People's New Testament
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
7:1 Christ's Priesthood After the Order of Melchizedek
SUMMARY OF HEBREWS 7:
The High Dignity of Melchizedek As a Priest. Abraham Paid Him Tithes. Thus Did the Aaronic Priesthood Confess His Superiority. A Type of a Priest Forever. Christ to Be a Priest After the Order of Melchizedek. Hence, the Aaronic Priesthood Imperfect. Hence, Too, the Law Must Be Changed. Christ, the Priest of the New Covenant, Hath an Unchangeable. Priesthood.
For this Melchizedec, king of Salem. See the account of him in Ge 14:18-20. That he was a character of exceeding dignity is manifest, not only from the statements of Genesis, but of this chapter. There have been many speculations concerning his personality, but no man can lift the veil. He bursts upon us as a priest-king, king of Salem, or Jerusalem, which we now know from discoveries in Egyptian records existed even in those very early ages
Priest of the most High God. See Ge 14:18. There is no account of his parents, none of his birth, none of his death, none of the beginning or end of his priesthood (Heb 7:3); hence, he appears in the record without parents, genealogy, beginning or end, simply as one that liveth (Heb 7:8), a fit type of him whose priesthood and kingly state endure forever.
Who met Abraham, returning from the salughter of kings. See Ge 14:20. Abraham was returning from the pursuit of marauders who had captured Lot, his nephew.
And blessed him. The great father (so the meaning of Abram ), the friend of God (Jas 2:23), thus acknowledges his superior spiritual dignity.
To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
7:2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all. Tithes were paid to him as priest of the Most High.
King of righteousness. Such is the meaning of Melchizedek. The word may not be the name, but a title.
King of Salem. This means King of Peace. It will be observed that the payment of tithes for religious purposes is at least 400 years older than the Jewish law. See also Ge 28:22.
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
7:3 Without father, without mother. See PNT Heb 7:1.
Nor end of life. None as he appears in history. As far as he is revealed to us, he is a living character, one that lives right on,
like unto the Son of God. The Apostle does not affirm this was absolutely so, but that it is thus that Melchizedek appears on the background of early history. He abideth, in the Sacred Record, a priest continually.
Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
7:4 Now consider how great this man was. When one so great as Abraham recognized his superiority by paying him tithes.
And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
7:5 They that are the sons of Levi. The Aaronic priesthood, all of them of the tribe of Levi.
Have a commandment to take tithes from the people according to the law. They require the enactment of the law to collect tithes of the people, their own brethren. See Nu 18:24,26,28 Ne 13:5. The tithes are paid, not because of their great spiritual dignity, but because the law compels it.
But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham. Melchizedek, who was not of the blood of Abraham or tribe of Levi, received tithes of Abraham, not because of the law, but because of his transcendent dignity.
And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
7:7 The less is blessed by the better. Though Abraham had the promises of God, Melchizedek, as the higher in spiritual dignity and nearer to God, blessed him. See Ge 27:27-29.
And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
7:8 Here men that die receive tithes. The Aaronic priesthood die, and the death of the high priest is a matter of record. Their morality was a prominent feature, but in the case of Melchizedek,
he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. He who receives tithes liveth right on as far as the records tell us. We behold him only as a living priest, typical of a priest who liveth forever.
And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
7:9 Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. The sacred tribe of Israel, the tribe to whom tithes are paid, paid tithes to Melchizedek.
For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. All Israel, kings and priests, though yet unborn, were represented in Abraham. Hence Levi paid tithes, and thus confessed the superiority of the priesthood of Melchizedek.
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
7:11 The superiority of the priesthood of Melchizedek to that of Aaron in dignity having been shown, the imperfection of the latter is next pointed out.
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood. If it effected the complete pardon of sins and made men holy.
What further need was there that another priest should rise? If it gave all needful spiritual blessings there would be no need of another priesthood. The Aaronic priesthood would have been continued on forever. But a change of the priesthood has been predicted, as will soon be show.
For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
7:12 For the priesthood being changed. The law as given under the Levitical priesthood (Heb 7:11), and was all grouped around the priesthood as its very center.
There is made of necessity a change also of the law. Of course, if the priesthood was changed, the law of the old priesthood, the law of Moses, must go with it, and give place to a new law.
For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken. Of whom an unchangeable priesthood is predicted.
Pertaineth to another tribe. All the priests of the Jewish dispensation had been of the tribe of Levi, but Christ was not of this tribe.
For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
7:14 Our Lord sprang from Judah. In the genealogies as given by Matthew and Luke. See Mt 1:2 Lu 3:33. The Messiah was to be the son of David (2Sa 7:12-16 Ps 132:11 Jer 23:5).
And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
7:15 It is yet far more evident. Still more clear than that the new High Priest should be of the tribe of Judah. That could be shown by an argument, because it was affirmed (1) that the Christ was to be the Son of David; (2) David was of Judah; (3) The Christ was to be a priest.
There ariseth another priest. On the other hand, without argument, is the clear affirmation that there was to be a new priesthood, a priest after the similitude of Melchizedec.
Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
7:16 Who is made. The Levitical priesthood based their claims on a
law of a carnal commandment. a fleshly claim, that of hereditary right. Eleazer succeeded Aaron (Nu 20:28) because he was his son, and so each high priest.
The power of an endless life. The claim of the great high priest is not fleshly descent, but that he lives forever. He demonstrated his title to the office by rising from the dead. He was exalted to the kingly priesthood when he arose from the dead (Eph 1:20).
For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
7:17 Thou art a priest for ever, etc. See Ps 110:4. This declares that the Christ shall be a priest, a priest forever, a priest not of the order of Aaron, but of Melchizedek; a priest-king whose office abideth continually (Heb 7:3).
For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment. The old law and the Aaronic priesthood are abrogated because of their imperfection. They could not make men perfect.
For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
7:19 For the law made nothing perfect. The law was only a preparatory arrangement. It did not fit men for eternal life.
But the bringing in of a better hope. A bringing in thereupon of a better hope (Revised Version). The idea is: The law was disannulled and a better hope brought in, that of the gospel, by which we draw nigh unto God.
And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:
7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest. God never interposed an oath except to show certainty and immutability. Thus he swore to Abraham (Ge 22:16-18); to the rebellious Israelites (De 1:34); to David, that his seed should endure forever (Ps 89:4). Since the same solemn assurance is given concerning the priesthood of Christ, the meaning is that it is immutable.
(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
7:21 For those priests. The Aaronic priests.
Were made without an oath. Their priesthood did not rest upon an oath. Hence, it was not eternal; Christ's did, for God (see Ps 110:4) gave it the sanctity of an oath. The solemn words are significant: The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
7:22 By so much. By such solemn means
was Jesus made a surety, the pledge and firm assurance. A surety is intended to secure absolute certainty.
Of a better testament. Rather, covenant. Jesus became the pledge of the new covenant, the Gospel. God has established him as its high priest forever, by the sanctity of an oath. This is the line of argument.
And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
7:23 They truly were many priests. Since they were removed by death, there were in succession many Aaronic high priests.
But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
7:24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Christ was victorious over death before he entered upon his priesthood; he lives forever, and hence, there is no change of his priesthood.
Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save. Because he is such a high priest, and hath the power of an endless life. He is not a frail mortal like us; and can save,
them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, in every extremity, all who approach God through his priesthood.
For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
7:26 Such an high priest became us. We need just such a high priest;
who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, one who hath no sins and is exalted above the heathen. He needs not to save himself, and hence is able to save.
Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
7:27 Who needeth not daily... to offer up sacrifices. The daily sacrifice was offered on the altar,
as those high priests, under the direction of the high priest,
first for his own sins, and then for the people's, for the sins of the whole nation, including himself.
For this he did once, when he offered up himself. Instead of the daily offering for himself and others, Christ made but one offering, himself, when he died upon the cross. This offering was complete when he, as the high priest, ascended into the Holy of Holies above to intercede for the sins of his people. The perfect high priest had offered the perfect sacrifice and had dedicated the new and better covenant. Christ made his offering as a priest in The true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man (Heb 8:2).
For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity. The law puts imperfect men into the Aaronic priesthood.
But the word of the oath... maketh the Son. The spotless and Divine one
who is consecrated for evermore, who became an eternal priest.