"But you have come to...Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel". Hebrews 12:22...24. ESV

In Exodus 24:6...8 "Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar"..."And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said...". NKJV

Here Moses sprinkled blood in a particular way. How, and by whom, is the blood of the new covenant sprinkled?

  • 2
    The blood of Christ is shed on earth, and sprinkled on the conscience of the sinner. Hebrews 10:22. It is sprinkled by the Holy Spirit : sprinkle me with hyssop and I shall be clean, Psalm 51:7. (Up-voted +1.)
    – Nigel J
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 16:04
  • You are comparing an ongoing ritual which must be performed all the time in the same way with a one time historical event.
    – Robert
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 19:22
  • 1
    In verse 7 Moses declares it to be the blood of the covenant. He sanctified the typical altar and the people to the Sinai covenant. Jesus sanctified the anti-type of the altar and the people to the new covenant. The first altar and covenant were temporary and the last is permanent in the heavens. Both were accessed through faith, although the old has passed away. Commented Sep 10, 2021 at 0:55

4 Answers 4


Three chapters earlier in Hebrews 9:

18 Therefore not even the first covenant was inaugurated without blood. 19For when every commandment of the law had been declared by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20saying, “This is the blood of the covenant that God commanded for you.” 21And in the same way he sprinkled with the blood both the tent and all the vessels used in worship. 22Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

This describes a type of Christ's sacrifice and blood sprinkling. The true type is described in:

11 But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation)

Instead of a human high priest, the true type has Christ as the high priest.

12 he entered once for all into the holy places, not by means of the blood of goats and calves but by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.

Instead of animal blood, the true type is the blood of Christ.

13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh, 14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

The Holy Spirit does the sprinkling.

The true high priest, Jesus, sacrificed himself and the Holy Spirit sprinkled his blood on us to purify our conscience.


In Hebrews 12:24 how is the "sprinkled" blood sprinkled?

How, and by whom, is the blood of the new covenant sprinkled?

The topic "Abel" in the Insight on the Scriptures references Hebrews 12:24 in making a distinction between Abel's blood and that of Jesus Christ:

Though shed in martyrdom, Abel’s blood did not ransom or redeem anyone, any more than did the blood of his sacrificed sheep. His blood in effect cried to God for vengeance upon assassin Cain. The blood of Jesus, here presented as validating the new covenant, speaks in a better way than Abel’s in that it calls to God for mercy upon all persons of faith like Abel, and is the means by which their ransoming is possible.

The topic "Blood" gives additional information on this verse:

Jesus Christ as the real High Priest entered into heaven itself, not with his blood, which was poured out on the ground (Joh 19:34), but with the value of his perfect human life as represented by blood. This life right he never forfeited by sin, but he retained it as usable for sin atonement. (Heb 7:26; 8:3; 9:11, 12)

So we see that it is Jesus Christ himself that offers his blood (symbolic of his sinless life) as a means to reconcile mankind towards Jehovah God.

[All scripture quotations from the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (Study Edition)]


“Sprinkling” is the internalized metaphorical sprinkling of the Last Supper and of the Eucharistic Sacrifice. The author “kaleidoscoped” the 2 respective covenantal sprinklings already in Heb 9:18-20, and since the book of the old Law was said by him to have been “sprinkled” even though Ex 24:6-11 never says it was, he means the new Law, now being in this new covenant “within you” (instead of in the form of a book external to you as in the first covenant)is “sprinkled” by the “poured out” blood (“aimatochysia” Heb 9:22) that was drunk at The Last Supper in the present tense on that occasion (see strict Gr philology for a Eucharistic-realist exegesis of the Last Supper institution accounts).

Thus mediator of covenant and blood poured out (sprinkled) are paired at 12:24 since mediator of NC and HP according to Melchizedek are the two dominant thematic roles for Jesus in Hebrews.

The author knew of the tradition that said the sacrifices of Cain and Abel were offered 14th of Nisan. Given the Zion/Sinai parallelism theme here, we note Jesus offered, like Moses “the Pasch and ‘the sprinkling’ “ both (Heb 11:28), they were offered on 14 Nisan, they were (the Supper that is) on Mt. Zion, and they were the “blood that spoke” (Heb 12:25, Gen 4:10).

In the law of Moses, blood spoke — had its own voice — and sacrificially-offered blood had its own particular significance. The blood “of sprinkling” indicates conformity to a public cultic rite, and the idea that it speaks means a strict comparison — NOT TO ABEL’S SLAIN BLOOD — but rather to the sacrificial blood Abel pleasingly and creditably offered to God.

Finally 12:24 says the believer has come to this sprinkling. Why not, since it is offered “from the earth” (Gen 4:10, Is 42:10, Ps 148:7, Ps 8:1, Ps 56:5-7, Mal 1:11).


That Jesus was typified by the ritual associated with the OT tabernacle/temple is amply testified in the NT, including Jesus the Passover lamb, etc.

  • Jesus was the fulfilment of what the sanctuary/temple typified, John 2:19-21, Heb 9:1-28, 10:1-18
  • Jesus represented the foundation of the temple as well, 1 Peter 2:4-8 (Compare Isa 28:16, Ps 118:22)
  • Jesus’ body was represented by the curtain in the temple, Heb 10:20.
  • Jesus was the bread of life, John 6:35, 41, 48 (compare Ex 25:23-30, Lev 24:8).
  • Jesus was the light of life, John 8:12, 9:5 (compare the lampstand Ex 25:31-39, Lev 24:3, 4, Isa 53:11, Ps 56:13, etc)
  • Jesus provides the water of life, John 4:13, 14 (Compare the laver Ex 30:17-21. See also 1 Cor 6:11)
  • Jesus is the promised seed of the woman Gal 3:16 (compare Gen 3:15, and the Abrahamic Covenant)
  • Jesus was the Passover Lamb and thus the promised Messiah, John 1:29, 1 Cor 5:7, 1 Peter 1:19 (compare Ex 12:1-14).
  • Jesus is the High Priest of the New Covenant in fulfilment of the Levitical covenant, Heb 4:14-16, 5:10, 7:23-28, because He was “pure, blameless, set apart” exactly as the Levites were. See also Heb 9:15, 12:24.
  • Jesus provided the blood of the new covenant of which the communion ceremony was to be a memorial, Matt 26:28, Mark 14:24, Luke 22:20, 1 Cor 11:25, Heb 13:20, 1 Peter 1:19 (compare Ex 24:5, 8).

More specifically, Jesus' blood was "sprinkled" and what it represented is suggested by Peter:

1 Peter 1:1b, 2 - To the elect who are exiles of the Dispersion throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, chosena according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by His blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.

  • The Greek verb : ῥαντίζω, "to sprinkle", only occurs in Heb 9:13, 19, 21, 10:22; the action in the tabernacle was done to "sanctify" people, vessels, the scroll, the tabernacle, etc. The last reference is to "having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience".
  • and its cognate noun, "sprinkling", occurs in Heb 12:24, 1 Peter 1:2. Both discuss Christ's blood being sprinkled on Christians (this a metaphor) as the antitype of the OT sacrifices, which sanctifies us to Christ.

The intended metaphor is obvious - Christ's blood of the new covenant is intended as a cleansing and sanctifying agent to set us apart for service to Christ. This is intended to transform us into new people (2 Cor 5:17, 3:18) capable of causing those around us to praise God (1 Peter 2:9, 12.) See appendix below.

APPENDIX - The New Covenant

One of the best summaries of the New Covenant is found in 1 Peter 1, 2.

  • Purpose: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may express the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light … Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” 1 Peter 2:9, 12. (See also Matt 5:16.)
  • The promise: Salvation by grace through the promised Messiah, 1 Peter 1:3-12, 20, and freedom from slavery to sin, 1 Peter 2:16. (See also 2 Peter 2:19.)
  • Moral Requirements: holiness (1 Peter 1:15), Purity (v22), Obey the truth (v22), love (v22), “rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind” (1 Peter 2:1), abstain from sinful desires (1 Peter 2:11), submit to civil authorities (v13-17), see also Rom 13:1-7, etc.
  • Sacrifice: Blood of Jesus, 1 Peter 1:18, 19, with its “sprinkled blood of the new covenant” of “Grace and peace” as per V2.

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