The Priest Melchizedek
1Melchizedek was the king of Salem and a priest for God the Most High. He met Abraham when Abraham was coming back after defeating the kings. That day Melchizedek blessed him. 2Then Abraham gave him a tenth of everything he had.
The name Melchizedek, king of Salem, has two meanings. First, Melchizedek means “king of justice.” And “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3No one knows who his father or mother was or where he came from.#7:3 No one … came from Literally, “Melchizedek was without father, without mother, without genealogy.” And no one knows when he was born or when he died. Melchizedek is like the Son of God in that he will always be a priest.
4You can see that Melchizedek was very great. Abraham, our great ancestor, gave him a tenth of everything he won in battle. 5Now the law says that those from the tribe of Levi who become priests must get a tenth from their own people, even though they and their people are both from the family of Abraham. 6Melchizedek was not even from the tribe of Levi, but Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had. And Melchizedek blessed Abraham—the one who had God’s promises. 7And everyone knows that the more important person always 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 to live, as the Scriptures say. 9Now those from the family of Levi are the ones who get a tenth from the people. But we can say that when Abraham paid Melchizedek a tenth, then Levi also paid it. 10Levi was not yet born, but he already existed in his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met him.
11The people were given the law under the system of priests from the tribe of Levi. But no one could 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, then the law must be changed too. 13-14We are talking about our Lord Christ, who belonged to a different tribe. No one from that tribe ever served as a priest at the altar. It is clear that Christ came from the tribe of Judah. And Moses said nothing about priests belonging to that tribe.
Jesus Is a Priest Like Melchizedek
15And these things become even clearer when we see that another priest has come who is like Melchizedek. 16He was made a priest, but not because he met the requirement of being born into the right family. He became a priest by the power of a life that will never end. 17This is what the Scriptures say about him: “You are a priest forever—the kind of priest Melchizedek was.”#Quote from Ps. 110:4.
18The old rule is now ended because it was weak and worthless. 19The Law of Moses could not make anything perfect. But now a better hope has been given to us. And with that hope we can come near to God.
20Also, it is important that God made a promise with an oath when he made Jesus high priest. When those other men became priests, there was no oath. 21But Christ became a priest with God’s oath. God said to him,
“The Lord has made a promise with an oath
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 from God to his people.
23Also, when one of those other priests died, he could not continue being a priest. So there were many of those priests. 24But Jesus lives forever. He will never stop serving as a priest. 25So Christ can save those who come to God through him. Christ can do this forever, because he always lives and is ready to help people when they come before God.
26So Jesus is the kind of high priest 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 those other priests. They had to offer sacrifices every day, first for their own sins, and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus doesn’t need to do that. He offered only one sacrifice for all time. He offered himself. 28The law chooses high priests who are men and have the same weaknesses that all people have. But after the law, God spoke the oath that made his Son high priest. And that Son, made perfect through suffering, will serve forever.