Our last reading for this week is Hebrews 7:1-10
v1: Melchizedek: See explanation in Heb 5:6 and Heb 6:20.
- King of Salem: In Hebrew this is where we get the name Shalom/Peace from – peace is the fulfillment of G-d’s will. Yeshua, coming in the order of Melchizedek, can bring about the fulfillment of G-d’s will – peace.
- Returning from the slaughter of the kings: In Genesis 14 Abraham fought against four kings and destroyed them with a small number of men. Abraham, an instrument of G-d’s judgement, knew that the victory had come from G-d – not from himself, or those 318 men. When Melchizedek manifested himself, it was in the context of victory. When we think about Yeshua, who comes in the order of Melchizedek, we should think about victory over the enemy. The enemy is not successful in his wickedness and is going to be defeated by G-d’s provision.
- Blessed him: Understanding the ministry of Melchizedek helps us to understand the ministry of Yeshua. Melchizedek blessed Abraham. Yeshua blesses us with victory over our enemies.
v2: Gave/Apportioned: A verb that means to divide or share out something.
- King of righteousness : This is emphasized before ‘king of peace’. Without righteousness there is no peace. G-d’s purposes and plans always have righteousness as the foundation.
v3: Having neither beginning of days nor end of life: There is an eternal aspect to Melchizedek.
- Made like the Son of G-d: Melchizedek is like or similar to the Son of G-d – but, according to this verse, he is not Him.
- Remains a priest continually: Like Melchizedek, Yeshua also has an eternal priesthood that guarantees for us eternal life.
v4: Consider: This is a command. It means to understand or to perceive something.
- How great this man was: Melchizedek has a unique priesthood. He is a picture showing us that Yeshua, too, has a unique priesthood.
- Gave a tenth of the spoils: The ‘spoils’ are the booty or plunder that came from defeating the enemy. Abraham gave it – G-d did not command it. Abraham recognized the greatness of Melchizedek. He did what faith led him to do, and that was to tithe. Tithing is a natural outcome of faith.
v5: Levi… receive the priesthood: The writer now teaches us about the priesthood in general, and the importance of tithing even in this different priesthood.
- Have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law: These priests received the tithe because G-d commanded it, therefore the law demanded it.
- From their brethren: They were all brothers. From a visual standpoint the Levites were not greater than the rest of the tribes and they did not deserve the tithe. However, the Sovereign choice of G-d set them apart for the purpose of priesthood, and, as such, one of their functions was to receive the tithe.
- Though they have come from the loins of Abraham: Abraham had willing given a tithe without being commanded to do so. After Abraham, the law demanded a tithe, so, based on the law, the sons of Levi received it, despite the fact that they too were the sons of Abraham.
v6: Received tithes from Abraham: Abraham gave a tenth/tithe to this unique priesthood. He had not been required to do so, but, by faith, he did. G-d established an earthly priesthood through the sons of Levi. A change happened. All the sons of Abraham gave a tithe to the sons of Aaron – that earthly priesthood. They gave a tenth, because it became the law to give it.
- Who had the promises: Abraham received the promises of G-d. How exalted Abraham was that he received the promises of G-d, and that G-d made a covenant with him, yet he gave a tithe to Melchizedek – though he was not required to do so.
v7: The lesser: Abraham, in this case.
- Blessed by the better: Abraham recognized the superiority of Melchizedek, a priest of the most High G-d. Therefore, not out of obligation but out of faith, Abraham gave him a tithe and was blessed by him.
v8: Mortal men (men who die) receive tithes: Those who receive the tithe by means of the law (i.e. The sons of Levi) die.
- It is witnessed that he lives: The one who received the tithe by faith lives! We have a greater priesthood in Melchizedek than we have in the house of Levi.
v9: Where do we find in Scripture that the Levites tithed? See Heb 7:10
v10: He was still in the loins of his father: Levi, as well as the other tribes, were all still in Abraham’s loins when Abraham met Melchizedek. In a way, Levi, being still within Abraham, also gave a tithe to Melchizedek. The writer is reinforcing, over and over again, that the priesthood of Melchizedek is superior to that of those from the tribe and lineage of Levi.
Yeshua is from the tribe of Judah. Yeshua is not of the priesthood that is established by Torah law. However, the Torah(law) reveals, describes, and defines His priesthood. The Torah is very important, in that it gives us a pattern, or paradigm, for understanding Yeshua. His priesthood is superior, therefore what He mediates is also superior.
As believers, we are not judged by the Torah commandments (Rom 6:14), but they, never-the-less, reveal truth to us. The accounts, in the Torah, lay a foundation, in order to give us a better understanding of New Testament truth. We can then be empowered by this truth, be prepared by divine revelation, and better understand our faith.