katapi New Study Bible - New English Bible - New Testament

katapi HOME | references | Search---> the New English Bible New Testament | Christ divine and human (Ch.1) | The shadow and the real (Ch.5) | A call to faith (Ch.11) | → parallel NEB || Greek ← |

. Chapter 7.

The Priestly Order of Melchizedek Gn.14.17-20

1 THIS MELCHIZEDEK, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham returning from the rout of the kings and blessed him; 2 and Abraham gave him a tithe of everything as his portion. His name, in the first place, means 'king of righteousness'; next he is king of Salem, that is, 'king of peace'. 3 He has no father, no mother, no lineage; his years have no beginning, his life no end. He is like the Son of God: he remains a priest for all time.

4 Consider now how great he must be for Abraham the patriarch to give him a tithe of the finest of the spoil. 5 The descendants of Levi who take the priestly office are commanded by the Law to tithe the people, that is, their kinsmen, although they too are descendants of Abraham. 6 But Melchizedek, though he does not trace his descent from them, has tithed Abraham himself, and given his blessing to the man who received the promises; 7 and beyond all dispute the lesser is always blessed by the greater. 8 Again, in the one instance tithes are received by men who must die; but in the other, by one whom Scripture affirms to be alive. 9 It might even be said that Levi, who receives tithes, has himself been tithed through Abraham; 10 for he was still in his ancestor's loins when Melchizedek met him.

11 Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for it is on this basis that the people were given the Law), what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising, in the succession of Melchizedek, instead of the succession of Aaron? 12 For a change of priesthood must mean a change of law. 13 And the One here spoken of belongs to a different tribe, no member of which has ever had anything to do with the altar. 14 For it is very evident that our Lord is sprung from Judah, a tribe to which Moses made no reference in speaking of priests.

15 The argument becomes still clearer, if the new priest who arises is one like Melchizedek, 16 owing his priesthood not to a system of earth-bound rules but to the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 [ Ps.110.4. ] For here is the testimony: 'Thou art a priest for ever, in the succession of Melchizedek.' 18 The earlier rules are cancelled as impotent and useless, 19 since the Law brought nothing to perfection; and a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.

20 How great a difference it makes that an oath was sworn! 21 [ Ps.110.4. ] There was no oath sworn when those others were made priests; but for this priest an oath was sworn, as Scripture says of him: 'The Lord has sworn and will not go back on his word, "Thou art a priest for ever." ' 22 How far superior must the covenant also be of which Jesus is the guarantor! 23 Those other priests are appointed in numerous succession, because they are prevented by death from continuing in office; 24 but the priesthood which Jesus holds is perpetual, because he remains for ever. 25 That is why he is also able to save absolutely those who approach God through him; he is always living to plead on their behalf.

26 Such a high priest does indeed fit our condition—devout, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, raised high above the heavens. 27 He has no need to offer sacrifices daily, as the high priests do, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; for this he did once and for all when he offered up himself. 28 The high priests made by the Law are men in all their frailty; but the priest appointed by the words of the oath which supersedes the Law is the Son, made perfect now for ever.

<< | Hebrews: 7 | >>

NEBNew English Bible: © The Delegates of the Oxford University Press & the Syndics of the Cambridge University Press 1961. This Webpage layout © Paul Ingram 2009. Any mismatches, truncated verses, other mistakes? Please e-mail me.