Hebrews 9:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 9:7, NIV: But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

Hebrews 9:7, ESV: but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood, which he offers for himself and for the unintentional sins of the people.

Hebrews 9:7, KJV: But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:

Hebrews 9:7, NASB: but into the second, only the high priest enters once a year, not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.

Hebrews 9:7, NLT: But only the high priest ever entered the Most Holy Place, and only once a year. And he always offered blood for his own sins and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

Hebrews 9:7, CSB: But the high priest alone enters the second room, and he does that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.

What does Hebrews 9:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The inner area of the temple was built with a curtain designating a Holy Place. This was a section which could only be entered into by priests. This was part of their daily duty, but this division also symbolized the separation between God and men. Inside of this Holy Place was a second curtain, which blocked off an even more exclusive room: the Most Holy Place. This was an area where only the high priest could enter, at a designated time, for a designated reason, with a designated sacrifice.

The main purpose of this sacrifice was atonement for the people of Israel (Leviticus 16:15; Exodus 30:10). Earlier verses in Hebrews made the point that sacrifice for sins needed to be done constantly under the old covenant (Hebrews 7:27–28). Likewise, the high priest who made this sacrifice had to offer atonement for his own sins, as well as those of the people (Hebrews 5:3). Once per year, the high priest would enter into the Most Holy Place, behind the second curtain. Just as the first curtain created a division which only priests could pass, the second curtain formed another barrier between men and God.

As the writer of Hebrews will continue to point out, this separation carries heavy symbolic meaning. The purpose of this symbolism is a primary point of this section of the book of Hebrews.