A new Priesthood
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of Elohim the Most High, who had an encounter with Abraham at his return from defeating thekings and blessed him,
In this chapter, the author unfolds the deeper things about that unique priesthood, the higher details for which Jewish readers so far did not prove to be very accessible. Anyway, apparently he considers them able to accept that higher education.
Since the wording of verse 4 (of Psalm 110) obviously is fixed and cannot be denied
At the same time, around the biblical account of Abraham's encounter with the mysterious figure of Melchizedek, they wove all kinds of personal details, invented by them to explain his relationship to the patriarch. How could that pagan foreigner be so superior to the patriarch, a superiority that Abraham moreover accepted without any trouble? He blessed Abraham and he received from him the tithes.
The many headaches would easily disappear when one would consider that the actions of Melchizedek occurred in prehistoric times, long before Israel received the Thorah. Moreover, precisely in that golden era, the period of the patriarchs, the things that later turned out to be so important to his people Israel had their start in Elohim's purpose. Rightly, therefore, the author of Hebrews appeals to that golden age of Israel, in order to demonstrate the superiority of the Messianic priesthood over that of Aaron, basing oneself on David's Psalm 110.
The simple, but also great truth is that the scene of Genesis 14 will be implemented in antitype by means of a royal priesthood under the supervision of the Messianic king and high priest. The promises made to Abraham in that and the surrounding chapters – to become a blessing to the Gentile world through his seed – will then be made to a glorious reality.
Between the various scenes in that most important part of the Thorah, a clear coherence is perceptible! Therefore, in Melchizedek the Hebrewspossess, alongside other illustrious persons, a representative par excellence of the original ideal: the unprecedented glory of YHWH Elohim that will be manifested in the Messiah and his princely rule.ω και δεκατην απο παντων εμερισεν Αβρααμ, πρωτον μεν ερμηνευομενος βασιλευς δικαιοσυνης επειτα δε και βασιλευς Σαλημ , ο εστιν βασιλευςειρηνης,
2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth of all, is being translated first of all king of Justice; and next also king of Salem, which is king of peace;
Melchizedek’s position as priest of the Most High God, was fully recognized by Abraham, partly because he apportioned to him a tenth of everything. He was king of Salem, in the Jewish tradition an archaic name for the later Jerusalem (Zion). That is why we read in verse 2 of Psalm 110 >> The sceptre of your strength YHWH shall send from Zion: "Dominate in the midst of your enemies."
Salem means peace. According to that meaning Melchizedek was indeed king of Peace. According to the prophet Isaiah, the Prince of Peace, the Messiah - when once installed on David’s throne - will exercise increasingly a peaceful dominion, of which moreover will be no end: The zeal of Yahweh of Armies will perform this. (Isaiah 9).
(Isaiah 32: 1, 15-18)
3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but the Son of God made equal, he remains a priest perpetually.
According to the standpoint of the rabbis applies: Quod non in Thorah, non in mundo, meaning: What's not in the Law [the five books of Moses], is not in the world. Today we would say. "That's very bluntly'. However, what is meant by that statement in connection with our verse (3)?
However, because of Genesis 14, the apostle discerns in Melchizedek actually a human being, not a god or an angel. And as a man he did have a father and mother and his pedigree (origin) must have been known to his surroundings.
To be sure, the apostle in his description follows the principle of the rabbis - without a father, without mother, without descent - but he does so only in imitation of the manner in which in Scripture is spoken about Melchizedek. He focuses exclusively on what is written about him: his position, his name, his dignity, and all that with the intention to be transparent towards whom Melchizedek prefigured, Elohim's Son.But the Son of God made equal, he remains a priest perpetually... Thus the apostle wants to convey that everything stated by him in the first three verses of Melchizedek, suggests that he became the perfect type of the Messiah, Elohim's Son: The priest of primeval times complies fully with the priest of the End times, the Messianic era.
The term 'made equal' therefore indicates that Messiah Yeshua is the image to which Melchizedek was formed. His only begotten Son was in the Father's mind when he appointed Melchizedek as priest, arranged his career and finally ensured that the short report about that significant figure was recorded in Genesis 14 in exactly those terms. And considering Spoke 14 of the Bible Wheel, exactly in that chapter .
As is the case with the Aaronic priesthood, in the priesthood after the pattern of Melchizedek genealogical factors are not in discussion. After all, that priesthood relies on vocation and not on fleshly descent. That's why neither his birth is stated nor his death; he suddenly pops up in history. Precisely in that respect he is made equal to the Son of God whose life does not pass off within the limits of the temporariness.
4 Behold then how great this [man], to whom Abraham gave a tenth out of the best of the spoils, [he] the patriarch.
The apostle, however, is entirely silent about that feature; giving a tenth by Abraham out of the best of the spoils, however, has his full attention. He, Israel's patriarch par excellence surrendered, without any problem, the best part of the spoils to a [seemingly] pagan king. Although some of the Hebrews, the present Jews, may have some difficulty with that action, was this absolutely not the case with Abraham. In the view of the Patriarch he gave Melchizedek his due, entirely what he was entitled to. He fully recognized that Melchizedek was the priestly representative of YHWH Elohim whose help he had gained for defeating the enemy kings.
5-6 And it is true, those who receive the priesthood out of the sons of Levi have the commandment to collect tithes from the people according to the Law – that is from their brothers - even though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them, has taken tithes from Abraham and he blessed the one who possessed the Promises.
Furthermore, we must bear in mind that Abraham received Melchizedek’s blessing while he, the patriarch, already possessed the promise becoming himself to a blessing for all the nations [Goyim], together with his seed. How exalted therefore must have been the priestly dignity of the man Melchizedek!
7-10 Now without any dispute, the less is blessed by the better. And it is true, here men who are dying take tithes, but there one of whom it is witnessed that he lives. And, using the expression, also Levi - who takes tithes – has given tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
To value the reasoning of the apostle we have to be familiar with a principle that God uses consistently at the basis of all his dealings with mankind,perhaps to describe the best with the term "covenant head”.
In Romans 5:12-19 Paul has explained that this principle is at issue in connection with Adam and all humanity descended from him. Since all people originally came out of Adam, Elohim considers him as their covenant head.
Consequently, in every way Adam represented the human race, in all his acting as well. What he did, all members of his progeny did in him too, in the sense that they were partakers of it. In him they shared the guilt of his sinful rebellion against God, and accordingly the death sentence on him too. Such are simply the consequences for Adams 'seed', his progeny, from Elohim's point of view!
Fortunately for the members of the (true) Christian Congregation that principle also applies to the Messiah, the last Adam, as is shown in 1 Co 15:21-22, 45-49 .
Consequently, also the Messiah serves as covenant head of his "seed", ie all those who, in faith, make themselves dependent on him. Therefore, (true) Christians have been justified before God in him (Ro 5:1), and in him they meet the righteous requirement of the Law (Ro 8:4). In him, they too are now Abraham's seed, and partakers of the promise (Ga 3:26-29).
Similarly, Abraham acted as covenant head to all his descendants.
So, when he gave tithes to Melchizedek, Levi - and indeed the whole priestly family of Aaron with him - gave tithes to that priest king, although they themselves were entitled to take tithes from their brothers.
So, when Melchizedek blessed Abraham and thus proved that he was the greater (literally: the better), his superiority over Levi was shown, because the rule that the higher blesses the lesser is not for (successful) contradiction susceptible. The entire seed of Abraham, the patriarch, recognized in the forefather their subordination to Melchizedek.
Although the Aaronic priesthood could typify Messiah’s priestly work, it was limited in portraying the full scope of his priestly ministry. The Melchizedek type supplements the Aaronic type. As king of righteousness and king of … peace Messiah Yeshua will in the coming Kingdom age assume both offices in his person. The prophet Zechariah has painted this graphically in the symbolic crowning of Joshua (Ze 6:9-13). This significant event foreshadowed the Millennial-period when Messiah the Branch will “sit and rule on his throne. Thus, he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule on his throne; and he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (verse 13); that is, both kingship and priesthood will be united in one person.
11-12 If, then, perfection was really through the Levitical priesthood - for on that basis the people was provided of laws – why then should there still be said [in psalm 110] that another priest would arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not after the order of Aaron? For if the priesthood is changed, there is necessarily also a change of Law.
By putting in the proper light the relationship between the patriarch and the ‘pagan’ priest-king, he had already tested heavily the mental resilience of his readers.
The priesthood of the Messiah, on the other hand – although containing a wealth of anti-typical attributes derived from that of Aaron and his successors - is of a higher, supernatural order, perfect and therefore permanent.For on that basis the people was provided of laws…
For Hebrews (Jews) a highly salient parenthesis. Why?
The Mosaic Law and the functioning of the Levitical arrangement are inextricably linked; even more, they are matched. After its contents, the Old Covenant is a legalistic-cultic order. Is one part imperfect, inadequate to provide with the real needs of humanity, neither those of the Hebrews nor those of the Goyim, then the same holds good for the other part. In the inspired words of the author: If the priesthood is changed, there is necessarily also a change of Law.
If the priesthood in his being is affected then it applies to the same extent for the legal system.
Because it's not too difficult to ascertain that the Levitical priesthood has not brought perfection, nor could bring. Later, in Chapter 9 of Hebrews, the apostle will explain why, for example by referring to the sacrifices: animal sacrifices were utterly inadequate; they could not really take away sins. A better sacrifice had to be supplied, a sacrifice that would really cover sin, Yeshua’s perfect sacrifice of his own soul.
And the priesthood itself too; it was surrounded by imperfection on all sides.
In the first place because the priestly duties were exercised by imperfect men who themselves were sinful. Yes, with the whole Adamitic mankindthey were locked up together under sin (Ga 3:21-25).
13-14 For he of whom these things are said, belonged to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. For it is quite plain that our Lord has risen out of Judah, regarding which tribe Moses said nothing concerning priests.
But now he goes on further; one should not think that the priesthood simply is transferred to another tribe; as if again along the genealogical way priests would be produced from the tribe of Judah rather than from the tribe of Levi.
Not at all; it is a matter of a totally different priestly order which is not tied to a fleshly prescription of descent.
The apostle relies again on the strength of Psalm 110.
In the historical fulfilment of the Psalm another priest, in the person of the Messiah – Yeshua, the Lord of king David - has already arisen.
Since he already has 'arisen' indicates that his appearance had nothing to do with ancestry, and was not dependent on a carnal commandment. His priesthood is his personal property; he inherited it from nobody but obtained it directly from his Father, YHWH Elohim, and that by virtue of His oath.
Hence, he can be called a priest after the order of Melchizedek, after all of that priestly king was said (in verse 3 above) that he is without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but the Son of God made equal, he remains a priest perpetually.
And it is still more abundantly clear ...
What is much clearer?
And because the facts are that simply it is clear too how wrong it would be on the part of the Hebrews (Jews) of the End times if they nevertheless would stubbornly hold onto the old system. How could such a thing ever be pleasant to YHWH Elohim the One who Himself endorsed the new system by the swearing of an oath!
18-19 For on the hand there occurs a pushing aside of a prior commandment because of the weakness and ineffectiveness of it - for the Law perfected nothing - on the other hand an introduction of a better hope, through which we are drawing near to God.
A contrast that is indicated with the particles μεν - δε, which still is repeated twice, respectively, in the verses 20-21 and 23-24, each time with the aim to contrast aspects of the imperfect Old priestly order with that of the perfect New order. Here a prior commandment and a better hope are brought in striking contrast.
On God's authority the first must yield to the second; in the one case a pushing aside [or: elimination; αθετησις is a legal term indicating a decree of nullity]; in other an introduction [επεισαγωγη; in the NT only here. Josephus used the term for the introduction of a new wife in the place of the repudiated wife].
In the place of the weak and useless command that regulated the succession of Aaron's sons - they came and went through birth and death - something much better is introduced: a new arrangement of a better order, characterized by real and lasting prospects; even to the extent that so free access to God is made possible.
Thus says YHWH, heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: what manner of house will you build to me? and what place shall be my rest? For all these things has my hand made, and so all these things came to be, says YHWH. To this man will I look, even to him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word.
Και καθ οσον ου χωρις ορκωμοσιας, οι μεν γαρ χωρις ορκωμοσιας εισιν ιερεις γεγονοτες, ο δε μετα ορκωμοσιας δια του λεγοντος προς αυτον , Ωμοσεν κυριος, και ου μεταμεληθησεται, Συ ιερευς εις τον αιωνα, κατα τοσουτο [και] κρειττονος διαθηκης γεγονεν εγγυος Ιησους.
20-22 and as far as not without a sworn oath - for they indeed became priests without a sworn oath, but he with a sworn oath by Him who said to him,
the Lord swore
and he will feel no regret,
you [are] a priest forever -
to the extent that Yeshua also became Surety of a better covenant.
And again, the apostle uses the contrast μεν - δε to place the imperfect ancient priesthood against the perfect new order. YHWH swore no oath when he chose Aaron and his sons. That priesthood was maintained by fleshly descent, so by birth, whereas the Messiah with a sworn oath by Him who said to him: You [are] a priest forever.
Emphatically is also stated that YHWH never will feel any regret about that action.
Actually, the same also applies to the oath He swore to enforce the Abrahamitic promise (Ge 22:15-18), because the oath to Abraham and the oath to his messianic Son in Psalm 110 belong together. So, the priesthood of the Messiah – causing the realization of that most important promise – is getting an unshakable certainty.
The priesthood of the Aaronites was temporary and could be revoked, but the Messianic priesthood is permanent.And as far as not without sworn oath ... to the extent that Yeshua also became Surety of a better covenant.
Here, for the first time in Hebrews, the word for covenant [διαθηκη] is mentioned. In the Letter It is customary that the apostle more or less casually drops a term which further is elaborated broadly. In this case, of course, a reference to the New Covenant to which Jeremiah divinely was inspired to predict.
Logically, precisely at this stage, the apostle is already alluding to that New Covenant, as it should be perfectly clear for any sincere reader that on the basis of Jeremiah 31:31-34 two things definitely can be established:
But in real terms that means that a whole new scheme had to be made in behalf of that transaction. There could be no real recovery on the basis ofthe Old (legislative) Covenant, Elohim's original marriage covenant with Israel.
Along that ‘way’ he was able to bring the value of his human sacrifice in the true Holy of Holies, and present it to his Father, YHWH Elohim.
The sacred Tent or Tabernacle, which was founded by Moses at Mount Sinai, and the later temples in Jerusalem had two departments. The first section, the Holy Place and the second or inner section was called the Most Holy Place.
In the Holy Place were located: The golden table on which the 'showbread' was presented; the golden lamp stand with the seven arms bearing lights, and the golden altar of incense.
That original Tent was erected indeed by a human, namely under the leadership of Moses, who, however, previously had received detailed instructions from YHWH Elohim Himself (Ex 25:40; Nu 8:4).
Concerning the typology of the true Sanctuary, in Hebrews never a temple is brought into vision, but the σκηνη, Tent or Tabernacle, the archetype of the Jewish sanctuary in the wilderness, closely linked to God's revelation and Law at Sinai and erected under the leadership of Moses, the mediator of the First (old) Covenant.
The temple sanctuary [naos] in the Revelation is usually described in terms of the wilderness tabernacle. When the Temple City New Jerusalem shall descend from God out of heaven, a loud voice from the throne will be heard, saying:
Something or other turned out to be process that had its start in the fall of 29 AD, on the occasion of Yeshua’s baptism. Why?
Because then the Father anointed his Son with holy spirit by which he became the antitypical High Priest; and just as the Levitical high priest Aaron he too needed a holy ‘Tent’ in which he could exercise his official duties.
In verse 3, we read that every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices; hence [the] necessity for this one also that he had something to offer. He, the Great Liturgist [Public servant; to the Greek λειτουργος] needed something to offer.
How lovely your grand tabernacle, YHWH of hosts! My soul yearns longing for the courts of YHWH. My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God… Your grand altar, YHWH of hosts, my King and my God
Of course, his Father God, the Most High, had his residence always in heaven, but when he erected the true Tent, he could bring about that his exclusive abode adopted a new, different aspect, gaining new features. The holiness of his heavenly abode was raised, in sharp contrast to the exceeding sinfulness of mankind. It now became the sacred place where a just, but also a merciful God, was willing to accept a suitable, perfect sacrifice for the benefit of the unholy humanity.
Obviously, the value of that sacrifice had to be presented by a sinless, holy priest who had personal access to God. In this way God's heavenly throne, became a throne of reconciliation; his heavenly abode took on the characteristics of an antitypical Most Holy place. As is stated by the author in the ninth chapter of Hebrews:
However, it was different in the state of the antitypical Holy place.
When, at the time of his baptism, Yeshua was anointed by holy spirit, he was also begotten by God as his spiritual Son. From that moment, he was back on the way to heaven. In that capacity, he was in the antitypical Holy place; regarding his relationship to God shielded from human observation. His Jewish countrymen could not observe that spiritual state with their literal eyesight.
We have such a High Priest ..., a Public servant of the Most Holy place and of the true Tent ...
This is the nature of Yeshuia's priestly work described in heaven. He sits at God's right hand as the Public servant. Λειτουργος in the religious sense is usually used in the Bible to refer to cultic, priestly service. Yeshua, the Messiah, finds himself in the true Sanctuary as the Great Liturgist, in his exclusive position of the one, true High Priest.
Although he had already mentioned - in verse 27 of the preceding chapter - that the new High Priest also offered a sacrifice, doing this once for all, having offered up himself, the apostle here resumes his comparison of the Old, Aaronic priesthood with that of the New order (Melchizedek).
According to that type for the Messiah, as the new High Priest after the (new) order of Melchizedek, [the] necessity [arose] that he also had something to offer, because only in that case, he could enter the true Most Holy place, heaven.
4 If he really was on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are those who, according to [the] Law, offer the gifts.
οιτινες υποδειγματι και σκια λατρευουσιν των επουρανιων, καθως κεχρηματισται Μωυσης μελλων επιτελειν τηνσκηνην, Ορα γαρ, φησιν, ποιησεις παντα κατα τον τυπον τον δειχθεντα σοι εν τω ορει.
5 These are rendering sacred service in a typical representation and shadow of the heavenly things, as Moses were given divine instructions when he was about to construct the Tent. For says he: See that you will make all things according to the pattern that was shown to you on the mountain.
Intentionally, the author uses the term "heavenly things" because the heavenly Sanctuary should in no way be considered in the material sense. It has nothing earthly; hence the start of verse 4 >> If he really was on earth…
Regarding its characteristics, the true Tent also answered to the archetype of which the Wilderness Tent was just a type. The weakness of the type is marked by the term shadow [σκια]. A shadow represents the reality only limited and has even no independent existence; another indication how restricted and imperfect the ministry of the Levitical priesthood was!
Apparently for that reason the author indicated the exercise of that service with the verb λατρευω, which is derived from λατρις, wage laborer, servant.
In our letter the author has used λατρευω as well as λειτουργεω [perform public service] to describe the exercise of the priesthood service, butλατρευω never in connection with the service of Messiah Yeshua. For that, he used exclusively λειτουργεω, obviously because by that verb something of the enduring, of the comprehensive of his messianic service as High priest is expressed.
Although I was a husband to them (WEB)
Even though I had married them (Holman)
Read in the light of verse 9 above, this will lead to the following conclusion:
Forever? No, not forever.
For the sons of Israel will abide many days without king and without prince, and without sacrifice and without a pillar and live without ephod or teraphim. Thereafter the sons of Israel will return and seek YHWH their God, and David their king; and trembling they will come to YHWH and to his goodness in the last days.
That YHWH did not show concern for them is, of course, what they perceive as a nation. That is their experience. In reality and in his purpose, Elohim's eye was constantly focused on them. Only on that basis it can be called a 'miracle' that they are not assimilated after so many centuries. Although they are scattered in all directions and for so many centuries, often lived in uncertaint amid the nations of this world, yet they are not absorbed in those nations for the most part, but generally retained their Jewish identity.
Because Yahweh's involvement with them behind the scenes; without them realizing it: