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Hebrews 8-9 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

A Heavenly Priesthood

Now the main point of what is being said is this: We have this kind of high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister of the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that was set up by the Lord and not man. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; therefore it was necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if He were on earth, He wouldn’t be a priest, since there are those[a] offering the gifts prescribed by the law. These serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was warned when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For God said, Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.[b] But Jesus has now obtained a superior ministry, and to that degree He is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been legally enacted on better promises.

A Superior Covenant

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion for a second one. But finding fault with His people,[c] He says:[d]

Look, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah—
not like the covenant
that I made with their ancestors
on the day I took them by their hands
to lead them out of the land of Egypt.
I disregarded them, says the Lord,
because they did not continue in My covenant.
10 But this is the covenant
that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws into their minds
and write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be My people.
11 And each person will not teach his fellow citizen,[e]
and each his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,”
because they will all know Me,
from the least to the greatest of them.
12 For I will be merciful to their wrongdoing,
and I will never again remember their sins.[f][g]

13 By saying, a new covenant, He has declared that the first is old. And what is old and aging is about to disappear.

Old Covenant Ministry

Now the first covenant also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was set up, and in the first room, which is called the holy place, were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves. Behind the second curtain, the tabernacle was called the most holy place. It contained the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant, covered with gold on all sides, in which there was a gold jar containing the manna, Aaron’s staff that budded, and the tablets of the covenant. The cherubim of glory were above it overshadowing the mercy seat. It is not possible to speak about these things in detail right now.

With these things set up this way, the priests enter the first room repeatedly, performing their ministry. But the high priest alone enters the second room, and he does that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. The Holy Spirit was making it clear that the way into the most holy place had not yet been disclosed while the first tabernacle was still standing. This is a symbol for the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the worshiper’s conscience. 10 They are physical regulations and only deal with food, drink, and various washings imposed until the time of restoration.

New Covenant Ministry

11 But the Messiah has appeared, high priest of the good things that have come.[h] In the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands (that is, not of this creation), 12 He entered the most holy place once for all, not by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow, sprinkling those who are defiled, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of the Messiah, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse our[i] consciences from dead works to serve the living God?

15 Therefore, He is the mediator of a new covenant,[j] so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. 16 Where a will exists, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will is valid only when people die, since it is never in force while the one who made it is living. 18 That is why even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. 19 For when every command had been proclaimed by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, along with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded for you.[k] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the articles of worship with blood. 22 According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 Therefore it was necessary for the copies of the things in the heavens to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves to be purified with better sacrifices than these. 24 For the Messiah did not enter a sanctuary made with hands (only a model[l] of the true one) but into heaven itself, so that He might now appear in the presence of God for us. 25 He did not do this to offer Himself many times, as the high priest enters the sanctuary yearly with the blood of another. 26 Otherwise, He would have had to suffer many times since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared one time, at the end of the ages, for the removal of sin by the sacrifice of Himself. 27 And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment 28 so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but[m] to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Footnotes:

  1. Hebrews 8:4 Other mss read priests
  2. Hebrews 8:5 Ex 25:40
  3. Hebrews 8:8 Lit with them
  4. Hebrews 8:8 Other mss read finding fault, He says to them
  5. Hebrews 8:11 Other mss read neighbor
  6. Hebrews 8:12 Other mss add and their lawless deeds
  7. Hebrews 8:12 Jr 31:31-34
  8. Hebrews 9:11 Other mss read that are to come
  9. Hebrews 9:14 Other mss read your
  10. Hebrews 9:15 The Gk word used here and in vv. 15-18 can be translated covenant, will, or testament.
  11. Hebrews 9:20 Ex 24:8
  12. Hebrews 9:24 Or antitype, or figure
  13. Hebrews 9:28 Lit time, apart from sin,

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