Hebrews Ten

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Hebrews 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

Hebrews 10:2 For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

Hebrews 10:4 For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

Hebrews 10:5 Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

he saith. Hebrews 10:5-7 (supplemented by further quotes in Hebrews 10:8-10) are an interpretive quotation from Psalm 40:6-8, confirming that the fortieth psalm is an important Messianic psalm, probably depicting the thoughts of Christ as He was hanging on the cross.

a body. “Mine ears hast thou opened” (Psalm 40:6) is here translated as “a body hast thou prepared me.” The openings in the ear of an indentured servant (see Exodus 21:6) indicated the intent of that servant to serve his master forever, as it were, hearing only the voice of his master and doing only his will henceforth. This was a type of Christ, who willingly became a bondservant (Philippians 2:5-8), willing even to die in accord with His Father's will. But before He could do this, He had to have a human body, with human ears.

prepared me. The word “prepared” here (Greek katartizo) is the same word translated “framed” in Hebrews 11:3. That is, God formed the human body of His Son with the same mighty power and wisdom with which He had formed the universe. This can only mean that the body of Jesus, like that of Adam, was a special creation, not formed by the normal process of genetic inheritance.

Hebrews 10:6 In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

sacrifices for sin. Compare Psalm 51:16-19 and Micah 6:7-8.

Hebrews 10:7 Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

the book. The book of God had been written in heaven long before it was transmitted to men on earth, and this certainly included God's great plan of redemption. Note Psalm 119:89; 139:16; then also 1 Peter 1:18-20; Revelation 13:8.

thy will. The Lord Jesus Christ frequently confirmed the fact that He had come into the world specifically to do the will of His Father (e.g., John 4:34; 5:30; 6:38).

Hebrews 10:8 Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

Hebrews 10:9 Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

Hebrews 10:10 By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

Hebrews 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

sat down. The high priests in Israel could never be seated while ministering (Hebrews 10:11), for their work was never finished. They could only enter the most holy place once each year, but Christ sat down at God's right hand, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever.

Hebrews 10:13 From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

footstool. This refers to the promise of Psalm 110:1, which also speaks of Christ as “of the order of Melchizedec.”

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Hebrews 10:15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,

Hebrews 10:16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;

saith the Lord. Again citing Jeremiah 31:33-34. See notes on Hebrews 8:6-13.

Hebrews 10:17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

remember no more. There is a remarkable illustration of this divine “loss of memory” in the next chapter, Hebrews 11. This chapter recounts the great works of faith of Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, Samson, and many others, but never mentions any of their sins. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). See also Micah 7:19.

Hebrews 10:18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.

Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

boldness to enter. Because of what Christ has done for us, we can come boldly (certainly not arrogantly or presumptuously, however) into God's presence in prayer (Hebrews 4:16; Ephesians 3:12). We can also have confidence (same Greek word as “boldness”) in witnessing for Christ (Acts 4:29, 31).

into the holiest. In the ancient tabernacle only the High Priest was allowed to enter the “holy of holies” to commune with God, and that only once a year. Now the veil has been rent (as the body of His flesh bore our sins and died—1 Peter 2:24), and all who come through Christ can come to the very throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Hebrews 10:21 And having an high priest over the house of God;

Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

assembling of ourselves together. This verse is often cited as an incentive to regular church attendance, but it also relates to any gathering of two or more believers in His name (Matthew 18:20).

the day approaching. The approaching day is the day when Christ returns. Note Hebrews 9:28 and 10:37.

Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

sin wilfully. There is probably an allusion here to such Old Testament passages as Numbers 15:30-31; Deuteronomy 17:2-7; etc. The presumptuous sins (Psalm 19:13), especially of deliberate apostasy into idolatry and paganism, were punishable by death. In similar fashion, the deliberate rejection of Christ and His sacrifice for one's sins, after one fully understands its significance and may even have made profession of faith therein, is without remedy. This is the only means God has provided, and there is nothing more than can be said or done to save such a person. That person already knows and understands it all, and has rejected it. See also the note on Hebrews 6:4-6. Such a person, regardless of outward appearances, had never truly committed his faith and life to Christ in the first place (xTerm 2:19). This verse does not, in context, apply to other sins of a true Christian (note Hebrews 10:39). The remedy for these is repentance and confession, for the blood of Christ has already paid for them (xTerm 1:7-9).

Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

two or three witnesses. This refers in particular to Deuteronomy 17:6.

Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

despite unto the Spirit. These descriptions of the willful sin (Hebrews 10:26) make it clear that it is the unforgivable sin of willful, knowledgeable apostasy from the faith.

Hebrews 10:30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

hath said. The first reference quoted in this verse is from Deuteronomy 32:35, the second from Deuteronomy 32:36. See also Romans 12:19.

Hebrews 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

living God. There are sixteen references to “the living God” in the New Testament, an appropriate corollary to the fact that eight seems commonly associated with life, especially life after death, or eternal life.

Hebrews 10:32 But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions;

Hebrews 10:33 Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.

Hebrews 10:34 For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Hebrews 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

Hebrews 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

promise. Note the emphasis on God's promises in Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. See Hebrews 11:9, 11, 13, 17, 33, 39. Sometimes, the fulfillment of a divine promise may seem to us to be long in coming, but it will come! The “little while” (Hebrews 10:37) in God's timing may seem like a great while to us, but God transcends time, for He created it. He sees the fulfillment happening, just as He hears the promise given, so it is inevitable. When the time comes, He “will not tarry” (Hebrews 10:37; see Habakkuk 2:3).

Hebrews 10:37 For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.

Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

live by faith. This is the last of the three quotations in the New Testament of Habakkuk 2:4 (see Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11).

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

believe. “Believe” here is the same as “have faith.” The emphasis throughout Hebrews 11 on “faith” is simply a recital of the outworking of the faith introduced into the discussion here in Hebrews 10:38-39 (there were no chapter divisions in the original manuscript). Thus the working faith of Hebrews 11 is the living faith of Hebrews 10:38 and the saving faith of Hebrews 10:39, and that faith must be exercised first of all on the creation as the work of God (Hebrews 11:3).