The Greatness of Melchizedek

1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham [as he] was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,
2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth of everything--in the first place, [his name] is translated "king of righteousness," and then also "king of Salem," that is, "king of peace";
3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God--he remains a priest for all time.
4 But see how great this man [was], to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth from the spoils!
5 And indeed those of the sons of Levi who receive the priesthood have a commandment to collect a tenth from the people according to the law, that is, from their brothers, although {they are descended from Abraham}.
6 But the one who did not trace [his] descent from them collected tithes from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises.
7 Now without any dispute the inferior is blessed by the more prominent.
8 And in this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case it is testified that he lives.
9 And, {so to speak}, even Levi, the one who receives tithes, has paid tithes through Abraham.
10 For he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.

The Superiority of Jesus to Melchizedek

11 Thus if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood, for on the basis of it the people received the law, what further need [is there] for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek and not said to be according to the order of Aaron?
12 For [when] the priesthood changes, of necessity there is a change of the law also.
13 For the one about whom these [things] are spoken belongs to another tribe from which no one has officiated at the altar.
14 For [it is] evident that our Lord is a descendant of Judah, a tribe [with reference] to which Moses said nothing concerning priests.
15 And it is still more clear, if another priest according to the likeness of Melchizedek arises,
16 who has become [a priest] not according to a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life.
17 For it is testified, "You [are] a priest {forever} according to the order of Melchizedek."
18 For on the one hand a preceding commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness
19 (for the law [made] nothing perfect), but on the other hand [there is] the introduction of a better hope through which we draw near to God.
20 And by as much as [this was] not without an oath (for these on the one hand {have become priests} without an oath,
21 but he with an oath by the one who said to him, "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, 'You [are] a priest {forever}'"),
22 by so much more Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 And indeed many {have become} priests, because they were prevented by death from continuing [in office],
24 but he, because he continues {forever}, holds the priesthood permanently.
25 Therefore also he is able to save completely those who draw near to God through him, [because he] always lives in order to intercede on their behalf.
26 For a high priest such as this indeed is fitting for us, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, and having become exalted [above] the heavens,
27 who does not {need every day} like the former high priests to offer up sacrifices for his own sins [and] then for the [sins] of the people, because he did this once for all [when he] offered up himself.
28 For the law appoints men [as] high priests who have weakness, but the statement of the oath, after the law, [appoints] a Son, who is made perfect {forever}.