Now these things having been so prepared…
NAS Hebrews 9:1-10 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.
VERSES 6-7 – ‘’WHEN THESE THINGS HAD BEEN PREPARED” INTRODUCES THE AGE THAT BEGAN WITH MOSES AND ESTABLISHED THE “EARTHLY SANCTUARY,” AN AGE THAT WAS CHARACTERIZED BY THE REPETITION OF THE LEVITICAL RITUALS. Verse 6 describes the ministry of the “priests” in the “First “Tent”:; v. 7, that of the “high priest” in the “Second.” EVERYTHING IN V. 6 EMPHASIZES THE CONTINUOUS, REPETITIVE NATURE OF THE PRIESTS’ MINISTRY AND THE CONSEQUENT LIMITATION TO “THE FIRST TENT.”
The LXX uses the term here regularly “regularly” to describe the routine lighting of the lamps in the Holy Place…
NAS Exodus 27:20 “And you shall charge the sons of Israel, that they bring you clear oil of beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually.
ESV Exodus 27:20 “You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn.
the daily offering of incense…
ESV Exodus 30:8 and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.
and the regular presentation of the bread…
ESV Exodus 25:30 And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly.
THE VERBS “ENTER” AND “PERFORM” ARE ITERATIVE PRESENT EMPHASIZING THE REPETITIVE CARACTER OF THE LITURGICAL ACTS. The ministers of the “First Tent” repeatedly “enter” to “perform” their ministry. The pastor refrains from further description of these rituals so that the weight of his words might fall on their repetition.
The pastor has carefully chosen the verbs translated “enter” and “perform.” He distinguishes these priests from Christ by using a word for “enter” that differs from the word used for Christ’s entrance into the heavenly Sanctuary. “Perform” is regularly used for executing religious rituals. Nevertheless, the pastor uses this verb with subtle irony. In other contexts this word has the connotation of bringing to completion. These priests are continuously performing rituals that are never completed and that never get them further than “the First Tent.” They never achieve even symbolic access into the divine Present. THUS, THE PASTOR LAYS A FIRM FOUNDATION FOR DEMONSTRATING THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF THE MINISTRY ON WHICH THE FIRST COVENANT WAS ESTABLISHED.
Every feature of ministry in “the Second” Tent as described in v. 7 also demonstrates the insufficiency of the First Tent’s rituals to provide access. “Only” the “high priest” enters. None can “draw near to God” through him, (cf. 7:25). He enters only “once a year.” His annual entrance indicates both the limitation of his access and is repeated, and therefore inconclusive, nature. His entrance is also limited in that it is “not without blood,” and he must “offer” this blood both “in himself” and for the people’s sins of ignorance. There is little distinction between ”sins of ignorance” and “sins.”
However, the pastor also describes this ministry of the old high priest on the Day of Atonement because, as vv. 11-15 will show, it is the pattern for Christ’s high-priestly ministry. The old high priest’s entrance “once a year” into the “Second Tent” of the earthly sanctuary” was inconclusive, but it was symbolic of Christ’s entrance “once for “ (v.11-14) into “heaven itself” (9:24). His entering “NOT WITHOUT BLOOD” anticipated Christ’s entrance” through His own blood” (12; cf. vv. 15-23). Finally, the old high priest’s offering for himself and for the sins of the people anticipated Christ’s obedient offering of himself for the people (7:27; 9:11-14;10:5-10). – Cockerill
AS I HAVE REPEATEDLY NOTED AND THESE WEEKLY BLOGS HAVE OFTEN DEMONSTRATED, THE BIBLE IS A REPETITIVE, EMPHATIC BOOK!
Professor Thomas A. Rohm