The New and the Old Way Compared
13When God speaks of a “new” covenant, it means he has made the first one obsolete. It is now out of date and will soon disappear. 1That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth. 2There were two rooms in that Tabernacle. In the first room were a lamp stand, a table, and sacred loaves of bread on the table. This room was called the Holy Place. 3Then there was a curtain, and behind the curtain was the second room called the Most Holy Place. 4In that room were a gold incense altar and a wooden chest called the Ark of the Covenant, which was covered with gold on all sides. Inside the Ark were a gold jar containing manna, Aaron’s staff that sprouted leaves, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5Above the Ark were the cherubim of divine glory, whose wings stretched out over the Ark’s cover, the place of atonement. But we cannot explain these things in detail now.
6When these things were all in place, the priests regularly entered the first room as they performed their religious duties. 7But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8By these regulations the Holy Spirit revealed that the entrance to the Most Holy Place was not freely open as long as the Tabernacle and the system it represented were still in use. 9This is an illustration pointing to the present time. For the gifts and sacrifices that the priests offer are not able to cleanse the consciences of the people who bring them. 10For that old system deals only with food and drink and various cleansing ceremonies—physical regulations that were in effect only until a better system could be established.Hebrews 8:13-9:10
Redemption through far Better Blood and Sacrifice
11So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever. 13Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant.
16Now when someone leaves a will, it is necessary to prove that the person who made it is dead. 17The will goes into effect only after the person’s death. While the person who made it is still alive, the will cannot be put into effect. 18That is why even the first covenant was put into effect with the blood of an animal. 19For after Moses had read each of God’s commandments to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, and sprinkled both the book of God’s law and all the people, using hyssop branches and scarlet wool. 20Then he said, “This blood confirms the covenant God has made with you.” 21And in the same way, he sprinkled blood on the Tabernacle and on everything used for worship. 22In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. 23That is why the Tabernacle and everything in it, which were copies of things in heaven, had to be purified by the blood of animals. But the real things in heaven had to be purified with far better sacrifices than the blood of animals. 24For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. 25And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. 26If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice. 27And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment, 28so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
1The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. 2If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. 3But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. 4For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer. 6You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. 7Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God—as is written about me in the Scriptures.’”
8First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). 9Then he said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. 10For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time. 11Under the old covenant, the priest stands and ministers before the altar day after day, offering the same sacrifices again and again, which can never take away sins. 12But our High Priest offered himself to God as a single sacrifice for sins, good for all time. Then he sat down in the place of honour at God’s right hand. 13There he waits until his enemies are humbled and made a footstool under his feet. 14For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy. 15And the Holy Spirit also testifies that this is so. For he says, 16“This is the new covenant I will make with my people on that day, says the LORD: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” 17Then he says, “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” 18And when sins have been forgiven, there is no need to offer any more sacrifices.Hebrews 9:11-10:18
You will see at a glance I have given you my version of the division, titles and layout of Hebrews 8:13 to 10:18 as I interpret it. I am sure it will contain some surprises for you. The first part, The New and Old Way Compared, you have seen before, the remainder I have gathered as one pericope. Notice how it is united by the words blood and sacrifice. I have capitalised the Old Testament quotes overall in order to make them stand out.
I believe the author’s purpose in these two pericope is clear and even more so when we gather Hebrews 9:11 to 10:18 together as one pericope. However, that section does contain some difficult elements which send the commentators reeling or waxing eloquent and showing their clay feet in their attempts to explain the difficulties. I would suggest you take your time sifting through what I have given you and ponder the pieces. I am sure as you think it through you will come up with questions or comments at least. That said, once more I will open a Gem to readers’ questions in order to ensure I cover all the elements of the text you want addressed. Believe me I will address everything in Hebrews 9:11-10:18 which I personally want to sort out in order to understand it better. That is what I do as I move through a book in such a painstaking way, à la Deeper Bible. But I won’t necessarily comment on each confusion or obscure element in the text if it has not troubled you, my readers. But there are elements in this block of text which ought to trouble you or at least make you wonder “what that means“.
This passage / pericope also contains some nuggets of gold; more than the four sentences I have picked out in gold above. I will comment on those gold nuggets when I come to them. In the meantime I will await your questions. By all means send them via email or text if you want to remain anonymous or comment / ask on this website’s Comments section if you don’t mind others seeing your question and responding too.
To do good Bible study you need to follow the author’s thread or point they are making. Don’t stop too soon.Ian
The quality of your Bible study is set by the questions you ask yourself. The more honest & real the questions, the more you’ll grow.Ian
Pay attention to all words and details. Nothing has been wasted in the Bible text. Every word is important.Basil Brown
Many times in the Bible, a very small seemingly insignificant comment carries great weight. Don’t miss those momentous moments.Ian