The Priestly Order of Melchizedek
7 1 For this Melchisedec, King of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from smiting the kings, and blessed him; 2 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; 3 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. 4 Now consider how great this [personage] was, to whom [even] the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth out of the spoils. 5 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: 6 but he who has no genealogy from them has tithed Abraham, and blessed him who had the promises. 7 But beyond all gainsaying, the inferior is blessed by the better. 8 And here dying men receive tithes; but there [one] of whom the witness is that he lives; 9 and, so to speak, through Abraham, Levi also, who received tithes, has been made to pay tithes. 10 For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchisedec met him.
11 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? 12 For, the priesthood being changed, there takes place of necessity a change of law also. 13 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. 14 For it is clear that our Lord has sprung out of Juda, as to which tribe Moses spake nothing as to priests. 15 And it is yet more abundantly evident, since a different priest arises according to the similitude of Melchisedec, 16 who has been constituted not according to law of fleshly commandment, but according to power of indissoluble life. 17 For it is borne witness, Thou art a priest for ever according to the order of Melchisedec. 18 For there is a setting aside of the commandment going before for its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 (for the law perfected nothing,) and the introduction of a better hope by which we draw nigh to God. 20 And by how much [it was] not without the swearing of an oath; 21 (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];) 22 by so much Jesus became surety of a better covenant. 23 And they have been many priests, on account of being hindered from continuing by death; 24 but he, because of his continuing for ever, has the priesthood unchangeable. 25 Whence also he is able to save completely those who approach by him to God, always living to intercede for them. 26 For such a high priest became us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and become higher than the heavens: 27 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. 28 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.
The Mediator of a New Covenant
8 1 Now a summary of the things of which we are speaking [is], We have such a one high priest who has sat down on [the] right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens; 2 minister of the holy places and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord has pitched, [and] not man. 3 For every high priest is constituted for the offering both of gifts and sacrifices; whence it is needful that this one also should have something which he may offer. 4 If then indeed he were upon earth, he would not even be a priest, there being those who offer the gifts according to the law, 5 (who serve the representation and shadow of heavenly things, according as Moses was oracularly told [when] about to make the tabernacle; for See, saith He, that thou make all things according to the pattern which has been shewn to thee in the mountain.)
6 But now he has got a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is mediator of a better covenant, which is established on the footing of better promises. 7 For if that first was faultless, place had not been sought for a second. 8 For finding fault, he says to them, Behold, days come, saith the Lord, and I will consummate a new covenant as regards the house of Israel, and as regards the house of Juda; 9 not according to the covenant which I made to their fathers in [the] day of my taking their hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in my covenant, and I did not regard them, saith [the] Lord. 10 Because this [is] the covenant that I will covenant to the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord: Giving my laws into their mind, I will write them also upon their hearts; and I will be to them for God, and they shall be to me for people. 11 And they shall not teach each his fellow-citizen, and each his brother, saying, Know the Lord; because all shall know me in themselves, from [the] little one [among them] unto [the] great among them. 12 Because I will be merciful to their unrighteousnesses, and their sins and their lawlessnesses I will never remember any more. 13 In that he says New, he has made the first old; but that which grows old and aged [is] near disappearing.
9 1 The first therefore also indeed had ordinances of service, and the sanctuary, a worldly one. 2 For a tabernacle was set up; the first, in which [were] both the candlestick and the table and the exposition of the loaves, which is called Holy; 3 but after the second veil a tabernacle which is called Holy of holies, 4 having a golden censer, and the ark of the covenant, covered round in every part with gold, in which [were] the golden pot that had the manna, and the rod of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tables of the covenant; 5 and above over it the cherubim of glory shadowing the mercy-seat; concerning which it is not now [the time] to speak in detail. 6 Now these things being thus ordered, into the first tabernacle the priests enter at all times, accomplishing the services; 7 but into the second, the high priest only, once a year, not without blood, which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people:
8 the Holy Spirit shewing this, that the way of the [holy of] holies has not yet been made manifest while as yet the first tabernacle has [its] standing; 9 the which [is] an image for the present time, according to which both gifts and sacrifices, unable to perfect as to conscience him that worshipped, are offered, 10 [consisting] only of meats and drinks and divers washings, ordinances of flesh, imposed until [the] time of setting things right. 11 But Christ being come high priest of the good things to come, by the better and more perfect tabernacle not made with hand, (that is, not of this creation,) 12 nor by blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, has entered in once for all into the [holy of] holies, having found an eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of goats and bulls, and a heifer's ashes sprinkling the defiled, sanctifies for the purity of the flesh, 14 how much rather shall the blood of the Christ, who by the eternal Spirit offered himself spotless to God, purify your conscience from dead works to worship [the] living God?
15 And for this reason he is mediator of a new covenant, so that, death having taken place for redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, the called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 (For where [there is] a testament, the death of the testator must needs come in. 17 For a testament [is] of force when men are dead, since it is in no way of force while the testator is alive.) 18 Whence neither the first was inaugurated without blood. 19 For every commandment having been spoken according to [the] law by Moses to all the people; having taken the blood of calves and goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, he sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, This [is] the blood of the covenant which God has enjoined to you. 21 And the tabernacle too and all the vessels of service he sprinkled in like manner with blood; 22 and almost all things are purified with blood according to the law, and without blood-shedding there is no remission.
Sin Put Away by Christ's Sacrifice
23 [It was] necessary then that the figurative representations of the things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with sacrifices better than these. 24 For the Christ is not entered into holy places made with hand, figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear before the face of God for us: 25 nor in order that he should offer himself often, as the high priest enters into the holy places every year with blood not his own; 26 since he had [then] been obliged often to suffer from the foundation of the world. But now once in the consummation of the ages he has been manifested for [the] putting away of sin by his sacrifice. 27 And forasmuch as it is the portion of men once to die, and after this judgment; 28 thus the Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear to those that look for him the second time without sin for salvation.
10 1 For the law, having a shadow of the coming good things, not the image itself of the things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually yearly, perfect those who approach. 2 Since, would they not indeed have ceased being offered, on account of the worshippers once purged having no longer any conscience of sins? 3 But in these [there is] a calling to mind of sins yearly. 4 For blood of bulls and goats [is] incapable of taking away sins. 5 Wherefore coming into the world he says, Sacrifice and offering thou willedst not; but thou hast prepared me a body. 6 Thou tookest no pleasure in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin.
7 Then I said, Lo, I come (in [the] roll of the book it is written of me) to do, O God, thy will. 8 Above, saying Sacrifices and offerings and burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou willedst not, neither tookest pleasure in (which are offered according to the law); 9 then he said, Lo, I come to do thy will. He takes away the first that he may establish the second; 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. 11 And every priest stands daily ministering, and offering often the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But he, having offered one sacrifice for sins, sat down in perpetuity at [the] right hand of God, 13 waiting from henceforth until his enemies be set [for the] footstool of his feet. 14 For by one offering he has perfected in perpetuity the sanctified. 15 And the Holy Spirit also bears us witness [of it]; for after what was said: 16 This [is] the covenant which I will establish towards them after those days, saith [the] Lord: Giving my laws into their hearts, I will write them also in their understandings; 17 and their sins and their lawlessnesses I will never remember any more. 18 But where there [is] remission of these, [there is] no longer a sacrifice for sin.
Let Us Draw Near and Hold Fast
19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness for entering into the [holy of] holies by the blood of Jesus, 20 the new and living way which he has dedicated for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, 21 and [having] a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us approach with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, sprinkled as to our hearts from a wicked conscience, and washed as to our body with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of the hope unwavering, (for he [is] faithful who has promised;) 24 and let us consider one another for provoking to love and good works; 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the custom [is] with some; but encouraging [one another], and by so much the more as ye see the day drawing near. 26 For where we sin wilfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains any sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and heat of fire about to devour the adversaries. 28 Any one that has disregarded Moses' law dies without mercy on [the testimony of] two or three witnesses: 29 of how much worse punishment, think ye, shall he be judged worthy who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and esteemed the blood of the covenant, whereby he has been sanctified, common, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that said, To me [belongs] vengeance; I will recompense, saith the Lord: and again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 [It is] a fearful thing falling into [the] hands of [the] living God. 32 But call to mind the earlier days in which, having been enlightened, ye endured much conflict of sufferings; 33 on the one hand, when ye were made a spectacle both in reproaches and afflictions; and on the other, when ye became partakers with those who were passing through them. 34 For ye both sympathised with prisoners and accepted with joy the plunder of your goods, knowing that ye have for yourselves a better substance, and an abiding one. 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which has great recompense. 36 For ye have need of endurance in order that, having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise. 37 For yet a very little while he that comes will come, and will not delay. 38 But the just shall live by faith; and, if he draw back, my soul does not take pleasure in him. 39 But we are not drawers back to perdition, but of faith to saving [the] soul.