This Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met
Abraham as he was returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed
Abraham allocated to him a tenth part of everything he had won in the battle. He was, by the
meaning of his name, first “king of justice,”
and then also “king of Salem,” which means “king of peace.”
3 Without father, without mother,
without a recorded genealogy, beginning of days or end of life,
he is like the Son of God
and remains a priest continually.
4 Now consider how great this man was, because even Abraham, the
patriarch, gave him a tenth of the best plunder.
5 Those of the sons of Levi
who receive the priest’s office have a command in the Law to collect tithes
from the people, that is, from their brothers, although they too are
descendants of Abraham.
6 But Melchizedek, whose genealogy is not shared
with the sons of Levi, collected a tithe from Abraham, and blessed him who
possessed the promises.
7 But without dispute the lesser is blessed by the
greater. 8 In one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case by
one of whom it is testified that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes, 10 because Levi was still in his ancestor Abraham’s body when Melchizedek met him. 11 So if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood — for based on it
the people received the Law – what further need would there have been for
another priest to arise in the order of Melchizedek, and not in the order of
12 For when the priesthood is changed, a change in the Law must take
 13 For the one these things are spoken about belongs to another
tribe, and no one from that tribe ever served as a priest at the altar.
14 It is clear
that our lord was a descendant of Judah, and Moses said nothing about priests
in the tribe of Judah.
15 This becomes clearer still since there appears another priest
16 who has become a priest not by a law of physical descent,
but by the power of an indestructible life.
17 For it is testified, “You are a
priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
18 On the one hand a former commandment is set aside because of its
weakness and uselessness,
19 because the Law made nothing perfect. On the
other hand a better hope is brought in, and through this hope we draw near to God.
20 Since Jesus was not made priest without the taking of an oath —
21 the others became priests without an oath, but he was made priest with an oath by the One who said to him, “The Lord has sworn and will not change His mind, ‘You are a priest forever’” —
22 because of this, Jesus has become the guarantee of
a better covenant.
23 There have been many priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing in their office.
24 But Jesus, because he lives forever, holds his
25 He is therefore always able to save those who draw near to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
 26 For such a high priest is fitting for us: holy, guiltless, undefiled,
separate from sinners, and exalted above the heavens.
27 He does not need,
like those other high priests, to offer up sacrifices daily, first for their own sins, and
then for the sins of the people, because he did this once for all when he
offered up himself.
28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are
subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law,
appoints a Son made perfect forever.
Pointing to the future Kingdom, a world order in which social justice will prevail for the first
time in human history. The Christian calling is to prepare now to assist Jesus in that coming new world
It is a very great misunderstanding of the text to suppose that Melchizedek was an uncreated
person with no parents! Jews said of Sarah that she had no parents, meaning that their names were not
As a “type” or model.
Showing the all-important difference between the new and old covenants. Galatians is an
impassioned warning against reverting to the OT practices, including calendar observance, which lead
us away from the spiritual freedom available in Christ. A muddling of the two covenants is dangerous
to our spiritual life.
To insist on the annual observance of the Day of Atonement or the Holy Days demonstrates a misunderstanding of the supreme significance of the once and for all, permanent effects of the New Covenant inaugurated by the sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus, Son of God. Col. 2:16-17contrasts the Mosaic calendar negatively with the substance — Christ, who replaces it. See our booklet The Law, the Sabbath and New Covenant Christianity at focusonthekingdom.org