Hebrews 9:18


King James Version (KJV)

Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Wherefore even the first covenant hath not been dedicated without blood.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

So that even the first agreement was not made without blood.

Webster's Revision

Hence even the first testament was not dedicated without blood.

World English Bible

Therefore even the first covenant has not been dedicated without blood.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Wherefore even the first covenant hath not been dedicated without blood.

Definitions for Hebrews 9:18

Testament - A covenant; an agreement.
Without - Outside.

Clarke's Hebrews 9:18 Bible Commentary

Whereupon - Ὁθεν. Wherefore, as a victim was required for the ratification of every covenant, the first covenant made between God and the Hebrews, by the mediation of Moses, was not dedicated, εγκεκαινισται, renewed or solemnized, without blood - without the death of a victim, and the aspersion of its blood.

Barnes's Hebrews 9:18 Bible Commentary

Whereupon - Ὅθεν Hothen - "Whence." Or since this is a settled principle, or an indisputable fact, it occurred in accordance with this, that the first covenant was confirmed by the shedding of blood. The admitted principle which the apostle had stated, that the death of the victim was necessary to confirm the covenant, was the "reason" why the first covenant was ratified with blood. If there were any doubt about the correctness of the interpretation given above, that Hebrews 9:16-17, refer to a "covenant," and not a "will," this verse would seem to be enough to remove it. For how could the fact that a will is not binding until he who makes it is dead, be a reason why a "covenant" should be confirmed by blood? What bearing would such a fact have on the question whether it ought or ought not to be confirmed in this manner? Or how could that fact, though it is universal, be given as a "reason" to account for the fact that the covenant made by the instrumentality of Moses was ratified with blood?

No possible connection can be seen in such reasoning. But admit that Paul had stated in Hebrews 9:16-17, a general principle that in all covenant transactions with God, the death of a victim was necessary, and everything is plain. We then see why he offered the sacrifice and sprinkled the blood. It was not on the basis of such reasoning as this: "The death of a man who makes a will is indispensable before the will is of binding force, therefore it was that Moses confirmed the covenant made with our fathers by the blood of a sacrifice;" but by such reasoning as this: "It is a great principle that in order to ratify a covenant between God and his people a victim should be slain, therefore it was that Moses ratified the old covenant in this manner, and "therefore" it was also that the death of a victim was necessary under the new dispensation." Here the reasoning of Paul is clear and explicit; but who could see the force of the former?

Prof. Stuart indeed connects this verse with Hebrews 9:15, and says that the course of thought is, "The new covenant or redemption from sin was sanctioned by the death of Jesus; consequently, or wherefore (ὅθεν hothen) the old covenant, which is a type of the new, was sanctioned by the blood of victims." But is this the reasoning of Paul? Does he say that because the blood of a Mediator was to be shed under the new dispensation, and because the old was a type of this, that therefore the old was confirmed by blood? Is he not rather accounting for the shedding of blood at all, and showing that it was "necessary" that the blood of the Mediator should be shed rather than assuming that, and from that arguing that a typical shedding of blood was needful? Besides, on this supposition, why is the statement in Hebrews 9:16-17, introduced? What bearing have these verses in the train of thought? What are they but an inexplicable obstruction?

The first testament - Or rather covenant - the word "testament" being supplied by the translators.

Was dedicated - Margin, "Purified." The word used to "ratify," to "confirm," to "consecrate," to "sanction." Literally, "to renew."

Without blood - It was ratified by the blood of the animals that were slain in sacrifice. The blood was then sprinkled on the principal objects that were regarded as holy under that dispensation.

Wesley's Hebrews 9:18 Bible Commentary

9:18 Whence neither was the first - The Jewish covenant, originally transacted without the blood of an appointed sacrifice.

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