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Bible Commentaries

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament
Hebrews 7



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Verse 1

Hebrews 7

Hebrews 7:1 This Melchisedec; that is, the one to whom the writer had referred. (Hebrews 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. (Genesis 14:18-20.) The incident of his appearing in this manner, is employed by David, (Psalms 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. (Genesis 14:14-16.)--And blessed him; Genesis 14:19.

Verse 2

Gave, &c. Hebrews 7:20.--By interpretation; the interpretation of his name, Melchi-zedek.

Verse 3

Without father, &c.; that is, so appearing in the sacred narrative.-- Made like unto; made a type or emblem of.

Verse 5

Have a commandment to take tithes; Deuteronomy 14:22-29.

Verse 7

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.

Verse 8

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.

Verse 9

Levi; the tribe of Levi.

Verse 10

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.

Verse 11

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.

Verse 12

Also of the law; the law and the priesthood being parts of the same system.

Verse 13

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.

Verse 15

Far more evident; still more evident; that is, the imperfect and temporary character of the Mosaic service is so.

Verse 16

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.

Verse 18

The commandment going before; the former commandment,--that is, the Mosaic law.

Verse 19

Made nothing perfect; did not, in itself, really accomplish the salvation of men.

Verse 21

These priests; the Levitical priests.--That said unto him; in Hebrews 7:21; Psalms 110:4, as referred to above.

Verse 22

By so much; by the fact that his institution was declared with the solemnities of an oath, as shown in the Hebrews 7:20,21.--Testament, covenant or dispensation.

Verse 23

And they; referring to the Levitical line.

Verse 28

Which have infirmity; who are themselves sinners.--Consecrated; holy.


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Bibliography Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Hebrews 7:4". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". 1878.

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Tuesday, January 21st, 2020
the Second Week after Epiphany
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