Hebrews 10:2 MEANING

Hebrews 10:2
(2) For then.--Better, otherwise. The very repetition of the annual ceremonial was a testimony to its imperfection. The idea of repetition has been very strikingly brought out in Hebrews 10:1.

Once purged.--Better, because the worshippers, having been once cleansed, would have no more consciousness of sins. "Worshippers," not the same word as in Hebrews 10:1, but similarly used in Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 9:14; Hebrews 12:28 (Philippians 3:3, et al.): in Hebrews 8:5; Hebrews 13:10, it is applied to priestly service.

Verses 2, 3. - For then (i.e. had it been so able) would they (the sacrifices) not have ceased to be offered, because that the worshippers, having been once purged, should have had no more conscience of sins? But (on the contrary) in those sacrifices there is a remembrance made of sins year by year. The very annual repetition of the same expiatory rites on the Day of Atonement expressed in itself the idea, not of the putting away (ἀθέτησις, Hebrews 9:26) or oblivion, (Hebrews 10:17) of sin, but a recalling to mind of its continual presence. In the following verse the reason of this is found in the nature of the sacrifices themselves; it being impossible for the blood of irrational animals to cleanse moral guilt: it could only avail for the "passing over" (πάρεσιν, Romans 3:25) of sins, as symbolizing an effectual atonement to come in the spiritual sphere of things.

10:1-10 The apostle having shown that the tabernacle, and ordinances of the covenant of Sinai, were only emblems and types of the gospel, concludes that the sacrifices the high priests offered continually, could not make the worshippers perfect, with respect to pardon, and the purifying of their consciences. But when God manifested in the flesh, became the sacrifice, and his death upon the accursed tree the ransom, then the Sufferer being of infinite worth, his free-will sufferings were of infinite value. The atoning sacrifice must be one capable of consenting, and must of his own will place himself in the sinner's stead: Christ did so. The fountain of all that Christ has done for his people, is the sovereign will and grace of God. The righteousness brought in, and the sacrifice once offered by Christ, are of eternal power, and his salvation shall never be done away. They are of power to make all the comers thereunto perfect; they derive from the atoning blood, strength and motives for obedience, and inward comfort.For then would they not have ceased to be offered,.... The Complutensian edition, and the Syriac and Vulgate Latin versions, leave out the word "not"; and the sense requires it should be omitted, for the meaning is, that if perfection had been by the legal sacrifices, they would have ceased to have been offered; for if the former ones had made perfect, there would have been no need of others, or of the repetition of the same; but because they did not make perfect, therefore they were yearly renewed; unless the words are read with an interrogation, as they are in the Arabic version, "for then would they not have ceased to be offered?" yes, they would; they are indeed ceased now, but this is owing to Christ and his sacrifice, and not to the efficacy of these sacrifices; for yearly sacrifices were offered for former sins, as well as for fresh ones, as appears from the following verse.

Because the worshippers, once purged, would have had no more conscience of sins; there are external and internal worshippers; the latter are such who worship God in Spirit and in truth: but here ceremonial worshippers are meant, who, if they had been really purged from sin by legal sacrifices, and purifications, would have had no more conscience of sins, and so have had no need to have repeated them; as such spiritual worshippers, who are once purged from sin by the blood and sacrifice of Christ; not that they have no sin, or no sense of sin, or that their consciences are seared, or that they never accuse for sin, or that they are to make no confession and acknowledgment of sin; but that they are discharged from the guilt of sin, and are not liable to condemnation for it; and through the application of the blood of Christ to them, have peace with God, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

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