These are my updated notes on this verse. Like most serious Bible students, I am constantly going over the same Scriptures again and again that I have read many times before. As we grow in our understanding of the Word of Elohim, the Spirit constantly gives us new understanding. This makes the Bible continually fresh and alive—a veritable river of life from YHVH’s throne.
Upon reading my old, previously published notes from this passage, I realized what I had written before was based on the translations of some other Bibles, but didn’t really make sense in light of the author of Hebrews larger context of this passage. Below is my updated understanding. Hopefully you will find it enlightening and affirming the greater biblical truths upon which our faith and spiritual foundation rests.
Hebrews 7:19, The law made nothing perfect. In the Greek, the word perfect is teleioo meaning “complete, carry through, accomplish, bring to an end, add what is yet wanting inn order to render a thing full.” In the Aramaic this verse reads, “For we maintain that the Torah is not able to complete us which are otherwise without the coming of a greater hope through which we approach Elohim” (HRV). What is this verse really saying? We can view it in two ways. The law can either refer to the whole of the Torah, or to the Levitical and sacrificial systems that were a parenthetical subordinate subset of the greater overall and over-arching Torah.
If this verse is referring to the Torah in general (which I do not believe it is), it is not saying that the Torah was abolished, but only that it doesn’t have the capacity to bring us to spiritual completion or maturity and into intimate relationship with Elohim. Something more is needed.
In reality, the Torah points us to the one who will lead us to the Father (it was the “tutor” [NAS] or “child-conductor” [YLT] that led us to Yeshua, Gal 3:24 )—that greater hope.
Through Yeshua’s sacrifice, our sins are forgiven once and for all. Through Yeshua’s life one earth, we have an example to follow of how to live the Torah. Through Yeshua’s Spirit living in us, we have the internal strength to die to the flesh and live out YHVH’s Torah. Through Yeshua’s intercession as our Great Heavenly High Priest, we have an advocate in heaven to plead our case before the heavenly court of justice. Through Yeshua, our righteousness is made complete despite our failed efforts to love him by following his commands perfectly.
It makes more sense from the surrounding context that the reference to the law here is referring to the Levitical priesthood with its sacrificial system. This is clear from this passage’s larger context where the author is discussing not the Torah in general, but the Levitical priesthood with its sacrificial system that was temporarily instituted until the time of Yeshua at which time the greater and former Melchizedek priesthood took over again of which Yeshua is the head and believers are a part. In this light, it make more sense that the former commandment that was annulled because of its weakness which the author refers to in verse 18 is the Levitical and sacrificial system and not the greater Torah itself. Scripture again and again from beginning to end asserts that the Torah is immutable and perfect, for it is YHVH’s instructions in righteousness and a reflection of his very character and nature, and Yeshua, who is the Living Torah-Word of Elohim incarnate was the living and perfect embodiment of that Torah. These things cannot change for they were and are perfect and unimprovable.