1For this Mel‧chiz′e‧dek, king of Sa′lem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him2and to whom Abraham apportioned a tenth from all things, is first of all, by translation, “King of Righteousness,” and is then also king of Sa′lem, that is, “King of Peace.”3In being fatherless, motherless, without genealogy, having neither a beginning of days nor an end of life, but having been made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.
4BEHOLD, then, how great this man was to whom Abraham, the family head, gave a tenth out of the chief spoils.5True, the men from the sons of Le′vi who receive their priestly office have a commandment to collect tithes from the people according to the Law, that is, from their brothers, even if these have issued from the loins of Abraham;6but the man who did not trace his genealogy from them took tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.7Now without any dispute, the less is blessed by the greater.8And in the one case it is men who are dying that receive tithes, but in the other case it is someone of whom it is witnessed that he lives.9And, if I may use the expression, through Abraham even Le′vi who receives tithes has paid tithes,10for he was still in the loins of his forefather when Mel‧chiz′e‧dek met him.
11If, then, perfection were really through the Levitical priesthood, (for with it as a feature the people were given the Law,) what further need would there be for another priest to arise according to the manner of Mel‧chiz′e‧dek and not said to be according to the manner of Aaron?12For since the priesthood is being changed, there comes to be of necessity a change also of the law.13For the man respecting whom these things are said has been a member of another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.14For it is quite plain that our Lord has sprung up out of Judah, a tribe about which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
15And it is still more abundantly clear that with a similarity to Mel‧chiz′e‧dek there arises another priest,16who has become such, not according to the law of a commandment depending upon the flesh, but according to the power of an indestructible life,17for in witness it is said: “You are a priest forever according to the manner of Mel‧chiz′e‧dek.”
18Certainly, then, there occurs a setting aside of the preceding commandment on account of its weakness and ineffectiveness.19For the Law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in besides of a better hope did, through which we are drawing near to God.20Also, to the extent that it was not without a sworn oath,21(for there are indeed men that have become priests without a sworn oath, but there is one with an oath sworn by the One who said respecting him: “Jehovah has sworn (and he will feel no regret), ‘You are a priest forever,’”)22to that extent also Jesus has become the one given in pledge of a better covenant.23Furthermore, many had to become priests [in succession] because of being prevented by death from continuing as such,24but he because of continuing alive forever has his priesthood without any successors.25Consequently he is able also to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them.
26For such a high priest as this was suitable for us, loyal, guileless, undefiled, separated from the sinners, and become higher than the heavens.27He does not need daily, as those high priests do, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins and then for those of the people: (for this he did once for all time when he offered himself up;)28for the Law appoints men high priests having weakness, but the word of the sworn oath that came after the Law appoints a Son, who is perfected forever.