2 3 And Abraham apportioned to him ＂a tenth of everything.＂ His name first means righteous king, and he was also ＂king of
3 Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, 4 thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
4 5 See how great he is to whom the patriarch ＂Abraham (indeed) gave a tenth＂ of his spoils.
5 The descendants of Levi who receive the office of priesthood have a commandment according to the law to exact tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, although they also have come from the loins of Abraham.
7 Unquestionably, a lesser person is blessed by a greater. 6
9 One might even say that Levi 7 himself, who receives tithes, was tithed through Abraham,
11 8 If, then, perfection came through the levitical priesthood, on the basis of which the people received the law, what need would there still have been for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not reckoned according to the order of Aaron?
13 Now he of whom these things are said 9 belonged to a different tribe, of which no member ever officiated at the altar.
14 It is clear that our Lord arose from
15 11 It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek,
16 who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 12
19 for the law brought nothing to perfection; on the other hand, a better hope 13 is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
22 to that same degree has Jesus (also) become the guarantee of an (even) better covenant. 16
25 17 Therefore, he is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them.
27 He has no need, as did the high priests, to offer sacrifice day after day, 20 first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did that once for all when he offered himself.
1 [1-3] Recalling the meeting between Melchizedek and Abraham described in Genesis 14:17-20, the author enhances the significance of this priest by providing the popular etymological meaning of his name and that of the city over which he ruled (Hebrews 7:2). Since Genesis gives no information on the parentage or the death of Melchizedek, he is seen here as a type of Christ, representing a priesthood that is unique and eternal (Hebrews 7:3).
3  In Genesis 14, the Hebrew text does not state explicitly who gave tithes to whom. The author of Hebrews supplies Abraham as the subject, according to a contemporary interpretation of the passage. This supports the argument of the midrash and makes it possible to see in Melchizedek a type of Jesus. The messianic blessings of righteousness and peace are foreshadowed in the names ＂Melchizedek＂ and ＂
4  Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life: this is perhaps a quotation from a hymn about Melchizedek. The rabbis maintained that anything not mentioned in the Torah does not exist. Consequently, since the Old Testament nowhere mentions Melchizedek's ancestry, birth, or death, the conclusion can be drawn that he remains . . . forever.
5 [4-10] The tithe that Abraham gave to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:4), a practice later followed by the levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:5), was a gift (Hebrews 7:6) acknowledging a certain superiority in Melchizedek, the foreign priest (Hebrews 7:7). This is further indicated by the fact that the institution of the levitical priesthood was sustained by hereditary succession in the tribe of Levi, whereas the absence of any mention of Melchizedek's death in Genesis implies that his personal priesthood is permanent (Hebrews 7:8). The levitical priesthood itself, through Abraham, its ancestor, paid tithes to Melchizedek, thus acknowledging the superiority of his priesthood over its own (Hebrews 7:9-10).
6  A lesser person is blessed by a greater: though this sounds like a principle, there are some examples in the Old Testament that do not support it (cf 2 Sam 14:22; Job 31:20). The author may intend it as a statement of a liturgical rule.
7  Levi: for the author this name designates not only the son of Jacob mentioned in Genesis but the priestly tribe that was thought to be descended from him.
8 [11-14] The levitical priesthood was not typified by the priesthood of Melchizedek, for Psalm 110:4 speaks of a priesthood of a new order, the order of Melchizedek, to arise in messianic times (Hebrews 7:11). Since the levitical priesthood served the Mosaic law, a new priesthood (Hebrews 7:12) would not come into being without a change in the law itself. Thus Jesus was not associated with the Old Testament priesthood, for he was a descendant of the tribe of
9  He of whom these things are said: Jesus, the priest ＂according to the order of Melchizedek.＂ According to the author's interpretation, Psalm 110 spoke prophetically of Jesus.
10  Judah: the author accepts the early Christian tradition that Jesus was descended from the family of David (cf Matthew 1:1-2, 16, 20; Luke 1:27; 2:4; Romans 1:3). The
11 [15-19] Jesus does not exercise a priesthood through family lineage but through his immortal existence (15-16), fulfilling Psalm 110:4 (Hebrews 7:17; cf Hebrews 7:3). Thus he abolishes forever both the levitical priesthood and the law it serves, because neither could effectively sanctify people (Hebrews 7:18) by leading them into direct communication with God (Hebrews 7:19).
12  A life that cannot be destroyed: the life to which Jesus has attained by virtue of his resurrection; it is his exaltation rather than his divine nature that makes him priest. The Old Testament speaks of the Aaronic priesthood as eternal (see Exodus 40:15); our author does not explicitly consider this possible objection to his argument but implicitly refutes it in Hebrews 7:23-24.
15 [20-25] As was the case with the promise to Abraham (Hebrews 6:13), though not with the levitical priesthood, the eternal priesthood of the order of Melchizedek was confirmed by God's oath (Hebrews 7:20-21); cf Psalm 110:4. Thus Jesus becomes the guarantee of a permanent covenant (Hebrews 7:22) that does not require a succession of priests as did the levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:23) because his high priesthood is eternal and unchangeable (Hebrews 7:24). Consequently, Jesus is able to save all who draw near to God through him since he is their ever-living intercessor (Hebrews 7:25).
16  An [even] better covenant: better than the Mosaic covenant because it will be eternal, like the priesthood of Jesus upon which it is based. Hebrews 7:12 argued that a change of priesthood involves a change of law; since ＂law＂ and ＂covenant＂ are used correlatively, a new covenant is likewise instituted.
19 [26-28] Jesus is precisely the high priest whom the human race requires, holy and sinless, installed far above humanity (Hebrews 26); one having no need to offer sacrifice daily for sins but making a single offering of himself (Hebrews 27) once for all. The law could only appoint high priests with human limitations, but the fulfillment of God's oath regarding the priesthood of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4) makes the Son of God the perfect priest forever (Hebrews 28).
20  Such daily sacrifice is nowhere mentioned in the Mosaic law; only on the Day of Atonement is it prescribed that the high priest must offer sacrifice . . . for his own sins and then for those of the people (Lev 16:11-19). Once for all: this translates the Greek words ephapax/hapax that occur eleven times in Hebrews.