Our Better Covenant
1Now this is the crowning point of what we are saying: We have a magnificent King-Priest who ministers for us at the right hand of God. He is enthroned with honor next to the throne of the Majesty on high. 2He serves in the holy sanctuary in the true heavenly tabernacle # 8:2 Or “tent.” set up by God, and not by men. 3Since every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices, so the Messiah also had to bring some sacrifice. 4But since he didn’t qualify to be an earthly priest, and there are already priests who offer sacrifices # 8:4 Or “gifts.” The present tense of the verb used here shows that there was still a temple with sacrifices being offered at the time of the writing of Hebrews. This sets the date as before 70 AD when the temple was destroyed by the Roman war. prescribed by the law, he offered in heaven a perfect sacrifice.
5The priests on earth serve in a temple that is but a copy modeled after the heavenly sanctuary; a shadow of the reality. For when Moses began to construct the tabernacle God warned him and said,
“You must precisely follow the pattern I revealed to you on Mount Sinai.” # 8:5 See Ex. 25:40.
6But now Jesus the Messiah # 8:6 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is simply “he.” has accepted a priestly ministry which far surpasses theirs, since he is the catalyst # 8:6 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “the covenant that he mediates (as intermediary and guarantor).” of a better covenant which contains far more wonderful promises! 7For if that first covenant had been faultless no one would have needed a second one to replace it. 8But God revealed the defect and limitation of the first when he said to his people, # 8:8 Some Greek manuscripts have “because he found fault with them” (Israelites).
“Look! The day will come, declares the Lord,
when I will satisfy the people of Israel and Judah
by giving them a new covenant. # 8:8 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.”
9It will be an entirely different covenant
than the one I made with their fathers
when I led them by my hand out of Egypt.
For they did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I rejected them, says the Lord God.
10For here is the covenant I will one day establish with the people of Israel:
I will embed my laws within their thoughts
and fasten them onto their hearts.
I will be their loyal God and they will be my loyal people.
11And the result of this will be
that everyone will know me as Lord!
There will be no need at all to teach their fellow-citizens or brothers by saying,
‘You should know Yahweh,’
since everyone will know me inwardly,
from the most unlikely to the most distinguished. # 8:11 The Aramaic can be translated “from the youngest to the oldest.”
12For I will demonstrate my mercy to them
and will forgive # 8:12 The Aramaic can be translated “I will make atonement for their evil.” their evil deeds,
and never remember again their sins.”
13This proves that by establishing this new covenant the first is now obsolete, ready to expire, and about to disappear. # 8:13 Or “is near obliteration.” The old which is “about to disappear,” can also refer to our old life and its old ways of pleasing flesh, the sinful disposition of our hearts. The Aramaic verb for “disappear” can also mean “to give birth.”