Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, (A)one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in (B)the true tent[a] that the Lord (C)set up, not man. For (D)every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus (E)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 (F)a copy and (G)shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, (H)“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 (I)as much more excellent than the old as (J)the covenant (K)he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. (L)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]

(M)“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 (N)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 (O)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 (P)all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest.
12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,
    (Q)and I will remember their sins no more.”

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

The Earthly Holy Place

Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and (S)an earthly place of holiness. For (T)a tent[d] was prepared, the first section, in which were (U)the lampstand and (V)the table and (W)the bread of the Presence.[e] It is called the Holy Place. Behind (X)the second curtain was a second section[f] called the Most Holy Place, having the golden (Y)altar of incense and (Z)the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was (AA)a golden urn holding the manna, and (AB)Aaron's staff that budded, and (AC)the tablets of the covenant. Above it were (AD)the cherubim of glory overshadowing (AE)the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.

These preparations having thus been made, (AF)the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties, but into the second only (AG)the high priest goes, and he but (AH)once a year, and not without taking blood, (AI)which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people. By this the Holy Spirit indicates that (AJ)the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing (which is symbolic for the present age).[g] According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered (AK)that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10 but deal only with (AL)food and drink and (AM)various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.

Redemption Through the Blood of Christ

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest (AN)of the good things that have come,[h] then through (AO)the greater and more perfect tent ((AP)not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) 12 he (AQ)entered (AR)once for all into the holy places, not by means of (AS)the blood of goats and calves but (AT)by means of his own blood, (AU)thus securing an eternal redemption. 13 For if (AV)the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with (AW)the ashes of a heifer, sanctify[i] for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will (AX)the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit (AY)offered himself without blemish to God, (AZ)purify our[j] conscience (BA)from dead works (BB)to serve the living God.

15 Therefore he is (BC)the mediator of a new covenant, so that (BD)those who are called may (BE)receive the promised eternal inheritance, (BF)since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.[k] 16 For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For (BG)a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated (BH)without blood. 19 For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took (BI)the blood of calves and goats, (BJ)with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, (BK)“This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both (BL)the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and (BM)without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

23 Thus it was necessary for (BN)the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places (BO)made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God (BP)on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as (BQ)the high priest enters (BR)the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, (BS)he has appeared (BT)once for all (BU)at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 And just as (BV)it is appointed for man to die once, and (BW)after that comes judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once (BX)to bear the sins of (BY)many, will appear (BZ)a second time, (CA)not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly (CB)waiting for him.

Christ's Sacrifice Once for All

10 For since the law has but (CC)a shadow (CD)of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, (CE)it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? But (CF)in these sacrifices (CG)there is a reminder of sins every year. For (CH)it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.

Consequently, (CI)when Christ[l] came into the world, he said,

(CJ)“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired,
    but a body have you prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings
    you have taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God,
    as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in (CK)sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, (CL)“Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. 10 And by that will (CM)we have been sanctified through the offering of (CN)the body of Jesus Christ (CO)once for all.

11 And every priest stands (CP)daily at his service, (CQ)offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, (CR)which can never take away sins. 12 But when Christ[m] had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he (CS)sat down at the right hand of God, 13 waiting from that time (CT)until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. 14 For by a single offering (CU)he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

15 And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after saying,

16 (CV)“This is the covenant that I will make with them
    after those days, declares the Lord:
I will put my laws on their hearts,
    and write them on their minds,”

17 then he adds,

(CW)“I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”

18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

The Full Assurance of Faith

19 (CX)Therefore, brothers,[n] since we have confidence to enter (CY)the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by (CZ)the new and living way that he opened for us through (DA)the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 21 and since we have (DB)a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts (DC)sprinkled clean (DD)from an evil conscience and our bodies (DE)washed with pure water. 23 (DF)Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for (DG)he who promised is faithful. 24 And (DH)let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 (DI)not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and (DJ)all the more as you see (DK)the Day drawing near.

26 For (DL)if we go on sinning deliberately (DM)after receiving the knowledge of the truth, (DN)there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 (DO)but a fearful expectation of judgment, and (DP)a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 (DQ)Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy (DR)on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one (DS)who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned (DT)the blood of the covenant (DU)by which he was sanctified, and has (DV)outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, (DW)“Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, (DX)“The Lord will judge his people.” 31 (DY)It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall the former days when, after (DZ)you were enlightened, you endured (EA)a hard struggle with sufferings, 33 sometimes being (EB)publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. 34 For (EC)you had compassion on those in prison, and (ED)you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had (EE)a better possession and an abiding one. 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has (EF)a great reward. 36 For (EG)you have need of endurance, so that (EH)when you have done the will of God you may (EI)receive what is promised. 37 For,

(EJ)“Yet a little while,
    and (EK)the coming one will come and will not delay;
38 (EL)but my righteous one shall live by faith,
    and if he shrinks back,
my soul has no pleasure in him.”

39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

By Faith

11 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of (EM)things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by (EN)the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of (EO)things that are visible.

By faith (EP)Abel offered to God (EQ)a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And (ER)through his faith, though he died, he (ES)still speaks. By faith (ET)Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God (EU)must believe that he exists and (EV)that he rewards those who seek him. By faith (EW)Noah, being warned by God concerning (EX)events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of (EY)the righteousness that comes by faith.

By faith (EZ)Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place (FA)that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in (FB)the land of promise, as in a foreign land, (FC)living in tents (FD)with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to (FE)the city that has (FF)foundations, (FG)whose designer and builder is God. 11 By faith (FH)Sarah herself received power to conceive, even when she was past the age, since she considered (FI)him faithful who had promised. 12 Therefore from one man, and (FJ)him as good as dead, were born descendants (FK)as many as the stars of heaven and as many as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.

13 These all died in faith, (FL)not having received the things promised, but (FM)having seen them and greeted them from afar, and (FN)having acknowledged that they were (FO)strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, (FP)they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed (FQ)to be called their God, for (FR)he has prepared for them a city.

17 By faith (FS)Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, (FT)“Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 (FU)He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back. 20 By faith (FV)Isaac invoked future blessings on Jacob and Esau. 21 By faith (FW)Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, (FX)bowing in worship over the head of his staff. 22 By faith (FY)Joseph, at the end of his life, made mention of the exodus of the Israelites and gave directions concerning his bones.

23 By faith (FZ)Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they were not afraid of (GA)the king's edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he was grown up, (GB)refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, 25 (GC)choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy (GD)the fleeting pleasures of sin. 26 (GE)He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to (GF)the reward. 27 By faith he (GG)left Egypt, (GH)not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured (GI)as seeing him who is invisible. 28 By faith (GJ)he kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them.

29 By faith (GK)the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned. 30 By faith (GL)the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith (GM)Rahab the prostitute did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she (GN)had given a friendly welcome to the spies.

32 And what more shall I say? For time would fail me to tell of (GO)Gideon, (GP)Barak, (GQ)Samson, (GR)Jephthah, of (GS)David and (GT)Samuel and the prophets— 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, enforced justice, obtained promises, (GU)stopped the mouths of lions, 34 (GV)quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, were made strong out of weakness, (GW)became mighty in war, (GX)put foreign armies to flight. 35 (GY)Women received back their dead by resurrection. Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. 36 Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even (GZ)chains and imprisonment. 37 (HA)They were stoned, they were sawn in two,[o] (HB)they were killed with the sword. (HC)They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— 38 of whom the world was not worthy—(HD)wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

39 And all these, (HE)though commended through their faith, (HF)did not receive what was promised, 40 since God had provided something better for us, (HG)that apart from us they should not be made perfect.

Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith

12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and (HH)sin which clings so closely, and (HI)let us run (HJ)with endurance the race that is (HK)set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, (HL)who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising (HM)the shame, and (HN)is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Do Not Grow Weary

(HO)Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or (HP)fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

(HQ)“My son, (HR)do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
    nor be weary when reproved by him.
For (HS)the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
    and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. (HT)God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, (HU)in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to (HV)the Father of spirits (HW)and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, (HX)that we may share his holiness. 11 (HY)For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields (HZ)the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

12 Therefore (IA)lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13 and (IB)make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint (IC)but rather be healed. 14 (ID)Strive for peace with everyone, and for the (IE)holiness (IF)without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one (IG)fails to obtain the grace of God; that no (IH)“root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; 16 that no one is (II)sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that (IJ)afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

A Kingdom That Cannot Be Shaken

18 For you have not come to (IK)what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest 19 and (IL)the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words (IM)made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. 20 For they could not endure the order that was given, (IN)“If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” 21 Indeed, (IO)so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.” 22 But you have come to (IP)Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, (IQ)the heavenly Jerusalem, and to (IR)innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to (IS)the assembly[p] of the firstborn who are (IT)enrolled in heaven, and to (IU)God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, (IV)the mediator of a new covenant, and to (IW)the sprinkled blood (IX)that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

25 See that you do not refuse him who is speaking. For (IY)if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject him who warns from heaven. 26 At that time (IZ)his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, (JA)“Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates (JB)the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving (JC)a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus (JD)let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our (JE)God is a consuming fire.

Sacrifices Pleasing to God

13 Let (JF)brotherly love continue. (JG)Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby (JH)some have entertained angels unawares. (JI)Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (JJ)Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge (JK)the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life (JL)free from love of money, and (JM)be content with what you have, for he has said, (JN)“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

(JO)“The Lord is my helper;
    (JP)I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”

Remember (JQ)your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and (JR)imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is (JS)the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be (JT)led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, (JU)not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them. 10 We have an altar (JV)from which those who serve the tent[q] have no right to eat. 11 For (JW)the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned (JX)outside the camp. 12 So Jesus also (JY)suffered (JZ)outside the gate in order to sanctify the people (KA)through his own blood. 13 Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear (KB)the reproach he endured. 14 For (KC)here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 (KD)Through him then let us continually offer up (KE)a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, (KF)the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and (KG)to share what you have, for such (KH)sacrifices are pleasing to God.

17 Obey (KI)your leaders and submit to them, (KJ)for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to (KK)give an account. (KL)Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

18 (KM)Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things. 19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order (KN)that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Benediction

20 Now (KO)may the God of peace (KP)who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, (KQ)the great shepherd of the sheep, by (KR)the blood of the eternal covenant, 21 (KS)equip you with everything good that you may do his will, (KT)working in us[r] that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, (KU)to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Final Greetings

22 I appeal to you, brothers,[s] bear with my word of exhortation, for (KV)I have written to you briefly. 23 You should know that (KW)our brother Timothy has been released, with whom I shall see you if he comes soon. 24 Greet all (KX)your leaders and all the saints. Those who come from Italy send you greetings. 25 (KY)Grace be with all of you.

Footnotes

  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
  4. Hebrews 9:2 Or tabernacle; also verses 11, 21
  5. Hebrews 9:2 Greek the presentation of the loaves
  6. Hebrews 9:3 Greek tent; also verses 6, 8
  7. Hebrews 9:9 Or which is symbolic for the age then present
  8. Hebrews 9:11 Some manuscripts good things to come
  9. Hebrews 9:13 Or For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies
  10. Hebrews 9:14 Some manuscripts your
  11. Hebrews 9:15 The Greek word means both covenant and will; also verses 16, 17
  12. Hebrews 10:5 Greek he
  13. Hebrews 10:12 Greek this one
  14. Hebrews 10:19 Or brothers and sisters
  15. Hebrews 11:37 Some manuscripts add they were tempted
  16. Hebrews 12:23 Or church
  17. Hebrews 13:10 Or tabernacle
  18. Hebrews 13:21 Some manuscripts you
  19. Hebrews 13:22 Or brothers and sisters

Bible Gateway Recommends

Proverbs, ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal
Proverbs, ESV Illuminated Scripture Journal
Retail: $7.99
Our Price: $4.99
Save: $3.00 (38%)
5.0 of 5.0 stars
ESV Study Bible, Black Genuine Leather
ESV Study Bible, Black Genuine Leather
Retail: $109.99
Our Price: $46.99
Save: $63.00 (57%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Student Study Bible, TruTone, Pink/Chocolate
ESV Student Study Bible, TruTone, Pink/Chocolate
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $17.99
Save: $22.00 (55%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Economy Bible, Softcover
ESV Economy Bible, Softcover
Retail: $2.99
Our Price: $1.99
Save: $1.00 (33%)
3.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Large Print Value Thinline Bible (TruTone, Ruby, Vine Design)
ESV Large Print Value Thinline Bible (TruTone, Ruby, Vine Design)
Retail: $19.99
Our Price: $6.49
Save: $13.50 (68%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars