Hebrews 9:19
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the Law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

King James Bible
For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people,

Darby Bible Translation
For every commandment having been spoken according to the law by Moses to all the people; having taken the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, he sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

World English Bible
For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,

Young's Literal Translation
for every command having been spoken, according to law, by Moses, to all the people, having taken the blood of the calves and goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, he both the book itself and all the people did sprinkle,

Hebrews 9:19 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people - When he had recited all the Law, and had given all the commandments entrusted him to deliver; Exodus 24:3.

He took the blood of calves and of goats - This passage has given great perplexity to commentators from the fact that Moses in his account of the transactions connected with the ratification of the covenant with the people, Exodus 24, mentions only a part of the circumstances here referred to. He says nothing of the blood of calves and of goats; nothing of water, and scarletwool, and hyssop; nothing of sprinkling the book, the tabernacle, or the vessels of the ministry. It has been made a question, therefore, whence Paul obtained a knowledge of these circumstances? Since the account is not contained in the Old Testament, it must have been either by tradition, or by direct inspiration. The latter supposition is hardly probable, because:

(1) the information here can hardly be regarded as of sufficient importance to have required an original revelation; for the illustration would have had sufficient force to sustain his conclusion if the literal account in Exodus only had been given, that Moses sprinkled the people, but

(2) such an original act of inspiration here would not have been consistent with the object of the apostle. In that argument it was essential that he should state only the facts about the ancient dispensation which were admitted by the Hebrews themselves. Any statement of his own about things which they did not concede to be true, or which was not well understood as a custom, might have been called in question, and would have done much to invalidate the entire force of the argument. It is to be presumed, therefore, that the facts here referred to had been preserved by tradition; and in regard to this, and the authority due to such a tradition, we may remark:

(1) that it is well known that the Jews had a great number of traditions which they carefully preserved;

(2) that there is no improbability in the supposition that many events in their history would be preserved in this manner, since in the small compass of a volume like the Old Testament it cannot be presumed that all the events of their nation had been recorded;

(3) though they had many traditions of a trifling nature, and many which were false (compare notes on Matthew 15:2), yet they doubtless had many that were true;

(4) in referring to those traditions, there is no impropriety in supposing that Paul may have been guided by the Spirit of inspiration in selecting only those which were true; and,

(5) nothing is more probable than what is here stated. If Moses sprinkled "the people;" if he read "the book of the law" then Exodus 24:7, and if this was regarded as a solemn act of ratifying a covenant with God, nothing would be more natural than that he should sprinkle the book of the covenant, and even the tabernacle and its various sacred utensils.

We are to remember also, that it was common among the Hebrews to sprinkle blood for the purpose of consecrating, or as an emblem of purifying. Thus, Aaron and his sons and their garments were sprinkled with blood when they were consecrated to the office of priests, Exodus 29:19-21; the blood of sacrifices was sprinkled on the altar, Leviticus 1:5, Leviticus 1:11; Leviticus 3:2, Leviticus 3:13; and blood was sprinkled before the veil of the sanctuary, Leviticus 4:10, Leviticus 4:17; compare Leviticus 6:27; Leviticus 7:14. So Josephus speaks of the garments of Aaron and of his sons being sprinkled with "the blood of the slain beasts, and with spring water." "Having consecrated them and their garments," he says, "for seven days together, he did the same to the tabernacle, and the vessels thereto belonging, both with oil and with the blood of bulls and of rams." Ant. book iii, chapter 8, section 6. These circumstances show the strong "probability" of the truth of what is here affirmed by Paul, while it is impossible to prove that Moses did not sprinkle the book and the tabernacle in the manner stated. The mere omission by Moses cannot demonstrate that it was not done. On the phrase "the blood of calves and of goats," see note on Hebrews 9:12.

With water - Agreeably to the declaration of Josephus that "spring water was used." In Leviticus 14:49-51, it is expressly mentioned that the blood of the bird that was killed to cleanse a house from the plague of leprosy should be shed over running water, and that the blood and the water should be sprinkled on the walls. It has been suggested also (see Bloomfield), that the use of water was necessary in order to prevent the blood from coagulating, or so as to make it possible to sprinkle it.

And scarlet wool - Margin, "Purple." The word used here denotes crimson, or deep-scarlet. The colour was obtained from a small insect which was found adhering to the shoots of a species of oak in Spain and in Western Asia, of about the size of a pea. It was regarded as the most valuable of the colours for dyeing, and was very expensive. Why the wool used by Moses was of this colour is not known, unless it be because it was the most expensive of colours, and thus accorded with everything employed in the construction of the tabernacle and its utensils. Wool appears to have been used in order to absorb and retain the blood.

And hyssop - That is, a bunch of hyssop intermingled with the wool, or so connected with it as to constitute a convenient instrument for sprinkling; compare Leviticus 14:51. Hyssop is a low shrub, regarded as one of the smallest of the plants, and hence, put in contrast with the cedar of Lebanon. It sprung out of the rocks or walls, 1 Kings 4:33, and was used for purposes of purification. The term seems to have comprised not only the common hyssop, but also lavender and other aromatic plants. Its fragrance, as well as its size, may have suggested the idea of using it in the sacred services of the tabernacle.

And sprinkled both the book - This circumstance is not mentioned by Moses, but it has been shown above not to be improbable. Some expositors, however, in order to avoid the difficulty in the passage, have taken this in connection with the word λαβὼν labōn - rendered "he took" - meaning "taking the blood, and the book itself;" but the more natural and proper construction is, that the book was sprinkled with the blood.

continued...

Hebrews 9:19 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Sacrifice
"For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"--HEB. IX. 13, 14. No Christian doctrine is more commonly misunderstood than that of the sacrifice of Christ. This misunderstanding arises from ignorance as to the meaning of sacrifices in the ancient world.
J. H. Beibitz—Gloria Crucis

Between the Two Appearings
Here, too, is the place for us to build a grand suspension bridge, by which, through faith, we ourselves may cross from this side to the other of the stormy river of time. The cross, at whose feet we stand, is the massive column which supports the structure on this side; and as we look forward to the glory, the second advent of our Lord is the solid support on the other side of the deep gulf of time. By faith we first look to Jesus, and then for Jesus; and herein is the life of our spirits. Christ
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

"My Little Children, These Things Write I unto You, that Ye Sin Not. And if any Man Sin, we have an Advocate with the Father,",
1 John ii. 1.--"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father,", &c. Christ Jesus came by water and by blood, not by water only, but by blood also, and I add, not by blood only but by water also, chap. v. 6. In sin there is the guilt binding over to punishment, and there is the filth or spot that defileth the soul in God's sight. To take away guilt, nothing so fit as blood for there is no punishment beyond blood, therefore
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

The Sin-Bearer.
A COMMUNION MEDITATION AT MENTONE. "Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."--1 Peter ii. 24, 25. THE SIN-BEARER. THIS wonderful passage is a part of Peter's address to servants; and in his day nearly all servants were slaves. Peter begins at the eighteenth verse: "Servants, be subject
Charles Hadden Spurgeon—Till He Come

Cross References
Exodus 24:6
Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and the other half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

Exodus 24:7
Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!"

Exodus 24:8
So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, "Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words."

Leviticus 14:4
then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed.

Leviticus 14:7
"He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live bird go free over the open field.

Numbers 19:6
The priest shall take cedar wood and hyssop and scarlet material and cast it into the midst of the burning heifer.

Numbers 19:18
A clean person shall take hyssop and dip it in the water, and sprinkle it on the tent and on all the furnishings and on the persons who were there, and on the one who touched the bone or the one slain or the one dying naturally or the grave.

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