Hebrews 7:1-14 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Priest Melchizedek
7 Melchizedek [C a priest and king in the time of Abraham; Gen. 14:17–24; Heb. 5:6, 10; 6:20] was the king of Salem [C another name for Jerusalem, meaning “peace”; v. 2] and a priest for God Most High. He met Abraham when Abraham was coming back after ·defeating [L the slaughter of] the kings [Gen. 14:17–19]. When they met, Melchizedek blessed Abraham, 2 and Abraham ·gave [L apportioned/divided to] him a ·tenth [tithe] ·of everything he had brought back from the battle [L of everything]. First, Melchizedek’s name means “king of ·goodness [righteousness; justice],” and he is king of Salem [C another name for Jerusalem], which means “king of peace.” 3 ·No one knows who Melchizedek’s father or mother was [L …without father, without mother], ·where he came from [L without genealogy], ·when he was born, or when he died [L having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; C something unstated was assumed not to exist]. Melchizedek is like the Son of God; he continues being a priest forever [C Melchizedek’s unmentioned genealogy in Genesis is, by analogy, like Jesus’ eternal Sonship and priesthood].
4 You can see how great Melchizedek was. Abraham, the ·great father [patriarch], gave him a tenth of ·everything that he won in battle [the spoils/booty/plunder]. 5 Now the law ·says [authorizes; commands] that those ·in the tribe [L of the sons/descendants] of Levi who become priests must collect a ·tenth [tithe] from the people—their ·own people [L brothers (and sisters)]—even though ·the priests and the people [L they] ·are from the family [are also descendants; L have come from the loins/body] of Abraham. 6 [L But] Melchizedek was not ·from the tribe of Levi [L descended from them; v. 3; C he was not from the Levitical line of priests], but he collected a ·tenth [tithe] from Abraham. And he blessed Abraham, the man who had God’s promises [Gen. 12:1–3]. 7 Now ·everyone knows [it is indisputable] that the ·more important person blesses the less important person [L lesser/inferior is blessed by the greater/superior]. 8 ·Priests receive a tenth, even though they are only men who live and then die [L In the one case, mortal men receive a tithe,…]. ·But Melchizedek, who received a tenth from Abraham, continues living, as the Scripture says [L …but in the other case, the one (receives the tithe) who is declared (by Scripture) to be alive]. 9 We might even say that Levi, who receives a ·tenth [tithe], also paid it when Abraham paid Melchizedek a tenth. 10 Levi was not yet born, but he was in the ·body [loins] of his ancestor when Melchizedek met Abraham [C the Levitical priesthood is considered inferior to Melchizedek’s (and Christ’s) priesthood, since Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek through his ancestor Abraham].
11 ·The people were given the law concerning the system of priests from the tribe of Levi, but they could not be made perfect through that system [L If perfection could be attained through the Levitical priesthood, established for the people in the law…]. ·So there was [L …why was there…?] a need for another priest to come, a priest ·like [L in the priestly order/line of] Melchizedek, not [L in the priestly order/line of] Aaron [C Moses’ brother and Israel’s first high priest (5:4; Ex. 28:1); the existence of Melchizedek’s priestly line implies that the priesthood through Levi and Aaron was inadequate]. 12 And when a different ·kind of priest [priesthood; priestly line] comes, the law must be changed, too. 13 ·We are saying these things about Christ, who [L For the one about whom these things are said] belonged to a different tribe [C Jesus belonged to the tribe of Judah, not Levi]. No one from that tribe [C Judah] ever served as a priest at the altar. 14 It is clear that our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses said nothing about priests belonging to that tribe [C the kings from David’s line (including Jesus) came from the tribe of Judah, but the OT priesthood came through Levi and Aaron].
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