The Letter to the Hebrews
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield,
As a background[ 1 ] for what will be discussed in chapter 8, the Hebrew writer
spends an nearly the entire seventh chapter on Melchizedek. He first establishes
that Christ is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, which he implies is
greater than the priesthood of Aaron. He then explains why there is a need for an
eternal priesthood. He goes on to show how God swore to Christ that He would
be a priest forever, that Christ is the surety of a better covenant, and that He
makes intercession for Christians inasmuch as He offered Himself once for all (see
chart HEBREWS 7 OUTLINE).
HEBREWS 7 OUTLINE
1. Jesus is High Priest after the order of Melchizedek,
greater than priesthood of Aaron (Heb 7:1-9).
2. A need for eternal priesthood (Heb 7:10-19).
3. God swore to Christ that He would be a priest
4. Christ the surety of a better covenant (Heb 20-22).
5. Christ continues forever, makes intercession, is holy,
undefiled (Heb 7:23-26).
6. Offered Himself once for all (Heb 7:27, 28).
MELCHIZEDEK PREFIGURES CHRIST
7:1-3 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who
met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to
whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of
righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace," 3
without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning
of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest
For this Melchizedek. The Hebrew writer has already made it very clear that
Melchizedek prefigures Christ (see notes on Heb 5:6, 10; 6:20). That is, he is a
type, or prototype, of Christ. This provides a logical background for the legality
and permanency of Jesus' Priesthood.[ 2 ] Every detail recorded in Genesis about
Melchizedek is, in some way, like Christ (see Heb 7:15-17). Coffman calls this
the boldest argument in the entire Bible.
[It is] based upon the historical account of Melchizedek in Genesis 14 and
what had doubtless seemed for ages like a very minor statement in Psalm
110:4. The inspired author of this epistle reveals that the reference in Psalm
110:4 is not a minor thing at all. On the contrary, it was something God
swore to![ 3 ]
MELCHIZEDEK AND CHRIST
1. Melchizedek=King of Righteousness.
An appellation of Christ.
2. King of Salem=king of peace.
A title of Christ (Isa 9:6; Ps 72:7).
3. Both king and priest. So is Christ.
4. Melchizedek received tithes of Abraham.
Contributions made to Christ.
5. Melchizedek brought bread and wine.
Christ instituted Lord's Supper.
7. Melchizedek's priesthood served Jews and Gentiles.
No racial limits on Christ's Priesthood.
8. Melchizedek had no beginning or end.
Made like Son of God, a priest perpetually
(Adapted from Coffman 137, 138)
I have partially suppressed my own curiosity about the identity of Melchizedek.
If it is God's purpose that I spend time deciphering a puzzle, it seems the Holy
Spirit would have given me more clues. It is as though He purposefully kept
information confidential. He revealed only necessary facts concerning the brief
period he was with Abraham. These points make the type and antitype
correspond.[ 4 ] He was a real person who lived during the days of Abraham. The
Jewish historian Josephus[ 5 ] and the Jewish philosopher Philo[ 6 ] both mention him.[ 7 ]
WHAT BIBLE SAYS ABOUT MELCHIZEDEK
1. His mother? -0-
2. His father? -0-
3. His genealogy? -0-
4. His beginning of days? -0-
5. His end of life? -0-
King of Salem [was king of Salem].[ 8 ] Josephus wrote,[ 9 ] "However, they
afterward called Salem Jerusalem" (see note on verse 2). He said further:
It was David, therefore, who first cast the Jebusites out of Jerusalem,[ 10 ] and
called it by his own name, The City of David: for under our forefather
Abraham it was called [Salem, or] Solyma [Some copies of Josephus have
here Solyma, or Salem, and others Hierosolyma, or Jerusalem]; but after
that time, some say that Homer mentions it by that name of Solyma, [for he
named the temple Solyma, according to the Hebrew language, which denotes
security].[ 11 ]
Again, Josephus wrote:
But he who first built it was a potent man among the Canaanites, and is in
our own tongue called [Melchizedek], the Righteous King, for such he really
was; on which account he was [there] the first priest of God, and first built
a temple [there], and called the city Jerusalem, which was formerly called
Salem. However, David, the king of the Jews, ejected the Canaanites, and
settled his own people therein.[ 12 ]
When Melchizedek met Abraham he was both priest and king. Abraham paid
tribute to him (verse 4).
Priest of the Most High God [priest of God Most High, and priest of the
most high God].[ 13 ] Milligan's comment follows:
The Hebrew word KOHEN, rendered priest, occurs about 700 times in the
OT, and like the Greek HIEREUS, is always used to denote one who offers
sacrifice and ministers in other sacred things.[ 14 ]
A priest represents man before Deity. He offers sacrifices to God. Melchizedek
was a priest before the Law of Moses was given, before Levi and Aaron were ever
born. Because he was a priest, Abraham [voluntarily] paid tithes to him (verses
5, 6). God is called "Most High" in several OT passages (see De 2:8; 32:8; 2Sa
22:14; Ps 7:17; 47:2; 83:18; Da 4:17).
Who met Abraham [met Abraham, he met Abraham].[ 15 ] Abraham was on
his way home from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and his allies. He was headed
southward toward Hebron. His tent was located about 20 miles south of
Jerusalem, the headquarters of Melchizedek, who appears in Scripture only as an
adult, met him. No information is given about his early life, nor are details given
of his life after that historic meeting with Abraham.
Returning from the slaughter of the kings [when he returned from smiting
the kings].[ 16 ] The story of Abraham routing the kings is told in Genesis 14.[ 17 ]
After thirteen years of peace, three kings allied with Chedorlaomer, an Elamite,
went to war. The four kings made war with five other kings.[ 18 ] They conquered
a large section of Palestine, especially Sodom and its surroundings. Then they met
Bera and Birsha and their allies in the tar-pit region in the valley of Siddim.
Chedorlaomer and his company defeated the others and took their supplies of food
as well as various movable goods. Lot, who had been living in Sodom, together
with his possessions was rescued.
At this point, a fugitive came to Mamre and informed Abraham that Lot was
captured. He took 318 trained men and headed north in hot pursuit of
Chedorlaomer and his band. They were camped at Dan. Some of them were
drinking. Abraham divided his forces and attacked at night. He chased them to
Damascus. He brought back a great amount of plunder plus Lot and his people.
We now picture Abraham's weary, but excited, caravan heading southward.
That was a fine hour for Abraham. He had completely defeated the armies of four
kings! He had done so, not with a great army, but with only 318 men. The king
of Sodom went out to meet him in peace. Then, as out of nowhere, one greater
than Abraham appeared. Melchizedek, king of Salem, and priest of the Most High
God, brought out bread and wine.[ 19 ] He blessed Abram (Abraham).[ 20 ] Then
Abraham gave the great man a tenth.[ 21 ] Was Melchizedek a real person? Yes.
He brought forth bread and wine. He accepted tithes. He blessed Abraham. An
imaginary being could not have done these things (see note on Without father,
without mother, verse 3).
And blessed him.[ 22 ] Melchizedek blessed Abraham. He said:
Blessed be Abraham of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and
blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand
(Ge 14:19, 20).
The blessing suggests Melchizedek's superiority over Abraham, and by
association, his superiority over the Jewish nation, including all the Levitical
[7:2] To whom also Abraham gave [to whom also, and to him, Abraham
To whom also Abraham gave [Abraham also, and Abraham, apportioned,
divided, gave him].[ 23 ]
A tenth part of all [the tenth portion of everything, of all the spoils].[ 24 ] The
Levitical priests collected tithes from the people. The assumption is that Abraham
paid tithes to Melchizedek because he was a priest. Offering of bloody sacrifices
was a Divine ordinance (inferred from Heb 11:4). Is it possible that, during the
patriarchal age, tithing was also Divinely appointed?
First [he is first, being first, Melchizedek first].[ 25 ]
Being translated [by the translation of his name, by interpretation, being by
interpretation, being interpreted].[ 26 ]
King of righteousness.[ 27 ]
The name signifies, the righteous king: and such he was, without dispute,
insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God.[ 28 ]
And then also [and then he is also, and after that also].[ 29 ]
King of Salem, he is king of Salem].[ 30 ] Melchizedek was king of Salem,
thought to have been another name for Jerusalem.[ 31 ]
There is a parallelism in the psalms that implies Salem and Zion are the same:
And His tabernacle is in Salem, His dwelling place also is in Zion (Ps
[IMPRESSION FROM FACTS GIVEN]
1. Ancestors? None.
2. Posterity? None.
3. Record of his nativity? None.
4. Beginning or end of his priesthood? Nothing on this.
5. End of days? So far as Scripture records, he may
be still alive.
Zion is one of the hills in Jerusalem just southwest of the temple site.[ 32 ] Various
maps of antiquity show that Zion was extended to include the temple grounds as
well (see also Isa 8:18; 18:7; 24:23; Joel 3:17; Mic 4:7). The name Zion
eventually was used as a synonym for the entire city of Jerusalem (2Ki 19:21; Ps
48; 69:35; 133:3; Isa 1:8). It also came to be used to include the entire spiritual
Jewish nation (Ps 126:1; 129:5; Isa 33:14; 34:8; 49:14; 52:8). Zion is also a
name for heaven (see Heb 12:22; Re 14:1). Although there is no absolute
certainty, the Salem, over which Melchizedek reigned as king, was probably
Meaning "king of peace" [that is, which is, which means, King of Peace].[ 33 ]
ABIDES A PRIEST FOREVER
[7:3] Without father, without mother [he is, was, without father and
mother].[ 34 ] The statement that Melchizedek was "without father, without mother"
has caused some to speculate that he was an imaginary or a mythical being.
However, he was real. The Hebrew writer does not say that he never had a father
or mother.[ 35 ] He does not actually say that he was not born, nor that he did not
die. Some have suggested that there is just no record of his family tree. Is it
possible that he was a created being as was Adam? Whatever view one prefers,
he should be careful not to discredit the sacred record.
Keeping of genealogical records was vital to OT priests. If a man was not of the
lineage of Aaron, he could not serve. We have no record whatsoever of
Melchizedek's parents. Apparently, lineage was of no significance to him. The
information given about him is limited. It is like a curtain opening on the stage
of action. He appears without his past life explained. On the stage, events occur
that end with the blessing of Abraham, and Abraham returning a tithe. Then the
curtain of history closes. It reveals no additional details. Was his appearance
miraculous? Was it natural but just not recorded? Many people wonder about the
missing information. Suffice it to say that everything recorded is essential to
round out his prefigurement of Christ. The important thing is not his life story but
that he was a type of Christ. Inasmuch as priests could not marry just any woman
(Le 21:7; Eze 44:22), the genealogical line through the females was kept spotless.
"WITHOUT FATHER, WITHOUT MOTHER"
[GREEK AND HEBREW USAGE]
1. Greek gods were said to be without parents.
2. Orphans were bereft of parents.
3. Persons of unknown or obscure parentage.
a. Servius Tullius "was born of no father"
(Livy, Lib. 4.3).
4. Jews used the terms if parents were not recorded in
Scripture, or in the genealogies.
a. Sarah "is said not to have had a mother, having
received the inheritance of relationship from her
father only" (Philo, De Ebriet 14).
b. "He has no father," a common statement
about a Gentile who became a proselyte.
(Milligan 197, 198)
Without genealogy [or genealogy, without descent, no lineage].[ 36 ] No one
could be a Levitical priest unless their name appeared in the genealogical records
(see Ezr 2:61, 62; 7:63, 64). The lack of genealogical records of Melchizedek has
caused some to imagine that perhaps he really had a father and mother plus
beginning and ending of days. They contend that all the Hebrew writer intended
was to state the lack of historical information about his parents, descendants, his
birth and death. There is some corroboration for this idea in Hebrew Greek
writings (see chart "WITHOUT FATHER, WITHOUT MOTHER" [GREEK AND
Having neither beginning of days nor end of life [and has neither beginning
of days nor end of life].[ 37 ] From history, nothing is known regarding the birth
or death of Melchizedek. Insofar as Scripture his death is never revealed.
But made like the Son of God [but resembling, but assimilated to, made like,
but being made like unto, the Son of God].[ 38 ] As man, Jesus was born and
died. But there is more implied here. Melchizedek was "made like the Son of
God" in the sense that he had "neither beginning of days nor end of life." This
shouts out the message to us that Christ is without beginning or end!
The discussion of the priesthood of Jesus Christ continues in earnest. It will
continue through Hebrews 10:18.
Remains a priest continually [abides, he abides, abideth, continues, a priest
for ever].[ 39 ] Chronologically, Melchizedek was priest before the Psalm was
written in which God swore to Christ that He would be a priest after his order (see
Ps 110:4). There is no known historical record of the end of Melchizedek's
priesthood[ 40 ] How could he be an "eternal priest" just because his genealogical
records were not kept? How he is like the Son of God? First, because there is
no record of his father and mother. The OT and the NT are clear that Jesus was
born of the virgin Mary. His earthly father was said to be Joseph (Lu 2:48). His
heavenly Father was God (implied by Lu 2:49). The solution to these puzzling
questions is that Christ's eternal, post-resurrection life in heaven is under
consideration, not his earthly sojourn.
CHRIST THE IDEAL PRIEST
1. Eternal (Ps 110:4).
2. Kingly (Isa 9:6, 7; Zec 6:13).
3. Righteous (Isa 11:4, 5).
4. Faithful (Isa 11:5).
5. Peaceful, with quietness, confidence (Isa 32:17).
MELCHIZEDEK'S PRIESTHOOD SUPERIOR TO AARON'S
7:4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch
Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
Now consider [see, behold].[ 41 ] The Holy Spirit asks His readers to carefully
observe and think seriously about the details relating to Melchizedek.
How great this man was [how great he, this person, this personage, is!].[ 42 ]
The Jews considered Abraham to be exceedingly great. He was the "father" of
their nation. Yet, the Holy Spirit points out that Melchizedek was greater. Even
Abraham acknowledged his greatness by (1) paying tithes to him and (2) accepting
To whom even the patriarch Abraham [unto whom Abraham, even the
patriarch Abraham].[ 43 ]
Gave a tenth [gave him a tithe].[ 44 ] The fact that Abraham paid tithes to
Melchizedek indicates he was "the better." Melchizedek did not pay tithes to
Abraham because the patriarch was, in some sense, "the lesser" (see verse 7).
Of the spoils [out of the chief spoils]. [ 45 ] "Top of the heap" was used to
describe firstfruits. The best of the grain was generally placed on the top of the
mound or in the sack. Abraham took the plunder of war from "the top of the pile"
to give to Melchizedek. He gave him the choice, select and best things.
MELCHIZEDEK GREATER THAN ABRAHAM'S PROGENY
7:5. 6 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the
priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according
to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins
of Abraham; 6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received
tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi [and those descendants, of the
descendants, and they indeed from among the sons, and verily they that are
the sons, of Levi].[ 46 ] Ancestry was important to the Levitical priests. They were
selected according to genealogy. They had to be descendants of Aaron (Ex 28:1;
Nu 17:1-11). Melchizedek had no such parentage. That fact did not in any way
make him less important. Instead, it increases his own intrinsic eminence and
prominence. In other words, he did not need a priestly lineage in order to become
Who receive the priesthood [that receive, who accept, the priestly office, the
priest's office, the office of the priesthood].[ 47 ] Under the Jewish Law, all
priests were Levites, but not all Levites were priests. Qualified men received
appointments to the office of priest.
Have a commandment [have commandment, are authorized].[ 48 ] The fact that
the Levitical priests received tithes from their brethren would ordinarily suggest
their superiority. Abraham apparently paid tithes to Melchizedek voluntarily (but
see note on verse 2).
To receive tithes from the people [to take tithes, to collect a tenth, of the
people].[ 49 ] The Jewish priests were enjoined by the Law to collect tithes from the
people. This income plus meat from sacrifices supplied their living (Nu 18:21;
compare Ex 13:12, 13; Le 27:32, 33; De 14:22-26; 15:19, 20; 2Ch 31:4).
Levites who received tithes, in turn, paid a tithe to the Lord of the tithe they
collected (Nu 18:25-32).
According to the law [in the law, by the Law]. However, since the Law
enjoined the giving tithes to the priests, their superiority may have been only a
legal status. The priests collected tithes according to the Mosaic code which gave
them that right. Their income does not seem to have been due to any dignity or
moral excellence of their own.
That is, from their brethren [that is, of their, of their own, brethren].[ 50 ] It
is not generally believed that Abraham was one of Melchizedek's fleshly
"brethren." In spite of that, he paid tithes to him.
Though they have come from the loins of Abraham [although these also are
descended, they are descended, from Abraham, come out, have come out, of
the loins of Abraham].[ 51 ] The Levitical priests were authorized by the Law to
receive tithes even though, as it were, by being in the loins of Abraham, they paid
tithes to Melchizedek. The fact that the Levites were descendants of Abraham
suggests their inferiority to him. Collecting tithes from their brethren, even if paid
voluntarily, could not, in any way, make them superior to Melchizedek.
[Heb 7:6] But he whose genealogy is not derived from them [but this man,
but the one, who has not their genealogy, whose descent is not counted, was
not traced, no genealogy, from them].[ 52 ]
Received tithes from Abraham [hath taken tithes of Abraham, received a
tenth from Abraham, has tithed Abraham].[ 53 ] The Levitical priests were given
the right to collect tithes by the Mosaic law. It was not because they were
intrinsically better than their brethren. Abraham apparently recognized
Melchizedek's greatness and, without a legal requirement, voluntarily gave him a
And blessed him who had the promises [and blessed the one, and hath
blessed him, that hath, that had, having, the promises].[ 54 ] Promises given
Abraham are in the plural number because they were often repeated (see Ge 12:1-3; 13:14-17; 15:18; 17:1-14; 22:15-18). Melchizedek blessed Abraham. The fact
that he blessed him suggests that Melchizedek accepted the honor paid him by the
patriarch (see verse 7). The perfect tense of the Greek verb suggests the
permanency of the greatness of Melchizedek (see footnote 51).
THE LESSER IS BLESSED BY THE BETTER
7:7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.
Now beyond all contradiction [but beyond, it is beyond, contradiction,
without any, but without any, and without all, dispute, controversy,
gainsaying].[ 55 ] There is no question about who was superior, Abraham or
Melchizedek. It was Melchizedek!
The lesser is blessed by the better [the inferior, that the inferior, the less, is
blessed of the superior, the greater].[ 56 ]
IT IS WITNESSED THAT HE LIVES
7:8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is
witnessed that he lives.
Here [and here]. The Hebrew writer in this instance, speaks of the Levitical
priests who received tithes from other Jews.
Mortal men receive tithes [tithes are received by mortal men, people, men,
that, who, die, dying men, receive the tenths].[ 57 ] The Levitical priests were
subject to death (see notes on Heb 7:23; 9:27).
But there [there].[ 58 ] The writer now alludes to Abraham giving a tenth to
He receives them of whom it is witnessed that he lives [one, by one, one
receives them, he receiveth them, of whom it is testified, the witness is, that he
liveth].[ 59 ] The ASV, KJV, NASB, NKJV and RSV translators were usually
careful to capitalize pronouns they thought referred to deity. They did not do so
in the phrase "that he lives." They must have thought "he" alluded to Melchizedek
and not to Christ. Nowhere does Scripture tell us Melchizedek died. This is
another factor to show his superiority over Abraham. From the context of
Hebrews, "that he lives" denotes antitypically that Jesus Christ lives forever (see
Heb 5:6; 6:20; 7:17).
LEVI PAID TITHES THROUGH ABRAHAM
7:9, 10 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to
speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Even Levi [that Levi, that Levi himself, Levi also].
Who receives tithes [who receiveth the tenth].[ 60 ] The present tense of the
Greek verb indicates continuance of action. When the book of Hebrews was
written, Levites were still receiving tithes and continued to do so until the
destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 approached.
Paid tithes through Abraham [has been made to pay, the tenth, a tenth, hath
paid tithes, has himself been tithed, in Abraham].[ 61 ] In a remote but true
sense, Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek through the action of Abraham. This
implied not only his own inferiority to Melchizedek, but the inferiority of any
Levitical priest to a Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
Through Abraham.[ 62 ] In a figurative sense, representatively, Levi paid tithes
through the actual performance of his great grandfather Abraham.[ 63 ]
So to speak [one might even say, and, so to say, and as I may so say].[ 64 ]
Levi had not been born at the time. Many years later, he was to become the great
grandson of Abraham. The qualifier "so to speak" admits that he could not
voluntarily, literally, personally or actually have paid tithes to anyone.
[7:10] For he was still in the loins of his father [for he was yet, in the loins
of the father, his ancestor].[ 65 ]
When Melchizedek met him.[ 66 ] Abraham met Melchizedek. So did Levi, not
personally, but in Abraham (see note on verse 1).
GREATNESS OF ABRAHAM
1. A mighty prince among us (Ge 23:6).
2. Friend of God (2Ch 20:7; Isa 41:8; Jas 2:23).
3. When Abraham paid tithes, Levi paid tithes.
4. When Abraham was blessed, the nation of Israel
5. Father of the faithful (Ro 4:1, 12; Jas 2:21).
LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD PLUS OT LAW HAD TO END
7:11 Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under
it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest
should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according
to the order of Aaron?
Therefore, if perfection [now if, if indeed then, now if there was, if
therefore, perfection].[ 67 ] The word TELEIOSIS perfection usually means
completion or consummation. It is used here in the sense of fulfillment of the
promise of God to redeem mankind. Thus, in this passage, it takes on the
meaning of forgiveness or salvation. The purpose of the priesthood was to bring
the people to perfection. The word "if" implies that, under the Levitical
priesthood, it was not attained. Without the shedding of Christ's blood, none of
the sacrifices the Levitical priests offered was effective in providing actual
cleansing from sin.
It was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are
offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard
to the conscience-- (Heb 9:9).
For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very
image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer
continually year by year, make those who approach perfect (Heb 10:1).
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins
Were through the Levitical priesthood [had been attainable, were, were
being reached, by the Levitical priesthood].[ 68 ] The ineffective offerings made
by the Levitical priests pointed forward to the great and effective sacrifice on
For under it [for on the basis of it, for in connection with it].[ 69 ] On the basis
of the Levitical priesthood, the people received the Law. The Law of Moses was
given to coincide with the priesthood of Aaron that had already been set up
(compare Ex 3:18; 5:3; 7:16; 10:24, 25; 12:3-11; 18:12). The two things
(priesthood and law) were inseparable.
THE LAW AND OT PRIESTS
1. The Law governed the work of the priests.
2. Without the priesthood, the Law would have been
3. Priests offered sacrifices for violations of the Law.
4. The Law and priesthood stood or fell together.
The people received the law [the people had, hath the people, their law given
to them].[ 70 ] The Jews received the Law of Moses on the basis of the Levitical
priesthood. The Law was never successful in providing "the righteousness of
God." Many in the first century did not understand God's intention of bringing
about righteousness through Jesus Christ. Inasmuch as they were seeking to
establish their own righteousness, they "have not submitted to the righteousness of
God" (Ro 10:3).
What further need was there? [what need would there have been, was there
still?].[ 71 ] The argument of the writer approaches its climax. In Psalm 110:4 God
promised a priest after the order of Melchizedek. Why did He do so? Was not
the Aaronic priesthood providing salvation from sin? The answer is that it was
That another priest [for another, a different priest].[ 72 ] God knew all along
that a new priesthood was necessary to accomplish His purpose. In the middle of
the OT He revealed it to mankind (see Ps 110:4).
Should rise [to arise, should arise].[ 73 ] The Levitical priesthood just did not
bring perfection. It was imperative that it be replaced. Although "should rise"
implies the rising to a position, there is an allusion here to the resurrection and
ascension of Christ.
According to the order of Melchizedek [after the order of Melchizedek].[ 74 ]
Christ is like Melchizedek in majesty and honor. He is also like him in that he has
an ageless priesthood, not from Aaron's line.
And not be called according to the order of Aaron [rather than one named,
and not be named, reckoned, appointed, after the order of Aaron].[ 75 ] The
paraphrase of the NEB "instead of the succession of Aaron" it is not an exact
translation. "Order" or "rank" would have been better.
PRIESTHOOD AND LAW CHANGED
7:12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of
For the priesthood being changed [for when there is a change in, for the
change of, the priesthood].[ 76 ] The change of the OT priesthood was a
revolutionary accomplishment. Such a change was unprecedented. Bringing it
about was equivalent to moving a mountain. So far as I know, it was predicted
by only two OT passages (Ps 110:4; Zec 6:13). The power of God's word in
those two chapters accomplished it (see notes on verses 11, 24).
WHY OT PRIESTHOOD WAS CHANGED
1. Was dependant upon the limited tenure of men.
2. Sacrifices would end when Jerusalem was
destroyed in AD 70.
3. Better sacrifice than bulls and goats needed.
4. Failed to provide actual remission of sins.
5. God had sworn that the Messiah would be priest
after order of Melchizedek.
6. Christ, not of the tribe of Levi, could not be a priest
on earth (Heb 8:4).
7. To show the futility of man's efforts to atone for
Of necessity [there is necessarily, there is made, there takes place, of
necessity, makes necessary].[ 77 ] Since the OT Law authorized Levitical priests,
that Law had to be changed in order to accommodate an entirely different kind of
There is also a change of the law [a change in the law as well, also of the
law, of law also].[ 78 ] The same OT that authorized the Levitical priesthood gives
us God's oath that the Messiah would be a priest after the order of Melchizedek
(see Ps 110:4). This fact implies that God had in mind all along the abrogation
of the OT Law with its Aaronic priesthood.[ 79 ] This also implies inferiority of the
Levitical priesthood. Otherwise, there would have been no need to change it. The
Law failed to make men righteous because none kept it perfectly. The OT
priesthood also failed to make men righteous because the blood of animals could
not take away sin. If man was ever going to enjoy fellowship with God, it was
necessary to change both the Law and the priesthood (see note on verse 18).
Paul pointed out that Christians are under the law of Christ (1Co 9:21). He
designated that law as "the law of faith" and "the faith" (Ro 3:27-31). Verse 31
shows that by "the faith" we establish law (see Joh 14:15; Ro 8:1, 2; Jas 1:25;
2:12; 1Jo 2:3, 4; 5:3; 2Jo 9; Jude 3).
A TRIBE FROM WHICH NO MAN OFFICIATED AT THE ALTAR
7:13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from
which no man has officiated at the altar.
For He of whom [for the One]. "He" or "the One" concerning whom these
things are spoken is "another priest" (verse 11). He is called "our Lord" (verse
These things are spoken [of whom these things, are spoken, are said].[ 80 ]
"These things are spoken" pertain to (1) "another priest" after the order of
Melchizedek (verse 11) and (2) the change of the priesthood (verse 12). The Holy
Spirit has been leading up to this point for some time for the benefit of those of
us who are dull of hearing (see notes on Heb 5:5, 6)
Belongs to another tribe [belonged to, belongeth to, pertaineth to, is of, a
different tribe].[ 81 ] Jesus, who became High Priest in the NT age, was not of the
tribe of Levi. The tribe He belonged to was Judah (see verse 14).
From which no man has officiated at the altar [of which no one, has ever
served, gave, hath given, attendance, has [ever] been attached to the service,
of the altar].[ 82 ] So far as I have knowledge, no non-Levite ever tried to become
a priest[ 83 ] since the days of Korah's rebellion (Nu 16:1-40).[ 84 ] Of course,
Jereboam made priests of anybody to officiate in the idolatrous worship of the
calves at Dan and Bethel. King Uzzah entered the temple to burn incense (2Ch
OUR LORD AROSE FROM JUDAH
7:14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses
spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
For it is evident [for it is clear, very clear, very evident].[ 85 ]
CHRIST ROSE LIKE A STAR
1. A star shall come out of Jacob Nu 24:17).
2. The sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in
His wings (Mal 4:2).
3. Our Lord arose from Judah (Heb 7:14).
a. The Greek ANATETALKEN arose or descended
has been used of the movement of a heavenly
That our Lord arose from Judah [that our Lord from Judah, descended, was
descended, sprang, hath, has, sprung, out of Juda].[ 86 ] OT prophecies foretold
that the Lord was to descend from the tribe of Judah. For example:
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his
feet, until Shiloh comes; and to Him shall be the obedience of the people
He was specifically to come from the house of Jesse:
There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall
grow out of his roots (Isa 11:1).
The Branch would be from the house of David.
"Behold, the days are coming," says the LORD, "That I will raise to David
a Branch of righteousness; a King shall reign and prosper, and execute
judgment and righteousness in the earth" (Jer 23:5; compare 33:15; Zec
Of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood [and in
connection with that tribe, as to which tribe, a tribe of which, Moses said,
spake, nothing, about, as to, priests, the priesthood].[ 87 ] Moses gave no
instructions about men from Judah becoming priests. The principle of
exclusivity[ 88 ] was enough to prevent that. At Korah's rebellion, it was made plain
that it was God's will that only those from the tribe of Levi were to serve as
priests under the Law of Moses (Nu 16:1-18:7).
[RECAP OF CURRENT THEME]
1. Our Lord is of the tribe of Judah.
2. His priesthood is superior Aaron's.
3. Levitical priesthood brought no absolute forgiveness.
4. A change of priesthood required a change of law.
5. The Levitical priesthood and Law of Moses have
ANOTHER PRIEST ACCORDING TO POWER OF ENDLESS LIFE
7:15, 16 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek,
there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a
fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.
And it is yet far more evident [and what we say is, this becomes, even more,
yet more abundantly, evident, clearer still].[ 89 ] In order to understand what "is
far more evident" or clearer still" one needs to read the rest of the chapter. It is
clear because (1) another priest has arisen according to the order of Melchizedek
and (2) the setting aside of a former commandment. The important lesson to be
gleaned is that Christ brings a better hope because "He abides forever" and is
"made perfect forever" (see chart NECESSARY CHANGE [RECAP OF
PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
1. Of tribe of Judah.
2. Is now High Priest.
3. Law specified Levitical priests (Nu 16:40; 17:1-9).
4. A Priest from Judah seems contrary to OT Law.
5. Christ can serve as High Priest because:
a. His Priesthood is different order than Aaron's.
b. He serves in heaven, not on earth.
If, in the likeness of Melchizedek [when in, after, for that after, according
to, the similitude of Melchisedec].
There arises another priest [that if a different priest arises, there ariseth, if
there arises, appears].[ 90 ]
According to the likeness of Melchizedek [after the similitude, in the likeness
of, is one like, Melchizedek].[ 91 ]
[7:16] Who has come [who hath become a priest, been made, who is made].
Not according to the law of a fleshly commandment [who has been
constituted not according to the Law's fleshly requirements, that he is not a
priest, after the law of a carnal commandment].[ 92 ] Jesus did not fulfill the legal
requirement of one to become a priest after the order of Aaron (see Nu 16:40;
But according to the power of an endless life [but by, but after, but on the
basis of, the power of an indestructible life, of a life that cannot be
destroyed].[ 93 ] The phrase "power of an endless life" is found only here in all the
NT. One of the qualifications Christ has that made Him made High Priest is that
He arose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Within Him dwells the inherent
virtue of life that has no end.
A PRIEST FOREVER
7:17 For He testifies: "You are a priest forever according to the order of
For He testifies [for it is witnessed of him, for he testifieth, bears witness, for
it is borne witness].[ 94 ] The testimony concerning Christ's eternal existence is in
the very Psalm that has been referred to again and again (see Ps 110:4).
You are a priest forever [Thou art a priest for ever].[ 95 ] Of an Aaronic priest,
this would not be said because of his limited earthly tenure of service.
According to the order of Melchizedek [after the order of Melchizedek].[ 96 ]
Note the unnecessary inclusion of the idea of "succession" in the NEB: "in the
succession of Melchizedek," and the over-emphasis of likeness in the NIV with
"just like Melchizedek." "Order" would have been better.
AN ANNULLING OF THE OT LAW
7:18, 19 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former
commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law
made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better
hope, through which we draw near to God.
For on the one hand there is an annulling [on the one hand is set aside, for
verily, there is, a disannulling, a setting aside, now is annulled].[ 97 ] In
Hebrews 7:12, we learned that there had to be a change of the Law. In the
present verse, additional information is given as to the type of change. The Law
was set aside, annulled, abrogated. Insofar as a Law for man to obey in the
church age, it is canceled. Just as surely as God's oath made Christ a High Priest,
just that surely has the OT Law been done away. Make no mistake about it, the
Law of Moses was annulled at the cross of Christ. Its effectiveness as law was
then and there completed, abolished and nailed to the cross (see notes on Eph
2:15; Col 2:14).
Of the former commandment [a, of a, foregoing, commandment, going
before].[ 98 ] "The former commandment" is the OT Law that authorized Levitical
priests. That Law has ended. Not only has the priestly portion of the Law been
discontinued but the command to circumcise children no longer applies (Ga 5:2-4).
Also rescinded are other decrees that were "against us." These were all nailed to
the cross (Col 2:14). Some of them were commands about food, drink,
celebrations of the yearly festivals, new moons and the Sabbath day (see Col 2:14-16). As a matter of fact, the entire OT Law has been taken out of the way and
nailed to the cross.
Because of its weakness [for the weakness, because it was weak].[ 99 ] The OT
Law was impotent and weak. It was weak because their was no perfection through
its priesthood (Heb 7:11). It could not give absolute forgiveness nor eternal life.
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God
did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of
sin: He condemned sin in the flesh (Ro 8:3)
Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there
had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would
have been by the law (Ga 3:21).
And unprofitableness [and uselessness, and unprofitableness thereof, and
ineffective].[ 100 ] The "former commandment" (the OT Law) contained the carnal
commandment that authorized Levites priests. It was useless in that it could not
bring to man actual remission of sins. Neither could it restore sinful man to
fellowship with God.
For the law made nothing perfect [for the law perfected nothing].[ 101 ] Do
not you wish the Law had been able to make things and people perfect? If it could
have, it would not have been necessary for Christ to die on the cross (see Ga
THE LAW MADE NOTHING PERFECT
1. Could not be justified by law of Moses (Ac 13:39).
2. By the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in
His sight (Ro 3:20).
3. Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of
the law but by faith in Jesus Christ (Ga 2:16).
4. Gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make
him who performed the service perfect in regard to
the conscience (Heb 9:9).
5. For the law . . . can never with these same
sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year,
make those who approach perfect (Heb 10:1).
On the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope [on the other
hand, a better hope is introduced, and a bringing in thereupon, but the
introduction, of a better hope did].[ 102 ] The gospel is called a "better hope"
because it offers eternal life through of the redemption in Christ Jesus. The term
"better hope," by metonymy, is the entire gospel system. Redemption has been
made possible by the shedding of Christ's blood. "We exult in hope of the glory
of God" (Ro 5:2).
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit
offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead
works to serve the living God? (Heb 9:14).
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who
promised is faithful (Heb 10:23).
Through which we draw near to God [by which, by the which, we draw nigh
unto God].[ 103 ] The OT Law did not and could not make it possible for man to
"draw near to God" by the forgiveness of his sins. The Levitical priesthood was
a failure in this respect.
CHRIST SUPERIOR BECAUSE OF GOD'S OATH
7:20-22 And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath 21 (for they
have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said
to Him: "The Lord has sworn and will not relent, 'You are a priest forever
according to the order of Melchizedek'"), 22 by so much more Jesus has
become a surety of a better covenant.
SUPERIORITY OF CHRIST'S PRIESTHOOD
1. Established by the oath of God (Heb 7:21).
b. Levitical priests served without an oath.
2. Serves forever (Heb 7:21).
a. Not limited by earthly life-time as were OT
And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath [and it was not, as
it is not, and by how much it was not, he was made priest, without the
swearing, without the taking, of an oath].[ 104 ] The divine oath referred to is
recorded in Psalm 110:4. That important oath reinforces the understanding of the
change of the priesthood.
[7:21] For they have become priests [those who formerly became, are
become, for they indeed, for indeed men, were, have been, made priests].[ 105 ]
Without an oath [without the swearing of an oath].[ 106 ] I have found no
Scripture indicating that God made an oath when Aaron [and/or his successors]
were made priests. Their elaborate ordination ceremonies included no oath
whatsoever (read Ex 24, Le 8, 9). God said to Moses:
Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the
children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron's
sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (Ex 28:1).
Just prior to Aaron's death, Moses stripped him of his garments and put them on
his son Eleazar who succeeded him as high priest (Nu 20:28, 29).
But He with an oath [but this one was addressed, but this, but he was
appointed, with an oath, but he with the swearing of an oath].[ 107 ] Christ
became High Priest with an oath from God Himself (see Ps 110:4).
By Him who said to Him [him that saith of, unto, him, by the One, as to
him].[ 108 ]
The Lord has sworn [the Lord sware, swore].[ 109 ]
And will not relent [and will not repent, change his mind, repent himself,
repent of it].[ 110 ] The word "repent" means a change of mind. In the case of a
sinner, it means he changes his mind to quit sinning to live righteously before
God. When God is said to have repented, it means He changed His mind. The
present verse implies that God never intends to change His oath nor the Priesthood
of Christ that is associated with it.
You are a priest forever [Thou art a priest for ever][ 111 ] (see Psalm 110:4;
notes on Heb 7:17, 24, 28).
According to the order of Melchizedek [after the order of Melchizedek][ 112 ]
(see Heb 5:6; 10; 6:20; 7:11, 15).
[7:22] By so much more [this, so much the more also, by so much, by so
much also].[ 113 ] God's oath is a guarantee. Much more, in addition to His oath,
Jesus Himself has become the guarantee of the better covenant.
Jesus has become a surety [makes Jesus, hath Jesus become, was Jesus made,
Jesus became, the surety, the guarantee, surety of a better covenant].[ 114 ]
Jesus became the guarantor when He fulfilled the oath-promise to be Priest after
the order of Melchizedek He assures that the earlier oath-promise to Abraham is
fulfilled in the new and better covenant.
God's word and His promises are sure with or without a guarantee. That Jesus
is the guarantor must be taken in the same sense of God swearing. Both were for
the encouragement of human beings. Verse 11 implies that the Levitical
priesthood was the basis of the old Law. We may infer from verse 22 that Jesus
Himself, by becoming High Priest, is not only the guarantor, but the very basis,
of the New Covenant.
The Israelite people thought of themselves as guarantors of the old covenant.
Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the
people. And they said, "All that the LORD has said we will do, and be
obedient" (Ex 24:7; compare Ex 24:3; 19:8).
Of a better covenant [of a better testament].[ 115 ] This is the first time in the
book of Hebrews that the Greek DIATHEKEES covenant, testament, appears.
The word, first of all, means a "last will and testament."[ 116 ] In the Greek
Septuagint, it retains a part of that meaning:
Namely that it is the declaration of one person's will, not the agreement
between two parties, like a compact or a contract (see Ge 21:22-32).[ 117 ]
The NT contains the holy will of God for the church age. Although the OT
contains much information for our learning (Ro 15:4), the NT is better than the
old for several reasons (see chart NEW COVENANT IS BETTER; notes on Heb
DEATH ENDED OT PRIESTS' SERVICE
7:23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death
Also there were many priests [the former priests were, and they indeed have
been, many in number, and they truly were, and they have been, made
priests, indeed many men became priests].[ 118 ] In the present verse, I
understand the writer to mean high priests when he says "many priests."[ 119 ]
About the time the book of Hebrews was written, there had been 75 or more of
them. Actually, Phannias, the last one to serve at AD 70, was the eighty-first.[ 120 ]
QUALITIES OF CHRIST
1. Merciful and faithful (Heb 2:17).
2. Can sympathize (Heb 4:15).
3. Holy, innocent, undefiled.
4. Separated from sinners.
5. Exalted above the heavens (Heb 7:26).
CHRIST APPOINTED AS HIGH PRIEST
1. A great High Priest who has passed through the
heavens (Heb 4:14).
2. Glorified by God (Heb 5:5).
3. Called by God as High Priest (Heb 5:10).
4. High Priest forever according to the order of
Melchizedek (Heb 6:20).
5. Seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty
in the heavens (Heb 8:1).
ROLE OF OUR HIGH PRIEST
1. Apostle and High Priest of our confession (Heb 3:1).
2. With an offering (Heb 8:3).
3. Good things to come (Heb 9:11).
4. Over the house of God (Heb 10:21).
Because they were prevented by death from continuing [because, on account
of, because that, by death, they are hindered, being hindered, from continuing
in office, they were not suffered to continue, by reason of death].[ 121 ] Aaron
died (Nu 33:39). So did his son Eleazar (Jos 24:33). So did all the other
Levitical high priests.
JESUS CONTINUES UNCHANGEABLE
7:24 But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.
But He [on the other hand, but this man, but this One]. "He" or "this man"
is Jesus Christ (implied by verse 25).
Because He continues forever [because He abides, abideth, continueth, his
continuing, ever, forever].[ 122 ] Death has been conquered! Christ was raised
bodily from the grave. He ascended into heaven and "continues forever." This
enables Him to be our Priest and Savior.
Has an unchangeable priesthood [holds, has the, hath his, priesthood
unchangeable, permanently].[ 123 ] The holy Priesthood of Christ is permanent
throughout the church age (see notes on verses 11, 12).
NEW COVENANT IS BETTER
1. Remission of sins.
2. No need to shed blood of animals.
3. Christ died for our sins and conquered death.
4. He lives on and on to make intercession.
5. He is holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from
ABLE TO SAVE TO UTTERMOST
7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to
God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
Therefore [consequently, wherefore, whence].[ 124 ] This is a wonderful verse.
Christ lives forever! He was raised from the dead to die no more. He holds His
Priesthood permanently. Thus He is able to save to the uttermost!
He is also able to save [he is, also he is, able to save, able also to save].[ 125 ]
Jesus is able to save because He died, was buried and was raised again. He is the
eternal, resurrected, powerful Son of God. He saves those who obey him (Heb
To the uttermost [for, throughout, all time, completely].[ 126 ] The eternal
Christ is able to save eternally. He is also able to save utterly, completely and
Those who come to God through Him [them that draw near, who approach,
unto God by him, by him to God].[ 127 ] James advises, "Draw near to God and
He will draw near to you" (Jas 4:8). The Jewish worshippers "drew near" when
they approached God through the priest with a proper sacrifice for their sins (see
note on Heb 10:1). Today, Christians draws near to God by faith, in humble,
trusting obedience and worship (see notes on Heb 4:16; 10:22).
Since He always lives [seeing, because, he ever liveth, always lives, is always
living].[ 128 ] We serve a risen Savior. He lives on and on. This is important
insofar as our salvation and the salvation of our posterity is concerned.
To make intercession for them [to intercede for them].[ 129 ] A well-known
prophecy of Christ says:
Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, and He shall divide the
spoil with the strong, because He poured out His soul unto death, and He
was numbered with the transgressors, and He bore the sin of many, and
made intercession for the transgressors (Isa 53:12).
In behalf of penitent Christians, Jesus now pleads before God. He does not
intercede for rebellious Christians nor for disobedient alien sinners.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also
risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for
us (Ro 8:34).
The apostle John wrote about Christ, saying:
And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand
on me, saying to me, "Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. 18 I
am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore.
Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death" (Re 1:17, 18).
Christ makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him. He
is able to do His intercessory work perpetually because of His endless heavenly
CHRIST SUPERIOR BECAUSE OF HIS CHARACTER
7:26, 27 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless,
undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27
who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for
His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He
offered up Himself.
FITTING TO HAVE SUCH A HIGH PRIEST
1. OT Law made high priests.
a. Many in number.
c. Prevalent infirmity.
d. Required daily sacrifices.
2. God's oath made Christ a High Priest.
a. Holy, innocent, undefiled.
b. Separated from sinners.
c. Exalted above the heavens.
d. Offered up Himself once for all.
e. Made perfect forever.
For such a High Priest [for such an high priest, have such a high priest, for
such a high priest].[ 130 ]
Would it have been possible for God to have provided other high priests? Would
they have worn black robes? Would they have been good or poor examples for
Christians? Would they have demanded confessions? Whatever the possibility,
God ruled out that sort of priest and provided One who is holy, kind and fair--and
who is in heaven.
Was fitting for us [became us, it was, for it was, suitable that we, that we
should have].[ 131 ]
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might
be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make
propitiation for the sins of the people (Heb 2:17).
God planned the priesthood of Christ well. He planned it according to man's
need. Christ executed the plan perfectly. Man could not have asked for anything
better. God thought it was fitting for man to have the best. What He planned for
man is a perfect High Priest.
QUALITIES OF OUR HIGH PRIEST
Who is holy [holy].[ 132 ] Christ is holy in His relation to God. In a figure,
Christians who have been cleansed by the blood of Christ have washed their robes
of white (see Re 7:14; 22:14). In a similar figure, the garments of our Lord were
always pure and white.
Harmless [blameless, guileless, innocent][ 133 ] Christ is free from evil,
craftiness and slyness. He is not deceptive nor prejudiced. He is gracious and
Undefiled [unstained, pure].[ 134 ] A Levitical priest might be disqualified
because of moral or ceremonial defilement. Christ is free from that. He is
immaculate and without spot. He provides an undefiled inheritance for Christians.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to
His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible
and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you (1Pe
Separate from sinners [separated from sinners].[ 135 ] Christ is exalted above
And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all
things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all
in all (Eph 1:22, 23).
He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens,
that He might fill all things (Eph 4:10).
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He
lives, He lives to God (Ro 6:10).
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our
weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin (Heb
Who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and
authorities and powers having been made subject to Him (1Pe 3:22).
And has become higher than the heavens [and made, become, exalted, above
the heavens].[ 136 ]
He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens,
that He might fill all things (Eph 4:10).
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the
heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession (Heb 4:14).
[7:27] Who does not need daily [He has no need, who needeth not, daily,
who has not day by day need].[ 137 ] Under the Law, one lamb was offered in the
morning and one in the evening (Ex 29:38-46; Nu 28:1-10). If a priest sinned so
as to "bring guilt on the people," even if this was done daily, he had to offer a
sacrifice (Le 4:3). Then there was the yearly sacrifice the high priest offered on
the Day of Atonement (Le 16:6).
As those high priests [like those high priests, as the high priests]. Our High
Priest in heaven is not offering up sacrifices like the earthly priests did.
To offer up sacrifices [to offer, first to offer up sacrifices].[ 138 ] Again the
Hebrew writer alludes to the daily sacrifices. They were offered by the high
priests but not personally. Priests who served under them took care of that.
First for His own sins [for his own sins].[ 139 ] Earthly high priests were sinners
and were represented as being first in line when the daily sin offerings were made.
On the Day of Atonement, the high priest first had to offer a young bullock for
himself and his family (Le 16:11-16; Heb 9:6, 7).
And then for the people's [and then for those, for the sins, of the
people].[ 140 ] After the high priest had offered a sacrifice for his own sins, then
he offered for the people (see Le 16:15-18).
For this He did [he did this, because he did this, for this he did]. Jesus does
not need to offer sacrifices daily as the OT priests did. His one great sacrifice on
Calvary was sufficient to take away the sins of the world (see Mt 1:21; Joh 1:29).
He only offered for the sins of the people, not for Himself, because He was free
from sin (see notes on verse 26; 4:15).
Once for all [once, once for all].[ 141 ] OT priests offered daily. Christ offered
Himself only once for people for all time (for usage of the Greek term, see 1Co
15:5; Jude 3).
JESUS TAKES AWAY SINS (A)
1. When You make His soul an offering for sin
2. To give His life a ransom for many (Mt 20:28).
3. My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for
many for the remission of sins (Mt 26:28).
4. Gave Himself for our sins (Ga 1:4).
5. Had by Himself purged our sins (Heb 1:3).
JESUS TAKES AWAY SINS (A)
1. To make propitiation for the sins of the people
2. Once for all when He offered up Himself (Heb 7:27)
3. Through the eternal Spirit offered Himself
4. But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for
sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God
When He offered up Himself [when he offered, in having offered up,
himself[.[ 142 ] Christ entered into heaven itself and became our High Priest.
There he offered His body to God for our sins once and for all (Heb 9:12, 14, 24-26; 10:10, 11, 14). Because of what Christ did, we dearly love Him,9 and each
And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an
offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma (Eph 5:2).
OT HIGH PRIESTS IMPERFECT
7:28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the
word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been
For the law appoints [indeed, the law appointeth, constitutes, maketh,
men].[ 143 ]
As high priests [high priests].[ 144 ]
Men who have weakness [imperfect, in their weakness, having, which have,
infirmity].[ 145 ] All of the earthly high priests were sinners (see Ro 3:23). Some
of them were ambitious, haughty and inconsiderate. A few of them were dishonest
and even adulterers. Aaron himself made a golden calf (Ex 32:1-29).
But the word of the oath [but the word of the swearing of the oath].[ 146 ] The
writer sums up the argument that proves Christ to be superior. He was greater
than the Levitical priests by virtue of His appointment by God's oath.
Which came after the law [which was, is, later than, since, the law]. The
oath by which Christ was apparently made High Priest after the Mosaic Law was
given (see Ps 110:4). Also His inauguration as High Priest occurred afterwards.
He did not begin serving as High priest until after the Law was taken out of the
way at the cross (see Zec 6:13).
Appoints the Son [appointeth, maketh, a Son].[ 147 ] The word "Son" is from
Psalm 2:7 (see notes on Heb 1:5; 5:5). Christ, the Son of God, is our High
Priest. His relationship to God as Son is another aspect of His superiority.
Who has been perfected forever [perfected, who is perfected, who has been,
made perfect, consecrated, for evermore].[ 148 ] "Forever" is from Psalm 110:4
(see notes on Heb 5:6; 7:17, 21). Jesus was perfected in the sense that He became
a perfect Savior and perfect High Priest (see notes on Heb 2:10; 5:9). As our
High Priest, He is perfected forever both legally and officially.
[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version.
Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV, RSV and occasionally another version.
Greek transliteration tends to follow the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]According to Jewish tradition, Melchizedek is identified with Shem. Shem lived on 502 years
after the flood (inferred from Ge 11:10, 11). He may have outlived Abraham. A legend has Abraham
who is supposed to have asked Melchizedek, "How is it you came forth safely from the ark?" He
replied, "By reason of the charity we practiced there." Abraham asked, "But what charity was there
for you to practice? Were there any poor in the ark? Only Noah and his sons were there, so to whom
could you have been charitable?" "To the animals, beasts and birds. We did not sleep but gave each
its food throughout the night," he replied. According to tradition, he also collaborated with David to
write Psalm 110.
[ 3 ]Coffman 137.
[ 4 ]The complete passage from Josephus that mentions Melchizedek reads: "So Abram, when he had
saved the captive Sodomites, who had been taken by the Assyrians, and Lot also, his kinsman, returned
home in peace. now the king of Sodom met him at a certain place, which they called The King's Dale,
where Melchizedek, king of the city Salem, received him. That name signifies, the righteous king; and
such he was, without dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God: however,
they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. Now this Melchizedek supplied Abram's army in a hospitable
manner, and gave them provisions in abundance; and as they were feasting, he began to praise him,
and to bless God for subduing his enemies under him. And when Abram gave him the tenth part of
his prey, he accepted of the gift: but the king of Sodom desired Abram to take the prey, but entreated
that he might have those men restored to him whom Abram had saved from the Assyrians, because they
belonged to him" (Antiquities 1.10.2).
[ 5 ]Josephus, Antiquities 1.10.2.
[ 6 ]Philo was born in Alexandria about 20 BC and who died AD 50.
[ 7 ]Philo, Legg. Alleg. 25, 26, quoted by Milligan 196.
[ 8 ]BASILEUS SALEEM, King of Salem (Marshall 867; Williams; Lenski 209); commonly regarded
as the site of Jerusalem. It has also been supposed to represent SALEIM Salim, mentioned in John 3:23
(Vincent 4.455); a king priest (Vine 623).
[ 9 ]Josephus, Antiquities 1.10.2.
[ 10 ]The etymology of Jerusalem is "foundation of Shalem" or "city of Shalem" and is associated with
the Hebrew word SHALOM peace (Bruce 136).
[ 11 ]Josephus, Antiquities 7.3.2.
[ 12 ]Josephus, Wars 6.10.1.
[ 13 ]HIEREUS TOU THEOU TOU HUPSISTOU, priest God of the Most high (Marshall 867; Lenski
209); most high, a superlative degree, the positive not being in use; used of God (Vine 549); the
Septuagint rendering of the Hebrew EL ELYON who is identified with YAHWEH in Genesis 14:22.
Among the Greeks it was a designation of Zeus. ELYON and YAHWEH also appear repeatedly as
synonyms in poetic parallelism in the Psalms and elsewhere (for example, Ps 18:13). According to
Philo of Byblus, ELIOUN ["Most High"] was the chief deity among the Phoenicians (Bruce 95, 113);
and priest of the Most High God (Williams).
[ 14 ]Milligan 196.
[ 15 ]HO SUNANTEESAS ABRAAM, the [one] meeting Abraham (Marshall 867); SUNANTEESAS
is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of SUNANTAOO (Han 399); who
met Abraham (Williams); the one who met Abraham (Lenski 209); [SUN with, ANTAOO to go to
meet], literally met together, met [Abraham] (Vine 729).
[ 16 ]HUPOSTREPHONTI APO TEES KOPEES TOON BASILEOON, returning from the slaughter
of the kings (Marshall 867; Lenski 209); HUPOSTREPHONTI is the present active participle, dative
singular masculine of HUPOSTREPHOO (Han 399); as he was coming back from the defeat of the
kings (Williams); was turning behind, or back [HUPO under] [from the] strokes [akin to KOPTOO to
strike, to cut], signifies smiting in battle (Vine 963, 1052).
[ 17 ]The first four kings in the story were: (1) Amraphel, king of Shinar, (2) Arioch, king of Ellasar,
(3) Chedorlaomer, king of Elam and (4) Tidal, king of Goiim.
[ 18 ]The five kings were (1) Bera, king of Sodom, (2) Birsha, king of Gomorrah, (3) Shinab, king
of Admah, (4) Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and (5) the king of Bela (that is Zoar).
[ 19 ]Probably a type of the Lord's Supper. The Holy Spirit did not choose to mention this in the
book of Hebrews.
[ 20 ]The fact that Melchizedek blessed Abraham implies his superiority.
[ 21 ]The giving of a tithe was a fulfillment of his obligation to give to the Lord. Jacob, some time
later, promised to give the Lord a tenth (Ge 28:22). Perhaps also he made his contribution to
Melchizedek, or to another similar priest.
[ 22 ]KAI EULOGEESAS AUTON, and blessing him (Marshall 867); EULOGEESAS is the first
aorist active participle, nominate singular masculine of EULOGEOO (Han 399); [EU well, LOGOS a
word] (Vine 124); invoked blessings in congratulations (Thayer 259); and blessed him (Williams); and
put his blessing on him (Williams).
[ 23 ]HOO KAI EMERISEN 'ABRAAM, to whom indeed divided Abraham (Marshall 867);
EMERISEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of MERIZOO (Han 399); divided into
parts (Vine 480); to whom Abraham contributed (Williams); he to whom Abraham parceled out also
[ 24 ]DEKATEEN APO PANTOON, a tenth from all (Marshall 867); [feminine form of DEKATOS,
an adjective from DEKA ten, with MERIS a part, understood], used as a noun, a tenth (Vine 1130);
a tenth of all (Williams); a tenth from everything (Lenski 209).
[ 25 ]PROOTON, firstly (Marshall 867); the first designation is the literal interpretation of the Hebrew
name [Melchizedek] (Vincent 4.454, 455); the superlative degree of PRO before (Vine 433); who first
of all (Williams); first (Lenski 209).
[ 26 ]MEN HERMEENEUOMENOS, being interpreted (Marshall 867); HERMEENEUOMENOS is
the present passive participle, nominative singular masculine of ERMEENEUOO (Han 399); being
interpreted belongs only to this designation [Melchizedek] (Vincent 4.455); literally, being interpreted
(Vine 598); in accordance with the meaning of his name (Williams); by interpretation (Lenski 209).
[ 27 ]BASILEUS DIKAIOSUNEES, King of righteousness (Marshall 867; Lenski 209); and this [the
name Melchizedek] signifies righteous king (Vincent 4.455); King of righteousness (Vine 598); is king
of righteousness (Williams).
[ 28 ]Josephus, Antiquities 1.10.2.
[ 29 ]EPEITA DE KAI, then on the other (Marshall 867); then follows . . . Supply being; not being
interpreted (Vincent 4.455); and then (Williams); and then also (Lenski 209).
[ 30 ]BASILEUS SALEEM, King of Salem (Marshall 867; Williams; lenski 209); king of Salem,
commonly regarded as the site of Jerusalem.
[ 31 ]In addition to Jerusalem, it has been supposed that Salem is SALEIM Salim mentioned in John
3:23. Jerome said it was a town eight Roman miles from Scythopolis (not Jerusalem) that, in his day,
the place retained the name Salem, and that the ruins of Melchizedek's palace were shown there.
Others have supposed Salem was on the east side of Jordan. They also claim that John baptized there.
Still another tradition has Abraham and Melchizedek meeting at Argarizin, the "Mountain of the Most
High." Another Salem is a city captured by the Jews (Jg 4:4). One more Salem (Salim) is near Zerin
(Jezreel). Still another is Shalim of 1 Samuel 9:4. We are told that Jewish commentators generally
say that Salem is Jerusalem.
[ 32 ]The temple site is believed to have been on Mount Moriah.
[ 33 ]HO ESTIN BASILEUS EIREENEES, which is King of peace (Marshall 867; Lenski 209); a
designation derived from his character, king of peace (Vincent 4.455); which means king of peace
[ 34 ]APATPOR AMEETOOR, without father, without mother (Marshall 867; Lenski 209); without
father [A negative, PATEER father, from a root signifying a nourisher, protector, upholder], signifies,
in Hebrews 7:3, with no recorded genealogy; without a mother [A negative, MEETEER mother, the
natural relationship], used in Hebrews 7:3 of the Genesis record of Melchizedek, certain details
concerning him being purposely omitted, in order to conform the description to facts about Christ as
the Son of God. The word has been found in this sense in the writings of Euripides the dramatist and
Herodotus the historian (Vine 412, 758); the meaning is that there is no record concerning his parentage
(Vincent 4.455); with no father, no mother (Williams).
[ 35 ]A Jewish method of interpretation does not admit the existence of anything until it is mentioned
in Scripture (see Strack-Billerbeck, Kommentar zum NY aus Talmud und Midrasch, 3, Munich, 1926,
page 694f; Bruce 136). According to this, Melchizedek could be "truthfully" said to be without father
and mother simply because they are not mentioned in the Bible.
[ 36 ]AGENEALOGEETOS, without pedigree (Marshall 867); denoting without recorded pedigree
[A negative, and an adjectival form from GENEALOGEOO to reckon or trace a genealogy, from
GENEA a race, and LEGOO to choose, pick out], without genealogy (Vine 473); no ancestry
(Williams); without genealogical line (Lenski 209).
[ 37 ]MEETE ARCHEEN HEEMEROON MEETE ZOOEES TELOS ECHOON, neither beginning
of days nor of life end having (Marshall 867); nor beginning of days nor having end of life; [having
neither] beginning, origin (Thayer 77); [nor] end, termination, succession [of life] (Arndt 811); no
beginning to his days, no end to his life [that is, no record of these facts] (Williams); neither beginning
of days nor end of life (Lenski 209).
[ 38 ]APHOOMOIOOMENOS DE TOO HUIOO TOU THEOU, but having been made like to the Son
of God (Marshall 867); APHOOMOIOOMENOS is the present passive participle, nominative singular
masculine of APHOMOIOOO (Han 399); made like or likened, not like. Melchizedek was a type of
Christ. He was a "shadow"; Christ is the substance. The substance was not made like the shadow,
but the shadow like the substance. Thus Melchizedek was made like the Son of God, not vice versa.
"The resemblance lies in the Biblical representation, and not primarily in Melchizedek himself"
[Westcott]. Son of God, not Son of man (Vincent 4.455); but like the Son of God (Williams); but
having been made like the Son of God (Lenski 209).
[ 39 ]MENEI HIEREUS EIS TO DIEENEKES, literally unto the carried-through [DIA through,
ENENKA to carry], that is, unto [the] unbroken continuance, used of the Priesthood of Christ, Hebrews
10:1 (Vine 227); [DIEENEKES from DIAPHEREIN to bear through], borne on through ages,
continuous (Vincent 4.456). Melchizedek "abideth a priest continually like the Son of God" (Vincent
4.456); as priest continues on and on with no successor [tense and adverbial phrase have this exact
meaning] (Williams); remains a priest in perpetuity (Lenski 209).
[ 40 ]Levitical priests died (see Nu 20:24-29).
[ 41 ]THEOOREITE, Now behold ye (Marshall 866); THEOOREITE is second person plural, present
active indicative of THEOOREOO (Han 399); [from THEOROS a spectator], used of one who looks
at a thing with interest and for a purpose, usually indicating the careful observation of details; consider
(Vine 106); now see (Williams); now behold (Lenski 215).
[ 42 ]DE PEELIKOS HOUTOS, how great this man [was] (Marshall 857); primarily a direct
interrogative, how large? how great? is used in exclamations, indicating magnitude . . . of the
distinguished character of Melchizedek (Vine 504); how great this man must have been (Williams); how
great this man is (Lenski 215).
[ 43 ]HO PATRIARCHEES, the patriarch (Marshall 867); [from PATRIA a family, ARCHOO to
rule], patriarch (Vine 841); even the patriarch (Williams); he, the patriarch (Lenski 215).
[ 44 ]DEKATEEN EDOOKEN, a tenth gave (Marshall 867); EDOOKEN is third person singular, first
aorist active indicative of DIDOOMI (Han 399); properly an adjective, but used as a noun for tithe
(Vincent 4.457); [feminine form of DEKATOS, an adjective from DEKA ten, with MERIS a part,
understood], used as a noun, a tenth (Vine 1130); gave him a tenth (Williams); gave a tenth (Lenski
[ 45 ]EK TOON AKROTHINIOON, of the spoils (Marshall 867); [from AKRON topmost point, THIS
a heap], the top of the pile: the "pick" of the spoil (Vincent 4.457); primarily the top of a heap
[AKROS highest, top, and THIS a heap], hence firstfruit offerings, and in war the choicest spoils (Vine
1079); of his spoils (Williams); out of the choice spoils (Lenski 215).
[ 46 ]KAI HOI MEN EK TOON HUIOON LEUEI, and the [ones] on one hand of the sons of Levi
(Marshall 867); those out of the sons of Levi who became priests. Not those who receive the
priesthood from the sons of Levi (Vincent 4.457); and those of the descendants of Levi (Williams); and,
indeed, they from Levi's sons (Lenski 215).
[ 47 ]TEEN HIERATIAN LAMBANONTES, the priesthood receiving (Marshall 867);
LAMBANONTES is the present active participle, nominative plural masculine of LAMBANOO (Han
399); [receive] a priesthood, denotes the priest's office (Vine 884); who accept the priesthood (Williams
491); receiving the priesthood (Lenski 215).
[ 48 ]ENTOLEEN ECHOUSIN KATA TON NOMON, a commandment have according to the law
(Marshall 867); ECHOUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 399); a
special injunction (Vincent 4.457); denotes, in general, an injunction, charge, precept, commandment
(Vine 202); are authorized by the law (Williams); have commandment by the law (Lenski 215).
[ 49 ]APODEKATOIN TON LAON, to take tithes from the people (Marshall 867); APODEKATOIN
is the present active infinitive of APODEKATOOO (Han 399); to exact tithes from [the people] (Vine
1151); to collect a tenth from the people (Williams); to tithe the people (Lenski 215).
[ 50 ]TOUT' ESTIN TOUS ADELPHOUS AUTOON, this is the brothers of them (Marshall 867);
that is, from their own brothers (Williams); that is, their brethren (Lenski 215).
[ 51 ]KAIPER EXELEELUTHOTAS EK TEES OSPHUOS ABRAAM, through having come forth
out of the loin[s] of Abraham (Marshall 867); EXELEELUTHOTAS is the perfect active participle,
accusative plural masculine of EXERCHOMAI (Han 399); the people, the brethren of the Levites, are
descended from their common ancestor, Abraham, yet the Levites exact tithes from them (Vincent
4.457); loins, as the seat of generative power (Vine 682); literally, have come out of the loins of
[Abraham] (footnote NASB); though they have sprung from Abraham (Williams); although having come
out of the loins of Abraham (Lenski 215).
[ 52 ]HO DE MEE GENEALOGOUMENOS EX AUTOON, the [one] on the other not counting [his]
pedigree from them (Marshall 868); GENEALOGOUMENOS is the present passive participle,
nominative singular masculine of GENEALOGEOO (Han 399); literally, he who is not genealogically
derived from them (Vincent 457); [from GENEA a race, LEGOO to choose, pick out], used, in the
passive voice, of Melchizedek, "whose genealogy is not counted" (Vine 473); but in this case, the man
whose ancestry is not traced from them (Williams); but he who does not reckon his genealogy from
them (Lenski 215, 216).
[ 53 ]DEDEKATOOKEN ABRAAM, has tithed Abraham (Marshall 868; Lenski 216);
DEDEKATOOKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of DEKATOOO (Han 399); [from
DEKATOS tenth], in the active voice denotes to take tithes of (Vine 1151); perfect tense, has taken
tithes, the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452); collected a tenth from Abraham
[ 54 ]KAI TON ECHONTA TAS EPANGELIAS EULOGEEKEN, and the [one] having the promises
has blessed (Marshall 868); ECHONTA is the present active participle, accusative singular masculine
of ECHOO; EULOGEEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of EULOGEOO (Han
399); literally, a good speaking, blessed, praised [EU well, LOGOS a word]; of special promises
mentioned (Vine 124, 125, 891); invoked blessings in congratulations (Thayer 259); perfect tense has
blessed, indicating the present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452); and put his blessing on
the man who had the promises from God [last word implied] (Williams); and has blessed him who has
the promises (Lenski 216).
[ 55 ]CHOORIS DE PASEES ANTILOGIAS, and without all [any] contradiction (Marshall 868);
asserting a principle which no one thinks of questioning (Vincent 4.458); denotes a gainsaying,
contradicting [ANTI against, LEGOO to speak], a gainsaying (Vine 315); now beyond any contradiction
(Williams); now without dispute (Lenski 217).
[ 56 ]TO ELATTON HUPO TOU KREITTONOS EULOGEITAI, the less by the better is blessed
(Marshall 868); EULOGEITAI is third person singular, present passive indicative of EULOGEOO (Han
399); it is the less who is blessed, and the greater who blesses (Vincent 4.458); lesser serves as
comparative degree of MIKROS little and denotes less in rank; better [from KRATOS strong, which
denotes power in activity and effect], serves as the comparative degree of AGATHOS good or fair,
intrinsically, excellent; literally, a good speaking, blessed, praised [EU well, LOGOS a word] (Vine
114, 125, 660, 661); it is always the inferior that is blessed by the superior (Williams); the less is
blessed by the greater (Lenski 217).
[ 57 ]MEN DEKATAS APOTHNEESKONTES, on one hand tithes dying men (Marshall 868); the
emphasis is on APOTHNEESKONTES dying. The Levites are dying men who pass away in due course
and are succeeded by others (Vincent 4.458); literally [who] die off or out (Vine 300); in one case
mortal men collect the tenth (Williams); and here dying men are receiving tithes (Lenski 218).
[ 58 ]EKEI DE, there on the (Marshall 868); in the other (Williams); the case of Melchizedek (Vincent
4.458); but there (Lenski 218); in the other instance.
[ 59 ]MARTUROUMENOS HOTI ZEE, being witnessed that he lives (Marshall 868);
MARTUROUMENOS is third person plural, present active indicative of LAMBANOO (Han 399); the
Greek is very condensed: being attested that he liveth (Vincent 4.458); witnessed, of the scriptures,
to Christ, [that He] lives, is alive, of the Son in resurrection (Vine 1238); one who, as the witness
states, lives on (Williams); the one who has witness that he lives (Lenski 218).
[ 60 ]DEKATAS LAMBANOON, tithes receiving (Marshall 868); LAMBANOON is the present
active participle, nominative singular masculine of LAMBANOO (Han 399); active voice, takes tithes
of (Vine 1151); now collects the tenth (Williams); receives tithes (Lenski 218).
[ 61 ]DEDEKATOOTAI, has been tithed (Marshall 868; Lenski 218); DEDEKATOOTAI is third
person singular, perfect passive indicative of DEKATOOO (Han 399); passive voice, perfect tense, paid
tithes, hath paid tithes (Vine 841, 1151). The perfect tense indicates present state resultant upon a past
action (Machen 452); paid the tenth (Williams).
[ 62 ]DI' ABRAAM KAI LEUI, through Abraham indeed Levi (Marshall 868); literally, through
Abraham [even Levi] (Vincent 4.459); Levi too, through Abraham (Williams); through Abraham even
Levi (Lenski 218).
[ 63 ]God has some regard for deeds of righteousness performed by ancestors. When giving the ten
commandments, God said he was a jealous God, "showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who
love Me and keep My commandments" (De 5:10).
[ 64 ]KAI HOOS EPOS EIPEIN, and as a word=so to speak (Marshall 868); so to speak (Vincent
4.459); and I might almost say (Williams); and, to state it plainly (Lenski 218).
[ 65 ]ETI GAR EN TEE OSPHUI TOU PATROS, for yet in the loin[s] of the [his] father (Marshall
868); his own father; not of Abraham (Vincent 4.459); loins, as the seat of generative power (Vine
682); for he was a vital part of his forefather [in the loins of, etc.] (Williams); for he was yet in the
loins of his father (Lenski 218).
[ 66 ]EEN HOTE SUNEENTEESEN AUTOO MELCHISEDEK, he was when met him Melchisedek
(Marshall 868); SUNEENTEESEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of
SUNANTAOO (Han 399); literally met together with (Vine 729); when Melchizedek met him
(Williams; Lenski 218).
[ 67 ]EI MEN OUN TELEIOOSIS, if therefore perfection (Marshall 868); the act or process of
consummating. By this word is signified the establishment of a perfect fellowship between God and
the worshipper (Vincent 4.459); denotes a fulfillment, completion, perfection, an end accomplished as
the effect of a process (Vine 847); consummation, perfection (Thayer 619); perfection (Arndt 810); now
if perfection (Williams); if, then, completion (Lenski 221).
[ 68 ]DIA TEES LEUITIKEES HIEROOSUNEES EEN, through the Levitical priestly office was
(Marshall 868); the abstract notion of the priest's office; HIERATIA [verse 5], expresses the priestly
service (Vincent 4.459); a priesthood, signifies the office, quality, rank and ministry of a priest (Vine
884); had been reached through the Levitical priesthood (Williams); was by means of the Levitical
priesthood (Lenski 221).
[ 69 ]GAR EP' AUTEES, for under it (Marshall 868); under, rather on the basis of (Vincent 4.459);
on the basis of, from EPI, on, upon, on the basis of. EPI has this same general meaning throughout
the New Testament (see Ac 2:38, "Repent and be immersed EPI upon the name of Jesus Christ." It
is "upon the authority" or "upon the confession" of His name (see Eph 2:10, "created in Christ Jesus
EPI unto good works which God before ordained that we should walk in them." For example, one is
created in Christ EPI upon, on the basis of faith (Joh 6:29, faith, the work of God that people must do.
Repentance, confession and immersion all are of that class of God-required actions (adapted from
Littrell); for on it as a basis (Williams); indeed (Lenski 221).
[ 70 ]HO LAOS NENOMOTHETEETAI, the people has been furnished with law (Marshall 868);
NENOMOTHETEETAI is third person singular, perfect passive indicative of NOMOTHETEOO (Han
399); the verb literally, the law has been laid down (Vincent 4.459). The pluperfect is a secondary
Greek tense. The pluperfect passive is usually considered in the perfect middle system (Machen 450);
the law was enacted for the people (Williams); the people, have been subjected to laws on its score
(Lenski 221); [some manuscripts have NENOMOTHETEETO], pluperfect passive third person singular
of NOMOTHEETEOO]; the people received the Mosaic law established upon the foundation of the
priesthood (Thayer 427, 719); in fact, Thayer (427) calls this very verb form [NENOMOTHETETAI]
passive perfect third person singular. The meaning is the law stands received.
[ 71 ]TIS ETI CHREIA, why yet need (Marshall 868); ETI after that, assuming that there was
perfection through the Levitical priesthood (Vincent 4.459); denotes a need (Vine 777); what further
need (Williams 491); what need yet (Lenski 221).
[ 72 ]HETERON HIEREA, another priest (Marshall 868); not merely another, but a different kind of
priest (Vincent 4.459); expresses a qualitative difference and denotes another of a different sort (Vine
52); a different priest [Greek pronoun means another of a different kind] (Williams); a different kind
of priest (Lenski 221).
[ 73 ]ANISTASTHAI, to arise (Marshall 868); present middle infinitive of ANISTEEMI (Han 399);
in Hebrews only here and verse 15, both times in connection with priest (Vincent 4.460); [ANA up,
HISTEEMI to stand], of rising to a position of pre-eminence or power; for example, of Christ as a
Priest (Vine 64, 65); of appointing (Williams); there arise (Lenski 221).
[ 74 ]KATA TEEN TAXIN MELCHISEDEK, [was there for] according to the order of Melchisedec
(Marshall 868); of the Divinely appointed character or nature of a priesthood, of Melchizedek, as fore-shadowing that of Christ; also the character of the Aaronic priesthood is set in contrast (Vine 817); with
the rank of Melchizedek (Williams); yet that according to the order of Melchizedek (Lenski 221);
without good reason, the NEB has "in the succession of Melchizedek."
[ 75 ]KAI OU KATA TEEN TAXIN 'AAROON LEGESTHAI, and not according to the order of
Aaron to be said (named)? (Marshall 868); said, spoken, also has the meaning gathered, reckoned,
accounted, used in this sense in Hebrews 7:11 (Vine 930); instead of designating one with the rank of
Aaron (Williams); and designated as not according to the order of Aaron (Lenski 221); for TAXIN
order see footnote on verse 17.
[ 76 ]METATITHEMENEES GAR TEES HIEROOSUNEES, for being changed the priestly office
(Marshall 868); METATITHEMENEES is the present passive participle, genitive singular feminine of
METATITHEEMI (Han 400); or transferred to another order (Vincent 4.460); a priesthood, signifies
the office, quality, rank and ministry of a priest (Vine 884); for when a change in the priesthood takes
place (Williams); for the priesthood undergoing a change (Lenski 221).
[ 77 ]EX ANANKEES, of necessity (Marshall 868; Lenski 221); of necessity, what must needs be
(Vine 776); necessarily (Williams); .
[ 78 ]KAI NOMOU METATHESIS GINETAI, and of law a change there occurs (Marshall 868); a
transfer to a new basis (Vincent 4.460); [META implying change, TITHEEMI to put], has the meaning
of change in Hebrews 7:12, in connection with the necessity of a change of the Law [or, as margin,
law], if the priesthood is changed (Vine 172); a change in its law (Williams); a change also of law
occurs (Lenski 221).
[ 79 ]The Law was "our tutor" (Ga 3:24). "We are no longer under a tutor" (Ga 3:25). Therefore,
we are no longer under the Law of Moses.
[ 80 ]LEGETAI TAUTA, is [are] said these things (Marshall 868); LEGETAI is third person singular,
present passive indicative of LEGOO (Han 400); primarily, are picked out, gathered, chiefly denotes
are said, spoken, affirmed, whether of actual speech or of unspoken thought or of a message in writing
(Vine 995); this is said (Williams); these things are said (Lenski 221).
[ 81 ]PHULEES HETERAS METESCHEEKEN, tribe of another has partaken (Marshall 868);
METESCHEEKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of METECHOO (Han 400); a
distinct verb, for example METECHOO to partake of, share in, of the tribes of Israel (Vine 110, 1167);
literally, hath partaken of another tribe. Not only another, but a different tribe; one not specially set
apart to sacerdotal service (Vincent 4.460); became a member of a different [Greek pronoun means
another of a different kind] tribe (Williams); has belonged to a different tribe (Lenski 221).
[ 82 ]APH' HEES OUDEIS PROSESCHEEKEN TOO THUSIASTEERIOO, from which no one has
devoted himself to the altar (Marshall 868); PROSESCHEEKEN is third person singular, perfect active
indicative of PROSECHOO (Han 400); PROSECHEIN originally to bring to; bring the mind to; attend
to. THUSIASTEERIO, altar, strictly an altar for the sacrifice of victims; but used of the altar of
incense . . . also of the enclosure in which the altar stood (Vincent 4.460); took heed, gave heed, is
said of the priests who "gave attendance at the altar." It suggests devotion of thought and effort to a
thing (Vine 79); no member of which ever officiated at the altar (Williams); from which no one has
[ever] attended the sacrificial altar (Lenski 221).
[ 83 ]I understand that, in the present century, some of the Jews are attempting to associate the name
"Cohen" (priest) by means of DNA in an effort to re-establish the Aaronic line.
[ 84 ]An exception is when King Saul "forced himself" and offered a burnt offering (1Sa 13:12, 13).
A few others are said to have done a similar thing.
[ 85 ]PRODEELON GAR, for it is perfectly clear (Marshall 869); obvious (Vincent 4.461); manifest
beforehand [PRO before, DELOS visible, clear to the mind, evident], in the sense of "clearly evident"
(Vine 379); for it is very clear (Williams); for it is evident (Lenski 222).
[ 86 ]HOTI EX 'IOUDA ANATETALKEN HO KURIOS HEEMOON, that out of Juda has risen the
Lord of us (Marshall 869); ANATETALKEN is third person singular, perfect active indicative of
ANATELLOO (Han 400); hath sprung, in NT always of the rising of a heavenly body, sun or star,
except Luke 12:54, of a cloud and here (Vincent 4.461); that our Lord sprang from Judah (Williams);
that our Lord has sprung out of Judah (Lenski 222).
[ 87 ]PERI HIEREOON OUDEN MOOUSEES ELALEESEN, concerning priests nothing Moses
spoke (Marshall 869); a tribe about which Moses said nothing as to priests (Williams); in regard to
which Moses uttered nothing pertaining to priests (Lenski 222).
[ 88 ]Churches of Christ honor the principle of exclusivity by not adding other foods or drinks to the
Lord's supper nor adding other music such as instrumental music to the singing.
[ 89 ]KAI PERISSOTERON ETI KATADEELON ESTIN, and more abundantly still quite clear is it
(Marshall 869); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 400);
strengthened form of DELOS [visible, clear to the mind, evident], quite manifest, evident (Vine 379);
thoroughly evident. Not referring to that which is declared to be PRODELON evident in verse 14, that
is, that Christ sprang out of Judah, but to the general proposition--the unsatisfactory character of the
Levitical priesthood (Vincent 4.461); more [abundantly] evident (Thayer 506); and it is still more
overwhelmingly clear (Williams); and more abundantly still it is self-evident (Lenski 226).
[ 90 ]ANISTATAI HIEREUS HETEROS, arises priest another (Marshall 869); ANISTATAI is third
person singular, present middle indicative of ANISTEEMI (Han 400); [ANA up, HISTEEMI to stand],
of rising to a position of pre-eminence or power; for example, of Christ as a Priest (Vine 64, 65);
arises, appears, stands forth; of kings, prophets, priests, leaders of insurgents (Thayer 47); a different
priest is appointed (Williams); if there is raised up a priest of a different kind (Lenski 226).
[ 91 ]KATA TEEN HOMOIOTEETA MELCHISEDEK, according to the likeness of Melchisedec
(Marshall 869); likeness: answering to made like, verse 3 and emphasizing the personal resemblance
to Melchizedek (Vincent 4.461); likeness, likeness of (Vine 674); in the likeness of Melchizedek
(Williams); in accord with the likeness of Melchizedek (Lenski 226).
[ 92 ]HOS OU KATA NOMON ENTOLEES SARKINEES, who not according to [the] law command
of a fleshly (Marshall 869); NOMON, the norm or standard, as Romans 7:21, 23. ENTOLEES, the
specific precept of the Mosaic law regarding Levitical priests. . . SARKINEES fleshly, indicates that
the conditions of the Levitical priesthood had reference to the body. Fitness for office was determined
largely by physical considerations. The priest must be of proper descent, without bodily blemish,
ceremonially pure (Vincent 4.461); pertaining to the natural, transient life of the body (Vine 162); not
on the basis of a physical qualification (Williams); not in accord with a law of fleshly commandment
[ 93 ]ALLA KATA DUNAMIN ZOOEES AKATALUTOU, but according to [the] power life of an
indissoluble (Marshall 869); DUNAMIN inherent virtue. Render for endless, indissoluble. (Vincent
461); denotes indissoluble [A negative, KATA down, LUOO to loose], endless, a life which makes its
Possessor the holder of His priestly office for evermore (Vine 359); but on the basis of a power flowing
from a life that cannot end (Williams); but in accord with a power of life indissoluble (Lenski 226).
[ 94 ]MARTUREITAI GAR HOTI, for it is witnessed that (Marshall 869); MARTUREITAI is third
person singular, present passive indicative of MARTUREOO (Han 400); witnessed, of the scriptures,
to Christ, [that He] lives, is alive, of the Son in resurrection (Vine 1238); for the Scripture bears
witness (Williams); for he is attested (Lenski 226).
[ 95 ]SU HIEREUS EIS TON AIOONA, Thou a priest unto the age (Marshall 869); literally, "unto
the age," "for ever" [or, with a negative, "never"] (Vine 377); You are a priest forever (Williams);
Thou art a Priest for the eon (Lenski 226).
[ 96 ]KATA TEEN TAXIN MELCHISEDEK, according to the order of Melchisedek (Marshall 869;
Lenski 226); of the Divinely appointed character or nature of a priesthood, of Melchizedek, as fore-shadowing that of Christ; also the character of the Aaronic priesthood is set in contrast (Vine 817); with
the rank of Melchizedek (Williams).
[ 97 ]ATHETEESIS MEN GAR GINETAI, an annulment on one hand For there comes about
(Marshall 869); GINETAI is or comes to pass is common to both parts. OUDEN--HO NOMOS is
parenthetical. Render "for there is a disannulling of a foregoing commandment, because of its
weakness and unprofitableness [for the law made nothing perfect], and the bringing in thereupon of a
better hope through which we draw nigh unto God." Very is superfluous. The fundamental idea is the
doing away of something established (THETON). The verb ATHETEIN to make void, do away with,
is common in NT and Septuagint where it represents fifteen different Hebrew words, meaning to deal
falsely, to make merchandise of, to abhor, to transgress, to rebel, to break an oath, etc. (Vincent
4.462); a setting aside, abolition, with reference to a commandment (Vine 306); indeed, the rescinding
(Williams); for on the one hand [MEN] a disannulling occurs (Lenski 229).
[ 98 ]PROAGOUSEES ENTOLEES, of [the] preceding commandment (Marshall 869; Lenski 229);
of a foregoing commandment (Vincent 4.462); when used intransitively, signifies either to lead the way,
or to go before, precede; in Hebrews 7:18, it is used of the commandment of the law [verse 16], as
preceding the bringing in of "a better hope" (Vine 448); of a previous regulation takes place (Williams).
[ 99 ]DIA TO AUTEES ASTHENES, because of the of it weak[ness] (Marshall 869; Lenski 229);
because of its weakness (Vincent 4.462); literally, strengthless, in the spiritual sense, said of the
rudiments of Jewish religion, in their inability to justify anyone, Galatians 4:9; of the Law, Hebrews
7:18 (Vine 1216); because it was weak (Williams).
[ 100 ]KAI ANOOPHELES, and unprofitable[ness] (Marshall 869); and unprofitableness (Vincent
4.462; Lenski 229); not beneficial or serviceable [A negative, N euphonic, OOPHELEOO to do good,
to benefit], in the neuter, used as a noun, "unprofitableness," said of the Law as not accomplishing that
which the "better hope" could along bring (Vine 1185); and ineffective (Williams).
[ 101 ]OUDEN GAR ETELEIOOSEN HO NOMOS, for nothing perfected the law (Marshall 869);
ETELEIOOSEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of TELEIOOO (Han 400);
parenthetical. According to the Psalm, there takes place, on the one hand, a disannulling of the
preliminary commandment because it was weak and unprofitable, unable to perfect anything, and on
the other hand, the introduction of a better hope (Vincent 4.463); for the law had never made anything
perfect (Williams); for the law made nothing complete (Lenski 229).
[ 102 ]EPEISAGOOGEE KREITTONOS ELPIDOS, a bringing in on the other of a better hope
(Marshall 869); a bringing in upon (EPI), upon the ground formerly occupied by the commandment .
. . A bringing in thereupon. The comparison is not between the hope conveyed by the commandment
and the better hope introduced by the gospel, but between the commandment which was characteristic
of the law [Eph 2:15] and the hope which characterized the gospel [Ro 5:2-5; 8:24] (Vincent 4.463);
and so a better hope is brought to us (Williams); on the other hand [DE] a bringing in [occurs] of a
better hope (Lenski 229).
[ 103 ]DI' HEES ENGIZOMEN TOO THEOO, through which we draw near to God (Marshall 869);
ENGIZOMEN is first person plural, present active indicative of ENGIZOO (Han 400); giving the
reason why the hope is better (Vincent 4.463); draw near, approach [from ENGUS near], used
figuratively, of drawing near to God (Vine 62); through which we have approach to God (Williams);
by which we draw nigh to God (Lenski 229).
[ 104 ]KAI KATH' HOSON OU CHOORIS HORKOOMOSIAS, and in proportion not without oath-taking (Marshall 869); [not without] the taking of an oath (Vincent 4.463); denotes an affirmation on
oath [from HORKOS a fence, an enclosure, that which restrains a person; hence, an oath]; OMNUMI
to swear, of the establishment of the Priesthood of Christ, the Son of God, appointed a Priest after the
order of Melchizedek (Vine 795); and by so much as He was not appointed with God's taking an oath
(Williams); and in so far as [they occur, namely this disannulling and this bringing in, verses 18, 19]
not without a sworn statement (Lenski 232).
[ 105 ]HOI MEN GAR--EISIN HIEREIS GEGONOTES, the [they] on one hand for priests having
become (Marshall 869); GEGONOTES is the second perfect active participle, nominative plural
masculine of GINOMAI (Han 400); for they have been made priests, literally, are priests, having
become such (Vincent 4.464); for the Levitical priests were appointed (Williams); [for they are priests
[simply] having become [such] (Lenski 232).
[ 106 ]CHOORIS HORKOOMOSIAS, without oath-taking (Marshall 869); without His taking an oath
(Williams); without a sworn statement (Lenski 232); without an affirmation on oath (see footnote on
[ 107 ]HO DE META HORKOOMOSIAS, the on the [he] other with oath-taking (Marshall 869); but
he with the taking of an oath. The taking of the oath accompanied [META] the inauguration into the
priesthood (Vincent 4.464); denotes an affirmation on oath [from HORKOS a fence, an enclosure, that
which restrains a person; hence, an oath], OMNUMI to swear], of the establishment of the Priesthood
of Christ, the Son of God, appointed a Priest perfected for evermore (Vine 795); but He with His oath
(Williams); but he with a sworn statement (Lenski 232).
[ 108 ]DIA TOU LEGONTOS PROS AUTON, through the [one] saying to him (Marshall 869);
LEGONTOS is the present active participle, genitive singular masculine of LEGOO (Han 400); saith.
Still says, since the promise is realized in Christ's priesthood (Vincent 4.464); when He said to Him
(Williams); by means of him who says regarding him (Lenski 232).
[ 109 ]OOMOSEN KURIOS, swore [The] Lord (Marshall 869); OOMOSEN is third person singular,
first aorist active indicative of OMNUOO (Han 400); used of affirming or denying by an oath (Vine
1111); the Lord took oath (Williams); the Lord swore (Lenski 232).
[ 110 ]KAI OU METAMELEETHEESETAI, and will not change [his] mind (Marshall 869);
METAMELEETHEESETAI is third person singular, future passive indicative of METAMELOMAI
(Han 400); [META after, MELOO to care for], regret, repent oneself . . . Hebrews 7:21 where alone
in the NT it is said [negatively] of God (Vine 952); and will not change (Williams); and will not repent
[ 111 ]SU HIERUS EIS TON AIOONA, Thou [art] a priest unto the age (Marshall 869); literally,
"unto the age," "for ever" [or, with a negative, "never"] (Vine 377); You are a priest forever
(Williams); Thou are a Priest for the eon! (Lenski 232).
[ 112 ]The words "According to the order of Melchizedek" are carried in the KJV and NKJV. They
correctly speak "of the Divinely appointed character or nature of a priesthood, of Melchizedek, as
foreshadowing that of Christ; also the character of the Aaronic priesthood is set in contrast" (Vine 817).
[ 113 ]KATA TOSOUTO KAI, by so much indeed (Marshall 869); by how much, by so much (Thayer
629); by so much (Vine 762); so much the more (Williams); by so much also (Lenski 232).
[ 114 ]GEGONEN ENGUOS 'IEESOUS, has become surety Jesus (Marshall 870); GEGONEN is third
person singular, second perfect active indicative of GINOMAI (Han 400); ENGUOUS surety [EN in,
GUALON hollow of the hand] (Vincent 4.464); Jesus has become the guarantee (Williams); also has
he become a surety, [namely] Jesus (Lenski 232).
[ 115 ]KREITTONOS DIATHEKEES, of a better covenant (Marshall 870; Williams); primarily
signifies bail, the bail who personally answers for anyone, whether with his life or his property [to be
distinguished from MESITEES a mediator]; it is used in Hebrews 7:22, "[by so much also hath Jesus
become] the Surety [of a better covenant]," referring to the abiding and unchanging character of His
Melchizedek priesthood, by reason of which His suretyship is established by God's oath [verses 20, 21].
As the Surety, He is the Personal guarantee of the terms of the new and better covenant, secured on
the ground of His perfect sacrifice [verse 27]; excellent promise or undertaking on the part of God
(Vine 114, 243, 1110); the thought of a covenant is introduced for the first time, and foreshadows
chapter 8:6-13. It adds to the thought of the inferiority of the Levitical priesthood that of the inferiority
of the dispensation which it represented (Vincent 4.464); more excellent (Thayer 359); of a better
testament (Lenski 232).
[ 116 ]Arndt 183.
[ 117 ]Arndt 183.
[ 118 ]KAI HOI MEN PLEIONES EISIN GEGONOTES HIEREIS, and the [they] on one hand many
are having become priests (Marshall 870); GEGONOTES is the second perfect active participle,
nominative plural masculine of GINOMAI (Han 400); more, greater, [the comparative of POLUS much,
many, great], many in number (Vine 712); have been made priests many in number (Vincent 4.464);
and the Levitical priests, on the one hand, have become numerous (Williams); and they are more [in
number], having become priests (Lenski 237).
[ 119 ]The word "priest" is sometimes used in the sense of high priest in Scripture (see Ex 29:30;
31:10; Le 1:7; 4:3, 5, 6, 7).
[ 120 ]By some counts, Phannias, son of Samuel was seventy-ninth. The variation in the counting is
due to the indeterminate identity of high priests during certain years.
[ 121 ]DIA TO THANATOO KOOLUESTHAI PARAMENEIN, because of the by death to be
prevented to continue being prevented by death from continuing (Marshall 870); KOOLUESTHAI is
the present passive infinitive of KOOLUOO; PARAMENEIN is the present active infinitive of
PARAMENOO (Han 400); because they are hindered from continuing. PARAMENEIN to abide by
their ministration (Vincent 4.464); because they have been prevented by death from continuing in office
(Williams); in consequence of being prevented by death from continuing (Lenski 237).
[ 122 ]DIA TO MENEIN AUTON EIS TON AIOONA, because the to remain him unto the age
(Marshall 870); MENEIN is the present active infinitive of MENOO (Han 400); abides, used of Christ
(Vine 2); remains, last, persists, continues to live, Christ remains forever (Arndt 504); because He
Himself lives on forever (Williams); to remain ; but he, in consequence of his remaining forever
[ 123 ]APARABATON ECHEI TEEN HIEROOSUNEEN, intransmissible has the priestly office
(Marshall 870); ECHEI is third person singular, present active indicative of ECHOO (Han 400); hath
his priesthood unchangeable, either inviolable, or which does not pass over to another (Vincent 4.464,
465); [His] priesthood, signifying the office, quality, rank and ministry of a priest (Vine 884); enjoys
the priesthood that has no successors in office (Williams); has an unchangeable priesthood (Lenski 237).
[ 124 ]HOTHEN KAI, whence indeed (Marshall 870); [from the relative pronoun HO and the enclitic
THEN which denotes motion from a place], from which, whence . . . of the cause from which, for
which reason, wherefore, on which account (Thayer 439); therefore (Williams); whence also (Lenski
[ 125 ]SOOZEIN DUNATAI, to save he is able (Marshall 870); SOOZEIN is the present active
infinitive of SOOZOO (Han 400); to save in the technical biblical sense;--negatively, to deliver from
the penalties of the Messianic judgment, Joel 2:32 [3:5]; to save from the evils which obstruct the
reception of the Messianic deliverance [Mt 1:21] . . . as a thing still future, as a blessing beginning [or
begun] on earth (Thayer 610); He is able to save (Williams; Lenski 237).
[ 126 ]EIS TO PANTELES, to the entire=entirely (Marshall 870); all-complete, not perpetually, but
perfectly (Vincent 4.465); the neuter of the adjective PANTELES, complete, perfect, used with EIS TO
[unto the], is translated "to the uttermost" in Hebrews 7:25, where the meaning may be "finally" (Vine
1192); completely, perfectly, utterly (Thayer 476); it can mean the same thing as PANTELOS, that is,
completely, fully, wholly. The Armenian version understands SOOZEIN EIS TO PANTELES
DUNATAI [Heb 7:25] in this sense; so also many more recent interpreters . . . of time: forever, for
all time . . . Hebrews 7:25 is understood in this sense by the Vulgate, Syriac and Coptic versions, and
many moderns, including Rohr, Windisch, Strathmann (Arndt 608); completely (Williams); to the
utmost (Lenski 237).
[ 127 ]TOUS PROSERCHOMENOUS DI' AUTOU TOO THEOO, the [ones] approaching through
him to God (Marshall 870); PROSERCHOMENOUS is the present middle participle, accusative plural
masculine of PROSERCHOMAI (Han 400); draw near (Vine 329); any and all who come to God
through Him (Williams); those who come through him to God (Lenski 237).
[ 128 ]PANTOTE ZOON, always living (Marshall 870); ZOON is the present active participle,
nominative singular masculine or accusative singular neuter of ZAOO (Han 400); lives, is alive, at all
times, always [akin to PAS all] (Vine 376, 679); lives always (Williams); ever living (Lenski 237).
[ 129 ]EIS TO ENTUNCHANEIN HUPER AUTOON, for the to intercede on behalf of them
(Marshall 870); ENTUNCHANEIN is the present active infinitive of ENTUNCHANOO (Han 400);
not intercession, but intervention. It includes every form of Christ's identifying himself with human
interests (Vincent 4.465); primarily to fall in with, meet with; then, a conversation; hence, a petition,
a meaning frequent in the papyri; it is a technical term for approaching a king, and so for approaching
God in intercession . . . of the intercessory work of Christ (Vine 597); to intercede for them always
(Williams); to intercede for them (Lenski 237).
[ 130 ]TOIOUTOS GAR ARCHIEREUS, for such a high priest (Marshall 870; Williams; Lenski 240);
such as this, of this kind or sort (Thayer 627); such power (Arndt 821).
[ 131 ]HEEMIN KAI EPREPEN, to us indeed was suitable (Marshall 870); EPREPEN is third person
singular, imperfect active indicative or imperative of PREPOO (Han 400); was conspicuous among a
number, was eminent, distinguished by a thing, hence, becoming, seemly, fit. Christ as High Priest
"became us" (Vine 98); becoming, seemly, fit (Thayer 535); there was an essential fitness in the gift
of our great high priest (Vincent 4.465); we needed (Williams); was becoming to us (Lenski 240).
[ 132 ]HOSIOS, holy (Marshall 870; Williams; Lenski 240); always with a relation to God; never of
moral excellence as related to men (Vincent 4.466); religiously right, holy, as opposed to what is
unrighteous or polluted. it is commonly associated with righteousness (Vine 557).
[ 133 ]AKAKOS, harmless (Marshall 870); guileless, free from malice and craft (Vincent 4.466);
literally, without evil [A negative, KAKOS evil], simple, guileless . . . the character of Christ [more
literally, free from evil] (Vine 515); innocent (Williams); without anything bad (Lenski 240).
[ 134 ]AMIANTOS, undefiled (Marshall 870); undefiled, free from contamination [A negative,
MIANOO to defile] (Vine 1180); unstained (Williams); without a stain (Lenski 240).
[ 135 ]KECHOORISMENOS APO TOON HAMARTOOLOON, having been separated from sinners
(Marshall 870); KECHOORISMENOS is the perfect passive participle, nominative singular masculine
of CHORIZOO (Han 400); separated: denoting a condition realized in Christ's exaltation (Vincent
4.466); put asunder, separated, in the passive voice in Hebrews 7:26, the verb here relates to the
resurrection of Christ, not, as KJV indicates, to the fact of His holiness in the days of His flesh; the
list is progressive in this respect that the first three qualities apply to His sinlessness, the next to His
Resurrection, the last to His ascension (Vine 1018); far removed from sinful men (Williams); withdrawn
from the sinners (Lenski 240).
[ 136 ]KAI HUPSEELOTEROS TOON OURANON GENOMENOS, and higher [than] the heavens
becoming (Marshall 870); GENOMENOS is the second aorist middle participle, nominative singular
masculine of GINOMAI (Han 400); raised to greater heights than the heavens (Arndt 850); made higher
than the heavens, of Christ raised to the right hand of God (Thayer 646); and elevated far above the
very heavens (Williams); and become higher than the heavens (Lenski 240).
[ 137 ]HOS OUK ECHEI KATH' HEEMERAN ANANKEEN, who has not daily necessity (Marshall
870); who hath no need day by day as the high priest had [year by year] to offer sacrifices. The great
point is repetition, whether daily or yearly (Vincent 4.466); who does not need (Williams); who does
not day by day have the necessity (Lenski 240).
[ 138 ]THUSIAS ANAPHEREIN, sacrifices to offer (Marshall 870); ANAPHEREIN is the present
active infinitive of ANAPHEROO (Han 400); of sacrifices under the Law (Vine 803); to offer sacrifices
(Williams); to offer up sacrifices (Lenski 240).
[ 139 ]PROTERON HUPER TOON IDIOON HAMARTIOON, firstly on behalf of the [his] own sins
(Marshall 870); first for His own sins; first for his own sins (Williams; Lenski 240).
[ 140 ]EPEITA TOON TOU LAOU, then the [sins] of the people (Marshall 870); to denote succession
in enumerations, together with indications of chronological sequence (Arndt 284); and then for those
of the people (Williams); then [for] those of the people (Lenski 240).
[ 141 ]EPHAPAX, once for all (Marshall 870; Williams; Lenski 240); once for all. Contrasted with
daily (Vincent 4.466); a strengthened form of HAPAX [EPI upon], once for all (Vine 809); from
EPHAPAX once for all time (Littrell).
[ 142 ]HEAUTON ANENENKAS, himself offering up (Marshall 870); ANENENKAS is the first
aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of ANAPHEROO (Han 400); a new thought.
For the first time Christ appears as victim (Vincent 4.466); primarily, to lead or carry up [ANA], also
denotes to offer . . . of Christ's sacrifice (Vine 803); when He offered up Himself (Williams); by
offering up himself (Lenski 240).
[ 143 ]HO NOMOS GAR ANTHROOPOUS KATHISTEESIN, for the law men appoints (Marshall
870); KATHISTEESIN is a strengthened form of HISTEEMI to make to stand, usually signifies to
appoint a person to a position (Vine 59); for the law appoints (Williams); for the law establishes men
[ 144 ]ARCHIEREIS, high priests (Marshall 870); the high priests of the Levitical order, frequently
called "chief priests" in the NT (Vine 883); as high priests (Williams; Lenski 240).
[ 145 ]ECHONTAS ASTHENEIAN, having weakness (Marshall 870); ECHONTAS is the present
active participle, accusative plural masculine of ECHOO (Han 400); have at hand, have at one's
disposal, generally of conditions, characteristics, capabilities, emotions, inner possession, generally of
the frailty to which all human flesh is heir (Arndt 115, 332); imperfect [men who had weakness; so
imperfect] (Williams); who have weakness (Lenski 240).
[ 146 ]HO LOGOS DE TEES HORKOOMOSIAS, but the word of the oath-taking (Marshall 870); of
revelation by God, of God's word, command; oath, taking an oath (Arndt 478, 581); but the assertion
about the taking of an oath (Williams); but the word of the sworn statement (Lenski 240).
[ 147 ]HUION, a Son (Marshall 870; Williams; Lenski 240); again the high-priesthood is bound up
with son-ship as in Hebrews 5:5, 6 (Vincent 4.466).
[ 148 ]AIOONA TETELEIOOMENON, age having been perfected (Marshall 870);
TETELEIOOMENON is the perfect passive participle, accusative singular masculine of TELEIOOO
(Han 400); made perfect, legally and officially, for all that He would be to His people on the ground
of His sacrifice (Vine 846); perfectly qualified to be High Priest forever (Williams); who has forever
been made complete (Lenski 240).
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Ridgefield, Washington,
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It may not be distributed or published in any form whatever
without the copyright
owner's written permission.
This copyright notice must be included on all copies
The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise,
are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various
sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV.
Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.
Published in The Old Paths Archive
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