The Priest Melchizedek
1Melchizedek# A priest and king who lived in the time of Abraham. (Read Genesis 14:17–24.) was the king of Salem and a priest for the Most High God. He met Abraham when Abraham was coming back after defeating the kings. When they met, Melchizedek blessed Abraham. 2And Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything he had brought back from the battle. First, Melchizedek’s name means “king of goodness.” Also, he is king of Salem, which means “king of peace.” 3No one knows who Melchizedek’s father or mother was.# Literally, “Melchizedek was without father, without mother, without genealogy.” No one knows where he came from. And no one knows when he was born or when he died. Melchizedek is like the Son of God; he continues being a priest forever.
4You can see that Melchizedek was very great. Abraham, the great father, gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything that Abraham won in battle. 5Now the law says that those in the tribe of Levi who become priests must get a tenth from the people. The priests collect it from their own people, even though the priests and the people are both from the family of Abraham. 6Melchizedek was not from the tribe of Levi. But he got a tenth from Abraham. And he blessed Abraham, the man who had God’s promises. 7And everyone knows that the more important person blesses the less important person. 8Those priests get a tenth, but they are only men who live and then die. But Melchizedek, who got a tenth from Abraham, continues living, as the Scripture says. 9It is Levi who gets a tenth from the people. But we might even say that when Abraham paid Melchizedek a tenth, then Levi also paid it. 10Levi was not yet born. But Levi was in the body of his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met Abraham.
11The people were given the law# This refers to the people of Israel who were given the law of Moses. concerning the system of priests from the tribe of Levi. But they could not be made spiritually perfect through that system of priests. So there was a need for another priest to come. I mean a priest like Melchizedek, not Aaron. 12And when a different kind of priest comes, the law must be changed, too. 13We are saying these things about Christ. He belonged to a different tribe. No one from that tribe ever served as a priest at the altar. 14It is clear that our Lord came from the tribe of Judah. And Moses said nothing about priests belonging to that tribe.
Jesus Is Like Melchizedek
15And this becomes even more clear. We see that another priest comes, who is like Melchizedek.# A priest and king who lived in the time of Abraham. (Read Genesis 14:17–24.) 16He was not made a priest by human rules and laws. He became a priest through the power of his life, which continues forever. 17In the Scriptures, this is said about him:
“You are a priest forever,
a priest like Melchizedek.” Psalm 110:4
18The old rule is now set aside because it was weak and useless. 19The law of Moses could not make anything perfect. But now a better hope has been given to us. And with this hope we can come near to God.
20Also, it is important that God made an oath when he made Jesus high priest. When the others became priests, there was no oath. 21But Christ became a priest with God’s oath. God said:
“The Lord has made a promise
and will not change his mind.
‘You are a priest forever.’” Psalm 110:4
22So this means that Jesus is the guarantee of a better agreement# God gives a contract or agreement to his people. For the Jews, this agreement was the law of Moses. But now God has given a better agreement to his people through Christ. from God to his people.
23Also, when one of the other priests died, he could not continue being a priest. So there were many priests. 24But Jesus lives forever. He will never stop serving as priest. 25So he is always able to save those who come to God through him. He can do this, because he always lives, ready to help those who come before God.
26So Jesus is the kind of high priest that we need. He is holy; he has no sin in him. He is pure and not influenced by sinners. And he is raised above the heavens. 27He is not like the other priests. They had to offer sacrifices every day, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people. But Christ does not need to do that. He offered his sacrifice only once and for all time. Christ offered himself! 28The law chooses high priests who are men with all their weaknesses. But the word of God’s oath came later than the law. It made God’s Son to be the high priest. And that Son has been made perfect forever.