What Does Hebrews 9:23 Teach?

May 6, 2015

Reading Hebrews 9:23 again yesterday morning, I was again struck with how the verse reads:

It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.

What does it mean that “the heavenly things themselves [had to be purified] with better sacrifices than these”? Does it mean that heaven (where God dwells, not the sky or even outer space) had to be purified?

Certainly, human sin, starting with the sins of Adam and Eve, is incapable of defiling heaven. If this verse is teaching that heaven had to be purified, it would have to be saying so because it had been defiled not by any sin or sins of mankind but by the sinning of Satan and the angels that fell with him.

Do you think that this is the correct understanding of what Hebrews 9:23 teaches?

Rajesh

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