Hebrews 8:1-10

The High Priest of a New Covenant

1 Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We do have such a high priest, who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven,
2 and who serves in the sanctuary, the true tabernacle set up by the Lord, not by a mere human being.
3 Every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, and so it was necessary for this one also to have something to offer.
4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.
5 They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”[a]
6 But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.
7 For if there had been nothing wrong with that first covenant, no place would have been sought for another.
8 But God found fault with the people and said[b] : “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.
9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not remain faithful to my covenant, and I turned away from them, declares the Lord.
10 This is the covenant I will establish with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.

Hebrews 8:1-10 Meaning and Commentary


The apostle observing that the priesthood of Christ is the sum of what he had treated of in the preceding chapter, proceeds to show the superior excellency of it in other instances, particularly in the place where Christ now officiates, which is in heaven; he being set down at the right hand of God there, and so was a minister of the sanctuary, and true tabernacle pitched by God, and not man; whereas the priests of Aaron's line only ministered on earth, and in the typical sanctuary and tabernacle, Heb 8:1,2 and after he had observed that Christ must have something to offer, meaning his body, to answer to the gifts and sacrifices priests were ordained to offer, Heb 8:3 he proves the necessity of his ministering in heaven, because if he was on earth he would not be a priest, a complete one, and would have been useless and needless, Heb 8:4 and besides, it was proper that he should go up to heaven, and minister there, as the antitype of the priests, who, to the example and shadow of heavenly things, served in the tabernacle which was made by Moses, by the order of God, and according to the pattern showed him in the Mount, Heb 8:5 and that the ministry of Christ in the true sanctuary is much more excellent than the ministry of the priests in the shadowy one, is evident from his being the Mediator of a better covenant, Heb 8:6 and that the covenant he is the Mediator of is the better covenant, appears froth the better promises of which it consists, and from the faultiness of the former covenant, Heb 8:6,7 and that that was faulty, and succeeded by another, he proves from a passage in Jer 31:31-34 in which mention is made of a new covenant, and as distinct from that made with the Jewish fathers, and violated by them; and several of the promises of this new and second covenant are rehearsed, and which manifestly appear to be better than what were in the former, Heb 8:8-12 from all which the apostle concludes, that a new covenant being made, the old one must be antiquated; and that whereas it was decaying and waxing old, it was just ready to vanish away, Heb 8:13.

Cross References 19

  • 1. S Hebrews 2:17
  • 2. S Mark 16:19; S Hebrews 4:14
  • 3. Hebrews 9:11,24
  • 4. S Hebrews 2:17
  • 5. Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 9:9
  • 6. Hebrews 9:14
  • 7. Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 9:9
  • 8. Hebrews 9:23
  • 9. Colossians 2:17; Hebrews 10:1
  • 10. Hebrews 11:7; Hebrews 12:25
  • 11. Exodus 25:40
  • 12. ver 8,13; S Luke 22:20
  • 13. S Galatians 3:20; Hebrews 7:22
  • 14. Hebrews 7:11,18; Hebrews 10:1
  • 15. Jeremiah 31:31; ver 6,13; S Luke 22:20
  • 16. Exodus 19:5,6; Exodus 20:1-17
  • 17. Romans 11:27
  • 18. 2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 10:16
  • 19. Ezekiel 11:20; Zechariah 8:8

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Exodus 25:40
  • [b]. Some manuscripts may be translated "fault and said to the people."
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