The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham divided a tenth part of everything, first being interpreted “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, which is “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but having been made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually.
But observe how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to collect tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brothers, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but the one not tracing his descent from them has received tithes from Abraham, and he has blessed the one having the promises. Now without any contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. And here on the one hand mortal men receive tithes, but there on the other he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, has paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Jesus Compared to Melchizedek
11 Therefore, if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people have received the law), why is there yet a need for another priest to rise, after the order of Melchizedek, and not to be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there occurs a change of law also. 13 For He concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord has risen out of Judah, regarding which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet even more evident, if according to the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies: “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” 18 For on the one hand an annulment comes about of the preceding commandment on account of its weakness and uselessness. 19 For the law made nothing perfect; but there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Greatness of the New Priest
20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath, 21 for they have become priests without an oath, but He with an oath by Him that said to Him:
The Lord has sworn
and will not relent,
You are a priest forever
after the order of Melchizedek’ ”,
22 by so much more Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 Also there were many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing. 24 But He, because He remains forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. 25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those coming to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.
26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, innocent, undefiled, having been separated from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices beforehand, on behalf of His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the law appoints men as high priests who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints a Son who has been perfected forever.