1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace, 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, abides a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. 5 And truly those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brothers, though they come from the loins of Abraham. 6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed by the better. 8 And here men who die receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is testified that he lives. 9 And as I may say, Levi also, who receives tithes, payed tithes through Abraham. 10 For he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change of the law also. 13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertains to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if after the similitude of Melchizedek there arises another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifies, "You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek."
18 For there is truly a setting aside of the preceding commandment on account of its weakness and unprofitableness. 19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the introduction of a better hope did, by which we draw near to God. 20 And since he was not made priest without an oath 21 (For those priests were made without an oath, but this with an oath by him who said to him, "The Lord swore and will not repent, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek'"), 22 By so much Jesus has become surety of a better testament.
23 And they truly were many priests because they were not allowed to continue by reason of death. 24 But this man, because he continues forever, has an unchangeable priesthood; 25 Therefore, he is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God by him, seeing he always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a high priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens, 27 Who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins and then for the people's. For this he did once when he offered up himself. 28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have infirmity, but the word of the oath which was after the law appoints the Son who has been perfected forevermore.
[v.1-2] - Reference, Genesis 14:18-20.
[v.17] - Quoting Psalm 110:4 (LXX).
[v.21] - Quoting Psalm 110:4 (LXX).
[v.28] - "perfected" - The KJV has, "consecrated." Perfected is a better rendering because it has the same meaning as in Hebrews 2:10. Christ's priesthood was perfected and is for all eternity. From John Calvin's Commentary: "From the defects of men he draws his conclusion as to the weakness of the priesthood, as though he had said, 'Since the law makes no real priests, the defect must by some other means be remedied; and it is remedied by the word of the oath; for Christ was made a priest, being not of the common order of men, but the Son of God, subject to no defect, but adorned and endowed with the highest perfection.' He again reminds us, that the oath was posterior to the law, in order to show that God, being not satisfied with the priesthood of the law, designed to constitute a better priesthood; for in the institutions of God what succeeds advances the former to a better state, or it abolishes what was designed to exist only for a time."