Hebrews 7This Melchisedec; that is, the one to whom the writer had referred. (5:6, 6:20.) In the history of Abraham, contained in the book of Genesis, there is an account of his meeting, on one occasion, with a king, of high rank and distinction, named Melchisedec, a worshipper of the true God, and a priest as well as a king; to whom Abraham paid a tenth part of the spoils which be had then recently taken from his enemies in acknowledgment of his spiritual superiority. In respect to this Melchisedec, no account is given of his ancestry or origin,—nor of the end of his life. He enters the field of view, and, after a brief appearance, leaves it again in the full possession and exercise, during the whole period, of all his royal and priestly powers. (Gen. 14:18-20.) The incident of his appearing in this manner, is employed by David, (Ps. 110:4,) and now by the writer of this Epistle, as furnishing an apt emblem or type of the permanence and perpetuity of the priesthood of Christ.—The slaughter of the kings. (Gen. 14:14-16.)—And blessed him; v. 19.
Gave, &c. v. 20.—By interpretation; the interpretation of his name, Melchi-zedek.
Without father, &c.; that is, so appearing in the sacred narrative.— Made like unto; made a type or emblem of.
Have a commandment to take tithes; Deut. 14:22-29.
Of the better; of the greater. The idea is, that Melchisedec's blessing Abraham, as well as his receiving tithes of him, was a mark or token of his superiority to Abraham.
Here; under the Mosaic dispensation.—There; referring to Melchisedec.—It is witnessed that he liveth; he appears, so far as there is any witness or testimony concerning him, in life, and in the full possession of power.
Levi; the tribe of Levi.
The meaning is, that Abraham, as the ancestor, head, and representative, of his descendants, may be considered as including his descendants, as well as himself, under his acknowledgment of Melchisedec's superiority.
For under it, &c.; that is, the law was so connected with the Levitical priesthood, that whatever imperfection or inferiority is shown to pertain to the one, attaches in like manner to the other.
Also of the law; the law and the priesthood being parts of the same system.
He of whom these things are spoken; that is, he who is the subject of this comparison with Melchisedec.—Another tribe; the tribe of Judah.—Gave attendance, &c.; served as priest. The priests were all of the tribe of Levi.
Far more evident; still more evident; that is, the imperfect and temporary character of the Mosaic service is so.
Made; constituted priest.—After the law of a carnal commandment; under a system of commandments of a ceremonial and temporal character.—After the power of an endless life; on a new foundation, sure, and never to end.
The commandment going before; the former commandment,—that is, the Mosaic law.
Made nothing perfect; did not, in itself, really accomplish the salvation of men.
These priests; the Levitical priests.—That said unto him; in Ps. 110:4, as referred to above.
By so much; by the fact that his institution was declared with the solemnities of an oath, as shown in the two preceding verses.—Testament, covenant or dispensation.
And they; referring to the Levitical line.
Which have infirmity; who are themselves sinners.—Consecrated; holy.
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