1 For Melchizedek, the king of Salem, a priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham on his return from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him ??2 who had a tenth part of everything assigned him by Abraham ??this Melchizedek is primarily a king of righteousness (that is the meaning of his name); then, besides that, king of Salem (which means, king of peace). 3 He has neither father nor mother nor genealogy, neither a beginning to his days nor an end of his life, but, resembling the Son of God, continues to be priest permanently.
4 Now mark the dignity of this man. The patriarch Abraham paid him a tenth of the spoils. 5 Those sons of Levi who receive the priestly office are indeed ordered by law to tithe the people (that is, their brothers), although the latter are descended from Abraham; 6 but he who had no Levitical genealogy actually tithed Abraham and blessed the possessor of the promises! 7 (And there is no question that it is the inferior who is blessed by the superior.) 8 Again, it is mortal men in the one case who receive tithes, while in the other it is one of whom the witness is that 'he lives.' 9 In fact, we might almost say that even Levi the receiver of tithes paid tithes through Abraham; 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
11 Further, if the Levitical priesthood had been the means of reaching perfection (for it was on the basis of that priesthood that the Law was enacted for the People), why was it still necessary for another sort of priest to emerge with the rank of Melchizedek, instead of simply with the rank of Aaron 12 (for when the priesthood is changed, a change of law necessarily follows)? 13 He who is thus described belongs to another tribe, no member of which ever devoted himself to the altar; 14 for it is evident that our Lord sprang from Judah, and Moses never mentioned priesthood in connexion with that tribe.
15 This becomes all the more plain when another priest emerges resembling Melchizedek, 16 one who has become a priest by the power of an indissoluble Life and not by the law of an external command; 17 for the witness to him is, Thou art priest for ever, with the rank of Melchizedek.
18 A previous command is set aside on account of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and there is introduced a better Hope, by means of which we can draw near to God.
20 A better Hope, because it was not promised apart from an oath. 21 Previous priests became priests apart from any oath, but he has an oath from Him who said to him, The Lord has sworn, and he will not change his mind, thou art a priest for ever.
22 And this makes Jesus surety for a superior covenant.
23 Also, while they became priests in large numbers, since death prevents them from continuing to serve, 24 he holds his priesthood without any successor, since he continues for ever. 25 Hence for all time he is able to save those who approach God through him, as he is always living to intercede on their behalf.
26 Such was the high priest for us, saintly, innocent, unstained, lifted high above the heavens, far from all contact with the sinful, 27 one who has no need, like yonder high priests, day by day to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for those of the People ??he did that once for all in offering up himself. 28 For the Law appoints human beings in their weakness to the priesthood; but the word of the Oath appoints a Son who is made perfect for ever.