Hebrews 9:12
Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
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9:11-14 All good things past, present, and to come, were and are founded upon the priestly office of Christ, and come to us from thence. Our High Priest entered into heaven once for all, and has obtained eternal redemption. The Holy Ghost further signified and showed that the Old Testament sacrifices only freed the outward man from ceremonial uncleanness, and fitted him for some outward privileges. What gave such power to the blood of Christ? It was Christ's offering himself without any sinful stain in his nature or life. This cleanses the most guilty conscience from dead, or deadly, works to serve the living God; from sinful works, such as pollute the soul, as dead bodies did the persons of the Jews who touched them; while the grace that seals pardon, new-creates the polluted soul. Nothing more destroys the faith of the gospel, than by any means to weaken the direct power of the blood of Christ. The depth of the mystery of the sacrifice of Christ, we cannot dive into, the height we cannot comprehend. We cannot search out the greatness of it, or the wisdom, the love, the grace that is in it. But in considering the sacrifice of Christ, faith finds life, food, and refreshment.Neither by the blood of goats and calves - The Jewish sacrifice consisted of the shedding of the blood of animals. On the great day of the atonement the high priest took with him into the most holy place:

(1) the blood of a young bullock Leviticus 16:3, Leviticus 16:11, which is here called the blood of a "calf," which he offered for his own sin; and,

(2) the blood of a goat, as a sin-offering for others; Leviticus 16:9, Leviticus 16:15. It was "by," or "by means of" - διὰ dia - blood thus sprinkled on the mercyseat, that the high priest sought the forgiveness of his own sins and the sins of the people.

But by his own blood - That is, by his own blood shed for the remission of sins. The meaning is, that it was in virtue of his own blood, or "by means" of that, that he sought the pardon of his people. That blood was not shed for himself - for he had no sin - and consequently there was a material difference between his offering and that of the Jewish high priest. The difference related to such points as these.

(1) the offering which Christ made was wholly for others; that of the Jewish priest for himself as well as for them.

(2) the blood offered by the Jewish priest was that of animals; that offered by the Saviour was his own.

(3) that offered by the Jewish priest was only an emblem or type - for it could not take away sin; that offered by Christ had a real efficacy, and removes transgression from the soul.

He entered into the holy place - Heaven. The meaning is, that as the Jewish high priest bore the blood of the animal into the Holy of Holies, and sprinkled it there as the means of expiation, so the offering which Christ has to make in heaven, or the consideration on which he pleads for the pardon of his people, is the blood which he shed on Calvary. Having made the atonement, he now pleads the merit of it as a "reason" why sinners should be saved. It is not of course meant that he literally bore his own blood into heaven - as the high priest did the blood of the bullock and the goat into the sanctuary; or that he literally "sprinkled" it on the mercy-seat there, but that that blood, having been shed for sin, is now the ground of his pleading and intercession for the pardon of sin - as the sprinkled blood of the Jewish sacrifice was the ground of the pleading of the Jewish high priest for the pardon of himself and the people.

Having obtained eternal redemption for us - That is, by the shedding of his blood. On the meaning of the word "redemption," see notes on Galatians 3:13. The redemption which the Lord Jesus effected for his people is eternal. It will continue forever. It is not a temporary deliverance leaving the redeemed in danger of falling into sin and ruin, but it makes salvation secure, and in its effects extends through eternity. Who can estimate the extent of that love which purchased for us "such" a redemption? Who can be sufficiently grateful that he is thus redeemed? The doctrine in this verse is, that the blood of Christ is the means of redemption, or atones for sin. In the following verses the apostle shows that it not only makes atonement for sin, but that it is the means of sanctifying or purifying the soul.

12. Neither—"Nor yet."

by—"through"; as the means of His approach.

goats … calves—not a bullock, such as the Levitical high priest offered for himself, and a goat for the people, on the day of atonement (Le 16:6, 15), year by year, whence the plural is used, goats … calves. Besides the goat offered for the people the blood of which was sprinkled before the mercy seat, the high priest led forth a second goat, namely, the scapegoat; over it he confessed the people's sins, putting them on the head of the goat, which was sent as the sin-bearer into the wilderness out of sight, implying that the atonement effected by the goat sin offering (of which the ceremony of the scapegoat is a part, and not distinct from the sin offering) consisted in the transfer of the people's sins on the goat, and their consequent removal out of sight. The translation of sins on the victim usual in other expiatory sacrifices being omitted in the case of the slain goat, but employed in the case of the goat sent away, proved the two goats were regarded as one offering [Archbishop Magee]. Christ's death is symbolized by the slain goat; His resurrection to life by the living goat sent away. Modern Jews substitute in some places a cock for the goat as an expiation, the sins of the offerers being transferred to the entrails, and exposed on the housetop for the birds to carry out of sight, as the scapegoat did; the Hebrew for "man" and "cock" being similar, gebher [Buxtorf].

by—"through," as the means of His entrance; the key unlocking the heavenly Holy of Holies to Him. The Greek is forcible, "through THE blood of His own" (compare Heb 9:23).

once—"once for all."

having obtained—having thereby obtained; literally, "found for Himself," as a thing of insuperable difficulty to all save Divine Omnipotence, self-devoting zeal, and love, to find. The access of Christ to the Father was arduous (Heb 5:7). None before had trodden the path.

eternal—The entrance of our Redeemer, once for all, into the heavenly holiest place, secures eternal redemption to us; whereas the Jewish high priest's entrance was repeated year by year, and the effect temporary and partial, "On redemption," compare Mt 20:28; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1Ti 2:5; Tit 2:14; 1Pe 1:19.

From his office and sanctuary he proceeds to clear up his service.

Neither by the blood of goats and calves; it was not about weak, typical, vanishing sacrifices, the blood of goats or young bulls, that he was concerned, as the Aaronical priests were, Leviticus 16:14,15, opened before, Hebrews 9:7; and this annually on the expiatory day, Leviticus 16:29,34; which could not satisfy injured justice, nor expiate sin, nor purge nor quiet the conscience of the offender, Hebrews 10:1-5.

But by his own blood; but with his own pure, precious, and unspotted blood, 1 Peter 1:19. Not a drop or few drops must go for it; then what dropped from his body in his agony, from his head pierced by thorns, from his back when whipped, from his hands and feet when nailed on the cross, might have done; but it must be his own life-blood, the blood of the Second Adam dying by it for the first, Romans 5:8-20 Philippians 2:6,8. And as it is the blood of Adam, that it may have value enough and worth, it must be the blood of him who is God too, with his own blood, Acts 20:28. This price surmounts all treasures, John 6:51 10:11,15.

He entered in once into the holy place; with this blood of the covenant he entered, immediately upon the breathing out of his soul on the cross, (the veil of the temple being rent asunder, and room made for the great High Priest to fulfil his type), into the holy of holiest in heaven, where never angel came, nor any but himself, till his now piercing through, rending the veil, and laying it open, Hebrews 10:19; compare Isaiah 57:15; and came with it to God’s throne of justice there, and made the everlasting atonement for sin, and so turned it into a throne of grace, fulfilling his type, and as the high priest did before the sacrifice was burnt or consumed, Leviticus 16:1-34. For the expiation of sin was not deferred by Christ to his ascension, forty-five days after his death, but was immediately on his giving up the Ghost by him performed; and in this he fulfilled all righteousness, Matthew 3:15. This is the

once that he entered heaven for expiation, satisfying the injured justice of God by sin, fulfilled the law, and then publicly appeared at God’s throne, to show all was complete, Luke 23:43,45,46 Joh 19:30. This once he did that which the high priest did annually typify, but could never accomplish for so many hundred years together, Hebrews 9:26,28 10:10,12,14. By which it is evident that one, and once, refers to the shedding of his blood as a sacrifice, and presenting of it to the Father, as completing propitiation work at that once for ever.

Having obtained eternal redemption for us; when he with the incense of his merit and prayer to the just and merciful Judge, even God his Father, sued for, found, obtained, and fully received eternal redemption for sinners; i.e. deliverance of their guilty persons from eternal death, full remission of all their sins, Romans 3:25,26, full reconciliation to God, 2 Corinthians 5:18,19,21, with an instating them into all spiritual good. This work is styled

eternal, because its virtue is of perpetual continuance, which freeth the duly qualified subjects {Colossians 1:21,23} from the guilt and punishment of all sins for ever.

Neither by the blood of goats and calves,.... With which the high priest entered into the holy place, within the vail, on the day of atonement, Leviticus 16:14 for Christ was not an high priest of the order of Aaron, nor could the blood of these creatures take away sin, nor would God accept of such sacrifices any longer:

but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place; which shows the truth of his human nature, and the virtue of its blood, as in union with his divine Person; by which he opened the way into the holiest of all, as the surety of his people, and gives them boldness and liberty to follow him there; he carried his blood not in a basin, as the high priest carried the blood of goats and calves, but in his veins; and by it, having been shed by him, he entered not into the holy place made with hands, but into heaven itself; and that not every year, as the high priest, but "once" for all, having done his work; or as follows,

having obtained eternal redemption; for us, from sin, Satan, the law, and death, to which his people were in bondage, and which he obtained by paying a ransom price for them; which was not corruptible things, as silver and gold but his precious, blood: in the original text it is, "having found eternal redemption"; there seems to be an allusion to Job 33:24. This was what was sought for long ago by the, Old Testament saints, who were wishing, waiting, and longing for this salvation; it is a thing very precious and difficult to find; it is to be had nowhere but in Christ, and when found in him, is matter of great joy to sensible sinners; God found it in him, and found him to be a proper person to effect it; and Christ has found it by being the author of it: this is called an eternal redemption, because it extends to the saints in all ages; backwards and forwards; it includes eternal life and happiness; and such as are sharers in it shall never perish, but shall be saved with an everlasting salvation; it is so called in opposition to the carnal expiations of the high priests, and in distinction from temporal redemptions, deliverances, and salvations. Remarkable is the paraphrase of Jonathan ben Uzziel on Genesis 49:18.

"Jacob said, when he saw Gideon the son of Joash, and Samson the son of Manoah, who should be redeemers; not for the redemption of Gideon am I waiting, nor for the redemption of Samson am I looking, for their redemption is a temporal redemption; but for thy redemption am I waiting and looking, O Lord, because thy redemption is , "an everlasting redemption":''

another copy reads, for the redemption of Messiah the son of David; and to the same purpose is the Jerusalem paraphrase on the place; in Talmudic language it would be called (x).

(x) T. Shebuot, fol. 11. 2.

{8} Neither by the blood of {i} goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

(8) Another comparison of the blood of the sacrifices with Christ, the Levitical high priests entering by their holy places into the sanctuary, offered corruptible blood for one year only: but Christ entering into that holy body of his, entered by it into heaven itself, offering his own most pure blood for an everlasting redemption: for Christ is both the High Priest, Tabernacle, Sacrifices and Offerings themselves, indeed all those both truly and for ever.

(i) For in this yearly sacrifice of reconciliation, there were two kinds of sacrifices, the one a goat, the other a heifer, or calf.

Hebrews 9:12. Οὐδέ] nor. Οὐδέ is written by the author, misled by the foregoing notes of negation: οὐ χειροποιήτου and οὐ ταύτης τῆς κτίσεως, whereas, properly, καὶ οὐ ought to have been written, since that which is introduced by οὐδέ is parallel, not to the negative expressions further characterizing the σκηνή, but to the preceding διά.

δἰ αἵματος τράγων καὶ μόσχων] by (by means of) blood of goats and calves, by which the entrance of the earthly high priests into the Most Holy Place was made possible on the great day of atonement. Comp. Leviticus 16:14-15.

διὰ δὲ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος] the Levitical high priest entered the Most Holy Place not merely by means of the blood of animals, he entered at the same time with this blood (Hebrews 9:7). The author, however, has respect, with reference to the Levitical high priest also, only to the former notion, since only this, and not at the same time the latter, was suitable for application to Christ (Schlichting). If he had desired that the notion of the μετά should also be supplied in thought in our passage (Kurtz), he would have known how to express likewise this “somewhat gross material conception” (Bleek II.).

ἐφάπαξ] once for all. Corresponds to the following αἰωνίαν.

εἰς τὰ ἅγια] into the inner sanctuary of heaven.

αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑράμενος] having obtained (by His sacrificial death) eternal redemption. Incorrectly do Ebrard, Delitzsch, Alford, Maier, and Moll take εὑράμενος as something coinciding in point of time with εἰσῆλθεν. If it had been so intended, the participle present would have been placed instead of εὑράμενος.

εὑρίσκεσθαι signifies: to find (for oneself), obtain. The λύτρωσις became Christ’s peculiar possession, thus—since He Himself, as the Sinless One, needed it not—to make it over to those who believe in Him.

This λύτρωσις is the ransoming, i.e. redemption from the guilt and punishment of sin, and it is called αἰωνία, eternal, or of indefeasible validity, in opposition to the sacrifices of the O. T. priests, which had to be renewed every year, since they were designed each for the [typical] expiation of the sins of a single year.

The feminine formation αἰωνία in the N. T. only here and 2 Thessalonians 2:16.

Hebrews 9:12. οὐδὲ διʼ αἵματος τράγων … Not only was the place of ministry different, the sacrifice offered also was different. “Not without blood,” could the High Priest make his annual entry (Hebrews 9:7), but it was with the blood of a calf for himself and of a he-goat for the people. In LXX of Leviticus 16 the τράγος is uniformly called χίμαρος but in Aquila’s version τράγος is used in Hebrews 9:8 and in Symmachus in Hebrews 9:8; Hebrews 9:10. διὰ δὲ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος, “So only could He enter for us. As the Eternal Son He has a right there; as the High Priest of man, He enters in virtue of the sacrifice of Himself” (Vaughan). ἐφάπαξ, as in Hebrews 7:27, in contrast to the ever-recurring annual entrance; and preparing the way for the statement of the last clause, αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑ ράμενος. Rutherford (New Phryn., p. 215) says εὑράμην for εὑρόμην represents a common corruption of late Greek, but Veitch seems to think instances of its occurrence in Attic have been tampered with. See Tholuck in loc.; and Blass, G.G., p. 45. Probably the aorist participle here expresses the result of the action of the main verb, εἰσῆλθεν. “But it is possible that εἰσῆλθεν is used to describe the whole High Priestly act, including both the entrance into the holy place and the subsequent offering of the blood, and that εὑράμενος is thus a participle of identical action. In either case it should be translated not having obtained as in R.V. but obtaining or and obtained” (Burton M. & T., 66). [Weiss accurately “Der nachgestellte Participialsatz drückt aus, was in und mit diesem Eingehen geschah”.] On the use of the Mid. in N.T. see Thayer, s.v. Here it can only mean that Christ obtained salvation by offering Himself. λύτρωσις must, in consistency with the passage, be understood of the deliverance from guilt which enabled the worshipper to enter God’s presence. From this flow all other spiritual blessings. It is here termed αἰωνία in contrast to the deliverance achieved by the Levitical High Priest, which had to be repeated year by year. Christ obtained a redemption which was absolute and for ever valid.

12. neither] “Nor yet.”

by the blood of goats and calves] “by means of the blood of goats and calves,” (this is the order of the words in the best mss.). It is not meant that the sacrifices of the Old Covenant were useless, but only that when they were regarded as meritorious in themselves—apart from the faith, and the grace of God, by which they could be blessed to sincere and humble worshippers—they could neither purge the conscience, nor give access to God. When the Prophets speak of sacrifices with such stern disparagement they are only denouncing the superstition which regarded the mere opus operatum as sufficient apart from repentance and holiness (Hosea 6:6; Isaiah 1:10-17, &c.).

by his own blood] His own blood was the offering by which He was admitted as our High Priest and Eternal Redeemer into the Holy of Holies of God’s immediate presence (Hebrews 13:20; Revelation 5:6).

once] “once for all.”

into the holy place] i.e. into the Holiest, as in Leviticus 16:3; Leviticus 16:9.

eternal redemption] i.e. “the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7), and ransom from sinful lives (1 Peter 1:18-19) to the service of God (Revelation 5:9). It should always be borne in mind that the Scriptural metaphors of Ransom and Propitiation describe the Atonement by its blessed effects as regards man. All speculation as to its bearing on the counsels of God, all attempts to frame a scholastic scheme out of metaphors only intended to indicate a transcendent mystery, by its results for us have led to heresy and error. To whom was the ransom paid? The question is idle, because “ransom” is only a metaphor of our deliverance from slavery. For nearly a thousand years the Church was content with the most erroneous, and almost blasphemous notion that the ransom was paid by God to the devil, which led to still more grievous aberrations. Anselm who exploded this error substituted for it another—the hard forensic notion of indispensable satisfaction. Such terms, like those of “substitution,” “vicarious punishment,” “reconciliation of God to us” (for “of us to God”), have no sanction in Scripture, which only reveals what is necessary for man, and what man can understand, viz. that the love of God in Christ has provided for him a way of escape from ruin, and the forgiveness of sins.

having obtained … for us] The “for us” is rightly supplied; but the middle voice of the verb shews that Christ in His love to us also regarded the redemption as dear to Himself.

Hebrews 9:12. Τράγων καὶ μόσχων, of goats and calves) One goat and one bullock was sacrificed at one time, Leviticus 16:9; Leviticus 16:3 : but that particular animal was not by itself better than all the animals of the same species; therefore it is here put in the plural number An additional reason besides, for the plural, was the annual repetition of the sacrifices. פר, LXX., μόσχος, Leviticus 16:9; Leviticus 16:3, and elsewhere.—εἰς τὰ ἅγια, into the holy place) into heaven, Hebrews 9:24. αἰωνίαν, eternal) not merely for a day or a year.—εὑράμενος, having found or obtained) So, I have found a ransom, Job 33:24. The zeal of Him who has found or obtained, as also His fidelity and wisdom, are denoted: the newness and joyousness of the finding or thing found, ch. Hebrews 10:20. The access of Christ to the Father was arduous; ch. Hebrews 5:7. No one previously had trodden the way of life; Acts 2:28; John 3:13. Christ could not but find: but yet to seek was a matter of labour and difficulty.

Hebrews 9:12By the blood of goats and calves (δι' αἵματος τράγων καὶ μόσχων)

Διὰ with, as Hebrews 9:11. Μόσχος originally a tender shoot or sprout: then offspring generally. Everywhere in the Bible calf or bullock, and always masculine.

His own blood

The distinction is not between the different bloods, but between the victims. The difference of blood is unimportant. Regarded merely as blood, Christ's offering is not superior to the Levitical sacrifice. If Christianity gives us only the shedding of blood, even Christ's blood, it does not give us a real or an efficient atonement. Whatever significance may attach to the blood is derived from something else. See on Hebrews 9:14.

Once (ἐφάπαξ)

Rend. once for all.

Having obtained eternal redemption (αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εὑράμενος)

Having found and won by his act of entrance into the heavenly sanctuary. This is better than to explain "entered the sanctuary after having obtained redemption by his life, death, and resurrection"; for the work of redemption is crowned and completed by Christ's ascension to glory and his ministry in heaven (see Romans 6). Even in the old sanctuary the rite of the Day of Atonement was not complete until the blood had been offered in the sanctuary. Eternal, see or Hebrews 6:2. Not mere duration is contemplated, but quality; a redemption answering in its quality to that age when all the conditions of time shall be no more: a redemption not ritual, but profoundly ethical and spiritual. Λύτρωσιν redemption, only here, Luke 1:68; Luke 2:38. See on might redeem, Titus 2:4.

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