The Berean Expositor
Volume 43 - Page 21 of 243
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consistent usage compels us to see that here, in Heb. 9: as in Heb. 7:, the disannulling
of a weak and profitless symbol is entirely in harmony with the context and aim of the
epistle. Verses 27 and 28 must be read together, as they are two members of one simile
indicated by the words "as" and "so". Some intended likeness must be discovered, for if
a contrast were intended we should get the expression used in Rom. 5: 15.
Now what is the intention of the writer when he says, "and as it is appointed unto men
once to die, but after this the judgment"? The majority of commentators take it to refer to
mankind in general, and that the offering of Christ "once" is set over against the dying
"once" of verse 27. While this contains truth, we are not persuaded that it is the true
meaning of the passage. For one thing there is hardly a deviation from the one great
theme discernible in the whole of chapters 7:, 8: and 9: Every effort and argument
is brought to bear upon the one absorbing theme, the superiority of the Priesthood and
Offering of Christ, and the typical teaching of the types and shadows of the law.
Who are "the men"?
"It is appointed to `the men' once to die". The priests of the order of Aaron are
definitely called "dying men" (Heb. 7: 8), and "men having weakness" (Heb. 7: 28).
So that, to say the least, we may admit the probability that in the context that speaks of
the typical Tabernacle priesthood and offerings, "the men" may refer to these same dying
priests. It occurred to us at this point to consult the LXX for the usage of "judgment",
knowing that in many cases the word judgment is synonymous with salvation in the O.T.
Turning up the word krisis we found the list too formidable for the time at our disposal
but believing that the key to Heb. 9: 27, 28 lies in the law concerning the cities of
refuge, and knowing that Numb. 25: contains a full statement concerning these cities,
we looked to see whether krisis occurs in that chapter. It does:
"And they shall be unto you cities for refuge from the avenger; that the manslayer die
not, until he stand before the congregation in judgment (krisis)" (Numb. 35: 12).
This statement is followed by a law making a distinction between a willful murder and
a manslayer, and when these distinctions have been made the Scripture continues:
"Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood
according to these judgments (krimata): and the congregation shall deliver the slayer out
of the hand of the revenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to the city of
his refuge, whither he was fled (katapheugo): and he shall abide in it unto the DEATH of
the high priest, which was anointed with the holy oil . . . . . after the death of the high
priest the slayer shall return into the land of his possession" (Numb. 35: 24-28).
This is the "judgment" equivalent to salvation that was to be pronounced by the
congregation, and hinged upon the death of the anointed high priest. It will be seen that
such an interpretation harmonizes with the simile here intended: