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1: The sum of this chapter is, Christ, as appears from
his type, Melchisedec, who was greater than Abraham himself,
from whom Levi descended, has a priesthood altogether excellent,
new, firm, perpetual.(Ge 14:18), &c.
2: Being first - According to the meaning of his own
name. King of righteousness, then - According to the name
of his city. King of peace - So in him, as in Christ,
righteousness and peace were joined. And so they are in
all that believe in him.
3: Without father, without mother, without pedigree
- Recorded, without any account of his descent from any
ancestors of the priestly order. Having neither beginning of
days, nor end of life - Mentioned by Moses. But being - In
all these respects. Made like the Son of God - Who is really
without father, as to his human nature; without mother, as
to his divine; and in this also, without pedigree - Neither
descended from any ancestors of the priestly order.
Remaineth a priest continually - Nothing is recorded of the
death or successor of Melchisedec. But Christ alone does
really remain without death, and without successor.
4: The greatness of Melchisedec is described in all the preceding
and following particulars. But the most manifest proof of it was,
that Abraham gave him tithes as to a priest of God and a superior;
though he was himself a patriarch, greater than a king, and a
progenitor of many kings.
5: The sons of Levi take tithes of their brethren
- Sprung from Abraham as well as themselves. The Levites
therefore are greater than they; but the priests are greater
than the Levites, the patriarch Abraham than the priests,
and Melchisedec than him.
6: He who is not from them - The Levites
Blessed - Another proof of his superiority. Even him
that had the promises - That was so highly favoured of God.
When St. Paul speaks of Christ, he says, "the promise;"
promises refer to other blessings also.
7: The less is blessed - Authoritatively, of the greater.
8: And here - In the Levitical priesthood. But there - In
the case of Melchisedec. He of whom it is testified that he
liveth - Who is not spoken of as one that died for another to
succeed him; but is represented only as living, no mention
being made either of his birth or death.
9: And even Levi, who received tithes - Not in person, but in his
successors, as it were, paid tithes - In the person of Abraham.
11: The apostle now demonstrates that the Levitical
priesthood must yield to the priesthood of Christ, because
Melchisedec, after whose order he is a priest,
but "remaineth a priest continually."
If now perfection were by the Levitical priesthood - If this
perfectly answered all God's designs and man's wants
For under it the people received the law - Whence some might
infer, that perfection was by that priesthood. What farther
need was there, that another priest - Of a new order, should be
set up? From this single consideration it is plain, that both
the priesthood and the law, which were inseparably connected,
were now to give way to a better priesthood and more excellent
- Is opposed to Aaron, (Heb 7:11-14).
- Hath no end of life, (Heb 7:15-19),
12: For - One of these cannot be changed without the other.
13: But the priesthood is manifestly changed from
one order to another, and from one tribe to another. For
he of whom these things are spoken - Namely, Jesus.
Pertaineth to another tribe - That of Judah. Of which no man
was suffered by the law to attend on, or minister at, the
14: For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of
Judah - Whatever difficulties have arisen since, during so
long a tract of time, it was then clear beyond dispute.
15: And it is still far more evident, that - Both the
priesthood and the law are changed, because the priest
now raised up is not only of another tribe, but of a quite
16: Who is made - A priest. Not after the law of a
carnal commandment - Not according to the Mosaic law, which
consisted chiefly of commandments that were carnal, compared
to the spirituality of the gospel. But after the power of an
endless life - Which he has in himself, as the eternal Son of God.
18: For there is implied in this new and everlasting
priesthood, and in the new dispensation connected therewith,
a disannulling of the preceding commandment - An abrogation of
the Mosaic law. For the weakness and unprofitableness thereof
- For its insufficiency either to justify or to sanctify.
19: For the law - Taken by itself, separate from the
gospel. Made nothing perfect - Could not perfect its
votaries, either in faith or love, in happiness or holiness.
But the bringing in of a better hope - Of the gospel
dispensation, which gives us a better ground of
confidence, does. By which we draw nigh to God - Yea, so
nigh as to be one spirit with him. And this is true
20: And - The greater solemnity wherewith he was
made priest, farther proves the superior excellency of his
21: The Lord sware and will not repent - Hence also
it appears, that his is an unchangeable priesthood.
22: Of so much better a covenant - Unchangeable,
eternal. Was Jesus made a surety - Or mediator. The word
covenant frequently occurs in the remaining part of this
epistle. The original word means either a covenant or a
last will and testament. St. Paul takes it sometimes in the
former, sometimes in the latter, sense; sometimes he
23: They were many priests - One after another.
24: He continueth for ever - In life and in his priesthood.
That passeth not away - To any successor.
25: Wherefore he is able to save to the uttermost
- From all the guilt, power, root, and consequence of sin.
Them who come - By faith. To God through him - As their
priest. Seeing he ever liveth to make intercession - That
is, he ever lives and intercedes. He died once; he intercedes
26: For such an high priest suited us - Unholy,
mischievous, defiled sinners: a blessed paradox!
Holy - With respect to God. Harmless - With respect to men.
Undefiled - With any sin in himself. Separated from
sinners - As well as free from sin. And so he was when he
left the world. And made - Even in his human nature.
Higher than the heavens - And all their inhabitants.
27: Who needeth not to offer up sacrifices daily
- That is, on every yearly day of expiation; for he offered
once for all: not for his own sins, for he then offered
up himself "without spot to God."
28: The law maketh men high priests that have infirmity
- That are both weak, mortal, and sinful. But the oath which
was since the law - Namely, in the time of David. Maketh the
son, who is consecrated for ever - Who being now free, both from
sin and death, from natural and moral infirmity, remaineth a
priest for ever.