Hebrews 7:13
For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
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(13) In Hebrews 7:11 the “other priest” is spoken of as not connected with Aaron; Hebrews 7:12 is interposed to show the serious significance of such a fact; here the assertion of Hebrews 7:11 is substantiated—not, however, from the words of the Psalm, but from their fulfilment in Jesus.

Pertaineth.—Literally, hath partaken of: the same word is used in Hebrews 2:14, “He also . . . . took part of the same.”

Another tribe, of which no man gave . . .—Better, a different tribe, from which no man hath given attendance at the altar. In comparison with Levi every tribe was not merely “another,” but essentially, in regard to the subject before us, “a different tribe.”

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.For he of whom these things are spoken - The Lord Jesus, the Messiah, to whom they had reference. The things here spoken of pertain to his office as priest; his being of the order of Melchizedek. The apostle here "assumes" it as a point concerning which there could be no dispute, that these things referred to the Lord Jesus. Those whom he addressed would not be disposed to call this in question, and his argument had conducted him to this conclusion.

Pertaineth to another tribe - To the tribe of Judah; Hebrews 7:14.

Of which no man gave attendance at the altar - The priestly office pertained only to the tribe of Levi. No one of the tribe of Judah had any part in the performance of the duties of that office. This was settled by the Jewish Law.

13. Confirming the truth that a change is made of the law (Heb 7:12), by another fact showing the distinctness of the new priesthood from the Aaronic.

these things—(Ps 110:4).

pertaineth—Greek, "hath partaken of" (the perfect tense implies the continuance still of His manhood).

another—"a different tribe" from that of Levi.

For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe: that this priesthood was so altered, he proves by Christ’s being of another tribe than Levi. This is a periphrasis, describing the priest after Melchisedec’s order. Of whom was this said in Psalm 110:4, but of Christ, God-man, the royal High Priest of God? Matthew 21:42. He, as to his human nature, descended of the tribe of Judah, and not of Levi; and so the Aaronical priesthood was ended by him, Hebrews 2:14 Genesis 49:10.

Of which no man gave attendance at the altar; of which tribe none was at priest, whose work was to attend the altar, and offer sacrifice; if any of another tribe pretended to, or would usurp it, God either smote them, as Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:18, or destroyed them, as those rebels, Numbers 16:1-3,28-35; neither was the priesthood hereby made tribual, or continued in any such tribe as in Levi, but confined to our Lord only, not because he descended of Judah, but extraordinarily selected of God out of it to discharge it.

For he of whom these things are spoken,.... In Psalm 110:4 and in the type of him Melchizedek, in the preceding verses; for not Melchizedek is here meant, but the Lord Jesus Christ, as appears by what follows; the antitype of Melchizedek, the Lord our righteousness, the Prince of peace, the priest of God, that lives for ever, without father, without mother, &c.

pertaineth to another tribe; the tribe of Judah, and not the tribe of Levi:

of which no man gave attendance at the altar; either of burnt offering or of incense; that is, no man waited there, or took upon him and exercised the priest's office that was of the tribe of Judah: no man might lawfully do it; Uzziah, indeed, thrust himself into the priest's office, who was of that tribe, and went into the temple and burnt incense upon the altar of incense; but then he had no right to do it, and was punished for it.

For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man {f} gave attendance at the altar.

(f) Had anything to do with the altar.

Hebrews 7:13. Ἐφʼ ὄν] With regard to whom. Comp. Mark 9:12-13; Romans 4:9.

λέγεται ταῦτα] contains, like the λέγεσθαι of Hebrews 7:11, a direct allusion to the declaration of God, Psalm 110:4. Wrongly Paulus: that which I have said heretofore.

φυλῆς ἑτέρας μετέσχηκεν] has part in another tribe (i.e. in a tribe different from that of Levi), namely, as member thereof.

ἀφ ̓ ἧς] descended from which, or belonging to the number of its members.

οὐδεὶς προσέσχηκεν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ] no one, namely, according to the ordinance of the law, attends at the altar, i.e. performs the priestly functions.

Hebrews 7:13-14. First proof of Hebrews 7:12. Levitical priesthood and Mosaic law have lost their validity. For Christ, to whom the utterance of God, Psalm 110:4, refers, belongs in point of fact to another tribe, which, according to Mosaic ordinance, has nothing to do with the administration of the priesthood.

Hebrews 7:13. This enormous change is in fact being made. ἐφʼ ὃν γὰρ λέγεται ταῦτα.… “For He with reference to whom this [110th Psalms 4] is said hath partaken of another tribe from which no man hath given attendance at the altar”. Here for the first time definitely in this chapter the writer introduces the fulfilment of the Psalm. It was spoken of the Messiah, and He did not belong to the tribe of Levi, but φυλῆς ἑτέρας μετέσχηκεν, has thrown in his lot with, or become a member of (cf. Hebrews 2:14) a tribe of a different kind from the Levitical (ver. Hebrews 11:11-12) being characterised by this, that from it ἀφʼ ἧς issuing from which, not ἐξ, [as in Hebrews 7:14] no one has given attendance at the altar. [Cf. 1 Timothy 4:13; Acts 20:28; Hdt., ix. 33, γυμνασίοισι; Thuc., i. 15, τοῖς ναυτικοῖς; and the equivalent in 1 Corinthians 9:13, οἱ τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ προσεδρεύοντες.] It is doubtful whether the perfect μετέσχηκεν can bear the meaning put upon it by Vaughan: “a striking suggestion of the identity of Christ in heaven with Christ upon earth”. So too Weiss. It might seem preferable to refer it with Burton (88) to the class of perfects which in the N.T. have an aorist sense, γέγονα, εἴληφα, ἔσχηκα. So Weizsäcker “gehörte”; the Vulgate, however, has “de alia tribu est,” and cf. ἀνατέταλκεν of Hebrews 7:14. But the perfects are best accounted for as referring to the statement of the previous verse. This great change is being made, for he of whom the 110th Psalm was spoken has actually become a member of another tribe. The result reaches to the change of priesthood.

13. pertaineth] Lit., “hath had part in.”

of which no man gave attendance at the altar] Sacerdotal privileges were exclusively assigned to the tribe of Levi (Deuteronomy 10:8; Numbers 3:5-8). The attempt of King Uzziah, who was of the tribe of Judah, to assume priestly functions, had been terribly punished (2 Chronicles 26:3-19).

Hebrews 7:13. Ἐφʼ ὅν) He, respecting whom these things are spoken by the Psalmist.—μετέσχηκεν, belonged to, had part in) We have the same verb, ch. Hebrews 2:14.—τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ, at the altar) Le vitical.

Verses 13, 14. - For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to (μετέσχηκεν: literally, hath partaken of; cf. μετέσχε, Hebrews 2:14, with reference, as there, to Christ's assumption of humanity) another tribe, of which no man hath (ever) given attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord hath sprung out of Judah; as to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood (or priests; ἱερέων being a better-supported reading than the Textus Receptus ἱερωσύνης). This is spoken of as evident (i.e. plain to all, πρόδηλον), not only because of the well-known prophecies that the Messiah was to spring from David, but still more (as is shown by the perfect ἀνατέταλκεν, pointing to an accomplished fact, and by the expression, ὁ Κύριος ἡμῶν) because Jesus, recognized by all Christians as the Messiah, was known to have so sprung. For it is to Christian believers, with whatever Jewish prejudices, not to unbelieving Jews, that the Epistle is addressed. It is important to observe that the Davidic descent of our Lord is spoken of as an acknowledged fact, not merely as an inference from prophecy. "We have here a most significant proof that the descent of Jesus from the tribe of Judah was a well and universally known fact before the destruction of Jerusalem" (Ebrard). "Illo igitur tempore nulla difficultate laborabat genealogia Jesu Christi: et hoc ipsum difficultatibus postea exortis abunde medetur" (Bengel). The verb ἀνατέταλκεν may have been specially suggested by the prophetic figure of the Branch from the root of Jesse (see Isaiah 11:1; and Zechariah 3:8; Zechariah 6:12, where the LXX. has ἀνατολὴ for 'Branch:' Ἀνατολὴ ὄνομα αὐτῶ καὶ ὑποκάσωθεν αὐτοῦ ἀνατελεῖ); though the figure of the sunrise is more frequently meant by the word when applied to Christ's appearance (el. Numbers 24:17; Isaiah 9:1; Malachi 4:2; Luke 1:78). Hebrews 7:13As the law prescribed that the priesthood should be of the order of Aaron, a new priesthood, not of that order, must set aside the law.

Pertaineth to another tribe (φυλῆς ἑτέρας μετέσχηκεν)

Lit. hath partaken of another tribe. Not only another, but a different tribe; one not specially set apart to sacerdotal service.

Of which no man gave attendance at the altar (ἀφ' ἧς οὐδεὶς προσέσχηκεν τῷ θυσιαστηρίῳ)

Προσέχειν originally to bring to; bring the mind to; attend to. See on Hebrews 2:1. θυσιαστήριον altar, oClass. Strictly an altar for the sacrifice of victims; but used of the altar of incense, Luke 1:11; Revelation 8:3; comp. Exodus 30:1. See on Acts 17:23. It was also used of the enclosure in which the altar stood. See Ignat. Eph. v; Trall. vii. See Lightfoot's interesting note, Ignatius and Polycarp, Vol. II., p. 43.

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