Friday, June 15, 2012

Heb 7:1-18

The complaint is: how can we be right without a priest to intercede for us? And doesn’t God establish the Levitical priesthood forever? The answer is in chapter 7.               

[7:1] For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
·         We first know about Melchizedek from Genesis 14:18-20.
·         He is surrounded by idolatry and evil, even in the land where Job comes from had devolved into idolatry, such that Abraham came from a family of idol worshippers, yet here is Melchizedek standing strong in the service for God.
·         In the same way Christ stood against the world to bless His people.

[2] and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace.
·         They will call Him wonderful counselor, mighty God.  Jesus is both the Prince of Peace, and King of Righteousness. Their names are similar in other words.
·         This man was a priest king, something that no king of Judah could be
·         The text does not say why Abraham does this, but obviously he sees in this man the righteousness of God.

[3] He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
·         Because he appears in the narrative instantly and disappears he is therefore an archetype of an undying priest.
·         As a priest he was called by God to serve.
·         He is not the son of God but he does resemble Him in that his ministry is without end.
·         We really have no idea who he is.

[4] See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils!
·         Abraham was the supreme Godly man. That he of all people would give a tithe is beyond incredible.
·         Verse 4-10 is going to talk about how the order of priesthood that Mel represents is superior to the Levitical priesthood, and it revolves around this idea here in verse 4.
·         The Levites only received tithes, they never paid out tithes.

[5] And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham.
·         The levites were to collect tithes by divine appointment to run the government.
·         This failure was in Nehemiah, and showed how badly off the people were when they neglected it.
·         Because the Levites were the brothers, they are relatives. Mel however, was not family, he is superior.

[6] But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. [7] It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior.
·         The superior blesses the inferior, Abraham was blessed, therefore Abraham was inferior. The inferior pays tithes to the superior.
·         Abraham had the blessings, the promises, the friendship of God. All that he was was still inferior. That means Melchidezek was pretty superior.
·         Therefore Christ brings a priesthood according to this office that is superior to the Levites.

[8] In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives.
·         This does not mean that Mel didn’t die, it does mean that his office is perpetual and undying.
·         The levites were mortal, and so their priesthood must be a mortal one, that is, it would end. Mel is not one who has a death recorded, therefore his priesthood does not end.

[9] One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, [10] for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
·         ‘one might say’ is another way to say ‘it’s true that’
·         Melchizedek was superior to all the priestly lines because Levi, patriarch of the priestly clan, was not yet born.  Since Abraham acted as a federal head, and paid tithes, Levi paid tithes.
·         This is the same set up that was in the garden when Adam acted for us.
·         Jesus is therefore superior to Abraham, because He was the one who receives tithes.

[11]Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, rather than one named after the order of Aaron?
·         If the Law could save us then we would have had only the law.
·         The priesthood came to explain and obey the law, so if the law was to be done away it would carry the priesthood away with it.

[12] For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.
This is of necessity, because it cuts both ways: if the law was abolished, the law explainers must go too, if they go, being deemed unnecessary, then so must the law be.

[13] For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar.
The patriarchal blessing has the scepter never departing from Judah. It says nothing about priesthood. 

[14] For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
·         This is another evident statement. Moses never said anything about any tribe other than Levites being priests.
·         Obviously, Jesus was not a Levitical priest.
·         But Jesus is a priest, therefore, how do we reconcile it? What kind of priesthood does He have?

[15] This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek,
It’s even easier to see that this is true when you see a second Melchizedek, namely Jesus coming. So what the writer is saying is substantiated by the coming of Christ.

[16] who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. [17] For it is witnessed of him,
You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

[18] For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness [19] (for the law made nothing perfect);
The law makes nothing perfect. It cannot, it is not a priest. It is a standard, it has only the power to condemn and kill.

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