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Assuredly I will greatly bless thee, and I will greatly 15 multiply thee.” And accordingly *, when Abraham had 16 waited patiently, he obtained the promise. For men in
deed swear by one that is greater: and an oath for con17 firmation is to them an end of all gain-saying. In which : matter God, being more abundantly willing to shew on
to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of his 18 counsel, interposed by an oath : that by two unchange
able things, in which it was impossible for God to speak
falsely, we may have † strong comfort, who have fled for 19 refuge to lay hold on the hope set before us; which hope
we have as a sure and steadfast auchor of the soul, and as 20 entering into the part within the veil; whither our fore
runner hath entered for us, even Jesus, made a high
priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedec. Ch, vır. For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the
- Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the 2 slaughter of the kings, and blessed him, to whom even " Abraham gave a tenth part of all the spoils, first being by
interpretation king of righteousness, and then king of 3 Salem also, which is, king of peace, without recorded
father, without recorded mother, without pedigree ,
having neither beginning of days nor end of life ø, but A resembling the son of God, continueth perpetually. Now
consider how great this man was, to whom even the 5 patriarch Abraham gave a tenth part of the spoils. And
indeed those that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take
afterward, N.: it might have, N.
IN. m. genealogy, N. $ Of whose father, mother, pedigree, birth, and death we have no account.— Wakefield, who prefers this intelligible though free translation of the original to what must appear a strange paradoxical account to common readers. See bis note. The short account of Melchisedec is contained in Genesis xiv. The writer runs a parallel between Melchisedec and Christ. Melchisedec was a priest, though not of a priestly family: of the termination of his priesthood we have no account: he was a king as well and of an order superior to Aaron, who virtually paid tithes to Melchisedec in his ancestor Abraham. In all these respects Melchisedec is a type of Christ, who is a priest after the order of Melchisedec, and not after the order of Aaroa.
as a priest;
tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from
their own brethren, though these are descendants of 6 Abraham *: but he whose pedigree is not from the same
stock with them, received tithes from Abraham, and 7 blessed him that had the promises. Now, without all 8 contradiction, the less is blessed by the greater. And
here men who die receive tithes; but there he received 9 them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And, if I
may so speak, Levi also, who receiveth títhes, payed 10 tithes by Abraham. For he was yet unborn t, when
Melchisedec met him. 12 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priest
hood, (for under it the people received the law.,) what further need was there that another priest should rise ac
cording to the order of Melchisedec, and that he should 12 not be called according to the order of Aaron? For, the
priesthood being changed, there is of necessity a change 13 of the law also. Now || he of whom these things are
spoken belongeth to another tribe, of which no man 14 gave attendance at the altar. For it is manifest that our
Lordsprang out of Judah I; of which tribe Moses spake 15 nothing concerning the priesthood. And it is still far
more evident; because another priest ariseth according 16 to the likeness of Melchisedec, who became such **, not
according to the law of a carnal commandment, but ac17. cording to the power of an endless life : for the scrip
ture ft witnesseth, “ Thou art a priest for ever, according 18 to the order of Melchisedec.” For indeed there is a dis
annulling of the former commandment, because of its 19 weakness and unprofitableness. For the law made nothing
* their brethren, though these come out of the loins of Abraham, N.
|| For, Gt. N. See Wakefield. For it was plain of old that our Lord was to spring, &c. Wakefield. ** Or, if after the likeness of Melchisedec there arise another priest who has become soch, &c.
++ God, N.
perfect; but it was the bringing in of a better hope", by 20 which we draw near to God. And inasmuch as he became 21 a priest not without an oath ; (for those were made
priests without an oath ; but this with an oath, by him who said to him, • The Lord sware, and will not re
pent, Thou art a priest for ever, according to the or22 der of Melchisedec;'”) by so much was Jesus made the 23 surety of a better covenant. And they indeed were many
priests, because they were not suffered to continue, by 24 reason of death: but this person, because he continueth
for ever, hath a priesthood which passeth not from one 25 to another.' Wherefore he is able to save also in the
fullest degree those who come to God by him, since he 26 ever liveth to interpose for them t. For such a high
priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, se
parated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; 27 who needeth not, as the high-priests, daily to offer up
sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for those of the
people : for this he did once for all, when he offered up 28 himself. For the law appointeth men high-priests that
* Or, but the introduction of a better bope did, or will do só.
+ " to make intercession for them,” N. See Sykes. “To officiate, to discharge the office of a high-priest in their behalf,” Comm. and Essays, vol. ii. p. 265. The word SYTUY XUww, is of very general import. It signifies interposing in any way, either for or against another. It is applied to Christ only twice in the New Testament, bere and Rom. viii. 34. There is no reason to limit the sense to intercession, or praying fut, or against another. “ The perpetual intercession of Christ here noted,” says Mr. Lindser, (Seq. p. 88. note) “may, perhaps, be the continual operation and effect of his talracles and doctrine in the world, by which men are brought to believe in God by kit, and to be saved.” Perhaps it may mean that Christ in his exalted state is exerting his powers in some unknown way for the benefit of his church. This text gives 10 c003tenance to the custom of offering prayers to God through the intercession of Christ
. The only remaining places in which the word syruyxaww occurs in the New Testament are Acts xxvii. 24. Rom. viii. 27; xi. 2.
: This he did, i. e. offer up sacrifice, first, for his own sins. But Christ in a moral sense was sinless. See ver. 26, and ch. iv. 15. His sins therefore were merely ceremonial, that is, being a descendant of the house of Judah, ver. 14, be was, as to the priesthood, in an unconsecrated state. And as Aaron was consecrated to his priestly office by the blood of animal sacrifices, so Christ was consecrated to his nubler office by the sacrifice of himself. This way of representing the death of Christ was adapted to conciliate
have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was after : the law, appointeth the Son, who is made perfect for ever. CH. vir. Now the sum of what has been said is this: We
have such a high-priest, as sitteth on the right hand of 2 the throne of the Majesty * in the heavens; a minister of
the most Holy Place, and of the true tabernacle, which 3 the Lord pitched, and not man. For every high-priest
is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices : wherefore it
is necessary that this High-priest also have somewhat to 4 offer. · For if he were on earth he would not be a priest ;
since there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: 5. who serve to the example and shadow of heavenly things,
as Moses was instructed of God, when he was about to make the tabernacle. For, “See,” saith God, “ that thou
make all things according to the pattern which was shewn : 6 thee on the mount.” But now our High-priest | obtain
ed a more excellent ministry, by how much he is the me
diator of a better covenant, which is established I on 7 better promises. For if that first covenant had been fault
less, then no place would have been sought for the sea 8 cond. For, finding fault with those things S; God saith,
the prejudices of the Hebrew Christians. Moreover, as the posterity of Aaron were successively removed by death, ver. 23, successive priests were consecrated by successive sacrifices; but Christ lives for ever, and has no successor. Also, priests under tie law were subject to infirmity, and might desecrate themselves by ceremonial pollution, ver. 23; it was necessary, therefore, that they should be re-consecrated by the daily sacrifice. But Christ being incapable of cerernonial pollution, his one sacrifice was sufficient. He is now perfect for ever. But in the same sense in which Christ offered up a sacrifice for his own sins, in that very sense did he offer himself a sacrifice for tbe sins of the people. That is, not to appease the wrath of God for moralorences, which is an idea quite remote froin the author's mind, and foreign to luis argnment; but, to consecrate believers, and to brios them out of an unboly into a holy state by a figurative application of the blood of Christ, as the Israelites were formerly purined and made ceremonially holy by the real sprinkimy of the blood of animal ricuims. See ch. ix. 11-23. These observations must be carried in mind by the reader of this epistle, in order to understand the writer's language and doctrine in the ninth and tenii chapters concerning the priesthoud of Christ. Sce Grotius and Crellius in luc. and in ch. v. rer. 3. * the divine Majesty, N.
+ Or, Christ, -S. 7. N. m. I whose law hath been established, Wakefield. § Or, with tiem, i. e. the Jews.
" Behold, the days are coming *, saith the Lord, when
I will make f a new covenant with the house of Israel, 9 and with the house of Judah: not according to the co
venant which I made with their fathers, in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of
Egypt: when they continued not in my covenant, and I 10 regarded them not, saith the Lord : for this is the cove
nant which I will make with the house of Isracl after those days, saith the Lord : I will put my laws into their mind,
and will write them on their hearts; and I will be to 11 them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they
shall not teach every man his fellow-citizen I, and every
man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord:' for all shall 12 know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I
will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sing 13 and their iniquities I will remember no more." In that
God saith, “A new covenant,” he hath declared the former void §. Now that which is declared void | and groweth
old, is ready to disappear. CH. ix. Now the first covenant I also had ordinances of wor2 ship, and a worldly sanctuary. For the first tabernacle
was prepared **, which is called Holy; in which was the 3 candlestick, and the table, and the shew-bread tt. And,
behind the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the 4 Holy of Holies: having the golden censer, and the ark
of the covenant covered all over II with gold, in which
was the golden pot that had the manna, and Aaron's rod 5 that budded, and the tables of the corenant: and above
which were $$ the cherubim of glory, shadowing the
mercy-seat: of which things we cannot at present speak 6 particularly. Now these things having been thus pre
* the days come, N. + Or, complete, or execute. See Wakefield.
his neighbour, R. T. s he maketh the first old, N. See Schleusner 1| decayeth, N.
the first tabernacle, R. T. ** Or, the outer division of the tabernacle was fitted up. See Newcome's nota ++ Or, the setting forth of loaves. * Wakefield, overlaid round about, N. $$ " above in the tabernacle uere," &c. N.