Exegesis of Verse 13 (2)
NAS Hebrews 8:10-13 “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 I will write them upon their hearts. And I will be their God, And they shall be My people. 11 “And they shall not teach everyone his fellow citizen, And everyone his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ For all shall know Me, From the least to the greatest of them. 12 “For I will be merciful to their iniquities, And I will remember their sins no more.” 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growas coing old is ready to disappear.
“IN HIS INTRODUCTORY COMMENT (vv. 7-8a) THE PASTOR AFFIRMED THAT THE MERE PROMISE OF A ‘SECOND’ COVENANT IMPLIED THE INADEQUACY OF THE ‘FIRST.’ This inadequacy was substantiated by the way God ‘found fault’ with the wilderness generation who received the ‘first’ covenant. The pastor now carries this argument a step further by returning to the word ‘new’ in the first verse quoted from Jeremiah quoted in v. 8 above. By saying ‘new,’ that is, by the very act of declaring this covenant ‘new’ and ‘not like’ the earlier covenant, God ‘made the first obsolete.’
“WHILE THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE GREEK WORD ‘NEW’ καινός (kai-nos) AND ‘SUPERIOR’ (8:13; 9:15), AND ANOTHER GREEK WORD FOR ‘NEW,’ νέος, (nay-os) ‘NEW, YOUNG, AND RECENT’ (12:24) MAY HAVE BEEN DISAPPEARING AT THE TIME OF THE HEBREWS’ WRITING, THE VERY PASSAGE QUOTED FROM JEREMIAH SHOWS THAT THIS ‘NEW’ COVENANT IS SUPERIOR BECAUSE IT IS ‘NOT LIKE’ THE FIRST COVENANT. The pastor is aware of this superiority in 8:13 even if he postpones its discussion until 10:15-18…
“THE PASTOR BRANDED IT AS ‘OLD,’ OUT OF DATE AND THUS INFERIOR TO THE ‘NEW.’ FURTHERMORE, THAT WHICH IS OBSOLETE AND GROWING OLD IS ON THE VERGE OF PASSING AWAY.’
“THE PASTOR SPEAKING FROM JEREMIAH’S POINT OF VIEW. AS SOON AS GOD PROMISED A ‘NEW’ COVENANT, THE OLD WAS ‘NEAR TO PASSING AWAY.’ Since the New has come in Christ, the Old is no longer ‘near to passing away.’ Since the New has come in Christ, the Old is no longer ‘near to’ but has definitely passed away as a way of relating to God. This assertion is a fitting to the impotence of the old Tent and priestly service as described in 9:1-10…
NAS Hebrews 9:1 Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship and the earthly sanctuary. 2 For there was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place. 3 And behind the second veil, there was a tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies, 4 having a golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was a golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant. 5 And above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but of these things we cannot now speak in detail. 6 Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship, 7 but into the second only the high priest enters, once a year, not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 The Holy Spirit is signifying this, that the way into the holy place has not yet been disclosed, while the outer tabernacle is still standing, 9 which is a symbol for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience, 10 since they relate only to food and drink and various washings, regulations for the body imposed until a time of reformation.
“THE OLD COVENANT CONTINUES ONLY AS A TYPE OF THE NEW. IT WAS ALWAYS INTENDED TO HAVE THIS TYPOLOGICAL FUNCTION.
“THUS THE HEAVENLY SANCTUARY, IN WHICH, ACCORDING TO PSALM 110:1. THIS HIGH PRIEST EXERCISES HIS MINISTRY (vv. 1-2), AND THE ‘NEW’ COVENANT OF JEREMIAH 31:31-34, WHICH HE ADMINISTERS (vv. 7-13), BOTH DEMONSTRATE THAT HIS SACRIFICE MUST HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT FROM AND SUPERIOR TO THOSE OFFERED IN THE EARTHLY TENT (vv. 3-6). THE FIRST MOVEMENT OF THIS SYMPHONY ENDS WITH THE AUDIENCE EAGER TO BEHOLD THE NATURE OF THIS DIFFERENCE.” – Cockerill
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm