8:1 Now 1 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 the Majesty in the heavens;
(1) He briefly repeats that to which all these things are to be referred, that is, that we have another High Priest than those Levitical high priests, even such a one as sits at the right hand of the Most High God in heaven. 8:2 2 A minister of the a sanctuary, 3 and of the b true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
(2) They of Levi were high priests in an earthly sanctuary, but Christ is in the heavenly. 8:3 4 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore [it is] of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.
(a) Of heaven. (3) They of Levi exercised their priesthood in a frail tabernacle, but Christ bears about with him another tabernacle, that is, his body, which God himself made everlasting, as shall later be declared in ( Hebrews 9:11 ).
(b) Of his body.
(4) He brings a reason why it must be that Christ should have a body (which he calls a tabernacle which the Lord built, and not man) that is, that he might have that to offer: for otherwise he could not be an High Priest. The body is both the tabernacle and the sacrifice. 8:4 5 For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
(5) He gives a reason why he said that our High Priest is in the heavenly sanctuary, and not in the earthly: because, says he, if he were now on the earth, he could not minister in the earthly sanctuary, seeing there are still Levitical priests who are appointed for him, that is to say, to be patterns of that perfect example. To what purpose should the patterns serve, when the true and original example is present? 8:6 6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
(6) He enters into the comparison of the old and transitory Testament or covenant, being but for a time, of which the Levitical priests were mediators, with the new, the everlasting Mediator of which is Christ, to show that this is not only better than that in all respects, but also that that was made void by this. 8:7 7 For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
(7) He proves by the testimony of Jeremiah that there is a second Testament or covenant, and therefore that the first was not perfect. 8:8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the c house of Israel and with the house of Judah:
(c) He calls it a house, as it were one family of the whole kingdom: for while the kingdom of David was divided into two sections, the Prophet would have us understand that through the new Testament they shall be joined together again in one. 8:13 8 In that he saith, A new [covenant], he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old [is] ready to vanish away.
(8) The conclusion: Therefore by the later and the new, the first and old is taken away, for it could not be called new, if it did not differ from the old. Again, that same is at length taken away, which is subject to corruption, and therefore imperfect.