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Of Christ's priesthood. Hebrews.
him that was able to save him from death, and was heard, in that he feared;
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered:
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
10 Called of God an high priest, after the order of Melchisedec:
d Of whom, &c. Concerning Melchisedec I bave many things to say for the illustration of Christ's priest bood, which is difficult to be explained, because in spiritual matters ye are of slow apprehension.
e For when for the time, for considering the time ye have professed the Gospel, &c.
f Milk is here used metaphorically for simple instruction or doctrines; strong meat, for higher parts of know. ledge.
g Word of righteousness, the Gospel. b For be is a babe in Christianity.
of faith, &c.
age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
CHAP. VI. 1 He exhorteth not to fall back from the faith, 11 but to be steadfast, 12 diligent and pa tient to wait upon God, 13 because God is most sure in his promise. THEREFORE,leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith to ward God;
2 Of the doctrine of bap tisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judg ment.
3 And this will we do, if God permit.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they cruci fy to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an shame. open 7 For the earth, which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by
* In order to understand this chapter, it should be observed, that Paul here searches into the deep meaning of the oath of God, recorded Ps. cx. 4, and by examining the particulars concerning Melchisedec, Gen. xiv. 18— 20, he shews that Melchisedec was a far more excellent priest, than Aaron and his sons, and consequently Jesus Christ, of whom Melchisedec was only a type, exerciseth a priesthood, more acceptable to God, and more effectual for procuring the pardon of sin, than the priesthood, which Aaron and his sons exercised under the law.
In order to shew the exalted character of Christ as high priest, the apostle first shews how much Melchisedec was superior to the Levitical priests. This superiority consisted in his being a universal priest of the Most High
Melchisedec, 6 But he, whose descent is king of Salem, priest of the, not counted from them, receivmost high God, who met A- ed tithes of Abraham, and braham returning from the blessed him that had the proslaughter of the kings, and mises. blessed him ;a
7 And, without all contradiction,b the less is blessed of the better.
8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
9 And, as I may so say, Le1 vi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being, by interpretation, King of righteousness, aud after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;
3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually.
4 Now, consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham;
a See Gen. xiv.
11 If, therefore, perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after.the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
b Contradiction, doubt.
God, appointed to officiate for all true worshippers, who applied to him; whereas the Levitical priesthood was confined to the particular nation of the Israelites. Melchisedec was king, as well as priest, and of so excellent a character, that he was called Melchisedes, which signifies, king of righteousness. He did not, as the Jewish priests, derive his office from his ancestors; in his priesthood he was without father and without mother; that is, he was constituted priest by God Himself. Nor did he, like the sons of Aaron, begin to exercise his office at a particular age, nor cease to be a priest when old; but in his priesthood he was without beginning of days or end of life, that is, he officiated during his whole life. If therefore Melchisedec, who was only a type of our Saviour, was so much greater than the Levitical priests, how much more exalted was Jesus Christ, who was the Son of God, the maker of the worlds, universal King and Priest, and heir and Lord of all!
14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident, for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec.
18 For there is verily a disannullinge of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.
19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest;
21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedec :)
22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.d
23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:
c Disannulling, repealing. d A surety, A mediator of a better
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests; to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's; for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated forevermore.
By Christ's eternal priesthood the Levitical priesthood is abolished.
NOW of the things which we have spoken this is the sum; We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens ;
2 A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.