1 1 Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, 2 and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year.
5 For this reason, when he came into the world, he said: 3 ＂Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me;
11 5 Every priest stands daily at his ministry, offering frequently those same sacrifices that can never take away sins.
13 6 now he waits until his enemies are made his footstool.
17 he also says: 8 ＂Their sins and their evildoing I will remember no more.＂
19 9 Therefore, brothers, since through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary
20 10 by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh,
21 11 and since we have ＂a great priest over the house of God,＂
25 We should not stay away from our assembly, 13 as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.
26 14 If we sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains sacrifice for sins
28 Anyone who rejects the law of Moses 15 is put to death without pity on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
29 Do you not think that a much worse punishment is due the one who has contempt for the Son of God, considers unclean the covenant-blood by which he was consecrated, and insults the spirit of grace?
32 Remember the days past when, after you had been enlightened, 16 you endured a great contest of suffering.
35 Therefore, do not throw away your confidence; it will have great recompense.
37 ＂For, after just a brief moment, 17 he who is to come shall come; he shall not delay.
1 [1-10] Christian faith now realizes that the Old Testament sacrifices did not effect the spiritual benefits to come but only prefigured them (Hebrews 10:1). For if the sacrifices had actually effected the forgiveness of sin, there would have been no reason for their constant repetition (Hebrews 10:2). They were rather a continual reminder of the people's sins (Hebrews 10:3). It is not reasonable to suppose that human sins could be removed by the blood of animal sacrifices (Hebrews 10:4). Christ, therefore, is here shown to understand his mission in terms of Psalm 40:5-7, cited according to the Septuagint (Hebrews 10:5-7). Jesus acknowledged that the Old Testament sacrifices did not remit the sins of the people and so, perceiving the will of God, offered his own body for this purpose (Hebrews 10:8-10).
2  A shadow of the good things to come: the term shadow was used in Hebrews 8:5 to signify the earthly counterpart of the Platonic heavenly reality. But here it means a prefiguration of what is to come in Christ, as it is used in the Pauline literature; cf Col 2:17.
3 [5-7] A passage from Psalm 40:7-9 is placed in the mouth of the Son at his incarnation. As usual, the author follows the Septuagint text. There is a notable difference in Hebrews 10:5 (Psalm 40:7), where the Masoretic text reads ＂ears you have dug for me＂ (＂ears open to obedience you gave me,＂ NAB), but most Septuagint manuscripts have ＂a body you prepared for me,＂ a reading obviously more suited to the interpretation of Hebrews.
4  Sacrifices and offerings, holocausts and sin offerings: these four terms taken from the preceding passage of Psalm 40 (with the first two changed to plural forms) are probably intended as equivalents to the four principal types of Old Testament sacrifices: peace offerings (Lev 3, here called sacrifices); cereal offerings (Lev 2, here called offerings); holocausts (Lev 1); and sin offerings (Lev 4-5). This last category includes the guilt offerings of Lev 5:14-19.
5 [11-18] Whereas the levitical priesthood offered daily sacrifices that were ineffectual in remitting sin (Hebrews 10:11), Jesus offered a single sacrifice that won him a permanent place at God's right hand. There he has only to await the final outcome of his work (Hebrews 10:12-13; cf Psalm 110:1). Thus he has brought into being in his own person the new covenant prophesied by Jeremiah (Jeremiah 31:33-34) that has rendered meaningless all other offerings for sin (Hebrews 10:14-18).
6  Until his enemies are made his footstool: Psalm 110:1 is again used; the reference here is to the period of time between the enthronement of Jesus and his second coming. The identity of the enemies is not specified; cf 1 Cor 15:25-27.
7 [15-17] The testimony of the scriptures is now invoked to support what has just preceded. The passage cited is a portion of the new covenant prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34, which the author previously used in Hebrews 8:8-12.
8  He also says: these words are not in the Greek text, which has only kai, ＂also,＂ but the expression ＂after saying＂ in Hebrews 10:15 seems to require such a phrase to divide the Jeremiah text into two sayings. Others understand ＂the Lord says＂ of Hebrews 10:16 (here rendered says the Lord) as outside the quotation and consider Hebrews 10:16b as part of the second saying. Two ancient versions and a number of minuscules introduce the words ＂then he said＂ or a similar expression at the beginning of Hebrews 10:17.
9 [19-39] Practical consequences from these reflections on the priesthood and the sacrifice of Christ should make it clear that Christians may now have direct and confident access to God through the person of Jesus (Hebrews 10:19-20), who rules God's house as high priest (Hebrews 10:21). They should approach God with sincerity and faith, in the knowledge that through baptism their sins have been remitted (Hebrews 10:22), reminding themselves of the hope they expressed in Christ at that event (Hebrews 10:23). They are to encourage one another to Christian love and activity (Hebrews 10:24), not refusing, no matter what the reason, to participate in the community's assembly, especially in view of the parousia (Hebrews 10:25; cf 1 Thes 4:13-18). If refusal to participate in the assembly indicates rejection of Christ, no sacrifice exists to obtain forgiveness for so great a sin (Hebrews 10:26); only the dreadful judgment of God remains (Hebrews 10:27). For if violation of the Mosaic law could be punished by death, how much worse will be the punishment of those who have turned their backs on Christ by despising his sacrifice and disregarding the gifts of the holy Spirit (Hebrews 10:28-29). Judgment belongs to the Lord, and he enacts it by his living presence (Hebrews 10:30-31). There was a time when the spirit of their community caused them to welcome and share their sufferings (Hebrews 10:32-34). To revitalize that spirit is to share in the courage of the Old Testament prophets (cf Isaiah 26:20; Habakkuk 2:3-4), the kind of courage that must distinguish the faith of the Christian (Hebrews 10:35-39).
10  Through the veil, that is, his flesh: the term flesh is used pejoratively. As the temple veil kept people from entering the Holy of Holies (it was rent at Christ's death, Mark 15:38), so the flesh of Jesus constituted an obstacle to approaching God.
12  With our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience: as in Hebrews 9:13 (see the note there), the sprinkling motif refers to the Mosaic rite of cleansing from ritual impurity. This could produce only an external purification, whereas sprinkling with the blood of Christ (Hebrews 9:14) cleanses the conscience. Washed in pure water: baptism is elsewhere referred to as a washing; cf 1 Cor 6:11; Eph 5:26.
13  Our assembly: the liturgical assembly of the Christian community, probably for the celebration of the Eucharist. The day: this designation for the parousia also occurs in the Pauline letters, e.g., Romans 2:16; 1 Cor 3:13; 1 Thes 5:2.
15  Rejects the law of Moses: evidently not any sin against the law, but idolatry. Deut 17:2-7 prescribed capital punishment for idolaters who were convicted on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
17 [37-38] In support of his argument, the author uses Habakkuk 2:3-4 in a wording almost identical with the text of the Codex Alexandrinus of the Septuagint but with the first and second lines of Hebrews 10:4 inverted. He introduces it with a few words from Isaiah 26:20: after just a brief moment. Note the Pauline usage of Hebrews 2:4 in Romans 1:17; Gal 3:11.