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And, first, I beg your attention to the brief narrative in the book of Genesis, and then to the further information to be derived from the other parts of Scripture.
“ And Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine : And he was the priest of the most High God. And he blessed him and said, Blessed be Abram of the most High God, Possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thine hand.-And he gave him tithes of all." Gen. xiv. 18-20.
“The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." * Psalm cx. 4.
,כדברחי מלכיצדל tem magis quam verba secutus est Apostolus
go mat zy, according to the mutters (viz. that are recorded) of Melchizedek. See this explained by St. Paul, Heb. vii. 1-3. The LXX, who render 627 by, by KATA TOE, according to the order, have preserved the sense, though not the exact idea." Parkhurst. Parkhurst's explanation is approved of by Bp. Horsley. See his note Con Ps. cx. 4. In Græco est, kata Tably secundum ordinem. Sed David, cujus men
, , quod eruditissimus Rabbinus Aben Esra recte explicat anyos porabo in morem Melchizedeci, vel quemadmodum Melchisedec. Neque aliud profectò verba Hebrææ sonant. Cunæus de Repub. Hebr. Lib. iii. cup. 3. Cuneus was a celebrated Dutch author, b. 1586, d. 1638. He was professor of civil law and politics at Leyden. Mr. Horne in his “ Introduction to the critical study and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures,” (vol. 2. Appendix, p. 36.) calls this work of Cunæus “a very learned work ; which, till lately, continued to be a text book whence the continental professors of Hebrew Antiquities lectured."
that we may
In transcribing St. Paul's reasoning on the text of the Psalm which I have quoted, in his epistle to the Hebrews, I go back to chap. iv. 14, in order that you may see the connexion in which his comment stands.
“Seeing then that we have a great high Priest, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace,
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."
Chap. V. “For every high Priest taken from among men, is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sin: who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way, for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. And no man taketh this honour to himself, but he that is called of God as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high Priest, but he that said unto him, THOU ART MY SON, THIS DAY HAVE I BEGOTTEN THEE. As he saith also in another place, THOU ART A PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. Who, in the days of his flesh, after he had offered up prayers aud supplications, with strong crying
and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered : and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him ; CALLED OF GOD AN HIGH PRIEST AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHI
Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God, and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskillful (marg. hath no experience) “in the word of righteousness : for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who, by reason of use, have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Chap. vi. 13“When God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he gware by Himself, saying, Surely, blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. And so, after he had' patiently endured, he obtained the promise. For men verily swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife. Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath ; that by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us : which hope we have as an anchor of the soul both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, MADE AN HIGH PRIEST FOR EVER AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."
Chap. vii. 1, &c. “ For this Melchizedek, King of Salem, Priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him: to whom also Abraham gave a tenth of all: first, being by interpretation king of righteousness, and, after that, also king of Salem, which is king of peace; without father, without mother, without descent,” (marg. without pedigree) having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God, abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this
was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And, verily, they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham; but he whose descent is not reckoned from
* Outos this (person). Man is not in the original.
them, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And, without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the greater. And here men that die receive tithes: but there he receiveth them of whom it is testified that he liveth. And, as I may so say, Levi also who received tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law) what further need was there that another priest should arise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken, pertainetb to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning the priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest, who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof. For the law made nothing