The Arrangement and Ritual of the Earthly Sanctuary
9 Now the first covenant, 1 in fact, had regulations for worship and its earthly sanctuary. 2 For a tent was prepared, the outer one, 2 which contained 3 the lampstand, the table, and the presentation of the loaves; this 4 is called the holy place. 3 And after the second curtain there was a tent called the holy of holies. 4 It contained the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. In this ark 5 were the golden urn containing the manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5 And above the ark 6 were the cherubim 7 of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Now is not the time to speak of these things in detail. 6 So with these things prepared like this, the priests enter continually into the outer tent 8 as they perform their duties. 7 But only the high priest enters once a year into the inner tent, 9 and not without blood that he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 10 8 The Holy Spirit is making clear that the way into the holy place had not yet appeared as long as the old tabernacle 11 was standing. 9 This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. 10 They served only for matters of food and drink 12 and various washings; they are external regulations 13 imposed until the new order came. 14
Christ’s Service in the Heavenly Sanctuary
11 But now Christ has come 15 as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, 12 and he entered once for all into the most holy place not by the blood of goats and calves but by his own blood, and so he himself secured 16 eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, 17 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our 18 consciences from dead works to worship the living God.
15 And so he is the mediator 19 of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance he has promised, 20 since he died 21 to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant. 16 For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven. 22 17 For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive. 18 So even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. 23 19 For when Moses had spoken every command to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded you to keep.” 24 21 And both the tabernacle and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. 22 Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. 23 So it was necessary for the sketches 25 of the things in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, 26 but the heavenly things themselves required 27 better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands – the representation 28 of the true sanctuary 29 – but into heaven itself, and he appears now in God’s presence for us. 25 And he did not enter to offer 30 himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by his sacrifice. 27 And just as people 31 are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, 32 28 so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, 33 to those who eagerly await him he will appear a second time, not to bear sin 34 but to bring salvation. 35
Concluding Exposition: Old and New Sacrifices Contrasted
10 For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. 1 2 For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have 2 no further consciousness of sin? 3 But in those sacrifices 3 there is a reminder of sins year after year. 4 For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. 4 5 So when he came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me.
6 “Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you took no delight in.
7 “Then I said, ‘Here I am: 5 I have come – it is written of me in the scroll of the book – to do your will, O God.’” 6
8 When he says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings you did not desire nor did you take delight in them” 7 (which are offered according to the law), 9 then he says, “Here I am: I have come to do your will.” 8 He does away with 9 the first to establish the second. 10 By his will 10 we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands day after day 11 serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins. 12 But when this priest 12 had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, he sat down at the right hand 13 of God, 13 where he is now waiting 14 until his enemies are made a footstool for his feet. 15 14 For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are made holy. 15 And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying, 16 16 “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put 17 my laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,” 18 17 then he says, 19 “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.” 20 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.
Drawing Near to God in Enduring Faith
19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, 21 since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the fresh and living way that he inaugurated for us 22 through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, 23 21 and since we have a great priest 24 over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that faith brings, 25 because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience 26 and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the one who made the promise is trustworthy. 24 And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, 27 25 not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day 28 drawing near. 29
26 For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, 30 27 but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury 31 of fire that will consume God’s enemies. 32 28 Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death 33 without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 34 29 How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for 35 the Son of God, and profanes 36 the blood of the covenant that made him holy, 37 and insults the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” 38 and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 39 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
32 But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. 33 At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. 34 For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison, 40 and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly 41 had a better and lasting possession. 35 So do not throw away your confidence, because it 42 has great reward. 36 For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised. 43 37 For just a little longer 44 and he who is coming will arrive and not delay. 45 38 But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I 46 take no pleasure in him. 47 39 But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls. 48