Calvin’s Commentary on Hebrews 9:24-28 under scrutiny and appreciation


In the following I investigate the commentary of Calvin and also the footnotes of Calvinistic Orthodoxy Scholars to evaluate their views on the exegesis of Hebrews 9:24-28. Adventists have a different view of the Book of Hebrews than other Protestants since they did not follow through with the Sanctuary Symbolism. They stopped with the 364 days ministry of Christ in Heaven and forgot the Yom Kippur or one day Judgment Period in the Most Holy section of the Sanctuary Symbolism. Here are the Comments.


Calvin’s Commentary Online at Archive

Page 188

Heb 9:18-23

Hebrews Chapter 9:24-28

24. Neque enim in manufacta sancta ingressus est Christus, exempla verorum; sed in

24. For Christ is not entered into the holy

places made with hands, which are the figipsum coelum, ut nunc appareat coram facie

Dei pro nobis:

ures of the true; but into heaven itself, now

to appear in the presence of God for us:

25. Neque ut saepe offerat seipsum,

quemadmodum pontifex ingeditur in sancta

quotannis cum sanguine aliena;

25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy

place every year with blood of others;

26. (Quando quidem oportuisset illum saepius pati a creatione mundi:) nunc autem in

26. For then must he often have suffered

since the foundation of the world: but now

once in the end of the world hath he ap- consummatione seculorum, semel in destructionem peccati per victimam sui ipsius apparuit.

peared to put away sin by the sacrifice of


27. Et quatenus constitutum est hominibus

semel mori, post hoc vero judicium;

27. And as it is appointed unto men once to

die, but after this the judgment:

28. Ita et Christus semel oblatus, ut multorum anferret peccata: secundo absque peccato

28. So Christ was once offered to bear the

sins of many; and unto them that look for

conspicietur iis qui eum expectant in salutem.

him shall he appear the second time without

sin unto salvation.


24. For Christ is not entered, etc. This is a confirmation of the former verse. He had spoken of the true sanctuary, even the heavenly; he now adds that Christ entered there. It hence follows that a suitable confirmation is required. The holy places he takes for the sanctuary; he says that it is not made with hands, because it ought not to be classed with the created things which are subject to decay; for he does not mean here the heaven we see, and in which the stars shine, but the glorious kingdom of God which is above all the heavens.

He calls the old sanctuary the νττυπον, the antitype of the true, that is, of the spiritual; for all the external figures represented as in a mirror what would have otherwise been above our corporeal senses. Greek writers sometimes use the same word in speaking of our sacraments, and wisely too and suitably, for every sacrament is a visible image of what is invisible.

Now to appear, etc. So formerly the Levitical priest stood before God in the name of the people, but typically; for in Christ is found the reality and the full accomplishment of what was typified. The ark was indeed a symbol of the divine presence; But it is Christ who really presents himself before God, and stands there to obtain favor for us, so that now there is no reason why we should flee from God’s tribunal, since we have so kind an advocate, through

Heb 9:24-28


Heb 9:24-28

whose faithfulness and protection we are made secure and safe. Christ was indeed our advocate when he was on earth; but it was a further concession made to our infirmity that he ascended into heaven to undertake there the office of an advocate. So that whenever mention is made of his ascension into heaven, this benefit ought ever to come to our minds, that he appears there before God to defend us by his advocacy. Foolishly, then, and unreasonably the question is asked by some, has he not always appeared there? For the Apostle speaks here only of his intercession, for the sake of which he entered the heavenly sanctuary. [Van Wyk Notes: Calvin is here very confused in his answer. The Advocacy function of Christ is in the Heavenly Court scene of Daniel 7:9 when Christ as the Son of Man appeared before the Ancient of Days, His Father, after the little horn, not before it. He does not appear there during His life on earth as Calvin tries to say. He does not function this way during His intercession for us and on our behalf in the Holies function section of the Heavenly Sanctuary. He only functions this way in the Most Holy section in heaven, and this only takes place in 1844 after 2300 years starting in 457 BCE the same date that the exact calculation of the death of Christ predicted in the 490 year prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 is applicable. One can see that Calvin falls short of an exact description of this verse and makes sweeping and biblically inaccurate statements. Notice that Calvin does not discuss the important “now” in the verse which is the year 62-63 A.D. Christ works for sinners in the Heavenly apartment in 62-63 A.D. Everything was not completed at the cross or during His life on earth as Calvin presumably thought.

25. Nor yet that he should offer himself often, etc. How, then, is he a priest, one may say, if he offers no sacrifices? To this I reply that it is not requited of a priest that he should be continually sacrificing; for even under the Law there were days appointed for the chief sacrifices every year; they had also their hours daily morning and evening. But as that only true sacrifice which Christ offered once for all is ever efficacious, and thus perpetual in its effects, it is no wonder that on its virtue, which never fails, Christ’s eternal priesthood should be sustained. Van Wyk Notes: The eternal Priesthood doctrine is not sustained. Christ is functional in this position as long as the job needs to be carried out. He quits or stops when the work is done and takes on His function as King of Glory. The Book of Revelation has a text to this effect.  

And here again he shows how and in what things Christ differs from the Levitical priest. Of the sanctuary he had spoken before; but he notices one difference as to the kind of sacrifice, for Christ offered himself and not an animal; and he adds another; that he repeated not his sacrifice, as under the Law, for the repetition there was frequent and even incessant.

26. For then must he often have suffered, etc. He shows how great an absurdity follows, if we do not count it enough that an expiation has been made by the one sacrifice of Christ. For he hence concludes that he must have died often; for death is connected with sacrifices. How this latter supposition is most unreasonable; it then follows that the virtue of the one sacrifice is eternal and extends to all ages. And he says since the foundation of the world, or from the beginning of the world 158 for in all ages from the beginning there were sins which needed expiation. Except then the sacrifice of Christ was efficacious, no one of the fathers would have obtained salvation; for as they were exposed to God’s wrath, a remedy for deliverance would have failed them, had not Christ by suffering once suffered so much as was necessary to reconcile men to God from the beginning of the world even to the end. Except then we look for many deaths, we must be satisfied with the one true sacrifice. Van Wyk Notes: Calvin in this sentence claims that Christ died for all sinners from the Fall of Adam and Eve also. So where does TULIP fit into this all scenario?

158 This sentence is not to be taken strictly in its literal meaning; for the world was founded and all things were set in due order before sin entered into it. The phrase is used in a similar way in Luke 11:50. It is a popular mode of speaking intelligible to common readers though not suitable to over-nice and hair-splitting critics. The truth implied, as Beza observes, is, that sins since the beginning of the world have alone have been expiated by the blood of Christ, the virtue of which extends to all sins, past and future. The effects of his sufferings being perpetual and the same as to all ages, from the beginning to the end of the world, there was no necessity of having them repeated. As to their retrospective influence, see verse 15, and Romans 3:25, 26 — Ed.


Heb 9:24-28

And hence it is evident how frivolous is the distinction, in the acuteness of which the Papists take so much delight; for they say that the sacrifice of Christ on the cross was bloody, but that the sacrifice of the mass which they pretend to offer daily to God, is unbloody. Were this subtle evasion adopted, then the Spirit of God would be accused of inadvertence, having not thought of such a thing; for the Apostle assumes it here as an admitted truth, that there is no sacrifice without death. I care nothing that ancient writers have spoken thus; for it is not in the power of men to invent sacrifices as they please. Here stands a truth declared by the Holy Spirit, that sins are not expiated by a sacrifice except blood be shed. Therefore the notion, that Christ is often offered, is a device of the devil.

But now once in the end of the world, etc. He calls that the end of the world or the consummation of the ages, which Paul calls “the fullness of time,” (Galatians 4:4;) for it was the maturity of that time which God had determined in his eternal purpose; and thus cut off is every occasion for men’s curiosity, that they may not dare to inquire why it was no sooner, or why in that age rather than in another. For it behooves us to acquiesce in God’s secret purpose, the reason for which appears clear to him, though it may not be evident to us. In short, the Apostle intimates that Christ’s death was in due time, as he was sent into the world for this end by the Father, in whose power is the lawful right to regulate all things as well as time, and who ordains their succession with consummate wisdom, though often hid from us

This consummation is also set in opposition to the imperfection of past time; for God so held his ancient people in suspense, that it might have been easily concluded that things had not yet reached a fixed state. Hence Paul declares that the end of the ages had come upon us, (1 Corinthians 10:11;) by which he means that the kingdom of Christ contained the accomplishment of all things. But since it was the fullness of time when Christ appeared to expiate sins, they are guilty of offering him an atrocious insult, who seek to renew his sacrifice, as though all things were not completed by his death. He then appeared once for all; for had he done so once or twice, there must have been something defective in the first oblation; but this is inconsistent with fullness. To put away, or to destroy sin, etc. 159 This agrees with Daniel’s prophecy, in which the sealing up and the abolition of sins are promised, and in which it is also declared that there would be an end to sacrifices, (Daniel 9:24-27;) for to what purpose are expiations when sins are destroyed? But this destruction is then only effected, when sins are not imputed to

159 Literally it is “for the abolishing of sin,” as Doddridge renders it. The word occurs only in one other place, chapter 7:18, and is rendered “disannulling;” and Macknight gives it that meaning here, taking “sin” in the sense of sin-offering, “He hath been manifested to abolish sin-offering by the sacrifice of himself.” But this is inconsistent with the drift of the passage. To remove or abolish sin is doubtless what is meant. To “take away sin,” is the version of Beza; and “to remove the punishment due to sin,” is that of Stuart. — Ed.


Heb 9:24-28

those who flee to the sacrifice of Christ; for though pardon is to be sought daily, as we daily provoke God’s wrath; yet as we are reconciled to God in no other way than by the one death of Christ, sin is rightly said to be put away or destroyed by it. Van Wyk Notes: Calvin wisely also connected the phrase “at the consummation of the ages” as having reference to Daniel 9:24-27 starting from 457 BCE and predicting Christ’s death exactly over a period of nearly 500 years in advance. Calvin also see Galatians 4:4 in this regard.

27. And as it is appointed, etc. The meaning is this: since we patiently wait after death for the day of judgment, it being the common lot of nature which it is not right to struggle against; why should there be less patience in waiting for the second coming of Christ? Van Wyk Notes: I do not think Calvin with his view on the Immortality of the Soul, has it correct here. No one sit in a grave and wait for the Second Coming of Christ. What an image! The statement is wholly unbiblical. The dead knows nothing, scripture says. There is no waiting in death. Rather what the Apostle has in mind here is that the Most Holy function is Judgment since it is the Yom Kippur section of the yearly service and once that is opened in 1844, as it was not opened yet in 62-63 A.D. according to Hebrews 9:8 by the words of the Holy Spirit, therefore what is meant is that a death dot is supplied to all lives but also a starting date for the Judgment as Daniel 8:14 predicted for the Yom Kippur in Heaven. Taking care of the sins in the Books of Heaven in a Judgment setting is what is going to allow Christ to come without sin at the Second Coming. It is that simple.

For if a long interval of time does not diminish, as to men, the hope of a happy resurrection, how unreasonable would it be to render less honor to Christ? But less would it be, were we to call upon him to undergo a second death, when he had once died. Were any one to object and say, that some had died twice, such as Lazarus, and not once; the answer would be this, — that the Apostle speaks here of the ordinary lot of men; but they are to be excepted from this condition, who shall by an instantaneous change put off corruption, (1 Corinthians 15:51;) for he includes none but those who wait for a long time in the dust for the redemption of their bodies.

28. The second time without sin, etc. The Apostle urges this one thing, — that we ought not to be disquieted by vain and impure longings for new kinds of expiations, for the death of Christ is abundantly sufficient for us. Hence he says, that he once appeared and made a sacrifice to abolish sins, and that at his second coming he will make openly manifest the efficacy of his death, so that sin will have no more power to hurt us. 160 Van Wyk Notes: Adventists says the same thing that sinlessness will be granted at the Second Coming bodily with the Resurrection and Transformation. Secondly, Adventists stressed that at the Second Coming, the Work in the Most Holy [Yom Kippur = Investigative Judgment] section will be done and the Sanctuary will be nitzdaq or Justified or Cleansed to use the semantics of Leviticus 16 in Daniel 8:14 at the end of a process that started in 1844 calculating from 457 BCE, the same date as in Daniel 9:24-27 that accurately predicted the crucifixion of Christ.  

To bear, or, take away sins, is to free from guilt by his satisfaction those who have sinned. Van Wyk Notes: This is not in mind here. Calvin harp on a Book of Romans phrase that is inreading here. The process of Justification by Faith takes place in the Holies according to Hebrews 9:24. In 62/63 A.D. Paul was aware that Chirst is appearing before the Father on behalf of us in the Holies, according to this verse. The Second Coming of Christ takes place after He completed His work in the Most Holy, which was not yet in 62-63 A.D. operative as Paul made plain dealing the Most Holy description in Hebrews 9:8 where he indicated that the Holy Spirit explained to him that the way to the Most Holy was not revealed yet. It was not opened yet. According to Daniel 8:14 it could not be opened until 1844. Christ is officially done with His work in dealing with sin in the Books since 1844 on behalf of the saints. Thus, His reward is with Him when He comes since their names are in the Book of Life and stay there after the Investigative Judgment and His successful advocacy on their behalf.

He says the sins of many, that is, of all, as in Romans 5:15. It is yet certain that all receive no benefit from the death of Christ; but this happens, because their unbelief prevents them. Van Wyk Notes: Calvin is more correct here than the Orthodox Calvinists after him who tried to limit the all to a minimal group.

At the same time this question is not to be discussed here, for the Apostle is not speaking of the few or of the many to whom the death of Christ may be available; but he simply means that he died for others and not for himself; and therefore he opposes many to one. 161 Van Wyk Notes: Here Calvin speculates by watering his previous statement down. He is just all inclusive in the previous statement and now tries to water it down to only a selected few? This is cumbersome confusion in Calvin’s phraseology.

But what does he mean by saying that Christ will appear without sin? Some say, without a propitiation or an expiatory sacrifice for sin, as the word sin is taken in Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21; and in many places in the writings of Moses; but in my judgment he intended to express something more suitable to his present purpose, namely, that Christ at

160 “Was once offered,” προσενεχθες, — Grotius regarded this participle as having a reflective sense, “having once for all offered up himself;” and so does Stuart. The first aorist passive has often this sense. “By whom was he offered?” asks Theophylact; he answers, “by himself, he being a high priest.” This amounts to the same thing. — Ed Van Wyk Notes: For Adventists this once and for all is no problem. Whether it is reflective or not, does not change the picture. He was not offered in the Holies or in the Most Holy. 31 A.D. happened in the outer courtyard in front of the first Veil of the Heavenly Temple reality. This is important for these apartments were important for God who gave them in divisions of three to Moses and Who died once and for all in the outercourt and had some work or tasks to yet fulfill in the Holies and Most Holies.   

161 “We are told that ο πολλο is often equivalent to πντες. It is not however quite certain that the Apostle here meant to express πντων; the verse concludes with the mention of those who ‘wait for him’ i.e., who wait for Christ’s second coming in humble hope of receiving their reward; and these manifestly are not the whole human race.” — Bp. Middleton, quoted by Bloomfield. — Ed. Van Wyk Notes: It is not the whole human race but all those in the human race alive at the end waiting for His coming in expectation, prepared and not like the five virgins who were not prepared with no oil in the lamps. Christ was once offered unto many, meaning all could ex lege be saved but ex factum not. Equal opportunity was granted but only partial acceptance by the free choice of the human race resulted in a partial number in this “all”. Provision was made all inclusive without anyone left in theory and it would be practice also if all chose Him, but they did not in history, thus all now is exclusive of those who did not accept Him.


Heb 9:24-28

his coming will make it known how truly and really he had taken away sins, so that there

would be no need of any other sacrifice to pacify God; as though he had said, “When we

come to the tribunal of Christ, we shall find that there was nothing wanting in his death.”


And to the same effect is what he immediately adds, unto salvation to them who look,

or wait for him.[ Adventists] Others render the sentence differently, “To them who look for him unto

salvation;” [Calvinists] But the other meaning is the most appropriate; for he means that those shall find

complete salvation who recumb with quiet minds on the death of Christ; for this looking

for or wanting has a reference to the subject discussed. [Calivn admit like Adventists] The Scripture indeed does elsewhere

ascribe this in common to believers, that they look for the coming of the Lord, in order to

distinguish them from the ungodly, by whom his coming is dreaded, (1 Thessalonians 1:10;)

but as the Apostle now contends that we ought to acquiesce in the one true sacrifice of

Christ, he calls it the looking for Christ, when we are satisfied with his redemption alone,

and seek no other remedies or helps. 163

162 Schleusner and Stuart consider “without sin” to mean “without sin-offering” without any sacrifice for

sin. Doddridge and Scott take its meaning to be “without being in the likeness of sinful flesh,” or, without that

humiliating form in which he atoned for sin. Some have said, “without sin” being imputed to him. The construction which the passage seems to afford is

this, “without bearing sin.” The previous clause is that, to bear or to

suffer for, he having made the first time a full and complete expiation. To “bear sins,” is not, as some say, to take

them away, in allusion to the scape goat, but to endure the punishment due to them, to make an atonement for

them. See 1 Peter 2:24; where the same word to “bear,” in connection with “sins,” is used; and where it clearly

means to bear the penalty of sin; the end of the verse is, “with whose stripes we are healed.” — Ed.

163 Most commentators adopt the same view, as conveyed in our version, connecting “salvation” with appearing, such as Beza, Grotius, Doddridge, Scott and

Stuart. — Ed. [Editors note is not Adventists only or Calvinists only but Adventist/Calvinist position].