The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
7 1 For this Melchizedek, the king of Salem, a priest of the Most High God, who gave Abraham his blessing, meeting him when he came back after putting the kings to death, 2 And to whom Abraham gave a tenth part of everything which he had, being first named King of righteousness, and then in addition, King of Salem, that is to say, King of peace; 3 Being without father or mother, or family, having no birth or end to his life, being made like the Son of God, is a priest for ever. 4 Now see how great this man was, to whom our father Abraham gave a tenth part of what he had got in the fight. 5 And it is true that by the law, those of the sons of Levi who have the position of priests may take a tenth part of the people's goods; that is to say, they take it from their brothers though these are the sons of Abraham. 6 But this man, who was not of their family, took the tenth from Abraham, and gave a blessing to him to whom God had given his undertaking. 7 But there is no doubt that the less gets his blessing from the greater. 8 Now at the present time, men over whom death has power take the tenth; but then it was taken by one of whom it is witnessed that he is living. 9 And we may say that in Abraham, even Levi, who has a right to take the tenth part, gave it; 10 Because he was still in his father's body when Melchizedek came to him.
11 Now if it was possible for things to be made complete through the priests of the house of Levi (for the law was given to the people in connection with them), what need was there for another priest who was of the order of Melchizedek and not of the order of Aaron? 12 Because if the priests are changed, it is necessary to make a change in the law. 13 For he of whom these things are said comes of another tribe, of which no man has ever made offerings at the altar. 14 Because it is clear that our Lord comes out of Judah, and Moses said nothing about priests from that tribe. 15 And this is even more clear if a second priest has come up who is like Melchizedek, 16 That is to say, not made by a law based on the flesh, but by the power of a life without end: 17 For it has been witnessed of him, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. 18 So the law which went before is put on one side, because it was feeble and without profit. 19 (Because the law made nothing complete), and in its place there is a better hope, through which we come near to God. 20 And as this is not without the taking of an oath 21 (For those were made priests without an oath, but this one was made a priest with an oath by him who says of him, The Lord gave his oath, which he will not take back, that you are a priest for ever); 22 By so much is it a better agreement which we have through Jesus. 23 And it is true that there have been a great number of those priests, because death does not let them go on for ever; 24 But this priest, because his life goes on for ever, is unchanging. 25 So that he is fully able to be the saviour of all who come to God through him, because he is ever living to make prayer to God for them. 26 It was right for us to have such a high priest, one who is holy and without evil, doing no wrong, having no part with sinners, and made higher than the heavens: 27 Who has no need to make offerings for sins every day, like those high priests, first for himself, and then for the people; because he did this once and for ever when he made an offering of himself. 28 The law makes high priests of men who are feeble; but the word of the oath, which was made after the law, gives that position to a Son, in whom all good is for ever complete.
The Mediator of a New Covenant
8 1 Now of the things we are saying this is the chief point: We have such a high priest, who has taken his place at the right hand of God's high seat of glory in heaven, 2 As a servant of the holy things and of the true Tent, which was put up by God, not by man. 3 Now every high priest is given authority to take to God the things which are given and to make offerings; so that it is necessary for this man, like them, to have something for an offering. 4 If he had been on earth he would not have been a priest at all, because there are other priests who make the offerings ordered by the law; 5 Being servants of that which is a copy and an image of the things in heaven, as Moses, when he was about to make the Tent, had special orders from God: for, See, he said, that you make everything like the design which you saw in the mountain.
6 But now his position as priest is higher. because through him God has made a better agreement with man, based on the giving of better things. 7 For if that first agreement had been as good as possible, there would have been no place for a second. 8 For, protesting against them, he says, See, the days are coming when I will make a new agreement with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; 9 Not like the agreement which I made with their fathers when I took them by the hand, to be their guide out of the land of Egypt; for they did not keep the agreement with me, and I gave them up, says the Lord. 10 For this is the agreement which I will make with the people of Israel after those days: I will put my laws into their minds, writing them in their hearts: and I will be their God, and they will be my people: 11 And there will be no need for every man to be teaching his brother, or his neighbour, saying, This is the knowledge of the Lord: for they will all have knowledge of me, great and small. 12 And I will have mercy on their evil-doing, and I will not keep their sins in mind. 13 When he says, A new agreement, he has made the first agreement old. But anything which is getting old and past use will not be seen much longer.
9 1 Now the first agreement had its rules of worship, and a holy order. 2 For the first Tent was made ready, having in it the vessels for the lights and the table and the ordering of the bread; and this is named the holy place. 3 And inside the second veil was the place which is named the Holy of holies; 4 Having a vessel of gold in it for burning perfumes, and the ark of the agreement, which was covered with gold and which had in it a pot made of gold for the manna, and Aaron's rod which put out buds, and the stones with the writing of the agreement; 5 And over it were the winged ones of glory with their wings covering the mercy-seat; about which it is not possible now to say anything in detail. 6 Now while these things were in existence, the priests went into the first Tent at all times, for prayer and the making of offerings. 7 But only the high priest went into the second, once a year, not without making an offering of blood for himself and for the errors of the people:
8 The Holy Spirit witnessing by this that the way into the holy place had not at that time been made open, while the first Tent was still in being; 9 And this is an image of the present time; when the offerings which are given are not able to make the heart of the worshipper completely clean, 10 Because they are only rules of the flesh, of meats and drinks and washings, which have their place till the time comes when things will be put right. 11 But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things of the future, through this greater and better Tent, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this world, 12 And has gone once and for ever into the holy place, having got eternal salvation, not through the blood of goats and young oxen, but through his blood. 13 For if the blood of goats and oxen, and the dust from the burning of a young cow, being put on the unclean, make the flesh clean: 14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who, being without sin, made an offering of himself to God through the Holy Spirit, make your hearts clean from dead works to be servants of the living God?
15 And for this cause it is through him that a new agreement has come into being, so that after the errors under the first agreement had been taken away by his death, the word of God might have effect for those who were marked out for an eternal heritage. 16 Because where there is a testament, there has to be the death of the man who made it. 17 For a testament has effect after death; for what power has it while the man who made it is living? 18 So that even the first agreement was not made without blood. 19 For when Moses had given all the rules of the law to the people, he took the blood of goats and young oxen, with water and red wool and hyssop, and put it on the book itself and on all the people, 20 Saying, This blood is the sign of the agreement which God has made with you. 21 And the blood was put on the Tent and all the holy vessels in the same way. 22 And by the law almost all things are made clean with blood, and without blood there is no forgiveness.
Sin Put Away by Christ's Sacrifice
23 For this cause it was necessary to make the copies of the things in heaven clean with these offerings; but the things themselves are made clean with better offerings than these. 24 For Christ did not go into a holy place which had been made by men's hands as the copy of the true one; but he went into heaven itself, and now takes his place before the face of God for us. 25 And he did not have to make an offering of himself again and again, as the high priest goes into the holy place every year with blood which is not his; 26 For then he would have undergone a number of deaths from the time of the making of the world: but now he has come to us at the end of the old order, to put away sin by the offering of himself. 27 And because by God's law death comes to men once, and after that they are judged; 28 So Christ, having at his first coming taken on himself the sins of men, will be seen a second time, without sin, by those who are waiting for him, for their salvation.
10 1 For the law, being only a poor copy of the future good things, and not the true image of those things, is never able to make the people who come to the altar every year with the same offerings completely clean. 2 For if this had been possible, would there not have been an end of those offerings, because the worshippers would have been made completely clean and would have been no longer conscious of sins? 3 But year by year there is a memory of sins in those offerings. 4 Because it is not possible for the blood of oxen and goats to take away sins. 5 So that when he comes into the world, he says, You had no desire for offerings, but you made a body ready for me; 6 You had no joy in burned offerings or in offerings for sin.
7 Then I said, See, I have come to do your pleasure, O God (as it is said of me in the roll of the book). 8 After saying, You had no desire for offerings, for burned offerings or offerings for sin (which are made by the law) and you had no pleasure in them, 9 Then he said, See, I have come to do your pleasure. He took away the old order, so that he might put the new order in its place. 10 By that pleasure we have been made holy, by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for ever. 11 And every priest takes his place at the altar day by day, doing what is necessary, and making again and again the same offerings which are never able to take away sins. 12 But when Jesus had made one offering for sins for ever, he took his place at the right hand of God; 13 And has been waiting there from that time, till all who are against him are made a foot-rest for his feet. 14 Because by one offering he has made complete for ever those who are made holy. 15 And the Holy Spirit is a witness for us: for after he had said, 16 This is the agreement which I will make with them after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws in their hearts, writing them in their minds; he said, 17 And I will keep no more memory of their sins and of their evil-doings. 18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no more offering for sin.
Let Us Draw Near and Hold Fast
19 So then, my brothers, being able to go into the holy place without fear, because of the blood of Jesus, 20 By the new and living way which he made open for us through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having a great priest over the house of God, 22 Let us go in with true hearts, in certain faith, having our hearts made free from the sense of sin and our bodies washed with clean water: 23 Let us keep the witness of our hope strong and unshaking, for he is true who has given his word: 24 And let us be moving one another at all times to love and good works; 25 Not giving up our meetings, as is the way of some, but keeping one another strong in faith; and all the more because you see the day coming near. 26 For if we do evil on purpose after we have had the knowledge of what is true, there is no more offering for sins, 27 But only a great fear of being judged, and of the fire of wrath which will be the destruction of the haters of God. 28 A man who has gone against the law of Moses is put to death without pity on the word of two or three witnesses: 29 But will not the man by whom the Son of God has been crushed under foot, and the blood of the agreement with which he was washed clean has been taken as an unholy thing, and who has had no respect for the Spirit of grace, be judged bad enough for a very much worse punishment? 30 For we have had experience of him who says, Punishment is mine, I will give reward. And again, The Lord will be judge of his people. 31 We may well go in fear of falling into the hands of the living God. 32 But give thought to the days after you had seen the light, when you went through a great war of troubles; 33 In part, in being attacked by angry words and cruel acts, before the eyes of everyone, and in part, in being united with those who were attacked in this way. 34 For you had pity on those who were in prison, and had joy in the loss of your property, in the knowledge that you still had a better property and one which you would keep for ever. 35 So do not give up your hope which will be greatly rewarded. 36 For, having done what was right in God's eyes, you have need of waiting before his word has effect for you. 37 In a very little time he who is coming will come; he will not be slow. 38 But the upright man will be living by his faith; and if he goes back, my soul will have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of those who go back to destruction; but of those who have faith even to the salvation of the soul.