Hebrews Chapter Seven
I. Content of the Chapter
Christ is the High Priest, Who is Better than Aaron (Ⅲ)
A. Melchizedek typifies Jesus Christ (v.1-10);
1. The person of Melchizedek is similar to the Son of God (v.1-3).
2. Melchizedek receives tithes Abraham, the patriarch of the Levite (v.4-10).
B. Jesus Christ has become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek (v.11-28);
1. Jesus Christ is the High Priest who arises according to the power of indissoluble life (v.11-19).
2. Jesus Christ is the High Priest who continues ever (v.20-25).
3. Jesus Christ is the High Priest who is higher than the heavens and fitting for us (v.26-28).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
“For this Melchizedek, king of
YLT: “For this Melchisedek, king
Meaning of Words:
“Melchizedek”: the righteous king; “
“this king Melchizedek, king of
“Priest of the Most High God”, “the Most High God”: the only true God. At that time, the Canaanites worshipped the only true God. However, it is still unknown that whether they knew the only true God they worshipped was Jehovah, since there were no relevant documents for reference. “Priest of…”, in the chief times, the patriarchs or chiefs were supposed as the priests. Melchizedek was both a king as well as a priest without any record of beginning of days or end of life, suggesting that he always lives like the Son of God (see v.3), so he “remains a priest continually” (see v.3).
“Who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings”, “the slaughter of the kings”, it pointed that Abraham slaughtered the Chedorlaomer and the allied kings (Gen. 14:17, 9). Abram was the original name of Abraham (Gen. 17:5).
“Met…blessed him”, the king of Salem Melchizedek brought bread and wine to receive and bless Abraham (Gen. 14:18-19).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The king of
2) Melchizedek is both king and priest, which typifies that Jesus Christ is both king and High Priest. He is the king, who represents God before men. And He is the priest, who represents men before God.
3) When we are in spiritual wars, the Lord Jesus not only fulfills the ministry of priesthood and makes intercessions for us but also provides us with bread and wine. Bread is for fullness and strength. And wine is for regeneration and encouragement.
4) Our High Priest can sympathize with our weakness. Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:15-16).
5) After Abraham he had slaughtered the kings, Melchizedek received and blessed him. Victory in spiritual war at a time does not mean the end of war. Many believers yield to looseness and pride after victory, thus the enemy catches the opportunity to take advantage of. Therefore, we need more service of the Lord after victory.
Heb. 7:2 “to whom also Abraham gave
a tenth part of all, first being translated "king of righteousness,"
and then also king of
“to whom also a tenth of all did Abraham divide, (first, indeed, being
interpreted, `King of righteousness,' and then also, King of
Meaning of Words: “all”: all things, all that he had obtained; “gave”: part, distribute;
Literal Meaning: “to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all”, “of all”, of the spoils taken from the enemy (see v.4; Gen. 14:16, 20); “a tenth”, the custom of giving tithe existed in the times of patriarch (Gen. 14:20; 28:22). Afterwards, it was explicitly specified in the Law of Moses that the tithe should be holy to Jehovah (Lev. 27:30).
“First being translated "king of righteousness"”, “first”: the name of Melchizedek; “being translated”, the meaning of Melchizedek translated into the Hebrew in the Old Testament and Greek in the New Testament is king of righteousness. Righteousness means being just and upright to both God and men. Melchizedek typifies that Christ is the king of righteousness (Is. 32:1), restoring the relations between God and men and among men into a right condition.
“And then also king of
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) When the father of faith had obtained the spoils, he did not forget to give tenth of his part to God. We believers who are spiritual descendants of Abraham according to the faith of Abraham should also not forget to give the part of God to Him when we are gifted by Him.
2) The Lord died on the cross to meet the righteous requirement of God. Therefore, He has become our righteousness (1Cor. 1:30). We can only be justified before God (Titus 3:7).
3) The Lord is the king of righteousness. He not only likes righteousness of Himself but also executes righteousness in the land (Jer. 23:5; 33:15; Dan. 9:7; Rev. 19:11-16) and makes those who believe Him seek righteousness (2Tim. 2:22).
4) The Lord is the king of righteousness and
king of peace. The
5) Righteousness brings into peace (Is. 32:17), and peace leads to righteousness (Heb. 12:11). And righteousness and peace have kissed each other (Ps. 85:10).
6) The Lord is the source of peace. Only though Him can we have peace with God and men (Eph. 2:14-16) and enjoy the peace of God.
7) The peace given by God is different from that of the world (John 14:27). All those who are in Him and pray to Him will receive the peace surpassing every understanding (John 16:33; Phil. 4:6-7).
Heb. 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.”
YLT: “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, and being made like to the Son of God, doth remain a priest continually.”
Meaning of Words: “days”: age, years; “made like”: assimilate closely;
Literal Meaning: “without father, without mother, without genealogy”, “without father, without mother”, it suggests that his birth was unknown. “Without genealogy”, any record of his genealogy is found in the scriptures.
“Having neither beginning of days nor end of life”, “having neither beginning of days”, he has no record of birth at all; “nor end of life”, there is no record concerning his departure. Therefore, he is the type of the one who exists in the beginning (John 1:1) and lives forever (see v.24-25).
“But made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually”, “made like”, he is like the Son of God to a certain degree. It indicates in this verse that Melchizedek is not the Son of God, and he is taken as the type of the Son of God Jesus Christ on account of the “similar points”.
In the Book of Genesis, all the significant characters have genealogy except for Melchizedek, who appears only once without any record of life or death (Gen. 14:17-20). Besides, he is the one outside of the patriarchs of the Israelites. Therefore, he is fit to be chosen by God as the type of the High Priest Jesus Christ in the New Testament 1) he is the high priest who serves the people surpassing the races; 2) he is the honorable (who is a king) high priest; 3) he is the high priest who lives forever.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Melchizedek is both the king and priest (see v.1-2), who represents God (king) as well as men (priest). Therefore, he appears to be like the image of the Son of God?? The best way for a believer to be transfigured as the image of the Son of God (see Rom. 8:29 the original) is to be a true “honorable priest” (1Pet. 2:9), who often preaches God to men, and prays to bring men to God.
2) Believers have to honor their parents in the flesh (Eph. 6:3) and provide for their own (1Tim. 5:8) and fulfill their responsibilities. However, the more important is that all things shall be done in the Lord (Eph. 6:1), so one shall not pay more attentions to his parents than the Lord (see Matt. 10:37).
Heb. 7:4 “Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.”
YLT: “And see how great this one , to whom also a tenth Abraham the patriarch did give out of the best of the spoils,”
Meaning of Words: “the spoils”: best of the booty; “patriarch”: progenitor; “great”: honorable;
Literal Meaning: “now consider how great this man was…the patriarch Abraham”, “the patriarch Abraham” is the earliest and greatest forefather of the Hebrews (the Jews). He was the great-grandfather of Levi, and Aaron was the sixth from him (Ex. 6:16, 18, 20).
“Gave a tenth of the spoils”, “the spoils”: the best booty after selection;
“How great this man was”, “this man” refers to Melchizedek; “how great”: he was even worthy of the devotion of the greatest forefather of the Hebrews, Abraham.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Many examples of the predecessors recorded in the Scriptures are for our imitation or admonition (see 1Cor. 10:11). Therefore, we have to consider them and learn from them.
2) Abraham’s fear to God is even manifested before Melchizedek who serves God. Let the elders who take the lead well be esteemed worthy of double honor, specially those laboring in word and teaching (1Tim. 5:17).
3) We give the “spoils” ---- what are given to us by God ---- to God, who are worthy of “the spoils”. Let us not bring things that become old by constant use or that are unoccupied to the church. Otherwise, the church will become the place hoarding up secondhand goods.
Heb. 7:5 “And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham;”
YLT: “and those, indeed, out of the sons of Levi receiving the priesthood, a command have to take tithes from the people according to the law, that is, their brethren, even though they came forth out of the loins of Abraham;”
Meaning of Words: “priesthood”: the ministry as a priest;
Literal Meaning: “the sons of Levi”, only the sons of Aaron among the Israelites in the Old Testament could fulfill the priesthood (Ex. 28:1; 1Chr. 6:49), and they are a house of the tribe of Levi (1Chr. 6:1-3).
“Receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the
people according to the law”, “have a commandment … according to the law”:
according to the commandment of the law of Moses; “receive tithes”, it
indicates that the people of
people … their brethren”, “their brethren”: the relationship of
brethren, which means that both the people of
“They have come from the loins of Abraham”, they are also the descendants of Abraham.
Heb. 7:6 “but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.”
YLT: “and he who was not reckoned by genealogy of them, received tithes from Abraham, and him having the promises he hath blessed,”
Literal Meaning: “but he whose genealogy is not derived from them”: it is inferred from the context that there is no blood relationship between Melchizedek and Abraham.
“Received tithes from Abraham”, “receive…tithes”: receive the part that should be given;
“Blessed him who had the promises”, “had the promises”: have the promises that God will bless him (Gen. 12:1-3);
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) When we give tithes to God, we confess that all is of Him. Our High Priest is worthy of our devotion of all to Him and our willingness to sacrifice all to Him, for all that are of us belong to Him.
2) If we give all to Him, we will be more willing to leave all for Him and more experience the power of the High Priest’s blessing.
3) Our faith and devotion to the Lord are both out of the denial of ourselves and humility. The humbler and even vain we see us, the more we are willing to give us to Him to be governed by Him. And only our humility and denial of ourselves will deserve His blessings.
Heb. 7:7 “Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.”
YLT: “and apart from all controversy, the less by the better is blessed --”
Meaning of Words: “better”: superior, superior; “lesser”: worse, younger, smaller;
Literal Meaning: “the lesser is blessed by the better”, the one who blesses others is of course better than the one who is blessed.
“Beyond all contradiction”, it is beyond question.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The more we know His honor and transcendence, the humbler will we be and the smaller of us will we feel, and the more blessings we will obtain from Him.
2) Jesus Christ is the origin of our all blessings. All the true blessings are of Him and exist because of Him.
3) Christ comes to let us blessed by God. Only those who are in Christ can receive the blessing of God.
Heb. 7:8 “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.”
YLT: “and here, indeed, men who die do receive tithes, and there , who is testified to that he was living,”
Literal Meaning: “here mortal men receive tithes”, “here”: the priests of the tribe of Levi, who were prevented by death (see v.23);
“But there he receives them”, “there he”: Melchizedek;
“Of” whom it is witnesses that he lives”, it refers to Jesus Christ typified by Melchizedek; God bears witness to Him in the Scriptures that He lives “forever” (Ps. 110:4).
Heb. 7:9 “Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak,”
YLT: “and so to speak, through Abraham even Levi who is receiving tithes, hath paid tithes,”
Meaning: “paid tithes
through Abraham”, “through Abraham”, the Levites were the sons of Abraham.
Since Levi was in the loins of Abraham (see v.10), he had part in the works of
Abraham. Just like all the human beings sinned when the first Adam sinned since
all of them were in the loins of him (see
Heb. 7:10 “for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”
YLT: “for he was yet in the loins of the father when Melchisedek met him.”
Literal Meaning: “when Melchizedek met him”, it mentions the fact in verse one again.
“For he was still in the loins of his father”, it indicates that what Abraham did represents what his sons did.
Heb. 7:11 “Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron?”
YLT: “If indeed, then, perfection were through the Levitical priesthood -- for the people under it had received law -- what further need, according to the order of Melchisedek, for another priest to arise, and not to be called according to the order of Aaron?”
Meaning of Words: “perfection”: fulfillment;
Meaning: “for under it the people received the law”, the word in parenthesis amplifies the
function of “the
Levitical priesthood”, which was so
important that all the people of
“If perfection were through the Levitical priesthood … what further need was there that another priest should rise”, “if” it is rather powerful, which shows that whether the priesthood is perfect is the focus. “Perfection”: make the purpose and mission of the priesthood perfected;
The ministry of priests in the Old Testament is not perfect. The sacrifices that they offered for the people only were only a calling to mind of sins (Heb. 10:3-4), which could neither remove sins nor make men sanctified (Heb. 10:1-2).
“According to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron”, the differences between the priesthood according to “the order of Melchizedek” and “the order of Aaron” are listed as below:
1) “king and priest” to “the sons of Levi” (see v.1, 5);
2) “remain a priest continually” to “be prevented by death from continuing” (see v.1, 8, 23);
3) “one man” to “many priests” (see v.15, 23);
4) “once for all when He offered up Himself” to “offer up sacrifices for sins daily” (see v.27);
5) “be perfected forever” to “not perfect” (see v.11, 28);
6) “according to the power of an endless life” to “according to the law of a fleshly commandment” (v.16);
7) “holy, harmless, undefiled” to “one’s own sins” (see v.26-27);
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The order of Aaron only typifies the works of the Lord on the earth. Therefore, another order better than that of Aaron is required to typify Christ who is High Priest in the heavens forever.
2) Many Christians only know about Christ typified by Aaron, regarding that the death and blood of Christ are rather precious. If they seek the faith in rest, such knowledge is not quiet enough and they have to further know about Christ typified by Melchizedek.
3) The work of Aaron only includes atonement and acceptance of God, and lacks authority and power. Only Christ who is High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek has eternal full power and blessing.
4) Seldom Christians know about Christ typified by Melchizedek. Many believe Christ sits on the right hand of God, but do not understand the relation with their daily life and spiritual pursuit so that they enjoy little of the ministry of Christ.
Heb. 7:12 “For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law.”
YLT: “for the priesthood being changed, of necessity also, of the law a change doth come,”
Meaning of Words: “change”: transfer, remove, turn, translate;
Meaning: “for the priesthood being changed”, it
indicates that the priesthood is changed from the order of Aaron into that of
Melchizedek (see v.11), from the priest tribe of Levi to the king tribe of
“Of necessity there is also a change of the law”, it points that the external law of letter shall be changed into the internal law of life (Heb. 8:10). Here, the necessity of change is much emphasized, for the foundation has utterly changed.
Jesus Christ has become High Priest according to the power of an endless life (see v.16), namely, the High Priest who lives forever according to the law of life.
Heb. 7:13 “For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.”
YLT: “for he of whom these things are said in another tribe hath had part, of whom no one gave attendance at the altar,”
Literal Meaning: “for He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe”, “He of whom these things are spoken”: the Lord Jesus (see v.14); “another”, it is not another one of the same sort, but that of different sorts; “another tribe”: not the tribe of Levi;
“From which no man has officiated at the altar”, “from which”: the tribe
Heb. 7:14 “For it is evident that
our Lord arose from
“for evident that out of
Meaning of Words: “evident”: manifest, obvious, apparent; “arose”: make rise, spring up, be up;
Meaning: “it is evident that our Lord arose from
“Of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood”, “of which tribe”: of the tribe of Judah; “Moses”, neither Moses himself, nor the law of Moses nor the Pentateuch has mentioned anyone out of the tribe of Judah officiates at the alter.
Heb. 7:15 “And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest”
YLT: “And it is yet more abundantly most evident, if according to the similitude of Melchisedek there doth arise another priest,”
Meaning of Words: “likeness”: resemblance;
Literal Meaning: “and if in the likeness of Melchizedek there arises another priest”, “the likeness of Melchizedek” is slightly different from “the order of Melchizedek”. “Order” refers to its sort, and “likeness” it the resemblance or pattern through which the connotation is manifested.
“It is yet far more evident”, “evident”: very obvious;
Heb. 7:16 “who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life.”
YLT: “who came not according to the law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an endless life,”
Meaning of Words: “commandment”: law; “endless”: indissoluble, permanent;
Literal Meaning: “who has come not according to the law of a fleshly commandment”, “has come”: it is always so in the past and will be so forever. “Commandment” includes two words in the original, namely, commandment and law, the former is a specific commandment, and the sum of the commandments is law. “According to the law of a fleshly commandment”: the hereditary system of priesthood only belongs to the tribe of Levi (Deut. 18:1).
“But according to the power of an endless life”, “an endless life”: the life of God, the life is indissoluble and nothing can destroy the life. “Power”: the power in the life of God overcomes all. The Lord Jesus Christ overcomes the death through the power of the endless life and marks out the Son of God in power by resurrection of dead (Rom. 1:4), and becomes the High Priest in such life to fulfill the priesthood and save us (see v.24-25).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christ has become the High Priest according to the power of an endless life. He shall give us the power of the heavenly life so that we will lead a heavenly life.
2) We shall also become the ministers of new covenant as Christ who has become the High Priest, not of letter, but of spirit (2Cor. 3:6).
Heb. 7:17 “For He testifies: "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."”
YLT: “for He doth testify -- `Thou a priest -- to the age, according to the order of Melchisedek;'”
Meaning of Words: “testify”: be witness, have good report;
Literal Meaning: “for He testifies”, the word of God that testifies; the following words are quoted from the Book of Psalm (110:4).
“You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”, “according to the order of Melchizedek”, the similar words are mentioned in this book six times (Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 15, 17).
Heb. 7:18 “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness,”
YLT: “for a disannulling indeed doth come of the command going before because of its weakness, and unprofitableness,”
Meaning of Words: “weakness”: strengthlessness, feebleness; “unprofitableness”: uselessness, inutility;
Literal Meaning: “the former commandment”, it refers to the commandment of the law that only the sons of Aaron in the tribe of Levi are allowed to fulfill the priesthood.
“There is annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness
and unprofitableness”, “weakness”, the law and commandment are inefficient;
“unprofitableness”, the law and commandment are useless, for they cannot help
men to overcome sin and death (
Heb. 7:19 “for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.”
YLT: “(for nothing did the law perfect) and the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw nigh to God.”
Meaning of Words: “make … perfect”: fulfill, consummate; “hope”: expectation;
Meaning: “the law made nothing perfect”, it means
what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh (
“There is the bringing in of a better hope”, “a better hope”, it refers to the priest who is appointed according to the power of the indissoluble (see v.16), and the better covenant that he has accomplished (see v.22), because the covenant guarantees us the perfect redemption and the true access God.
“Through which we draw near to God”, we draw near to God through “the better hope” that is previously mentioned.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The function of the law is bringing us to Christ (Gal. 3:24). Now since we have already received Christ, we shall not be bound by the law of letter.
2) Christ lives in us, and is our hope of glory
Heb. 7:20 “And inasmuch as He was not made priest without an oath”
YLT: “And inasmuch as not apart from oath, (for those indeed apart from oath are become priests,”
Literal Meaning: “and inasmuch as He…made priest”, “and”, another point is raised in this verse. “He” refers to Jesus.
“Not made without an oath”, “not…without”: double negatives equal to “positive”, indicating that He was made with an oath. “Made…with an oath”, the following verses will talk about the difference between the appointment of priest with an oath and that without an oath.
Heb. 7:21 “(for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him who said to Him: "The LORD has sworn And will not relent, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"'),”
YLT: “and he with an oath through Him who is saying unto him, `The Lord sware, and will not repent, Thou a priest -- to the age, according to the order of Melchisedek;')”
Literal Meaning: “for they have become priests without an oath”, “priests” refer to all the priests appointed according to the fleshly commandment (see v.16);
“But He with an oath by Him”, “but He”: only Jesus; the most significant difference of the Lord Jesus’ priesthood from the priests among men is that He is appointed by the swearing of God.
“Him who said to Him”, “Him” (the first one) refers to God; “said to Him”: it means that God speaks in the scriptures.
“The LORD has sworn And will not relent, “You are a priest forever”, it is quoted from the Book of Psalm (110:4).
Heb. 7:22 “by so much more Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant.”
YLT: “by so much of a better covenant hath Jesus become surety,”
Meaning of Words: “surety”: pledged, bondsman;
Literal Meaning: “a better covenant”, it refers to the New Covenant, which is better than the Old Covenant (Heb. 8:13), for the New Covenant is established upon better promises (Heb. 8:6); “surety”, according to the original, the word shows that the bondsman cannot escape, for he has to give the member of his body as security. Therefore, the guarantee is much reliable and stable.
Jesus Christ is the High Priest sworn by God. He has not only accomplished the New Covenant for us ---- who has accomplished the better covenant, but also has become the surety of the new testament ---- who guarantees that we are enabled to enjoy all the profits in the New Covenant unto fullness.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The blessing of Christian is that we have “the better covenant” and “the better surety”.
2) Jesus Christ is our surety, who personally takes the responsibility to fulfill the New Covenant.
Heb. 7:23 “Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing.”
YLT: “and those indeed are many who have become priests, because by death they are hindered from remaining;”
Meaning of Words: “prevent”: hinder, forbid; “continuing”: abode, remain, stay near;
Literal Meaning: “there were many priests”, “there were …priests”: the Levites who performed the priesthood (see v.5); “many”: since they were mortal (see v.8), there were many priests during the past generations.
“Because they were prevented by death from continuing”, “prevented by death”, it indicates that death is a factor preventing the priests from continuing. “Were prevented …from continuing”, it shows that they could not continue to perform the priesthood.
Heb. 7:24 “But He, because He continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood.”
YLT: “and he, because of his remaining -- to the age, hath the priesthood not transient,”
Meaning of Words: “continue”: abide, stay near, remain; “unchangeable”: not passing away, untransferable;
Literal Meaning: “He, because He continues forever”, “continues forever”, it is a contrast to the phrase in the previous verse ---- “be prevented from continuing”.
“He, has an unchangeable priesthood”, “unchangeable”, it indicates that He “alone” will keep the priesthood forever, which is a contrast to “many” in the previous verse.
Heb. 7:25 “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”
YLT: “whence also he is able to save to the very end, those coming through him unto God -- ever living to make intercession for them.”
Meaning of Words: “to the uttermost”: completely, forever;
Literal Meaning: “He is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him”, “to the uttermost”: it means completeness forever. “Save to the uttermost”: save to perfection and completeness and save to the uttermost forever.
“Since He always lives to make intercession for them”, “for them”: represent them; “make intercession”: pray for them; the whole verse means that Christ has become our High Priest in the heavens before God, and His chief mission is to make intercession to God for us so as to save us from all situations.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Man has no access to God through himself. However, the Lord has said: “I am the way” (John 14:6). He is the only for us to God. Therefore, we can come to God through Him.
2) Christ shall be the priest forever, which suggests that He shall perfect the works on us through the power of eternal life. He lives forever, so He can save us to the uttermost.
Heb. 7:26 “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;”
YLT: “For such a chief priest did become us -- kind, harmless, undefiled, separate from the sinners, and become higher than the heavens,”
Meaning of Words: “fitting”: proper, comely, right;
Literal Meaning: “for such a High Priest, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners”, “holy” emphasizes that His inner nature makes God pleasant; “harmless” indicates that He has no constitution of evil; “undefiled” shows that He is not defiled by any environment; “separate from sinners”, it does not mean he has no association with sinners (see Matt. 9:9-13), but that he is not influenced by any sinner at all. “Harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners”, all of them emphasize the quality of His holiness.
“Was fitting for us …. has become higher than the heavens”, “higher than the heavens”: higher above all the heavens (Eph. 4:12); “was fitting for us”: satisfied our need;
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The character and nature of a man decide his value before men. A preacher’s “being” is more significant than his “works” and “words”.
2) What we need most is what we have not and what we are unable to attain to. Since we have such a High Priest, we have to appropriate and enjoy His ministry at any moment.
Heb. 7:27 “who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”
YLT: “who hath no necessity daily, as the chief priests, first for his own sins to offer up sacrifice, then for those of the people; for this he did once, having offered up himself;”
Meaning of Words: “did”: make, commit;
Literal Meaning: “who does not … as those high priests”, “those high priests”: the sons of Levi (see v.5) who perform the priesthood according to the fleshly commandment (see v.16). They had many and were prevented by death from continuing (see v.23). They were weak (see v.28) and were clothed with infirmity themselves, so they ought to offer for sins for the people and themselves (Heb. 5:2-3). They were high priests according to the order of Aaron (see v.11).
“For this He did once for all when He offered up Himself”, “once”: one time and one sacrifice, namely, himself; “for this”, “this” refers to redemption.
The Lord had offered Him once and has accomplished the redemption. He is God, so He is not restricted by time. He had accomplished this once for all.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The great redemption of the Lord Jesus has been perfected. Now if a sinner desires to be saved, he does not need to ask the Lord to die for him again but receives the effect of His once death on the cross and thus obtains salvation.
2) Our faith is not limited by time. And faith is able to bring in the reality of eternity. Those who were in the Old Testament saw forward and those who are in the New Testament see backward. Those who were in the Old Testament looked upon a Savior in the future unto salvation by faith and those who are in the New Testament rely on a Savior in the past unto salvation by faith.
Heb. 7:28 “For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.”
YLT: “for the law doth appoint men chief priests, having infirmity, but the word of the oath that after the law the Son -- to the age having been perfected.”
Meaning of Words: “be perfected”: be complete, be accomplished;
Literal Meaning: “the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness”, “men who have weakness”, it indicates that man is weak by nature and is limited by time and space and shall die and commit sins and fail to do things perfect etc.
“But the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son”, “the Son” refers to the Son of God Jesus Christ.
“Who has been perfected forever”, there are two meaning of “be perfected”: 1) on one hand, it indicates that he is different from the weak men, for he is utterly perfect. 2) On the other hand, it also refers to the works that He has perfected (John 19:28). “Forever”, it shows that His “being” (perfection) and “doing” (perfect) never change and abide forever.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Though we believers are imperfect, our intention and goal of our pursuit should be perfect as the Lord (Matt. 5:48; 1John 2:5).
2) We need only commit ourselves and all things to the perfect High Priest by faith, who is able to keep for that day the deposit we have entrusted to Him (2Tim. 1:12).
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
Melchizedek Who Typifies Jesus Christ (v.1-3)
A. His name, Melchizedek ---- the king of righteousness ---- who reigns by righteousness so that men shall be justified (1Cor. 1:30; Jer. 23:6; 33:16);
B. He was the king of
C. He was both a king and a priest ---- on one hand, he is a king who represents the most high God to reign on the earth, and on the other hand, he is a priest who brings men to God;
D. He was without father, without mother, without genealogy ---- which indicates that the deity of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God;
E. He had neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God ---- which shows that he remains a priest continually;
The Order of Melchizedek is more Honorable Than That of Aaron
A. The patriarch Abraham gave tenth of his part to Melchizedek (v.4-5).
B. Melchizedek blessed Abraham, so the better one is obviously known (v.6-7).
C. The sons of Levi are mortal, and but Melchizedek is living (v.8-9).
D. The sons of Levi who received tithes paid tithes through Abraham (v.9).
The Better Priesthood of Jesus Christ
A. His priesthood is excellent than that of the priests in the Old Testament:
1. The priesthood of the Old Testament is not perfect (v.11).
2. There is a necessity of the change of the law concerning the priesthood in the Old Testament (v.12-13).
3. The Lord as the priest according to the
likeness of Melchizedek arouse from the tribe of
4. The Lord becomes the priest according to the order of Melchizedek ---- it is not according to the fleshly commandment, but the power of an endless life (v.16-17).
5. The Lord who becomes the priest has brought a better hope so that we are enabled to come to God through Him (v.18-19).
B. Jesus Christ is a more perfect High Priest:
1. The Lord was made priest with an oath and has become a surety of a better covenant (v.20-22);
2. The Lord’s priesthood is unchangeable and he is able to save those who believe Him to the uttermost (v.23-25);
3. The Lord as the priest is holy and sinless above the heavens, so He is fitting for us (v.26-27);
The Differences between the Priests in the Two Testaments
A. The priesthood is changed ---- from
imperfection to perfection (v.11
B. The law is changed ---- the priest from the
tribe of Levi is changed into that from the tribe of
C. The commandment is destroyed ---- from that is according to the fleshly commandment to that is according to the power of an endless (v.16-19);
D. The “covenant” is changed ---- from that is appointed without an oath to that is appointed with an oath (v.20-22);
E. The number is changed ---- from many (who shall die) to one who lives forever (v.23-25);
F. The condition of the priest is changed ---- from those who are weak to the holy and perfect Son of God (v.26-28);
Jesus Christ is a Perfect High Priest
A. He is a spiritual High Priest (v.11-19);
1. He is a High Priest who is not appointed according to the fleshly commandment.
2. He is the High Priest according to the power of an endless life, bringing a better hope.
B. He is a High Priest forever (v.20-25);
1. He is a High Priest according to the oath sworn by God;
2. He lives forever and is able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him.
C. He is a fitting High Priest (v.26-28);
1. He is a High Priest who is holy and sinless above the heavens and does not need to offer up sacrifices for his sin.
2. He is a High Priest who is not weak or incompetent, but has been perfected forever.
Three Transcendent Ministries of Jesus Christ
A. He is the surety of a better covenant (v.20-22).
B. He is the savior who lives forever (v.23-25).
C. He is the High Priest who is perfect and fitting (v.26-28).
The Perfect High Priest
A. He is a High Priest of perfect power (v.25);
1. Who lives forever;
2. Who makes intercession for men;
3. Who saves to the utter most;
4. Who is able to save all those who rely on Him;
B. He is a High Priest of perfect life (v.26);
1. Who is holy and harmless;
2. Who is undefiled and is separated from sinners;
3. Who is higher than the heavens;
C. He is a High Priest who has been sacrificed perfectly (v.27);
1. Who does not need to offer up sacrifices for his own sin;
2. Who offered up Himself;
3. Who did once for all;
D. He is a High Priest who has been appointed perfectly (v.28);
1. Who is appointed by God;
2. Who has been delivered from the weakness under the law;
3. Who has been perfected forever;
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Mary Zhou