Hebrews 7New Life Version (NLV)
7 Melchizedek was king of Salem. He was a religious leader for God. When Abraham was coming back from the war where many kings were killed, Melchizedek met Abraham and showed respect to him. 2 Abraham gave Melchizedek one-tenth part of all he had. Melchizedek’s name means king of what is right. Salem means peace. So he is king of peace. 3 Melchizedek was without a father or mother or any family. He had no beginning of life or end of life. He is a religious leader forever like the Son of God.
4 We can see how great Melchizedek was. Abraham gave him one-tenth part of all he had taken in the war. 5 The Law made the family of Levi the Jewish religious leaders. The Law said that the religious leaders were to take one-tenth part of everything from their own people. 6 Melchizedek was not even from the family group of Levi but Abraham paid him. Melchizedek showed respect to Abraham who was the one who had received God’s promises. 7 The one who shows respect is always greater than the one who receives it. 8 Jewish religious leaders receive one-tenth part. They are men and they all die. But here Melchizedek received one-tenth part and is alive. 9 We might say that Levi, who receives one-tenth part, paid one-tenth part through Abraham. 10 Levi was not yet born. He was still inside Abraham’s body when Abraham paid Melchizedek.
11 The Law was given during the time when Levi and his sons were the religious leaders. If the work of those religious leaders had been perfect in taking away the sins of the people, there would have been no need for another religious leader. But one like Melchizedek was needed and not one from the family group of Aaron. 12 For when the family group of religious leaders changed, the Law had to be changed also. 13 These things speak of Christ Who is from another family group. That family group never had a religious leader who killed animals and gave gifts at the altar for the sins of the people. 14 Our Lord came from the family group of Judah. Moses did not write anything about religious leaders coming from that family group.
A Different Religious Leader Has Come
15 We can see that a different Religious Leader has come. This One is like Melchizedek. 16 Christ did not become a Religious Leader by coming from the family group of Levi as the Law said had to be. He became the Religious Leader by the power of a life that never ends. 17 The Holy Writings say this about Christ, “You are a Religious Leader forever like Melchizedek.”
18 God put the Law of Moses aside. It was weak and could not be used. 19 For the Law of Moses could not make men right with God. Now there is a better hope through which we can come near to God.
20 God made a promise when Christ became the Religious Leader Who made the way for man to go to God. 21 God did not make such a promise when Levi’s family group became religious leaders. But when Christ became a Religious Leader, this is the promise God made, “The Lord has made a promise. He will never change His mind. You will be a Religious Leader forever.” 22 Christ makes this New Way of Worship sure for us because of God’s promise. 23 There had to be many religious leaders during the time of the Old Way of Worship. They died and others had to keep on in their work. 24 But Jesus lives forever. He is the Religious Leader forever. It will never change. 25 And so Jesus is able, now and forever, to save from the punishment of sin all who come to God through Him because He lives forever to pray for them.
26 We need such a Religious Leader Who made the way for man to go to God. Jesus is holy and has no guilt. He has never sinned and is different from sinful men. He has the place of honor above the heavens. 27 Christ is not like other religious leaders. They had to give gifts every day on the altar in worship for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. Christ did not have to do that. He gave one gift on the altar and that gift was Himself. It was done once and it was for all time. 28 The Law makes religious leaders of men. These men are not perfect. After the Law was given, God spoke with a promise. He made His Son a perfect Religious Leader forever.