Hebrews 7:11-22

Hebrews 7:11-22 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of Him, “YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as it was not without an oath (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, “THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND, ‘YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER’ ”); so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Hebrews 7:11-22 New Living Translation (NLT)

So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron? And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe. This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him, “The LORD has taken an oath and will not break his vow: ‘You are a priest forever.’” Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.

Hebrews 7:11-22 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now if perfection [a perfect fellowship between God and the worshiper] had been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people were given the Law) what further need was there for another and different kind of priest to arise, one in the manner of Melchizedek, rather than one appointed to the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is of necessity a change of the law [concerning the priesthood] as well. For the One of whom these things are said belonged [not to the priestly line of Levi but] to another tribe, from which no one has officiated or served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord descended from [the tribe of] Judah, and Moses mentioned nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. And this becomes even more evident if another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a physical and legal requirement in the Law [concerning his ancestry as a descendant of Levi], but on the basis of the power of an indestructible and endless life. For it is attested [by God] of Him, “YOU (Christ) ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.” For, on the one hand, a former commandment is cancelled because of its weakness and uselessness [because of its inability to justify the sinner before God] (for the Law never made anything perfect); while on the other hand a better hope is introduced through which we now continually draw near to God. And indeed it was not without the taking of an oath [that Christ was made priest] (for those Levites who formerly became priests [received their office] without [its being confirmed by the taking of] an oath, but this One [was designated] with an oath through the One who said to Him, “THE LORD HAS SWORN AND WILL NOT CHANGE HIS MIND or REGRET IT, ‘YOU (Christ) ARE A PRIEST FOREVER’ ”). And so [because of the oath’s greater strength and force] Jesus has become the certain guarantee of a better covenant [a more excellent and more advantageous agreement; one that will never be replaced or annulled].

Hebrews 7:11-22 The Passion Translation (TPT)

If any of the Levitical priests who served under the law had the power to bring us into perfection, then why did God send Christ as Priest after the likeness of Melchizedek? He should have said, “After the likeness of Aaron.” – And furthermore, for God to send a new and different rank of priest, meant a new law would have had to be instituted even to allow it! Yet the One these things all point to, was from a different tribe and no one from that tribe ever officiated at God’s altar, for we all know that our Lord didn’t descend from the tribe of Levi, but shined from the tribe of Judah. And Moses himself never said anything of a priest in connection with Judah’s tribe. And all this is made even clearer if there was another King-Priest raised up with the rank of Melchizedek. This King-Priest did not arise because of a genealogical right under the law to be a priest, but by the power of an indestructible, resurrection life! For it says in the Psalms, You are like Melchizedek, a King-Priest forever! The old order of priesthood has been set aside as weak and powerless. For the law has never made anyone perfect, but in its place is a far better hope which gives us confidence to experience intimacy with God! And he confirmed it to us with his solemn vow. For the former priests took their office without an oath, but with Jesus, God affirmed his royal-priesthood with his promise, saying, The Lord has made a solemn oath and will never change his mind, “You are a King-Priest forever!” So all of this magnifies the truth that we have a superior covenant with God than what they experienced, for Jesus himself is its guarantor!

Hebrews 7:11-22 English Standard Version (ESV)

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? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. For it is witnessed of him, "You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek." For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You are a priest forever.'" This makes Jesus the guarantor of a better covenant.