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Bible Commentaries

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged
Hebrews 7

 

 

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Verse 1

For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

This Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:20; Psalms 110:4). The verb does not come until Hebrews 7:3 "abideth."

King ... priest. Christ (Zechariah 6:13) unites these offices in their highest sense.

Salem Jerusalem; ie seeing peace (Psalms 76:2); not the Salem (Genesis 33:18) which is distinguished by the Salem - Jerusalem; i:e., seeing peace (Psalms 76:2); not the Salem (Genesis 33:18) which is distinguished by the adjunct, "a city of Shechem." Among the kings conquered by Joshua, no king of Salem distinct from Jerusalem is mentioned. Adonizedek ('lord of righteousness'), king of Jerusalem, was plainly a successor of Melchisedek. "The king's dale" (2 Samuel 18:18), identified in Genesis 14:17 with Shaveh, is placed by Josephus and tradition near Jerusalem.

The most high God - called also "Possessor of heaven and earth" (Genesis 14:19; Genesis 14:22). This title, "the Most High," handed down by tradition from primitive revelation, appears in the Phoenician [ `Elyown (Hebrew #5946)],

i.e. Most High. It implies that the God whom Melchisedek served is THE TRUE GOD, not one of the gods of the pagan. So in the only other cases in which it is found in the New Testament-namely, the demoniac and the divining damsel confessing other gods are false, and God alone is to be exalted (Mark 5:7; Acts 16:17).

Who met Abraham - in company with the king of Sodom.

Slaughter , [ kopees (Greek #2871)] defeat (Alford). So Genesis 14:17 (cf. verse 15) may be translated. Arioch, king of Ellasar, lived and reigned after the disaster (Bengel). But if Chedorlaomer, Amraphel, and Tidal were slain, though Arioch survived, "slaughter of the kings" is correct.

Blessed him. As priest, he first blessed. Abraham, on God's part; next, he blessed God on Abraham's part: a reciprocal blessing. Not a mere wish, but authoritative intercession as a priest. The Most High God's prerogative as "Possessor of heaven and earth" is made over to Abraham; and Abraham's glory from his victory is made over to God: a blessed exchange for Abraham.


Verse 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;

Gave , [ emerisen (Greek #3307)] - 'apportioned.'

Tenth part of all - namely, the booty. The tithes are closely associated with the priesthood: the mediating priest received them as a pledge of the giver's whole property being God's: as he conveyed God's gifts to man (Hebrews 7:1, "blessed him"), so also man's gifts to God. Melchisedek is a sample how God preserves, amidst apostasy, an elect remnant. The meeting of Melchisedek and Abraham is the link between the two dispensations, the patriarchal (represented by Melchisedek, who was specially consecrated by God as KING-PRIEST, the highest form of that primitive system in which each father of a household was its priest) and the Levitical (represented by Abraham, in which the priesthood was limited to one family of one tribe and one nation). The Levitical was parenthetical, severing the kingdom and priesthood; the patriarchal was the forerunner of Christ's, which, like Melchisedek's, unites the kingship and priesthood, and is not derived from, or transmitted to, other men; but derived from God, and transmitted to a never-ending perpetuity in Christ. For other points of superiority, see Hebrews 7:16-21. Melchisedek must have had some special consecration above the other patriarchs, as Abraham, who also exercised the priesthood; else Abraham would not have paid tithe to him as superior: his special function was, by God's special call, KING-priest; whereas no other patriarch-priest was also a God-consecrated king.

First being. The very name suggests a mystical sense (Isaiah 32:17).

Righteousness - not merely righteous: so Christ (Jeremiah 23:6). Mal`akiy (Hebrew #4401) means king; Tsedeq (Hebrew #6664), righteousness.

King of Salem. Even the city he ruled had a typical significance-namely, peace. Christ is the true Prince of peace. The peace which He brings is the fruit of righteousness (Isaiah 32:17).


Verse 3

Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.

Without father ... - explained by 'without genealogy' or 'descent' (cf. Hebrews 7:6); i:e., his genealogy is not known: whereas a Levitical priest could not dispense with the proof of his descent.

Having neither beginning of days, nor end of life - namely, history not recording his beginning or end, as it has of Aaron. "Days" mean his time of discharging his function. So the eternity in Psalms 110:4 is that of the priestly office chiefly.

Made like - not that he was absolutely "like:" made like, in the particulars here specified. Nothing is said in Genesis of the end of his priesthood, or of his having had either predecessor or successor, which typically represents Christ's eternal priesthood, without beginning or end. Aaron's end is recorded; Melchisedek's, not. "The Son of God" is not said to be made like Melchisedek, but Melchisedek to be "made like unto the Son of God." When Alford denies that Melchisedek was made like the Son of God as to his priesthood, on the ground that Melchisedek was prior to our Lord, he forgets that Christ's eternal priesthood was an archetypal reality in God's purpose from everlasting, to which Melchisedek's priesthood was "made like" in time. Compare Hebrews 8:5, where the heavenly things are represented as the primary archetype of the Levitical ordinances. The words, "Without father, etc. ... beginning of days, nor end ... abideth ... continually," belong

to Melchisedek only in respect to his typical priesthood; in the full sense, they apply to Christ alone.

Melchisedek was, in his priesthood, "made like" Christ, as far as the imperfect type could represent the perfect archetype. 'The portrait of a living man can be seen on the canvas, yet the man is very different from his picture.' There is nothing in Genesis 14:1-24 :to mark Melchisedek as superhuman: he is classed with the other kings as a living historic personage; not, as Origen thought, an angel; nor as the Jews, Shem, son of Noah; nor as Calmet, Enoch; nor as the Melchisedekites, the Holy Spirit; nor as others, the Divine Word. He was probably of Shemitic, not Canaanite origin: the last independent representative of the original Shemitic population, which had been vanquished by the Canaanites, Ham's descendants. The greatness of Abraham then lay in hopes; of Melchisedek in present possession. Melchisedek was the highest and last representative of the Noachic covenant, as Christ was the highest and ever-enduring representative of the Abrahamic.

With Melchisedek the priesthood and worship of the true God in Canaan ceased. He was first and last king-priest there, until Christ, the antitype; therefore his priesthood is said to last forever, because it lasts as long as the nature of the thing (namely, his life, and the continuance of God's worship in Canaan) admits. If Melchisedek were literally high priest for ever, then Christ and he would now still be high priests, and we should have two instead of one (!). Tholuck, 'Melchisedek remains in so far as the type remains in the antitype, his priesthood, in Christ.' The father and mother of Melchisedek, as also his children, were not descended from Levi, as the Levitical priests (Hebrews 7:6) were required to be; and are not even mentioned by Moses. The wife of Aaron, Elisheba, the mother from whom the Levitical priests spring, is mentioned; as also Sarah, the mother of the Jewish nation itself. As man, Christ had no father; as God, no mother.


Verse 4

Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

Consider - earnestly, not merely see [ theooreite (Greek #2334): weigh with attentive contemplation].

Also , ['Aleph (') A C, Vulgate. But B Delta omit kai (Greek #2532)] - 'to whom (as his superior) Abraham even paid tithe (went so far as to pay tithe) of (consisting of) the best of the spoils' [ ek (Greek #1537) ton (Greek #3588) akrothinioon (Greek #205): from the top of the heap, from which the general used to take some portion for consecration to God, or for his own use]. Abraham paid 'tithes of ALL' and these taken out of the topmost and best portion of the whole spoils.

The patriarch - in the Greek emphatically standing last: and this payer of tithe being no less a personage than "the patriarch," the first fore-father and head of our Jewish race (note, Hebrews 7:3, on Melchisedek's superiority as specially-consecrated king-priest above other patriarch-priests.


Verse 5

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

Sons of Levi - of the family of Aaron, to whom the priesthood was restricted. Tithes originally paid to the whole tribe became at length attached to the priest family.

According to the law - sanctioned by Yahweh (Hebrews 9:19).

Of their brethren, though ... "Though" on a level by common descent from Abraham, they yet pay tithe to the Levites, whose "brethren" they are. Now the Levites are subordinate to the priests; and these again to Abraham, their common progenitor; and Abraham to Melchisedek. "How great" (Hebrews 7:4), then, must this Melchisedek be in his priesthood, as compared with the Levitical, though the latter received tithes; and how unspeakably great must "the Son of God" be, to whom, as the sacerdotal archetype (in God's purpose), Melchisedek, the type, was made like! Thus compare the "consider" [ theooreite (Greek #2334)], Hebrews 7:4, in the case of Melchisedek, the type, with the "consider" [ katanoeesate (Greek #2657): note, Hebrews 3:1] in the case of case of Melchisedek, the type, with the "consider" [ katanoeesate (Greek #2657): note, Hebrews 3:1] in the case of Christ, the archetype.


Verse 6

But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

He whose descent is not counted from them - from "the sons of Levi," as those "who receive the ... priesthood" (Hebrews 7:5). This verse explains "without descent" (genealogy: cf. Hebrews 7:3): he who needs not, as the Levitical priests, to trace his genealogy to Levi.

Received , [ dedekatooken (Greek #1183)] - 'hath received tithes.'

Blessed - perfect tense, 'hath blessed:' implying that the significance of the fact endures to the present time.

Him that had , [ ton (Greek #3588) echonta (Greek #2192)] - 'the possessor of the promises' of greatness to himself and his seed, and of possession of Canaan, twice given before Melchisedek's blessing (cf. note, Hebrews 6:12): Abraham's special distinction. Paul exalts Abraham in order still more to exalt Melchisedek. As the priests, though above the people (Hebrews 7:7), whom it was their duty to 'bless,' were yet subordinate to Abraham; and as Abraham was subordinate to Melchisedek, who blessed him, Melchisedek must be much above the Levitical priests.


Verse 7

And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

The principle that the blesser is superior to him whom he blesses, holds good only in a blessing given with divine authority; not merely a prayerful wish, but one divinely efficient, as that of the patriarchs on their children. So Christ's blessing, Luke 24:51; Acts 3:26.


Verse 8

And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

Second point of superiority: Melchisedek's is an enduring, the Levitical a transitory, priesthood. As the law was a parenthesis between Abraham's dispensation of promise of grace, and its enduring fulfillment at Christ's coming [Romans 5:20, pareiseelthen (Greek #3922), 'The law entered as something adscititious and by the way']: so the Levitical priesthood was parenthetical between Melchisedek's typically-enduring priesthood and its antitypical realization in our ever-continuing High Priest, Christ.

Here - in the Levitical priesthood.

There - in the priesthood after the order of Melchisedek. To bring out the typical parallel more strongly, Paul substitutes, "He of whom it is witnessed that he liveth," for the more untypical, 'He who is made like to Him that liveth.' Melchisedek "liveth" merely in his official capacity, his priesthood being continued in Christ. Christ is, in His own person, 'ever living after the power of an endless life' (Hebrews 7:16; Hebrews 7:25). Melchisedek's death not being recorded, is expressed by the positive "liveth," to bring into prominence the antitype, Christ, of whom alone it is fully true, "that He liveth."


Verse 9

And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

As I may so say - to preclude his words being taken in the mere literal sense; I may say virtually, Levi, in the person of his father Abraham, acknowledged Melchisedek's superiority, and paid tithes to him.

Who receiveth tithes - (cf. Hebrews 7:5.)

In Abraham , [ dia (Greek #1223)] - through Abraham. "Payed tithes," literally, 'had been tithed.'


Verse 10

For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

In the loins of his father - i:e., forefather, Abraham. Christ did not pay tithes in Abraham, for He never was in the loins of an earthly father (Alford). Though, in respect to His mother, He was 'of the fruit of (David's, and so of) Abraham's loins,' yet, being supernaturally, without human father, conceived, as He is above the natural law of birth, so is He above the law of tithes. Those alone born naturally, and so in sin, needed to pay tithe to the priest, to make propitiation for their sin. Not so Christ, who derived only his flesh, not also the taint of the flesh, from Abraham. Bengel, The blessings which Abraham had before meeting Melchisedek were the general promises, and the special one of a natural seed, and so of Levi; but the promises under which Christ was comprehended, and the faith for which Abraham was so commended, followed after Abraham's meeting Melchisedek, and being blessed by him: to which Genesis 15:1, "After these things," calls our attention. This explains why Christ, the supernatural seed, is not included as paying tithes through Abraham to Melchisedek.


Verse 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 Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

Perfection - `the bringing of man to his highest state, namely, salvation and sanctification.'

Under it , [ ep' (Greek #1909) autee (Greek #846) 'Aleph (') A B C Delta, Vulgate, have ep' (Greek #1909) autees (Greek #846)] - 'upon it (i:e., on the ground of it as the basis, the priest having to administer the law, Malachi 2:7) the people (Hebrews 9:19, "all the people") hath received the law' [ nenomotheteetai (Greek #3549) for nenomotheteeto in A 'Aleph (') B C Delta f, Vulgate]. Perfect, not aorist: implying the people were still observing the law.

What further need (Hebrews 8:7). For God does nothing needless.

Another , [ heteron (Greek #2087), not allon (Greek #243)] - 'that a different priest (of a different order) should arise,' [anew, anistatai (Greek #450), Hebrews 7:15].

Not be called , [ legesthai (Greek #3004)] - 'said;' i:e., that when spoken of in Psalms 110:4, 'He is not said to be (as we should expect, if the Aaronic priesthood was perfect) after the order of Aaron.'


Verse 12

For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

For - The reason for pressing the words "after the order of Melchisedek;" because these presuppose a transference of the priesthood; this carries with it a change also of the law (which is inseparably bound up with the priesthood: both stand and fall together, Hebrews 7:11). This is Paul's answer to the objection. What need was there of a new covenant?


Verse 13

For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. Confirming his assertion that a change is made of the law (Hebrews 7:12), by another fact showing the distinctness of the new priesthood from the Aaronic.

These things (Psalms 110:4) pertaineth , [ metescheeken (Greek #3348)] - 'hath partaken of' (the perfect implies the continuance still of His manhood).

Another , [ heteras (Greek #2087)] - 'a different tribe' from that of Levi.


Verse 14

For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

Evident , [ prodeelon (Greek #4271)] - 'manifest before the eyes' as indisputable: a proof that whatever difficulties now appear, then Christ's genealogy laboured under none.

Our Lord - the only place where this now common title occurs without "Jesus," or "Christ," except 2 Peter 3:15.

Sprang , [ anatetalken (Greek #393)] - as a plant and a branch.

Judah (Genesis 49:10; Luke 1:27; Luke 1:39 (Hebron of Judah, where Lightfoot thinks Jesus was conceived); Luke 2:4-5; Revelation 5:5).

Of which tribe ... priesthood , [ eis (Greek #1519) hen (Greek #1520) fuleen (Greek #5443)] - 'in respect to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priests (so 'Aleph (') A B C Delta, Vulgate [hiereen for hierosunees]; "spake nothing" to imply that priests were to be taken from it).


Verse 15-16

And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

Another proof that the law (economy) is changed; as Christ is appointed Priest, 'not according to the law of a carnal commandment;' one in which a carnal succession was required, as in the Levitical priesthood; but 'according to the power of an indissoluble [ akatalutou (Greek #179)] life.' The argument, and Melchisedek's priesthood "forever," in antithesis to the Levitical priesthood not continuing in one person, through the fleeting mortality of the flesh, require this view. Psalms 110:1-7 : appoints Him "forever" (Hebrews 7:17). In contrast to the carnal succession through death stands "the power" of Christ to overcome death (Romans 1:4; 2 Corinthians 13:4). Not conformably to a statute is Christ appointed, but according to an inward living power: that derived from the Father, whose eternal Spirit dwelt in Him in all the fullness (Hebrews 9:14; John 3:34).

It - the change of the economy (Hebrews 7:12; Hebrews 7:18).

Far more , [ perissoteron (Greek #4054)] - 'more abundantly.'

For that , [ ei (Greek #1487)] - 'since.'

After the similitude of Melchisedec - in that it is "forever:" "after the order of Melchisedec" (Hebrews 5:10). The "order" cannot mean a series of priests, for Melchisedek neither received his priesthood from, nor transmitted it to, any other mere man: it must mean 'answering to the office of Melchisedek.'

Another , [ heteros (Greek #2087)] - 'a different.'

Verse 16. Carnal ... endless - mutually contrasted. As "form," and "power," 2 Timothy 3:5; so here "the law" and "power," cf. Romans 8:3, "the law ... was weak through the flesh;" and Hebrews 7:18, "weakness." "The law" is here not the law in general (which in its moral essence is "spiritual" (Romans 7:14), but the ceremonial statute as to the priesthood. "Carnal," as being temporary, is contrasted with "endless:" "commandment," with "life." The law can give a commandment, but not life (Hebrews 7:19; Galatians 3:21). But our High Priest, by His inherent "power," has in Him 'life forever' (Hebrews 7:25; John 5:26). In the power of His resurrection life, not of His earthly life, Christ officiates as a Priest.


Verse 17

For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

For - Proving His life "endless" (Hebrews 7:16). 'Aleph (') A B Delta read [ martureitai (Greek #3140)], 'He is testified of, that Thou art,' etc.


Verse 18

For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

There is , [ ginetai (Greek #1096)] - 'there takes place,' according to Psalms 110:4.

Disannulling - a repealing. Of the commandment - ordaining the Levitical priesthood. And, as the Levitical priesthood and the law are inseparable, a repealing of the law also (note, Hebrews 7:11).

Going before - the legal ordinance giving place to the Christian, the antitypical and permanent end of the former.

Weakness and unprofitableness - opposite of "power" (Hebrews 7:16).


Verse 19

For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

For ... - Justifying his calling the law weak and unprofitable (Hebrews 7:18). The law would not bring men to justification or sanctification before God, which is the 'perfection' that we need in order to be accepted of Him, and which we have in Christ.

Nothing - not merely 'no one,' but "nothing." The law brought nothing to its perfected end: everything in it was introductory to its Christian antitype, which realizes the perfection contemplated. Compare "unprofitableness," Hebrews 7:19.

Did - rather [as the correspondence of men (Greek #3303) and de (Greek #1161) requires], connect with Hebrews 7:18, 'There takes place (by virtue of Psalms 110:4) a repealing of the commandment on the one hand ( men (Greek #3303)), but [ de (Greek #1161): on the other] a bringing in afterward [epeisagogee expresses a bringing in of something over and above the law: a superinducing of something new, and better than the good things of the pre-existing law (Wahl)] of a better hope;' not one weak and unprofitable, but (as the Christian dispensation is called) "everlasting," "true," "the second," "more excellent," "different," "living," "new," "to come," "perfect." Compare Hebrews 8:6 : bringing us near to God, now in spirit; hereafter, both in spirit and in body. (For the law made nothing perfect) is a parenthesis.

We draw nigh unto God - the token of 'perfection.' Weakness is the opposite of this filial confidence of access. The access through the legal sacrifices was only symbolical and through a priest; that through Christ is immediate, perfect, and spiritual.


Verse 20

And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

Another superiority of Christ's Melchisedek-like priesthood: the oath of God gave a solemn weight to it which was not in the law-priesthood, not so confirmed. He was made Priest - rather supply from Hebrews 7:22, which completes the sentence begun in this verse, Hebrews 7:21 being a parenthesis, 'Inasmuch as not without an oath, He was made surety of the testament (for, etc.), of so much better a testament hath Jesus been made the surety.'


Verse 21

(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)

Greek order, 'For they indeed (the existing legal priests) without the (solemn) promise on oath [horkomosias] are priests made' (Tittmann).

By him - by God.

Unto him - the Lord, the Son of God (Psalms 110:1).

Not repent - never change His purpose.

After the order of Melchisedec - So A Delta f. Omitted in 'Aleph (') B C, Vulgate.


Verse 22

By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

Surety , [ enguos (Greek #1450)] - ensuring in His own person the certainty of the covenant to us, by becoming responsible for our guilt, by sealing the covenant with His blood, and by being openly acknowledged as our triumphant Saviour by the Father, who raised Him from the dead. Thus he is at once God's surety for man and man's surety for God: so Mediator between God and man (Hebrews 8:6).

Better (Hebrews 8:6; Hebrews 13:20) - 'everlasting.'

Testament , [ diatheekees (Greek #1242)] - 'covenant.' The term implies that it is appointed by God, and comprises the relations partly of a covenant, partly of a testament:

(1) The appointment made without the concurrence of a second party, of somewhat concerning that party: a last will. So in Hebrews 9:16-17.

(2) A mutual agreement in which both parties consent. (2) A mutual agreement in which both parties consent.


Verse 23

And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

Another superiority: the Levitical priests were many, as death caused the need of continually new ones being appointed in succession. Christ dies not; so hath a priesthood which passes not from one to another.

Were , [ eisin (Greek #1526) hiereis (Greek #2409) gegonotes (Greek #1096)] - 'are priests made.' The present shows the Levitical priesthood was still existing.

Many - one after another: opposed to His "unchangeable (intransmissible) priesthood" (Hebrews 7:24).

Not suffered to continue , [ koluesthai (Greek #2967) paramenein (Greek #3887)] - 'hindered from permanently continuing' in the priesthood.


Verse 24

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.

He , [ ho (Greek #3588) de (Greek #1161)] - emphatic. So in Psalms 110:4, "THOU art a priest;" singular, not priests, 'many.'

Continueth , [ menei (Greek #3306)] - not the compound, as in Hebrews 7:23. 'Remaineth'-namely, in life.

Unchangeable , [ aparabaton (Greek #531) echei (Greek #2192) teen (Greek #3588) hieroosuneen (Greek #2420)] - 'hath His priesthood intransmissible: not passing from one to another.' Therefore no so-called apostolic succession of priests are His vicegerents. The Jewish priests had successors in office, because 'they could not continue by reason of death.' But this man, because He liveth ever, hath no successor in office, not even Peter (1 Peter 5:1). [In the dialogue of Minucius Felix, Coecilius charges the Christians with having no altar-`Cur nullas aras habent. Nulla templa? Nulla nota simulacra.' Octavius, the Christian, replies-`Delubra et aras non habemus.']


Verse 25

Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Wherefore , [ Hothen (Greek #3606)] - 'Whence:' inasmuch as 'He remaineth forever.'

Also - as a natural consequence from the last, at the same time a new and higher thing (Alford).

Save - JESUS (Hebrews 7:22), meaning Saviour.

To the uttermost , [ eis (Greek #1519) to (Greek #3588) panteles (Greek #3838)] - perfectly, so that nothing should ever after be wanting. It means 'in any wise' (Luke 13:11).

Come unto God - by faith.

By him , [ di' (Greek #1223) autou (Greek #846)] - through Him as their mediating Priest, instead of through the Levitical priests.

Seeing he ever liveth - resuming "He continueth ever" Hebrews 7:24; therefore "He is able ... the uttermost;" never, like the Levitical priest, prevented by death, for "He ever liveth" (Hebrews 7:23).

To make intercession. There was the one offering on earth once for all. But the intercession for us in the heavens (Hebrews 7:26) is ever continuing: whence it follows that we can never be separated from the love of God in Christ (Romans 8:26; Romans 8:34; Romans 8:39). He intercedes specially for those who come unto God through Him; not for the unbelieving world (John 17:9). As samples of His intercession, cf. Isaiah 62:1; Isaiah 63:11; Zechariah 1:12; Zechariah 1:14; Psalms 69:6-7. 'By an humble omnipotency (for it was by His humiliation that He obtained all power), or omnipotent humility, appearing in the presence, and presenting His postulations at the throne of God' (Dr. Pearson). He was not only the offering, but the priest who offered it. Therefore, He is also an intercessor: His intercession being founded on His voluntary offering of Himself without spot to God. We are not only in virtue of His sacrifice forgiven, but in virtue of the intercession admitted to favour (Dr. Magee). John 16:26 is no contradiction. He does not "pray [rather ask, erooteesoo (Greek #2065); the asking of an equal] the Father," as though the Father were unwilling; but meets the Father in behalf of man [entungchanei] as Mediator in whom the Father is well pleased with man. There was a "perpetual incense before the Lord" (Exodus 30:8) unseen by the people, burnt by the high priest: so Christ's hidden ever-continuing life of intercession.


Verse 26

For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

Such - as is above described. A B Delta read 'also.' 'For to US (as sinners: emphatic) there was also becoming (besides His other excellencies) such as High Priest.' 'Aleph (') C f, Vulgate, omit it. Holy , [ hosios (Greek #3741)] - pious [ hagios (Greek #40) would imply holy by consecration] toward God: perfectly answering God's will in reverent piety (Psalms 16:10) [ chaciyd (Hebrew #2623)].

Harmless , [ akakos (Greek #172)] - 'free from evil,' in Himself.

Undefiled , [ amiantos (Greek #283)] - by stain from others, in relation to men. The high priest for seven days before the Atonement abstained from contact with his family (Talmud). Temptation left no trace of evil in Jesus.

Separate , [ kechoorismenos (Greek #5563)] - 'separated from sinners,' in His heavenly state as our High Priest, after having been parted from the earth, as the Levitical high priest was separated from the people in the sanctuary (whence he was not to go out) (Leviticus 21:12). Though justifying through faith the ungodly, He hath no contact with them as such. Lifted above our sinful community, being "made higher than the heavens," at the same time that He makes believers as such "to sit together (with Him) in heavenly places" (Ephesians 2:6). So Moses on the mount, alone with God, was separated from and above the people (Job 22:12).

Made. Jesus WAS higher before (John 17:5), and as the God-MAN was made so by the Father after His humiliation (cf. Hebrews 1:4).

Higher than the heavens - for 'He passed through (Greek) the heavens' (Hebrews 4:14).


Verse 27

Who needeth not 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.

Daily - `day by day.' The priests daily offered sacrifices (Hebrews 9:6; Hebrews 10:11; Exodus 29:38-42). The high priests took part in these daily-offered sacrifices only on festival days; but as they represented the whole priesthood, the daily offerings are attributed unto them: their exclusive function was to offer the atonement "once every year" (Hebrews 9:7), and "year by year continually" (Hebrews 10:1). The "daily" strictly belongs to Christ, "who needeth not daily, as those high priests (year by year, and their subordinate priests daily), to offer,' etc.

Offer up , [ anaferein (Greek #399) is peculiarly used of sacrifices for sin]. The high priest's double offering on the day of atonement, the bullock for himself, and the goat for the people's sins, had its counterpart in the TWO lambs offered daily by the ordinary priests. But Philo, The priests offered the lambs for the people, the flour for themselves.

This he did - not 'died first for His own sins and then the people's,' but 'offered up sacrifice' for the people's only. He needeth not to offer:

(1) daily; nor

(2) to offer for His own sins also: for He offered Himself once a spotless sacrifice (Hebrews 7:26; Hebrews 4:15). The sinless alone could offer for the sinful.

Once , [ efapax (Greek #2178) hapax (Greek #530)] - 'once for all.' The sufficiency of the one sacrifice to atone for all sins forever, resulted from its absolute spotlessness.


Verse 28

For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.

For - Reason for the difference (Hebrews 7:27) between His one sacrifice and their oft-repeated sacrifices; namely, because of his freedom from the sinful infirmity to which they are subject; He needed not, as they, to offer FOR HIS OWN SIN and being now 'perfected forevermore,' He needs not to REPEAT His sacrifice.

The word - "the word" confirmed by "the oath."

Which - oath was after the law, namely, in Psalms 110:4, abrogating the law-priesthood.

The Son - contrasted with "men."

Consecrated , [margin: teteleiomenon] (Hebrews 2:10; Hebrews 5:9, notes). Opposed to 'having infirmity.' 'Perfected' by His once for all completed sacrifice, and consequent consecration and exaltation to the right hand of the Father, exempt from all human infirmity, having no further righteousness to fulfill to qualify Him as our High Priest forever. The fall of the temple annihilates man's priesthood: the temple of stone gives way to the temple of the Spirit.

 


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Bibliography Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Hebrews 7:4". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/hebrews-7.html. 1871-8.

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