|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:11-25 The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Who was made,.... Not as man, much less as God; but as a priest, constituted and appointed one:
not after the law of a carnal commandment: either the ceremonial law in general, which was a carnal one, if we consider the persons to whom it belonged, the Israelites according to the flesh; it was incumbent upon, and might be performed by such who were only carnal; and it was performed by and for men that were in the flesh, or mortal; and if we consider the matter of it, the subject on which various of its rites were exercised was the flesh or body, and which were performed by manual operation; and the sacrifices of it were the flesh of beasts; and these were for the sins of the flesh, and for the removing the ceremonial uncleanness of it; and the virtue of them reached only to the purifying of the flesh; and the whole of it is distinct from the moral law, which is spiritual, and reaches to the spirit or soul of man; whereas this only was concerned about temporal and external things: or else the law of the priesthood is particularly intended; or that commandment which respected the priesthood of Aaron; which law regarded the carnal descent of his sons; enjoined a carnal inauguration of them, and provided for their succession and continuance in a carnal way; after which, Christ the great high priest did not become one:
but after the power of an endless life; this may be understood either of the Gospel, according to which Christ is a priest; and which is called "life", in opposition to the law which is the ministration of death; and because it is the means of quickening dead sinners, and of reviving drooping saints; and points out Christ the way of life, and has brought life and immortality to light: and may be said to be "endless", in distinction from the law, which is temporary; and because it is itself permanent and everlasting; contains in it the promise of eternal life, and is the means of bringing souls unto it: and there is a "power" goes along with it; which distinguishes it from the weak and beggarly elements of the ceremonial law, which is abolished, because of the weakness of it; for it is attended with the power of the Spirit of God, and is the power of God unto salvation: or else this intends the endless life which Christ has, in and of himself; and which qualifies him for a priest; and stands opposed to the mortality of the priests, and to that law which could not secure them from it: the priests died, and the law by which they were priests could not prevent their death; Christ is the living God, the Prince of life, he had power to lay down his life as man, and power to take it up again; and his life, as man, is an endless one, which qualifies him for that part of his priestly office, his intercession and advocacy: or it may design that power, which his Father has given him as Mediator, of an endless life, both for himself and for all his people; and regards his ever living as a priest, and the perpetuity of and the continual virtue and efficacy of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. carnal … endless—mutually contrasted. As "form" and "power" are opposed, 2Ti 3:5; so here "the law" and "power," compare Ro 8:3, "The law was weak through the flesh"; and Heb 7:18, "weakness." "The law" is here not the law in general, but the statute as to the priesthood. "Carnal," as being only outward and temporary, is contrasted with "endless," or, as Greek, "indissoluble." Commandments is contrasted with "life." The law can give a commandment, but it cannot give life (Heb 7:19). But our High Priest's inherent "power," now in heaven, has in Him "life for ever"; Heb 9:14, "through the eternal Spirit"; Heb 7:25, "able … ever liveth" (Joh 5:26). It is in the power of His resurrection life, not of His earthly life, that Christ officiates as a Priest.
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