New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8

by Don R. Hender

Perhaps the compassing knowledge and understanding of the Apostle Paul is nowhere better represented than here in the book of Hebrews. Particularly here in chapter 8, Paul sets forth his depth of understanding of the Law of Moses, its ordinances and convocations of the Old Testament, of the Old Covenant, in repsect to Christ, the fulfiling of the Old Covenant and the establishment of the New Covenant and its restoration in the latter days.

Scriptural Text [& Editorial]
Commentary & Explanation
Footnotes ~ References ~ JST
              CHAPTER 8

Christ offered himself as a sacrifice for sin -- God promised to make a new covenant with Israel.

As set out in the preexistence and personified by the remebrance of the Day of Atonement, Crist offered himself as the sacrifice for sin -- This atonement fulfills the foreshadowings of the Old Covenant under the Law of Moses and establishs God's part of the covenant of heaven preserved as the covenant of the fathers and established as the 'New Covenant' in the name of Jehoshua, Jehovah in whom is Salvation, the anointed Son of the Father.
Day of Atonement 
Under the Law of Moses and its holy convocations, once a year on the 10th day of the 7th month the high priest of the temple would go before the LORD to perform the sacrifice of the atonement. It was in similitude of the 'Atonement of Christ'. In eternal perspective it recalls three events establishing Christ, as Jehoshua/Jesus the high priest in the preexistence, as the BRANCH in his mortal ministry, and as untimate Redeemer when sin is removed forever.
  1 Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an ahigh priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens;
  2 A minister of the sanctuarya, and of the atrue btabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
  3 For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to aoffer.
 2a minister of the sanctuary Once a year, in the fall of the year, on the Day of Atonement, the priest in similitude of Christ before the Father as seen in the vision of Zecahriah, which established his mission in the preexistence, setting forth the coming of the Messiah and the removal of sin from the world.  1a TG High Priests; Zech. 3:1,8
      TG Jesus Christ, Authority of
 2a Heb. 9:24
   b Ex. 40:2; Heb. 9:11-24
 3a Eph. 5:2

  4 aFor if he were on earth, he should not be a bpriesta, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law:
  5 Who serve unto the example and ashadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the btabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the cpattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Shadow of Heavenly Things 
Law of Moses was but a school master, a foreshadowing of things heavenly in the eternal perspective of things past, present and yet to come according to that heavenly perception of the 'eternal now', typifying of Christ from the beginning unto the present and into the future. Though lost in the traditions of the Jews, the entire Law of Moses pointed men to Christ. Even before the Law of Moses and its ordinances of performace, there was the foreshadowing of the Law of Sacrifice. And in one event before God, Isaac foreshadowed the willingness of the Son before the Father to be just such a sacrifice. Even Adam and Noah did practice the foreshadowing ordiance of sacrifice, pointing to and typifying the atoning sacrifice of the Son of God. The Nephites kept this perspective of understanding, that the Son of Man, Jehovah, as the Son of God, would come to earth and be a willing sacrifice for the sins of the world. The Jewish would had and has lost such perpecitives of understanding. Thus all the ordinances of the Law of Moses did signify Christ that the people might know in whom it was that they were to seek salvation. But the through corruption of the application of the law, the understanding of the Jew lost sight of whom it was that they did worship and to whom it was that they were to gain their salvation, they not successfully making the jump from reliance to Jehovah of the Old Testament to the acceptance of Christ of the New Testament, though they are one and the same God, the performing Father and Lord, under his Father and LORD, of the Old Testatment, even Jehovah, being the very same being as he who had condescended to come to earth and take upon himself the sins of the world as Jesus/Jehoshua Christ/Messiah the ordained of the Father before the foundation of the world. This selfless act enabled the 'binding' of man unto God.
 4a he should not be a priest Though the Joseph Smith translation takes this statement from the scripture, it would still be understood to mean that Jesus Christ was not a priest according to the Law of Moses. That is, he was not a Levite and automatically entitled to the office of a priest. But that is not the priesthood of Christ. Christ was not a priest after the order of Aaron. He was a priest after the order of Melchizedek, that priesthood which honor no man by birth or otherwise can take unto himself. It is the priesthood and authority of the order of the Prophets, many of whom were not of Levitical descent. Thus a misnomer of later Jewish history, that only those of the tribe of Levi could hold the priesthood. The priesthood of Aaron was a particular priesthood for the officiating in the Old Testament temple and tabernacle of sacrifice before God in similitude of the promised Messiah.
    But this raises another question. Since Jesus did all according to the Law to fulfill all righteousness, whose ancestral right according to the flesh was it to act for the benefit of the salvation of man in conjunction with the promises of the fathers, the Covenant of Abraham? The promises of that covenant to its fulfillment passed from Abraham to Isaac, to Jacob, to Joseph, and then to Eprhaim. Thus it was the descendants of Ephraim who were to bring to the earth the blessings of the fulfilling of the Covenant of Abraham and to who belonged the right of the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek which is confirmed by modern scripture. Christ was descended of the 'blood' of the tribe of Judah, he lived according to the religion of the Jews, he was a member of Jewish society, he was of the house of David, and he was born and lived in the recognized lands of the Jews of his day. In all these respects Christ was a Jew. But it can be shown and assessed that by the right of the Laws of birth and the birthright of the firstborn in the house of Israel, Christ was of the tribe of Ephraim and thus entitled to the bestowal of the priesthood of Melchizedek to the fulfilling of the covenant of the fathers.

Priest's Offering the Example 
The ordiances of the priest's offerings before God were all done in the similitude of Jesus' (Jehovah in whom is Salvation) sacrifice of his own life for the sins of the people. This was the entire meaning of the ordinances and offerings, they all pointing to that great and last infinite sacrifice The most Holy and mose significant to the Jewish was considered to be the 'Day of Atonement' when the high priest came before God.
 4a JST Heb. 8:4 Therefore while
      he was on the earth he offered
      for a sacrifice his own life for
      the sins of the people. Now
      every priest under the law,
      must needs offer gifts, or
      sacrifices, according to the
    b TG Priests
 5a TG Jesus Christ, Types of,
       in Anticipation
    b Ex. 35:11
    c Acts 7:44

Convocations of the Law 
The Holy Feasts of convocation before the Lord in conjunction with the Law of Moses did represent Christ, pointing to him in all things. This is a quick summary of the major events, those feast and how they foreshadowed Christ's work and ministry, which work and ministry did not end with his death.

Passover: Though associated with the passing over of the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt and the smiting of the firstborn, this was the actual feast and convocation which pointed to the performance of Christ in mortality of His sacifice for sin in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross. And it was at the time of the Passover feast when his sacrifice was accomplished.

Pentecost: It was after the death and resurrection of Christ that the Gospel was taken forth by the Power of the Holy Ghost to the Gentile and thus to all the world. It is the time of the harvest of the first fruits. This being the early Christian Church which in the days of the Apostles did bring much fruit unto God prior to the great apostasy and falling away.

The Trumpets: The feast of the trumpets is the reawaking and call to repentance before the Day of Atonement, the Day of the Lord. After the time of apostasy in the earth, there would be the restoration of all things to go forth to the fulfillment of the Covenant of Abraham performed by the seed of Joseph, primarily by Ephraim. This is the Latter Day Church and its work in preparing the Second Coming of Chris.

Day of Atonement: In the eternal 'now' perspective, the 'Day of Atonement' spans from when Jehovah was selected and anointed by the Father to act in the stead of the Father to the millennial 'Day of the Lord', when the infinite sacrifice accomplished in the meridian of time is placed into full effect when all the sins of the world are removed in that single day. In commemoration of this ultimate atonement, the high priest of the temple would enter into the Holy of Holies and perform the similitude of the ultimate and infinite sacrifice for the removal of sin. The vision of Zechariah seems to best set out the eternal perspective of this convocation before God.

The In-Gathering (Tabernacles): At the very end of performances unto God will be the final in-gathering unto eternal life and exaltation for those whom God does harvest.

  6 But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministrya, by how much also he is the amediator of a better bcovenant, which was established upon better cpromises.
  7 For if that first covenant had been afaultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
 6a hath he obtained a more excellent ministry 'Here am I, send me' were the words Jehovah spoke. And the Father elected Him Redeemer by stating, 'I will send the first', meaning and implying not only the first who did volunteer, but he who was the 'firstborn' of the Father to whom the right belonged. He was anointed and ordained with the fullness of the powers and authority of the Father, to act in His name in all things, becoming by that divine investiture, the very representation of God to man, one with the Father in creation, one with the Father in providing Salvation, yea verily, even one with and in the Father in all things ministered to man in the realm of the second estate.  6a TG Jesus Christ, Atonement
     TG Jesus Christ, Authority of
    b Heb. 7:22; TG Covenants;
     TG Priesthood, Melchizedek
    c TG Promises
 7a Heb. 7:11 (11-16)

  8 For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of aIsraela and with the house of aJudah:
  9 Not according to the acovenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord.
 8a a new covenant with the house of Israel The 'house of Israel' as opposed to the house of Judah was the northern kingdom of Ephraim, the house of Ephraim, the house of Joseph. The 'new covenant', to be latter made with the house of Joseph, was that made in conjunction with the restoration of the Gospel to the intend of the fulfilling of the covenants of the fathers, the Covenant of Abraham, which was to be fulfilled by the descendants of Ephraim in conjunction with his brother Manasseh.  8a TG Joseph, People of
    a TG Judah, People of
 9a TG Law of Moses

  10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those daysa, saith the Lord; I will put my alaws into their bmind, and write them in their chearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
  11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
 10a this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days After those days have reference to being after the days of apostasy and the falling away from the truth and thence to the 'latter days' of the ushering in of the Second Coming of Christ, which is our day and the day of the restoration of the gospel and this particular 'covenant' made with the house of Joseph/Ephraim/Israel to the fulfilling of the promises of the Covenant of Abrham and the promises of the fathers from before the foundation of the world.  10a TG God, Law of
    b TG Mind
    c Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 3:3

  12 For I will be merciful to their aunrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I bremember no more.
  13 In that he saith, A anew covenant, he hath made the first olda. Now that which decayeth and waxeth bold is ready to cvanish away.

Ready to Vanish Away 
After the death of Christ the Jewish continued to practice the Law of Moses with all of its holy convocations of sacrifice and performances in the Temple. That is what was 'ready to vanish away'. The temple was going to be destroyed and when it was, it would put an end to all those ordinances of the Law of Moses. They would become lost and forgotten to the Jewish people. And though they would maintain a simblance of the Jewish Law, the actual Law of Moses and all of the temple performances would be gone, vanished away and the details of their performance lost and forgotten.

In fact this would be when the Jewish society would lose their understanding of the very pronounciation of the name of their God. In the holy convocation of the performance of the 'Day of Atonement' in the Holy of Holies, the High Priest would enter in and pronounce the 'never spoken' name of God, YHWH. Then and only then was the holy name of Jehovah, Jehoshua Messiah, ever vocally pronounced. And it was at the time of the Roman destruction of the temple and the sacttering of the Jews in that day after Christ, that 'the name' (HaShem), was lost to Israel, precluding that they would never again be able to perform the ordinances of the temple of the Law of Moses.

 13a he hath made the first old This is speaking respecting the Old Testament and the Law of Moses being made old, decaying and vanishing away as it is fulfilled in Christ, the New Testament which was the beginning of the 'new covenant'. And though there would be a falling away after the time of Christ, this is the 'New and Everlasting Covenant of the Gospel of Chris which is restored with the house of Israel (Joseph/Ephraim) now in the latter days.

 12a D&C 38:14
     b TG Forgiveness
 13a Heb. 9:15;
       3 Ne. 12:47 (46-47);
       3 Ne. 15:3 (2-10);
       Ether 13:9;
       TG New and Everlasting
     b 2 Cor. 5:17
     c 3 Ne. 12:46 (19, 46)

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