Hebrews 7 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of the Highest God. He met Abraham, who was returning from "the royal massacre," and gave him his blessing. 1 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,
2 Abraham in turn gave him a tenth of the spoils. "Melchizedek" means "King of Righteousness." "Salem" means "Peace." So, he is also "King of Peace." 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace."
3 Melchizedek towers out of the past - without record of family ties, no account of beginning or end. In this way he is like the Son of God, one huge priestly presence dominating the landscape always. 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.
4 You realize just how great Melchizedek is when you see that Father Abraham gave him a tenth of the captured treasure. 4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!
5 Priests descended from Levi are commanded by law to collect tithes from the people, even though they are all more or less equals, priests and people, having a common father in Abraham. 5 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.
6 But this man, a complete outsider, collected tithes from Abraham and blessed him, the one to whom the promises had been given. 6 This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
7 In acts of blessing, the lesser is blessed by the greater. 7 And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater.
8 Or look at it this way: We pay our tithes to priests who die, but Abraham paid tithes to a priest who, the Scripture says, "lives." 8 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.
9 Ultimately you could even say that since Levi descended from Abraham, who paid tithes to Melchizedek, 9 One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,
10 when we pay tithes to the priestly tribe of Levi they end up with Melchizedek. 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
11 If the priesthood of Levi and Aaron, which provided the framework for the giving of the law, could really make people perfect, there wouldn't have been need for a new priesthood like that of Melchizedek. 11 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--one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
12 But since it didn't get the job done, there was a change of priesthood, which brought with it a radical new kind of law. 12 For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law.
13 There is no way of understanding this in terms of the old Levitical priesthood, 13 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.
14 which is why there is nothing in Jesus' family tree connecting him with that priestly line. 14 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
15 But the Melchizedek story provides a perfect analogy: Jesus, a priest like Melchizedek, 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,
16 not by genealogical descent but by the sheer force of resurrection life - he lives! - 16 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.
17 "priest forever in the royal order of Melchizedek." 17 For it is declared: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
18 The former way of doing things, a system of commandments that never worked out the way it was supposed to, was set aside; 18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless
19 the law brought nothing to maturity. Another way - Jesus! - a way that does work, that brings us right into the presence of God, is put in its place. 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 The old priesthood of Aaron perpetuated itself automatically, father to son, without explicit confirmation by God. 20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath,
21 But then God intervened and called this new, permanent priesthood into being with an added promise: God gave his word; he won't take it back: "You're the permanent priest." 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him: "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.' "
22 This makes Jesus the guarantee of a far better way between us and God - one that really works! A new covenant. 22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 Earlier there were a lot of priests, for they died and had to be replaced. 23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office;
24 But Jesus' priesthood is permanent. He's there from now to eternity 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
25 to save everyone who comes to God through him, always on the job to speak up for them. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
26 So now we have a high priest who perfectly fits our needs: completely holy, uncompromised by sin, with authority extending as high as God's presence in heaven itself. 26 Such a high priest meets our need--one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.
27 Unlike the other high priests, he doesn't have to offer sacrifices for his own sins every day before he can get around to us and our sins. He's done it, once and for all: offered up himself as the sacrifice. 27 Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
28 The law appoints as high priests men who are never able to get the job done right. But this intervening command of God, which came later, appoints the Son, who is absolutely, eternally perfect. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.