Confraternity Bible: New Testament and Supplemental Commentary

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HEBREWS - Chapter 8

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Hebrews 8

Supplemental Commentary:


3.  A Superior Covenant  8, 1-13

8, 1-5:  Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary.  The Jewish priests exercised their functions in an earthly sanctuary (tabernacle), which was but a copy and shadow of the true sanctuary of heaven, where Christ, the ideal High Priest, exercises His functions seated at the right hand of God.

8, 6-13:  Mediator of a Superior Covenant.  Christ is the mediator of a new and better covenant based on better promises.  This is proved by a quotation from Jer. 31, 31-34, where God revealed to Jeremias that the Old Covenant was unsatisfactory, and would be superseded by a new and a better one.  The New Covenant would effect the forgiveness of sins, which the Old Covenant was unable to do.  The knowledge of God will ultimately be a common possession of all.

Confraternity Bible:

Christ in the Heavenly Sanctuary  1 Now the main point in what we are saying is this.  We have such a high priest, who has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in the heavens, 2 a minister of the Holies, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord has erected and not man.  3 For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; therefore it is necessary that this one also should have something to offer.  4 If then he were on earth, he would not even be a priest, since there are already others to offer gifts according to the Law.  5 The worship they offer is a mere copy and shadow of things heavenly, even as Moses was warned when he was completing the tabernacle: "See," God said, "that thou make all things according to the pattern that was shown thee on the mount."

Mediator of a Superior Covenant  6 But now he has obtained a superior ministry, in proportion as he is mediator of a superior covenant, enacted on the basis of superior promises.  7 For had the first been faultless, place would not of course be sought for a second.  8* For finding fault with them he says,
"Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Juda,

9* Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them forth out of the land of Egypt;

For they did not abide by my covenant, and I did not regard them, says the Lord. 

10* For 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 upon their hearts I will write them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

11* And they shall not teach, each his neighbor, and each his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord'; for all shall know me, from least to greatest among them. 

12* Because I will be merciful to their iniquities, and their sins I will remember no more." 
13 Now in saying, "a new covenant," he has made obsolete the former one; and that which is obsolete and has grown old is near its end.


8-12: Jer. 31, 31-34.