Now when these things were thus ordained
Or prepared and got ready; that is, when the tabernacle was finished, and set up, and provided with all its vessels and furniture:
the priests went always into the first tabernacle;
the first part of the tabernacle, which was called the holy place, ( Hebrews 9:2 ) here the common priests went continually every day, morning and evening; the Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, "the outward tabernacle", in distinction from the innermost part of the tabernacle, or the most holy place:
accomplishing the service of God;
by offering sacrifices, burning incense, and trimming the lamps, which they did every day: the priests entered into the holy place every day for service; but they might not go in at any other time but the time of service F12 the phrase, "of God", is not in the text, but is a supplement; and it was usual with the Jews to call the worship of the temple, and especially that part of it which lay in sacrifices, (hdwbe) , "the service": Simeon the just used to say, the world stands upon three things; upon the law, (hdwbeh lew) , "and upon the service", and upon beneficence F13; by "the service", the commentators F14 on the passage understand sacrifices; and again it is said F15, no man enters into the court (hdwbel) , "for service", though he is clean, until he has dipped himself: the word here used in the Greek text is in the plural number, and may be rendered the services, because there were several sorts of services performed every day, as before observed, and several sacrifices offered; and the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "the offices of sacrifices"; and the Ethiopic version, "their offerings"; and the Arabic version, "offices": and the service which the high priest performed in the holiest of all once a year, was divers, which is mentioned in the following verses, and is called "service", ( Hebrews 9:8 ) it is said, that on the day of atonement there were five (twdwbe) , "services" of the morning daily sacrifice F16, in which the high priest ministered in his golden garments: but here the service of the common priests is meant, which was every day; and it becomes such who are employed in sacred service; both to be constant in it, and to do it fully and completely.
F12 Maimon. Biath Hamikdash, c. 2. sect. 1, 2.
F13 Pirke Abot, c. 1. sect. 2.
F14 Maimon & Bartenora in ib.
F15 Misn. Yoma, c. 3. sect. 3.
F16 T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 32. 1.