Hebrews 9:1

Worship in the Earthly Tabernacle

1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.

Hebrews 9:1 in Other Translations

King James Version (KJV)
1 Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary.
English Standard Version (ESV)
1 Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly place of holiness.
New Living Translation (NLT)
1 That first covenant between God and Israel had regulations for worship and a place of worship here on earth.
The Message Bible (MSG)
1 That first plan contained directions for worship, and a specially designed place of worship.
American Standard Version (ASV)
1 Now even a first [covenant] had ordinances of divine service, and its sanctuary, [a sanctuary] of this world.
GOD'S WORD Translation (GW)
1 The first promise had rules for the priests' service. It also had a holy place on earth.
Holman Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
1 Now the first [covenant] also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary.
New International Reader's Version (NIRV)
1 The first covenant had rules for worship. It also had a sacred tent on earth.

Hebrews 9:1 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 9:1

Then verily the first covenant had ordinances of divine
The design of the apostle in this chapter, as it stands in connection with what goes before, is to show the pre-eminence of Christ, from the tabernacle, and the things in it; as well as from the priesthood and covenant; and as also the abrogation of the Levitical ceremonies in particular, as well as the first covenant in general; and that they were all types and figures of Christ, and had their fulfilment in him: the word "first", here used, designs not the tabernacle, but the covenant; therefore it is rightly thus supplied in our version, as it is in the Arabic and Ethiopic versions: which is said to have "ordinances of divine service"; belonging to the service of God, which was performed both by the priests, and by the people; and these ordinances were no other than the carnal ordinances, or rites of the ceremonial law: the word used signifies "righteousnesses"; and they are so called, because they were appointed by a righteous God; and were imposed on the people of the Jews in a righteous way; and by them men became externally and typically righteous; for they were figures and types of justification by the righteousness of Christ, though no complete, perfect, real righteousness, came by them.

And a worldly sanctuary.
Philo the Jew says F12, it was a type of the world, and of the various things in it; though it was rather either a type of the church, or of heaven, or of Christ's human nature: the better reason of its being so called is, because it consisted of earthly matter, and worldly things; it was in the world, and only had its use in the world, and so is opposed to the heavenly sanctuary; for the Jews often speak of (hlemlv vdqm) , "a sanctuary above", and (hjmlv vdqm) , "a sanctuary below" F13, and of (alyeld ankvm) , "a tabernacle above", and (attld ankvm) , "a tabernacle below" F14; which answered to one another: the words may be rendered "a beautiful sanctuary", a well adorned one; and such especially was the temple, or sanctuary built by Solomon, rebuilt by Zerubbabel, and repaired and adorned by Herod, ( Luke 21:5 ) . And the Jews say, that he that never saw Herod's building, meaning the temple, never saw a beautiful building; see ( Luke 21:5 ) .


F12 De Vita Mosis, p. 667.
F13 Jarchi in Gen. xxviii. 17.
F14 Zohar in Exod. fol. 65. 4. & 94. 4. & 96. 2. & in Lev. fol. 1. 3.

Hebrews 9:1 In-Context

1 Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary.
2 A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place.
3 Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place,
4 which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant.
5 Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

Cross References 1

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