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Hebrews 8 English Standard Version (ESV)

Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in the true tent[a] that the Lord set up, not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ[b] has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

For he finds fault with them when he says:[c]

“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.
11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor
    and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    and I will remember their sins no more.”

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.


  1. Hebrews 8:2 Or tabernacle; also verse 5
  2. Hebrews 8:6 Greek he
  3. Hebrews 8:8 Some manuscripts For finding fault with it he says to them
English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Hebrews 8 The Voice (VOICE)

So let me sum up what we’ve covered so far, for there is much we have said: we have a High Priest, a perfect Priest who sits in the place of honor in the highest heavens, at the right hand of the throne of the Majestic One, a Minister within the heavenly sanctuary set up by the Lord, not by human hands.

As I have said, it is the role of every high priest to offer gifts and sacrifices to God, so clearly this Priest of ours must have something to offer as well. If He were on earth, then He would not be a priest at all because there are already priests who can offer gifts according to the law of Moses in a sanctuary that is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary. We know this because God admonished Moses as he set up the tent for the Lord’s sanctuary: “Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I showed you on the mountain.”[a] But now Jesus has taken on a new and improved priestly ministry; and in that respect, He has been made the Mediator of a better covenant established on better promises. Remember, if the first covenant had been able to reconcile everyone to God, there would be no reason for a second covenant. God found fault with the priests when He said through the prophet Jeremiah,

“Look! The time is coming,” the Eternal Lord says,
    “when I will bring about a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.
It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors
    when I took them by the hand
    and led them out of slavery in the land of Egypt.
They did not remain faithful to that covenant,
    so,” the Eternal One says, “I turned away from them.
10 But when those days are over,” the Eternal One says, “I will make
    this kind of covenant with the people of Israel:
I will put My laws on their minds
    and write them upon their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be My people.
11 In those days, they won’t need to teach each other My ways
    or to say to each other, ‘Know the Eternal.’
In those days, all will know Me,
    from the least to the greatest.
12 I will be merciful when they fail,
    and I will erase their sins and wicked acts out of My memory
    as though they had never existed.”[b]

13 With the words “a new covenant,” God made the first covenant old, and what is old and no longer effective will soon fade away completely.

The Voice (VOICE)

The Voice Bible Copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. The Voice™ translation © 2012 Ecclesia Bible Society All rights reserved.

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