Hebrews 7:12

12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

Hebrews 7:12 in Other Translations

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
12 For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.
12 And if the priesthood is changed, the law must also be changed to permit it.
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 be a change of law as well.

Hebrews 7:12 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 7:12

For the priesthood being changed
Not translated from one tribe, family, or order, to another, but utterly abolished; for though it is called an everlasting priesthood, yet that is to be understood with a limitation, as the word "everlasting" often is, as relating to things under that dispensation; for nothing is more certain than that it is done away: it was of right abrogated at the death of Christ, and it is now in fact; since the destruction of Jerusalem, the daily sacrifice has ceased, and the children of Israel have been many days without one, and without an ephod. And the Jews themselves own, that the high priesthood was to cease in time to come F13, and which they say Azariah the son of Oded prophesied of in ( 2 Chronicles 15:3 ) .

There is made of necessity a change also of the law;
not the moral law, that was in being before the priesthood of Aaron, nor do they stand and fall together; besides, this still remains, for it is perfect, and cannot be made void by any other; nor is it set aside by Christ's priesthood: though there is a sense in which it is abolished; as it is in the hands of Moses; as it is a covenant of works; as to justification by it; and as to its curse and condemnation to them that are Christ's; yet it still remains in the hands of Christ, and as a rule of walk and conversation; and is useful, and continues so on many accounts: but either the judicial law; not that part of it which is founded on justice and equity, and was a means of guarding the moral law, for that still subsists; but that which was given to the Jews as Jews, and some parts of which depended on the priesthood, and so ceased with it; as the laws concerning the cities of refuge, raising up seed to a deceased brother, preserving inheritances in families, and judging and determining controversies: or rather the ceremonial law, which was but a shadow of good things to come, and was given but for a time; and this concerned the priesthood, and was made void by the priesthood of Christ; for that putting an end to the Levitical priesthood, the law which related to it must unavoidably cease, and become of no effect. This the Jews most strongly deny; God, they F14 say, will not change nor alter the law of Moses for ever. The nineth article of their creed, as drawn up by Maimonides, runs thus F15;

``I believe with a perfect faith that this law (tplxwm aht al) "shall not be changed", nor shall there be another law from the Creator, blessed be his name.''

But the reasoning of the apostle is strong and unanswerable.


F13 Vajikra Rabba, sect. 19. fol. 160. 4.
F14 Seder Tephillot, Ed. Amsterd. fol. 2. 1.
F15 Apud Seder Tephillot, Ed. Basil. fol. 86. 2.

Hebrews 7:12 In-Context

10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
11 If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.
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 For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
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