Hebrews 7

1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all (being first, by interpretation, “king of righteousness”, and then also “king of Salem”, which means “king of peace”; 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God), remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the best plunder. 5 They indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brothers, though these have come out of the body of Abraham, 6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has accepted tithes from Abraham, and has blessed him who has the promises. 7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 Here people who die receive tithes, but there one receives tithes of whom it is testified that he lives. 9 We can say that through Abraham even Levi, who receives tithes, has paid tithes, 10 for he was yet in the body of his father when Melchizedek met him. 11 Now if there were perfection through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people have received the law), what further need was there for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change made also in the law. 13 For he of whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord has sprung out of Judah, about which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 This is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another priest, 16 who has been made, not after the law of a fleshly commandment, but after the power of an endless life: 17 for it is testified, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” 18 For there is an annulling of a foregoing commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 Inasmuch as he was not made priest without the taking of an oath 21 (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath), but he with an oath by him that says of him, “The Lord swore and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’” 22 By so much, Jesus has become the collateral of a better covenant. 23 Many, indeed, have been made priests, because they are hindered from continuing by death. 24 But he, because he lives forever, has his priesthood unchangeable. 25 Therefore he is also able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, seeing that he lives forever to make intercession for them. 26 For such a high priest was fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 who doesn’t need, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. For he did this once for all, when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath which came after the law appoints a Son forever who has been perfected.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–3

Melchizedec met Abraham when returning from the rescue of Lot. His name, “King of Righteousness,” doubtless suitable to his character, marked him as a type of the Messiah and his kingdom. The name of his city signified “Peace;” and as king of peace he typified Christ, the Prince of Peace, the great Reconciler of God and man. Nothing is recorded as to the beginning or end of his life; thus he typically resembled the Son of God, whose existence is from everlasting to everlasting, who had no one that was before him, and will have no one come after him, in his priesthood. Every part of Scripture honours the great King of Righteousness and Peace, our glorious High Priest and Saviour; and the more we examine it, the more we shall be convinced, that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 26–28

Observe the description of the personal holiness of Christ. He is free from all habits or principles of sin, not having the least disposition to it in his nature. No sin dwells in him, not the least sinful inclination, though such dwells in the best of Christians. He is harmless, free from all actual transgression; he did no violence, nor was there any deceit in his mouth. He is undefiled. It is hard to keep ourselves pure, so as not to partake the guilt of other men’s sins. But none need be dismayed who come to God in the name of his beloved Son. Let them be assured that he will deliver them in the time of trial and suffering, in the time of prosperity, in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment.

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