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Chapter 7

1For this man Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was on his way back from defeating the kings, and gave him his blessing, 2to whom Abraham apportioned one tenth of all the spoil, who is first, as his name shows, king of righteousness and then king of Salem, which means king of peace— 3with no father or mother or ancestry, and with no beginning to his days nor end to his life, but like no one but the Son of God, continues as priest forever.

4Now see how great this man must have been to have the patriarch Abraham give him a tenth of the spoil. 5Those of the descendants of Levi who are appointed to the priesthood are directed by the Law to collect tithes from the people, that is, from their own brothers, although they are descended from Abraham like themselves. 6But this man, whose ancestry is not connected with theirs, collected tithes from Abraham himself, and gave his blessing to the man who had received the promises from God. 7But, beyond any doubt, it is the inferior that is blessed by the superior. 8In the one case, mortal men collect tithes; but in the other, one who, it is intimated, lives on. 9In one way of putting it, Levi himself, the collector of the tithes, through Abraham paid him tithes, 10for none of Abraham’s posterity was yet begotten at the time of his meeting with Melchizedek.

11Now if anything final had been really accomplished through the Levitical priesthood, for even the giving of the Law was based upon it, what further need would there have been of appointing a different priest of the priesthood of Melchizedek, instead of choosing one of the priesthood of Aaron? 12For when there is a change in the priesthood, a change necessarily takes place in the Law as well. 13For he of whom all this was said was related to a tribe no member of which ever officiated at the altar. 14For it is perfectly clear that our Lord sprang from the tribe of Judah, with reference to which Moses said nothing at all about priests. 15The point is still more clear in view of the fact that the appointment of the new priest resembles that of Melchizedek, 16for he is appointed not for possessing any legal physical qualifications, but by virtue of a life that cannot end. 17For the psalm bears witness,

“You are a priest forever, of the priesthood of Melchizedek!”

18So an earlier regulation is abrogated because it was poor and ineffective 19(for there was nothing final about the Law), and a better hope begins to dawn, through which we may approach God. 20And in proportion as Jesus was not appointed priest without God’s making oath to it, 21the agreement which he guarantees is better than the old one, 22for God took no oath in appointing the old priests, but he made oath to his appointment, when he said to him,

“The Lord has sworn it and he will not change;

You are a priest forever!”

23The old priests too had to be numerous, because death prevented their continuing in office. 24But he continues forever, and so his priesthood is untransferable. 25Therefore, he is able to save forever all who come to God through him, because he lives and intercedes for them forever.

26Such a high priest we needed—godly, blameless, unstained, removed from sinful men and raised above the very heavens; 27who does not need, as the old high priests did, to offer sacrifices every day, first for his own sins and then for those of the people—for this last he has done once for all, in offering up himself. 28For the Law appoints to the high priesthood men full of imperfection; but this utterance about the making of the oath, which came long after the Law, appoints a son, fully qualified to be high priest forever.

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