| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 43 - Page 18 of 243 Index | Zoom | |
those who have heavenly destiny (Eph. 1: 10; Col. 1: 20), but also because of those who
by sin forfeited their heavenly abode (II Pet. 2: 4).
Seeing that the Apostle's argument in this section finds its strength in the fact that
Christ offered one Sacrifice for sin, as contrasted with the repeated sacrifices of the law,
why does he speak of Christ's Offering in the plural, "better sacrifices"? There is a
recognized figure of speech in the Hebrew Old Testament called Heterosis or
"Exchange". It has a wide range into which we will not enter here, the section which
includes our difficulty being the Heterosis of number. A few examples will suffice:
Gen. 4: 10.
"Bloods" = life's blood.
Gen. 19: 11.
"Blindnesses" = intense blindness.
Psa. 51: 17.
"Sacrifices" = the great sacrifice.
This last reference is practically identical with Heb. 9: 23. The Apostle, using a
recognized figure of speech, must be understood to mean "the infinitely better sacrifice".
While we are dealing with this figure we might observe that in verse 24 "holy places"
means "the most holy place", as it is translated in 9: 8.
The end of the world.
In contrasting the offerings made under the law with the Offering of Christ, the writer
makes much of the fact that the law offered sacrifices continually, but that Christ offered
but one Sacrifice, and one only. Otherwise it would be necessary that Christ should
suffer often since the foundation of the world. We know from Heb. 9: 15 that the
Sacrifice of Christ was retrospective, and was "for the redemption of the transgressions
that were under the first covenant", and also from Rom. 3: 25 we learn that the Offering
of Christ declared God's righteousness in remitting the sins of the past. The apostle
makes a statement in Heb. 9: 26, "But now once in the end of the world hath He
appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (epi sunteleia ton aionon), "upon an
ending together of the ages". This needs some careful study. The LXX uses the word
sunteleia in Exod. 23: 1-16 in a way which may help us. "Three times thou shalt keep
a feast unto Me in the year":
The feast of unleavened bread.
The feast of the harvest.
The feast of the ingathering (sunteleia) which is in the end of the year.
Once again may we be permitted to say that those to whom the apostle wrote knew the
law and much of its significance? The instructed Hebrew saw in the feasts of Israel, as
set out in Lev. 23:, the plan of the ages. He saw that Christ was the true Passover and
the true Firstfruits. The feast of the seventh month, the sunteleia, would vividly bring to
mind the sunteleia of the ages. It has been objected that the "consummation of the ages"
has not arrived, and therefore this passage as it stands in the A.V. is not true. The same