Hebrews 9:1-10

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

THE ORDINANCES OF DIVINE SERVICE

OF THE FIRST COVENANT WERE TYPES

INTRODUCTION:

 

Chapter 9 continues the section in the Book of Hebrews which began in 8:1 and extends through 10:18 where Christ is seen as the mediator of a better covenant.

 

In verses 1-10 it is shown that the ordinances of divine service of the first covenant were types of what would come later.

 

Then in verses 11-28 it is shown that the types of the first covenant were fulfilled by the offering of Christ’s blood in the heavenly sanctuary.

 

In verse 1 we see that the first covenant had regulations for divine worship and an earthly sanctuary.

 

In verses 2-5 we see a description of this earthly tabernacle constructed by Moses, and in verses 6-7 we see a description of the divine service performed by the priests.

 

In verses 8-10 we see that the Holy Spirit used this pattern of worship in the earthly sanctuary in order to show that the way into the presence of God was not yet made known.

 

This old system of worship, which was not able to cleanse the conscience, would remain in force until the time the law would be brought to an end.

We see that –

    I.     THE FIRST COVENANT HAD REGULATIONS FOR DIVINE WORSHIP AND AN EARTHLY SANCTUARY – 9:1

 

Hebrews 9:1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.

 

In verses 1-10 it is seen that the ordinances of the divine service were types of what would come later on. A type is a divinely prefigured illustration of a spiritual truth.

 

Then draws an inference and is used in the sense of therefore, consequently, accordingly, or so.

 

Verily suggests indeed.

 

The first covenant was the Mosaic law.

 

The tense of had indicates continuing action in past time and implies was having.

 

Also suggests something else found under the law.

 

Ordinances of divine service are regulations, requirements, or commandments of worship or service. Consequently, it is a worship of God.

 

Ordinances of divine service or regulations of worship indicate that there were proper procedures given for the worship of God in the tabernacle.

 

Not only did the first covenant have ordinances of divine worship or service, but it also had a worldly sanctuary or the earthly sanctuary in contrast to the heavenly sanctuary.

 

This worldly or earthly sanctuary refers to the tabernacle constructed by Moses consisting of two compartments or rooms: one known as the sanctuary or the holy place and the other known as the holiest of all or the holy of holies.

We also see –

  II.     A DESCRIPTION OF THE EARTHLY TABERNACLE CONSTRUCTED BY MOSES – 9:2-5

 

Hebrews 9:2 For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.

 

For is explanatory and is used in the sense of now.

 

A tabernacle . . . the first is a tent, the first (one) and refers to the first compartment or room of the worldly sanctuary in contrast to the second compartment or room known as the holy of holies rather than to the entire tabernacle constructed by Moses.

 

Was . . . made is was furnished or was equipped.

 

Wherein is in which. Within this first room of the tabernacle were found the candlestick, the table, and the shewbread.

 

The candlestick is the lampstand.

 

A description of the table is found in Exodus 25:23-28 . We won’t take the time to read this passage in this message. The table was used for the presentation of the shewbread.

 

The shewbread is literally the setting forth of the breads, the putting out of the breads, or the presentation of the breads.

 

Every sabbath twelve loaves of fresh bread, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel, were placed on the table.

 

On the following sabbath these loaves were removed and eaten by the priests in the holy place and were also replaced by twelve fresh loaves.

 

It is this bread which David and his men were given to eat in I Samuel 21:1-6 .

 

Which is called the sanctuary refers to the first room in the tabernacle. It is literally which is called holy. When used in the plural as it is in this verse, it is often translated sanctuary.

 

Only the priests were permitted to enter this first room called the sanctuary or the holy place.

 

By contrast the people were never permitted to enter this sanctuary or this holy place.

 

Hebrews 9:3 And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all.

 

After the second veil or after the second curtain is the second room of the tabernacle. It is called the Holiest of all.

 

Called is named.

 

The Holiest of all is literally holy of holies.

 

The high priest was the only one who could ever enter the holy of holies, and he could only enter it on one day a year, the Day of Atonement.

 

Hebrews 9:4 Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant

 

Which had is simply having and refers to the holy of holies.

 

The golden censer was found within the holy of holies. The same word translated censer is sometimes translated altar of incense. Both meanings are possible in this text, but most commentators seem to favor altar of incense.

 

In addition to the golden censer, the ark of the covenant was also found in the holy of holies. It was a box which contained the law or the covenant written on two tablets of stone.

 

The ark was carried by the priests with staves or poles.

 

The lid of the ark of the covenant was the mercyseat.

 

This ark was overlaid round about with gold which suggests that it was covered with gold from all directions, covered with gold on all sides, or entirely covered with gold.

 

Wherein is in which and refers to the ark of the covenant.

 

Inside of the ark was the golden pot that had manna.

 

A pot is a jar.

 

This pot is a golden jar, i.e. a jar made of gold or a jar adorned with gold.

 

That had manna indicates that this jar held manna or that this jar contained manna.

 

In addition to the golden pot that contained the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded was found in the ark of the covenant.

 

This is a reference to Aaron’s rod or staff that budded in Numbers 17:10 .

 

Budded means sprouted.

 

To show that Moses was God’s appointed leader, God caused Aaron’s rod to bud.

 

Numbers 17:1-101 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. 3 And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. 4 And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. 5 And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you. 6 And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods. 7 And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness. 8 And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds. 9 And Moses brought out all the rods from before the LORD unto all the children of Israel: and they looked, and took every man his rod. 10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony, to be kept for a token against the rebels; and thou shalt quite take away their murmurings from me, that they die not.

 

A third item found in the ark of the covenant was the tables of the covenant which were the tablets of the law.

 

These were two flat stones on which the law or the first testament, i.e the ten commandments, was written.

 

Moses smashed the original tablets, and God instructed him to make others to replace them. These are the replacements.

 

Hebrews 9:5 And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

 

And over it is and above it and refers to above the ark of the covenant.

 

Above the ark of the covenant were found the cherubims of glory. Cherubim is actually plural for cherub in Hebrew. By adding an s, the translators made this word have two plural endings.

 

Of glory may suggest that they were cherubim of glory, i.e. of or from God the Father; or it may suggest that they were glorious cherubim.

 

What they were doing is shadowing the mercyseat or overshadowing the mercyseat. They were pictured as bending over, staring at the lid of the ark, or the mercyseat, where the blood would be applied.

 

In addition, the Lord said in Exodus 25:22 ,

 

Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

 

Of which we cannot now speak particularly indicates that the writer is going to mention these things and then move on without spending a great deal of time with the detail.

 

Of which is concerning which things or about which things and refers to the tabernacle and its contents.

 

We cannot now speak particularly is we cannot now speak part by part or we cannot now speak in detail. There just is not time or space in the Book of Hebrews to speak in detail regarding all of these things. To do so would sidetrack the writer from his purpose.

Next, we see –

 III.     A DESCRIPTION OF THE DIVINE SERVICE PERFORMED BY THE PRIESTS – 9:6-7

 

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.

 

In verses 6 and 7 the writer moves from describing the interior of the holy of holies to describing the service performed by the priests in the tabernacle.

 

Verse 6 describes the service in the holy place, i.e. in the first room of the tabernacle constructed by Moses; whereas, verse 7 describes the service in the holy of holies, i.e. in the second room.

 

Now indicates a continuation of his thought.

 

When these things were thus ordained suggests after these things were thus ordained.

 

Thus suggests in this manner or so, and these things refers to the items found within both the holy place and the holy of holies.

 

Were ordained means were furnished or were equipped.

 

Thus, this phrase is understood in the sense of now after these things were equipped in this manner.

 

The priests went always into the first tabernacle accomplishing the service of God indicates the normal course of events that occurred on a daily basis in which all the ordinary priests took part.

 

The priests suggests all the priests as a general class or group of persons and is in contrast to the high priest alone in verse 7.

 

Accomplishing the service of God indicates what the priests were doing when they went into this first room of the tabernacle.

 

Went . . . into is actually present tense in the sense of go into or enter, indicating that this was the priests’ normal custom.

 

Always is continually or constantly and implies that there was no limitation on time. They could also enter the holy place as often as was necessary.

 

It is in contrast to once every year in verse 7.

 

Into the first tabernacle tells where these priests went.

 

It was within the earthly sanctuary itself, i.e. the tabernacle constructed by Moses; but it was not into the holy of holies.

 

The first tabernacle is the first room of the tabernacle constructed by Moses, called the sanctuary or the holy place.

 

It has been described in verse 2.

 

Accomplishing is understood in the sense of when (or while) they accomplished or where they accomplished.

 

The priests were completing, performing, or bringing about the service (or the worship) of God.

 

They were performing their priestly functions in this first tabernacle.

 

This is what Zacharias, John the Baptist’s father, was doing in Luke 1:5-23 when the angel Gabriel announced to him the birth of John.

 

Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people.

 

But indicates that verse 7 is given in contrast to verse 6.

 

Whereas verse 6 stated what all the priests did on a daily basis, verse 7 states what the high priest did by himself once a year on the Day of Atonement.

 

Into the second means into the second compartment or the second room of the tabernacle or earthly sanctuary which was constructed by Moses.

 

This second room is known as the holy of holies or the holiest of all.

 

Went is supplied by the translators from verse 6 because no verb is expressed in the Greek text, and it properly completes the thought in English. It suggests goes into or enters.

 

The high priest was the official high priest.

 

He went alone. It may mean that the high priest alone went, indicating that only the high priest went; or it may mean the high priest went alone, indicating that the high priest went by himself. Both are true.

 

Every year is annually.

 

Not without blood indicates that the high priest went into the holy of holies with blood. The blood referred to is the blood of the sacrifice, which he would then sprinkle on the mercyseat.

 

Which he (i.e. the high priest) offered refers to the blood which he took with him into the holy of holies.

 

Offered is the sacrificial term which means offers or presents. Its present tense indicates that this was the normal custom of the high priest on the Day of Atonement.

 

The high priest offers this blood for himself, and for the errors of the people.

 

Inasmuch as he himself was a sinner, it was necessary that he first make a blood atonement for his own sins.

 

Then, he also had to make a blood atonement for the sins of the people.

 

Errors is the term for ignorance and refers to sins committed in ignorance.

Finally, we see that –

 IV.     THE HOLY SPIRIT USED THIS PATTERN OF WORSHIP IN THE EARTHLY SANCTUARY TO SHOW THAT THE WAY INTO THE PRESENCE OF GOD WAS NOT YET MADE KNOWN – 9:8-10

 

Hebrews 9:8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.

 

In verse 8 the Holy Spirit is credited with showing that the way into the holiest had not yet been made known.

 

This was done by the fact that the priests went into the first part of the tabernacle daily accomplishing the service of God; whereas, the high priest alone went into the holy of holies once every year with a blood sacrifice which he then offered.

 

By this the Holy Spirit was signifying or indicating that the way into the holy of holies, i.e. that the way into the presence of God, was not yet made clear. The Holy Spirit is thereby credited with being the author of Scripture.

 

The Holy Ghost is the Holy Spirit.

 

Signifying is making clear, revealing, showing, explaining, or indicating.

 

The Holy Ghost this signifying is the Holy Spirit indicating this.

 

What He made clear is this: i.e. that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.

 

The way into the holiest of all is the way into the holy of holies, which symbolizes the presence of God.

 

Was not yet made manifest means had not at that time been revealed (i.e. made known or shown).

 

It also implies, however, that it would one day be made manifest, revealed, made known, or shown.

 

While as the first tabernacle was yet standing is literally the first tabernacle yet having a stand and suggests while the first tent was yet in existence and indicates the time during which the way of access into the holy of holies was not yet known.

 

Thus, while the first tent existed, it was serving a purpose, pointing to something which would occur in the future but which had not yet occurred. The temple, which would eventually replace the tabernacle, would still have a standing until the crucifixion of Christ.

 

The people could not pass through the first veil into the sanctuary or the holy place, and the priests could not pass through the second veil into the holy of holies.

 

Only the high priest could ever pass through the second veil into the holy of holies, and he could only do it on an extremely limited basis, once a year on the Day of Atonement.

 

For the people, access into the presence of God did not exist at this time.

 

Hebrews 9:9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience.

 

Which is which to be sure and refers to the first tabernacle mentioned in verse 8. It is the tabernacle that had been constructed by Moses in the Old Testament.

 

A figure is a type, a symbol, or an illustration.

 

For the time present refers to the time in which the worldly or earthly sanctuary was used.

 

It is literally for the time which was present or for the time which had come. This time began during the exodus with the wilderness wanderings and ended with the construction of the temple. The tabernacle constructed by Moses was not in use for some time prior to the construction of the temple but was probably in use up to the time of Samuel. What was true of the tabernacle would also be true of the temple.

 

In which refers to the time then present rather than to the tabernacle and suggests in which time.

 

Were offered is understood in the sense of were being offered.

 

Both gifts and sacrifices are two different terms used for offerings.

 

Throughout the period of time during which the tabernacle was standing, sacrifices and offerings were being made; and they continued to be made in connection with the temple until the time that the crucifixion had taken place. They looked forward to the sacrifice of Christ, the Lamb of God, on the cross which ended their significance as types. The unbelieving Jews, however, not realizing this, continued offering sacrifices in the temple until it was destroyed in A.D. 70.

 

That could not make . . . perfect refers to the gifts and sacrifices which were being made while the tabernacle was standing, which also continued to be made in connection with the temple.

 

That could not make . . . perfect suggests that could not make complete.

 

Here, it is make perfect as pertaining to the conscience, where conscience refers to someone’s moral consciousness.

 

Pertaining to is in accordance with or with reference to.

 

Him that did the service refers to the one serving or the worshiper.

 

Did . . . service is a term used in Biblical literature only of carrying out religious duties, and it is used in reference to the worshiper who was concerned with the rituals as prescribed by the law.

 

Thus, the tabernacle and its ministry was carried on for a long period of time; but it was carrying on a ministry which could only look forward to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The same is true of the temple and its ministry.

 

It was never intended to cleanse the conscience and remove the guilt of sin. It was only done in anticipation of something which was coming later.

 

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

 

Which stood is in italics in order to indicate that it was supplied by the translators in order to complete the meaning in English. It refers to the gifts and sacrifices from verse 9.

 

Only is an adverb which modifies stood, or something else which must be supplied. Thus, which stood only in suggests (which relate) only to or (which are concerned) only with.

 

Meats is foods, especially solid foods.

 

Drinks are intended to satisfy thirst.

 

Divers washings is different washings or various washings where washings is the same term translated baptisms in Hebrews 6:2 .

 

Carnal ordinances are fleshly regulations, fleshly requirements or commandments that pertain to the flesh in contrast to the conscience.

 

Imposed on them is incumbent on them, where them refers to the people upon whom were laid the meats, drinks, divers washings, and carnal ordinances.

 

Until the time of reformation limits the time during which these gifts and sacrifices were operative.

 

Reformation means improvement or new order and refers to the time of the new covenant in contrast to the old covenant. It has nothing to do with a period in history known as The Reformation.

 

The system of gifts and sacrifices, which included meats, drinks, and various ceremonial washings, was laid on the people as a temporary system until such time as the new covenant succeeded it.

 

The reformation will bring about the end of the law and its stipulations pertaining to the flesh. It occurred the instant the veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom following the crucifixion of Christ.

CONCLUSION:

 

As a result of the crucifixion of Christ, believers have instant and immediate access into the presence of God the Father at all times because of their relationship to Christ.