The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
1For this #Gen. 14:18-20 Melchizedek, king of #Ps. 76:2 Salem, priest of #Num. 24:16; Deut. 32:8the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3He is without father or mother #[ver. 6]or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
4See how great this man was to whom Abraham #[Acts 2:29; 7:8, 9]the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! 5And #Num. 18:21, 26; 2 Chr. 31:4, 5those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,#7:5 Or brothers and sisters though these also are descended from Abraham. 6But this man #[ver. 3] who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed #See Rom. 4:13him who had the promises. 7It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one #[ch. 5:6; 6:20] of whom it is testified that #[John 6:57; Rev. 1:17, 18]he lives. 9One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
Jesus Compared to Melchizedek
11 # ver. 18, 19; ch. 8:7; [Gal. 2:21] Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14For it is evident that our Lord was descended #Isa. 11:1; Mic. 5:2; Matt. 1:3; Luke 3:33; Rev. 5:5from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17For it is witnessed of him,
# ver. 21; ch. 5:6; 6:20; Cited from Ps. 110:4 “You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
18For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside #Rom. 8:3; Gal. 4:9because of its weakness and uselessness 19(for #ch. 9:9; 10:1; Lev. 16:16; See Acts 13:39 the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, #ch. 6:18 a better hope is introduced, through which #[ver. 25; Lev. 10:3]; See ch. 4:16we draw near to God.
20And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
# See ver. 17 “The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22This makes Jesus the guarantor of #ch. 8:6a better covenant.
23The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues #ver. 21, 28forever. 25Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost#7:25 That is, completely; or at all times #[ver. 19] those who draw near to God #[John 14:6] through him, since he always lives #ch. 9:24; See Rom. 8:34to make intercession for them.
26For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, #Ps. 16:10; Rev. 15:4; 16:5; [Mark 1:24] holy, innocent, unstained, #See ch. 4:15 separated from sinners, and #[ch. 8:1]; See ch. 4:14exalted above the heavens. 27He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, #See ch. 5:3 first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this #ch. 9:12; 10:10; [ch. 9:28]once for all when he offered up himself. 28For the law appoints men #[ch. 5:2] in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made #ch. 2:10; 5:9perfect forever.