It’s a pleasure to
have you back to share more Daily Bread. We’re just about halfway through
our study of the book of Hebrews now, and so far, we can see that Paul is
showing the believing Jewish people that Jesus is above all that they
formerly considered most holy in their beliefs. Angels, Moses, the
priesthood, the Old Testament or law ... None of these compare to the
holiness, the love, and the superiority of Christ.
The Hebrews were
familiar with a king who was mentioned in only two different places in the
Old Testament, and you may remember that Paul mentioned him, Melchizedek, in
chapters 5 & 6 of this letter. Now he goes on to tell a little more about
this king Melchizedek and how he relates to Jesus Christ.
king of Salem. Here’s a tiny little Daily Bread Crumb for you. Did you know
that Salem is an ancient name for Jerusalem? This king Melchizedek was also
priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of
five kings and blessed him. (You can read this story about the slaughter of
the kings in Daily Bread’s Genesis study called
Abraham and Lot.
Abraham gave Melchizedek tithes, or a tenth part of all the loot from the
battle. That means that giving tithes of one tenth was practiced before the
law was given to Moses.
Paul gives this description of the king:
First being by interpretation King of righteousness,
and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of
without father, without mother, without descent,
having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;
but made like unto the Son of God.
He remains a priest forever.
What do you find
interesting about this description? Is it that Paul capitalized the word
King each time, and the only other King who has a capital letter in His
title in the Bible is Jesus? Or is it that he had no father, mother, or
ancestors? Or maybe that he had no birth or death? Or perhaps you might find
it interesting that he was made like unto Jesus and remains a priest
forever? Was Melchizedek an angel? He was definitely a “shadow” of Jesus.
Now consider how great this man was,
to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the
And truly the sons of Levi, who are called to the office
of the priesthood,
have a commandment to take tithes of their brethren
according to the law,
And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel
for an inheritance, for their service which they serve,
the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.
... While they come out of the loins of Abraham:
But he whose descent is not counted among them received tithes of Abraham,
and blessed him (Abraham) that had the promises.
MELCHISEDEK BIBLE STUDY LESSON WITH MELCHISEDEK BIBLE STUDY EXPLANATION
Why would Abraham give one tenth to someone
who wasn’t a Levite? Perhaps the blessing that Abraham received from
Melchisedek was so refreshing that Abraham felt out of the goodness of his
heart that he should repay him in the only way he could. Look at this
spiritually now. Maybe Melchisedek was the Spirit of the Lord. Remember,
Jesus also appeared to Abraham when He and two angels dropped by on their
way to Sodom and Gomorrah to destroy it. Something to think about, yes?
And without any question the less was blessed by the
And now men that die receive tithes;
but then one received them,
of whom it is said that he lives.
And as I may so say,
Levi also, who received tithes, paid tithes through
Because he was still in the loins of his father, when Melchizedek met him.
If then, everything was complete by the Levitical priesthood
(for under it the people received the law),
what further need was there that another priest
should rise after the order of Melchizedek,
and not be called after the order of Aaron?
If you recall from
Chapter 6, Paul said that the first one to enter into that within the veil
was Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. Let
me help you understand this a little better. In the Tabernacle, (see a
picture of the Tabernacle in the
Maps section of Christianity Oasis) there
was the place called the most holy place that was described in our last
study of Chapter 6. And in the Temple of Solomon, there was the place called
the Holy of Holies, where God’s presence was. You may remember from the
Gospel of John 1:18 that John the Baptist said that no man has ever seen
God, but the Son has declared Him.
Diagram of the Temple of Solomon
In the Tabernacle
and in the Temple nobody but the High Priests entered the Holy Place or the Holy of Holies.
They were covered with a veil (Exodus
3:14). Now, if you open up your Bible to
Matthew 27:51, you’ll see that
as Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the
bottom, so, just as Paul said, Jesus was the first one to go within the
veil. Now, let’s get
back to Paul’s letter.
Being that the priesthood was changed,
(from Levitical to Jesus)
it was also necessary to change the law.
Because He (Jesus) of whom these things are spoken,
belongs to another tribe,
a tribe from which no man served at the altar.
It is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah;
of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
And it is still far more evident:
Because after the likeness of Melchizedek there arises
who has come, not after the law of a legal requirement,
but after the power of an endless life.
For He testified,
(God spoke through David)
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
MELCHISEDEK BIBLE STUDY INFORMATION WITH MELCHISEDEK BIBLE
So, the first order of priests was temporary, but Jesus as High Priest is
eternal. The Christian Hebrews, needed this explained thoroughly, because
formerly being so fervent about the law and the Old Testament, and having
the majority of the Jewish people still unconvinced that
was indeed the Messiah, they needed the TRUTH spelled out because their Faith was
constantly being questioned by their unbelieving kin folk.
There is truly a setting aside of the old commandment
because of the weakness and unprofitableness of it.
For the law made nothing perfect,
but the bringing in of a better hope did;
by which we draw near to God.
Because the Levite priests were made without an oath;
but Jesus was made priest with this oath by God,
The Lord promised and will not change His mind,
Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
By so much
was made a guarantee of a better testament.
You see, again, Paul emphasizes how a
promise makes things more concrete, more permanent, and gives you more
There truly were many Levite priests,
because they were not allowed to continue by reason of
But Jesus, because He lives forever,
has an unchangeable priesthood.
Therefore He is able also to save them completely
that come to God through Him,
being as He lives forever to make intercession for them.
Jesus for ever intercedes for us, but in
the Old Testament, once the high priest dies, they can no longer pray for
those they are offering or sacrificing for.
For this kind of high priest suited us, who is holy,
innocent, undefiled, separate from sinners,
and made higher than the heavens;
Who doesn’t need daily, as other high priests,
to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins,
and then for the peoples':
because Jesus did this once for all,
when He offered up Himself.
For the law makes men high priests which are weak;
but the word of the oath,
which came about after the law,
appoints the Son the High Priest,
who is perfect for evermore.
Join in again soon as we study the second half of this letter from Paul
to the Hebrews, right here at Daily Bread.