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Bible Commentaries

Henry Mahan's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

Hebrews 7

 

 

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Verses 1-28

Melchisedec – true type of Christ

Hebrews 7:1-28

We can see the importance of this study of Melchisedec as a type of Christ's Priesthood from the fact that Paul continues to mention him in reference to Christ (Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 5:10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:17; Hebrews 7:21). At the beginning of this study, I pointed out that the book of Hebrews declares the greatness and glory of the Lord Jesus above the prophets, above the angels, and above Moses; and in this chapter his Priesthood is far superior to that of Aaron and the ceremonial priesthood. Melchisedec is a better type of Christ's Priesthood than Aaron or his sons.

Hebrews 7:1-2. Who is Melchisedec? Read Genesis 14:18-20. This, along with what Paul writes in this chapter, is all that we know of Melchisedec. He is called the king of righteousness, the king of peace, and the priest of the Most High God.

Hebrews 7:3. We have no record of his father, mother, or ancestry, no record of when he was born or when he died, only that he was like the Lord Jesus Christ with a continual priesthood without interruption. Some say this was an appearance of Christ, himself, with the bread and wine of the Lord's Table. But the main point is that the Priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ, like Melchisedec's (not like Aaron's), is eternal and continual. He was before Aaron and lives eternally (Hebrews 10:11-12).

Hebrews 7:4-10. Paul is showing the greatness of Melchisedec; and the key is Verse Seven, which states that the lesser person is always blessed by the greater person. The sons of Levi were appointed priests and received tithes and gifts from the descendants of Abraham. They also represented Israel as priests before God and blessed Israel. But Levi and his sons paid tithes and were blessed by Melchisedec; and not only they, but Abraham himself was blessed by Melchisedec and paid tithes and honor to him. Christ has no rival nor equal, so the Levitical priesthood cannot accurately portray his Priesthood. God sent forth Melchisedec to give us a more accurate type of our Lord's eternal Priesthood!

Hebrews 7:11. If a perfect fellowship with God and justification from sin had been attained under the Levitical priesthood with its ceremonial law and sacrifices (for it was under this priesthood that the ceremonial law was ordained), why was it necessary to bring in another and different kind of priest after the order of Melchisedec, rather than one of the tribe, order, and rank of Aaron (Hebrews 10:1-4)?

Hebrews 7:12. If there is a change in the priesthood, there must also be a change in the law concerning the priesthood. This is a clear indication that the ceremonial law is abolished (Hebrews 10:9).

Hebrews 7:13-14. One of whom all these things are said (Jesus Christ, the great High Priest of a better covenant) did not even belong to the priestly line but to the tribe of Judah. No member of the tribe of Judah ever officiated at the altar.

Hebrews 7:15-17. It is evident from the scripture, from the fact that the Levitical priesthood was not effectual to put away sin, and from the presence of another priest arising who bears the likeness of Melchisedec (not Aaron) where power and authority is based. It is not on the carnal ordinances but on the deity of his Person, the eternality of his life, and the effectuality of his one sacrifice that there is a decided change in law regarding the priesthood.

Hebrews 7:18-19. The old law of ceremony, sacrifice, and an earthly priesthood is cancelled. It made nothing and no one perfect, but Christ did (Hebrews 10:12-14). It is by him that we draw nigh to God.

Hebrews 7:20-25. In these verses the superior excellency of Christ's Priesthood to the Levitical one is shown in several particulars.

1. Those priests were ordained without an oath taken by God (Hebrews 6:17; Psalms 10:4). God will not change his Purpose toward us in Christ.

2. The old covenant under which Israel was represented by Aaron had no power to save; but Christ, our Surety (the word signifies one who draws near), does draw near to God with an effectual sacrifice and righteousness.

3.There were many priests –he was but one. They were mortal; therefore, they died. But Christ, because he is eternal, has an unchanging priesthood.

4.They could not put away sin because their priesthood was only representative and ineffectual; but he is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, seeing he has always, is now, and always will be our great High Priest, interceding for us (Romans 8:34).

Hebrews 7:26-27. Here is the High Priest who is perfectly suited for our need. He is holy, blameless, and unstained by sin –one with us and yet separate and exalted high above ALL.

He only needs to offer one sacrifice. This he did once (Hebrews 9:24-26).

Hebrews 7:28. The ceremonial law makes men high priests who have sin themselves; but God, himself, with an eternal oath, made the Lord Jesus, his beloved Son, to be our great High Priest who is consecrated eternally.

 


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Bibliography Information
Mahan, Henry. "Commentary on Hebrews 7:4". Henry Mahan's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hms/hebrews-7.html. 2013.

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