In chp. 5:10, Paul had introduced Melchisedec and pointed out that Christ had been made a High Priest after his order. He went on to say that because of their lack of growth as a Christian, he could not at that time develop the doctrine of Mechisedec. He rebuked them for their lack of growth and urged them to move ahead to those things which accompany salvation. He used the prospect of reward from God for faithful service to urge them on.
Now he returns to Melchisedec. Remember what he is dealing with. These early Hebrew Christians were being influenced to return to the old Hebrew religion which was now nothing but a old rotten corpse since Christ.
The old Hebrew religion was based in the priesthood and Paul here is showing that the new Christian religion which replaced the old is also based upon a priesthood. Only this priesthood is so much better than the old Levitical priesthood. Melchisedec is who he uses as his illustration.
He also uses Abraham, for no Jew alive would dispute the illustration he is about to use.
Melchisedec is only used three times in Scripture. Gen. 14:18-Ps. 110:4, which Paul will quote and here in Heb.
The meaning of his name is found in v. 2.
Who he is has sparked controversy forever and still no one knows. All we do know for sure is that he was superior to Abraham, and the Jews felt no one was superior to Abraham. They could not ignore or dispute this argument of Paul.
V. 2. King of righteousness and king of Salem, peace. Here we see that we see an even more definite picture of Christ in, king of righteousness. We know nothing of this king except what we re told in Gen. 14, and here in v. 3.
V. 3. Remember what Paul is countering. He is addressing a Hebrew argument which was meant to undermine the authority and the priestly office of Christ.
The Hebrews set great stock in genealogies. No one could be a priest unless they could trace their linage to Levi. They would not recognize anyone who could not prove this linage.
The argument against the priesthood of our Lord would have been: "He isn't of the line of Aaron, Levi, therefore, He isn't a legitimate priest. You must still come to the temple to offer your sacrifices because only we have the legitimate priesthood of levi and Aaron."
Paul reaches back to Melchisedec to show that Christ is not a priest after the order of Levi, but after the order of Melchisedec. Paul quotes Ps. 110:4, to confirm this, which we'll look at later.
V. 3. Paul points out that there is no genealogy record of Melchisedec. No record of his father or mother or any decedents. No record of his birth or death, yet he is still a priest of the most high God and their father Abraham recognized him as his superior in relationship to God.
Now, to this the Jews might have said, "Okay, since there was no record then he usurped the office and didn't belong there." To this Paul continues on with v. 4.
V. 4. This man was so great that their father Abraham recognized him by paying tithes to him. Abraham, who they were all so proud of, considered Melchisedec the priest of the most high God, therefore could they do any less?
Abraham paid from the spoils of war to him. This shows that Abraham recognized the God who Melchisedec represented was the one who gave him victory. This is one of the reasons for tithing, showing that the God represented by those tithed to is your provider.
V. 5. The Jews would have held Levi in high regard because he lived off of the tithe to Jehovah God, and this time commanded by God, Numb. 18:21. The tithe given to God by their brethren.
V. 6. Referring to Melchisedec, he received tithes of their father Abraham and then Melchisedec blessed the one who had been blessed of God. The one who had the promise.
V. 7. Paul points out that the greater always blesses the
lesser. This gives Paul two points to prove that Mechisedec was
greater than Abraham.
1. Abraham paid the tithe of the spoils of war to him.
2. Melchisedec blessed Abraham.
V. 8. Gives a third point of why Melchisedec is greater than the Levitical priesthood. The men of the tribe of Levi who received the tithe died. The tithe Abraham paid to Melchisedec went to a man whom we have no record of his death.
Fourth point, as far as the record of Moses goes, Melchisedec still lives, 5:6.
VV. 9, 10. Paul now points out another thing making the priesthood of Mechisedec greater than that of Levi. Levi paid tithes to Melchisedec. Again, men don't pay tithe to a lesser power. This proves the Levitical priesthood was a lesser priesthood than Melchisedec.
Paul has used several arguments to prove the Melchisedec priesthood greater, five in fact.
V. 11. They regarded the rites and rituals of the Levitical priesthood as the best. I would imagine they were proud of them and maybe even boasted in them. We know they were trying to bring the Hebrew Christians back under them. Paul points out that this priesthood could not bring perfection.
God had given the instruction concerning the Levitical priesthood, therefore, they would have regarded it as perfect. Yet Paul points to Ps. 110:4 showing that it was not perfect and was to be replaced. Paul says that if it had been perfect, it would have not been prophesied, it would be done away with and removed from Aaron. Paul again using the OT to prove the superiority of Christ.
Even though the law was given under it (moses, the tribe of Levi), it had to be done away with.
> Perfection could not come under the Levitical priesthood, therefore, it had to be done away with, Gal. 2:21.
> The law could not remove sin nor clear the conscience.
> It could not give victory nor eternal life.
> All of the blood of bulls and goats in the world which might be shed under Aaron could not do one ounce toward heaven.
Therefore it had to be removed and replaced with something which would be much better. IT WILL NEVER BE REINSTATED--and accepted by God. To do so would be to recognize these Jews had a leg . Claim and Christ wasn't sufficient. False doctrine today which says it can and will be reinstated.
V. 12. He points out that since it was necessary for the priesthood to be changed (Ps. 110:4), this would make it necessary to change the law also which required the tribe of Levi to be the priest. The law changed to Judah.
V. 13. He points back to the priesthood of Christ and that He is the one spoken of in Ps. 110:4 and he is from another tribe. No one from this tribe has attended to the altar in the past.
V. 14. It isn't hard to see that Christ came from Judah both from prophecy (Isa. 11:1), and from facts. His genealogy points to this. Moses didn't appoint Judah for the priesthood.
V. 15. He points to prophecy (for it is far more evident--), v. 17, for his argument that Christ is pictured in Melchisedec and his priesthood.
V. 16. Gives a reason Christ is not in the line of Levi. He was/is not a picture of a carnal commandment but of endless life. Living in accordance to the law apart from the love of God, and faith (obedience through his power), cannot please God. Christ is not a picture of the law but of grace and the victory over the law of sin.
V. 17. Here is the quote which Paul is using to confirm Christ is the One. The only legitimate High Priest. His evidence from v. 15 is the quote he is giving from Ps. 110:4.
Ps. 110:95 is an interesting Psalm. There are some things here which are worth seeing. Paul, by taking v. 4, placed this Psalm into action.
V. 1 was quoted by our Lord in his exchange with His enemies. Matt. 22:44; Mk. 12:36; Lk. 20:42. From this verse we see that when Christ finished his work here on this earth, that Jehovah God sat him at His right hand. This record is found in Eph. 1:20.
Notice what Jehovah God said to the Son-- C. H. Spurgeon, `Treasury of David:'
V. 1 "The glorious Jehovah thus addresses the Christ as
our Saviour; for, says David, he said "unto my Lord."
Jesus is placed in the seat of power, dominion, and dignity, and
is to sit there by divine appointment while Jehovah fights for
him, and lays every rebel beneath his feet. He sits there by the
Father's ordinance and call, and will sit there despite all the
raging of his adversaries, till they are all brought to utter
shame by his putting his foot upon their neck. (*My note: 1. Christ
is right now seated upon his throne and will sit there until all
his adversaries are brought under his subjection.) In this sitting
he is our representative. The mediatorial kingdom will last until
the last enemy shall be destroyed, and then, according to the
inspired word, "cometh the end, when he shall have delivered
up the kingdom to God even the Father." The work of subduing
the nations is now in the hand of the great God, who by his Providence
will accomplish it to the glory of his Son; his word is pledged
to it, and the session of his Son at his right hand is the guarantee
thereof; therefore let us never fear as to the future. While we
see our Lord and representative sitting in quiet expectancy, we,
too, may sit in the attitude of peaceful assurance, and with confidence
await the grand outcome of all events. As surely as Jehovah liveth
Jesus must reign, yea, even now he is reigning, though all his
enemies are not yet subdued. During the present interval through
which we wait for his glorious appearing and visible millennial
kingdom, he is in the place of power, and his dominion is in no
jeopardy, or otherwise he would not remain quiescent. He sits
because all is safe, and he sits at Jehovah's right hand because
omnipotence waits to accomplish his will. Therefore there is no
cause for alarm whatever may happen in this lower world; the sight
of Jesus enthroned in divine glory is the sure guarantee that
all things are moving onward towards ultimate victory. Those rebels
who now stand his in power shall soon be in the place of contempt,
they shall be his footstool. He shall with ease rule them, he
shall sit and put his foot on them; not rising to read them down
as when a man puts forth force to subdue powerful foes, but retaining
the attitude of rest, and still ruling them as abject vassals
who have no longer spirit to revel, but have become thoroughly
tamed and subdued."
V. 2 "The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion." (*My Note: 2. The rod of his strength goes forth through his church for the present.) It is in and through the church that for the present the power of the Messiah is known. Jehovah has given to Jesus all authority in the midst of his people, whom he rules with his royal sceptre, and this power goes forth with divine energy from the church for the ingathering of the elect, and the subduing of all evil. We have need to pray for sending out of the rod of divine strength. It was by his rod that Moses smote the Egyptians, and wrought wonders for Israel, and even so whenever the Lord Jesus sends forth the rod of his strength, our spiritual enemies are overcome. There may be an allusion here to Aaron's rod which budded and so proved his power; this was laid up in the ark, but our Lord's rod is sent forth to subdue his foes. This promise began to be fulfilled at Pentecost, and it continues even to this day, and shall yet have a grander fulfillment. (*My note: 3. This rod of his strength is the gospel. Paul in I Cor. 1:18, calls the gospel the power of God. He also quotes Isa. 29:14 in I Cor. 1:19, showing that this is the means God is going to use to subdue his enemies.) O God of eternal might, let the strength of our Lord Jesus be more clearly seen, and let the nations see it as coming forth out of the midst of thy feeble people, even from Zion, the place of thine abode. "Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies;" as he does whenever his might sceptre of grace is stretched forth to renew and save them. Moses' rod brought water out of the flinty rock, and the gospel of Jesus soon causes repentance to flow in rivers from the once hardened heart of man. Or the text may means that though the church is situated in the midst of a hostile world, yet it exerts a great influence, it continues to manifest an inward majesty, and is after all the ruling power among the nations because the should of a king is in her midst. (*My note: 4. The church is the influence in the hostile world. The church is the ruling power among the nations.) Jesus, however hated by men, is still the King of kings. His rule is over even the most unwilling, so as to overrule their fiercest opposition to the advancement of his cause. Jesus, it appears from this text, is not inactive during his session at Jehovah's right hand, but in his own way proves the abiding nature of his kingdom both in Zion and from Zion, both among his fiends and his foe...
3. "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth." In consequence of the sending forth of the rod of strength, namely, the power of the gospel, out of Zion, converts will come forward in great numbers (* My note: 5. The result of the gospel going forth from Mt. Zion is multitudes of converts.) to enlist under the banner of the Priest-King. Given to him of old, they are his people, and when his power is revealed, these hasten with cheerfulness to own his sway, appearing at the gospel call as it were spontaneously, even as the dew comes forth in the morning... Let but the gospel be preached with divine unction, and the chosen of the Lord respond to it like troops in the day of the mustering of armies; they come arrayed by grace in shining uniforms of holiness, and for number, freshness, beauty, and purity, they are as the dewdrops which come mysteriously from the morning's womb...
4. We see the promise made by Jehovah God to his Son. His Son please the Father perfectly. He kept the covenant as a man perfectly. "The last verses of this Psalm we understand to refer to the future victories of the Priest_King. He shall not for ever sit in waiting posture, but shall come into the fight to end the weary war by his own victorious presence. He will lead the final charge in person; his own right hand and his holy arm shall get unto him the victory.
5. "The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath." Now that he has come into the field of action, the infinite Jehovah comes with him as the strength of his right hand... In the last days all the kingdoms of the earth shall meet with swift and overwhelming ruin. What are kings when they dare oppose the Son of God? A single stroke shall suffice for their destruction. When the angel of the Lord smote Herod there was no need of a second blow; he was eaten of worms and gave up the ghost...
6. "He shall judge among the heathen," or, among the nations. All nations shall feel his power, and either yield to it joyfully or be crushed before it. "He shall fill the places with the dead bodies." In the terrible battles of his gospel all opponents shall fall till the field of fight is heaped high with the slain. This need not be understood literally, but as a poetical description of the overthrow of all rebellious powers and the defeat of all unholy principles. (*My note: Spurgeon says her that this need not be taken literally. In Ps. 45, he very clearly says he believes this refers to the multitudes slain before the gospel.) Yet should kings oppose the Lord with weapons of war, the result would be their overwhelming defeat and the entire destruction of their forces. Read in connection with this prophecy the passage which begins at the seventeenth verse of Rev. xix. and runs on to the end of the chapter. Terrible things in righteousness will be seen ere the history of this world comes to an end. "He shall wound the heads over many countries." He will strike at the greatest powers which resist him, and wound not merely common men, but those who rule and reign. If the nations will not have Christ for their Head, they shall find their political heads to be powerless to protect them... The monarch of the greatest nation shall not be able to escape the sword of the Lord... Jesus must reign and they must perish.
Paul, in Heb. 7:17, pulls this psalm forward and puts it in effect now. When will it be finally fulfilled? How will it be finally fulfilled?
V. 18. Disannulling-- the old Levitical priesthood with its rites and rituals is disannulled, set aside-done away with. He is not saying that all of the law of Moses was done away with.
The rite and rituals was never given to save men. They pointed to Christ and his work. It did not remove guilt, nor cleanse the conscience, nor produce perfection, therefore it had to give way to perfection.
V. 19. The old rites and rituals pointed to Christ, the better hope. Through this better hope we draw nigh unto God. The rites and rituals could not restore things which were lost by the fall. Christ can and did, Matt. 17:10-13; Mk. 9:11-13. The rites and rituals of the law could make nothing perfect.
Adam lost it all through sin. His dominion under God was destroyed. Christ, the Second Adam restored the fellowship of man with God and in Christ that dominion can be restored, Rom. 5:2.
The salvation of man includes his restoration into the image of God. The word of God tells us how to reflect that image, Christ gives the power to do it and the result will be dominion over all of creation. The book of Hebrews talks a great deal about the boldness that fallen man now has to draw near to his God through Jesus Christ. The better hope, the surer foundation than what the old rites and rituals could offer.
V. 20. This better hope was made a priest through an oath, v. 21. The old Levitical priesthood was set apart without an oath. They were placed into it by descent of the family. It was inherited, father to son.
This Great High Priest was made so by an oath from God the Father and He will not change his mind. Through regret.
V. 22. Jesus was made security of the better testament or covenant. He came, died rose again and ascended to the right hand of the Father. He pledged Himself: 1.) For our salvation. 2.) For our redemption from the power of sin. 3.) For our free access to the Father. 4.) For our eternal life.
> The better testament, covenant than what was under the
> The terms are more simple and easy.
> The rites are not as hard.
> It covers all men, not just the Jews.
> It is sure, sealed by the blood of Christ, God with us.
> The old testament was administered by men, the new by the Son of God.
> The old changed, this new one will never change.
V. 23. The old covenant required many priests to continue it on. The new only requires one man, the man, Christ Jesus. Why does this new Covenant only require one man?
V. 24. He doesn't die but ever-liveth to make intercession for us. We don't have to worry about this priesthood changing. It is unchangeable and it never passes from one generation to the next as did the old.
Notice something here. When you try to deal with human mediators over a problem, you might go back tomorrow and he is gone. Someone else is there and you have to start all over again. This will never happen with this Mediator, for He ever-liveth to make intercession for His people, Rom. 8:34.
He is there 365 days a year, 24 hrs. a day, to aid his people. To provide his enabling grace to overcome whatever they are facing, I Jn. 2:1. It is through His merit we have free access to the Father.
V. 26. Notice the character of this High Priest of the new covenant compare this with the priest of the old covenant.
V. 27. Paul does as he points out that the priests under the old covenant had to take care of their own sins before they could mediate for others.
Christ is not so . Once for all mend did it. He is very much better than anything the old Hebrew rites and rituals had to offer. He put an end to the old sacrificial system which was very imperfect. It pointed to the perfect. It could not save nor make anyone perfect, holy. Christ can do both, in fact, expects perfection from His people as he say, "Be ye Holy even as I am Holy."
V. 28. The old ceremonial made frail, sinful men high priests. But there is now an oath given by the Father Himself which set aside frail sinful men as the mediator and replaced them with His dear Son. Who is consecrated forevermore. He will remain the High Priest forever. He is perfect, his office is perfect, his work is perfect. There is no need to change.
He has never failed. No one has every sought aid and failed to receive it. No one has been so low that he couldn't reach them. No one has been wronged by Him. No one has ever approached the Father through Him and failed. No one has ever faced a problem or situation which He could not answer. No one has ever needed anything which he could not provide. No one has ever been cast out who has come to him. No one has ever been deserted in their time of need.
All who have cast themselves upon Him have come away with His power, supply, protection, direction. In fact, they have had all of their needs supplied.
He is able to save to the uttermost. He is the perfect man that meets every man's needs.