Hebrews 9:10 MEANING

Hebrews 9:10
(10) Which stood only in . . .--Better, only joined with meats and drinks and divers washings,--carnal ordinances, imposed until a time of reformation. Here again the best authorities correct the received Greek text, omitting "and" before the word "carnal," and so altering the next word as to make it descriptive of the "gifts and sacrifices" mentioned in Hebrews 9:9. These sacrifices--looked at in themselves, as powerless to attain the end designed (Hebrews 10:1; Hebrews 10:4)--are mere appendages of such regulations as deal with meats and drinks and washings. The character of this latter class of ordinances no one could mistake; and what the writer here says is that these powerless sacrifices belong to the same line of things. On the, "washings" see Note on Hebrews 6:2. The preceding words would most naturally refer to meats, &c., of which men were required to partake (as Exodus 12; Leviticus 7:15, et al.); but no doubt include the various restrictions and distinctions of the ceremonial law (Leviticus 11; Numbers 6, et al.). All these are "ordinances of flesh," ordinances which relate to the outward state of things only; closely connected with the maintenance of external privileges and relations, but (in themselves) nothing more. "Imposed," comp. Acts 15:10 : "reformation," Hebrews 8:7-12.

Verse 10. - Rendered in A.V.," Which stood only in (μόνον ἐπὶ) meats and drinks and divers washings, and carnal ordinances [καὶ δικαιώμασι σαρκὸς, Textus Receptus], imposed on them (ἐπικείμενα) until the time of reformation." This is a satisfactory rendering of the Textus Receptus, ἐπὶ before "meats," etc., being taken in the sense of dependence, and ἐπικείμενα necessarily as agreeing with "gifts and sacrifices" (δῶρα τε καὶ θυσίαι) in ver. 9. But there are other readings, though none, any more than that of the Textus Receptus, to be decidedly preferred on the mere ground of manuscript authority. The best sense seems to be given by that of δικαιΩ´ματα instead of καὶ δικαιώματι, so that we may render (ἐπὶ being taken in the sense of addition), Being only (with meats and drinks and divers washings) carnal ordinances, imposed until the time of reformation. We thus have an obvious neuter plural (δικαιώματα) for ἐπικείμενα to agree with, and we avoid the assertion that the "gifts and sacrifices" of the Law "stood only" in "meats," etc. This was not so; their essential part was blood-shedding (αἱματεκχύσια ver. 22) the other things here mentioned were but accompaniments and appendages. The "meats and drinks" spoken of may refer mainly to the distinctions between clean and unclean viands, which we know were made such a point of by the Jews of the apostolic ago (cf. Colossians 2:16-23; Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 8; also Mark 7:15). The "diverse washings" (βαπτισμοῖς) may be taken to include both the ablutions of the priests before sacrifice, and those enjoined on the people in many parts of the Law after ceremonial defile-merit, which kind of washings had been further multiplied variously in the traditional law (cf. Mark 7:3, 4, 8).

9:6-10 The apostle goes on to speak of the Old Testament services. Christ, having undertaken to be our High Priest, could not enter into heaven till he had shed his blood for us; and none of us can enter, either into God's gracious presence here, or his glorious presence hereafter, but by the blood of Jesus. Sins are errors, great errors, both in judgment and practice; and who can understand all his errors? They leave guilt upon the conscience, not to be washed away but by the blood of Christ. We must plead this blood on earth, while he is pleading it for us in heaven. A few believers, under the Divine teaching, saw something of the way of access to God, of communion with him, and of admission into heaven through the promised Redeemer, but the Israelites in general looked no further than the outward forms. These could not take away the defilement or dominion of sin. They could neither discharge the debts, nor resolve the doubts, of him who did the service. Gospel times are, and should be, times of reformation, of clearer light as to all things needful to be known, and of greater love, causing us to bear ill-will to none, but good-will to all. We have greater freedom, both of spirit and speech, in the gospel, and greater obligations to a more holy living.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 and there were certain drinks which were unlawful to certain persons, at certain times, as to the priests and Nazarites, Leviticus 10:9 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

carnal ordinances: 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.

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