Hebrews 9 opens with a description of the earthly sanctuary and its contents. Instructions from Leviticus 16 begin in verse 7: “But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people's sins committed in ignorance.” Verses 11-15 show Christ's fulfillment of the cleansing ritual and how He entered the Most Holy Place in heaven with His own blood. Verse 15 points out that our promise of eternal inheritance is based on His mediation; neither He nor we are awaiting Satan to fulfill any part of the sin offering. Verses 22-25 also explain Christ's cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary with His own blood, once for all, in contrast to the yearly purification of the physical sanctuary.
Comparing these explanations with the instruction in Leviticus 16, we see that both passages follow the same general order. Leviticus 16 begins with the instructions for the high priest on Atonement, just as Hebrews 2-9 presents Christ's superior High Priesthood. Next, Leviticus 16 proceeds to the slaughter of the first goat and the use of its blood to cleanse the sanctuary and holy objects. The bulk of Hebrews 9 explains Christ's role in fulfilling that.
David C. Grabbe
Who Fulfills the Azazel Goat— Satan or Christ? (Part Three)
The author of Hebrews uses hilasterion (Strong's #2435) to refer to the lid of the Ark of the Covenant, the Mercy Seat of God. On the Day of Atonement, the high priest carried the blood of the sacrifice he offered for all the people into the Temple—behind the veil into the Holy of Holies—and sprinkled the Mercy Seat with it, which was the original manner of atonement or propitiation. In this usage, hilasterion is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew term kapporeth (Strong's #3727), which means “covering” and is used exclusively in the Old Testament for “mercy seat” (Exodus 25:17; 30:6; Leviticus 16:13-15). In its only other biblical usage, the apostle Paul uses hilasterion in Romans 3:25 as “propitiation,” that is, Jesus Christ's atoning sacrifice and our reconciliation by His blood.
Martin G. Collins
What Is Propitiation? (Part Two)
Other Forerunner Commentary entries containing Hebrews 9:5: