Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hebrews 8:2

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

A minister of the sanctuary - Των ἁγιων λειτουργος· A public minister of the holy things or places. The word λειτουργος, from λειτος, public, and εργον, a work or office, means a person who officiated for the public, a public officer; in whom, and his work, all the people had a common right: hence our word liturgy, the public work of prayer and praise, designed for the people at large; all having a right to attend it, and each having an equal interest in it. Properly speaking, the Jewish priest was the servant of the public; he transacted the business of the people with God. Jesus Christ is also the same kind of public officer; both as Priest and Mediator he transacts the business of the whole human race with God. He performs the holy things or acts in the true tabernacle, Heaven, of which the Jewish tabernacle was the type. The tabernacle was the place among the Jews where God, by the symbol of his presence, dwelt. This could only typify heaven, where God, in his essential glory, dwells, and is manifest to angels and glorified saints; and hence heaven is called here the true tabernacle, to distinguish it from the type.

Which the Lord pitched - The Jewish tabernacle was man's work, though made by God's direction; the heavens, this true tabernacle, the work of God alone, and infinitely more glorious than that of the Jews. The tabernacle was also a type of the human nature of Christ, John 1:14; : And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, και εσκηνωσεν εν ἡμιν and tabernacled among us; for, as the Divine presence dwelt in the tabernacle, so the fullness of the Godhead, bodily, dwelt in the man Christ Jesus. And this human body was the peculiar work of God, as it came not in the way of natural generation.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

A minister of the sanctuary - Margin, “or holy things.” Greek τῶν ἁγίων tōn hagiōnThe Greek may either mean “the sanctuary” - denoting the Holy of Holies; or “holy things.” The word “sanctuary” - קדשׁ qodesh- was given to the tabernacle or temple as a “holy place,” and the plural form which is used here - τὰ ἅγια ta hagia- was given to the most holy place by way of eminence - the full form of the name being - קדשׁ qodeshקדשׁ קדּשׁים qodesh qodâshiymor, ἅγια ἅγιων hagia hagiōn- “hagia hagion,” (Jahn‘s Arche. section 328), or as it is used here simply as τὰ ἅγια ta hagiaThe connection seems to require us to understand it of the “most holy place,” and not of holy things. The idea is, that the Lord Jesus the Great High Priest, has entered into the Holy of Holies in heaven, of which that in the tabernacle was an emblem. For a description of the Most Holy place in the temple, see the notes on Matthew 21:12.

And of the true tabernacle - The “real” tabernacle in heaven, of which that among the Hebrews was but the type. The word “tabernacle” - σκηνὴ skēnē- means properly a “booth, hut, or tent,” and was applied to the “tent” which Moses was directed to build as the place for the worship of God. That tabernacle, as the temple was afterward, was regarded as the special abode of God on earth. Here the reference is to heaven, as the dwelling place of God, of which that tabernacle was the emblem or symbol. It is called the “true tabernacle,” as it is the real dwelling of God, of which the one made by Moses was but the “emblem.” It is not moveable and perishable like that made by man, but is unchanging and eternal.

Which the Lord pitched, and not man - The word “pitched” is adapted to express the setting up of a “tent.” When it is said that “the Lord pitched the true tabernacle,” that is, the permanent dwelling in heaven; the meaning is, that heaven has been prepared by God himself, and that whatever is necessary to constitute that an appropriate abode for the divine majesty has been done by him. To that glorious dwelling the Redeemer has been received, and there he performs the office of high priest in behalf of man. In what way he does this, the apostle specifies in the remainder of this chapter, and in Hebrews 910:

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The substance, or summary, of what had been declared was, that Christians had such a High Priest as they needed. He took upon himself human nature, appeared on earth, and there gave himself as a sacrifice to God for the sins of his people. We must not dare to approach God, or to present any thing to him, but in and through Christ, depending upon his merits and mediation; for we are accepted only in the Beloved. In all obedience and worship, we should keep close to God's word, which is the only and perfect standard. Christ is the substance and end of the law of righteousness. But the covenant here referred to, was that made with Israel as a nation, securing temporal benefits to them. The promises of all spiritual blessings, and of eternal life, revealed in the gospel, and made sure through Christ, are of infinitely greater value. Let us bless God that we have a High Priest that suits our helpless condition.
Ellen G. White
The Retirement Years, 78f

Brother [G. C.] Tenney, you have been drawn away from the truth more than you have known, and your connection with men in Battle Creek has been to your great injury. The light of your past experience is going out. RY 78.1

I have been surprised and made sad to read some of your articles in the Medical Missionary, and especially those on the sanctuary question. These articles show that you have been departing from the faith. You have helped in confusing the understanding of our people. The correct understanding of the ministration in the heavenly sanctuary is the foundation of our faith. RY 78.2

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Ellen G. White
Prophets and Kings, 685

From the day the Lord declared to the serpent in Eden, “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed” (Genesis 3:15), Satan has known that he can never hold absolute sway over the inhabitants of this world. When Adam and his sons began to offer the ceremonial sacrifices ordained by God as a type of the coming Redeemer, Satan discerned in these a symbol of communion between earth and heaven. During the long centuries that have followed, it has been his constant effort to intercept this communion. Untiringly has he sought to misrepresent God and to misinterpret the rites pointing to the Saviour, and with a great majority of the members of the human family he has been successful. PK 685.1

While God has desired to teach men that from His own love comes the Gift which reconciles them to Himself, the archenemy of mankind has endeavored to represent God as one who delights in their destruction. Thus the sacrifices and the ordinances designed of Heaven to reveal divine love have been perverted to serve as means whereby sinners have vainly hoped to propitiate, with gifts and good works, the wrath of an offended God. At the same time, Satan has sought to arouse and strengthen the evil passions of men in order that through repeated transgression multitudes might be led on and on, far from God, and hopelessly bound with the fetters of sin. PK 685.2

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Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 356

As has been stated, the earthly sanctuary was built by Moses according to the pattern shown him in the mount. It was “a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices;” its two holy places were “patterns of things in the heavens;” Christ, our great High Priest, is “a minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.” Hebrews 9:9, 23; 8:2. As in vision the apostle John was granted a view of the temple of God in heaven, he beheld there “seven lamps of fire burning before the throne.” He saw an angel “having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.” Revelation 4:5; 8:3. Here the prophet was permitted to behold the first apartment of the sanctuary in heaven; and he saw there the “seven lamps of fire” and the “golden altar” represented by the golden candlestick and the altar of incense in the sanctuary on earth. Again, “the temple of God was opened” (Revelation 11:19), and he looked within the inner veil, upon the holy of holies. Here he beheld “the ark of His testament” (Revelation 11:19), represented by the sacred chest constructed by Moses to contain the law of God. PP 356.1

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Ellen G. White
The Story of Redemption, 376-7

Though the majority of Adventists abandoned their former reckoning of the prophetic periods, and consequently denied the correctness of the movement based thereon, a few were unwilling to renounce points of faith and experience that were sustained by the Scriptures and by the special witness of the Spirit of God. They believed that they had adopted sound principles of interpretation in their study of the Scriptures, and that it was their duty to hold fast the truths already gained, and to still pursue the same course of Biblical research. With earnest prayer they reviewed their position, and studied the Scriptures to discover their mistake. As they could see no error in their explanation of the prophetic periods, they were led to examine more closely the subject of the sanctuary. SR 376.1

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