Is it referring to "the sin" or to "the sin offering"?

NIV Hebrews 9:26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.

The reason I suspect it refers to a sin offering as opposed to sin itself is the context and because such a reading is supported in Leviticus 5:9 LXX.


NIV Hebrews 9: 1Now the first covenant had regulations for worship and also an earthly sanctuary. 2A tabernacle was set up. In its first room were the lampstand and the table with its consecrated bread; this was called the Holy Place. 3Behind the second curtain was a room called the Most Holy Place, 4which had the golden altar of incense and the gold-covered ark of the covenant. This ark contained the gold jar of manna, Aaron’s staff that had budded, and the stone tablets of the covenant. 5Above the ark were the cherubim of the Glory, overshadowing the atonement cover. But we cannot discuss these things in detail now.

6When everything had been arranged like this, the priests entered regularly into the outer room to carry on their ministry. 7But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. 8The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still functioning. 9This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. 10They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings—external regulations applying until the time of the new order...

Leviticus 5:9

New International Version Leviticus 5:9 and is to splash some of the blood of the sin offering against the side of the altar; the rest of the blood must be drained out at the base of the altar. It is a sin offering.

9 καὶ ῥανεῖ ἀπὸ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ περὶ τῆς ἁμαρτίας ἐπὶ τὸν τοῖχον τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου, τὸ δὲ κατάλοιπον τοῦ αἵματος καταστραγγιεῖ ἐπὶ τὴν βάσιν τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου· ἁμαρτίας γάρ ἐστιν·

Swete, H. B. (1909). The Old Testament in Greek: According to the Septuagint (Le 5:8–9). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

I also notice that when speaking about sin, unlike Paul, the author of To the Hebrews uses the plural, "sins":

NIV Hebrews 9:7But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance. ... 15For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. ... 28so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin[s], but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him. ... NIV Hebrews 10: 2Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. ... 11Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, ... 17Then he adds:

“Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” 18And where these have been forgiven, [offering a] sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary. ... 26If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,

  • What makes you suspect that we should take 'sin' to mean 'sin offering'?
    – user2910
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 14:54
  • Please see Leviticus 5:9 in the LXX.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 17:09

1 Answer 1


Heb. 9:26,

"...but now once, at the full end of the ages, for putting away of sin through his sacrifice, he hath been manifested;" (YLT)

As Christ's sacrifice occurred at the full end of the ages - in the latter days - and as His sacrifice was made in AD 30 -33, then the first century AD were the latter days that had been prophesied by the OT prophets.

As the earth is still here, then the end of the ages was not referring to the end of the entire world, and was not referring to then end of all sin. People still sin. People will continue to sin as long as people are still born and live and die on this earth.

So, the sin that was done away with in Heb. 9:26 was the same end of sins that Dan. 9:24 prophesied of - the sin offering. As He was only going to offer His life one time and only one time for everyone, then the sin offering is what was done away with.

God was tired of all of the blood of the bulls and goats, of the continual sin sacrifices at the temple. It gave Him no pleasure (Isa. 1:11; Heb. 10:6).

As Christ was prepared to be the lamb sacrificed from the foundation of the world (Heb. 10:4-5; Rev. 13:8), His sacrifice would put an end to all the previous animal sacrifices proscribed by the old covenant law. His "once for all" sacrifice (Heb. 10:10) ended all other sin offerings.

Since His sacrifice for sin, all who are baptized into Christ enter into His sacrifice, and have forgiveness of sins as we repent of them. And, so our sins are ended / forgotten when we are in Christ.

His sacrifice is both the end of the sin offering rituals, and the end of our sins when we have put Him on in baptism (Gal. 3:22-29).

  • Wow. What a Powerful answer.. Commented Jan 4, 2023 at 22:33

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