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The Gift New Testament

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Hebrews

7:1This Melchizedek was King of Salem and a priest of the Supreme God. He blessed Abraham, who was returning from combat with the kings,7:2and Abraham gave him a tenth of all the plunder. The name Melchizedek means “King of Justice” and also “King of Salem,” which means “King of Peace.”7:3There is no account of his lineage, neither his birth nor his death, for he had no father or mother. Yet as a picture of the God-Man, he remains a priest continually forever.

7:4Now look at how great this one was, to whom the patriarch Abraham gave the best tenth of the plunder of war.7:5As a matter of fact, the descendants of Levi who take up the priestly office are instructed according to the law to accept tithes1 from the people. And these are their own brothers and sisters who also are descended from Abraham.7:6Yet this one without such lineage received the tithe from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.7:7Now it is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.7:8So in fact, we see here that tithes are collected by mere mortals, yet there is One who is witnessed to be alive.7:9You could even say that2 Levi, who collected the tithes, paid them through Abraham,7:10being still in his ancestor’s body when he met Melchizedek.

7:11So then, if perfection could come by means of the Levitical priesthood (which the people were put under by law), what need would there have been for another priest to arise— one not from the order of Aaron but from that of Melchizedek?7:12For when there is a change of priesthood, there must be a change of law.7:13The one we’ve been talking about is from a different tribe, one that has no access to the altar.7:14It goes without saying that our Master came from the tribe of Judah, which Moses never mentioned regarding priests.7:15So it should be even more obvious that if a different priest comes in the order of Melchizedek,7:16they did not come according to the law based on ancestry, but on the basis of the power of an immortal life,7:17because he testified, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”

7:18In fact, the former law is annulled because it is weak and useless7:19since it didn’t solve anything. But now we are introduced to a better hope, by means of which we draw near to God.7:20And it isn’t as though this happened without an oath being sworn. Now those who became priests never swore an oath,7:21but that One came with the swearing of an oath: “The Master swears and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever.”7:22So accordingly, Jesus has become the pledge of a better contract.

7:23Under the old law, there had to be many priests because death prevented them from continuing.7:24But that One has a unique priesthood because he remains forever.7:25For that reason, he is able to completely save those who come to God through him, because he always lives as their advocate.7:26Such a Ruling Priest is the right one for us because he is clean, innocent, and untainted, having been separated from those who fail, being raised up higher than the heavens.7:27He is not like the former ruling priests, who had to offer up sacrifices for their own failures as well as those of the people. Instead, he did this once and for all, sacrificing himself.7:28The law appoints weak people as ruling priests, but the word that came after the law with a sworn oath appointed the Son, who has been perfected forever.

  1. 1The tithe was one-tenth of the increase of someone’s crops or herds.
  2. 2“You could even say that…” is an expression of something hypothetical; that is, the writer is not saying that Levi was literally in the body of Abraham.