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ESV — Hebrews 7-8

The Priestly Order of Melchizedek

For this qMelchizedek, king of rSalem, priest of sthe Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother tor genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.

See how great this man was to whom Abraham uthe patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And vthose descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,1 though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man wwho does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed xhim who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one yof whom it is testified that zhe lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

Jesus Compared to Melchizedek

11 aNow if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended bfrom Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,

c“You are a priest forever,

after the order of Melchizedek.”

18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside dbecause of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for ethe law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, fa better hope is introduced, through which gwe draw near to God.

20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:

h“The Lord has sworn

and will not change his mind,

‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of ia better covenant.

23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues jforever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost2 kthose who draw near to God lthrough him, since he always lives mto make intercession for them.

26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, nholy, innocent, unstained, oseparated from sinners, and pexalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, qfirst for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this ronce for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men sin their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made tperfect forever.

Jesus, High Priest of a Better Covenant

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, uone who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the holy places, in vthe true tent3 that the Lord wset up, not man. For xevery high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; thus yit is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. They serve za copy and ashadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, b“See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.” But as it is, Christ4 has obtained a ministry that is cas much more excellent than the old as dthe covenant ehe mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. fFor if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.

For he finds fault with them when he says:5

g“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,

when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel

and with the house of Judah,

not like the covenant that I made with their fathers

on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.

For they did not continue in my covenant,

and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.

10  hFor this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel

after those days, declares the Lord:

I will put my laws into their minds,

and iwrite them on their hearts,

and I will be their God,

and they shall be my people.

11  And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor

and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’

for they shall jall know me,

from the least of them to the greatest.

12  For I will be merciful toward their iniquities,

kand I will remember their sins no more.”

13 In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And lwhat is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Footnotes

[1] 7:5 Or brothers and sisters
[2] 7:25 That is, completely; or at all times
[3] 8:2 Or tabernacle; also verse 5
[4] 8:6 Greek he
[5] 8:8 Some manuscripts For finding fault with it he says to them