St. John Chrysostom on Hebrews 9

Altar TableSt. John Chrysostom on Hebrews 9:5-8
“And the worldly Sanctuary.” He calls it “worldly,” inasmuch as it was permitted to all to tread it, and in the same house the place was manifest where the priests stood, where the Jews, the Proselytes, the Grecians, the Nazarites. Since, therefore even Gentiles were permitted to tread it, he calls it “worldly.” For surely the Jews were not “the world.”“For” (he says) “there was a tabernacle made; the first, which is called holy, wherein was the Candlestick, and the Table, and the Shew-bread.” These things are symbols of the world.“And after the second veil” (There was then not one veil [only], but there was a veil without also) “the tabernacle, which is called holy of holies.” Observe how everywhere he calls it a tabernacle in regard of [God’s] encamping there. “Which had” (he says) “a golden Censer, and the ark of the Covenant overlaid round about with gold: wherein was the golden pot that held the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant.” All these things were venerable and conspicuous memorials of the Jewish obstinacy; “and the tables of the covenant” (for they brake them) “And the manna” (for they murmured; and therefore handing on the memory thereof to posterity, He commanded it to be laid up in a golden pot). “And Aaron’s rod that budded. And over it, the Cherubim of glory.” What is “the Cherubim of glory”? He either means “the glorious,” or those which are under God.  “Shadowing the mercy-seat.”But in another point of view also he extols these things in his discourse, in order to show that those which come after them are greater. “Of which” (he says) “we cannot now speak particularly.” In these words he hints that these were not merely what was seen, but were a sort of enigmas. “Of which” (he says) “we cannot now speak particularly,” perhaps because they needed a long discourse.[2.] Ver. 6. “Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle accomplishing the service [of God].” That is, these things indeed were [there], but the Jews did not enjoy them: they saw them not. So that they were no more theirs than [ours] for whom they prophesied.

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