Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 8

The end of the temple in Jerusalem

Hebrews 8:13

The author of Hebrews was writing at a time when the temple (Godís house) in Jerusalem still existed. Priests still carried on their ancient ceremonies there, as they had done for about 1500 years.

The author said that those ceremonies would soon end. But he probably did not realise how suddenly that would happen.

There was a good reason why the author expected those ceremonies to end. The priestsí work at the temple was very important before Christ came. The things that they did there were essential and necessary. But now God had provided a new and better way for people to know him. Now Christ had carried out his work as our great chief priest. And so the activities in the temple became unimportant. The priestsí ceremonies, which formerly were so important, had become mere traditions. People who desired a relationship with God would receive it from Christ Ė not from anything at the temple.

So it was clear that the activities at the temple would not last. At the proper time, Christ will return to rule. A copy has no purpose when the reality is here (Hebrews 9:23-24).

But in fact, the ceremonies at the temple ended only a few years after the author wrote these words. The government of Rome sent an army to fight against Jerusalem. That army overcame the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and they destroyed the city completely. They left nothing. It was a terrible event. The beautiful temple, where the priests had served God, became a heap of stones. Many people were dead, including many priests. And the ceremonies, which the priests had carried on for so many years, had ended.

Next part: The first holy place in this world (Hebrews 9:1)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.