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THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS - Chapter 5 - Verse 6

Verse 6. As he said also in another place. Ps 110:4.

Thou art a Priest for ever. It is evident here that the apostle means to be understood as saying that the Psalm referred to Christ-and this is one of the instances of quotation from the Old. Testament respecting which there can be no doubt. Paul makes winch of this argument in a subsequent part of this epistle, Heb 7, and reasons as if no one would deny that the Psalm had a reference to the Messiah. It is clear, from this, that the Psalm was understood by the Jews at that time to have such a reference, and that it was so universally admitted that no one would call it in question. That the Psalm refers to the Messiah has been the opinion of nearly all Christian commentators, and has been admitted by the Jewish Rabbins in general also. The evidence that it refers to the Messiah is such as the following.

(1.) It is a Psalm of David, and yet is spoken of One who was superior to him, and whom he called his "Lord," Ps 110:1.

(2.) It cannot be referred to JEHOVAH himself, for he is expressly Ps 110:1 distinguished from him who is here addressed.

(3.) It cannot be referred to any one in the time of David, for there was no one to whom he would attribute this character of superiority but God.

(4.) For the same reason there was no one among his posterity, except the Messiah, to whom he would apply this language.

(5.) It is expressly ascribed by the Lord Jesus to himself, Mt 22:43,44.

(6.) The scope of the Psalm is such as to be applicable to the Messiah, and there is no part of it which would be inconsistent with such a reference. Indeed, there is no passage of the Old Testament of which it would be more universally conceded that there was a reference to the Messiah than this Psalm.

Thou art a Priest. He is not here called a high priest, for Melchisedek did not bear that title, nor was the Lord Jesus to be a high priest exactly in the sense in which the name was given to Aaron and his successors. A word is used, therefore, in a general sense, to denote that he would be a print simply, or would sustain the priestly office. This was all that was needful to the present argument, which was, that he was designated by God to the priestly office, and that he had not intruded himself into it. ¶

For ever. This was an important circumstance, of which the apostle makes much use in another part of the epistle. See Barnes "Heb 7:8, See Barnes "Heb 7:23"

See Barnes "Heb 7:24".

The priesthood of the Messiah was not to change from hand to hand; it was not to be laid down at death; it was to remain unchangeably the same.

After the order. The word rendered ordertaxiv ~means, "a setting in order—hence arrangement or disposition. It may be applied to ranks of soldiers; to the gradations of office; or to any rank which men sustain in society. To say that he was of the same order with Melchisedek, was to say that he was of the same rank or station. He was like him in his designation to the office. In what respects he was like him the apostle shows more fully in Heb 7. One particular in which there was a striking resemblance, which did not exist between Christ and any other high-priest, was that Melchisedek was both a priest and a king. None of the kings of the Jews were priests; nor were any of the priests ever elevated to the office of king. But in Melchisedek these offices were united; and this fact constituted a striking resemblance between him and the Lord Jesus. It was on this principle that there was such pertinency in quoting here the passage from Ps 2. See Heb 5:5. The meaning is, that Melchisedek was of a peculiar rank or order; that he was not numbered with the Levitical priests, and that there were important features in his office which differed from theirs. In those features it was distinctly predicted that the Messiah would resemble him.

Melchisedek. See Barnes "Heb 7:1, seq.

{f} "Thou art" Ps 110:4

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