7:1 For this 1 Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most
high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of
the kings, and a blessed him;
(1) Declaring those words, "According to the order of
Melchizedek" upon which the comparison of the priesthood of
Christ with the Levitical priesthood rests: first,
Melchizedek himself is considered to be the type of Christ
and these are the points of that comparison. Melchizedek
was a king and a priest, as is Christ alone. He was a king
of peace and righteousness as is Christ alone.
(a) With a solemn and priestly blessing.
7:32 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.
(2) Another type: Melchizedek is set before us to be
considered as one without beginning and without ending, for
neither his father, mother, ancestors, or his death are
written of. Such a one is indeed the Son of God, that is,
an everlasting Priest: as he is God, begotten without
mother, and man, conceived without father.
7:43 Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even
the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
(3) Another figure: Melchizedek in his priesthood was above
Abraham for he took tithes from him, and blessed him as a
priest. Such a one indeed is Christ, on whom depends even
Abraham's sanctification and all the believers, and whom
all men should worship and reverence as the author of all.
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 b come out of the loins of Abraham:
(b) Were begotten by Abraham.
7:7 And c without all contradiction the less is blessed of the
(c) He speaks of the public blessing which the priests used.
7:94 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes,
payed tithes in Abraham.
(4) A twofold amplification: The first, that Melchizedek took
the tithes as one immortal (that is, in respect that he is
the figure of Christ, for his death is not mentioned, and
David sets him forth as an everlasting Priest) but the
Levitical priests, took tithes as mortal men, for they
succeed one another: the second, that Levi himself, though
yet in Abraham, was tithed by Melchizedek. Therefore the
priesthood of Melchizedek (that is, Christ's, who is
pronounced to be an everlasting Priest according to this
order) is more excellent than the Levitical priesthood.
7:115 If therefore d 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?
(5) The third treatise of this Epistle, in which after he has
proved Christ to be a King, Prophet and a Priest, he now
handles distinctly the condition and excellency of all
these offices, showing that all these were shadows, but in
Christ they are true and perfect. He begins with the
priesthood that the former treatise ended with, that by
this means all the parts of the debate may better hold
together. First of all he proves that the Levitical
priesthood was imperfect because another priest is promised
later according to an other order, that is, of another rule
(d) If the priesthood of Levi could have made any man
7:126 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of
necessity a change also of the e law.
(6) He shows how by the institution of the new priesthood, not
only the imperfection of the priesthood of Levi was
declared, but also that it was changed for this: for these
two cannot stand together, because the first appointment of
the tribe of Levi shut out the tribe of Judah and made it
inferior to Levi: and this latter passage places the
priesthood in the tribe of Judah.
(e) Of the institution of Aaron.
7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to
another tribe, of which no man f gave attendance at the
(f) Had anything to do with the altar.
7:157 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the
similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
(7) Lest any man object, the priesthood was indeed translated
from Levi to Judah. Nonetheless the same still remains, he
both considers and explains those words of David "for ever,
according to the order of Melchizedek" by which also a
different institution of priesthood is understood.
7:168 Who is made, not after the g law of a carnal
commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
(8) He proves the diversity and excellency of the institution
of Melchizedek's priesthood, by this that the priesthood of
the law rested on an outward and bodily anointing: but the
sacrifice of Melchizedek is set out to be everlasting and
(g) Not after the ordination, which commands frail ad
temporary things, as was done in Aaron's consecration,
and all of that whole priesthood.
7:189 For there is verily a disannulling of the h
commandment going before for the weakness and
(9) Again, that no man object that the last priesthood was
added to make a perfect one by joining them both together,
he proves that the first was made void by the later as
unprofitable, by the nature of them both. For how could
those material and transitory things sanctify us, either by
themselves, or by being joined with another?
(h) The ceremonial law.
7:2010 And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made
(10) Another argument, by which he proves that the priesthood
of Christ is better than the priesthood of Levi, because
his was established with an oath, but theirs was not so.
7:2311 And they truly were many priests, because they were
not suffered to continue by reason of death:
(11) Another argument for the same purpose. The Levitical
priests (as mortal men) could not be everlasting, but
Christ, as he is everlasting, so has he also an
everlasting priesthood, making most effectual intercession
for them who come to God by him.
7:24 But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an i
(i) Which cannot pass away.
7:25 Wherefore he is k able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make
intercession for them.
(k) He is fit and sufficient.
7:2612 For such an high priest became us, [who is] holy,
harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher
than the heavens;
(12) Another argument: There are required in an high priest
innocency and perfect pureness, which may separate him
from sinners, for whom he offers. The Levitical high
priests are not found to be such, for they offer first for
their own sins: but only Christ is such a one, and
therefore the only true High Priest.
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: 13 for l this he did m once, when he
offered up himself.
(13) Another argument, which nonetheless he handles afterward:
The Levitical priests offered sacrifice after sacrifice,
first for themselves, and then for the people. Christ
offered not for himself, but for others, not sacrifices,
but himself, not repeatedly, but once. This should not
seem strange, he says, for they are weak, but this man is
consecrated as an everlasting Priest, and that by an oath.
(l) That sacrifice which he offered.
(m) It was done so that it need not be repeated or
offered again any more.
7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity;
but the n word of the oath, 14 which o was since the
law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
(n) The commandment of God which was bound with an oath.
(14) Another argument taken by the time: Former things are
taken away by the later.