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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 10

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1 THE law contains but a shadow of the good things to come, not the true picture. With the same sacrifices offered year after year for all time, it can never bring the worshippers to perfection a 10:1 sacrifices … perfection: or sacrifices offered year after year it can never bring the worshippers to perfection for all time. . 2If it could, these sacrifices would surely have ceased to be offered, because the worshippers, cleansed once for all, would no longer have any sense of sin. 3Instead, by these sacrifices sins are brought to mind year after year, 4because they can never be removed by the blood of bulls and goats.

5That is why, at Christ's coming into the world, he says:

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me. 6Whole-offerings and sin-offerings you did not delight in. 7Then I said, ‘Here I am: as it is written of me in the scroll, I have come, O God, to do your will.’

8First he says, ‘Sacrifices and offerings, whole-offerings and sin-offerings, you did not desire or delight in,’ although the law prescribes them. 9Then he adds, ‘Here I am: I have come to do your will.’ He thus abolishes the former to establish the latter. 10And it is by the will of God that we have been consecrated, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

11Daily every priest stands performing his service and time after time offering the same sacrifices, which can never remove sins. 12Christ, having offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, took his seat b 10:12 for all time … seat: or a single sacrifice for sins, took his seat for all time. at God's right hand, 13where he now waits until his enemies are made his footstool. 14So by one offering he has perfected for ever those who are consecrated by it. 15To this the Holy Spirit also adds his witness. First he says, 16‘This is the covenant which I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will set my laws in their hearts and write them on their understanding’; 17then he adds, ‘and their sins and wicked deeds I will remember no more.’ 18And where these have been forgiven, there are no further offerings for sin.

19 SO NOW, my friends, the blood of Jesus makes us free to enter the sanctuary with confidence 20by the new and living way which he has opened for us through the curtain, the way of his flesh c 10:20 curtain … flesh: or curtain of his flesh. . 21We have a great priest set over the household of God; 22so let us make our approach in sincerity of heart and the full assurance of faith, inwardly cleansed from a guilty conscience, and outwardly washed with pure water. 23Let us be firm and unswerving in the confession of our hope, for the giver of the promise is to be trusted. 24We ought to see how each of us may best arouse others to love and active goodness. 25We should not stay away from our meetings, as some do, but rather encourage one another, all the more because we see the day of the Lord drawing near.

26For if we deliberately persist in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there can be no further sacrifice for sins; there remains 27only a terrifying expectation of judgement, of a fierce fire which will consume God's enemies. 28Anyone who flouts the law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29Think how much more severe a penalty will be deserved by anyone who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was consecrated, and insulted God's gracious Spirit! 30For we know who it is that said, ‘Justice is mine: I will repay’; and again, ‘The Lord will judge his people.’ 31It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

32Remember those early days when, newly enlightened, you met the test of great suffering and held firm. 33Some of you were publicly exposed to abuse and tormented, while others stood loyally by those who were so treated. 34For indeed you shared the sufferings of those who were in prison, and you cheerfully accepted the seizure of your possessions, knowing that you had a better, more lasting possession. 35Do not, therefore, throw away your confidence, for it carries a great reward. 36You need endurance in order to do God's will and win what he has promised. 37For, in the words of scripture,

very soon he who is to come will come; he will not delay; 38and by faith my righteous servant shall find life; but if anyone shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him.

39But we are not among those who shrink back and are lost; we have the faith to preserve our life.

Notes:

a 10:1 sacrifices … perfection: or sacrifices offered year after year it can never bring the worshippers to perfection for all time.

b 10:12 for all time … seat: or a single sacrifice for sins, took his seat for all time.

c 10:20 curtain … flesh: or curtain of his flesh.

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