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. Chapter 8.

The High Priest of a New and Better Covenant

1 NOW THIS is my main point: just such a high priest we have, and he has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of Majesty in the heavens, 2 a ministrant in the real sanctuary, the tent pitched by the Lord and not by man. 3 Every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices: hence, this one too must have [Or: must have had.] something to offer. 4 Now if he had been on earth, he would not even have been a priest, since there are already priests who offer the gifts which the Law prescribes, 5 [ Ex.25.40. ] though they minister in a sanctuary which is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly. This is implied when Moses, about to erect the tent, is instructed by God: 'See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.' 6 But in fact the ministry which has fallen to Jesus is as far superior to theirs as are the covenant he mediates and the promises upon which it is legally secured.

7 Had that first covenant been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second in its place. 8 [ Jr.31.31-34. ] But God, finding fault with them, says, 'The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will conclude a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 9 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt; because they did not abide by the terms of that covenant, and I abandoned them, says the Lord. 10 For the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, is this: I will set my laws in their understanding and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach one another, saying to brother and fellow-citizen, [Some witnesses read: brother and neighbour.] "Know the Lord!" For all of them, high and low, shall know me; 12 I will be merciful to their wicked deeds, and I will remember their sins no more at all.' 13 By speaking of a new covenant, he has pronounced the first one old; and anything that is growing old and ageing will shortly disappear.

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