Thematic Bible




Thematic Bible



Now may the God of peace, who brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep [i.e., the church], through the blood of the never ending Agreement [i.e., Christ's blood],


Now if He were [still] on earth, He would not be a priest [at all], since there are [already] those [on earth] who offer gifts according to the law of Moses. These priests serve [in a sanctuary] that is [only] a copy and a foreshadow of the heavenly one. Now Moses was warned [by God] when he was about to build the Tabernacle, for God said [Ex. 25:40], "See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain [i.e., Mount Sinai]." But now Jesus has obtained a ministry that is as far superior [to that of the Levitical priesthood] as the [New] Agreement, of which He is the Mediator, is better [than the old one], because it has been enacted on better promises. read more.
For if that first Agreement had been faultless, then there would have been no need for a second one. For God found fault with the Israelites [or, possibly with the first Agreement], saying [Jer. 31:31ff], "Look, the Lord says, the time will come when I will make a New Agreement with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. [It will] not be like the Agreement that I made with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the country of Egypt. For they did not [continue to] keep my Agreement, so I did not regard them [as acceptable], says the Lord. For this is the Agreement that I will make with the people of Israel in the coming days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will also write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And everyone will not [have to] teach his neighbor or his brother [anymore], telling them to 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me [as their Lord], from the least [important] ones to the most important ones. For I will be merciful to their wickedness [i.e., by forgiving them] and I will not remember their sins anymore." [So], by saying "a New Agreement," God has made the first one obsolete. And that which is becoming obsolete and getting aged is ready to [completely] disappear.

[Unlike the Israelites at Mount Sinai] you [Christians] have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that burned with fire [See Ex. 19:12, 16-19; 20:18-21; Deut. 4:11]; to [a place of] darkness, gloom and wind; to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words [from God] that the hearers begged not to have to listen to [anymore]. [See Ex. 20:19]. For those people could not stand [hearing] the command [Ex. 19:12f], "If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned [to death]." read more.
And the sight [of all these things] was so terrifying that Moses said [See Deut. 9:19], "I tremble with fear." But you [Christians] have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. [Note: These terms describe people who have entered a spiritual relationship with God as part of the church]. [You have come] to a praise gathering of innumerable angels [Note: Christians are here pictured as assembled in worship of God, along with angels], and to the church of the firstborn ones [i.e., those who have received an inheritance from their Father], whose names are recorded in heaven. [See Luke 10:20]. [You have come] to God, who is the Judge of all people, and to the spirits of righteous people who have become [morally] perfect [i.e., that great company of God's people who have gone on to their heavenly reward], and to Jesus, the Mediator of a New Agreement [between God and mankind], and to the sprinkled blood [of Jesus], which says better things [to us] than [the blood of] Abel did. [Note: The contrast seems to be that "Abel's blood called for vengeance and death (See Gen. 4:10) whereas the blood of Christ provides mercy and life"].



For this is the Agreement that I will make with the people of Israel in the coming days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will also write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And everyone will not [have to] teach his neighbor or his brother [anymore], telling them to 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me [as their Lord], from the least [important] ones to the most important ones. For I will be merciful to their wickedness [i.e., by forgiving them] and I will not remember their sins anymore."



For this is the Agreement that I will make with the people of Israel in the coming days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will also write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And everyone will not [have to] teach his neighbor or his brother [anymore], telling them to 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me [as their Lord], from the least [important] ones to the most important ones. For I will be merciful to their wickedness [i.e., by forgiving them] and I will not remember their sins anymore."




[Jer. 31:33f], "The Lord says, this is the Agreement I will make with them [i.e., with my people] after those days. I will put my laws in their hearts and I will write them on their minds." Then He said, "And I will not remember their sins or their wickedness anymore." Now where forgiveness of sins has taken place, there is no longer [a need for an] offering for sin.













He then said, "Look, I have come to do what you want." [So], Christ takes away the first [i.e., the animal and grain sacrifices] in order to establish the second [i.e., the sacrifice of Himself].

But you [Christians] have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. [Note: These terms describe people who have entered a spiritual relationship with God as part of the church]. [You have come] to a praise gathering of innumerable angels [Note: Christians are here pictured as assembled in worship of God, along with angels], and to the church of the firstborn ones [i.e., those who have received an inheritance from their Father], whose names are recorded in heaven. [See Luke 10:20]. [You have come] to God, who is the Judge of all people, and to the spirits of righteous people who have become [morally] perfect [i.e., that great company of God's people who have gone on to their heavenly reward], and to Jesus, the Mediator of a New Agreement [between God and mankind], and to the sprinkled blood [of Jesus], which says better things [to us] than [the blood of] Abel did. [Note: The contrast seems to be that "Abel's blood called for vengeance and death (See Gen. 4:10) whereas the blood of Christ provides mercy and life"].


So therefore, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better Agreement [between God and mankind].

But now Jesus has obtained a ministry that is as far superior [to that of the Levitical priesthood] as the [New] Agreement, of which He is the Mediator, is better [than the old one], because it has been enacted on better promises. For if that first Agreement had been faultless, then there would have been no need for a second one. For God found fault with the Israelites [or, possibly with the first Agreement], saying [Jer. 31:31ff], "Look, the Lord says, the time will come when I will make a New Agreement with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. read more.
[It will] not be like the Agreement that I made with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the country of Egypt. For they did not [continue to] keep my Agreement, so I did not regard them [as acceptable], says the Lord. For this is the Agreement that I will make with the people of Israel in the coming days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will also write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And everyone will not [have to] teach his neighbor or his brother [anymore], telling them to 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me [as their Lord], from the least [important] ones to the most important ones. For I will be merciful to their wickedness [i.e., by forgiving them] and I will not remember their sins anymore." [So], by saying "a New Agreement," God has made the first one obsolete. And that which is becoming obsolete and getting aged is ready to [completely] disappear.

[By his doing this] the Holy Spirit signifies that the way into the Holy Place [Note: This actually refers to the Holy of Holies, and represents heaven] had not yet been disclosed [i.e., made accessible] while the first Tabernacle was still standing. [That Tabernacle] is symbolic of the present time, [indicating] that both gifts and [animal] sacrifices, which are offered [by the priests], are not able to give the worshiper a clear conscience since, with foods and drinks and various [ceremonial] washings, they are only outward regulations imposed until the time when everything would be made right [i.e., under the New Agreement]. read more.
But when Christ became the Head Priest of the good things that have come, He entered the greater and more complete Tabernacle, not made by hand, that is, not part of this creation [i.e., heaven, See 8:2]. And He did not enter [the heavenly Holy of Holies] by means of the blood of goats and calves but, by means of His own blood He entered the Holy of Holies [i.e., heaven] once for all time, [after] having obtained never ending redemption [i.e., salvation for us on the cross]. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and a [burnt] heifer's ashes sprinkled on people who had been [ceremonially] defiled, could purify them so as to make them [ceremonially] clean on the outside, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Holy Spirit [or, His eternal Spirit] offered Himself without [moral] blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from deeds which lead to [spiritual] death to serve the living God? Therefore, Christ is the Mediator of a New Agreement, so that [all] those people who have been called [by God] can receive the promise of the never ending inheritance. [This is possible because] a death has taken place for the redemption of [people's] sins who lived under the first Agreement.


For if that first Agreement had been faultless, then there would have been no need for a second one. For God found fault with the Israelites [or, possibly with the first Agreement], saying [Jer. 31:31ff], "Look, the Lord says, the time will come when I will make a New Agreement with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. [It will] not be like the Agreement that I made with their forefathers on the day I took them by the hand to lead them out of the country of Egypt. For they did not [continue to] keep my Agreement, so I did not regard them [as acceptable], says the Lord. read more.
For this is the Agreement that I will make with the people of Israel in the coming days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will also write them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be my people. And everyone will not [have to] teach his neighbor or his brother [anymore], telling them to 'Know the Lord,' because all of them will know me [as their Lord], from the least [important] ones to the most important ones. For I will be merciful to their wickedness [i.e., by forgiving them] and I will not remember their sins anymore." [So], by saying "a New Agreement," God has made the first one obsolete. And that which is becoming obsolete and getting aged is ready to [completely] disappear.

Now even the first Agreement had regulations for [governing] service [to God] and an earthly sanctuary. For the Tabernacle was constructed with its outer compartment containing the lampstand and the table and the Bread of Presence. This was called the "Holy Place." And behind the second curtain [of] the Tabernacle was [a room] called the "Holy of Holies." read more.
It had a golden altar for [burning] incense [in it], and [originally] the gold-plated Chest of the Agreement, containing a golden jar of manna, Aaron's staff that sprouted buds and the tablets of the Agreement. Above it were the cherubim [Note: These were winged, angelic-like, golden figurines] spread out over the [Chest] covering, where sins were [symbolically] forgiven. But we cannot now speak of these things in detail. Now after preparing these things [i.e., the table, incense, etc.], the priests regularly enter the outer room of the Tabernacle [i.e., the Holy Place] to carry out the duties of their service. But [only] once a year the head priest goes alone into the inner room [i.e., Holy of Holies], and never without [animal] blood, which he offers [as a sacrifice] for himself and for the sins done in ignorance by the people. [By his doing this] the Holy Spirit signifies that the way into the Holy Place [Note: This actually refers to the Holy of Holies, and represents heaven] had not yet been disclosed [i.e., made accessible] while the first Tabernacle was still standing. [That Tabernacle] is symbolic of the present time, [indicating] that both gifts and [animal] sacrifices, which are offered [by the priests], are not able to give the worshiper a clear conscience since, with foods and drinks and various [ceremonial] washings, they are only outward regulations imposed until the time when everything would be made right [i.e., under the New Agreement]. But when Christ became the Head Priest of the good things that have come, He entered the greater and more complete Tabernacle, not made by hand, that is, not part of this creation [i.e., heaven, See 8:2]. And He did not enter [the heavenly Holy of Holies] by means of the blood of goats and calves but, by means of His own blood He entered the Holy of Holies [i.e., heaven] once for all time, [after] having obtained never ending redemption [i.e., salvation for us on the cross]. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and a [burnt] heifer's ashes sprinkled on people who had been [ceremonially] defiled, could purify them so as to make them [ceremonially] clean on the outside, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Holy Spirit [or, His eternal Spirit] offered Himself without [moral] blemish to God, cleanse our consciences from deeds which lead to [spiritual] death to serve the living God? Therefore, Christ is the Mediator of a New Agreement, so that [all] those people who have been called [by God] can receive the promise of the never ending inheritance. [This is possible because] a death has taken place for the redemption of [people's] sins who lived under the first Agreement.

For the law of Moses was [only] a foreshadow of the good things that [were] to come [i.e., in the Messianic age], not the exact image of those things. It can never, by the same sacrifices, continually offered year after year, make [morally] perfect those who draw near [to God in worship]. If it could, would not those sacrifices have stopped being offered [by now], since the worshipers would have been [ceremonially] cleansed and would not have had a sense of guilt anymore? But those sacrifices were [only] a reminder of [the people's] sins year after year, read more.
because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said [to God], [Psa. 40:6-8 LXX], "You did not want an [animal] sacrifice and an offering, but you prepared a body for me [to sacrifice]. You were not pleased with whole burnt offerings and sin offerings. Then I said, 'Look, I have come to do what you want, O God, [just as] it is written in the scroll of the book [about me].'" [After] saying the above, "You did not want, nor were you pleased, with [peace] sacrifices and [meal] offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin offerings," [although] these are offered according to the law of Moses, He then said, "Look, I have come to do what you want." [So], Christ takes away the first [i.e., the animal and grain sacrifices] in order to establish the second [i.e., the sacrifice of Himself]. By [Christ doing] what God wanted, we have been set aside for God through Jesus Christ offering His body once for all time. For every priest stands and performs his service day after day, offering over and over the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But when this Priest [i.e., Christ] had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, He sat down at the right side of God.

Now where forgiveness of sins has taken place, there is no longer [a need for an] offering for sin. Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Holy of Holies [i.e., heaven] by means of the blood of Jesus, by means of a new and living way which He opened for us through the curtain of His physical body,