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Concluding Exposition: Old and New Sacrifices Contrasted

10 For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship.[a] For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have[b] no further consciousness of sin? But in those sacrifices[c] there is a reminder of sins year after year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. So when he came into the world, he said,

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.
Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in.
Then I said, ‘Here I am:[d] I have come—it is written of me in the scroll of the book—to do your will, O God.’”[e]

When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you did not desire nor did you take delight in them”[f] (which are offered according to the law), then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.”[g] He does away with[h] the first to establish the second. 10 By his will[i] we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands day after day[j] serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again—sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest[k] had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand[l] of God, 13 where he is now waiting[m] until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet.[n] 14 For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. 15 And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying,[o] 16 This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put[p] my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,”[q] 17 then he says,[r]Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.”[s] 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Drawing Near to God in Enduring Faith

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters,[t] since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us[u] through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,[v] 21 and since we have a great priest[w] over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings,[x] because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience[y] and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works,[z] 25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day[aa] drawing near.[ab]

26 For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us,[ac] 27 but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury[ad] of fire that will consume God’s enemies.[ae] 28 Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death[af] without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.[ag] 29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for[ah] the Son of God, and profanes[ai] the blood of the covenant that made him holy,[aj] and insults the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,”[ak] and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”[al] 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. 33 At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. 34 For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison,[am] and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly[an] had a better and lasting possession. 35 So do not throw away your confidence, because it[ao] has great reward. 36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.[ap] 37 For just a little longer[aq] and he who is coming will arrive and not delay.[ar] 38 But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I[as] take no pleasure in him.[at] 39 But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.[au]


  1. Hebrews 10:1 tn Grk “those who approach.”
  2. Hebrews 10:2 tn Grk “the worshipers, having been purified once for all, would have.”
  3. Hebrews 10:3 tn Grk “in them”; the referent (those sacrifices) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  4. Hebrews 10:7 tn Grk “behold,” but this construction often means “here is/there is” (cf. BDAG 468 s.v. ἰδού 2).
  5. Hebrews 10:7 sn A quotation from Ps 40:6-8 (LXX). The phrase a body you prepared for me (in v. 5) is apparently an interpretive expansion of the HT reading “ears you have dug out for me.”
  6. Hebrews 10:8 sn Various phrases from the quotation of Ps 40:6 in Heb 10:5-6 are repeated in Heb 10:8.
  7. Hebrews 10:9 tc The majority of mss, especially the later ones (א2 0278vid 1739 M lat), have ὁ θεός (ho theos, “God”) at this point, while most of the earliest and best witnesses lack such an explicit addressee (so P46 א* A C D K P Ψ 33 1175 1881 2464 al). The longer reading is apparently motivated in part by the wording of Ps 40:8 (39:9 LXX) and by the word order of this same verse as quoted in Heb 10:7.
  8. Hebrews 10:9 tn Or “abolishes.”
  9. Hebrews 10:10 tn Grk “by which will.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  10. Hebrews 10:11 tn Or “daily,” “every day.”
  11. Hebrews 10:12 tn Grk “this one.” This pronoun refers to Jesus, but “this priest” was used in the translation to make the contrast between the Jewish priests in v. 11 and Jesus as a priest clearer in English.
  12. Hebrews 10:12 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.
  13. Hebrews 10:13 tn Grk “from then on waiting.”
  14. Hebrews 10:13 sn An allusion to Ps 110:1.
  15. Hebrews 10:15 tn Grk “after having said,” emphasizing the present impact of this utterance.
  16. Hebrews 10:16 tn Grk “putting…I will inscribe.”
  17. Hebrews 10:16 sn A quotation from Jer 31:33.
  18. Hebrews 10:17 tn Grk “and.”
  19. Hebrews 10:17 sn A quotation from Jer 31:34.
  20. Hebrews 10:19 tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 2:11.
  21. Hebrews 10:20 tn Grk “that he inaugurated for us as a fresh and living way,” referring to the entrance mentioned in v. 19.
  22. Hebrews 10:20 sn Through his flesh. In a bold shift the writer changes from a spatial phrase (Christ opened the way through the curtain into the inner sanctuary) to an instrumental phrase (he did this through [by means of] his flesh in his sacrifice of himself), associating the two in an allusion to the splitting of the curtain in the temple from top to bottom (Matt 27:51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45). Just as the curtain was split, so Christ’s body was broken for us, to give us access into God’s presence.
  23. Hebrews 10:21 tn Grk “and a great priest,” continuing the construction begun in v. 19.
  24. Hebrews 10:22 tn Grk “in assurance of faith.”
  25. Hebrews 10:22 sn The phrase our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience combines the OT imagery of the sprinkling with blood to give ritual purity with the emphasis on the interior cleansing provided by the new covenant: It is the heart that is cleansed and the conscience made perfect (cf. Heb 8:10; 9:9, 14; 10:2, 16).
  26. Hebrews 10:24 tn Grk “let us consider one another for provoking of love and good deeds.”
  27. Hebrews 10:25 sn The day refers to that well-known time of Christ’s coming and judgment in the future; see a similar use of “day” in 1 Cor 3:13.
  28. Hebrews 10:25 tn This paragraph (vv. 19-25) is actually a single, skillfully composed sentence in Greek, but it must be broken into shorter segments for English idiom. It begins with several subordinate phrases (since we have confidence and a great priest), has three parallel exhortations as its main verbs (let us draw near, hold, and take thought), and concludes with several subordinate phrases related to the final exhortation (not abandoning but encouraging).
  29. Hebrews 10:26 tn Grk “is left,” with “for us” implied by the first half of the verse.
  30. Hebrews 10:27 tn Grk “zeal,” recalling God’s jealous protection of his holiness and honor (cf. Exod 20:5).sn An allusion to Zeph 1:18.
  31. Hebrews 10:27 tn Grk “the enemies.”sn An allusion to Isa 26:11.
  32. Hebrews 10:28 tn Grk “dies.”
  33. Hebrews 10:28 sn An allusion to Deut 17:6.
  34. Hebrews 10:29 tn Grk “tramples under foot.”
  35. Hebrews 10:29 tn Grk “regarded as common.”
  36. Hebrews 10:29 tn Grk “by which he was made holy.”
  37. Hebrews 10:30 sn A quotation from Deut 32:35.
  38. Hebrews 10:30 sn A quotation from Deut 32:36.
  39. Hebrews 10:34 tc Most witnesses, including some significant ones (א D2 1881 M), read δεσμοῖς μου (desmois mou, “my imprisonment”) here, a reading that is probably due to the widespread belief in the early Christian centuries that Paul was the author of Hebrews (cf. Phil 1:7; Col 4:18). It may have been generated by the reading δεσμοῖς without the μου (so P46 Ψ 104), the force of which is so ambiguous (lit., “you shared the sufferings with the bonds”) as to be virtually nonsensical. Most likely, δεσμοῖς resulted when a scribe made an error in copying δεσμίοις (desmiois), a reading which makes excellent sense (“[of] those in prison”) and is strongly supported by early and significant witnesses of the Alexandrian and Western text-forms (A D* H 6 33 81 1739 lat sy co). Thus, δεσμίοις best explains the rise of the other readings on both internal and external grounds and is strongly preferred.
  40. Hebrews 10:34 tn Grk “you yourselves.”
  41. Hebrews 10:35 tn Grk “which,” but showing the reason.
  42. Hebrews 10:36 tn Grk “the promise,” referring to the thing God promised, not to the pledge itself.
  43. Hebrews 10:37 sn A quotation from Isa 26:20.
  44. Hebrews 10:37 sn A quotation from Hab 2:3.
  45. Hebrews 10:38 tn Grk “my soul.”
  46. Hebrews 10:38 sn A quotation from Hab 2:4.
  47. Hebrews 10:39 tn Grk “not…of shrinking back to perdition but of faith to the preservation of the soul.”