Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people1--that is, their brothers--even though their brothers are descended from Abraham.
This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed2 him who had the promises.37
And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater.
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.49
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.
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people),5 why was there still need for another priest to come6--one in the order of Melchizedek,7 not in the order of Aaron?
For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.
He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe,8 and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.914
For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah,10 and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,