[Which stood] only in meats and drinks
That is, along with the gifts and sacrifices offered, there only were meat offerings and drink offerings; things which only respect the body, and cannot therefore make perfect, as to the conscience; to which may be added, that while the tabernacle was standing, and typical service was in being, there was a prohibition of certain meats, as unclean, and an allowance of others, as clean, ( Leviticus 11:2-31 ) and there were certain drinks which were unlawful to certain persons, at certain times, as to the priests and Nazarites, ( Leviticus 10:9 ) ( Numbers 6:3 ) and which, for the above reason, could make no man perfect:
and divers washings
or "baptisms": the doctrine of which, the apostle would not have laid again, ( Hebrews 6:2 ) these were the washings of the priests and of the Israelites, and of sacrifices, and of garments, and of vessels and other things; and which, because they were performed by immersion, they are called "baptisms": and now since these only sanctified to the purifying of the flesh, or what was outward, they could not reach the conscience, or make perfect with respect to that: and
which belonged to the flesh, and not the spirit or soul, and therefore could not affect that; besides, these were only
imposed on them until the time of reformation;
they were enjoined the Jews only, though by God himself; and were put upon them as a burden, or a yoke, and which was on some accounts intolerable, but were not to continue any longer than the time of the Gospel, here called "the time of reformation", or of "correction", and emendation; in which, things that were faulty and deficient are amended and perfected, and in which burdensome rites and ceremonies are removed, and better ordinances introduced: or rather of direction: in which saints are directed to Christ, the sum and substance of all types, shadows, and sacrifices, and in whom alone perfection is.