whereas our redemption is every-where constantly in the Scripture as-
signed unto the blood of Christ, and that alone, Eph. i. 7 ; Col. i. 14;
1 Pet. i. 18, 19 ; Rev. v. 9, ' hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood;'
it is too great a confidence to confine this work unto his entrance into
heaven, without any offering of his blood, and when he had no blood
88 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX
to offer. And in this place, the redemption obtained, is the same upon
the matter with the purging of our consciences from dead 'Works, ver.
14, which is ascribed directly unto his blood.
These glosses being removed, I shall proceed unto the exposition of
The apostle hath a double design in this verse, and those two that
1. To declare the dignity of the person of Christ in the dischai'ge of
his priestly office, above the high priest of old. And this he doth, 1.
From the excellency of his sacrifice, which was his own blood. 2.
The holy place whereinto he entered by virtue, of it, which was heaven
itself. And 3. The effect of it, in that by it he procured eternal redemp-
tion ; which he doth in this verse.
2. To prefer the efficacy of this sacrifice of Christ for the purging of
sin, or the purification of sinners, above all the sacrifices and ordinances
of the law, ver. 13, 14.
To manifest the dignity of the person of Christ, in the discharge of
his priestly office, the apostle declares in this verse, ' his entrance into
the holy place,' in answer unto that of the legal high priest, described
ver. 7. The entrance of Christ is declared, 1. As unto the way or
means of it. 2. As unto its season. 3. As unto its effects. In all
which respects Christ was manifested in and by it, to be far more ex-
cellent than the legal high priest.
1. The manner and way of his entrance is expressed, 1st. Negatively,
' it was not by the blood of goats and calves.' 2dly. Positively, it was
by his ' own blood.'
2. For the time of it, it was ? once,' and but once.
3. The effect of that blood of his, as offered in sacrifice, was, that
he obtained thereby ' eternal redemption.'
The thing asserted is the entrance of Christ the high priest, into the
holy place. That he should do so, was necessary, both to answer the
type, and for the rendering his sacrifice effectual in the application of
the benefits of it to the church, as it is afterwards declared at large.
And I shall open the words not in the order wherein they lie in the
text, but in the natural order of the things themselves. And we must
show, 1. What is the holy place whereinto Christ entered. 2. What
was that entrance. 3. How he did it once ; whereon will follow, 4. The
consideration of the means whereby he did it; and, 5. The effect of that
means, ' eternal redemption.'
1. For the place whereinto he entered, it is said he entered, eig ra
ay at, ' into the holies.' It is the same word whereby he expresseth the
sanctuary, the second part of the tabernacle, whereinto the high priest
entered once a-year. But in the application of it to Christ, the signifi-
cation of it is changed. He had nothing to do with, he had no right
to enter into that holy place, as the apostle affirms, ch. viii. 4. That
therefore he intends which was signified thereby, that is, heaven itself,
as he explains it in ver. 24. The heaven of heavens, the place of the
glorious residence of the presence or majesty of God, is that whereinto
2. His entrance itself into this place is asserted. EktjjAS'ev, ' He
VER. 12.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 89
entered.' This entrance of Christ into heaven on his ascension may be
considered two ways. 1. As it was regal, glorious, and triumphant;
so it belonged properly to his kingly office, as that wherein he triumphed
over all the enemies of the church. See it described Eph. iv. 8 â€” 10,
from Ps. lxviii. 18. Satan, the world, death and hell being conquered,
and all power committed to him, he entered triumphantly into heaven.
So it was regal. 2. As it was sacerdotal. Peace and reconciliation
being made by the blood of the cross, the covenant being confirmed,
eternal redemption obtained, he entered as our high priest into the holy
place, the temple of God above, to make his sacrifice effectual to the
church, and to apply the benefits of it thereunto.
3. This he did t(pa-a'Â£, 'once only,' once for all. In the foregoing
description of the service of the high priest, he shows how he went
into the holy place, ' once every year,' that is, ' on one day,' wherein he
went to offer. And the repetition of this service every year proved its
imperfection, seeing it could never accomplish perfectly that whereunto
it was designed, as he argues in the next chapter. In opposition
hereunto, our high priest entered once only into the holy place, a full
demonstration that his one sacrifice had fully expiated the sins of the
4. Of this entrance of Christ, it is said, .
First. Negatively, that he did not do it, St' al/naTog rpaywv kui
fioayjiov, ' by the blood of goats and calves ;' and this is introduced
with the disjunctive negative ovde, ' neither,' which refers to what was
before denied of him, as to his entrance into the tabernacle made with
hands. He did not do so, neither did he make his entrance by the
blood of calves and goats. A difference from, and opposition to the
entrance of the high priest annually into the holy place, is intended.
It must therefore be considered how he so entered. This entrance is at
large described, Lev. xvi. And, 1. It was by the blood of a bullock
and a goat, which the apostle here renders in the plural number,
'calves and goats,' because of the annual repetition of the same sacri-
fice. 2. The order of the institution was, that first the bullock or calf
was offered, then the goat ; the one for the priest, the other for the
people. This order belonging not at all to the purpose of the apostle,
he expresseth it otherwise, ' goats and calves.'
Tpayog, is ' a goat,' a word that expresseth totum genus caprinum,
that whole kind of creature, be it young or old. So the goats of his
offering were "Tyir, ' kids,' ver. 5, that is, young he-goats ; for the precise
time of their age is not determined. So the bullock the priest offered
for himself, was, ID, juvencus ex genere bovino, which is juocr\oc, for
it expresseth genus vitulinum, ' all young cattle.' Concerning these it
is intimated in this negative as to Christ, that the high priest entered
into the holy place Si alfuiroc, ' by their blood,' which we must inquire
Two things belonged to the office of the high priest with respect to
this blood. For, 1. He was to offer the blood both of the bullock and
the goat at the altar for a sin-offering, Lev. xvi. (), 11. For it was the
blood wherewith alone atonement was to be made for sin, and that at
the altar, Lev. xvii. 11, so far is it from the truth that expiation for sin
90 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX.
was made only in the holy place ; and that it is so by Christ, without
blood, as the Socinians imagine. 2. He was to carry some of the
blood of the sacrifice into the sanctuary, to sprinkle it there, to make
atonement for the holy place, in the sense befoi-e declared. And the
inquiry is, which of these the apostle hath respect to ?
Some say it is the latter, and that Sia here, is put for aw, ' by,' for
'with.' He entered with the blood of goats and calves ; namely, that
which he carried with him into the holy place. So plead the Socinians
and those that follow them ; with design to overthrow the sacrifice
which Christ offered in his death and blood-shedding, confining the
whole expiation of sin in their sense of it to what is done in heaven.
But I have before disproved this surmise. And the apostle is so far
from using the particle oia improperly for aw, so to frame a comparison
between things where indeed there was no similitude, as they dream,
that he useth it on purpose to exclude the sense which aw, 'with,'
would intimate. For he doth not declare with what the high priest
entered into the holy place, for he entered with incense as well as with
blood ; but what it was, by virtue whereof, he so entered as to be
accepted with God. So it is expressly directed, Lev. xvi. 2, 3, ' Speak
unto Aaron that he come not at all times into the holy place â€” with a
young bullock for a sin-offering, and a ram for a burnt-offering shall
he come.' Aaron was not to bring the bullock into the holy place, but
he had a right to enter into it by the sacrifice of it at the altar. Thus
therefore the high priest entered into the holy place, 'by the blood of
goats and calves,' namely, by virtue of the sacrifice of their blood
which he had offered without at the altar. And so all things do
exactly correspond between the type and the antitype. For,
Secondly. It is affirmed positively of him, that he entered by his own
blood, and that in opposition unto the other way ; Sia $s tov idiov al/ua-
toq (Â§s for aX\a) ' but by his own blood.' It is a vain speculation, con-
trary to the analogy of faith, and destructive of the true nature of the
oblation of Christ, and inconsistent with the dignity of his person, that
he should carry with him into heaven a part of that material blood which
was shed for us on the earth. This some have invented to maintain a
comparison in that wherein none is intended. The design of the apostle
is only to declare by virtue of what he entered as a priest into the holy
place ; and this was by virtue of his own blood when it was shed, when
he offered himself unto God. This was that which laid the foundation
of, and gave him right unto, the administration of his priestly office in
heaven. And hereby were all those good things procured, which he
effectually communicates unto us in and by that administration.
This exposition is the centre of all gospel mysteries, the object of the
admiration of angels and men unto all eternity. What heart can con-
ceive, what tongue can express, the wisdom, grace, and love, that is con-
tained therein ! This alone is the stable foundation of faith in our
access unto God. Two things present themselves unto us.
1. The unspeakable love of Christ in offering himself and his own
blood for us; see Gal. ii. 20; Rev. i. 5 ; 1 John hi. 16; Eph. v. 26,
27. There being no other way whereby our sins might be purged and
expiated, ch. x. 5 â€” 7, out of his infinite love and gra ce, he con-
descended unto this way, whereby God might be glorified, and his
VIR. I,'?.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. <)1
church sanctified and saved. It were well if we did always consider
aright, what love, what thankfulness, what obedience are due unto him
on the account hereof.
2. The excellency and efficacy of his sacrifice is hereby demonstrated,
that through him our faith and hope may be in God. He who offered
this sacrifice, was the only begotten of the Father, the eternal Son of
God ; that which he offered, was his own blood. God purchased his
church with his own blood, Acts xx. 28. How unquestionable, how
perfect must the atonement be that was thus made, how glorious the re-
demption that was procured thereby !
5. This is that which the apostle mentions in the close of this verse,
as the effect of his blood-shedding : auoviav Xvrpwfnv tvpafiavog,
' having obtained eternal redemption.' The word ivQafitvog is variously
rendered, as we have seen. The Vulgar Latin reads ' Redemptione
aeterna inventa.' And those that follow it do say, that things rare, and
so sought after, are said to be found. And Chrysostome inclines unto
that notion of the word. But tvpiaKU) is used in all good authors, for
not only ' to find,' but ' to obtain by our endeavours ;' so do we render
it, and so we ought to do, Rom. iv. 1 ; Heb. iv. 16. He obtained effec-
tually eternal redemption by the price of his blood. And it is men-
tioned in a tense denoting the time past, to signify that he had thus
obtained eternal redemption, before he entered into the holy place.
How he obtained it, we shall see in the consideration of the nature of
the thing itself that was obtained.
Three things must be inquired into, with what, brevity we can, for the
explication of these words. 1. What is redemption. 2. Why is this
redemption called eternal. 3. How Christ obtained it.
1. All redemption respects a state of bondage and captivity, with all
the events that do attend it. The objects of it, or those to be redeemed,
are only persons in that estate. There is mention, ver. 15, of the
redemption of transgressions, but it is by a metonymy of the cause for
the effect. It is transgressions which cast men into that state from
whence they are to be redeemed. But both in the Scripture, and in the
common notion of the word, redemption is the deliverance of persons
from a state of bondage. And this may be done two ways : 1. By
power. 2. By payment of a price. That which is in the former way,
is only improperly and metaphorically so called. For it is in its own
nature a bare deliverance, and is termed redemption only with respect
to the state of captivity from whence it is a deliverance. It is a vindi-
cation into liberty by any means. . So the deliverance of the Israelites
from Egypt, though wrought merely by acts of power, is called their
redemption. And Moses, from his ministry in that work, is called
XurpwrijCj 'a redeemer,' Acts vii. 35. But this redemption is only
metaphorically so called, with respect unto the state of bondage wherein
the people were. That which is properly so, is by a price paid, as a
valuable consideration. Avtqov is ' a ransom, a price of redemption.'
Thence are XvTpioauj, aTro\vTpwcnq, Aut^hudjc, ' redemption and a
redeemer.' So the redemption that is by Christ, is every-where said to
be 'a price, a ransom ;' see Matt. xx. 28 ; Mark x. 45; 1 Cor. vi. 20;
1 Tim. ii. ; 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. It is the deliverance of persons out of a
state of captivity and bondage, by the payment of a valuable price or
92 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [cH. IX.
ransom. And the Socinians offer violence not only to the Scripture,
but to common sense itself, when they contend that the redemption,
which is constantly affirmed to be by a price, is metaphorical ; and that
only proper, which is by power.
The price or ransom in this redemption, is two ways expressed: 1.
By that which gave it its worth and value, that it might be a sufficient
ransom for all. 2. By its especial nature. The first is the person of
Christ himself, ' He gave himself for us,' Gal. ii. 20. ' He gave him-
self a ransom for all, 1 Tim. ii. 6, ' He offered himself to God,' ver. 14,
Eph. v. 2. This was that which made the ransom of an infinite value,
meet to redeem the whole church. ' God purchased the church with
his own blood,' Acts xx. 28. The especial nature of it is, that it was by
blood, by his own blood; see Eph. i. 7; 1 Pet. i. 18, 19. And this
blood of Christ was a ransom, or price of redemption, partly from the
invaluableness of that obedience which he yielded unto God in the shed-
ding of it, and partly because this ransom was also to be an atonement,
as it was offered unto God in sacrifice. For it is by blood, and no
otherwise, that atonement is made, Lev. xvii. 11. Wherefore he is set
forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, Rom. iii. 24>, 25.
That the Lord Jesus Christ did give himself a ransom for sin ; that he
did it in the shedding of his blood for us, wherein he made his soul an
offering for sin ; that herein and hereby he made atonement, and expi-
ated our sins, and that all these things belonged unto our redemption, is
the substance of the gospel. That this redemption is nothing but the
expiation of sin, and that expiation of sin nothing but an act of power
and authority in Christ now in heaven, as the Socinians dream, is to
reject the whole gospel.
Though the nature of this redemption be usually spoken unto, yet
we must not here wholly put it by. And the nature of it will appear in
the consideration of the state from whence we are redeemed, with the
causes of it. 1. The meritorious cause of it was sin, or our original
apostasy from God. Hereby we lost our primitive liberty, with all the
rights and privileges thereunto belonging. 2. The supreme efficient
cause is, God himself. As the Ruler and Judge of all, he cast all apos-
tates into a state of captivity and bondage ; for liberty is nothing but
peace with him. But he did it with this difference : sinning angels he
designed to leave irrecoverably under this condition ; for mankind he
would find a ransom. 3. The instrumental cause of it, was the curse
of the law. This falling on men, brings them into a state of bondage.
For it separates as to all relation of love and peace between- God and
them; and gives life unto all the actings of sin and death, wherein the
misery of that state consists. To be separated from God, to be under
the power of sin and death, is to be in bondage. 4. The external cause,
by the application of all other causes unto the souls and consciences of
men, is Satan. His was the power of darkness, his the power of death
over men in that state and condition ; that is, to make application of the
terror of it unto their souls, as threatened in the curse, Heb. ii. 14, 15.
Hence he appears as the head of this state of bondage, and men are in
captivity unto him. Lie is not so in himself, but as the external appli-
cation of the causes of bondage is committed unto him.
VER. 12.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 93
From hence it is evident that four things are required unto that
redemption, which is a deliverance by price or ransom, from this state.
For, 1. It must be by such a ransom, as whereby the guilt of sin is
expiated ; which was the meritorious cause of our captivity. Hence it
is called the redemption of transgressions, ver. 14, that is, of persons
from that state and condition whereinto they were cast by sin or trans-
gression. 2. Such as wherewith, in respect of God, atonement must be
made, and satisfaction unto his justice, as. the supreme Ruler and
Judge of all. 3. Such as whereby the curse of the law might be
removed, which could not be without undergoing of it. 4. Such as
whereby the power of Satan might be destroyed. How all this was
done by the blood of Christ, I have at large declared elsewhere.
2. This redemption is said to be aiwviav, 'eternal.' And it is so on
many accounts: 1. Of the subject-matter of it, which are things eter-
nal ; none of them are carnal or temporal. The state of bondage from
which we are delivered by it in all its causes, was spiritual, not tempo-
ral ; and the effects of it in liberty, grace, and glory, are eternal. 2.
Of its duration. It was not for a season, like that of the people out
of Egypt, or the deliverances which they had afterwards under the
judges, and on other occasions. They endured in their effects only for
a season, and afterwards new troubles of the same kind overtook them.
But this was eternal in all the effects of it ; none that are partakers of
it, do ever return into a state of bondage. So, 3. It endures in those
effects unto all eternity in heaven itself.
3. This redemption Christ obtained by his blood. Having done all
in the sacrifice of himself that was in the justice, holiness, and wisdom
of God required thereunto, it was wholly in his power to confer all the
benefits and effects of it on the church, on them that do believe. And
sundry things we may observe from this verse.
Obs. I. The entrance of our Lord Jesus Christ as our high priest
into heaven, to appear in the presence of God for us, and to save us
thereby unto the uttermost, was a thing so great and glorious, as could
not be accomplished but by his own blood. No other sacrifice was
sufficient unto this end. Not by the c blood of bulls and goats.' The
reason hereof the apostle declares at large, eh. x. 5 â€” 10. Men seldom
rise in their thoughts unto the greatness of this mystery. Yea, with
the most, this blood of the covenant wherewith he was sanctified unto
the remainder of his work, is a common thing. The ruin of Christian
religion lies in the slight thoughts of men about the blood of Christ ;
and pernicious errors do abound in opposition unto the true nature of
the sacrifice which he made thereby. Even the faith of the best is
weak and imperfect, as to the comprehension of the glory of it. Our
relief is, that the uninterrupted contemplation of it will be a part of
our blessedness unto eternity. But yet whilst we are here, we can
neither understand how great is the salvation which is tendered to us
thereby, nor be thankful for it, without a due consideration of the way
whereby the Lord Christ entered into the holy place. And he will be
the most humble and most fruitful Christian, whose faith is most exer-
cised, most conversant about it.
Obs. II. Whatever difficulties lay in the way of Christ, as unto the
94 AN EXPOSITION OF THE [CH. IX.
accomplishment and perfection of the work of our redemption, he
would not decline them, nor desist from his undertaking, whatever' it
cost him. Sacrifice and burnt-offering thou wouldst not have ; then
said 1, ' Lo I come to do thy will, O God.' He made his way into
the holy place by his own blood. What was required of him for us
that we might be saved, he would not decline, though never so great
and dreadful ; and surely we ought not to decline what he requires of
us, that he may be honoured.
Obs. III. There was a holy place meet to receive the Lord Christ,
after the sacrifice of himself; and a suitable reception for such a per-
son, after so glorious a performance. It was a place of great glory
and beauty, whereinto the high priest of old entered by the blood of
calves and goats ; the visible pledges of the presence of God were in it,
whereunto no other person might approach. But our high priest was
not to enter into any holy place made with hands, unto outward visible
pledges of the presence of God, but into the heaven of heavens, the
place of the glorious residence of the majesty of God itself.
Obs. IV. If the Lord Christ entered not into the holy place until he
had finished his work, we may not expect an entrance thereinto until
we have finished ours. He fainted not, nor waxed weary, until all
was finished ; and it is our duty to arm ourselves with the same mind.
Obs. V. It must be a glorious effect, which had so glorious a cause ;
and so it was, even 'eternal redemption.'
Obs. VI. The nature of our redemption, the way of its procurement,
with the duties required of us with respect thereunto, are greatly to be
considered by us.
Ver. 13, 14. â€” There is in these verses an argument and compari-
son. But the comparison is such, as that the ground of it is laid in
the relation of the comparates, the one to the other, namely, that the
one was the type, and the other the antitype, otherwise the argument
will not hold. For although it follows, that he who can do the greater,
can do the less, whereon an argument will hold a majori ad minus ;
yet it doth not absolutely hold, that if that which is less can do that
which is less, then that which is greater can do that which is greater ;
which would be the force of the argument, if there were nothing but a
naked comparison in it. But it necessarily follows hereon, if that
which is less, in that less thing which it doth or did, was therein a type
of that which was greater, in that greater thing which it was to effect.
And this was the case in the thing here proposed by the apostle. The
words are :
Ver. lo, 14. â€” Et yap to alpa ravpiov KaiTpayiov, kcu cnrodog <)apa-
\eiog pavTL^ovaa Tovg KtKOivwptvovg, aytaZ,et irpog ty\v rrjc crupKog
KiiSapoTtfTa, iroato paWov to alpa tov Xp(oToi>, og cia TlvzvpaTog
CtllOVlOV tClVTOV 7TpO(7r)VÂ£yKÂ£V apU>pOV TlO Of li), KttS'aptEl TT}V avviidrjaiv
j'ljuwv (vpwv) airo vucpwv zpywv, eig to XaTptvtiv 0Â«j> ^wvn.
The words have no difficulty in them as to their grammatical sense;
nor is there any considerable variation in the rendering of them in the
VER. 13, 14.] EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS. 95
old translations. Only the Syriac retains N^yr, that is ixov, from
ver. 11, instead of ravpuv here used. And both that and the Vulgate
place rpayiov here before ravpojv, as in the foregoing verse, contrary
unto all copies of the original as to the order of the words.
For Ilvtu/iaroe aiwviov, the Vulgate reads ITvfu/iaroe aytov, per
Spiritum sanctum. The Syriac follows the original, vbybi xrrrai, ' by
the eternal Spirit.'
' our,' but most vfiuw, ' your,' which our translators follow.
Ver. 13, 14. â€” For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of