Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and 1an earthly place of holiness.
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For 2a tent was prepared, the first section, in which were 3the lampstand and 4the table and 5the bread of the Presence. It is called the Holy Place.
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Behind 6the second curtain was a second section called the Most Holy Place,
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having the golden 7altar of incense and 8the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, in which was 9a golden urn holding the manna, and 10Aaron's staff that budded, and 11the tablets of the covenant.
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Above it were 12the cherubim of glory overshadowing 13the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot now speak in detail.
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These preparations having thus been made, 14the priests go regularly into the first section, performing their ritual duties,
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but into the second only 15the high priest goes, and he but 16once a year, and not without taking blood, 17which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.
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By this the Holy Spirit indicates that 18the way into the holy places is not yet opened as long as the first section is still standing
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(which is symbolic for the present age). According to this arrangement, gifts and sacrifices are offered 19that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper,
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but deal only with 20food and drink and 21various washings, regulations for the body imposed until the time of reformation.
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But when Christ appeared as a high priest 22of the good things that have come, then through 23the greater and more perfect tent (24not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)
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he 25entered 26once for all into the holy places, not by means of 27the blood of goats and calves but 28by means of his own blood, 29thus securing an eternal redemption.
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For if 30the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with 31the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,
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how much more will 32the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit 33offered himself without blemish to God, 34purify our conscience 35from dead works 36to serve the living God.
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Therefore he is 37the mediator of a new covenant, so that 38those who are called may 39receive the promised eternal inheritance, 40since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.
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For where a will is involved, the death of the one who made it must be established.
For 41a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive.
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Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated 42without blood.
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For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took 43the blood of calves and goats, 44with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
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saying, 45"This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you."
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And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both 46the tent and all the vessels used in worship.
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Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and 47without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
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Thus it was necessary for 48the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
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For Christ has entered, not into holy places 49made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God 50on our behalf.
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Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as 51the high priest enters 52the holy places every year with blood not his own,
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for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, 53he has appeared 54once for all 55at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
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And just as 56it is appointed for man to die once, and 57after that comes judgment,
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so Christ, having been offered once 58to bear the sins of 59many, will appear 60a second time, 61not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly 62waiting for him.
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