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.
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.
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
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,
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.
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
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