6:13 For when God made a promise to Abraham,
since he could swear by none greater, he swore by himself,
6:14 saying, "Most surely I will bless you, and I will surely
6:15 Thus, having patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
6:16 For men indeed swear by a greater one,
and in every dispute of theirs the oath is final for confirmation.
6:17 In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly
to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed
with an oath;
6:18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God
we may have a strong encouragement,
who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us.
6:19 This hope we have as an anchor of the soul,
a hope both sure and steadfast and entering into that which is within
6:20 where as a forerunner Jesus entered for us,
having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Melchizedekian Priesthood
7:1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High,
who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed
7:2 to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of all
(being first, by interpretation, king of righteousness,
and then also king of Salem, which is king of peace;
7:3 without father, without mother, without genealogy,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the
Son of God),
remains a priest continually.
7:4 Now consider how great this man was,
to whom even Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth out of the best
7:5 They indeed of the sons of Levi
who receive the priest's office
have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law,
that is, of their brothers, though these have come out of the loins
7:6 but he whose genealogy is not counted from them has taken
and has blessed him who has the promises.
7:7 But without any dispute the less is blessed by the better.
7:8 Here people who die receive tithes,
but there one receives tithes of whom it is testified that he lives.
7:9 So to say, through Abraham even Levi, who receives tithes,
7:10 for he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met
vs 14 How is this promise relevant to us?
(Xref Gal 3:8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would
justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto
saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed." Gal 3:29"And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed,
and heirs according to the promise."
Also check Gal 3:14-18)
Can God make a rock so big that He cannot move it?
vs 18 What are the 2 unchangeable things in which are impossible for
God to violate?
vs 19 Would you describe your confidence of going to heaven as firm
How is the Melchizedekian priesthood superior to the Aaronic priesthood?
The Promise and the Oath
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there
was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, "I
will surely bless you and give you many descendants." And so after
waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. Men swear by
someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and
puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging
nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he
confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two
unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who
have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly
Much as men characteristically swear by someone greater than
themselves, it is not that they should do so. Jesus said, "Again, you
have heard that it was said to the people long ago,
‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’
But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s
throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for
it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for
you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be
‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil
one." Mt 5:33-37
God is somewhat an exception in this line of reasoning seeing as God in
fact does have control over all things and as such can see to it that
the oath is fulfilled. But the point is that one can have confidence in
God's oath. Num 23:19 "God is not a
man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his
mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?"
The two unchangeable things are the promise and the oath.
They are immutable in that God is faithful and God cannot lie. The
emphasis is that we can have confidence in what God has promised.
Understand that God has put his reputation at stake. He will fulfill
his promise not just for the good of the recipients of the promise, but
also for His own name sake.
for the Soul
have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters
the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before
us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in
the order of Melchizedek.
While with regards to our part in fulfilling God's requirement to be
qualified for the promise there may be some uncertainty, there is no
doubt with regards to God fulfilling his part. Though we have to meet
the conditions for the promise, having done so we can have full
confidence that what was promised will be fulfilled. Concerning
Abraham's faith it is written, "He
regarding the promise of God, but was
strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded
that God had power to do what he had promised."Rom 4:20,21
The inner sanctuary behind the curtain is in the temple, which was
tent meeting of which God instructed Moses to build. It was called the
Holy of Holies of which only the high priest was allowed to enter once
a year and contained the ark of the covenant. It represented God most
holy place. That is, the promise is that the recipients of the New
Covenant would be so reconciled to God that God would allow them into
his most holy place.
brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the
blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the
curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the
house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full
assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a
guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us
hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is
Heb 7:1-3This Melchizedek was king of Salem and
priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of
the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.
First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of
Salem" means "king of peace." Without father or mother, without
genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of
God he remains a priest forever.
In chapter 7 the author will speak of the order of Christ's priesthood
and of its superiority to the Levitical order established under the Law
of Moses. The reason for doing this is that he is speaking to Jews who
had only been schooled in the Levitical priesthood. Jesus was not a
Levitical priest, indeed he did not even qualify to be a Levitical
priest. So the question arises as to how one should reckon his
By way of illustration the author speaks of Melchizedek as a shadow, a
forerunner, the precedent for the order of Christ's priesthood. And
though it is but a shadow as there are also many shadows in the Old
Testament, and therefore only two dimensional, we nonetheless can learn
by inference from such illustrations.
The name "Melchizedek" first refers to a king. This is distinct from
the Levitical priesthood in that the kings of Israel were of the tribe
of Judah, while it's priests were of the tribe of the Levites. Thus one
could not be both a priest and a king under the Law of Moses. But
Christ is both our King and our High Priest. Also Christ is both king
of righteousness and that of peace, meaning that he justifies us and
gives us peace with God. "He
to death for our sins and was raised to life for our
justification. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith,
we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ"Rom 4:25-5:1
Another thing is that Jesus' priesthood was not dependent upon his
genealogy. Which is the sense in which he brings up Melchizedek being
without father or mother. Not that he didn't have a father or mother,
but rather as the Bible mentions nothing of his father or mother, then
the author infers from this precedent that genealogy was not relevant
to the Melchizedekian order. Likewise as the Bible makes no mention of
his death nor an end to Melchizedek's priesthood, the precedent infers
that Christ's priesthood - the "Par Excellent" version of the prieshood
- is likewise without end.
Heb 7:4-10Just think how great he was: Even the
patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires
the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the
people— that is, their brothers— even though their brothers are
descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent
from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who
had the promises. And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the
In the one case, the tenth is
collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared
to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the
tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met
Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
Here we see again - by way of inference - the superiority of the
Melchizedekian priesthood over that of the Levitical priestood, in that
the lesser person - in this case Abraham and by inference Abraham's
descendants - was blessed by the greater, namely Melchizedek whom the
author associates with Christ by analogy. And likewise with regards to
But as for Levi living in the body of his ancestory Abraham, one must
be careful not to read too much into the text. Reading literally what
was meant as analogy one can end up with heresy. Realize that most of
this text is analogous. Christ himself is only analogous to
Melchizedek. There is a a heresy known as Traducianism whereby the soul
exists in the fabric of one's ancestors. But given that the Bible
states, "Fathers shall not
be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their
fathers; each is to die for his own sin."Deut 24:16, one cannot attribute sin
to one's descendants and therefore the individual is considered
separate from his ancestors. Nor are ancestors reckoned a composite of
their descendants. Traducianism had been a basis for misconceptions
concerning original sin and a basis for racial prejudice but is
inconsistent with Biblical Christianity.
But the point made here concerning Levi could be just as well stated by
saying that if one's father reckoned himself obligated to pay respect
to someone, then certainly that would likewise be the case with his
son. Thus Melchizedek, and by analogy - Christ, is superior to Levi.
Thus the Levitical priesthood is overshadowed by the Priesthood of
Christ. "For there is one God and
one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"1Tim
One additional point he hasn't bought up because he's just speaking to
Jews, is the fact that the Levitical priesthood was limited to Jews,
whereas Christ's priesthood applies across the board to Jews and
Gentiles. In fact one could even use the Melchizedekian analogy and
note that Abraham himself was a Gentile when he gave a tithe to him. As
Paul noted in Gal 3:8-10 Therefore know that only those who are
of faith are sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God
would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham
beforehand, saying, "In you all the nations shall be blessed." So then
those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham. And "If you belong to Christ, then you are
Abraham‘s seed, and heirs according to the promise." Gal 3:29 Likewise Melchizedek
himself was not Jewish. Thus the Melchizedekian priesthood encompasses
a much broader field than the Levitical priesthood.
Trusting in the Promise of God
When God makes a promise, it is as if He creates a rock so big that
not even He can move it. For if He doesn't keep His promise, He
His own character.
If a believer in Christ is denied access to heaven, then God shows
to be a liar.
But since it's impossible for God to lie, then the believer has a
anticipation of entering heaven, which is the reason why God made a big
deal about making an oath, so that our confidence would be based on His
The Melchizedekian Priesthood Greater than Aaronic Priesthood
Combines the roles of King and Priest
Genetic origin irrelevant
Aaron submitted to Melchizedek through Abraham
(King of "Salem" = King of Jerusalem according to Ps 76:2)