacrificial death of Christ was required in order that human sin might be removed. Why such a sacrifice, why sacrifice at all, was essential, he did not ask. It was commanded by God in the bible; that was sufficient for him. The vital point for him was that, under this category of sacrifice, the αἷμα of Christ superseded all previous arrangements for securing pardon.

After the swift aside of v. 22, the writer now pictures the appearance of Christ in the perfect sanctuary of heaven with the perfect sacrifice (vv. 25f.) which, being perfect or absolute, needs no repetition.

23 Now, while the copies of the heavenly things had (ἀνάγκη, sc. ἦν or ἐστίν) to be cleansed with sacrifices like these, the heavenly things themselves required nobler sacrifices. 24 For Christ has not entered a holy place which human hands have made (a mere type of the reality!); he has entered heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it (sc. εἰσῆλθεν) to offer himself repeatedly, like the highpriest entering the holy place every year with blood that was not his own: 26 for in that case he would have had to suffer repeatedly ever since the world was founded. Nay, once for all, at the end of the world, he has appeared with his self-sacrifice to abolish sin. 27 And just as it is appointed for men to die once and after that to be judged, 28 so Christ, after being once sacrificed to bear the sins of many, will appear again, not to deal with sin, but for the saving of those who look out for him.

The higher σκηνή requires a nobler kind of sacrifice than its material copy on earth (v. 23).1 This would be intelligible enough; but when the writer pushes the analogy so far as to suggest that the sacrifice of Christ had, among other effects, to purify heaven itself, the idea becomes almost fantastic. The nearest parallel to this notion occurs in Colossians 1:20; but the idea here is really unique, as though the constant work of forgiving sinners in the upper σκηνή rendered even that in some sense defiled. The slight touch of disparagement in τούτοις ( = τοῖς ἀλόγοις, Theodoret) may be conveyed by “like these” or “such,” and θυσίαις is the plural of category (like νεκροῖς in v. 17). After this passing lapse into the prosaic, the writer quickly recovers himself in a passage of high insight (vv. 24f.) upon the nobler sacrifice of Jesus. Indeed, even as he compares it with the levitical sacrifices, its incomparable power becomes more and more evident. In v. 24 ( = vv. 11, 12) by ἀντίτυπα τῶν ἀληθινῶν he means a counterpart (ἀντίτυπον in reverse sense in 1 P 3:21) of reality (cp. 8:2), ἀντίτυπα being a synonym here for ὑποδείγματα, literally = “answering to the τύπος” which was shown to Moses (cp. 2 Clem. 14:3 οὐδεὶς οὖν τὸ ἀντίτυπον φθείρας τὸ αὐθεντικὸν μεταλήψεται). Christ has entered the heavenly sphere νῦν (emphatic, “now at last” = 1:2) ἐμφανισθῆναι κτλ. In ἐμφανισθῆναι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ (cp. Psalm 42:3 ὀφθήσομαι τῷ προσώπῳ τοῦ θεοῦ) we have ἐμφανίζειν used in its Johannine sense (14:21, 22), though passively as in Wis 1:2 (ἐμφανίζεται τοῖς μὴ πιστεύουσιν αὐτῷ). But the appearance is before God on behalf of men, and the meaning is brought out in 7:26, 10:12f. Christ’s sacrifice, it is held, provides men with a close and continuous access to God such as no cultus could effect; it is of absolute value, and therefore need not be repeated (vv. 25, 26), as the levitical sacrifices had to be. Οὐδʼ ἵνα πολλάκις προσφέρῃ ἑαυτόν] What is meant precisely by προσφέρειν ἑαυτόν here (as in v. 14) is shown by παθεῖν in v. 26. “There is no difference between entering in and offering. The act of entering in and offering is one highpriestly act” (A. B. Davidson), and προσφέρειν ἑαυτόν is inseparably connected with the suffering of death upon the cross. The contrast between his self-sacrifice and the highpriest entering with αἵματι ἀλλοτρίῳ (as opposed to ἰδίῳ, v. 12) is thrown in, as a reminiscence of vv. 7f., but the writer does not dwell on this; it is the ἅπαξ (cp. v. 12 and 1 P 3:18 Χριστὸς ἅπαξ περὶ ἁμαρτιῶν ἀπέθανεν) which engrosses his mind in v. 26, ἐπεὶ (“alioquin,” vg) ἔδει (the ἄν being omitted as, e.g., in 1 Corinthians 5:10 ἐπεὶ ὠφείλετε … ἐξελθεῖν) κτλ. According to his outlook, there would be no time to repeat Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice before the end of the world, for that was imminent; hence he uses the past, not the future, for his reductio ad absurdum argument. If Christ’s sacrifice had not been of absolute, final value, i.e. if it had merely availed for a brief time, as a temporary provision, it would have had to be done over and over again in previous ages, since from the first sinful man has needed sacrifice; whereas the only time he was seen on earth was once, late in the evening of the world. It is implied that Christ as the Son of God was eternal and pre-existent; also that when his sacrifice did take place, it covered sins of the past (see v. 15), the single sacrifice of Christ in our day availing for all sin, past as well as present and future. Had it not been so, God could not have left it till so late in the world’s history; it would have had to be done over and over again to meet the needs of men from the outset of history. Νυνὶ δέ (logical, as in 8:6, not temporal) ἐπὶ συντελείᾳ (for which Blass arbitrarily reads τέλει) τῶν αἰώνων ( = ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τῶν ἡμερῶν τούτων, 1:2) κτλ. Συντέλεια is employed in its ordinary Hellenistic sense of “conclusion” (e.g. Test. Benj. xi. 3, ἕως συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος: Test. Levi x. 2, ἐπὶ τῇ συντελείᾳ τῶν αἰώνων); in Matthew’s gospel, where alone in the NT it occurs, the genitive is τοῦ αἰῶνος. Πεφανέρωται, as in the primitive hymn or confession of faith (1 Timothy 3:16 ἐφανερώθη ἐν σαρκί); but the closest parallel is in 1 P 1:20 Χριστοῦ προεγνωσμένου μὲν πρὸ καταβολῆς κόσμου, φανερωθέντος δὲ ἐπʼ ἐσχάτου τῶν χρόνων. The object of the incarnation is, as in 2:9, the atonement.

The thought of the first “appearance” of Christ naturally suggests that of the second, and the thought of Jesus dying ἅπαξ also suggests that men have to die ἅπαξ as well. Hence the parenthesis of vv. 27, 28, for 10:1 carries on the argument from 9:26. It is a parenthesis, yet a parenthesis of central importance for the primitive religious eschatology which formed part of the writer’s inheritance, however inconsistent with his deeper views of faith and fellowship. “As surely as men have once to die and then to face the judgment, so Christ, once sacrificed for the sins of men, will reappear to complete the salvation of his own.” Ἀπόκειται (cp. Longinus, de sublim. 9:7 ἀλλʼ ἡμῖν μὲν δυσδαιμονοῦσιν ἀπόκειται λιμὴν κακῶν ὁ θάνατος, and 4 Mac 8:11 οὐδὲν ὑμῖν ἀπειθήσασιν πλὴν τοῦ μετὰ στρεβλῶν ἀποθανεῖν ἀποκεῖται) τοῖς ἀνθρώποις ἅπαξ ἀποθανεῖν. The ἅπαξ here is not by way of relief, although the Greeks consoled themselves by reflecting that they had not to die twice; as they could only live once, they drew from this the conclusion that life must be “all the sweeter, as an experience that never can be repeated” (A. C. Pearson on Sophocles’ Fragments, n. 67). But our author (see on 2:14) sees that death is not the last thing to be faced by men; μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο κρίσις. This was what added seriousness to the prospect of death for early Christians. The Greek mind was exempt from such a dread; for them death ended the anxieties of life, and if there was one thing of which the Greek was sure, it was that “dead men rise up never.” Aeschylus, for example, makes Apollo declare (Eumenides, 647, 648):

ἀνδρὸς δʼ ἐπειδὰν αἷμʼ ἀνασπάσῃ κόνις

ἅπαξ θανόντος, οὔτις ἔστʼ ἀνάστασις.

Even in the sense of a return to life, there is no ἀνάστασις (Eurip. Heracles, 297; Alcestis, 1076; Supplices, 775). κρίσις in Ephesians 1:7f. (καὶ κρίσις ἔσται κατὰ πάντων), as the context shows, is the eschatological catastrophe which spares the elect on earth, just as in Ephesians 5:6, which parallels Hebrews 9:28, sinners are threatened thus: πᾶσιν ὑμῖν τοῖς ἁμαρτωλοῖς οὐχ ὑπάρξει σωτηρία ἀλλὰ ἐπὶ πάντας ὑμᾶς κατάλυσις, κατάρα. In 10:27 below κρίσις means the doom of the rebellious, but that is due to the context; here it is judgment in general, to which all ἄνθρωποι alike are liable (12:23 κριτῇ θεῷ πάντων). Only, some have the happy experience of Christ’s return (v. 28), in the saving power of his sacrifice. There is (as in 1 P 2:24) an echo of Isaiah 53:12 (καὶ αὐτὸς ἁμαρτίας πολλῶν ἀνήνεγκεν) in εἰς τὸ πολλῶν (cp. above on 2:10) ἀνενεγκεῖν ἁμαρτίας. Προσενεχθείς may be chosen to parallel men’s passive experience of death. At any rate his suffering of death was vicarious suffering; he took upon himself the consequences and responsibilities of our sins. Such is the Christ who ἐκ δευτέρου ὀφθήσεται. In 1 P 5:4 φανεροῦσθαι is used of the second appearance as well as of the first, but our author prefers a variety (see on v. 26) of expression. The striking phrase χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας rests on the idea that the one atonement had been final (εἰς ἀθέτησιν τῆς ἁμαρτίας), and that Christ was now κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν (7:26). He is not coming back to die, and without death sin could not be dealt with. The homiletic (from 2 Timothy 3:15) addition of διὰ (τῆς, 1611, 2005) πίστεως, either after ἀπεκδεχομένοις (by 38, 68, 218, 256, 263, 330, 436, 440, 462, 823, 1837 arm. etc.) or after σωτηρίαν (by A P 1245, 1898 syrhkl), is connected with the mistaken idea that εἰς σωτηρίαν goes with ἀπεκδεχομένοις (cp. Php 3:20) instead of with ὀφθήσεται. There is a very different kind of ἐκδοχή (10:27) for some ἄνθρωποι, even for some who once belonged to the People!

He now resumes the idea of 9:25, 26, expanding it by showing how the personal sacrifice of Jesus was final. This is done by quoting a passage from the 40th psalm which predicted the supersession of animal sacrifices (vv. 5-10). The latter are inadequate, as is seen from the fact of their annual repetition; and they are annual because they are animal sacrifices.

B [03: δ 1] cont. 1:1-9:18: for remainder cp. cursive 293.

38 [δ 355]

206 [α 365]

216 [α 469]

489 [δ 459] Hort’s 102

547 [δ 157]

1739 [α 78]

1827 [α 367]

boh The Coptic Version of the NT in the Northern Dialect (Oxford, 1905), vol. iii. pp. 472-555.

Thackeray H. St J. Thackeray, A Grammar of the Old Testament in Greek (1909).

Philo Philonis Alexandriai Opera Quae Supersunt (recognoverunt L. Cohn et P. Wendland).

Josephus Flavii Josephi Opera Omnia post Immanuelem Bekkerum, recognovit S. A. Naber.

1 Τὰ Ἅγια (B arm) is an attempt to reproduce exactly the LXX phrase.

Blass F. Blass, Grammatik des neutestamentlichen Griechisch: vierte, völlig neugearbeitete Auflage, besorgt von Albert Debrunner (1913); also, Brief an die Hebräer, Text mit Angabe der Rhythmen (1903).

LXX The Old Testament in Greek according to the Septuagint Version (ed. H. B. Swete).

1 Whether the language means this or a censer is disputed.

Zahn Theodor Zahn’s Einleitung in das NT, §§ 45-47.

1 The change from ἐν ᾗ to ἔχουσα is purely stylistic, and ἔχουσα in both instances means “containing.”

2 χρυσοῦν θυμιατήριον lacks the article, like στάμνος χρυσῆ.

EBi The Encyclopaedia Biblica (1899-1903, ed. J. S. Black and T. K. Cheyne).

BM Greek Papyri in the British Museum (1893 f.).

1 Sc. ἦν. The construction was explained by the addition of καθέστηκεν after ἐνεστηκότα (so 69. 104. 330 436. 440. 462. 491. 823. 1319. 1836 1837 1898 2005. 2127 etc.).

D [06: α 1026] cont. 1:1-13:20. Codex Claromontanus is a Graeco-Latin MS, whose Greek text is poorly* reproduced in the later (saec. ix.-x.) E = codex Sangermanensis. The Greek text of the latter (1:1-12:8) is therefore of no independent value (cp. Hort in WH, §§ 335-337); for its Latin text, as well as for that of F=codex Augiensis (saec. ix.), whose Greek text of Πρὸς Ἐβραίους has not been preserved, see below, p. lxix.

K [018:1:1].

L [020: α 5] cont. 1:1-13:10.

P [025: α 3] cont. 1:1-12:8 12:11-13:25.

TebtP Tebtunis Papyri (ed. Grenfell and Hunt), 1902.

אԠ[01: δ 2).

1 Παραγενόμενος (as Luke 12:51, Matthew 3:1 suggest) is more active than the πεφανέρωται of v. 26.

1611 [α 208]

2005 [α 1436] cont. 1:1-7:2

1 The διά here as in διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου suggest the state in which a certain thing is done, and inferentially the use becomes instrumental, as we say, “he came in power.”

293 [α 1574] cont. 9:14-13:25

2 The Attic form εὑρόμενος is preferred by D 226, 436, 920.

Moulton J. H. Moulton’s Grammar of New Testament Greek, vol. i. (2nd edition, 1906).

ERE Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (ed. J. Hastings).

A [02: δ 4].

35 [δ 309]

88 [α 200]

326 [α 257]

5 [δ 453]

218 [δ 300]

241 [δ 507]

256 [α 216]

263 [δ 372]

378 [α 258]

506 [δ 101]

1319 [δ 180]

1831 [α 472]

1836 [α 65]

1912 [α 1066]

2004 [α 56]

2127 [δ 202]

104 [α 103]

221 [α 69]

Ath Athanasius

BGU Aegyptische Urkunden (Griechisch Urkunden), ed. Wilcken (1895).

Radermacher Neutestamentliche Grammatik (1911), in Lietzmann’s Handbuch zum Neuen Testament (vol. i.).

OP The Oxyrhynchus Papyri (ed. B. P. Grenfell and A. Hunt).

1 In πάσης ἐντολῆς κατὰ τὸν (om. א* K P) νόμον (“lecto omni mandato legis,” vg) the κατά means “throughout” rather than “by.”

Ψ̠[044: δ 6] cont. 1:1-8:11 9:19-13:25.

181 [α 101]

203 [α 203]

242 [δ 206]

487 [α 171]

623 [α 173]

794 [δ 454]

917 [α 264]

1311 [α 170]

1845 [α 64]

1898 [α 70]

2143 [α 184]

2 For κατεσκέδασεν he substitutes ἐρράντισεν, from ῥαντίζω, which is comparatively rare in the LXX (Leviticus 6:27, Leviticus 6:2 K 9:33, Psalm 51:7, Aquila and Symm. in Isaiah 63:3, Aquila and Theodotion in Isaiah 52:15).

1 For ἀνάγκη … καθαρίζεσθαι an early variant was ἀνάγκῃ … καθαρίζεται (D* 424** Origen), which Blass adopts. But our author prefers the nominative (v. 16) to the dative, and καθαρίζεται is no more than a conformation to the καθαρίζεται of v. 22. The τε, which some cursives (33. 1245. 2005) substitute for δέ between αὐτά and τὰ ἐπουράνια, is due to alliteration.

vg vg Vulgate, saec. iv.

330 [δ 259]

436 [α 172]

440 [δ 260]

462 [α 502]

823 [δ 368]

1837 [α 192]

For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant;
And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.
Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
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;
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.
For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth.
Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,
Saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you.
Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:
Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others;
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
ICC New Testament commentary on selected books

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