The Greatness of Melchizedek
1For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham and blessed him as he returned from defeating the kings,
2and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means king of righteousness, then also, king of Salem, meaning king of peace.
3Without father, mother, or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God,7:1–3 Gn 14:18–20; Mt 4:3; Mk 5:7; Heb 7:6 he remains a priest forever.
4Now consider how great this man was: even Abraham the patriarch7:4 Gn 14:20; Ac 2:29; 7:8–9 gave a tenth of the plunder to him.
5The sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have a command according to the law to collect a tenth from the people7:5 Nm 18:21,26; 2Ch 31:4–5 — that is, from their brothers and sisters — though they have also descended from Abraham.
6But one without this7:6 Lit their lineage collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises.7:6 Gn 14:19; Rm 4:13
7Without a doubt, the inferior is blessed by the superior.
8In the one case, men who will die receive a tenth, but in the other case, Scripture testifies that he lives.7:8 Heb 5:6; 6:20
9And in a sense Levi himself, who receives a tenth, has paid a tenth through Abraham,
10for he was still within his ancestor7:10 Lit still in his father’s loins when Melchizedek met him.
A Superior Priesthood
11Now if perfection came through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the law7:11 Gl 2:21; Heb 7:18–19; 8:7), what further need was there for another priest to appear, said to be according to the order of Melchizedek and not according to the order of Aaron?7:11 Heb 7:17; 10:1
12For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must be a change of law as well.
13For the one these things are spoken about belonged to a different tribe. No one from it has served at the altar.
14Now it is evident that our Lord came from Judah,7:14 Is 11:1; Mc 5:2; Mt 1:3; Lk 3:33; Rv 5:5 and Moses said nothing about that tribe concerning priests.
15And this becomes clearer if another priest like Melchizedek appears,
16who did not become a priest based on a legal regulation about physical7:16 Or fleshly descent but based on the power of an indestructible life.
17For it has been testified:
You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek. 7:17 Ps 110:4 7:17 Ps 110:4; Heb 5:6; 6:20; 7:21
18So the previous command is annulled because it was weak and unprofitable7:18 Rm 8:3; Gl 4:9
19(for the law perfected7:19 Ac 13:39; Rm 3:20; Heb 9:9 nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.7:19 Heb 4:16; 6:18
20None of this happened without an oath. For others became priests without an oath,
21but he became a priest with an oath made by the one who said to him:
The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
“You are a priest forever.” 7:21 Ps 110:4 7:21 1Sm 15:29; Ps 110:4
22Because of this oath, Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.7:22 Heb 8:6–10; 9:15; 12:24; 13:20
23Now many have become Levitical priests, since they are prevented by death from remaining in office.
24But because he remains forever, he holds his priesthood permanently.
25Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, since he always lives to intercede7:25 Rm 8:34; Heb 9:24 for them.
26For this is the kind of high priest we need: holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.7:26 2Co 5:21; Heb 4:15
27He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day, as high priests do — first for their own sins, then for those of the people. He did this once for all time when he offered himself.7:27 Eph 5:2; Heb 5:1,3; 9:12,28
28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the promise of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son,7:28 Heb 1:2; 2:10; 5:2,9 who has been perfected7:28 Php 3:12; Heb 10:14; 11:40 forever.