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 growing old is ready to disappear.
“AT THIS POINT THE WRITER SHOWS NO INTEREST IN THE PROMISES ATTACHED TO THE NEW COVENANT. He focuses all attention upon the implications of the key word of the cited text, καινὴν (kai-nay), ‘new’ (cf. v. 8). The argument that by designating the covenant ‘new’ God declared the covenant concluded at Sinai to be unserviceable and outmoded (the Greek word used carries with it the corollary that God Himself has canceled its validity). He intends to make no further use of the old covenant and the forms through which it operated to achieve its redemptive purpose for His people. Consequently, the old arrangement is on the point of disappearing. The principle that a new act of God makes the old obsolete (cf, 7:11-12) reflects an eschatological outlook that perceives the Mosaic and Levitical instruments as fulfilled and superseded by Christ.” – Schneider
YEARS AGO, WHEN I FIRST READ SCHNEIDER’S COMMENTARY, I WROTE THIS NOTE IN THE MARGIN: “THIS FITS THE WRITER’S OVERALL PURPOSE EXACTLY.” I HUMBLY BELIEVE THAT SUMMARY OBSERVATION TO TRUE.
“THE WRITER’S CONCEPT OF A HEAVENLY REALM, WHERE SACRIFICIAL LITURGY AND PRIESTHOOD ARE PERFECTLY EXPRESSED, IS DIFFICULT. ITS SOURCE IS BIBLICAL. ON THE BASIS OF EXODUS 25:40…
NAS Exodus 25:40 “And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain.
“AND RELATED PASSAGES, THE WRITER DEDUCED AN AXIOLOGICAL (of or related to the study of values – TAR) PERSPECTIVE (THAT IS, MAKING A VALUE JUDGMENT) CONCERNING HEAVEN AND EARTH’ (arguably this note from me did not need to be added but I felt it did for some: the writer is obviously confident that all his readers would understand that his observation needed no clarification that of course it carried with it the assumption that all would keep in mind that his remark did nothing to cast doubt on the divine authorship of the book of Hebrews – TAR). “Viewed cosmologically, heaven and earth constitute an integral whole. But viewed axiologically, heaven, as the ‘place’ of God’s presence, transcends earth as the source of all reality and value.
“GOD’S PRESENCE IN HEAVEN MADE IT APPROPRIATE TO QUALIFY THE PERFECTLY REAL AS ‘HEAVENLY.’ In the polarity between heaven and earth, the perfection of the heavenly realm can be sharply contrasted with the relative imperfection of the earthly realm as reality to shadow. The earthly tabernacle and the priestly ministry were valid and real only because of the heavenly validity and reality to which they corresponded, in which they participated, and to which they referred. The fact that they were only a ‘shadowy suggestion’ of the corresponding reality in heaven implied that they possessed only limited usefulness and validity. For the writer, an axiological consideration of heaven and earth was decisive in the evaluation of the elements that specify the sanctuary, and through the sanctuary the liturgy or ministry associated with it on the two planes of reality.
“THE MODALITY THAT DISTINGUISHES THE SANCTUARY THAT REALLY MATTERS FROM THOSE EARTHLY STRUCTURES THAT HAVE ONLY A LIMITED USEFULNESS AND VALIDITY IS THAT OF HEAVENNESS. IT IS . HEAVENLINESS THAT SPECIFIES THE SANCTUARY CHRIST ENTERED. The heavenliness of the sanctuary also has a bearing on the priest accomplished by Him. ‘Heavenly,’ in Hebrew has an axiological meaning based on the notion of heaven as the source of reality and the place of salvation perfectly realized.
“A SALVATION THAT IS HEAVENLY IS A REAL, PERFECT SALVATION THAT IS CONSUMMATED BY THE IMMEDIACY OF GOD’S PRESENCE. In 8:1-5 the category of the heavenly adds the dimension of axiological dignity to the reality of the salvation secured through Christ. In the development of this concept the writer does not lose sight of temporal and historical perspective. Christ’s entrance into the heavenly sanctuary as something eschatologically new, which replaces the old arrangements because He has fully achieved their intention.
“THE COMPARISON BETWEEN JESUS’ PRIESTLY MINISTRY AND THE MINISTRY OF THOSE WHO SERVED THE EARTHLY TABERNACLE IS SHARPENED BY THE DESCRIPTION OF JESUS AS THE MEDIATOR OF A NEW AND SUPERIOR COVENANT.
“REFLECTION ON GOD’S INTENTION TO ESTABLSH A NEW COVENANT AND THE EXTNSIVE CITATION OF JEREMIAH 31:31-34 SERVES TO EXHIBIT THE IMPERFECT AND PROVISIONAL CHARACTER OF THE OLD COVENANT AND ITS INSTITUTIONS (8:6-13).
“CORRESPONDING TO THE AXIOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF THE THEME OF SANCTUARY IS THE REDEMPTIVE-HISTORICAL EVALUATION OF THE THEME COVENANT. The mediation of the new covenant, in contrast to the old, has provided access to the ‘heavenly sanctuary,’ the ‘true tabernacle,’ and the ‘superior priestly ministry.’ THE ADJECTIVES ‘HEAVENLY,’ ‘TRUE,’ AND ‘SUPERIOR’ SPEAK OF THE PERFECTION OF THE SALVATION MEDIATED THROUGH CHRIST.” – Lane
THIS COMMENTARY BY LANE IN MY HUMBLE OPINION IS NOT ONLY AN EXCELLENT ANALYSIS OF CHAPTER 8 BUT OF THE ENTIRE BOOK OF HEBREWS, AFTER EXEGETICALLY STUDYING CHAPTERS 7-8, I THINK COMPRISE THE VERY HEART OF THE AUTHOR’S CENTRAL ARGUMENT: CHRIST IS SUPERIOR, SO IT IS FOOLHARDY FOR HIS MAINLY JEWISH ORIGINAL READERSHIP TO CONSIDER GOING BACK TO JUDAISM.
– Professor Thomas A. Rohm