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SermonIndex.net : Christian Books : APPENDIX M 2

Commentary On Hebrews by Jean Calvin

APPENDIX M 2

Chapter 10:22. With pure water It is evident that baptism is not here referred to, because the Apostle is instructing the Hebrews, who had been baptized, how they were daily to draw nigh to God.

The words |pure water| are not found elsewhere in the New Testament, nor in the Sept. but once, Ezekiel.36:25, where our version is |purifying water,| and no doubt correctly, though the early versions have |pure water.| It was a command as to Aaron, |He shall wash (lousetai) with water his whole body (pan to soma;)| So the Sept., but the Hebrew is |his flesh,| (vsrv,) though the Samaritan text has |all,| (kl) before it, Leviticus 16:4. See also Leviticus 16:24. The terms here used are sacerdotal or Levitical. The |sprinkled| with blood were the priests at their consecration, and not those who brought their offerings. See Leviticus 8:30. In no other case were any sprinkled with blood except the lepers, and the people when the covenant was made. Washing with water was also done by the priests at their consecration, (see Leviticus 8:6,) and whenever they ministered. (Exodus 30:20, 21.)

The reason of this allusion especially to what was done as to the priests, seems to have been this, to shew that all who now draw nigh to God through Christ are priests, for they all serve God as it were in the sanctuary, and like the high priest, enter as it were into the holiest, not once a year, but daily and constantly, whenever they hold communion with God.

As sprinkling in the case of Christians is continually needed, so is washing, as the daily washing of the priests before they engaged in their duties. (Exodus 40:32.) The sprinkling betokens forgiveness, and washing, sanctification or cleansing. See 1 Peter 1:2; and 2 Corinthians 7:1; 1 Thessalonians 5:23.

It may be added that as (zosan, living, seems to have been used in verse 20 in a causative sense, so katharon in this passage; and it may be rendered, as in Ezekiel 36:25, |purifying.| The priests after washing were said to be clean, and were deemed to have been thereby purified, which proves that washing was nothing more than a symbol. Pure or purifying water signifies the sanctifying effect of divine grace.

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