Hebrews 7:1-28 - Outline of Hebrews (MENU page)
7:1 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God,
who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
Ch.7 continues the discussion, begun in 4:14-5:10, comparing the priesthood of Christ to that of Melchisedec.
Salem- probably the ancient site of Jerusalem
Melchisedec- is mentioned only twice in the OT: Gen 14:14-15:1; Psa 110:4
But few words do not equate to little importance. Since not one jot or tittle of God's Word will fail, nothing in the Bible should be considered "trivial."
priest- The first occurrence of this word in the Bible refers to Melchisedec.
This suggests that his priesthood is definitive of God's design for the Priest of priests (Christ).
7:2 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;
King of righteousness- the HB meaning of Melchisedec (melech= king; tsedeq= righteousness).
Christ is: Holy...undefiled (v. 26).
Christ is: The Lord our righteousness (Jer 23:5,6; Rom 3:25,26; 1Cor 1:30).
King of peace- HB salem= peace
Christ is: - our peace. eg., Isa 9:6,7; Rom 5:1; Joh 20:19,20; Eph 2:14,15
first...after that...- Note the order is always righteousness followed by peace. Isa 32:17
7:3 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.
without...descent- Melchisedek has no recorded genealogy.
This is very unusual because Genesis is full of family records.
His life was to be a type (illustration) of Christ, who is characterized by:
life without beginning or end- Melchisedek has no recorded birth or death. cp. Joh 8:58
priesthood which continues- Melchisedek has no recorded transfer of priestly office.
Melchizedek stepped unto the pages of scripture at a specific point in time to direct Abraham's thoughts toward the Lord, the Possesor of heaven and earth, lest he be led astray by the gifts of an earthly king.
Christ ever lives to intercede for His own. He interjects Himself into our lives that we, too, might continue to serve in conscious dependency upon the Most High God.
Suggested outline of the remainder of this chapter:
A. The King of Righteousness - vs. 4-10
B. The King of Peace - vs. 11-22
C. The Priest who abides forever - vs. 23-28
7:4 Now consider how great this man [was],
unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
A. The King of Righteousness- ie., the one above all others in righteousness.
Abraham is set forth in scripture as the father of righteousness by faith. (Rom 4:11-18)
Yet, Abraham acknowledged Melchizedek's superiority by paying a tithe to him.
7:5 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:
sons of Levi -the priestly tribe,
-- who were set above the other tribes and had authority to receive tithes of them, because they were commissioned by God with administration of the Law of Righteousness (Num 18:21-24),
-- are inferior to Melchizedek, since they (like the other tribes of Israel) are descendants of Abraham..
7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham,
and blessed him that had the promises.
Melchizedek's superiority is demonstrated in that he--
-- received tithes from Abraham (vs.4, 5, 9,10).
-- blessed Abraham (vs.7, 8).
7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.
7:8 And here men that die receive tithes;
but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
here...there...- ie., in the Levitical system versus in Melchizedek's priesthood.
they die...he liveth- This theme runs throughout ch. 7.
Christ alone is King of Righteousness, because He alone has life in Himself. Joh 5:24-29
7:9 And as I may so say,
Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
 
7:11 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?
B. The King of Peace- ie., the One above all others in securing peace.
perfection- The goal of the Levitical priesthood was to prepare men for God's presence.
But neither the priests, nor the Law under which they served, could bring the process to completion. Rom 3:20; Heb 7:19; 10:1-4
order of Aaron- Aaron was the son of Levi to whom the priesthood was committed.
The Levitical and Aaronic order (of priesthood) are one and the same.
another {of a different kind} priest -was needed to do what the former order could not do. Rom 8:3,4; Gal 2:21
Peace with God was accomplished for us by Christ, who does not belong to the Aaronic order. Rom 5:1
7:12 For the priesthood being changed,
there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
Upon what principle (law) is this new priestly order established?
Christ could not be a priest according to the principles (rules) governing the Aaronic order.
7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe,
of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
7:14 For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda;
{Mic 5:2; Mat 1:3-16}
of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
7:15 And it is yet far more evident: {v. 17}
for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
7:16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment,
but after the power of an endless
{lit., indissoluble} life.
In vs. 16-22, three principles are identified [see (1) (2) (3) below], by which...
Christ is made priest --
- not by carnal commandment- ie.,
-- human physical succession (from Aaron to his sons).
-- human legal action (eg., ceremonial consecration).
- (1) but by the power of an endless life- ie.,
-- Divine appointment (by the living God).
-- Divine essential right (as the One who ever lives). Rev 1:18
Note the timelessness of the appointment (restated in v.17).
7:17 For he testifieth,
Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
{Psa 110:4}
That a priest of this new order would arise (cp. v.15) is necessitated & established
- (2) by God's Word.
7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before
for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
The new order supersedes the old system which was ineffective. (see note at v. 11)
7:19 For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
a better hope- ie., our confidence in Christ for complete salvation (the perfection of v. 11)
Gal 2:16; Heb 6:19,20; Rom 5:1,2; Eph 2:13,14
7:20 And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made priest]:
7:21 (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:)
{Psa 110:4}
those priests -ie., the Aaronic priests, who were priests by physical succession.
this {priest} -ie., Christ, who was made a priest-
- (3) by God's oath. His oath makes Christ's priesthood unchangeable. Heb 6:17-20
7:22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.
by so much- ie., in so many ways, or to such a degree.
better- Christ's better priesthood (v.11)-
-- is established upon better principles (vs. 16,17,21)
-- establishes a better covenant {or, testament}
(ie., the New Covenant by which we have peace with God.
The New Covenant will be discussed further in 8:6-13).
 
7:23 And they truly were many priests,
because they were not suffered
{ie., not allowed} to continue by reason of death:
C. The Priest who abides forever-
they...were many- the Aaronic priesthood employed many men due to attrition.
7:24 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
In contrast to the Aaronic priests, Christ is... [follow points (1) - (7) in vs. 24-28]
(1) Perfect in continuity-
this man- ie., Christ.
continues- ie., abides, cp. Joh 12:34
unchangeable- ie., untransferable. Christ will never vacate His priestly office.
He will never step away from His work, leaving loose ends for others to pick up.
7:25 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.
(2) Perfect in salvation. (He is able to save.)
save...to the uttermost- ie., all the way to completion.
them...that come to God by Him- ie., that approach, through Him, to God. Joh 14:6; Heb 10:19-22
(3) Pefect in intercession. Intercession is -
7:26 For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled,
separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
(4) Perfect in character-
became us- is fitting for us; ie., He is precisely the kind of priest we need.
[He is sinless:]
  • holy- GK=hosios, righteous before God. Psa 16:10; 145:17
  • harmless- GK=akakos, void of evil, guileless, without craftiness.
    ie., He is not a clever lawyer who gets you off the hook.
    Rather, He has simply paid your penalty in full. 1Pet 2:22
  • undefiled- without any moral impurity, free from contamination.
[He is resurrected]
  • separate from sinners - by reason of His total sinlessness (as above).
    - by reason of His resurrection out from among those who are dead (in sins, cp. Eph 2:1).
    cp. Rom 1:3,4; Acts 17:31
(5) Perfect in station-
[He is ascended]- made higher than the heavens- Heb 1:3; 4:14; 8:1; Eph 4:10
7:27 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.
(6) Perfect in His sacrifice.
In contrast to the Aaronic priests who sacrificed often, due to their own sinful condition, and due to the ineffectiveness of animal sacrifice, Christ offered Himself once (lit., once for all, cp. Heb 10:12). (The sufficiency of His one sacrifice will be explained more fully, in ch. 9 & 10.)
Christ's sacrifice is the only sacrifice offered under the order of Melchizedek.
Melchizedek "brought forth bread and wine" signifying to Abraham that God's promises are sure. Jesus used the same elements signifying that God's promises are fulfilled in His sacrificial death. The church partakes "oft" of these elements, not in repetition of the sacrifice, but in commemoration of His finished work. Gen 14:18; 1Cor 11:23-26
7:28 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.
(7) Perfect in His Person-
men...who have infirmity- served as Aaronic priests under the Law.
the Son...who is consecrated (lit., perfected) forevermore- is High Priest under the Oath (v.20,21).
  • In that the Word of the Oath was given after the giving of the Law, it is evident that in God's eyes, Christ's perfections fulfill the demands of the Law. Heb 1:1-3; 5:5
Is He your High Priest?
Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life;
no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (Joh 14:6)


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