Vv 1-14: The enigma of Melchizedek and his priestly order. In
order to make the argument about Christ's high priesthood as convincing as it
can be, the author begins by establishing the great importance of Melchizedek,
who resembles the Son of God in many respects and hence serves as a type of
Christ. His superiority to Abraham and Levi is then made plain. This in turn
leads to a discussion of the significance of his priestly order, which in recent
history had found a new and definitive representative in fulfillment of the
expectation in Psa 110:4.
THIS MELCHIZEDEK WAS KING OF SALEM AND PRIEST OF GOD MOST
HIGH. HE MET ABRAHAM RETURNING FROM THE DEFEAT OF THE KINGS AND BLESSED HIM:
The identification of Melchizedek given here, as well as the brief description
of his encounter with Abraham, is drawn from Gen 14:18-20. (The author's
language is heavily dependent on the LXX version of this passage.) Melchizedek
appears in the Genesis narrative as an extraordinary person, indeed, but not
more than a human king and priest. "God most high" is "El Elyon". The Salem, of
which Melchizedek was king, was Canaanite Jerusalem (cp Psa 76:2).
The combination King-Priest is prophesied elsewhere in the OT:
see Zec 6:12,13; cp Rev 5:9,10. Another example of a priesthood regarded as
legitimate, although not of the Levitical line, is found in Jethro, the
Midianite priest who became the father–in–law of Moses (Exo 2:16;
For suggested identification of Melchizedek with Shem, see Ber
65:124. However, any attempt to guess the historical identity of Melchizedek
would be counterproductive to this extent: the uncertainty of his identity is in
fact crucial to the argument here in Heb 7 -- if he were known for sure, it
would only serve to undermine the arguing points.
FIRST, HIS NAME MEANS "KING OF RIGHTEOUSNESS"; THEN ALSO,
"KING OF SALEM" MEANS "KING OF PEACE": Is there a significance in the order
itself: ie, first righteousness, and then peace? See Isa 32:17; Rom 5:1. Christ
is first our "righteousness" (Rom 5:21; Jer 23:6; Zec 9:9), and THEN our "peace"
(Rom 5:1; Eph 2:14; Col 1:19,20; Isa 9:6).
WITHOUT FATHER OR MOTHER, WITHOUT GENEALOGY, WITHOUT
BEGINNING OF DAYS OR END OF LIFE, LIKE THE SON OF GOD HE REMAINS A PRIEST
FOREVER: "It is the literal reading of verse 3 that has led some to the
conclusion that Melchizedek was actually an appearance of the
pre–incarnate Christ. What actually is being pointed out by the author,
however, is the surprising silence of Scripture about the lineage and the birth
and death of Melchizedek. In a rabbinic way, the silence is seen to be
significant rather than simply fortuitous, especially for a person of such great
status, who was both a king and a priest. Because there is no record of
Melchizedek's death, nor therefore of the termination of his priesthood (or of
any succession to it), the conclusion can be drawn that 'he remains a priest
forever'. As far as what Scripture says and does not say about Melchizedek,
then, it is evident that he is like the Son of God, who also is without
beginning of days [in that the Eternal Father was HIS father!] or end of life
and whose priesthood therefore is eternally valid (cp v 17 with its quotation of
Psa 110:4)" (NIBC).
WITHOUT FATHER OR MOTHER, WITHOUT GENEALOGY: That is,
"without ancestry or genealogy". Not descended from Levi (Lev 21:13,14). No
recorded genealogy (ct examples, Neh 7:63-65; Ezra 2:62). Esther had no father
or mother (Est 2:7), that is, none alive.
WITHOUT BEGINNING OF DAYS OR END OF LIFE: This may not
refer to the actual life of Melchizedek, but rather to his term of office --
which had no recorded beginning or end. This would be unlike the Levitical
priests, whose term of office generally spanned from 30 to 50 years of age (see
JUST THINK HOW GREAT HE WAS: EVEN THE PATRIARCH ABRAHAM
GAVE HIM A TENTH OF THE PLUNDER!: The magnitude of the event already mentioned
in v 1 is now stressed. Even a man as great as Abraham tithed to Melchizedek.
NOW THE LAW REQUIRES THE DESCENDANTS OF LEVI WHO BECOME
PRIESTS TO COLLECT A TENTH FROM THE PEOPLE -- THAT IS, THEIR BROTHERS -- EVEN
THOUGH THEIR BROTHERS ARE DESCENDED FROM ABRAHAM: The author now proceeds to
acknowledge the practice of tithing among the descendants of Abraham. The
Levitical priesthood, not having an inheritance in the land, received according
to the law a tenth from the people -- that is, their brothers. This was in
payment for their service (Num 18:21), and was done because the Law required it
(in contrast to Abraham's tithing -- which was done voluntarily). Tithing thus
involved those who are descended from (lit, "from the loins of") Abraham both on
the receiving and giving end of the transaction.
THIS MAN, HOWEVER, DID NOT TRACE HIS DESCENT FROM LEVI, YET
HE COLLECTED A TENTH FROM ABRAHAM AND BLESSED HIM WHO HAD THE PROMISES:
Therefore his right to receive a tithe from Abraham depended not on the law but
on his own superior worth (cp v 7). His priesthood accordingly is of an
exceptional character. Thus Melchizedek received the tithe from and blessed (the
word is drawn from Gen 14:19) the very one who was the recipient of the promises
and from whom eventually would come the Levitical priesthood itself (cp v 10).
The remarkable significance of this is brought out in the verses that
AND WITHOUT DOUBT THE LESSER PERSON IS BLESSED BY THE
GREATER: The KJV has "without all contradiction", ie "dispute". The
admittedly great Abraham is thus subordinate to Melchizedek.
"Blessing" here sig blessing by God's authority: the priests
bless in God's name (1Ch 23:13).
IN THE ONE CASE, THE TENTH IS COLLECTED BY MEN WHO DIE; BUT
IN THE OTHER CASE, BY HIM WHO IS DECLARED TO BE LIVING: Furthermore, the
Levitical priesthood is inferior to Melchizedek's because "in the one case" (of
the priests; lit, "here"), we have mortal recipients of the tithe. But "in the
other case" (as for Melchizedek; lit, "there"), the recipient is declared to be
"living". It is important, however, to note that this is an inference based on
what Scripture does not say (ie, its failure simply to record Melchizedek's
death) rather than on what Scripture actually says (cp v 3n).
HIM WHO IS... LIVING: The reference, however, finds its
parallel in the references to Christ in vv 16,24, where the reference to endless
life is literally true.
Vv 9,10: ONE MIGHT EVEN SAY THAT LEVI, WHO COLLECTS THE TENTH,
PAID THE TENTH THROUGH ABRAHAM, BECAUSE WHEN MELCHIZEDEK MET ABRAHAM, LEVI WAS
STILL IN THE BODY OF HIS ANCESTOR: Since Levi was an eventual descendant of
Abraham, he was in the loins of his father when Abraham was met by Melchizedek
(the words again allude to Gen 14) and gave him a tithe. Therefore Levi may also
be said to have tithed to Melchizedek through Abraham, and it is implied that
Levi and his descendants are thus also subordinate to Melchizedek.
IF PERFECTION COULD HAVE BEEN ATTAINED THROUGH THE
LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD (FOR ON THE BASIS OF IT THE LAW WAS GIVEN TO THE PEOPLE),
WHY WAS THERE STILL NEED FOR ANOTHER PRIEST TO COME?: This suggest the
inability of that system to arrive at the goal of full salvation (and thus,
there is the first hint of the Law's decline and nullification). Had the
Levitical system been sufficient to the task, what need, the author asks, is
there to speak of another priest to arise, one of the order of Melchizedek, and
not Aaron? That is, if the Levitical system were self–sufficient, why then
does Psa 110:4 speak of the one at the right hand of God, who waits for his
enemies to become a footstool for his feet, as one who is "a priest forever in
the order of Melchizedek"? Psa 110:4 thus confirms the inadequacy of the Aaronic
The parenthetical comment concerning the law being given to
the people on the basis of the Levitical priesthood cannot be taken literally,
since that priesthood did not precede the Mosaic law. What seems to be meant is
that the priestly system is basic to the entire superstructure of the law. The
two are inextricably related, as can be seen from the argument that now
PERFECTION: In this context, sig "nearness to God" (v
19), ie "salvation".
PRIESTHOOD... LAW: Notice the intimate connection
between these two features -- all thru Hebrews.
ANOTHER: Gr "heteron" = a different sort of... -- ie,
not from the tribe of Levi (v 13).
FOR WHEN THERE IS A CHANGE OF THE PRIESTHOOD, THERE MUST
ALSO BE A CHANGE OF THE LAW: "This change in priesthood has important
consequences for the law: there "is of necessity") a change of the law. Thus for
all our author's stress on the continuity between the old and the new and on the
nature of Christianity as the fulfillment of the promises to Israel, he also is
forced to acknowledge substantial discontinuity between the old and the new. It
would have taken great courage on the author's part to say something so
problematic and so contrary to the disposition of his Jewish readers, not to
mention the Jewish critics of Christianity who apparently exercised some
influence over them. In the immediate context the change of the law involves a
man from the tribe of Judah -- and not Levi -- becoming a priest. The
implications are wider, however, as will be seen below (see vv 18,19, and Heb
8:7,13). But despite his insistence upon the necessity of a change in the law,
the author's basic perspective remains: Christianity stands in continuity with
the past as the fulfillment of what God promised he would do" (NIBC).
Notice the progression: "change" here becomes "disannul" in v
18! "Change" is essentially abrogation (cp Heb 8:7,13).
CHANGE OF THE PRIESTHOOD... CHANGE OF THE LAW: Which,
as noted above, were intimately related to one another. The priests taught the
Law to the people (Mal 2:7); they interpreted the legal code (Deu
Vv 13,14: It was plain that he of whom these things are said
(Jesus, the Son of David) belonged to a different tribe (the tribe of Judah) and
thus, according to the law itself, could not qualify to be a priest. Yet he is
the one referred to in Psa 110:4, the priest of the order of Melchizedek. No
precedent exists for this turn of events. The Levitical priesthood is now
replaced by another order altogether. ("Moses" here, of course, refers to the
DESCENDED: From the verb that means literally "to rise"
(anatello), and hence "to spring from." It is probably used deliberately to
allude to Num 24:17 where the same verb refers to the star of Jacob who is to
rise in fulfillment of God's promises (cp Mal 4:2). In other passages, the
Messiah is spoken of a "branch", ie that which sprang out of some "soil" (Jer
23:5; Isa 11:1; Zec 3:8; 6:12).
Vv 15-28: The legitimacy and superiority of Christ's
priesthood. Extending the argument of the preceding section, the author now
explores ways in which the priesthood of Christ, resembling that of Melchizedek,
is superior to the Levitical priesthood set forth in the law of Moses.
V 15: What follows from this point on will help explain
the groundwork laid in the earlier verses of Heb 7.
ANOTHER: Gr "heteros" suggests in the context one of a
unique kind, despite his similarity to Melchizedek.
ONE WHO HAS BECOME A PRIEST NOT ON THE BASIS OF A
REGULATION AS TO HIS ANCESTRY BUT ON THE BASIS OF THE POWER OF AN INDESTRUCTIBLE
LIFE: This priest "has become and remains" a priest (this is the sense of
the Greek perfect tense) not on the basis of a regulation (lit, "the law of a
fleshly commandment") -- ie, a law concerned with external matters such as
bodily descent -- but on the basis of "an indestructible life". The reference to
"power" in this context may be an allusion to the resurrection. The power
("dynamis") of an indestructible life (cp Acts 2:24) is such that it is
self–validating. The power of God is regularly linked in the NT with the
resurrection of Christ (cp 1Co 6:14; 2Co 13:4; Rom 1:4).
FOR IT IS DECLARED: "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER, IN THE
ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK": The point of the argument rests on the unique identity of
the Son (cp Psa 110:1) -- whose life continues forever, and in whom alone,
therefore, the promise of Psa 110:4 ("a priest forever") can be understood to be
fulfilled literally. Jesus is made, by God, the priest of Psa 110:4 because he
is the person described in Psa 110:1. He who presently sits at the right hand of
God alone can be the priest appointed forever. The anti–type is TRULY
without beginning and without end, just as the type is APPARENTLY without
beginning or end. The authority of Christ's priesthood depends on his identity
as the Son of God. On the quotation of Psa 110:4, cp the earlier use of this
verse in Heb 5:6; 6:20.
THE FORMER REGULATION IS SET ASIDE: Mosaic legislation
concerning the Levitical priesthood is now set aside (lit, "a setting aside
occurs"). The word used for "setting aside" ("atheteasis") means "to declare
invalid" and is used in the papyri for official, legal annulment (cp the verb
form of the same root in Gal 3:15). (The KJV has "disannulling"; JBP has
"cancellation"; Diag has "abrogation".) The author's courage to say that the law
concerning the Levitical priesthood is set aside is especially notable given a
reference such as in Exo 40:15 to "a priesthood that will continue for all
generations to come" (cp Jer 33:18). Only the author's perception of the
fulfillment and the corresponding newness brought by Christ can account for
BECAUSE IT WAS WEAK AND USELESS: This stern note of
discontinuity with the law of Moses (anticipated in Heb 7:12; cp Heb 8:13) is
justified by noting that the law was weak and useless.
WEAK: "Weakness" is twice ascribed to the Levitical
priests in Hebrews (Heb 5:2; 7:28). The description of the commandment as weak
or ineffective finds a parallel in Paul (Rom 8:3: "what the law could not do";
cp Rom 5:6; Gal 4:9).
USELESS: This word is stronger still: it is used in the
LXX of Isa 44:10 to describe idols (cp RSV, "profitable for nothing"). The Greek
word for useless ("anoepheles") occurs elsewhere in the NT only in Tit 3:9,
where it describes futile controversies. The author's point apparently is that
although the law had a proper role to play before the fulfillment brought by the
Christ, once that fulfillment has been realized, the law is outmoded and hence
useless. It should be noted, however, that it is the law concerning the
Levitical priesthood and ritual that is particularly in view (cp Heb 10:9b). The
author does not at this time draw further implications, as to the rest of the
It should be noted, however, that the Law -- as a whole -- is
described by Paul as "holy, just, and good" in Rom 7:12; it is man and his
weakness who renders the Law powerless, or useless.
FOR THE LAW MADE NOTHING PERFECT: That is, it was
unable to bring anything to God's intended purpose of redemption (cp Heb 5:9).
Whereas in the preceding verse the word "commandment"
("entole") is used, now the author uses the broader word, law
AND A BETTER HOPE IS INTRODUCED, BY WHICH WE DRAW NEAR TO
GOD: Again the author stresses the importance of arriving at the intended
goal (using the verb "teleioo"), but this time negatively by pointing out the
inadequacy of the law (cp Heb 7:11). See Heb 2:10n (and cp Heb 5:9). The
positive use of the same verb can be seen below in v 28. One of the author's
favorite words to describe Christianity is the word "better" (Heb 1:4n). Here it
modifies "hope", a prominent word in this letter (Heb 3:6; 6:11,18; 10:23). As
in Heb 6:18, here the word refers to a present rather than a future reality. Or,
to put it another way, our confidence concerning the future (because it rests on
the finished work of Christ) is such that it transforms the present: cp 1Ti 1:1;
WE DRAW NEAR TO GOD: "We" = both Jew and Gentile -- who
draw near to God in Christ (Eph 2:11-22). Cp v 25 here: "come to".
Vv 20-22: All ETERNAL promises had an oath: cp Heb 6:13-20;
Gen 22:16-18; 26:3,4; Psa 89:3,4; Isa 62:8; Mic 7:20; Num 14:21; Luk 1:73; Acts
2:30. Note the oath for Melchizedek (Psa 110:4).
AND IT WAS NOT WITHOUT AN OATH! OTHERS BECAME PRIESTS
WITHOUT AN OATH: The appeal to God's oath is reminiscent of the argument
concerning the covenant made with Abraham in Heb 6:13-17. The point again is
that something already fixed becomes doubly sure, since to God's word is added
an oath (cp v 28). In the case of the Levitical priesthood (the "others"),
however, there was no such vow.
Vv 21,22: The oath in Psa 110:4 makes the writer's case. This
confirms the superiority of the priesthood of Jesus to that of the Levites. Thus
a better promise (one confirmed with an oath) implies a better covenant --
indeed, what will later be identified as the "new covenant" (cp Heb 8:8; 9:15).
And Jesus is the ground or basis of the security of that covenant (cp Heb 9:15;
12:24, where Jesus is described as "the mediator of a new covenant").
GUARANTEE: "Pledge" (Diag). The person bound over to
satisfy the debt: Christ became the pledge (by his death) to satisfy the
righteousness of God (Rom 3:26).
A BETTER COVENANT: This is the first occurrence of the
word "covenant" ("diatheke"), which will become very important in the next few
chapters (see Heb 8:6,8–10; 9:15-20; 10:16,29; 12:24; 13:20). The word
occurs far more often in Hebrews (seventeen times) than in any other NT book.
Like Paul, the author can use "diatheke" in the legal sense of "testament" (Heb
9:16; cp Gal 3:15-29). The primary sense of the word, however, is religious,
referring to the arrangement whereby God's saving purpose becomes a reality.
There was an old arrangement or covenant (at Sinai) whereby Israel experienced
redemption. From our author's perspective, this has now given way to a new state
of affairs to which, indeed, it pointed. The "new covenant" (as it will be
called in Heb 9:15; 12:24) is contrasted with the old (note esp Jer
31:31–34, quoted in Heb 8) and of course depends absolutely on the saving
work of Christ in fulfillment of the promises (cp Heb 8:6; 9:15; 10:29; 13:20).
Vv 23,24: The mortal Levitical priests were unable to remain
perpetually in office. It was necessary to have many... priests in order that
the work might continue. In contrast, Jesus continues forever (cp Heb 13:8), and
therefore has a permanent priesthood.
Josephus provides the graphic statistic that there were 83
high priests from Aaron to the destruction of the temple in AD 70 (Ant
THEREFORE HE IS ABLE TO SAVE COMPLETELY THOSE WHO COME TO
GOD THROUGH HIM, BECAUSE HE ALWAYS LIVES TO INTERCEDE FOR THEM: "Completely"
is "for all time" in RSV. By its very nature, what Jesus offers is an "eternal
salvation" (cp Heb 5:9; 9:12; 10:14; 13:20) and a perfect or "complete"
salvation, unlike the temporary and the incomplete work of the Levitical
priests. The priestly work of Christ depends directly on "the power of an
indestructible life" (Heb 7:16), and it is that same kind of permanence that
determines the character of the salvation experienced by its recipients. They
are sustained by the continual intercession of Jesus on their behalf. On this
point the author is in agreement with Paul (Rom 8:34; cp John 14:16; 1Jo
"The verb 'be able' ('dynamai') and the negative 'be unable'
occur often in Hebrews, especially in explicating the contrast between the new
and the old. The new is always able to do what the old could not do. In the
present instance the object is to save, and although not made explicit, a
contrast with the old is implied. The phrase translated 'completely' by NIV
('eis to panteles') may be taken to mean 'forever' in that the situation spoken
of is permanent, or it may be understood to connote totality.. The idea of
permanence is of course implied in that Jesus always lives ('pantote', only
occurrence in Hebrews) to intercede. The fact of this intercession again points
to the sufficiency of the salvation... Jesus intercedes as a throned
Priest-King, asking what He will from a Father who always hears and grants His
request... The language 'come to God' has overtones of the temple worship (cp
Heb 11:6)" (NIBC).
During the Civil War, there was a young Union soldier who had
lost his father and older brother in the war. He went to Washington, DC, to see
if he could get an exemption from military service so that he could go back home
and help his mother and sister with the spring planting. When he approached the
White House and asked to see the president, he was turned away.
Totally disheartened, the soldier sat down on a park bench
nearby. A little boy approached him and said, "You look unhappy, soldier. What's
After the soldier shared his story, the little boy took him by
the hand. He led him through the back door of the White House, past the guards,
and into the president's office itself. President Lincoln looked up and asked,
"What can I do for you, Tad?"
Tad said, "Daddy, this soldier needs to talk to you" -- and
the soldier was not turned away.
When Jesus completed the work of salvation, He opened up the
way so that we could have access to God. Those who have placed their trust in
Christ may come directly to the Heavenly Father with their petitions. And the
Son sits on the Father's right hand and says, "Daddy, this is someone who needs
to talk to You." He is the only intercessor we need.
HOLY, BLAMELESS, PURE, SET APART FROM SINNERS: We are
forgiven and shall be saved for Christ' sake, but HE required no forgiveness...
Christ was undefiled in mind, absolutely pure, and therefore he required no
cleansing as pertaining to the conscience at baptism, for there never was a
moment in his life when God was displeased with him; he always did and said what
pleased the Father. He only required cleansing in nature -- which was done after
We must be careful that the means by which all believers are
commanded to remember the Lord's death until He returns, does not become instead
a ritual, with efficacy in the object itself, by which we establish our "purity"
in a negative sense. "Negative holiness" can save no man. Neither can the
proximity of one whom we consider a "sinner", even one so close as to partake of
the same cup, endanger our "fellowship" with that one who was ever and always
the friend of "sinners", who touched lepers and lunatics, harlots and dead
bodies -- yet in the best sense was still "holy, harmless, and undefiled" (Heb
BLAMELESS, PURE: The words "blameless" ("akakos") and
"pure" ("amiantos", lit, "undefiled") remind us of the total innocence of the
sacrificial victim (cp the next verse).
SET APART FROM SINNERS: Heb 4:15; 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:22;
EXALTED ABOVE THE HEAVENS: Cp Heb 4:14; 8:1; Eph
UNLIKE THE OTHER HIGH PRIESTS, HE DOES NOT NEED TO OFFER
SACRIFICES DAY AFTER DAY: This contrasts with the necessarily repetitive
sacrifices of the Levitical priests, which for our author represents a
self–confessed inadequacy (cp Heb 5:3; 10:11).
It may be objected that the HiPr only offered sacrifice once
each year, on the Day of Atonement. However, all the other priests who offered
sacrifices, on every other day of the year, may be considered as the HiPr's
representatives, offering in his stead.
FIRST FOR HIS OWN SINS, AND THEN FOR THE SINS OF THE
PEOPLE: Aaron was directed to do this (Lev 16:6-11, etc; cp Heb 9:5,7).
Did Christ need to offer "for his own sins", after the analogy
of the Levitical High priest? No, in the sense that he never had any personal
sins to offer for. But yes, in the sense that his own nature (his "sinful" or
sin-prone flesh) required cleansing -- and this was accomplished in his own
sacrificial death. In this latter sense, Christ was part of the "for all" for
whom he had to offer (see Heb 9:12n).
The simple and obvious meaning of this verse is that Christ
offered once for his own sins and for the people's. This conclusion is sometimes
evaded by objecting to the expression "his own sins", inasmuch as Christ was
free from personal transgression. But by an examination of the ordinance
referred to we find that the high priest offered "because of the uncleanness of
the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions" (Lev 16:16,
So "sins" in Heb 7:27 includes uncleanness as well as actual
transgression; it includes the whole "sin constitution". It is only by
considering these two aspects of sin as inseparable parts of one whole that we
can understand how Christ, by destroying the body of sin on the cross, could
cover our transgressions.
Our sins are not something separate from our nature, they are
a development of it. There are not "two kinds of sin", one moral and real, and
the other only shadowy and metonymical. Rather, there are two aspects of sin:
the "root" in our flesh and the "branch" in our actions. And the two aspects are
intimately and absolutely connected to one another. In us sin is too strong for
us and becomes manifest in our actions. In Christ sin was controlled and
overcome, and never became manifest in action. But in both cases it is the same
battle with the same adversary.
HE SACRIFICED FOR THEIR SINS ONCE FOR ALL WHEN HE OFFERED
HIMSELF: This shocking fact -- that this high priest offers HIMSELF in
sacrifice -- here mentioned directly for the first time (but cp Heb 2:9,14;
5:8), becomes a central argument in Heb 9:11–28. The definitive,
once–and–for–all, character of the work of Christ is of course
a hallmark of the Epistle to the Hebrews. The argument about the "once for all"
character of Christ's sacrifice is repeatedly stressed by the author in the next
two chapters, using two almost identical words ("ephapax": here, Heb 9:12;
10:10; "hapax": 9:26, 28). The completeness and finality of this one act are
bound up with who it is that sacrifices and is sacrificed, and the fact that
this is the consummation of God's provision of salvation. The contrast with the
repetitive futility of the Levitical priesthood is immediately evident and
This verse serves as a summary of the argument thus far by
again contrasting what is true according to the law with the greater truth found
in the one to whom the Melchizedek passage in Psa 110:4 points. The author's
observation that this oath confirmed word came AFTER the law reflects a Jewish
conclusion that new revelation is more authoritative than the older revelation
(although by no means is this conclusion always accepted!). The notion of having
"been made perfect" is again best understood as the state of having accomplished
God's saving purposes (cp Heb 5:9) and being raised to God's right hand.
MEN WHO ARE WEAK: Cp Heb 5:2. By contrast, Jesus is
able to "feel sympathy for our weaknesses" because of his humanity. Yet he did
not know the weakness that stems from imperfection and sin.
THE SON: Substituted here in place of "priest" (from
Psa 110), as a reminder of the previous quotation of Psa 2:7 (cp Heb