Hebrews 8:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 8:5, NIV: They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: 'See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.'

Hebrews 8:5, ESV: They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

Hebrews 8:5, KJV: Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

Hebrews 8:5, NASB: who serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, just as Moses was warned by God when he was about to erect the tabernacle; for, 'SEE,' He says, 'THAT YOU MAKE all things BY THE PATTERN WHICH WAS SHOWN TO YOU ON THE MOUNTAIN.'

Hebrews 8:5, NLT: They serve in a system of worship that is only a copy, a shadow of the real one in heaven. For when Moses was getting ready to build the Tabernacle, God gave him this warning: 'Be sure that you make everything according to the pattern I have shown you here on the mountain.'

Hebrews 8:5, CSB: These serve as a copy and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses was warned when he was about to complete the tabernacle. For God said, Be careful that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.

What does Hebrews 8:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

A major point made in the book of Hebrews is that God's plan to save mankind through Jesus Christ is not a "change" in His will. Rather, this has been the intent of God all along. As support for that idea, the writer has already pointed out places in the Old Testament where God made promises which foretell the replacement of the Levitical law with a better covenant. Prior verses hinted at the idea of God using the laws given to Moses as symbols of what was to come. This verse makes that claim directly.

The writer cites Exodus 25:40, which is similar to Exodus 25:9, where Moses is told that he is to follow the "pattern" given to him by God. This is a theme often explored in the Bible, that God will use events and objects in order to symbolize His plan of salvation. Those patterns, often called "types," become useful as explanations of God's will. Two potent examples come from Israel's own history. One is the events of the first Passover, which symbolized mankind's salvation through faith in the sacrifice of Christ (Exodus 12:1–28). Another is the incident with the bronze serpent, which again symbolized salvation rooted in faith, as well as providing a shadowy reference to Jesus' crucifixion (Numbers 21:4–9).

In the book of Hebrews, the writer argues that all of the Old Covenant rituals and objects are meant to be shadows of the "real" plan of God. That plan is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.