Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 9

The real house of God

Hebrews 9:11

The Ďtent that human hands did not makeí means heaven. The author uses these words in order to contrast heaven with the temple (Godís house) in Jerusalem.

The temple in Jerusalem was the work of many skilled workmen. It was splendid, and several other beautiful buildings and great public squares were inside its outer walls. The evil King Herod started its construction. By the time of Jesus, people had been working on it for 46 years (John 2:20).

The most holy building in that temple still had the same design as the tent that Moses made. And it was like the temple that stood in Jerusalem before it. We have studied that plan in Hebrews 9:1-5.

That design was Godís plan, because it was a copy of the real holy place in heaven (Hebrews 9:23). And for many centuries, God intended that his priests should serve him there. He gave careful instructions for their work there, because that work was also a copy. It was a copy of the work that Christ, Godís Son would do as our great chief priest.

These copies were important, because people can learn about a real thing from a copy. People could learn about heaven from the temple. People could learn about Christís work from the work of Israelís priests. But then Christ came, and the reality was here. When people have the real thing, a copy has no further purpose.

The real house of God is greater and more perfect than anything on this earth. People make images of false gods, and they make temples for those images. But nobody can make a house for the God who made heaven and earth (Acts 7:48-50).

Next part: Christís work as our chief priest (Hebrews 9:12)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.