For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from smiting the kings, and blessed him;
to whom Abraham gave also the tenth portion of all; first being interpreted King of righteousness, and then also King of Salem, which is King of peace;
without father, without mother, without genealogy; having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but assimilated to the Son of God, abides a priest continually.
Now consider how great this personage was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth out of the spoils.
And they indeed from among the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have commandment to take tithes from the people according to the law, that is from their brethren, though these are come out of the loins of Abraham:
but he who has no genealogy from them has tithed Abraham, and blessed him who had the promises.
But beyond all gainsaying, the inferior is blessed by the better.
And here dying men receive tithes; but there one of whom the witness is that he lives;
and, so to speak, through Abraham, Levi also, who received tithes, has been made to pay tithes.
For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him.
If indeed then perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for the people had their law given to them in connexion with it, what need was there still that a different priest should arise according to the order of Melchisedec, and not be named after the order of Aaron?
For, the priesthood being changed, there takes place of necessity a change of law also.
For he, of whom these things are said, belongs to a different tribe, of which no one has ever been attached to the service of the altar.
For it is clear that our Lord has sprung out of Juda, as to which tribe Moses spake nothing as to priests.
And it is yet more abundantly evident, since a different priest arises according to the similitude of Melchisedec,
who has been constituted not according to law of fleshly commandment, but according to power of indissoluble life.
For it is borne witness, Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedec.
For there is a setting aside of the commandment going before for its weakness and unprofitableness,
(for the law perfected nothing,) and the introduction of a better hope by which we draw nigh to God.
And by how much it was not without the swearing of an oath;
(for they are become priests without the swearing of an oath, but he with the swearing of an oath, by him who said, as to him, The Lord has sworn, and will not repent of it, Thou art priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedec;)
by so much Jesus became surety of a better covenant.
And they have been many priests, on account of being hindered from continuing by death;
but he, because of his continuing for ever, has the priesthood unchangeable.
Whence also he is able to save completely those who approach by him to God, always living to intercede for them.
For such a high priest became us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and become higher than the heavens:
who has not day by day need, as the high priests, first to offer up sacrifices for his own sins, then for those of the people; for this he did once for all in having offered up himself.
For the law constitutes men high priests, having infirmity; but the word of the swearing of the oath which is after the law, a Son perfected for ever.