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The Earthly and the Heavenly Sanctuaries

Now[a] the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. For a tent[b] was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence;[c] this is called the holy place.(A) Behind the second curtain was a tent[d] called the holy of holies.(B) In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant;(C) above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat.[e] Of these things we cannot speak now in detail.(D)

These preparations having thus been made, the priests go continually into the first tent[f] to carry out their ritual duties, but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people.(E) By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent[g] is still standing.(F) This is a symbol[h] of the present time, indicating that gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper(G) 10 but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right.(H)

11 But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come,[i] then through the greater and more perfect tent[j] (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation),(I) 12 he entered once for all into the holy place, not with the blood of goats and calves but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.(J) 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified,(K) 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit[k] offered himself without blemish to God, purify our[l] conscience from dead works to worship the living God!(L)

15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.[m](M) 16 Where a will[n] is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established. 17 For a will[o] takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 Hence not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood.(N) 19 For when every commandment had been told to all the people by Moses in accordance with the law, he took the blood of calves and goats,[p] with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people,(O) 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has ordained for you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent[q] and all the vessels used in worship.(P) 22 Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.(Q)

Christ’s Sacrifice Takes Away Sin

23 Thus it was necessary for the sketches of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves need better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.(R) 25 Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the holy place year after year with blood that is not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself.(S) 27 And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once and after that the judgment,(T) 28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.(U)

Christ’s Sacrifice Once for All

10 Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the true form of these realities, it[r] can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered year after year, make perfect those who approach.(V) Otherwise, would they not have ceased being offered, since the worshipers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any consciousness of sin? But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sin year after year.(W) For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.(X) Consequently, when Christ[s] came into the world, he said,

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

When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), then he added, “See, I have come to do your will.” He abolishes the first in order to establish the second. 10 And it is by God’s will[u] that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.(AA)

11 And every priest stands day after day at his service, offering again and again the same sacrifices that can never take away sins.(AB) 12 But when Christ[v] had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, “he sat down at the right hand of God,” 13 and since then has been waiting “until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.”(AC) 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us, for after saying,

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

17 and he adds,

“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.

A Call to Persevere

19 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus,(AE) 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh),(AF) 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God,(AG) 22 let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.(AH) 23 Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.(AI) 24 And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(AJ)

26 For if we willfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins(AK) 27 but a fearful prospect of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.(AL) 28 Anyone who has violated the law of Moses dies without mercy “on the testimony of two or three witnesses.”(AM) 29 How much worse punishment do you think will be deserved by those who have spurned the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which they were sanctified, and outraged the Spirit of grace?(AN) 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.”[w] And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”(AO) 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32 But recall those earlier days when, after you had been enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings,(AP) 33 sometimes being publicly exposed to insults and afflictions and sometimes becoming partners with those so treated.(AQ) 34 For you had compassion for those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the plundering of your possessions, knowing that you yourselves possessed something better and more lasting.[x](AR) 35 Do not, therefore, abandon that boldness of yours; it brings a great reward. 36 For you need endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what was promised.(AS) 37 For yet

“in a very little while,
    the one who is coming will come and will not delay,(AT)
38 but my righteous one will live by faith.
    My soul takes no pleasure in anyone who shrinks back.”(AU)

39 But we are not among those who shrink back and so are lost but among those who have faith and so preserve our souls.(AV)


  1. 9.1 Other ancient authorities add even
  2. 9.2 Or tabernacle
  3. 9.2 Gk the presentation of the loaves
  4. 9.3 Or tabernacle
  5. 9.5 Or the place of atonement
  6. 9.6 Or tabernacle
  7. 9.8 Or tabernacle
  8. 9.9 Gk parable
  9. 9.11 Other ancient authorities read good things to come
  10. 9.11 Or tabernacle
  11. 9.14 Other ancient authorities read Holy Spirit
  12. 9.14 Other ancient authorities read your
  13. 9.15 The Greek word used here means both covenant and will
  14. 9.16 The Greek word used here means both covenant and will
  15. 9.17 The Greek word used here means both covenant and will
  16. 9.19 Other ancient authorities lack and goats
  17. 9.21 Or tabernacle
  18. 10.1 Other ancient authorities read they
  19. 10.5 Gk he
  20. 10.7 Meaning of Gk uncertain
  21. 10.10 Gk by that will
  22. 10.12 Gk this one
  23. 10.30 Other ancient authorities add says the Lord
  24. 10.34 Other ancient authorities add in heaven