Hebrews 9:1 (2)
The composition of this text is very clear. It starts with a mention of the “rites of worship” and of the earthly “holy place” (9:1). The author then first describes “the holy place” in 9:2-5 and then the “rites of worship” in 9:6-7. Then comes the criticism in 9:8-10. It concerns, first, the holy place (9:8), then the “gifts and sacrifices” (9:9-10). In the introductory sentence (9:1), the holy place of the first covenant receives a pejorative description: it was ‘of this world,’ in Greek: kosmikon (here only and in Titus 2:12 in the Bible); so it was not really God’s dwelling. To describe it the author relies on the Law of Moses, which does not speak of a building but only of a tent, divided in two, “the Holy and the Holy of Holies.” (Exodus 26:33)…
33 “You shall hang up the veil under the clasps, and shall bring in the ark of the testimony there within the veil; and the veil shall serve for you as a partition between the holy place and the holy of holies.
The author is therefore not speaking of Herod’s temple, like the Gospels, or of Solomon’s temple, but only of the text in the desert, to which he has already alluded in Heb 8:5. He insists on its division into two parts, which he calls “the first tent” (9:6) and “the second” (9:7). He does not use the expressions “the Holy” nor “the Holy of Holies,” but he simply uses, without any articles, the corresponding adjectives: the first tent “is called holy” (9:2) the second is “called holy of holies” that is to say “very holy.” Many manuscripts have some variant readings here that seek to bring the text back to the wording, quoted above, in Exod 26:33: “the Holy and the Holy of Holies.” That is mistaken. Without the article, holy of holies qualifies many things in the Old Testament. – Vanhoye
WE WILL CONTINUE VANHOYE’S ARGUMENT NEXT WEEK…
DESCRIPTION AND CRITIQUE OF THE WORSHIP OF THE FIRST COVENANT
In 9:1 the author returns to the main theme of this section, the theme of worship. To make the transition he expresses the link between the covenant and worship.
WHAT EXACTLY IS WORSHIP?
“Worship” is a word practically every Christian uses frequently and confidently. But does the individual believer know what this fundamental word means? What exactly does “worship” mean? The way to accurately understand what “worship” means begins with a word study. A word study is exactly what the term implies; a word study is the systematic and methodical study of a word. First, the Hebrew word (because the majority of biblical Greek words are derived from Hebrew words and concepts, then the Greek word. Hebrew and Greek lexicons are essential in word studies, but words must be defined ultimately by the way they are used contextually in the Bible.
THE MAIN HEBREW WORD FOR “WORSHIP”
to worship, prostrate oneself, bow down. 1. bow down, prostrate oneself before a monarch or superior in homage, etc. 2. before God, in worship, etc.
NAS Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in the heart of a man weighs it down, But a good word makes it glad.
NAS Isaiah 51:23 “And I will put it into the hand of your tormentors, Who have said to you, ‘Lie down that we may walk over you.’ You have even made your back like the ground, And like the street for those who walk over it.”
NAS Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship and return to you.” (first mention in Scripture)
NAS Genesis 47:31 And he (Jacob) said (to Joseph), “Swear to me.” So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed (possibly “staff”; the Hebrew is uncertain).
Observation: It is interesting, particularly in light of the N.T. Pauline use of the term λατρευω (la-true-o) 3000. (21), below, that in Exodus 12:31, the word “worship” is not שחה but עכד (a-vod), which means to work or serve.
NAS Exodus 12:31 Then he called for Moses and Aaron at night and said, “Rise up, get out from among my people, both you and the sons of Israel; and go, worship the LORD, as you have said.
NAS Deuteronomy 11:16 “Beware, lest your hearts be deceived and you turn away and serve (עכד [a-vod]) other gods and worship ( שחה [sha-kah]) them.
NAS Judges 7:15 And it came about when Gideon heard the account of the dream and its interpretation, that he bowed in worship. He returned to the camp of Israel and said, “Arise, for the LORD has given the camp of Midian into your hands.”
NAS 2 Chronicles 32:12 ‘Has not the same Hezekiah taken away His high places and His altars, and said to Judah and Jerusalem, “You shall worship before one altar, and on it you shall burn incense “?
NAS Psalm 2:11 Worship the LORD with reverence, And rejoice with trembling.
NAS Psalm 96:9 Worship the LORD in holy attire; Tremble before Him, all the earth.
In Daniel, an Aramaic word is translated “worship”:
NAS Daniel 3:5 that at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all kinds of music, you are to fall down and worship ( סגד[se-gid]) the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.
NAS Daniel 3:12 “There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the administration of the province of Babylon, namely Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. These men, O king, have disregarded you; they do not serve your gods or worship ( סגד [se-gid]) the golden image which you have set up.”
NAS Zechariah 14:17 And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them.
THE GREEK WORDS FOR “WORSHIP”
Προσκυνεω (pros-ku-neh-o) 4352. (60)
to bow down, to prostrate one’s self to, to worship, God, superior or inferior beings.
NAS Matthew 2:2 “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.”
NAS Matthew 4:9 and he said to Him, “All these things will I give You, if You fall down and worship me.”
Observation: Note the close connection in Matthew 4:10 of worship and service, even with (προσκυνεω). In one admittedly general sense, this single verse strongly supports if not proves that service is an integral part of the definition of worship.
NAS Matthew 4:10 Then Jesus said to him, “Begone, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship (προσκυνεω) the Lord your God, and serve (λατρεύω [la-true-o]) Him only.'”
NAS John 4:24 “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Paul only uses προσκυνεω once:
NAS 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.
σεβομαι (seb-o-my) 4576. (10)
to reverence, to worship (found only in Matt, Mark, and Acts). sebésomai, pass. deponent. to worship. To worship, to reverence. In the NT, only in the mid. (Mat_15:9; Mar_7:7 quoted from Isa_29:13; Act_16:14; Act_18:7, Act_18:13; Act_19:27; Sept.: Jos_4:24; Job_1:9). The part. noun sebómenos, a worshiper of the true God (Act_13:43, Act_13:50; Act_16:14; Act_17:4, Act_17:17). These were Gentile proselytes as expressed in Act_13:43.
[GING] σεβω (se-bo)
σεβω mid. worship Mt 15:9; Mk 7:7; Ac 18:13; 19:27.σεβομενοι τον θεον Godfearers, worshipers of God, unconverted Gentiles who were attracted to the legacy of Israel but did not assume all the obligations of the Jewish law Ac 16:14; 18:7; cf. 13:43, 50; 17:4, 17.* [pg 180]
σεβω only middle in the NT and always of the worship of a deity worship, venerate, adore (MK 7.7); as a religious technical term applied to Gentiles who accepted Judaism’s belief in one God and attended the synagogue but did not become Jewish proselytes by undergoing male circumcision; God-fearers, σεβομενοι τον θεον worshipers of God (AC 17.17) – Friberg
σεβαζομαι (seb-of-zo-my) 4573. (1) [Rom 1:25] to stand in awe of, to worship.
λατρευω(la-true-o) 3000. (21)
to worship, to serve; to officiate as a priest. “To serve, in a religious sense to worship God (Matt 4:19; Luke 1:74; 2:37; 4:8; Acts 7:7; 24:14; 27:23; Rom 1:9; Phil 3:3; 2 Tim 1:3; Heb 9:14; 12:28; Rev 22:3). It refers particularly to the performing of the Levitical service (Heb 8:5; 9:9; 10:2; 13:10); of the celestial temple (Rev 7:15). Generally to offer sacrifice, to worship (Heb 9:9; 10:2. Allied to latris, a hired servant as opposed to (1401.), a bond slave. Therefore, to serve or worship but not out of compulsion. Λατρευω originally meant to work for reward, to serve. The meanings of service and worship are intertwined.” – Zodhiates
NAS Revelation 22:3 And there shall no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His bond-servants shall serve Him;
NKJ Revelation 22:3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.
ESV Revelation 22:3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him.
NET Revelation 22:3 And there will no longer be any curse, and the throne of God and the Lamb will be in the city. His servants will worship him,
Observation: Note carefully that last sentence: The meanings of service and worship are intertwined
λατρεια (la-tray-a) 2999. (5)
worship, service rendered to God.
[BDAG] λατρεία, ας, ἡ (cp. λάτρον ‘payment’ and s. next entry; Pind. et al.; LXX. On the cultic t.t.עכודה Elbogen 4) in cultic usage service/worship (of God) (Pla., Apol. 23b τοῦ θεοῦ, Phdr. 244e; Sb 1934, 3 [?]; LXX; Philo, Ebr. 144 al.; Jos., Bell. 2, 409; Ar. 2, 1; Mel., P. 67, 475; Ath. 13, 2; Orig., C. Cels. 2, 78, 16; 4, 22, 13; Did., Gen. 135, 18) Ro 9:4; λογικὴ λ. 12:1 (s. λογικός). δικαιώματα λατρείας regulations for worship Hb 9:1. τὰς λ. ἐπιτελεῖν perform the rites vs. 6. λ. προσφέρειν τῷ θεῷ offer a service to God J 16:2. Of image-worship λ. θεῶν νεκρῶν D 6:3; cp. Dg 3:2.—DELG s.v. λάτρον. M-M. TW.
LXE Exodus 12:25 And if ye should enter into the land, which the Lord shall give you, as he has spoken, keep this service.
LXE 1 Chronicles 28:13 and the plan of the courses of the priests and Levites, for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and of the stores of vessels for ministration of the service of the house of the Lord.
NAS John 16:2 “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.
NAS Romans 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
ESV Romans 9:4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.
NAS Romans 12:1 I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual (λογικὴν) service of worship.
NKJ Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable (λογικὴν) service.
[Fri] λογικος, η, ον (1) rational, reasonable, belonging to the real nature of something (RO 12.1); (2) as belonging to the sphere of the mind and spirit spiritual (1P 2.2)
λατρεία service/worship (of God) [BDAG]
NAS Hebrews 9:1 Now even the first covenant had regulations of divine worship (λατρεία) and the earthly sanctuary.
NKJ Hebrews 9:1 Then indeed, even the first covenant had ordinances of divine service and the earthly sanctuary.
NAS Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things have been thus prepared, the priests are continually entering the outer tabernacle, performing the divine worship (λατρεία),
NKJ Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things had been thus prepared, the priests always went into the first part of the tabernacle, performing the services.
ESV Hebrews 9:6 These preparations having thus been made, the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,
λειτουργεω (lei-tour-geh-o) 3008. (3)
to serve publicly in sacred things; to minister charitably.
NAS Acts 13:2 And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”
NAS Romans 15:27 Yes, they were pleased to do so, and they are indebted to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are indebted to minister to them also in material things.
NAS Hebrews 10:11 And every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;
Conclusion – Rather than the starry-eyed, mystical, emotional idea of worship prevalent in the church today, especially among Pentecostals/Charismatics, this admittedly brief but accurate study proves that biblical worship entails service. In Pauline literature, it is not too strong a statement to say that if you are not serving, you are not biblically worshiping
– PROFESSOR THOMAS A. ROHM