Hebrews 7:5

5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.

Hebrews 7:5 in Other Translations

KJV
5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
ESV
5 And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham.
NLT
5 Now the law of Moses required that the priests, who are descendants of Levi, must collect a tithe from the rest of the people of Israel, who are also descendants of Abraham.
MSG
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.
CSB
5 The sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment according to the law to collect a tenth from the people-that is, from their brothers-though they have [also] descended from Abraham.

Hebrews 7:5 Meaning and Commentary

Hebrews 7:5

And verily they that are of the sons of Levi
Or Levites; who are of the tribe of Levi, whose descent is from him:

who receive the office of the priesthood;
as some of them were priests, though not all; and the Levites therefore are sometimes called priests. R. Joshua ben Levi says, that in twenty four places the priests are called Levites; and this is one of them, ( Ezekiel 44:15 ) "and the priests and Levites" F11

these have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to
the law;
the ceremonial law, ( Numbers 18:20-26 ) , these they took of all the people of Israel in the rest of the tribes, by the commandment of God, on account of their service in the tabernacle; and because they had no inheritance in the land; and to show that the Israelites held their land of God himself:

that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of
Abraham;
who are their brethren and kinsmen according to the flesh, though of different tribes; and from these they receive, notwithstanding they are the sons of Abraham: but here a difficulty arises, how the Levites that were priests can be said to receive tithes from the people, when they received the tenth part of the tithes, or the tithe of tithes from the Levites, ( Numbers 18:26 ) ( Nehemiah 10:38 ) , but it should be observed, that it was not necessary that the Levites should give these tithes to the priests themselves; an Israelite might do it, and so give the Levites the less; on which account the priests may be said to receive from the people; besides, Ezra in his time ordered, that the first tithe should not be given to the Levites, but to the priests, because they would not go up with him to Jerusalem F12.


FOOTNOTES:

F11 T. Bab. Yebamot, fol. 86. 2. & Becorot, fol. 4. 1.
F12 Maimon. Hilchot Maaser, c. 1. sect. 4.

Hebrews 7:5 In-Context

3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.
4 Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!
5 Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.
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 And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.

Cross References 1

  • 1. Numbers 18:21,26