English Standard Version
The Certainty of God's Promise
13 For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, (A)he swore by himself, 14 saying, (B)“Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” 15 And thus Abraham,[a] (C)having patiently waited, obtained the promise. 16 For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes (D)an oath is final for confirmation. 17 So when God desired to show more convincingly to (E)the heirs of the promise (F)the unchangeable character of his purpose, (G)he guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that by two unchangeable things, in which (H)it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope (I)set before us. 19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into (J)the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone (K)as a forerunner on our behalf, (L)having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
7 For this (M)Melchizedek, king of (N)Salem, priest of (O)the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 He is without father or mother (P)or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
4 See how great this man was to whom Abraham (Q)the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! 5 And (R)those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers,[b] though these also are descended from Abraham. 6 But this man (S)who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed (T)him who had the promises. 7 It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. 8 In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one (U)of whom it is testified that (V)he lives. 9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
Jesus Compared to Melchizedek
11 (W)Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron? 12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. 13 For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended (X)from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of him,
(Y)“You are a priest forever,
after the order of Melchizedek.”
18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside (Z)because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for (AA)the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, (AB)a better hope is introduced, through which (AC)we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath. For those who formerly became priests were made such without an oath, 21 but this one was made a priest with an oath by the one who said to him:
(AD)“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever.’”
22 This makes Jesus the guarantor of (AE)a better covenant.
23 The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office, 24 but he holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues (AF)forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost[c] (AG)those who draw near to God (AH)through him, since he always lives (AI)to make intercession for them.
26 For it was indeed fitting that we should have such a high priest, (AJ)holy, innocent, unstained, (AK)separated from sinners, and (AL)exalted above the heavens. 27 He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, (AM)first for his own sins and then for those of the people, since he did this (AN)once for all when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men (AO)in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made (AP)perfect forever.