¶ For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God,
who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed
.2 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;
3 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.
- Melchisedec See ge1418
3 - Without father Some speculate here that Melchisedec was some mysterious person. The author here is simply making the story itself into a symbolic situation to describe Christ. His priesthood had a beginning as we noted in connection with he0505. It also will have an end re2122 when sin ends and there is no longer a need for the ministry of atonement. So what is meant? The Hebrew believers were to understand that the priesthood of Christ was better than the system they were tempted to return to and that, even though a long time had passed, He was still busy working for their salvation in the temple in heaven. The connection with Melchisedec was to show that Christ, although different from the earthly priests, and not in the lineage of Aaron, was still their high priest.
Although Christ's time of service as priest began and will end, He, Himself, doesn't heave a beginning or an end. Also we may say that He is a priest without beginning or end because He was destined to fill that role and will always be the One who provided our forgiveness and help. This is beyond our understanding. We may trust God with what we do know.
| 4 Now consider how
great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth
of the spoils.
.5 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:
.6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
| 4 -
great The Jews believed Abraham was very great jn0852.
So here, Christ, who was like Melchisedec, had a priesthood greater than
that of Aaron he0506.
4 - Patriarch From patriarches. Literally, "father of a nation."
4 - Tenth See v2.
5 - Commandment to take tithes The Levites were authorized to take tithes nu1821 but Melzichedec had taken them earlier so would have been authorized earlier. He took them from Abraham. Christ, as a part of this priesthood, would have been above both.
8 - Here In the levitical system.
10 - In the loins Levi received the genes of Abraham.
| 11 ¶ 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?
.12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
.15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
.16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
11 - Law The whole system received at Sinai.
12 - Change in the law The ceremonies that pointed forward to the Lamb of God were no longer needed. Of course God does not change. Only the ways that we learn about the system of salvation have changed.
14 - Out of Juda Or "Judah." mi0502, mt0101, lu0333, re0505.
17 - Priest for ever We look again at the basis of the argument ps11004.
18 - Disannulling More than being changed v12. The Levitical authority was to end at the coming of Jesus Christ.
18 - Weakness and ... God Himself had given it. It lost its power for people of Jesus' time who saw it as a means of salvation. he0402.
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| 20 And inasmuch as not
without an oath he was made priest:
21 (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:)
.22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
|21 - Not without an oath Meaning that Melchisedec had a greater priesthood. See on he0617.|
| 24 But this man, because
he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
.25 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.
.26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
25 - Save ... ever liveth The ministry of ordinary human priests ended because of death v23. Jesus' ministry didn't. He is thus able to save completely.
- Became From prepo, "to suit." We need Him. The verse
is not as clear as we would like so we need to look at it carefully in
26 - Harmless Or "innocent."
26 - Undefiled From amiantos, "pure" in a religious sense.
26 - Separate from sinners We ask, How? He certainly associated with them mr0215. He has a brother relationship with those who accept sanctification through Him he0211. But our text means more than this. Literally, the Greek reads, "having been separated from sinners." This means he once walked the paths of this world with them but now is their (our) mediator "higher than the heavens" (beyond the atmospheric heavens).
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.
28 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.
27 - Who needeth not daily The biblical record shows very detailed instructions, but no daily sin offering was among the duties of the high priest. Ordinary priests offered such daily offerings. We may assume that they were following the instructions of the high priest. Also, they, too, represented Christ, in their continual offerings.
- Own sins le1611.
27 - This He did once He had no sins but was made sin for us – He took the responsibility for our sins 2co0521.
Because He didn't need to die again and because He is able to save completely v25. May we assume that the atonement was completed at the cross? The sacrifice was complete. The price has been paid. But Christ's work of bringing us into harmony with heaven continues. We just saw that He continually lives to make intercession for us. We cannot make ourselves holy or forgive our own sins. This is Christ's work for us as He ministers the blood He gave at Calvary. Atonement is reconciliation with heaven. Look at 2co0517.