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Hebrews 9:6-15New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

With these arrangements for worship, the priests, in performing their service,[a] go into the outer tabernacle repeatedly, but the high priest alone goes into the inner one once a year, not without blood[b] that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people. In this way the holy Spirit shows that the way into the sanctuary had not yet been revealed while the outer tabernacle still had its place. This is a symbol of the present time,[c] in which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper in conscience 10 but only in matters of food and drink and various ritual washings: regulations concerning the flesh, imposed until the time of the new order.

Sacrifice of Jesus. 11 [d]But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that have come to be,[e] passing through the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made by hands, that is, not belonging to this creation, 12 he entered once for all into the sanctuary, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of a heifer’s ashes[f] can sanctify those who are defiled so that their flesh is cleansed, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal spirit[g] offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works to worship the living God.

15 [h]For this reason he is mediator of a new covenant: since a death has taken place for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant, those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

Footnotes:

  1. 9:6 In performing their service: the priestly services that had to be performed regularly in the Holy Place or outer tabernacle included burning incense on the incense altar twice each day (Ex 30:7), replacing the loaves on the table of the bread of offering once each week (Lv 24:8), and constantly caring for the lamps on the lampstand (Ex 27:21).
  2. 9:7 Not without blood: blood was essential to Old Testament sacrifice because it was believed that life was located in the blood. Hence blood was especially sacred, and its outpouring functioned as a meaningful symbol of cleansing from sin and reconciliation with God. Unlike Hebrews, the Old Testament never says that the blood is “offered.” The author is perhaps retrojecting into his description of Mosaic ritual a concept that belongs to the New Testament antitype, as Paul does when he speaks of the Israelites’ passage through the sea as a “baptism” (1 Cor 10:2).
  3. 9:9 The present time: this expression is equivalent to the “present age,” used in contradistinction to the “age to come.”
  4. 9:11–14 Christ, the high priest of the spiritual blessings foreshadowed in the Old Testament sanctuary, has actually entered the true sanctuary of heaven that is not of human making (Hb 9:11). His place there is permanent, and his offering is his own blood that won eternal redemption (Hb 9:12). If the sacrifice of animals could bestow legal purification (Hb 9:13), how much more effective is the blood of the sinless, divine Christ who spontaneously offered himself to purge the human race of sin and render it fit for the service of God (Hb 9:14).
  5. 9:11 The good things that have come to be: the majority of later manuscripts here read “the good things to come”; cf. Hb 10:1.
  6. 9:13 A heifer’s ashes: ashes from a red heifer that had been burned were mixed with water and used for the cleansing of those who had become ritually defiled by touching a corpse; see Nm 19:9, 14–21.
  7. 9:14 Through the eternal spirit: this expression does not refer either to the holy Spirit or to the divine nature of Jesus but to the life of the risen Christ, “a life that cannot be destroyed” (Hb 7:16).
  8. 9:15–22 Jesus’ role as mediator of the new covenant is based upon his sacrificial death (cf. Hb 8:6). His death has effected deliverance from transgressions, i.e., deliverance from sins committed under the old covenant, which the Mosaic sacrifices were incapable of effacing. Until this happened, the eternal inheritance promised by God could not be obtained (Hb 9:15). This effect of his work follows the human pattern by which a last will and testament becomes effective only with the death of the testator (Hb 9:16–17). The Mosaic covenant was also associated with death, for Moses made use of blood to seal the pact between God and the people (Hb 9:18–21). In Old Testament tradition, guilt could normally not be remitted without the use of blood (Hb 9:22; cf. Lv 17:11).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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