Melchizedek in Hebrews
ο Μελχισεδεκ, βασιλευς
του θεου του
υψιστου, ο συναντησας
απο της κοπης
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of Elohim the Most High, who had an encounter with Abraham at his return from defeating the kings and blessed him,
With chapter 7 of the 58th Book of the Bible – The Letter to the Hebrews - the inspired writer, Saul of the tribe of Benjamin, has arrived at the focal point of the Book: a thorough examination and discussion about the future priesthood of the Messiah after the manner of Melchizedek. As is usually the case with the Bible Books this chapter here too constitutes the central, most important portion of the Letter that comprises 13 chapters.
In this chapter, the author unfolds the deeper things about that unique priesthood, the higher details for which Jewish readers so far did not prove to be very accessible. Anyway, apparently he considers them able to accept that higher education.
Who, however, is familiar with the teachings and the ideas that so far
prevail within Judaism, knows very well that the matter remains
precarious. To this day within Judaism the idea, that the Messiah of
Psalm 110 - the son of David from the tribe of Judah - also could have the priestly
dignity, is strongly resisted. Considered from
their strictly legal attitude, the priesthood can only belong to the tribe of
Since the wording of verse 4 (of Psalm 110) obviously is fixed and cannot be denied
YHWH has sworn and will not change his mind: “You [David’s Lord, the Messiah, whose rod of strength by YHWH will send forth out of heavenly Zion] are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
the rabbis have sought for opportunities to assign a different meaning to the term "priest" than usual. The most prevailed statement within their ranks implies that "priest" should be understood as a further indication of the monarchy.
At the same time, around the biblical account of Abraham's encounter with the mysterious figure of Melchizedek, they wove all kinds of personal details, invented by them to explain his relationship to the patriarch. How could that pagan foreigner be so superior to the patriarch, a superiority that Abraham moreover accepted without any trouble? He blessed Abraham and he received from him the tithes.
The many headaches would easily disappear when one would consider that the actions of Melchizedek occurred in prehistoric times, long before Israel received the Thorah. Moreover, precisely in that golden era, the period of the patriarchs, the things that later turned out to be so important to his people Israel had their start in Elohim's purpose. Rightly, therefore, the author of Hebrews appeals to that golden age of Israel, in order to demonstrate the superiority of the Messianic priesthood over that of Aaron, basing oneself on David's Psalm 110.
The simple, but also great truth is that the scene of Genesis 14 will be implemented in antitype by means of a royal priesthood under the supervision of the Messianic king and high priest. The promises made to Abraham in that and the surrounding chapters – to become a blessing to the Gentile world through his seed – will then be made to a glorious reality.
Between the various scenes in that most important part of the Thorah, a clear coherence is perceptible! Therefore, in Melchizedek the Hebrews possess, alongside other illustrious persons, a representative par excellence of the original ideal: the unprecedented glory of YHWH Elohim that will be manifested in the Messiah and his princely rule.
ω και δεκατην απο παντων εμερισεν Αβρααμ, πρωτον μεν ερμηνευομενος βασιλευς δικαιοσυνης επειτα δε και βασιλευς Σαλημ , ο εστιν βασιλευς ειρηνης,
2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth of all, is being translated first of all king of Justice; and next also king of Salem, which is king of peace;
Melchizedek’s position as priest of the Most High God, was fully recognized by Abraham, partly because he apportioned to him a tenth of everything. He was king of Salem, in the Jewish tradition an archaic name for the later Jerusalem (Zion). That is why we read in verse 2 of Psalm 110 >> The sceptre of your strength YHWH shall send from Zion: "Dominate in the midst of your enemies."
Salem means peace. According to that meaning Melchizedek was indeed king of Peace. According to the prophet Isaiah, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah - when once installed on David’s throne - will exercise increasingly a peaceful dominion, of which moreover will be no end: The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this. (Isaiah 9).
See also Psalm 76:1-4.
The name Melchizedek means literally My king is righteous. That is why the apostle also calls him King of Rightteousness. And that too will be a prominent feature of the Messianic reign: With righteousness he shall judge the lowly ones and with uprightness he shall reprove the meek ones of the earth (Isaiah 11:4).
So, according to the explanation of his name and attributes he is in the first place: King of Justice; and next also King of Salem, which is King of Peace ...
Notice the order. First justice, then peace. This
is, as for YHWH Elohim, always the order. The true God cannot be on terms
of peace with rebellious children as long as there is no compliance with the
requirements of his throne. In other words, only on the basis of law and
justice can there be a peaceful relationship with God, the Most High:
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in justice…. until
the spirit be poured on us from on high, and the
wilderness become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a
forest. Then justice shall
dwell in the wilderness; and righteousness shall
abide in the fruitful field. And the work of the
righteousness shall be peace; and the
effect of righteousness, quietness and security forever. My people shall abide in a peaceable habitation, and in safe dwellings, and in undisturbed resting-places.
(Isaiah 32: 1, 15-18)
But for the moment, the Hebrew readers should be well aware of the fact that Jerusalem (Salem) had a king, many centuries before David became king, and also that, at the same time, YHWH Elohim in that same person had a (high) priest, long before Aaron and his sons were called to that office. Thinking in types and antitypes (or: typology and realities), the sequel should not cause any problem whatsoever for appreciative readers.
απατωρ, αμητωρ, αγενεαλογητος, μητε αρχην ημερων μητε ζωης τελος εχων, αφωμοιωμενος δε τω υιω του θεου, μενει ιερευς εις το διηνεκες.
3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but the Son of God made equal, he remains a priest perpetually.
According to the standpoint of the rabbis applies: Quod non in Thorah, non in mundo, meaning: What's not in the Law [the five books of Moses], is not in the world. Today we would say. "That's very bluntly'. However, what is meant by that statement in connection with our verse (3)?
Because in Genesis nothing is mentioned about the
origin of Melchizedek - his pedigree is unknown; there is no mention of
his birth nor of his death - one must assume that
these things did not exist either. Taking such a position then naturally
leads to all sorts of speculation, such as the assumption that Melchizedek was
a supernatural being.
However, because of Genesis 14, the apostle discerns in Melchizedek actually a human being, not a god or an angel. And as a man he did have a father and mother and his pedigree (origin) must have been known to his surroundings.
To be sure, the apostle in his description follows the principle of the rabbis - without a father, without mother, without descent - but he does so only in imitation of the manner in which in Scripture is spoken about Melchizedek. He focuses exclusively on what is written about him: his position, his name, his dignity, and all that with the intention to be transparent towards whom Melchizedek prefigured, Elohim's Son.
But the Son of God made equal, he remains a priest perpetually...
Thus the apostle wants to convey that everything stated by him in the first three verses of Melchizedek, suggests that he became the perfect type of the Messiah, Elohim's Son: The priest of primeval times complies fully with the priest of the End times, the Messianic era.
The term 'made equal' therefore indicates that Messiah Yeshua is the image to which Melchizedek was formed. His only begotten Son was in the Father's mind when he appointed Melchizedek as priest, arranged his career and finally ensured that the short report about that significant figure was recorded in Genesis 14 in exactly those terms. And considering Spoke 14 of the Bible Wheel, exactly in that chapter .
As is the case with the Aaronic priesthood, in the priesthood after the pattern of Melchizedek genealogical factors are not in discussion. After all, that priesthood relies on vocation and not on fleshly descent. That's why neither his birth is stated nor his death; he suddenly pops up in history. Precisely in that respect he is made equal to the Son of God whose life does not pass off within the limits of the temporariness.
He - the Son - in Scripture is not only without beginning of days but also without end of life. Therefore, he remains a priest forever; according to the Greek continuously, unremittingly, unlike Melchizedek who died indeed. The type has, so to speak, resolved in the reality; at the same time also implying that the Aaronic priesthood would be transient.
There are traditions that indicate that Melchizedek must have been actually Noah's son Shem:
1.) At the time of the meaningful encounter with Abraham Shem was still alive and must have been around 535 years old. Sem in fact became 600 years old; he was born in 1558 AM and died in 2158 AM.
His meeting with his descendant Abraham must have occurred sometime around 2094 AM when the latter was about 85 years old.
2.) The NV (numerical value) of Melchizedek is 294 (40 + 30 + 20 + 10 + 90 + 4 + 100) and corresponds prominently with the NV of the rebel Nimrod (50 + 40 + 200 + 4).
Tradition tells us that both men should have stood opposite each other when, after the Flood, Nimrod turned out to be the first major rebel who wanted to make himself a big name in challenging God's rule. As the founder of Babel (or Babylon), he was quite on his way to establish the first political dominion over the earth (Ge 10: 8-12).
After Nimrod succeeded in getting people as far as they looked up to him for protection and rescue, he came to his end. The Bible does not state how, but the many legends and traditions agree on one point that Nimrod died a violent death.
Hislop suggests in “The Two Babylons” that Shem likely was involved, acting as executioner of YHWH Elohim in that righteous judgment.
3.) Still according to Hislop, one of Nimrod’s names in the hidden systems of the Chaldean mysteries is Saturn, the god with whom the Romans were especially familiar and whom they worshiped to enjoy prosperity. By Hislop rendered as STUR, S-(a)-TH-U-R סתור, expressed in numerical values: 60+400+6+200 = 666. So exactly the number of the Beast and the man behind the Beast (the ant messianic power of the End times) to whom is referred in Revelation 13:18 >> Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the Beast, for it is the number of a man; and the number of him 666.
Among these innumerable names, how shall we ascertain the name at which the spirit of God points in the enigmatical language that speaks of the name of the Beast, and the number of his name? If we know the apocalyptic name of the system, that will lead us to the name of the head of the system. The name of the system is "Mystery" (Rev 17:5). Here, then, we have the key that at once unlocks the enigma. We have now only to inquire what was the name by which Nimrod was known as the god of the Chaldean Mysteries. That name, as we have seen, was Saturn. Saturn and Mystery are both Chaldean words, and they are correlative terms. As Mystery signifies the Hidden system, so Saturn signifies the Hidden god.
To those who were initiated the god was revealed; to all else he was hidden. Now, the name Saturn in Chaldee is pronounced Satur; but, as every Chaldee scholar knows, consists only of four letters, thus--Stur. This name contains exactly the Apocalyptic number 666.
(The Two Babylons, page 269 )
Further, we know that Melchizedek’s antitype, Messiah Yeshua, will battle with that Nimrod like Beast and will conquer and destroy it:
And I saw the Beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war with the one [Messiah Yeshua] seated upon the horse and with his army. And the Beast was caught, and with it the False Prophet who performed the signs before him, with which he deceived those who received the mark of the Beast and worshiped its image. Alive the two were cast into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur.
Θεωρειτε δε πηλικος ουτος ω [και] δεκατην Αβρααμ εδωκεν εκ των ακροθινιων ο πατριαρχης.
4 Behold then how great this [man], to whom Abraham gave a tenth out of the best of the spoils, [he] the patriarch.
According to the report in Genesis, the first thing mentioned about
Melchizedek is that he brought bread and
king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most
High. He blessed him, and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be God Most High, who has
delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave him a tenth of all (Ge 14:18-20).
No doubt that the bread and the wine was
intended for Abraham's servants to refresh them. In the antitype,
we must think of Yeshua's teaching about his flesh and blood in
John's Gospel: My flesh is true food and my blood is true
The apostle, however, is entirely silent about that feature; giving a tenth by Abraham out of the best of the spoils, however, has his full attention. He, Israel's patriarch par excellence surrendered, without any problem, the best part of the spoils to a [seemingly] pagan king. Although some of the Hebrews, the present Jews, may have some difficulty with that action, was this absolutely not the case with Abraham. In the view of the Patriarch he gave Melchizedek his due, entirely what he was entitled to. He fully recognized that Melchizedek was the priestly representative of YHWH Elohim whose help he had gained for defeating the enemy kings.
Maybe, that Abraham, thanks to the appearance of Melchizedek, was saved from a trap. Why? On his way back to Sodom, the patriarch was suddenly confronted with a subtle temptation; as we read in the preceding verse (17): The king of Sodom went out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, at the valley of Shaveh (the same is the King’s Valley).
So, the king of Sodom met Abram at a valley right outside Salem, a place that even then was known as the "King's Valley," none other than the Valley of the Kidron where, much later, Melchizedek’s antitype, Messiah Yeshua, went with his disciples on the night he was betrayed. In that strategic and historic spot, the king of Sodom met Abraham. Skipping down to the verses 21-23, we read: And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the souls, but take the goods for yourself." But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to YHWH the Most High God, producer of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal-lace or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.'"
It is really of interest what the late Ray Stedman wrote in a commentary:
Here is the subtle temptation which suddenly came upon Abram. He was met by the king of Sodom, who had somehow escaped capture and was in the city when news came of the triumphant return of Abram with the spoils of war. On the surface, the king of Sodom's offer seems a perfectly justifiable reward. Abram had fought his great battle not, of course, on behalf of the King of Sodom, but for the sake of Lot and his family. Nevertheless, the effect of his victory was of great benefit to the whole of that wicked city. For this reason. the king was there to meet him. A special welcoming committee had been appointed, headed by the king himself, to confer upon Abram the usual reward for a conquering hero. The king simply asked for the return of the residents of the city; the goods and riches he gratefully offered to Abram. The wealth of Sodom was all to be Abram's!
Now notice the subtlety of this temptation. It appeared to be so right and proper! Abram could well have said. "This is certainly only what I deserve, and after all, it is the custom to do this. Everyone does it! There are no strings attached. I can take the wealth and go my way back to my tent and altar and never go near Sodom again." Who of us, standing in Abram's shoes, would not have thought like this?
But it was exactly in the apparent freedom of the gift that the peril lay. To a man of Abram's character, it is impossible to accept this kind of a gift without feeling an obligation to the giver. If he had been required to sign some kind of contract, he would have found it easy to say, "No," but to accept this gift without strings would be to make it exceedingly difficult to say, "No," to anything later on. From that day on the king of Sodom could say, "Abram is indebted to me. If I ever need any military help, I know where I can get it. My man is up there on the hillside." The gift was an insidious threat to the independence of the man who took orders from no one but God. If Abram yielded, he would never be wholly God's man again.
Moreover, the immediate context, found in Ge 15:1-4, reveals that Abram would be rewarded by YHWH Elohim Himself:
After these things the word of YHWH came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Don’t be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Abram said, “Lord YHWH, what will you give me, seeing that I am going childless, and he who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram added, “Behold, to me you have given no seed: and, behold, one born in my house is my heir.” However, behold! The word of YHWH came to him, saying, “This man will not be your heir, but he who will come forth out of your own body will succeed you as heir.”
και οι μεν εκ των υιων λευι την ιερατειαν λαμβανοντες εντολην εχουσιν αποδεκατουν τον λαον κατα τον νομον , τουτ εστιν τους αδελφους αυτων, καιπερ εξεληλυθοτας εκ της οσφυος Αβρααμ ∙ ο δε μη γενεαλογουμενος εξ αυτων δεδεκατωκεν Αβρααμ , και τον εχοντα τας επαγγελιας ευλογηκεν.
5-6 And it is true, those who receive the priesthood out of the sons of Levi have the commandment to collect tithes from the people according to the Law – that is from their brothers - even though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them, has taken tithes from Abraham and he blessed the one who possessed the Promises.
The reasoning of the apostle is clear. He's out to show up the greatness of Melchizedek, the king priest, above the priestly office that was exerted by the male descendants in Aaron’s lineage. Moreover, his arguments are irrefutable: Melchizedek appears to be greater than Abraham and thus greater than Levi who came forth out of Abraham. After all, on that memorable encounter Levi found oneself still in Abraham's loin, incidentally together with his brothers whom he may tithe according to a commandment of the Thorah. So, together with Abraham, Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek.
Furthermore, we must bear in mind that Abraham received Melchizedek’s blessing while he, the patriarch, already possessed the promise becoming himself to a blessing for all the nations [Goyim], together with his seed. How exalted therefore must have been the priestly dignity of the man Melchizedek!
In addition, there is something else. The high-priestly ministry in the lineage of Aaron never exceeded Israel's national borders. Every high priest exercised his ministry as priest of YHWH, Israel’s Elohim. However, Melchizedek was the priestly representative of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth.
Also in that respect - the Son of God made equal (verse 3) - Yeshua's royal priesthood is of universal nature; it will be connected with all the glory of the Messianic Millennium Kingdom, the STONE that finally fills the whole earth after having caused the annihilation of all those kings (Da 2:34-35, 44-45).
For collecting tithes within the Levitical priesthood,
27:30-33 and Nu
χωρις δε πασης αντιλογιας το ελαττον υπο του κρειττονος ευλογειται . και ωδε μεν δεκατας αποθνησκοντες ανθρωποι λαμβανουσιν, εκει δε μαρτυρουμενος οτι ζη. και ως επος ειπειν, δι Αβρααμ και Λευι ο δεκατας λαμβανων δεδεκατωται, ετι γαρ εν τη οσφυι του πατρος ην οτε συνηντησεν αυτω μελχισεδεκ.
7-10 Now without any dispute, the less is blessed by the better. And it is true, here men who are dying take tithes, but there one of whom it is witnessed that he lives. And, using the expression, also Levi - who takes tithes – has given tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
The apostle has on hand more arguments to convince his readers of a for them very important truth: Israel's existence under the Law was temporary, and thus the functioning of the Aaronic Priesthood too. In the "golden age" of Israel's pre-history, the "age" of their illustrious ancestors, the patriarchs, the groundwork for something much higher and bigger had already been laid: a Messiah who, after the order of Melchizedek, will exert a universal royal priesthood during the Millennium. Wholly according to YHWH Elohim's purpose in that golden period, the promises that were originally made to Abraham will then be implemented: In you and in your seed all the Goyim of the earth will be blessed.
To value the reasoning of the apostle we have to be familiar with a principle that God uses consistently at the basis of all his dealings with mankind, perhaps to describe the best with the term "covenant head”.
In Romans 5:12-19 Paul has explained that this principle is at issue in connection with Adam and all humanity descended from him. Since all people originally came out of Adam, Elohim considers him as their covenant head.
Consequently, in every way Adam represented the human race, in all his acting as well. What he did, all members of his progeny did in him too, in the sense that they were partakers of it. In him they shared the guilt of his sinful rebellion against God, and accordingly the death sentence on him too. Such are simply the consequences for Adams 'seed', his progeny, from Elohim's point of view!
Fortunately for the members of the (true) Christian Congregation that principle also applies to the Messiah, the last Adam, as is shown in 1 Co 15:21-22, 45-49 .
Consequently, also the Messiah serves as covenant head of his "seed", ie all those who, in faith, make themselves dependent on him. Therefore, (true) Christians have been justified before God in him (Ro 5:1), and in him they meet the righteous requirement of the Law (Ro 8:4). In him, they too are now Abraham's seed, and partakers of the promise (Ga 3:26-29).
Similarly, Abraham acted as covenant head to all his descendants.
So, when he gave tithes to Melchizedek, Levi - and indeed the whole priestly family of Aaron with him - gave tithes to that priest king, although they themselves were entitled to take tithes from their brothers.
So, when Melchizedek blessed Abraham and thus proved that he was the greater (literally: the better), his superiority over Levi was shown, because the rule that the higher blesses the lesser is not for (successful) contradiction susceptible. The entire seed of Abraham, the patriarch, recognized in the forefather their subordination to Melchizedek.
In short, the Hebrews (Jews) will have to reconcile themselves to the fact that the Aaronic priesthood was temporary because - one last argument - the priesthood was practiced by people who were dying; the one generation always had to make room for the next one. That course of events demonstrated not only their personal transitoriness, but also the transitoriness of their right to tithes and of the priesthood itself.
But to Melchizedek is testified (in Scripture) that he's alive. After all, for the reader of Genesis 14 he is indeed presented as being without father, without mother, without genealogy, while there is no mention of his birth, nor of his death. Therefore he is unique (of his kind); the Son of God made equal, he does not need successors.
Although the Aaronic priesthood could typify Messiah’s priestly work, it was limited in portraying the full scope of his priestly ministry. The Melchizedek type supplements the Aaronic type. As king of righteousness and king of … peace Messiah Yeshua will in the coming Kingdom age assume both offices in his person. The prophet Zechariah has painted this graphically in the symbolic crowning of Joshua (Ze 6:9-13). This significant event foreshadowed the Millennial-period when Messiah the Branch will “sit and rule on his throne. Thus, he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (verse 13); that is, both kingship and priesthood will be united in one person.
Ει μεν ουν τελειωσις δια της Λευιτικης ιερωσυνης ην , ο λαος γαρ επ αυτης νενομοθετηται, τις ετι χρεια κατα την ταξιν Μελχισεδεκ ετερονανιστασθαι ιερεα και ου κατα την ταξιν Ααρων λεγεσθαι ; μετατιθεμενης γαρ της ιερωσυνης εξ αναγκης και νομου μεταθεσις γινεται .
11-12 If, then, perfection was really through the Levitical priesthood - for on that basis the people was provided of laws – why then should there still be said [in psalm 110] that another priest would arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not after the order of Aaron? For if the priesthood is changed, there is necessarily also a change of Law.
Based on all what preceded the apostle now goes on to
the formulation of conclusions. He has laid a solid foundation so that he
does not (any longer) hesitate to explain the consequences of the appearance -
in the divine report - of the figure Melchizedek, in connection with Psalm
By putting in the proper light the relationship between the patriarch and the ‘pagan’ priest-king, he had already tested heavily the mental resilience of his readers.
Now, however, he is trying their mettle even heavier in their willingness to remain with him in his line of reasoning: Will they humbly exhibit the readiness to accept the conclusions that logically must be drawn? Deductions that encroaches so deeply in their religious experience, the Jewish lifestyle with the Thorah in the centre, but usually also stirred up by their respected rabbis, who also, in many cases, are particularly involved in myths and endless Talmudic disputes, instead of diligence research of the divinely inspired Tanakh.
Compare 1Ti 1:3-17.
There is another reference to Psalm 110 >> Another priest would arise after the order of Melchizedek, inducing us to the question: “Why would it be necessary to establish a new form of priesthood if already in the Levitical order perfection could be found?”
The apostle leaves it to his readers to answer that
question by themselves. And of course, the answer
is obvious: In that case the priesthood could have remained
forever. However, the fact that - in Psalm 110:4 - a completely different
kind of priesthood is announced [the Greek ετερος here means of
nature], the conclusion is (again) obvious: The Aaronic
order was imperfect and therefore not permanent.
The priesthood of the Messiah, on the other hand – although containing a wealth of anti-typical attributes derived from that of Aaron and his successors - is of a higher, supernatural order, perfect and therefore permanent.
For on that basis the people was provided of laws…
For Hebrews (Jews) a highly salient parenthesis. Why?
The Mosaic Law and the functioning of the Levitical arrangement are inextricably linked; even more, they are matched. After its contents, the Old Covenant is a legalistic-cultic order. Is one part imperfect, inadequate to provide with the real needs of humanity, neither those of the Hebrews nor those of the Goyim, then the same holds good for the other part. In the inspired words of the author: If the priesthood is changed, there is necessarily also a change of Law.
If the priesthood in his being is affected then it applies to the same extent for the legal system.
The consequences are obviously very large and far-reaching for the believing Jew for whom the Thorah is everything. And here it is only a matter of a necessary change of Law, if there is a change in the priesthood. Next, in verse 18, the apostle will even allude to a setting aside [Greek: αθετησις; abolition; putting away]. Can a Thorah-loyal Jew deal mentally with a process like that? Sure, but only when he/she relies entirely on YHWH, Israel’s Elohim.
Because it's not too difficult to ascertain that the Levitical priesthood has not brought perfection, nor could bring. Later, in Chapter 9 of Hebrews, the apostle will explain why, for example by referring to the sacrifices: animal sacrifices were utterly inadequate; they could not really take away sins. A better sacrifice had to be supplied, a sacrifice that would really cover sin, Yeshua’s perfect sacrifice of his own soul.
53:10-12 ; He
And the priesthood itself too; it was surrounded by imperfection on all sides.
In the first place because the priestly duties were exercised by imperfect men who themselves were sinful. Yes, with the whole Adamitic mankind they were locked up together under sin (Ga 3:21-25).
They were therefore transitory and always had to be succeeded by others, just as the sacrifices always had also to be repeated again.
But all that was arranged within the Law, even more so: the statutes of the Law only had the right to exist in conjunction with the priestly service at the Tabernacle. Therefore, if there would come a change in the nature of the priesthood, within Elohim's purpose that necessarily meant also a change in Law. Only under these circumstances a better priest would be able to arise and come into function. In Galatians 3 the inadequacy of the Mosaic Law is aptly analyzed.
For the encouragement of all the
Hebrews who are looking up at YHWH, their Elohim, and who have the willingness
lending their ears to an entirely new system when the appointed time has come
for that in his purpose, we read in the prophetic record:
Thus says Elohim YHWH, he who created the heavens, and stretched them forth; he who spread abroad the earth and that which comes out of it; he who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk therein: I, YHWH, have called you [the foremost of Israel’s Ebed YHWH, the Messiah] in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles; to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and those who sit in darkness out of the prison-house. I am YHWH, that is my name [definitely not HaShem]; and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to engraved images.
Behold, the former things have happened, and new things do I declare. Before they spring forth I
tell you of them. Sing to YHWH a new song, and his
praise from the end of the earth; you who go down to the sea, and all that is
therein, the islands, and the inhabitants of it.
εφ ον γαρ λεγεται ταυτα φυλης ετερας μετεσχηκεν, αφ ης ουδεις προσεσχηκεν τω θυσιαστηριω∙ προδηλον γαρ οτι εξ Ιουδα ανατεταλκεν ο κυριος ημων, εις ην φυλην περι ιερεων ουδεν Μωυσης ελαλησεν.
13-14 For he of whom these things are said, belonged to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is quite plain that our Lord has risen out of Judah, regarding which tribe Moses said nothing concerning priests.
The apostle is still giving thought to the genealogical argument in order to emphasize the heterologousness of the new priesthood and the need for "change" of Law, which things are closely connected. Psalm 110 'demanded' to its content such change (adaptation). The new high priest would be the Messiah himself who once came from the tribe of Judah, as stipulated in Jacob's deathbed prophecy: The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes and to him will belong the obedience of the peoples (Ge 49:10). See also Mi 5:2 and Mt 2:1-6.
But within the Law, no one of the Judah tribe had ever served at the altar, simply because within the system of the Mosaic Law kingship and priesthood were strictly separate. Moses had never breathed a word about priests with regard to that tribe.
When King Uzziah in his pride went into the temple of YHWH to burn incense on the altar of incense, YHWH Elohim acted severely against him; for the rest of his life he was struck with leprosy (2Ch 26:16-20).
For the Hebrews (the Jews) verse 4 of Psalm 110 has always produced a difficulty precisely because the Psalm also was recognized by them as being messianic. Their strict position after the Thorah disallowed them accepting what was in the Psalm clearly ‘in black and white’ - and still is - that the Messiah, David’s son from the tribe of Judah, would be not only king, but also (high) priest.
When the Jews therefore definitely rejected Yeshua as their Messiah, it was inevitable that this issue would become one of the most violent contentions between the "Synagogue" and the "Church". In their desperate struggle against the ‘Christians’, the Jews went so far that they for a time even denied the messianic character of Psalm 110(!)
However, when in the course of the Fourth century, the Synagogue and the Church went their own ways, the Rabbis turned back to the messianic interpretation.
But even then they did not proceed recognizing that – as unmistakably is stated in the Psalm - the royal and priestly ministry in the Messiah would be united. The principle that they henceforth recognized was this: The prophecy was subordinate to the Law and therefore had to adapt to the Law, and not vice versa (!)
Obviously, no one can prevent YHWH Elohim from using his sovereign freedom of action in such a way that his own counsels are achieved. And of course, this applies to Psalm 110 as well. The inspired content is fixed and cannot be broken. In all humility, the Jews will have to adapt to Elohim's counsels and should abandon their fundamentalist position. Inside the restored kingdom of Israel in due course will function a priesthood after the order of Melchizedek; the Messiah will be both king and high priest.
For it is quite plain that our Lord has risen out of Judah ...
Usually, the perfect tense of the Greek verb ανατελλω is translated emerged; sprang.
But ανατελλω is used to describe the rising of the sun, as in Mt 5:45.
The Messiah is not an ordinary member of the tribe of Judah, but the star in the prophecy of Balaam in Nm 24:17, which partly reads according to the LXX:
ανατελει αστρον εξ Ιακωβ και αναστησεται ανθρωπος εξ Ισραηλ
A star shall rise out of Jacob and a man shall stand up out of Israel.
και περισσοτερον ετι καταδηλον εστιν, ει κατα την ομοιοτητα Μελχισεδεκ ανισταται ιερευς ετερος, ος ου κατα νομον εντολης σαρκινης γεγονεν αλλα κατα δυναμιν ζωης ακαταλυτου, μαρτυρειται γαρ οτι
Συ ιερευς εις τον αιωνα
κατα την ταξιν Μελχισεδεκ.
15-17 And it is still more abundantly clear that with a similarity to Melchizedek another priest arises who has become such, not in accordance with a law of a carnal commandment, but by virtue of an indestructible life; for it is testified:
You [are] a priest forever after the manner of Melchizedek.
The apostle continues to deepen his argument to
demonstrate the consequences associated with the introduction of a priesthood
of an entirely different order. He has already proven that a change in Law
was inevitable because the new priest stems from a different tribe than was
prescribed by the Law.
But now he goes on further; one should not think that the priesthood simply is transferred to another tribe; as if again along the genealogical way priests would be produced from the tribe of Judah rather than from the tribe of Levi.
Not at all; it is a matter of a totally different priestly order which is not tied to a fleshly prescription of descent.
The apostle relies again on the strength of Psalm 110.
In the historical fulfilment of the Psalm another priest, in the person of the Messiah – Yeshua, the Lord of king David - has already arisen.
Since he already has 'arisen' indicates that his appearance had nothing to do with ancestry, and was not dependent on a carnal commandment. His priesthood is his personal property; he inherited it from nobody but obtained it directly from his Father, YHWH Elohim, and that by virtue of His oath.
A law can change or even be eliminated. Moreover, that indeed happened with the carnal commandment on the base of which the Aaronites exercised their priesthood. It leant on fleshly descent and therefore always ended in death. However, according to Elohim's sworn oath Yeshua's priesthood is forever [literally: to time indefinite]. All this became possible because at his resurrection from the dead he received an indestructible life.
Hence, he can be called a priest after the order of Melchizedek, after all of that priestly king was said (in verse 3 above) that he is without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but the Son of God made equal, he remains a priest perpetually.
And it is still more abundantly clear ...
What is much clearer?
Answer: The ineffectiveness of the Levitical priesthood. And since there is a much better priesthood available in the Messiah, there is no reason for the continuation of the two (different) priesthoods, side by side. The former inferior must fully give way to what is superior in all respects.
It is therefore crystal clear
that with respect of the second [priesthood] the first should be
And because the facts are that simply it is clear too how wrong it would be on the part of the Hebrews (Jews) of the End times if they nevertheless would stubbornly hold onto the old system. How could such a thing ever be pleasant to YHWH Elohim the One who Himself endorsed the new system by the swearing of an oath!
αθετησις μεν γαρ γινεται προαγουσης εντολης δια το αυτης ασθενες και ανωφελες , ουδεν γαρ ετελειωσεν ο νομος, επεισαγωγη δε κρειττονος ελπιδος, δι ης εγγιζομεν τω θεω.
18-19 For on the hand there occurs a pushing aside of a prior commandment because of the weakness and ineffectiveness of it - for the Law perfected nothing - on the other hand an introduction of a better hope, through which we are drawing near to God.
The apostle concludes definitively that the Levitical
priesthood was inadequate because of the inherent inner weakness. And since it was based on the Mosaic lagislation the same
applies to the Law. The legislation and its realization
within the cultic system promoted at its best cultic purity; no more.
As the author in chapter 9:13-14 should
write it had no power to cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the
living God. Sin was not removed nor the sense of guilt and judgment. Why
then even longer maintain such a cultic system!
On the one hand ... on the other hand ...
A contrast that is indicated with the particles μεν - δε, which still is repeated twice, respectively, in the verses 20-21 and 23-24, each time with the aim to contrast aspects of the imperfect Old priestly order with that of the perfect New order. Here a prior commandment and a better hope are brought in striking contrast.
On God's authority the first must yield to the second; in the one case a pushing aside [or: elimination; αθετησις is a legal term indicating a decree of nullity]; in other an introduction [επεισαγωγη; in the NT only here. Josephus used the term for the introduction of a new wife in the place of the repudiated wife].
In the place of the weak and useless command that regulated the succession of Aaron's sons - they came and went through birth and death - something much better is introduced: a new arrangement of a better order, characterized by real and lasting prospects; even to the extent that so free access to God is made possible.
With this the apostle has finally drawn a conclusion which the readers either may provoke to extreme contradiction and opposition, or will move them to surrender. The choice is theirs.
Will they leave the old behind and fully accept the new?
In the First century, when this Bible book came into being, by far the majority of the Jews chose for an ever more fierce resistance. Looking back on that time, there still might be some sympathy for that position. It’s true, with that attitude they indicated even then that they were completely alienated from the disposition of the patriarchs. Also, they did no longer ‘taste’ the power of the prophetic word, but then at least the priesthood of Aaron still functioned; and it could still be exercised within a present (second) temple.
But since 70 AD all that is gone. And there is no hope at all for a restoration of the ancient cult, not even in the so called restoration prophecies.
On the contrary!
Sure, according to Isaiah 66 there will yet arise a third temple by some means or other, and animal sacrifices will sagain be presented to God, but all that will be just human initiative and not at all with Elohim's approval. He has expressed in advance his displeasure over such a project, by the words:
Thus says YHWH, heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will you build to me? and what place shall be my rest? For all these things has my hand made, and so all these things came to be, says YHWH. To this man will I look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.
He who kills an ox is as he who kills a man; he who sacrifices a lamb, as he who breaks a dog’s neck; he who offers an offering, as he who offers pig’s blood; he who burns frankincense, as he who blesses an idol.
Yes, they have chosen their
own ways, and their soul delights in their
abominations: I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their
fears on them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spoke, they did
not hear: but they did that which was evil in my eyes, and chose that in which
I didn’t delight… Hear, a voice of tumult from the
city, a voice from the temple, a voice of YHWH that renders recompense to his
In the rebuilt temple of their own choice, the God of Israel will properly deal with those daring rebels. As indicated in Daniel's Annual Weeks prophecy, that is going to happen in the last (70th) Week, with the many who will decide in favour of the false ‘messiah’. However, not before they first will discover that they were thoroughly deceived by that demonic instrument of Satan.
Compare: Daniel 9:27
And see also: Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated
Και καθ οσον ου χωρις ορκωμοσιας, οι μεν γαρ χωρις ορκωμοσιας εισιν ιερεις γεγονοτες, ο δε μετα ορκωμοσιας δια του λεγοντος προς αυτον ,
και ου μεταμεληθησεται,
Συ ιερευς εις τον αιωνα,
κατα τοσουτο [και] κρειττονος διαθηκης γεγονεν εγγυος Ιησους.
20-22 and as far as not without a sworn oath - for they indeed became priests without a sworn oath, but he with a sworn oath by Him who said to him,
the Lord swore
and he will feel no regret,
you [are] a priest forever -
to the extent that Yeshua also became Surety of a better covenant.
The apostle has already drawn many arguments from Psalm 110 to prove the superiority of the Melchizedek-like priesthood. Among other things, he deduced from the Psalm that in connection with that order of priesthood the Jewish Law is bound to change, yes, even be set aside. However, verse 4 of the Psalm contains yet another element that he did not use so far, namely the oath, which YHWH swore, indicating that the priestly office of the Messiah certainly will be achieved.
The fulfilment of Psalm 110:4 is based on an unshakable foundation. In the Greek text the ordinary for oath [ορκος] for oath, is replaced here by the more powerful sounding ορκωμοσια [sworn oath].
And again, the apostle uses the contrast μεν - δε to place the imperfect ancient priesthood against the perfect new order. YHWH swore no oath when he chose Aaron and his sons. That priesthood was maintained by fleshly descent, so by birth, whereas the Messiah with a sworn oath by Him who said to him: You [are] a priest forever.
Emphatically is also stated that YHWH never will feel any regret about that action.
Actually, the same also applies to the oath He swore to enforce the Abrahamitic promise (Ge 22:15-18), because the oath to Abraham and the oath to his messianic Son in Psalm 110 belong together. So, the priesthood of the Messiah – causing the realization of that most important promise – is getting an unshakable certainty.
The priesthood of the Aaronites was temporary and could be revoked, but the Messianic priesthood is permanent.
And as far as not without sworn oath ... to the extent that Yeshua also became Surety of a better covenant.
Here, for the first time in Hebrews, the word for covenant [διαθηκη] is mentioned. In the Letter It is customary that the apostle more or less casually drops a term which further is elaborated broadly. In this case, of course, a reference to the New Covenant to which Jeremiah divinely was inspired to predict.
Logically, precisely at this stage, the apostle is already alluding to that New Covenant, as it should be perfectly clear for any sincere reader that on the basis of Jeremiah 31:31-34 two things definitely can be established:
1.) It would replace the former (Mosaic) covenant; and
(2) it would have much better features; reason why there occurs a pushing aside of a prior commandment because of the weakness and ineffectiveness of it (verse 18).
Well, Yeshua is the Surety of that better covenant. The Greek εγγυος is again a term from the Greek legal jargon. Messiah Jesus guarantees the enforcement of the New Covenant. His shed blood namely serves as bail, as he said to his disciples during the Passover on the eve of his death: This cup [means] the New Covenant in my blood, which is poured out on your behalf (Lu 22:20)
To this end, the apostle can make a comparison with the sworn oath. On that basis, the exercise of the priesthood by the Messiah is absolutely guaranteed. Equally certain however is also the introduction of the New Covenant and its implementation. Based on his own sacrifice Messiah Yeshua, the High Priest, can completely vouch for that. All those things mentioned engage one another; there is an intimate relation to each other. Because of all that, on the things that pass the light of the better hope is shining.
και οι μεν πλειονες εισιν γεγονοτες ιερεις δια το θανατω κωλυεσθαι παραμενειν∙ ο δε δια το μενειν αυτον εις τον αιωνα απαραβατον εχει την ιερωσυνην∙ οθεν και σωζειν εις το παντελες δυναται τους προσερχομενους δι αυτου τω θεω, παντοτε ζων εις το εντυγχανειν υπερ αυτων.
23-25 And they indeed became priests in great numbers, because by death they were prevented from continuing. However, he, because he remains forever, holds the priesthood untransferable. Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, since he always lives to intercede for them.
For the third time μεν - δε accentuates the imperfect old and the new better. Following the arguments of the indestructible life and the sworn oath, now the untransferable nature of the new priesthood is adduced as third motif, and all that on the same grounds, which previously were discussed:
The Aaronites had to be replaced each time by others, which even applied to the high priest, so that one could speak of many high priests. However, with regard to the messianic High priest, all is very different; he has his priesthood as a freehold property. After all, YHWH Elohim swore in respect of his son: You [are] priest forever.
Because the Messiah remains in office forever, he can save properly since he in his priestly mediation - as will get ample attention hereafter - can lean on the effect of a completely sin covering offering, i.e. the sacrifice of his own soul. Complete rescue, however, is obtained only under the express condition that the sinner is drawing near to God through him, as he himself already certified during his earthly ministry: I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one is coming toward the Father except through me (John 14:6).
Since he always lives to intercede for them ...
The verb εντυγχανω has the value to apply to someone [with a request or petition], but here and elsewhere to intervene, or: interceding; pleading [for someone].
When the Hebrews nurse the desire that exactly this becomes their part too, they above all need faith; in particular the faith that in Psalm 110 the truth can be found about their own true Messiah [Yeshua], in particular the role he plays in the new priesthood according to Elohim's own sworn oath. Acknowledging wholeheartedly that most important truth and accept it will for them - and indeed for all members of the Israel of God - mean that they now, during the favourable TODAY, will enjoy the privilege that he will intervene in favour of them by his Father God, with full rescue in anticipation. Compare Psalm 95.
Τοιουτος γαρ ημιν και επρεπεν αρχιερευς, οσιος, ακακος, αμιαντος, κεχωρισμενος απο των αμαρτωλων, και υψηλοτερος των ουρανων γενομενος∙ ος ουκ εχει καθ ημεραν αναγκην, ωσπερ οι αρχιερεις, προτερον υπερ των ιδιων αμαρτιων θυσιας αναφερειν, επειτα των του λαου∙ τουτο γαρ εποιησεν εφαπαξ εαυτον ανενεγκας.
26-27 For such a high priest indeed was befitting us, loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners, and having become higher than the heavens, who has no need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for the own sins, then for those of the people; for he did this once for all, having offered up himself.
The author proceeds to summarize all the above.
After having carefully reasoned the relevant beliefs, avoiding any religious fundamentalist sentiment, he can only reach one conclusion: Only such a high priest, one who by virtue of God's sworn oath remains high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek, was befitting us, that is for the true Israel of God.
Within the Israel of God, the complete Seed of Abraham, Elohim's purpose will be achieved and implemented: the blessing of all the Goyim. How? By a royal priesthood under the supervision of the Messiah, Elohim's own Son, but only within a new and permanent order, that of Melchizedek who ever functioned both as king and priest at Salem.
Even as the Son of man on earth, he distinguished himself from all other men, not being "contaminated" with the sinfulness of the Adamitic human race, of which the Levitical priesthood could not made an end because that service itself suffered under the Adamitic imperfections. Indeed, the proceedings of the annual Day of Atonement showed that in addition to the people, the priestly line had to be cleansed itself ceremonially from the guilt of sin.
Yom kipur after yom kipur the high priest in office dedicated sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then also for those of the people (the bull and the goat; Leviticus, chapter 16).
However, in the antitype, Yeshua once for all [εφαπαξ] fulfilled the typological procedures of the annual Day of Atonement when he offered up himself.
On this basis it can be concluded:
(1) Still on earth - in the period after his baptism when he was anointed with holy spirit – Yeshua was already in office as the antitypical High Priest.
(2) The sacrifice of his own soul was adequate; it had such a complete sin-covering value that it needed not to be repeated.
To fulfil further the type of the Day of Atonement - the high priest entering the Most Holy Place of the Tabernacle, first with the blood of the bull (for the benefit of his own "House") and then also with the blood of the goat for the benefit of the people - on the third day after his sacrificial death Yeshua received a resurrection in a spiritual body: the indestructible life of verse 16. As a result, he was exalted above the heavens, and it was possible for him to bring the value of his blood within the Curtain, heaven itself, the place where God thrones, but which had now assumed the characteristics of a celestial 'Most Holy'.
And so, after having offered the value of his blood to YHWH Elohim, Yeshua could continue the exercise of his priesthood. In God's counsel, from that time (33 AD) the benefits of his atoning sacrifice could reach mankind on earth.
However, within Elohim's purpose those blessed benefits would be implemented in phases. First, the Israel of God: The (heavenly) Christian Congregation during the current "age" of that Congregational Body, and then also the (earthly) Jewish Congregation during Israel's Last (70th) Week of Years, when the New Covenant with them will be concluded. And then, through the intervention of the combined heavenly/earthly royal priesthood, the rest of humanity - in particular the Goyim - will be blessed and that during the Millennium Kingdom of the Messiah.
ο νομος γαρ ανθρωπους καθιστησιν αρχιερεις εχοντας ασθενειαν, ο λογος δε της ορκωμοσιας της μετα τον νομον υιον εις τον αιωνα τετελειωμενον.
28 For the Law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the word of the sworn oath, which after the Law, a Son, who has been perfected forever.
Closing his reasoning the author concludes that, according to the Law, ordinary people were appointed within the Levitical priesthood; men who were inherently morally weak and therefore sinful, just like everyone else. Because the soul who is sinning, he himself will die, the Law provided for a regular succession of high priests, but the perfect therefore never came into view. For the sacrifices that were regularly offered, were inadequate; after all, the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sins (Ez 18:4), and He 10:1-4.
The word of the sworn oath, however, was addressed to one person, and because the oath came after the Law was thus indicated in advance that the Law had to end once. By means of the sworn oath, in fact a Son was appointed who in himself was completely free from moral weakness. What is more, by his career of obedience under trial, he was brought to perfection to the effect that he became suitable to exercise the office of high priest forever, yes, from 33 AD until now and further during the whole era of his Millennium kingdom (He 5:5-10). Yes, such a high priest indeed was befitting us (verse 26), certainly after having weighed all the relevant facts
Κεφαλαιον δε επι τοις λεγομενοις, τοιουτον εχομεν αρχιερεα, ος εκαθισεν εν δεξια του θρονου της μεγαλωσυνης εν τοις ουρανοις, των αγιων λειτουργος και της σκηνης της αληθινης, ην επηξεν ο κυριος ουκ ανθρωπος. πας γαρ αρχιερευς εις το προσφερειν δωρα τε και θυσιας καθισταται∙ οθεν αναγκαιον εχειν τι και τουτον ο προσενεγκη.
1-3 Now as to the things being discussed the main poin is: We have such a High Priest who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a public servant of the most holy place and of the true Tent which founded the Lord, not a human. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence [the] necessity for this one also that he had something to offer.
Although the inspired writer of the Book The Letter to the Hebrews in chapter 7 arrived at the focal point of the Book: a thorough examination and discussion about the future priesthood of the Messiah after the manner of Melchizedek, he nevertheless continued that subject in chapter 8, by explaining the legal base on which that new arrangement will function: the New Covenant which long ago divinely was announced by YHWH’s prophet Jeremiah:
Behold, the days come, says YHWH, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they broke, although I was a husband to them, says YHWH.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says YHWH: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their Elohim, and they shall be my people: And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know YHWH; for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says YHWH: For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin will I remember no more.
(Je 31:31-34; WEB)
So, there will yet be a redemption for
God's own Woman Israel! Compare Ge
3:15 and see: Heel
But in real terms that means that a whole new scheme had to be made in behalf of that transaction. There could be no real recovery on the basis of the Old (legislative) Covenant, Elohim's original marriage covenant with Israel.
It is therefore clear that this chapter (8) is a continuation of the argumentation why the priesthood of the Messiah to the order of Melchizedek is superior to that of Aaron. But while in chapter 7 the excellency of the new High Priest was emphasized in terms of person, in this chapter particularly the excellence of his service is stressed. Thereby two terms dominate: Tent (Tabernacle) and Covenant, in which the Messiah is again compared with the Levitical priests. The conclusion is that he is a servant of the true Tent and the mediator of a better Covenant.
In verse 5 the terms type and shadow will be introduced and discussed. With those terms, the subordinate significance of the Old Order will be depicted even more emphatically.
We have such a high priest ...
As was already elucidated in the previous
part above: Elohim's own Son, the Messiah, forever appointed by virtue of
Elohim's sworn oath: Loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the
sinners, and having become higher than the heavens; who once and for all offered the sufficient sacrifice
- his own perfect life - on the altar of Elohim's will, but who, by a
resurrection to an indestructible life, became higher than the heavens.
Along that ‘way’ he was able to bring the value of his human sacrifice in the true Holy of Holies, and present it to his Father, YHWH Elohim.
The sacred Tent or Tabernacle, which was founded by Moses at Mount Sinai, and the later temples in Jerusalem had two departments. The first section, the Holy Place and the second or inner section was called the Most Holy Place.
In the Holy Place were located: The golden table on which the 'showbread' was presented; the golden lamp stand with the seven arms bearing lights, and the golden altar of incense.
In the inner section or the Most Holy place, however,
stood the sacred golden Ark of the Covenant, with its golden lid, or mercy-seat, on which were the two golden cherubim with
spread wings, turned with their faces to each other. The light in the Most
Holy place was coming from the wonderful light, the so-called Shekinah light
that hovered over the mercy-seat between the two
This allowed the Tent to serve as a type of the Reality: the ‘Tent’ that was erected by YHWH Elohim Himself and in which his Son, the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, serves YHWH as his public Servant.
It is not mentioned in
Genesis 14 that king Melchizedek had a temple in Salem where he also served as
a priest of the Most High God. Nothing of that kind can therefore linked
to Melchizedek and used as a shadow or type. For types of that kind we have to look at the service of the Aaronic
priesthood. The greater Melchizedek therefore serves as high priest in the
antitype of the Tabernacle, the true Tent.
At the same time, the absence of some kind of shrine in the case of Melchizedek indicates again that king-priest Yeshua is not dependent on a physical sanctuary.
Concerning the typology of the true Sanctuary, in Hebrews never a temple is brought into vision, but the σκηνη, Tent or Tabernacle, the archetype of the Jewish sanctuary in the wilderness, closely linked to God's revelation and Law at Sinai and erected under the leadership of Moses, the mediator of the First (old) Covenant.
However, the heavenly tent is the true, the perfect Tabernacle of which the earthly Covenant-tent was only a type and shadow.
The temple sanctuary [naos] in the Revelation is usually described in terms of the wilderness tabernacle. When the Temple City New Jerusalem shall descend from God out of heaven, a loud voice from the throne will be heard, saying:
Look! The Tent of God with the men, and he will tent with them and they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them (Re 21: 3)
When was the true Tent erected (pitched)
by YHWH Elohim?
Something or other turned out to be process that had its start in the fall of 29 AD, on the occasion of Yeshua’s baptism. Why?
Because then the Father anointed his Son with holy spirit by which he became the antitypical High Priest; and just as the Levitical high priest Aaron he too needed a holy ‘Tent’ in which he could exercise his official duties.
In verse 3, we read that every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence [the] necessity for this one also that he had something to offer. He, the Great Liturgist [Public servant; to the Greek λειτουργος] needed something to offer.
So, what was available to him that he could present to
Elohim as acceptable sacrifice? Not the body of an animal, which is lower
than man and whose blood has no true atoning value, but his own perfect human
body, which he by birth possessed out of the virgin Mariam. To her the
angel of YHWH, Gabriel, had said:
The holy spirit will come
upon you and the power of the Most high will overshadow you; for that
reason also what is born will be called holy, God’s Son (Lu 1:35).
In chapter 10 of Hebrews the fact is revealed that the Son himself realized very well that the Almighty Elohim, his (real) Father, had equipped him thus for this sacrificial career, a career that actually had its start at his baptism. Then he stated that he identified himself with sinful humanity and was prepared to die substitute for her, by sacrificing his perfect human life on the altar of God's will, with that at the same time fulfilling Psalm 40:6-8
Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire. You have opened my ears:
Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come. It is written about me in the book in the scroll. I delight to do your will, my God. Yes, your law is within my heart.”
Commenting on that prophecy concerning the career of the true Messiah, the author wrote in Hebrews 10:5-9 >>
Therefore when he comes into the world, he says, “Sacrifice and offering you didn’t desire, but a body did you prepare for me. In whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you had no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come (In the scroll of the book it is written of me) to do your will, God.’”
Previously saying, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin you didn’t desire, neither had pleasure in them” (those which are offered according to the Law), then he has said, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He takes away the first, that he may establish the second.
In this way we understand what is meant by the antitypical "altar" of God's will, and how it came into existence when Yeshua, at the occasion of his baptism, expressed his longing to accomplish God’s will and accordingly YHWH accepted his offer:
Now it happened, when all the people were baptized, Yeshua also had been baptized, and was praying. The heaven was opened, and the holy spirit descended in a bodily form as a dove on him; and a voice came out of heaven, saying “You are my Son, the Beloved. In you I am well pleased.”
In ancient times the brazen altar stood in the middle of the Courtyard before the proper Holy Tent (the Holy Place), and so, together with the antitypical, spiritual altar, the antitypical 'Courtyard' came into existence. In the reality of the antitypes, that Courtyard is indicating a state in which a person is finding himself on earth. Concerning Yeshua that state was nothing less than complete human perfection, as above repeatedly was indicated: Loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners
Like the sons of Korah the Levite, he found a resting place at the ‘grand altar’ of God's will in the Courtyard of the true "grand tabernacle":
How lovely your grand tabernacle, YHWH of hosts! My soul yearns longing for the courts of YHWH. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God… Your grand altar, YHWH of hosts, my King and my God
With the antitypical altar and the antitypical
Courtyard, the antitypical Tent itself too came into existence, in which the
new High Priest could exercise his public service. Why?
Of course, his Father God, the Most High, had his residence always in heaven, but when he erected the true Tent, he could bring about that his exclusive abode adopted a new, different aspect, gaining new features. The holiness of his heavenly abode was raised, in sharp contrast to the exceeding sinfulness of mankind. It now became the sacred place where a just, but also a merciful God, was willing to accept a suitable, perfect sacrifice for the benefit of the unholy humanity.
Obviously, the value of that sacrifice had to be presented by a sinless, holy priest who had personal access to God. In this way God's heavenly throne, became a throne of reconciliation; his heavenly abode took on the characteristics of an antitypical Most Holy place. As is stated by the author in the ninth chapter of Hebrews:
For the Messiah did not enter a Most Holy place made with hands, a copy of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear before God on our behalf. Neither in order that he should offer himself often, as indeed the high priest enters each year into the Most Holy place with blood belonging to another; otherwise, he would have to suffer often since [the] founding of the world. But now he is made manifest once for all time, at the conclusion of the ages, for setting aside of sin through his sacrifice.
(Hb 9: 24-26).
In the tenth chapter he wrote additionally that Yeshua Messiah thus the access of the Most Holy place solemnly innovated, a way freshly slaughtered and living, through the curtain, that is his flesh (He 10:19-20).
According to the Greek verb εγκαινιζω, the true High Priest, Melchizedek’s Antitype, solemnly inaugurated the access of the Most Holy place.
Because of that, through the sacrifice of himself, since 33 AD the believing Israel of God can appear before YHWH Elohim.
To estimate at its true value the terminology used by the author - a way freshly slaughtered and living, through the curtain, that is his flesh - it is good to remember that Yeshua Messiah himself is the way, as he made clear to his disciples on the eve of his death: I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:1-6).
In order to approach Elohim, Yeshua, the Way, had to put aside his life in a sacrificial death, slaughtered like a lamb: The next day, he [John, the Baptizer] saw Yeshua coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)
So, the true and living Way leads through the curtain that is his flesh.
In the Wilderness Tent, the curtain or veil separated the Holy place from the Most Holy place. No one of Israel had access to it, neither the priests who served regularly in the Holy, the forward part of the Tabernacle. Only the high priest was allowed once a year, on the Day of Atonement, to enter, but even then only when special provisions were made for his safety (Le 16:2). By that the holy spirit indicated that the sin of the Adamic humanity constituted an insurmountable obstacle to approach God freely.
Here we learn that the curtain was symbolic of Yeshua’s flesh, in the meaning that he, substitutionary, carried the whole burden of man’s sin upon himself and died for it: One died for all (2Co 5:14).
Curtain, the veil that separated the two Tent parts, is the English rendering of the Greek word καταπετασμα, equivalent for the Hebrew word פרכת (paroketh, Ex 26:31). The numerical value (NV) is 700 (80+200+20+400) and that value appears to be prominently related to the propitiatory sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua.
Leviticus 16:14-15 indicates what the high priest on Yom Kippur did with the blood of the animal sacrifices: A part of it he had to sprinkle on the kappooreth (mercy-seat), and a part seven times before the kappooreth (mercy-seat).
The NV of kappooreth (כפרת) is also 700 (20+80+200+400).
Casually we remark that the alliance of the Beast and the Harlot in Revelation 17 also is characterized by that combination:
According to Re 13:18 the antichristian Beastly power has NV 666, whereas Babel, the religious Harlot, has the NV 34 (בבל > 2+2+30), the total of both amounting to 700 too.
Evidently that wicked alliance will be called into existence by Satan during the End times, and that with the intention to annul every fruit of Yeshua’s atoning sacrifice.
Considering therefore that the value 700 is directly connected with all the benefits of Yeshua’s atoning work and the salvation that is associated with it, then it becomes clear how blasphemous the names are of which the Beast is "full"!
That the combination of the Harlot and the Beast also has the value 700, apparently indicates that Babylon, as the seat of all apostate religion, will then have reached her zenith in apostasy by attributing salvation to the Beast, something that precious that it only can be obtained through Yeshua’s ransom sacrifice.
Moreover, the announced ruin of the Harlot Babel the Great, contains an inherent threat for the Jewish End-time Remnant. Why? Because from Rev 18:4-5 it becomes surprisingly clear that the Great Babel, besides the multitude of Goyim wit their pagan cults, will be populated also by many Jews! Thence the call:
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that you have no participation in her sins, and that you don’t receive of her plagues, for her sins have reached to the sky, and God has remembered her iniquities.
However, what can be said of the first inner section of the Tabernacle, the Holy place? Now, that section also had anti-typical meaning, again in the sense of a state.
As we saw Yeshua, right from his baptism, accomplished his earthly ministry in the antitypical Courtyard as a perfect righteous man. As the new High Priest and Overseer at that ‘place’ he was engaged in the God ordained manner in which his own soul would be offered as a complete sin-atoning sacrifice.
In that state he found himself
surrounded by his own (Jewish) people whom he tried to serve and by whom he could be seen; of course, just as was the case in
the original Court of the Tabernacle, where the priests and their helpers, the
Levites, performed their duties. Although the members of the 12
non-priestly tribes had no access to the Courtyard, they could observe anything
what took place there.
However, it was different in the state of the antitypical Holy place.
After all, that first inner part had a curtain, making everything invisible that took place there, hidden from the sight of any outsider. Only Aaron and his priestly sons were allowed to enter therein for performing the daily and weekly cultic acts.
When, at the time of his baptism, Yeshua was anointed by holy spirit, he was also begotten by God as his spiritual Son. From that moment, he was back on the way to heaven. In that capacity, he was in the antitypical Holy place; regarding his relationship to God shielded from human observation. His Jewish countrymen could not observe that spiritual state with their literal eyesight.
We have such a High Priest ..., a Public servant of the Most Holy place and of the true Tent ...
This is the nature of Yeshuia's priestly work described in heaven. He sits at God's right hand as the Public servant. Λειτουργος in the religious sense is usually used in the Bible to refer to cultic, priestly service. Yeshua, the Messiah, finds himself in the true Sanctuary as the Great Liturgist, in his exclusive position of the one, true High Priest.
Hence [the] necessity for this one also that he had something to offer…
Where a priest performs cultic service, the presence
of a sanctuary is supposed where sacrifices can be
offered [to a deity].
Although he had already mentioned - in verse 27 of the preceding chapter - that the new High Priest also offered a sacrifice, doing this once for all, having offered up himself, the apostle here resumes his comparison of the Old, Aaronic priesthood with that of the New order (Melchizedek).
The Aaronic high priest entered the rear compartment, the Most Holy place of the Tent-sanctuary, once a year, on the Day of Atonement. He did so with the blood of the sacrifice that, of course, represented the true value of the sacrifice. By splashing the sacrificial blood on and before the mercy-seat he presented its value as it were to YHWH Elohim (Le 16:14).
According to that type for the Messiah, as the new High Priest after the (new) order of Melchizedek, [the] necessity [arose] that he also had something to offer, because only in that case, he could enter the true Most Holy place, heaven.
That the messianic High Priest since 33 AD is really seated there, at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, provides circumstantial evidence that
a he presented the value of the sacrifice (his own blood) to his Father Elohim's;
b this true atoning sacrifice proved to be effective.
Compare in Acts 2 the results on the day of Pentecost of that year 33 AD.
ει μεν ουν ην επι γης, ουδ αν ην ιερευς, οντων των προσφεροντων κατα νομον τα δωρα
4 If he really was on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are those who, according to [the] Law, offer the gifts.
A mind-bending statement!
It is clear of course that the author is mentioning this in comparison to the old priesthood. The Levitical priesthood was itself wholly earthly enclosed; the office passing from father to son; the cult being arranged in accordance with the statutes of the Law. In this sense, Yeshua could, on earth, never be a priest.
In 7:13-14, 23 and 28, the reasons for that were already enumerated:
For he of whom these things are said, belonged to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is quite plain that our Lord has risen out of Judah, regarding which tribe Moses said nothing concerning priests… And they indeed became priests in great numbers, because by death they were prevented from continuing… For the Law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the word of the sworn oath, which after the Law, a Son, who has been perfected forever.
We have also reasoned that the true Tent in 29 AD, at the event of Yeshua’s baptism and anointing with holy spirit, in principle was erected, and therefore his high priestly service had its start. So, positively while he was on earth.
What then can be the solution to this apparent contradiction?
Answer: The fact that the Messianic priesthood after the order of Melchizedek is of a heavenly character. As the old order was enclosed earthly, so the new is fully enclosed heavenly.
Both when he was on earth as at present, having his residence in heaven at God's right hand, his priesthood can only be observed with the eyes of faith. Although his priesthood had its start on earth that only could occur in his position as spirit-begotten Son of God typified - or, represented - by the front Tent part, the Holy place. In that state, the Messiah found himself already in the heavenly sphere.
Because remember that every priest who served in that
Tent part, on all sides was surrounded by images of cherubim (Ex
οιτινες υποδειγματι και σκια λατρευουσιν των επουρανιων, καθως κεχρηματισται Μωυσης μελλων επιτελειν την σκηνην, Ορα γαρ, φησιν, ποιησεις παντα κατα τον τυπον τον δειχθεντα σοι εν τω ορει.
5 These are rendering sacred service in a typical representation and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses were given divine instructions when he was about to construct the Tent. For says he: See that you will make all things according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.
That the Levitical priests served God in a
Tent-sanctuary that only was a typical representation and shadow of the
heavenly things, confirms the idea that the Messiah from the outset as the new High
priest served within an order that is heavenly enclosed.
Intentionally, the author uses the term "heavenly things" because the heavenly Sanctuary should in no way be considered in the material sense. It has nothing earthly; hence the start of verse 4 >> If he really was on earth…
Nevertheless, the true Tent-sanctuary is also erected
after the pattern [τυπος] that YHWH Elohim,
on Mount Sinai, in a vision showed to Moses, the Tabernacle itself and all the
objects that were to be used in carrying out the cultic service (Ex
25: 9, 40).
Regarding its characteristics, the true Tent also answered to the archetype of which the Wilderness Tent was just a type. The weakness of the type is marked by the term shadow [σκια]. A shadow represents the reality only limited and has even no independent existence; another indication how restricted and imperfect the ministry of the Levitical priesthood was!
Apparently for that reason the author indicated the exercise of that service with the verb λατρευω, which is derived from λατρις, wage laborer, servant.
In our letter the author has used λατρευω as well as λειτουργεω [perform public service] to describe the exercise of the priesthood service, but λατρευω never in connection with the service of Messiah Yeshua. For that, he used exclusively λειτουργεω, obviously because by that verb something of the enduring, of the comprehensive of his messianic service as High priest is expressed.
νυν[ι] δε διαφορωτερας τετυχεν λειτουργιας, οσω και κρειττονος εστιν διαθηκης μεσιτης, ητις επι κρειττοσιν επαγγελιαις νενομοθετηται.
6 But now he has obtained a more excellent public service in so far as he is also Mediator of a better Covenant, which legally is based on better promises.
With but now the author draws attention again to the contrast with the old order when the priests served God in a Sanctuary that only was a typical representation and shadow of the heavenly things. The public service [λειτουργια] of the messianic High priest is excellent because it is linked to another, a better Covenant. With the Covenant of higher value, also the priesthood increases in value. Thereby tacitly is acknowledged that the former priesthood and the former Covenant had their value.
Of that new, better Covenant the Messiah is the Mediator. The word Surety of 7:22, is now replaced by Mediator. According to Hebrews the priest is the mediator between God and man; priesthood and mediator are therefore related concepts: For every high priest taken from amongst men is established for men in things relating to God (5:1).
The use of mediator [μεσιτης] is lending to διαθηκη here the meaning of covenant, to which indeed will designate the verses 8 thru 12. Here the emphasis is on the fact that the Messiah, by his sacrificial death, underlies the New Covenant that YHWH Elohim at his appointed time will conclude with ethnic Israel in substitution of the Old Law covenant.
Since that New Covenant, announced in Je 31:31-34, has as legal basis the shed sacrificial blood of the Messiah, it can be called much better. For the same reason it can be said that it legally is based on better promises :
● YHWH Elohim will put his law in their inward parts, and he will write it in the heart of the members of his chosen people.
● He will be their God and they His people.
● They will all know YHWH, from the least to the greatest of them.
● Their Elohim will forgive their iniquity and no longer remember their sin.
Ει γαρ η πρωτη εκεινη ην αμεμπτος, ουκ αν δευτερας εζητειτο τοπος ∙ μεμφομενος γαρ αυτους λεγει ,
Ιδου ημεραι ερχονται, λεγει κυριος,
και συντελεσω επι τον οικον Ισραηλ
και επι τον οικον Ιουδα διαθηκην καινην,
ου κατα την διαθηκην ην εποιησα τοις πατρασιν αυτων
εν ημερα επιλαβομενου μου της χειρος αυτων
εξαγαγειν αυτους εκ γης Αιγυπτου,
οτι αυτοι ουκ ενεμειναν εν τη διαθηκη μου,
καγω ημελησα αυτων, λεγει κυριος.
7-9 For if that first was blameless, there would have been sought no place for a second. For blaming them, he says:
Behold, days are coming, Kurios is saying,
and I will establish with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah a New Covenant;
not according to the Covenant that I made with their fathers the day of my taking hold of their hand to lead them out of [the] land of Egypt,
for they did not remain in my Covenant
and I showed no concern about them, Kurios is saying.
[Kurios instead of YHWH, because the author cited from the LXX (Septuagint)
That God sought a place for a second [Covenant] – the imperfect of the Greek verb for seek indicates a continuing search in the past – to conclude with the descendants of the Jewish forefathers, gives instant food for thought. Why search? There is no other conclusion possible than this: YHWH Elohim could not reach his ultimate goal > to bless the Goyim during the Millennium kingdom of the Messiah through that earthly part of Abraham's seed. On the basis of the Law covenant such a thing turned out utterly being impossible!
This confirms what has been highlighted thus far: The need for (better) resources and persons.
For blaming them, he says ...
With that introduction of the quotation from Jr 31:31-34 the author indicates that YHWH Elohim had a particular motive to inspire Jeremiah to announce the New Covenant. He probably was thinking of the preceding verses 29-30 >
In those days they shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But everyone shall die for his own error: every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
The reprimand is referring to the existing tendency among the Jews to deny their personal responsibility for their actions, shifting it on to the conduct of their ancestors. Under the New Covenant that will absolutely be out of the question; each one will be held personally responsible for his/her reaction to the new legal provisions, which God will scheme for his covenant people.
In passing, we thus conclude that the New Covenant will be conditional, as was also the case with the Old (Ex 19:5-6 ).
Earlier in the Book of Hebrews, the author had previously given evidence in that regard:
For it is impossible for those who were once for all enlightened and who tasted the heavenly gift and who became partakers of holy spirit and who tasted God's exquisite word and powers of an impending aeon, and who fell away, to renew them again to repentance, since they for themselves impaled again the Son of God and disgraced him publicly.
Behold, days are coming ...
A commonly used phrase by Jeremiah by which he introduced prophetic announcements that will be fully implemented at the time of Israel's restoration in the Messianic era.
Compare Je 23:5-8, where the Messianic Kingdom of David’s righteous Branch is announced. A second Exodus of the people of Israel will then occur, namely from the Diaspora: From all countries whither I have driven them, and they will certainly dwell on their own soil.
This leads to the - for some perhaps - surprising conclusion that the New Covenant
(a) will be concluded with Israel until in the End time; and
(b) that the event will take place at the time of the Exodus from the Diaspora, just as the Old Covenant was concluded with the Jewish ancestors at Sinai during the first Exodus.
The coming into existence of that Covenant coincided then with the fact that the Israelites were liberated from the Egyptian bondage and were organized into an independent nation (Exodus 24).
And I showed no concern about them, Kurios is saying …
A notable departure from the Hebrew text Je 31:32.
In any case, the author does not mean - what some claim who opt for the so-called Replacement Doctrine - that God at any time rejected his covenant people.
First, because the Greek text does
not allow such an explanation.
Kαγω ημελησα αυτων has the value of I did not bother about them.
Or I showed no concern for them; I left them to their fate.
The meaning of the verb thus goes in the direction of:
be careless; neglect; not consider.
Second, the author quotes literally Je 31:32 according
to the Septuagint. Since we assume that he was inspired of Elohim’s
spirit, the quote must have had YHWH’s approval. But at the same time it
should also shed light on what can be read in the original Hebrew text, for
translators having a fairly large degree of difficulty:
Although I was a husband to them (WEB)
Even though I had married them (Holman)
Although I was a Lord over them (JPS 1917)
Read in the light of verse 9 above, this will lead to the following conclusion:
Because of the unfaithfulness of his covenant-people in their relationship with YHWH, their Lord, a relationship that was like a marriage relationship, but that was not deemed precious by the Jews, Elohim, in turn, did no longer value his alliance with them. He acknowledged Israel no longer as his dear Wife and ignored her.
Forever? No, not forever.
That certainty is expressed in the first place by the context. Even after all the infidelity it is impossible for YHWH Elohim to reject Israel’s whole seed:
Thus says YHWH, who gives the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, who stirs up the sea, so that the waves of it roar; YHWH of Armies is his name: If these ordinances depart from before me, says YHWH, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me forever. Thus says YHWH: If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, then will I also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, says YHWH.
In his extraordinary kindness and mercy, YHWH will renew his marriage covenant with his Wife nation - the offspring of the Exodus generation – in the Last (the 70th) Year Week, as a result of the New Covenant.
Even after all the infidelity
it is impossible for YHWH to reject all the seed of Israel.
That YHWH will take back his Wife nation because of a new marriage covenant, is very visually announced in the book of Hosea.
Symbolized by the marriage problems that Hosea had by Gomer, a wife of fornication, from whom he divorced, but later, at God's direction, had to take back.
And why let YHWH Elohim experience Hosea all those terrible things?
In Ho 3:4-5 we read the answer:
For the sons of Israel will abide many days without king and without prince, and without sacrifice and without a pillar and live without ephod or teraphim. Thereafter the sons of Israel will return and seek YHWH their God, and David their king; and trembling they will come to YHWH and to his goodness in the last days.
Indeed, many days. Even more than 19
centuries now, Israel is living without a political order and without a
religious life in organized form as was previously the
case under the Law covenant. As a result of this isolation - during which
Yahweh did not consider them, or showed no concern for them - Israel will
finally come so far that they will earnestly search for YHWH, their Elohim's,
and their true Messiah of David's royal house, Yeshua, Elohim's dear Son.
That YHWH did not show concern for them is, of course, what they perceive as a nation. That is their experience. In reality and in his purpose, Elohim's eye was constantly focused on them. Only on that basis it can be called a 'miracle' that they are not assimilated after so many centuries. Although they are scattered in all directions and for so many centuries, often lived in uncertaint amid the nations of this world, yet they are not absorbed in those nations for the most part, but generally retained their Jewish identity.
How to explain this? And who is to thank for that?
Not the Jews themselves, because of self-interest they have often sought
assimilation. But that did not work. Why not?
Because Yahweh's involvement with them behind the scenes; without them realizing it:
And that which comes into your mind shall not be at all, in that you say, We will be as the nations, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone. As I live, says the Lord YHWH, surely with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out, will I be king over you: and I will bring you out from the peoples, and will gather you out of the countries in which you are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out.
This statement, according to Ezekiel 20: 32-34, helps us understand that it is indeed possible that ‘the clock will run’ again for ethnic Israel after almost twenty centuries; in the End times, at the dawn of the 70th Annual Week.
οτι αυτη η διαθηκη ην διαθησομαι τω οικω Ισραηλ
μετα τας ημερας εκεινας, λεγει κυριος,
διδους νομους μου εις την διανοιαν αυτων,
και επι καρδιας αυτων επιγραψω αυτους,
και εσομαι αυτοις εις θεον
και αυτοι εσονται μοι εις λαον.
10 For this is the covenant that I shall covenant with the house of Israel after those days, Kurios is saying: I will put my laws into their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.
The author now moves on to describe the contents of the New Covenant. He also gives an indication when YHWH Elohim reconnects dearly with his people by that arrangement, namely after those days; i.e. after the expiry of the extended period in which he did not care for them; thus not until the 70th Year Week dawns.
Like the First the New Covenant too has laws, but then YHWH Elohim gives them in their minds and write them on their hearts.
There is no big difference between the two expressions.
The διανοια is the power of reason, but also indicates the mind of the person.
When Elohim puts his laws in the minds of his people, that action implies that the New Covenant is not a code but rather an internal reform within the individuals themselves.
The same applies to the fact that Elohim's laws are written on their hearts.
The heart is the seat of motivation. When it is aimed rightly there will be a desire to meet the conditions of the New Covenant.
As was written about the Messiah: I delight to do your will, my God. Yes, your law is within my heart (Ps 40:8; He 10:7).
The new mind and inner reform also brings about a new relationship between God and his people. All the things that could not be realized by the First Covenant the New will do: I will be their God and they shall be my people.
και ου μη διδαξωσιν εκαστος τον πολιτην αυτου
και εκαστος τον αδελφον αυτου, λεγων, Γνωθι τον κυριον,
οτι παντες ειδησουσιν με
απο μικρου εως μεγαλου αυτων.
11 And they shall by no means teach everyone his citizen his and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Kurios,' for they shall all know me, from least to greatest of them.
While in the previous verse was spoken about Israel as a people, more so in general terms, the New Covenant is now focusing on the individual members, those who are citizens and also brothers of one another. Since God's laws in their hearts become to living principles, every one of them fulfils Elohim’s will on his own initiative and instigation.
Not surprisingly, this also applies to the knowledge of God. This too will not be imparted by outward education, but rather through inner enlightenment.
And that principle applies again to every one goes; therefore no distinction between small and prominent. The situation will rather correspond to what John wrote in 1 John 2:20, 27
You have [an] anointing of the Holy One; and you all have knowledge ... And concerning you, the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teaches you; but, as the anointing from him is teaching you about all things, and is true and is no lie, and even as it has taught you, remain in him.
οτι ιλεως εσομαι ταις αδικιαις αυτων,
και των αμαρτιων αυτων ου μη μνησθω ετι.
12 For I will be merciful regarding their iniquities and their sins I will remember no more.
In fact, with the statement of these final words is explained why YHWH Elohim for his people graciously brings about all the good things which are promised to them by the New Covenant:
- The laws that are put in their minds and written on their hearts.
- The new spiritual bond between them and their God.
- Receiving a pure, not by sin blurred knowledge of God.
It all rests on the mercy or kindness that God displays towards his people in their feeling of solidarity with Messiah Yeshua and the power of his sacrifice. His forgiveness towards all their error, their unjust deeds and sins is so radical that he, humanly speaking, not even keeps the memory of it.
For that reason, the Hebrews in turn – as is described in advance in Is 65:17-19 – can cherish exultation about all the things that YHWH Elohim will create, especially the Temple-city New Jerusalem. No more ugly memories of the sad things of the past. They too, will no longer call to mind those nasty things, nor stand in their hearts:
For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth; and the former things shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be you glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people; and there shall be heard in her no more the voice of weeping and the voice of crying.
εν τω λεγειν Καινην πεπαλαιωκεν την πρωτην∙ το δε παλαιουμενον και γηρασκον εγγυς αφανισμου.
13 By saying: 'New', He has made the first old. Now, what is being old and getting aged is near disappearing.
With the previous verse the quote from Jeremiah 31 ended, but for the author it is not uncommon to add his own, obviously inspired comments; a final conclusion:
When YHWH Elohim inspired his prophet to announce the New Covenant, in that prediction was implied that eventually the First Covenant would end and would belong to a closed era.
Thus, by speaking about a New Covenant certain facts were indicated:
a) Not only that the First would not be renewed, but also
b) that, at some point in time, that Thorah covenant was going to belong to the old and former things. In short, from that moment being essentially a matter ripe for disappearance.
From all the foregoing, we understand that the time for YHWH Elohim to conclude with his people the New Covenant is still future. First, the clock for Israel, so to speak, has to run again. Hence, it does not surprise us that Malachi, the last prophet in the Tanakh, encouraged his Jewish readers keeping in mind the Law of Moses which at Horeb was given to their fathers:
Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, that I did command him in Horeb, for all Israel -- statutes and judgments.
Notice, not necessarily keep the Law, rather to remember it, keeping it in mind. That action will greatly cause major benefits for any Hebrew as, without doubt, the Book of Hebrews is telling us!
Therefore, a last encouraging contrast between the Old and the New divine arrangement, derived from one of the last chapters of the Book:
For you have not approached to what is touched and that has been set aflame with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words, which on hearing, the people begged that nothing further should be spoken to them.
For they could not endure what was commanded: “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be be stoned.”
Also, so terrifying was the manifestation that Moses said: “I am terrified and trembling.”
But you have approached
> a Mount Zion and
> a city of the living God, Jerusalem heavenly, and
> myriads of angels in general assembly, and
> Congregation of the firstborn who have been enrolled in the heavens, and
> God the Judge of all, and
> the spirits of righteous ones who have come to perfection, and
> Yeshua the mediator of a new Covenant, and
> blood of sprinkling, which speaks better than Abel’s.
See that you do not reject the one who is speaking.
For if those who refused to listen to the one giving divine warning on earth did not escape, much less us if we turn away from him of heavenly origin!