New Living Translation

Hebrews 7

Melchizedek Is Greater Than Abraham

1This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him. Then Abraham took a tenth of all he had captured in battle and gave it to Melchizedek. The name Melchizedek means “king of justice,” and king of Salem means “king of peace.” There is no record of his father or mother or any of his ancestors—no beginning or end to his life. He remains a priest forever, resembling the Son of God.

Consider then how great this Melchizedek was. Even Abraham, the great patriarch of Israel, recognized this by giving him a tenth of what he had taken in battle. Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel,[a] who are also descendants of Abraham. But Melchizedek, who was not a descendant of Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God. And without question, the person who has the power to give a blessing is greater than the one who is blessed.

The priests who collect tithes are men who die, so Melchizedek is greater than they are, because we are told that he lives on. In addition, we might even say that these Levites—the ones who collect the tithe—paid a tithe to Melchizedek when their ancestor Abraham paid a tithe to him. 10 For although Levi wasn’t born yet, the seed from which he came was in Abraham’s body when Melchizedek collected the tithe from him.

11 So if the priesthood of Levi, on which the law was based, could have achieved the perfection God intended, why did God need to establish a different priesthood, with a priest in the order of Melchizedek instead of the order of Levi and Aaron?[b]

12 And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it. 13 For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests. 14 What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned priests coming from that tribe.

Jesus Is like Melchizedek

15 This change has been made very clear since a different priest, who is like Melchizedek, has appeared. 16 Jesus became a priest, not by meeting the physical requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied,

“You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”[c]

18 Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless. 19 For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.

20 This new system was established with a solemn oath. Aaron’s descendants became priests without such an oath, 21 but there was an oath regarding Jesus. For God said to him,

“The Lord has taken an oath and will not break his vow:
    ‘You are a priest forever.’”[d]

22 Because of this oath, Jesus is the one who guarantees this better covenant with God.

23 There were many priests under the old system, for death prevented them from remaining in office. 24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save[e] those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

26 He is the kind of high priest we need because he is holy and blameless, unstained by sin. He has been set apart from sinners and has been given the highest place of honor in heaven.[f] 27 Unlike those other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices every day. They did this for their own sins first and then for the sins of the people. But Jesus did this once for all when he offered himself as the sacrifice for the people’s sins. 28 The law appointed high priests who were limited by human weakness. But after the law was given, God appointed his Son with an oath, and his Son has been made the perfect High Priest forever.

Notas al pie

  1. 7:5 Greek from their brothers.
  2. 7:11 Greek the order of Aaron?
  3. 7:17 Ps 110:4.
  4. 7:21 Ps 110:4.
  5. 7:25 Or is able to save completely.
  6. 7:26 Or has been exalted higher than the heavens.

New International Reader's Version

Hebrews 7

Melchizedek the Priest

1Melchizedek was the king of Salem. He was the priest of God Most High. He met Abraham, who was returning from winning a battle over some kings. Melchizedek blessed him. Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of what is right.” Also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Melchizedek has no father or mother. He has no family line. His days have no beginning. His life has no end. He remains a priest forever. In this way, he is like the Son of God.

Think how great Melchizedek was! Even our father Abraham gave him a tenth of what he had captured. Now the law lays down a rule for the sons of Levi who become priests. They must collect a tenth from the people. They must collect it from the other Israelites. They must do this, even though all of them belong to the family line of Abraham. Melchizedek did not trace his family line from Levi. But he collected a tenth from Abraham. Melchizedek blessed the one who had received the promises. Without a doubt, the more important person blesses the less important one. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die. But in the other case, it is collected by the one who is said to be living. Levi collects the tenth. But we might say that Levi paid the tenth through Abraham. 10 That’s because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in Abraham’s body.

Jesus Is Like Melchizedek

11 The law that was given to the people called for the priestly system. That system began with Levi. Suppose the priestly system could have made people perfect. Then why was there still a need for another priest to come? And why did he need to be like Melchizedek? Why wasn’t he from Aaron’s family line? 12 A change of the priestly system requires a change of law. 13 We are talking about a priest who is from a different tribe. No one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14 It is clear that our Lord came from the family line of Judah. Moses said nothing about priests who were from the tribe of Judah. 15 But suppose another priest like Melchizedek appears. Then what we have said is even more clear. 16 He has not become a priest because of a rule about his family line. He has become a priest because of his powerful life. His life can never be destroyed. 17 Scripture says,

“You are a priest forever,
    just like Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4)

18 The old rule is set aside. It was weak and useless. 19 The law didn’t make anything perfect. Now a better hope has been given to us. That hope brings us near to God.

20 The change of priestly system was made with a promise. Others became priests without any promise. 21 But Jesus became a priest with a promise. God said to him,

“The Lord has given his word and made a promise.
    He will not change his mind. He has said,
    ‘You are a priest forever.’ ” (Psalm 110:4)

22 Because God gave his word, Jesus makes certain the promise of a better covenant.

23 There were many priests in Levi’s family line. Death kept them from continuing in office. 24 But Jesus lives forever. So he always holds the office of priest. 25 People now come to God through him. And he is able to save them completely and for all time. Jesus lives forever. He prays for them.

26 A high priest like that really meets our need. He is holy, pure and without blame. He isn’t like other people. He does not sin. He is lifted high above the heavens. 27 He isn’t like the other high priests. They need to offer sacrifices day after day. First they bring offerings for their own sins. Then they do it for the sins of the people. But Jesus gave one sacrifice for the sins of the people. He gave it once and for all time. He did it by offering himself. 28 The law appoints as high priests men who are weak. But God’s promise came after the law. By his promise the Son was appointed. The Son has been made perfect forever.