What does Hebrews 9:22 mean?
ESV: Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
NIV: In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
NASB: And almost all things are cleansed with blood, according to the Law, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
CSB: According to the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.
NLT: In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness.
KJV: And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
NKJV: And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
Verse Commentary:
Under the old covenant, sacrificial blood was required to sanctify almost everything. Forgiveness for sins, in particular, was dependent on the death of an animal. Up to this point, the writer of Hebrews has been pointing out that the old covenant was always intended, by God, as a symbol of the new covenant. The physical rituals and artifacts of the temple were given by God specifically to point towards the ministry of Jesus Christ. In many cases, those components of the old covenant were meant to be seen as limited specifically as proof that God intended to provide a more permanent solution.

Immediately prior to this verse, the writer has pointed out that even at the very beginning of the covenant between God and Israel, blood was shed in order to establish that arrangement.

Here, the writer makes it clear that the blood which was spilled in both the old and new covenants is necessary—forgiveness from sin is not possible without it. Under the old covenant, this meant repeated offerings of animal sacrifices (Hebrews 7:27). In the new covenant, this means a single, perfect, once-for-all shedding of blood by Christ. Upcoming verses will focus on how this sacrifice by Jesus fulfills the symbolism of the old covenant and resolves the weaknesses of the temple rituals.
Verse Context:
Hebrews 9:11–28 continues to explain how the new covenant in Jesus Christ is superior to the old covenant. This passage focuses on two main advantages of this arrangement: that Christ serves in a better temple, and that Christ offers a superior sacrifice. The physical temple, and its implements, were meant to be symbols of Christ's ''true'' place of service in heaven. Unlike limited sacrifices of animals, Jesus' single death was able to completely save us from sin.
Chapter Summary:
Hebrews chapter 9 explains how the old covenant included various physical locations and physical rituals. These, according to the writer of Hebrews, were always intended as symbols. Their details, and the drawbacks which they suffered from, were meant to point towards the ''true'' means of our redemption, which is Christ. Unlike animal sacrifices, which must be repeated, and which cannot change man on the inside, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is a once for all, permanent, and completely effective solution to sin. The fact that Christ died for sin only once also means that His next arrival, in the future, will not be as a sacrifice, but as the final fulfillment of God's plan.
Chapter Context:
Chapter 9 continues the writer's explanation of the superiority of Christ. In chapter 8, this focused on the idea that God had promised a new covenant, even as the old covenant was still in effect. This not only means that the new covenant must be different, but that the old covenant must be flawed. Here in chapter 9, the writer focuses on the fact that the old covenant featured aspects which were meant only as symbols of the ''true'' high priesthood of Christ. Since Christ's sacrifice is more powerful, and performed in a better place, it is more effective in securing our salvation than the sacrifices of animals. Chapter 10 will continue this discussion by wrapping up these various ideas about the superiority of the new covenant.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
Accessed 6/22/2024 5:59:49 PM
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