7:21. But this with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord hath sworn and he will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever).
7:22. By so much is Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
7:23. And the others indeed were made many priests, because by reason of death they were not suffered to continue:
Many priests, etc... The apostle notes this difference between the high priests of the law, and our high priest Jesus Christ; that they being removed by death, made way for their successors; whereas our Lord Jesus is a priest for ever, and hath no successor; but liveth and concurreth for ever with his ministers, the priests of the new testament, in all their functions. Also, that no one priest of the law, nor all of them together, could offer that absolute sacrifice of everlasting redemption, which our one high priest Jesus Christ has offered once, and for ever.
7:24. But this, for that he continueth for ever, hath an everlasting priesthood:
7:25. Whereby he is able also to save for ever them that come to God by him; always living to make intercession for us.
Make intercession... Christ, as man, continually maketh intercession for us, by representing his passion to his Father.
7:26. For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens:
7:27. Who needeth not daily (as the other priests) to offer sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, in offering himself.
7:28. For the law maketh men priests, who have infirmity: but the word of the oath (which was since the law) the Son who is perfected for evermore.
Hebrews Chapter 8
More of the excellence of the priesthood of Christ and of the New Testament.
8:1. Now of the things which we have spoken, this is the sum: We have such an high priest who is set on the right hand of the throne of majesty in the heavens,
8:2. A minister of the holies and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord hath pitched, and not man.
The holies... That is, the sanctuary.
8:3. For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is necessary that he also should have some thing to offer.
8:4. If then he were on earth, he would not be a priest: seeing that there would be others to offer gifts according to the law.
If then he were on earth, etc... That is, if he were not of a higher condition than the Levitical order of earthly priests, and had not another kind of sacrifice to offer, he should be excluded by them from the priesthood, and its functions, which by the law were appropriated to their tribe.
8:5. Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things. As it was answered to Moses, when he was to finish the tabernacle: See (saith he) that thou make all things according to the pattern which was shewn thee on the mount.
Who serve unto, etc... The priesthood of the law and its functions were a kind of an example and shadow of what is done by Christ in his church militant and triumphant, of which the tabernacle was a pattern.
8:6. But now he hath obtained a better ministry, by how much also he is a mediator of a better testament which is established on better promises.
8:7. For if that former had been faultless, there should not indeed a place have been sought for a second.
8:8. For, finding fault with them, he saith: Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord: and I will perfect, unto the house of Israel and unto the house of Juda, a new testament:
8:9. Not according to the testament which I made to their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt: because they continued not in my testament: and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
8:10. For this is the testament which I will make to the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my laws into their mind: and in their heart will I write them. And I will be their God: and they shall be my people.
8:11. And they shall not teach every man his neighbour and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord. For all shall know me, from the least to the greatest of them.
They shall not teach, etc... So great shall be light and grace of the new testament, that it shall not be necessary to inculcate to the faithful the belief and knowledge of the true God, for they shall all know him.
8:12. Because I will be merciful to their iniquities: and their sins I will remember no more.
8:13. Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old is near its end.
A new... Supply 'covenant'.
Hebrews Chapter 9
The sacrifices of the law were far inferior to that of Christ.
9:1. The former indeed had also justifications of divine service and a sanctuary.
9:2. For there was a tabernacle made the first, wherein were the candlesticks and the table and the setting forth of loaves, which is called the Holy.
9:3. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holy of Holies:
9:4. Having a golden censer and the ark of the testament covered about on every part with gold, in which was a golden pot that had manna and the rod of Aaron that had blossomed and the tables of the testament.
9:5. And over it were the cherubims of glory overshadowing the propitiatory: of which it is not needful to speak now particularly.
9:6. Now these things being thus ordered, into the first tabernacle, the priests indeed always entered, accomplishing the offices of sacrifices.
9:7. But into the second, the high priest alone, once a year: not without blood, which he offereth for his own and the people's ignorance:
9:8. The Holy Ghost signifying this: That the way into the Holies was not yet made manifest, whilst the former tabernacle was yet standing.
9:9. Which is a parable of the time present: according to which gifts and sacrifices are offered, which cannot, as to the conscience, make him perfect that serveth, only in meats and in drinks,
9:10. And divers washings and justices of the flesh laid on them until the time of correction.
Of correction... Viz., when Christ should correct and settle all things.
9:11. But Christ, being come an high Priest of the good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hand, that is, not of this creation:
9:12. Neither by the blood of goats or of calves, but by his own blood, entered once into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption.
Eternal redemption... By that one sacrifice of his blood, once offered on the cross, Christ our Lord paid and exhibited, once for all, the general price and ransom of all mankind: which no other priest could do.
9:13. For if the blood of goats and of oxen, and the ashes of an heifer, being sprinkled, sanctify such as are defiled, to the cleansing of the flesh:
9:14. How much more shall the blood of Christ, who by the Holy Ghost offered himself unspotted unto God, cleanse our conscience from dead works, to serve the living God?
9:15. And therefore he is the mediator of the new testament: that by means of his death for the redemption of those transgressions which were under the former testament, they that are called may receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
9:16. For where there is a testament the death of the testator must of necessity come in.