Hebrew Chapter 8: The New
Old Testament is complete with pictures and shadows of things to come.
Melchizedek set the pattern of a greater priesthood, one to succeed the
priesthood of Aaron. Though only mentioned twice in the Old Testament
(Genesis 14:18, Psalm 110:4), these two sections of scripture
established Aaron’s priesthood as inferior and temporary. David,
God’s anointed King, through whom the Messiah would descend (2 Sam.
7:14) writes under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, about a greater
The Lord has
sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the
order of Melchizedek."Psalm 110:4
In Hebrews chapter 8, the writer continues to expand on the
picture of Melchizedek established in Chapters 5 to 7. The covenant
established with Moses and
Israel, is merely a
shadow or illustration of the coming covenant, which is eternal, and
administered by Christ.
1 Now this is the main point of the things we are saying: We have such a
High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the
Majesty in the heavens,
2 a Minister of the sanctuary and of the true tabernacle which the Lord
erected, and not man.
3 For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices.
Therefore it is necessary that this One also have something to offer.
4 For if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are
priests who offer the gifts according to the law;
5 who serve the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was
divinely instructed when he was about to make the tabernacle. For He
said, "See that you make all things according to the pattern shown you
on the mountain."
6 But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is
also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better
Priest of New Priestly Service
The Lord’s Tabernacle
The main point:
The Greek word used here is
the chief or principal thing, pecuniary sum total of a reckoning. This
is the summation of everything said so far. The whole purpose of the
book of Hebrews is to help the Hebrew Christians and seekers understand
Jesus is supreme.
a High Priest:
The priesthood of
Christ, after the order of Melchizedek, contrasted to the priesthood
under the Mosaic covenant. (Hebrews 7:22-28). Jesus’ priesthood is the
focus here, Jesus our High Priest is in Heaven at the right hand of the
Minster: The Greek word
means a public minister or servant of the state.
Jesus Christ serves the
Temple in Heaven as
opposed to one on Earth.
the true tabernacle:
What is the “True Tabernacle” being referred to here? Is
there a literal
Temple in Heaven or is this symbolism? James Coffman writes regarding
reference in this place to existence of a heavenly temple or tabernacle
requires that any notion of a literal or actual temple or court in some
particular locale beyond the earth's atmosphere be refuted. It is the
conviction of this writer that such language is used by the Holy Spirit
in order to bring down to the level of human comprehension
A literal reading of
Revelation indicates the existence of a Heavenly Temple, which the
Earthly is merely a shadow of. (Revelation 14:15,17, 15;5,6,8, 16:1,17)
Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant
was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings,
an earthquake, and great hail.Revelation 11:19
heavenly Temple itself is temporary until the completion of God’s plan
when there is a “New heaven” and a “New Earth”. (Revelation 21-22). When
the saints from the Old Testament, New Testament and Millennium periods
will be citizens of the New Jerusalem and dwell with God for all
I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its
temple. Revelation 21:22
Shadow of the Heavenly
offer both gifts and
The priest serves the role of intercessor between man and God. His job
is to represent people to God, by offering sacrifice for sin and gifts
for thanksgiving. (Leviticus 1-3)
Like the earthly priest, which is a shadow or type of the Heavenly,
Christ has offered both sacrifice and gifts on our behalf towards God.
He sacrificed Himself,
"I am the
living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread,
he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which
I shall give for the life of the world." John 6:51
And walk in
love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering
and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2
Christ, like the
Levitical priests, also presents the gifts of his people, their freewill
offerings, service, praise and prayers before the Father, on the throne
of Majesty. Prior to the sacrifice of Christ, we could only
approach God, through the Levitical Priesthood established by God.
by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is,
the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Hebrews 13:15
He would not be a
Because Jesus was a descendent of Judah and not of Aaron, he could not
be a priest after the order of Aaron. The role of priest is for Aaron’s
descendents alone. Korah, who tried to assume the role of priest became
a symbol of those who try to take the role, but are not descended of
Aaron. The burned censors of Korah became a covering for the altar.
Korah and the other rebels priest were burned from fire from Heaven. The
ground swallowed the other rebels.
So Eleazar the priest took the bronze censers, which those who were
burned up had presented, and they were hammered out as a covering on the
altar, 40 to be a memorial to the children of Israel that no outsider,
who is not a descendant of Aaron, should come near to offer incense
before the Lord, that he might not become like Korah and his companions,
just as the Lord had said to him through Moses.
this verse, we also learn the Temple was still in existence at the time
the book of Hebrews was written. The Romans, causing the Temple
priesthood to cease, destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D.
the copy and shadow of the heavenly things:
The Levites serve an
inferior copy and shadow of the reality, the antitype. The earthly
Temple is only a representation of the Heavenly reality. This lends
credence to the understanding in Revelation of a literal
which the earthly is merely modeled after with its Heavenly components.
pattern shown you:
of Hebrews, quotes from Exodus to make his point, of the inferiority of
the Tabernacle and Temple. They were merely models or shadows of
heavenly reality, which Moses saw on Mt. Sinai. Moses was given a
pattern from Heaven, modeled after the perfect, for construction of the
Tabernacle. (Exodus 25:40).
Mediator of a better
The Greek word for Mediator is
Mesites one who intervenes between two, either in order to make or
restore peace and friendship, or form a compact, or for ratifying a
covenant. The priest is in the role of mediator, he mediates the
relationship between God and man.
covenant Christ mediates is an eternal covenant verses a temporary and
of the New Covenant
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have
been sought for a second.
8 Because finding fault with them, He says: "Behold, the days are
coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of
Israel and with the house of Judah-
9 "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the
day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt;
because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them,
says the Lord.
10 "For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and
write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be
11 "None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying,
'Know the Lord,' for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the
greatest of them.
12 "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and
their lawless deeds I will remember no more."
13 In that He says, "A new covenant," He has made the first obsolete.
Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish
with the First Covenant
This covenant is the Mosaic Covenant, the author of Hebrews uses logic
to establish its inferiority to the coming covenant. Perfection does
not require improvement, if the first covenant were the ideal, why would
there be need for a second?
Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he
sprinkled on the altar. 7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read
in the hearing of the people. And they said, "All that the Lord has said
we will do, and be obedient." 8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it
on the people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the
Lord has made with you according to all these words."Exodus 24:6-8
The word covenant in
“Cut”, which was formally sealed by walking between the halves of
animals. God sealed his covenant with Abraham in just such a way.
(Genesis 15). There are eight covenants mentioned in the Old Testament
culminating in the New Covenant, announced in Jeremiah.
(1) The Edenic Covenant
conditioned the life of man in innocency.
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image,
according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish
of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over
all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the
earth." Genesis 1:26
(2) The Adamic Covenant
conditions the life of fallen man and gives
promise of a Redeemer.
Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded
the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I
commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the
ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days
of your life. Genesis 3;17
(3) The Noahic Covenant
establishes the principle of human government.
So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to
them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. Genesis
9:1 (Genesis 9:1-10)
(4) The Abrahamic Covenant
founds the nation of
Israel, and confirms, with specific additions, the Adamic
promise of redemption
On the same day the Lord made a covenant with
Abram, saying: "To your descendants I have given this land, from
river of Egypt to the great river, the River
Euphrates Genesis 15:8
(5) The Mosaic Covenant
condemns all men, "for that all have sinned."
And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the
people, and said, "This is the blood of the covenant which the
Lord has made with you according to all these words."
secures the final restoration and conversion of
"Then the Lord your God will bring you to the
land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He
will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.
(7) The Davidic Covenant
establishes the perpetuity of the Davidic
family (fulfilled in Christ),
Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:31-33,;
Romans 1:3 and of the Davidic kingdom, over
Israel, and over the whole earth; to be fulfilled in and by
Christ ; 2 Samuel 7:8-17;
1:31-33; Acts 15:14-17;
1 Corinthians 15:24.
And your house and your kingdom shall be
established forever before you. Your throne shall be established
forever." ' " 2 Samuel 7:16
(8) The New covenant.
rests upon the sacrifice of Christ, and secures
the eternal blessedness, under the Abrahamic Covenant
Galatians 3:13-29 of all who believe.
It is absolutely unconditional, and, since no responsibility is
by it committed to man, it is final and irreversible
"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord,
when I will make a new covenant with the house of
Israel and with the house of Judah Jeremiah 31:31
The New Covenant with
If the first
covenant were perfect, (Faultless) there would be no need to replace it
with a “New Covenant’.
The author of
Hebrews quotes Jeremiah’s announcement of a new and better Covenant.
Jeremiah wrote at a time when all hope seemed lost for Israel.
Jerusalem had rebelled against Babylonian control, and
Babylon had reoccupied
the city and taken more hostages including Ezekiel in 597 B.C. Israel’s
future seemed unsure, so God encouraged
about its future through the hand of Jeremiah. God promised a future
restoration to Israel, and his eternal relationship with the descendents
of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He promised redemption, forgiveness and an
eternal relationship. The provisions of the “New Covenant”, are parceled
out in the scriptures. This set the pattern only to be fulfilled in
Christ is revealed throughout the scriptures in several ways.
Melchizedek establishes a precedent of a greater
covenant and priesthood. (Psalm 110:4).
Isaiah foretells the death of an individual who
would pay for the sin of all man. (Isaiah 53)
Zechariah tells us this payment for sin would be
accomplished in one day. (Zechariah 3:9)
Ezekiel informs us this covenant, will be through
Israel, with the
descendents of Jacob, in the
land of Israel. (Ezekiel 37:23-28)
God’s Spirit will eternally be with those who are
established in this New Covenant. (Isaiah 59:21)
Jeremiah writes this “New Covenant” will replace
the Mosiac Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:31)
How is this Covenant to
be established? Through what means will God accomplish this? The answer
has caused a considerable amount of debate in churches and
Who is Israel?
Ultimately the issue
comes down to the position of
in God’s economy. Is God still working through the nation of Israel? Is
his Covenant with Israel cancelled and transferred to the church?
A New Israel?
Those who view the
covenant with Israel cancelled view the Church as having replaced
in the promises. The church becomes the “New Israel”.
A description of the
church, arising from the conviction that the position of Israel as the
elect people of God has been transferred to the church, so that the
former can no longer claim it.
Those who hold to the
replacement of the covenant with the church can find support in several
verses. (See also John 8:39-44, Romans 4:11, Matthew 8:5-13
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there
is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And
if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to
the promise. Galatians 3:28-29
know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know
the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a
synagogue of Satan. Revelation 2:9
28 For he
is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is
outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and
circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter;
whose praise is not from men but from God. Romans 2:28-29
They make four points who view the church as the “New Israel”.
Christ, not any particular group of people, is the
center of God’s purposes. (II Cor. 1:20)
It follows that the people of God and the Old
Testament must be understood Christocentrically. (Galatians 3:29)
Israel does not cancel
Old Testament ways of understanding God’s people
may be applied to the church.
church grafted into Israel?
The other way to view
Israel, is that all the promises to Israel still stand and are future.
The church, the body of Gentile and Jewish believers is been grafted
into the covenant promises of Israel. Paul writes about the dynamic
relationship between the Church and Israel (Romans 9-11). In Romans
chapter 11 he clarifies where Israel and the Church stand in relation to
God’s eternal plan. From this chapter we can draw several points of
I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am
an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. 2 God
has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what
the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel,
saying, 7 What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the
elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded. 8 Just as it is
written: "God has given them a spirit of stupor, Eyes that they should
not see And ears that they should not hear, To this very day."
as God’s covenanted people has not been cast away, rather they have been
blinded temporarily. This blindness to Christ will one day be removed.
not cast off
God foreknew His people
The elect of
Israel are saved
Israel were blinded to
Christ except for the elect.
And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild
olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker
of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against
the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the
root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say
then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." 23 And they
also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in,
for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut out of
the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to
nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are
natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? 25 For I do not
desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you
should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has
happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The Deliverer
will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; 27
For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins." Romans
The Gentiles are
grafted into the natural olive tree of Israel
If Israel believes
they will be grafted back in
Israel will be
God’s Covenant with
Israel still stands.
During this period of blindness, the Gentiles have been grafted into the
covenanted promises of
Israel. There is a day
when Israel as a nation will be restored to the position they had prior
to their rejection of Christ. Israel will be restored, and the promises
of God fulfilled.
Israel and Judah
comprise the division of Israel after Solomon. Judah and Benjamin
became the southern kingdom and
the northern kingdom. In 722 B.C., the Assyrian army attacked Israel and
removed the 10 northern tribes to a place in Assyria. (II Kings 17:6)
The Assyrians were unable to defeat Judah whom God saved from
destruction (Isaiah 37), Judah would be defeated by the Babylonian and
taken into captivity for their own sins.
and Judah would later become one nation, known as Judah and its people
known as Jews.
Israel scattered in 722 B.C. and
Judah defeated, and
Jerusalem about to be destroyed by Babylon (587 B.C.), Jeremiah wrote
about Israel and Judah’s restoration. The restoration would not only be
physical, but spiritual. The people would return to the land of their
forefathers and God would again be their God.
behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'that I will bring back
from captivity My people Israel and Judah,' says the Lord. 'And I will
cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they
shall possess it.'Jeremiah 30:3
Israel restoration as God’s people, Jeremiah proclaims they will also be
given a New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-38). Israel rejection of Messiah,
allowed the Gentiles to be grafted into Israel’s promises until the day
of their restoration (Luke 14:15-24). Israel will grafted back into the
promises as Paul writes in Romans. (Romans 11:23)
Not according to the Covenant:
The New Covenant will
differ from the Old Covenant (The Mosaic Covenant), because it will
eternally restore man’s relationship, and sin will not be remembered.
They did not continue:
Israel and Judah broke the Mosaic Covenant, and as a result they
suffered the provisions of the promised curses. (Deuteronomy 28:15-68)
was scattered in 722 B.C. (I Kings 17) and
was defeated, the Temple and Jerusalem destroyed in 587 B.C. They would
again be scattered in 70 AD by the armies of Rome, but this would take
place after book of Hebrews was written.
Provisions of the New Covenant
After those days:
Jeremiah, this refers to future time in Israel’s history after it is
restored to the land, brought back from its captivity. (Jeremiah 30-31)
laws in their mind and ... on their hearts” (Verse 10)
Israel will be
restored to God.
“I will be their God they
shall be my people”
Israel will have
knowledge of God.
all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Verse 11)
Israel’s sins will
“their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more." (Verse 12)
After the destruction
the Old Covenant could no longer be practiced since, their was no longer
any sacrifice. Daniel informs us their will be a temporary
Temple, which will result in Israel find the Messiah. (Daniel 9:24-27)