on Hebrews 9 :8
The Holy Ghost this signifying - These services were divinely appointed, and by each of them the Holy Spirit of God is supposed to speak.
The way into the holiest - That full access to God was not the common privilege of the people, while the Mosaic economy subsisted. That the apostle means that it is only by Christ that any man and every man can approach God, is evident from Hebrews 10:19-22, and it is about this, and not about the tabernacle of this world, that he is here discoursing.
I have already observed that the apostle appears to use the word σκηνη, or tabernacle, in the general sense of a dwelling place; and therefore applies it to the temple, which was reputed the house or dwelling place of God, as well as the ancient tabernacle. Therefore, what he speaks here concerning the first tabernacle, may be understood as applying with propriety to the then Jewish temple, as well as to the ancient tabernacle, which, even with all their sacrifices and ceremonies, could not make the way of holiness plain, nor the way to God's favor possible.
on Hebrews 9 :8
The Holy Ghost - Who appointed all this. The whole arrangement in the service of the tabernacle is represented as having been under the direction of the Holy Spirit, or this was one of his methods of teaching the great truths of religion, and of keeping them before the minds of people. Sometimes that Spirit taught by direct revelation; sometimes by the written word, and sometimes by symbols. The tabernacle, with its different apartments, utensils, and services, was a permanent means of keeping important truths before the minds of the ancient people of God.
This signifying - That is, showing this truth, or making use of this arrangement to impress this truth on the minds of people that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest.
That the way into the holiest of all - Into heaven - of which the Most Holy place in the tabernacle was undoubtedly designed to be an emblem. It was the place where the visible symbol of God - the Shekinah - dwelt; where the blood of propitiation was sprinkled, and was, therefore, an appropriate emblem of that holy heaven where God dwells, and whence pardon is obtained by the blood of the atonement.
Was not yet made manifest - The way to heaven was not opened or fully understood. It was not known how people could appear before God, or how they could come with the hope of pardon. That way has now been opened by the ascension of the Redeemer to heaven, and by the assurance that all who will may come in his name.
While as the first tabernacle was yet standing - As long as it stood, and the appointed services were held in it. The idea is, that until it was superseded by a more perfect system, it was a "proof" that the way to heaven was not yet fully and freely optioned, and that the Holy Spirit "designed" that it should be such a proof. The apostle does not specify in what the proof consisted, but it may have been in something like the following.
(1) it was a mere "symbol," and not the "reality" - showing that the true way was not yet fully understood.
(2) it was entered but once a year - showing that there was not access at all times.
(3) it was entered only by the High Priest - showing that there was not free end full access to all the people.
(4) it was accessible only by Jews - showing that the way in which all men might be saved was not then fully revealed.
The sense is, that it was a system of types and shadows, in which there were many burdensome rites and many things to prevent people from coming before the symbol of the divinity, and was, therefore, an "imperfect system." All these obstructions are now removed; the Saviour - the great High Priest of his people - has entered heaven and "opened it to all true believers," and all of every nation may now have free access to God; see Hebrews 9:12; compare Hebrews 10:19-22.
on Hebrews 9 :8
9:8 The Holy Ghost evidently showing - By this token. That the way into the holiest - Into heaven. Was not made manifest - Not so clearly revealed. While the first tabernacle, and its service, were still subsisting - And remaining in force.