|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:4-10 That High Priest who should afterward appear, of whom Melchizedec was a type, must be much superior to the Levitical priests. Observe Abraham's great dignity and happiness; that he had the promises. That man is rich and happy indeed, who has the promises, both of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. This honour have all those who receive the Lord Jesus. Let us go forth in our spiritual conflicts, trusting in his word and strength, ascribing our victories to his grace, and desiring to be met and blessed by him in all our ways.
Verse 8. - And here (in the case of the Levitical priesthood) men that die (literally, dying men) receive tithes; but there (in the case of Melchizedek) one of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. The difference here noted is between a succession of mortal priests and one perpetually living, who never loses his personal claim, which is inherent, in himself. But how so of Melchizedek? For it is to him, and not to Christ the Antitype, that the words evidently apply. Is it at length implied that he was more than mortal man? No, if only for this reason; that the witness appealed to (μαρτυρούμενος) must be that of Scripture, which nowhere bears such witness of the historical Melchizedek. The words, μαρτυρούμενος ὅτε ζῇ, are, in fact, only a resumption of what was said in ver. 3: "having neither beginning of days nor end of life;" and hear the same meaning; viz. (as above explained) that he passes before our view in Genesis with no mention of either death, birth, or ancestry, and thus presented the ideal of "a priest for ever" to the inspired psalmist. The witness referred to is that of the record in Genesis, viewed in the light of the idea of the psalm.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And here men that die receive tithes, The priests and Levites were not only men, and mortal men, subject to death, but they did die, and so did not continue, by reason of death, Hebrews 7:24
but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth; which is to be understood of Melchizedek; who is not opposed to men, as if he was not a man, nor to mortal men, but to men that die; nor is he said to be immortal, but to live: and this may respect the silence of the Scripture concerning him, which gives no account of his death; and may be interpreted of the perpetuity of his priesthood, and of his living in his antitype Christ; and the testimony concerning him is in Psalm 110:4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. Second point of superiority: Melchisedec's is an enduring, the Levitical a transitory, priesthood. As the law was a parenthesis between Abraham's dispensation of promise of grace, and its enduring fulfilment at Christ's coming (Ro 5:20, Greek, "The law entered as something adscititious and by the way"): so the Levitical priesthood was parenthetical and temporary, between Melchisedec's typically enduring priesthood, and its antitypical realization in our ever continuing High Priest, Christ.
here—in the Levitical priesthood.
there—in the priesthood after the order of Melchisedec. In order to bring out the typical parallel more strongly, Paul substitutes, "He of whom it is witnessed that he liveth," for the more untypical, "He who is made like to Him that liveth." Melchisedec "liveth" merely in his official capacity, his priesthood being continued in Christ. Christ, on the other hand, is, in His own person, "ever living after the power of an endless life" (Heb 7:16, 25). Melchisedec's death not being recorded, is expressed by the positive term "liveth," for the sake of bringing into prominence the antitype, Christ, of whom alone it is strictly and perfectly true, "that He liveth."
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