Hebrews 9Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Old Agreement
9 The first ·agreement [covenant; contract; C given to Israel through Moses; 8:7, 13] had ·rules [regulations; requirements] for worship and a ·place on earth for worship [L earthly sanctuary/holy place]. 2 The ·Holy Tent [T Tabernacle; Ex. 25:8–9; 26:1] was ·set up [constructed; prepared] for this. The first area in the Tent was called the Holy Place. In it were the lampstand [Ex. 25:31–39] and the table [Ex. 25:23–30] with the ·bread that was made holy for God [consecrated bread; bread of presentation/offering; Ex. 25:30; Lev. 24:5–8]. 3 Behind the second curtain was a ·room [section; L tent] called the ·Most Holy Place [T Holy of Holies; Ex. 26:31–34]. 4 In it was a golden altar for burning incense [Lev. 16:12–13] and the ·Ark [box; chest] ·that held the old agreement [L of the covenant/contract; Ex. 25:10; 26:33], covered [L completely; on all sides] with gold. Inside this Ark was a golden jar of manna [Ex. 16:33–34], Aaron’s rod that once grew leaves [Num. 17:1–11], and the stone tablets of the ·old agreement [covenant; contract; Ex. 25:16; 40:20; Deut. 10:2]. 5 Above the Ark were the ·creatures that showed God’s glory [or glorious cherubim; Ex. 25:18–22; C angelic beings representing God’s presence and glory; Gen. 3:24; Ezek. 9:3; 10:1–22], ·whose wings reached over [L overshadowing] the ·lid [mercy seat; atonement cover; Lev. 16:2]. But we cannot ·tell everything about [discuss in detail] these things now.
6 When everything was made ready in this way, the priests went into the ·first room [outer room; L first tent] ·every day [regularly] to ·worship [serve; minister; perform their priestly duties; Num. 28:3]. 7 But only the high priest could go into the ·second room [inner room; L second one], and he did that only once a year [Ex. 30:10; Lev. 16:15, 34]. He could never enter the inner room without taking blood [C from the sacrificial animal] with him, which he offered to God for himself and for sins the people did ·without knowing they did them [unintentionally; in ignorance]. 8 The Holy Spirit uses this to show that the way into the ·Most Holy Place [sanctuary; L holy things; T Holy of Holies] ·was not open [or had not yet been revealed] while the ·system of the old Holy Tent [or outer room of the Tabernacle; L first tent/Tabernacle] was still ·being used [in place; standing]. 9 This is an ·example [illustration; symbol] for the present time. It shows that the gifts and sacrifices offered cannot make the conscience of the worshiper ·perfect [clear; pure]. 10 These gifts and sacrifices were only about food and drink and special [ceremonial; ritual] washings. They were ·rules for the body [or external regulations], ·to be followed [in force; applying] until the time of God’s ·new way [reformation; new order].
The New Agreement
11 But when Christ came as the high priest of the good things ·we now have[a] [L that have come], he entered the greater and more perfect ·tent [T tabernacle]. It is not made ·by humans [L with hands] and does not belong to this ·world [creation; created order]. 12 Christ entered the ·Most Holy Place [sanctuary; L holy things; T Holy of Holies] ·only once—and for all time [L once for all; 7:27; 10:10]. ·He did not take with him [L …not by means of] the blood of goats and calves. ·His sacrifice was [L …but by means of] his own blood, and by it he ·set us free from sin forever [L obtained/secured eternal redemption/liberation]. 13 The blood of goats and bulls [Lev. 16:14–16] and the ashes of a ·cow [young cow; heifer; Num. 19:2, 17–18] are sprinkled on the people who are [C ritually] unclean, and this ·makes their bodies clean again [restores their body to ritual purity]. 14 How much more is done by the blood of Christ. He offered himself through the eternal ·Spirit [or spirit; C most likely the Holy Spirit, though possibly Christ’s own eternal spirit, or as a “spiritual” and eternal sacrifice] as a ·perfect [unblemished] sacrifice to God. His blood [C signifying his sacrificial death] will make our consciences ·pure [cleansed] from ·useless acts [or acts that lead to death; L dead works; 6:1] so we may ·serve [worship; offer priestly service for] the living God.
15 For this reason Christ ·brings a new agreement from God to his people [L is the mediator of a new covenant/contract]. Those who are called by God can now receive the eternal ·blessings [inheritance] he has promised. They can have those things because Christ died to ·set them free [redeem them] from the ·sins [transgressions; violations] committed under the first agreement [covenant; contract].
16 When there is a ·will [last will and testament; C the same Greek word translated “agreement” in v. 15; the author develops his illustration from the various meanings of the word], it must be proven that the one who wrote that ·will [last will and testament] is dead. 17 [L For; Because] A ·will [last will and testament] ·means nothing [carries no force] while the person is alive; it can ·be used [take effect] only after the person dies. 18 This is why even the first ·agreement [covenant; contract; C the same Greek word as “will” in vv. 16–17] could not ·begin [be inaugurated/put into effect] without blood [C the death of a sacrificial animal]. 19 First, Moses told all the people every command in the law. Next he took the blood of calves[b] and mixed it with water. Then he used ·red [scarlet] wool and a branch of the hyssop plant to sprinkle it on the book of the law and on all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood ·that begins [that seals/confirms; L of] the ·Agreement [Covenant; Contract] that God commanded you to ·obey [keep; Ex. 24:8].” 21 In the same way, Moses sprinkled the blood on the ·Holy Tent [T Tabernacle] and over all the ·things [vessels; utensils] used in worship. 22 The law says that almost everything must be ·made clean [purified; cleansed] by blood, and sins cannot be forgiven without ·blood to show death [the shedding of blood; C signifying death to pay the penalty of sin].
Christ’s Death Takes Away Sins
23 So the ·copies [symbols; models; prototypes] of the real things in heaven had to be ·made clean [purified; cleansed] by animal sacrifices. But the real things in heaven need much better sacrifices. 24 [L For] Christ did not go into ·the Most Holy Place [a sanctuary; L holy things] made by ·humans [L hands], which is only a ·copy [model; or prefiguration] of the real one. He went into heaven itself and ·is there [appears] now ·before [in the presence of] God ·to help us [for us; on our behalf]. 25 The high priest enters the ·Most Holy Place [sanctuary; L holy things; T Holy of Holies] once every year with blood that is not his own. But Christ did not offer himself many times. 26 ·Then [Otherwise; In such a case,] he would have had to suffer many times ·since the world was made [from the foundation/creation of the world]. But Christ ·came [appeared] ·only once and for all time [once for all; 7:27; 9:12, 26; 10:10] at the ·end [culmination; climax] of ·the present age [time; L the ages] to ·take away all [nullify; abolish] sin by sacrificing himself. 27 Just as ·everyone [L people] ·must [is/are destined/appointed to] die once and ·then be judged [T after this the judgment], 28 so Christ was offered as a sacrifice one time to ·take away [bear] the sins of many people [Is. 53:12]. And he will ·come [appear] a second time, not to offer himself for sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.