Brooke Foss Westcott on Hebrews 9:23
In yesterday's comments, one reader noted this Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) link, which cited the 19th-century biblical scholar B. F. Westcott on Hebrews 9:23 for what he states in his Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1889):
In what sense then can it be said that 'the heavenly things' needed cleansing?In short, Westcott doesn't know why the heavenly things needed cleansing, but he speculates -- as some of us have done -- that this is somehow connected to the Fall.
The necessity for the purification of the earthly sanctuary and its vessels came from the fact that they were to be used by man and shared in his impurity (comp. Lev. xvi. 16).
Agreeably with this view it may be said that even 'heavenly things,' so far as they embody the conditions of man's future life, contracted by the Fall something which required cleansing (comp. 1 Tim. iv. 4f . . .). Man is, according to the revelation in Scripture, so bound up with the whole finite order, that the consequences of his actions extend through creation in some way which we are unable to define (comp. Gen. iii. 17ff; Is. xxiv. 5, 6; Jer. xxiii. 10; Rom viii. 18ff). (Westcott, Hebrews, pages 272-273)
More on this some other time . . .