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Chapter 7:11­17. This passage may be thus rendered, —

11. “Now if indeed perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (though the people had received a law respecting it,) what need was there still that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not to be named after the order

12. of Aaron? The priesthood then being changed, there is of

13. necessity a change also of the law; for he of whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from whom no one

14. attended at the altar. It is indeed evident that our Lord sprang from Judah, of which tribe Moses said nothing

15. respecting the priesthood. And this is still more manifest, since according to the likeness of Melchisedec rises another

16. priest; who is made, not according to the law of carnal

17. precept, but according to the power of perpetual life; for he testifies, ‘Thou art a priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedec.’”

“The law of carnal precept” is the rule that refers to the present life, life in the flesh, which is frail and uncertain; and contrasted with it is “perpetual life, which belongs to Christ as a priest, according to the quotation which follows. The meaning is, that Christ was not made a priest according to that law which regulates things belonging to dying men, (see verse 23,) but in accordance with what was suitable to one endued with permanent life or existence.

The argument of the whole passage seems to be as follows, — There is no perfection in the Levitical priesthood, for another priest has been appointed. This being the case, the law respecting the priesthood must necessarily be changed; and that it is changed is proved by two things, — by the fact that Christ did not spring from the tribe of Levi, and by the prophetic announcement that he was to be a priest according to the order of Melchisedec, and consequently a perpetual priest, and not like the sons of Aaron, who were priests in succession, being all subject to death.

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