This Melchizedek (ουτος ο Μελχισεδεκ houtos ho Melchisedek). The one already mentioned several times with whose priesthood that of Christ is compared and which is older and of a higher type than that of Aaron. See Genesis 14:18-20; Psalm 110:1-7 for the only account of Melchizedek in the Old Testament. It is a daring thing to put Melchizedek above Aaron, but the author does it. Moffatt calls Hebrews 7:1-3 “a little sermon” on Hebrews 6:20. It is “for ever” (εις τον αιωνα eis ton aiōna) that he explains. Melchizedek is the only one in his line and stands alone in the record in Genesis. The interpretation is rabbinical in method, but well adapted to Jewish readers. The description is taken verbatim from Genesis except that “who met” (ο συναντησας ho sunantēsas) is here applied to Melchizedek from Genesis 14:17 instead of to the King of Sodom. They both met Abraham as a matter of fact. For this verb (first aorist active participle of συνανταω sunantaō) see Luke 9:37.Slaughter (κοπης kopēs). Old word for cutting (κοπτω koptō to cut), here only in N.T. These kings were Amraphel, Arioch, Chedorlaomer, Tidal. Amraphel is usually taken to be Khammurabi. Priest of God Most High (ιερευς του τεου του υπσιστου hiereus tou theou tou hupsistou). He is called “priest” and note του υπσιστου tou hupsistou applied to God as the Canaanites, Phoenicians, Hebrews did. It is used also of Zeus and the Maccabean priest-kings. The demons apply it to God (Mark 5:7; Luke 8:28).
A tenth (δεκατην dekatēn). It was common to offer a tenth of the spoils to the gods. So Abraham recognized Melchizedek as a priest of God.Divided (εμερισεν emerisen). First aorist active of μεριζω merizō from μερος meros (portion), to separate into parts. From this point till near the end of Hebrews 7:3 (the Son of God) is a long parenthesis with ουτος houtos of Hebrews 7:1 as the subject of μενει menei (abideth) as the Revised Version punctuates it. Philo had made popular the kind of exegesis used here. The author gives in Greek the meaning of the Hebrew words Melchizedek (King of righteousness, cf. Hebrews 1:8) and Salem (peace).
Without father, without mother, without genealogy (απατωρ αμητωρ αγενεαλογητος apatōr class="normal greek">απωμοιωμενος amētōr class="normal greek">απομοιοω agenealogētos). Alliteration like Romans 1:30, the first two old words, the third coined by the author (found nowhere else) and meaning simply “devoid of any genealogy.” The argument is that from silence, made much of by Philo, but not to be pressed. The record in Genesis tells nothing of any genealogy. Melchizedek stands alone. He is not to be understood as a miraculous being without birth or death. Melchizedek has been made more mysterious than he is by reading into this interpretation what is not there.Made like (τωι υιωι του τεου aphōmoiōmenos). Perfect passive participle of υιος aphomoioō old verb, to produce a facsimile or copy, only here in N.T. The likeness is in the picture drawn in Genesis, not in the man himself. Such artificial interpretation does not amount to proof, but only serves as a parallel or illustration. Unto the Son of God (μενει ιερευς tōi huiōi tou theou). Associative instrumental case of εις το διηνεκες huios Abideth a priest (εις τον αιωνα menei hiereus). According to the record in Genesis, the only one in his line just as Jesus stands alone, but with the difference that Jesus continues priest in fact in heaven. Continually (eis to diēnekes). Old phrase (for the continuity) like eis ton aiōna in N.T. only in Hebrews (Hebrews 7:3; Hebrews 10:1, Hebrews 10:14, Hebrews 10:21).
How great (πηλικος pēlikos). Geometrical magnitude in contrast to arithmetical (ποσος posos), here only in N.T., “how distinguished.” He received tithes from Abraham (Hebrews 7:4-6) and he blessed Abraham (Hebrews 7:6-7) and even Levi is included (Hebrews 7:8-10).Out of the chief spoils (εκ των ακροτινιων ek tōn akrothiniōn). Old word from ακρος akros top, and τις this a heap (the top of the pile). Patriarch (πατριαρχης patriarchēs). lxx word (πατρια patria tribe, αρχω archō to rule) transferred to N.T. (Acts 2:29).
The priest‘s office (την ιερατειαν tēn hierateian). lxx and Koiné word from ιερευς hiereus in N.T. only here and Luke 1:9.To take tithes (αποδεκατοιν apodekatoin). Present active infinitive (in -οιν oin not -ουν oun as the best MSS. give it) of αποδεκατοω apodekatoō a lxx word (απο δεκατοω apo class="normal greek">απο dekatoō), to take a tenth from (αδελπους apo). Brethren (λαον adelphous). Accusative case in apposition with τουτ εστιν laon (people) unaffected by the explanatory phrase καιπερ εχεληλυτοτας tout' estin (that is). Though come out (καιπερ kaiper exelēluthotas). Concessive participle (cf. Hebrews 5:8) with εχερχομαι kaiper (perfect active of exerchomai).
He whose genealogy is not counted (ο μη γενεαλογουμενος ho mē genealogoumenos). Articular participle with negative μη mē (usual with participles) of the old verb γενεαλογεω genealogeō trace ancestry (cf. Hebrews 7:3)Hath taken tithes (δεδεκατωκεν dedekatōken). Perfect active indicative of δεκατοω dekatoō standing on record in Genesis. Hath blessed (ευλογηκεν eulogēken). Perfect active indicative of ευλογεω eulogeō likewise standing on record. Note the frequent perfect tenses in Hebrews. Him that hath the promises (τον εχοντα τας επαγγελιας ton echonta tas epaggelias). Cf. Hebrews 6:12, Hebrews 6:13-15 for allusion to the repeated promises to Abraham (Genesis 12:3, Genesis 12:7; Genesis 13:14; Genesis 15:5; Genesis 17:5; Genesis 22:16-18).
Dispute (αντιλογιας antilogias). Ablative case with χωρις chōris For the word see Hebrews 6:16. The writer makes a parenthetical generalization and uses the article and neuter adjective (το ελασσον to elasson the less, υπο του κρειττονος hupo tou kreittonos by the better), a regular Greek idiom.
Here (ωδε hōde). In the Levitical system.There (εκει ekei). In the case of Melchizedek. Of whom it is witnessed (μαρτυρουμενος marturoumenos). “Being witnessed,” present passive participle of μαρτυρεω martureō (personal construction, not impersonal). That he lives (οτι ζηι hoti zēi). Present active indicative of ζαω zaō). The Genesis record tells nothing of his death.
So to say (ως επος ειπειν hōs epos eipein). An old idiom, here only in the N.T., common in Philo, used to limit a startling statement, an infinitive for conceived result with ως hōsHath paid tithes (δεδεκατωται dedekatōtai). Perfect passive indicative of δεκατοω dekatoō “has been tithed.” This could only be true of Levi “so to speak.”
In the loins of his father (εν τηι οσπυι του πατρος en tēi osphui tou patros). Levi was not yet born. The reference is to Abraham, the forefather (πατρος patros) of Levi. This is a rabbinical imaginative refinement appealing to Jews.
Perfection (τελειωσις teleiōsis). Abstract substantive of τελειοω teleioō More the act than the quality or state (τελειοτης teleiotēs Hebrews 6:1). The condition is of the second class, “if there were perfection, etc.” The Levitical priesthood failed to give men “a perfectly adequate relation to God” (Moffatt).Priesthood (ιεροσυνης hierosunēs). Old word, in N.T. only here, Hebrews 7:12, Hebrews 7:24. Cf. ιερετια hieretia in Hebrews 7:5. The adjective Λευειτικη Leueitikē occurs in Philo. Received the law (νενομοτετηται nenomothetētai). Perfect passive indicative of νομοτετεω nomotheteō old compound to enact law (νομοσ τιτημι nomos class="normal greek">τις ετι χρεια tithēmi), to furnish with law (as here), only other N.T. example in Hebrews 8:6. What further need was there? (ην αν tis eti chreia). No copula expressed, but it would normally be ην ēn an not just ετερον ιερεα ēn “What need still would there be?” Another priest (ετερον heteron hierea). Of a different line (αλλον heteron), not just one more (ανιστασται allon). Accusative of general reference with the infinitive ανιστημι anistasthai (present middle of και ου λεγεσται anistēmi intransitive). And not to be reckoned (ου kai ou legesthai). The negative ou belongs rather to the descriptive clause than just to the infinitive.
The priesthood being changed (μετατιτεμενης της ιεροσυνης metatithemenēs tēs hierosunēs). Genitive absolute with present passive participle of μετατιτημι metatithēmi old word to transfer (Galatians 1:6).A change (μετατεσις metathesis). Old substantive from μετατιτημι metatithēmi In N.T. only in Heb. (Hebrews 7:12; Hebrews 11:5; Hebrews 12:27). God‘s choice of another kind of priesthood for his Son, left the Levitical line off to one side, forever discounted, passed by “the order of Aaron” (την ταχιν Ααρων tēn taxin Aarōn).
Belongeth to another tribe (πυλης ετερας μετεσχηκεν phulēs heteras meteschēken). See Hebrews 2:14 for μετεχω metechō perfect active indicative here. A different (ετερας heteras) tribe.Hath given attendance at (προσεσχηκεν proseschēken). Perfect active indicative (watch perfects in Hebrews, not “for” aorists) of προσεχω prosechō old verb, here with either νουν noun (mind) or self (εαυτον heauton) understood with dative case (τωι τυσιαστηριωι tōi thusiastēriōi the altar, for which word see Matthew 5:23; Luke 1:11).
It is evident (προδηλον prodēlon). Old compound adjective (προ δηλος pro class="normal greek">ανατεταλκεν dēlos), openly manifest to all, in N.T. only here and 1 Timothy 5:24.Hath sprung (ανατελλω anatetalken). Perfect active indicative of anatellō old compound to rise up like the sun (Matthew 5:45).
Yet more abundantly evident (περισσοτερον ετι καταδηλον perissoteron eti katadēlon). Only N.T. instance of the old compound adjective καταδηλος katadēlos thoroughly clear with ετι eti (still) added and the comparative περισσοτερον perissoteron (more abundantly) piling Ossa on Pelion like Philemon 1:23.Likeness (ομοιοτητα homoiotēta). See Hebrews 4:15, only N.T. examples. Cf. the verb in Hebrews 7:3. Ariseth another priest (ανισταται ιερευς ετερος anistatai hiereus heteros). As said in Hebrews 7:11, now assumed in condition of first class.
Carnal (σαρκινης sarkinēs). “Fleshen” as in 1 Corinthians 3:1, not σαρκικης sarkikēs (fleshlike, 1 Corinthians 3:3). The Levitical priests became so merely by birth.Of an endless life (ζωης ακαταλυτου zōēs akatalutou). Late compound (alpha privative and verbal adjective from καταλυω kataluō to dissolve, as in 2 Corinthians 4:1), indissoluble. Jesus as priest lives on forever. He is Life.
It is witnessed (μαρτυρειται martureitai). Present passive indicative of μαρτυρεω martureō The author aptly quotes again Psalm 110:4.
A disannulling (ατετησις athetēsis). Late word from ατετεω atheteō (alpha privative and τιτημι tithēmi), to set aside (Mark 6:26), in N.T. only here and Hebrews 9:26. Common in the papyri in a legal sense of making void. Involved in μετατεσις metathesis (change in Hebrews 7:12).Foregoing (προαγουσης proagousēs). Present active participle of προαγω proagō to go before (1 Timothy 1:18). Because of its weakness (δια το αυτης αστενες dia to autēs asthenes). Neuter abstract adjective with article for quality as in Hebrews 7:7 with δια dia and accusative case for reason. Unprofitableness (ανωπελες anōpheles). Old compound (alpha privative and οπελος ophelos) useless, and neuter singular like αστενες asthenes In N.T. only here and Titus 3:9.
Made nothing perfect (ουδεν ετελειωσεν ouden eteleiōsen). Another parenthesis. First aorist active indicative of τελειοω teleioō See Hebrews 7:11. And yet law is necessary.A bringing in thereupon (επεισαγωγη epeisagōgē). An old double compound (επι epi additional, εισαγωγη eisagōgē bringing in from εισαγω eisagō). Here only in N.T. Used by Josephus (Ant. XI. 6, 2) for the introduction of a new wife in place of the repudiated one. Of a better hope (κρειττονος ελπιδος kreittonos elpidos). This better hope (Hebrews 6:18-20) does bring us near to God (εγγιζομεν τωι τεωι eggizomen tōi theōi) as we come close to God‘s throne through Christ (Hebrews 4:16).
Without the taking of an oath (χωρις ορκωμοσιας chōris horkōmosias). As in Psalm 110:4.
Have been made (εισιν γεγονοτες eisin gegonotes). Periphrastic perfect active indicative of γινομαι ginomai (perfect active participle of γινομαι ginomai) and then εισιν eisin The parenthesis runs from οι μεν γαρ hoi men gar (for they) to εις τον αιωνα eis ton aiōna (for ever, end of Hebrews 7:21).But he with an oath (ο δε μετα ορκωμοσιας ho de meta horkōmosias). Positive statement in place of the negative one in Hebrews 7:20.
By so much also (κατα τοσουτο και kata tosouto kai). Correlative demonstrative corresponding to κατ οσον kath' hoson (the relative clause) in Hebrews 7:20.The surety (εγγυος egguos). Vulgate sponsor. Old word, here only in the N.T., adjective (one pledged, betrothed), from εγγυη egguē a pledge, here used as substantive like εγγυητης egguētēs one who gives a pledge or guarantee. There may be a play on the word εγγιζω eggizō in Hebrews 7:19. Εγγυαω Egguaō is to give a pledge, εγγυαλιζω eggualizō to put a pledge in the hollow of the hand. It is not clear whether the author means that Jesus is God‘s pledge to man, or man‘s to God, or both. He is both in fact, as the Mediator (ο μεσιτης ho mesitēs Hebrews 8:6) between God and man (Son of God and Son of man).
Many in number (πλειονες pleiones). Comparative predicate adjective, “more than one,” in succession, not simultaneously.Because they are hindered (δια το κωλυεσται dia to kōluesthai). Articular infinitive (present passive) with δια dia and the accusative case, “because of the being hindered.” By death (τανατωι thanatōi). Instrumental case. From continuing (παραμενειν paramenein). Present active infinitive of the compound (remain beside) as in Philemon 1:25 and in the ablative case.
Because he abideth (δια το μενειν αυτον dia to menein auton). Same idiom as in Hebrews 7:23, “because of the abiding as to him” (accusative of general reference, αυτον auton).Unchangeable (απαραβατον aparabaton). Predicate adjective in the accusative (feminine of compound adjective like masculine), late double compound verbal adjective in Plutarch and papyri, from alpha privative and παραβαινω parabainō valid or inviolate. The same idea in Hebrews 7:3. God placed Christ in this priesthood and no one else can step into it. See Hebrews 7:11 for ιερωσυνη hierōsunē f0).
Wherefore (οτεν hothen). Since he alone holds this priesthood.To the uttermost (εις το παντελες eis to panteles). Old idiom, in N.T. only here and Luke 13:10. Vulgate renders it in perpetuum (temporal idea) or like παντοτε pantote This is possible, but the common meaning is completely, utterly. Draw near (προσερχομενους proserchomenous). Present middle participle of προσερχομαι proserchomai the verb used in Hebrews 4:16 which see. To make intercession (εις το εντυγχανειν eis to entugchanein). Purpose clause with εις eis and the articular present active infinitive of εντυγχανω entugchanō for which verb see Romans 8:34. “His intercession has red blood in it, unlike Philo‘s conception” (Moffatt).
Became us (ημιν επρεπεν hēmin eprepen). Imperfect active indicative of πρεπω prepō as in Hebrews 2:10, only there it was applied to God while here to us. “Such” (τοιουτος toioutos) refers to the Melchizedek character of Jesus as high priest and in particular to his power to help and save (Hebrews 2:17.) as just explained in Hebrews 7:24. Moffatt notes that “it is generally misleading to parse a rhapsody” but the adjectives that follow picture in outline the qualities of the high priest needed by us.Holy (οσιος hosios). Saintly, pious, as already noted. Cf. Acts 2:24; Acts 13:35. Guileless (ακακος akakos). Without malice, innocent. In N.T. only here and Romans 16:18. Undefiled (αμιαντος amiantos). Untainted, stainless. In the papyri. Not merely ritual purity (Leviticus 21:10-15), but real ethical cleanness. Separated from sinners (κεχωρισμενος απο των αμαρτωλων kechōrismenos apo tōn hamartōlōn). Perfect passive participle. Probably referring to Christ‘s exaltation (Hebrews 9:28). Made higher than the heavens (υπσηλοτερος των ουρανων γενομενος hupsēloteros tōn ouranōn genomenos). “Having become higher than the heavens.” Ablative case (ουρανων ouranōn) after the comparative adjective (υπσηλοτερος hupsēloteros).
First (προτερον proteron). Regular adverb for comparison between two, though πρωτον prōton often occurs also (John 1:41), with επειτα epeita (then) following.For the sins (τον ton). Only the article in the Greek with repetition of υπερ huper or of αμαρτιων hamartiōn When he offered up himself (εαυτον ανενεγκας heauton anenegkas). First aorist active participle of αναπερω anapherō to offer up. See same idea in Hebrews 9:14 where εαυτον προσηνεγκεν heauton prosēnegken is used. Old verb for sacrifice to place on the altar (1 Peter 2:5, 1 Peter 2:24).
After the law (μετα τον νομον meta ton nomon). As shown in Hebrews 7:11-19, and with an oath (Psalm 110:4).Son (υιον huion). As in Psalm 2:7; Hebrews 1:2 linked with Psalm 110:4. Perfected (τετελειωμενον teteleiōmenon). Perfect passive participle of τελειοω teleioō The process (Hebrews 2:10) was now complete. Imperfect and sinful as we are we demand a permanent high priest who is sinless and perfectly equipped by divine appointment and human experience (Hebrews 2:17.; Hebrews 5:1-10) to meet our needs, and with the perfect offering of himself as sacrifice.
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright © Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Hebrews 7". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany