Hebrews Interactive Online Bible Study
Hebrews Seven & Eight
~ a walk through Hebrews ~
~ for the edification of the bride of Christ and centering on Him in these last days ~
Welcome to the online Hebrews Bible study. We welcome anyone who wishes to engage with us during these thirteen days and even go through and/or post after the study has ended. Want to learn more about this study, be sure to check out the Hebrews Bible Study Page here for more info.
Today’s commentaries come from brothers Matthew Horne, Jeremy Strang and Bill Wilson.
“Jesus my unwavering high priest, who at this very moment is interceding, thank you! I am coming as a selfish lust filled sinner to you who is able to save me to the uttermost. Forgive me and have mercy on me. Thank you for the sure hope I have in you, and a new life because of your sacrifice. Today I enter the unknown, and I pray you would be glorified in what I say, think, and do.”
Our Great High Priest
by brother Jeremy Strang – Oklahoma, USA
“This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure an steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Jesus has entered as a forerunner for us, having become a high Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”
Melchizedek, “priest of the Most High God,”(7:1) this “king of righteousness and of peace,”(7:2) having no mother, father or genealogy (7:3), received tithes, as it were, from the “father of the faith,” Abraham (Genesis 14:17-24). Before the priesthood was established, nor born for that matter, an offering was made to Melchizedek, a type of pre-incarnate Christ Jesus. Offerings of the yet to be Levitical priests was made by Abraham unto the future Great High Priest – King Jesus. Only God can orchestrate in such unimaginable ways.
Years later, the Psalmist penned Psalm 110.
110 The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at My right hand
Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”
2 The Lord will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying,
“Rule in the midst of Your enemies.”
3 Your people [a]will volunteer freely in the day of Your [b]power;
In [c]holy array, from the womb of the dawn,
[d]Your youth are to You as the dew.
4 The Lord has sworn and will not [e]change His mind,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He [f]will shatter kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He will judge among the nations,
He [g]will fill them with corpses,
He [h]will shatter the [i]chief men over a broad country.
7 He will drink from the brook by the wayside;
Therefore He will lift up His head.
- Psalm 110:3 Lit will be freewill offerings
- Psalm 110:3 Or army
- Psalm 110:3 Or the splendor of holiness
- Psalm 110:3 Or The dew of Your youth is Yours
- Psalm 110:4 Lit be sorry
- Psalm 110:5 Or has shattered
- Psalm 110:6 Or has filled
- Psalm 110:6 Or has shattered
- Psalm 110:6 Lit head over
The saying for this chapter, the book of Hebrews and the entire New Testament is fitting:
“In the old,
the new concealed;
in the new,
the old revealed.”
Oh that we would look to our King of peace. Not that we should look as one who passes by a window and merely looks in, but that we with confidence in Christ, would run boldly to the very throne of God itself – that our minds would be fixed and locked on to Him, with a singular and pure devotion (see 2 Corinthians 11:3), in deep fellowship, onto the King, Savior, Redeemer, Healer, Forgiver, our Lord. Oh to be given fully over to Him, His will and to His service – this should be the beat of our heart, the motivation to reach the masses, the breath we take in, the service unto our wives and our children. Oh to simply be obedient where He has called us and to not create works by which we may boast, but rather to walk in what He has laid before us and to boast only in that we know Him (Jeremiah 9:23-25).
Change of Priesthood, Change of Law
by brother Bill Wilson – Oklahoma, USA
As I write this commentary, it is Friday, and the sun has set. It is the Jewish Sabbath now, until sundown tomorrow. But not just Jews are “keeping the Sabbath”. A growing number of “believers in Yeshua” feel they (and other Christians) should do so as well. They say things like, “You’re a Christian, aren’t you? You believe in the Bible, don’t you? So then you believe the 10 Commandments, right? Well you know the fourth commandment says you shall keep the seventh day holy as a Sabbath to the Lord. Why aren’t you doing that?” Sadly, most Christians at this point don’t have a very convincing and true Biblical answer. Oh how they would be benefitted by understanding chapters 7 & 8 of the book of Hebrews.
The last word of the 6th chapter of Hebrews is “Melchizedek”. The writer now dives down deeper into the significance of this obscure and mysterious individual whom the Hebrew readers would have remembered from only two references in their Jewish Bible, what we call today the Old Testament. Hebrews interprets those passages as follows:
7 “1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham as he was returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils, was first of all, by the translation of his name, 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 made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.”
Who was this priest/king who had no father, mother, or family tree, and was “made like the Son of God”, and, having no beginning to or end of his life, remains a priest perpetually? Sounds to me like another pre-incarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus in the time of Abraham. In fact, in v. 8 below, the writer says that Melchizedek lives on, and that his priesthood is greater than the priesthood of the Levites who would be installed centuries later. The following (7:4-10) is the basis for the “main point” (see 8:1) of the book of Hebrews:
“4 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5 And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. 6 But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed the one who had the promises. 7 But without any dispute the lesser is blessed by the greater. 8 In this case mortal men receive tithes, but in that case one receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives on. 9 And, so to speak, through Abraham even Levi, who received tithes, paid tithes, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.”
Now if this one is so great, what are we to think of Melchizedek as mentioned in Psalm 110? The writer here continues to build his case:
“11 Now if perfection was through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the people received the Law), what further need was there for another priest to arise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be designated according to the order of Aaron? 12 For when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also. 13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord was (descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. 15 And this is clearer still, if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him, ‘You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.’”
Wow, are you seeing this through the eyes of a Jewish person who has become newly acquainted with Jesus? Coming out of your Torah observant background, is your world being rocked yet by this writer’s assertions in this paragraph? For the sake of clarity, let’s list some main points being made so far in chapter 7:
- Melchizedek’s priesthood continues on perpetually (and his life appears to have no beginning or end). [7:3]
- The Levitical priesthood (and the law establishing it) is inferior to that of Melchizedek. [7:4-10]
- The Levitical priesthood (and the law establishing it), being imperfect, necessitated the rise of another Priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek. [7:11]
- “when the priesthood is changed, of necessity there takes place a change of law also.” [7:12]
- The new priesthood comes from a different tribe (Judah) than the Levites appointed under the Law of Moses. [7:13-14]
- The new Priest is established, not on the basis of a law commanded by Moses, but “according to the power of an indestructible life.” [7:15-17]
Wow and double wow! Did you notice that part about a change of law? Brothers and sisters, you are not under the 613 commandments of the Law of Moses (including the 10 commandments). Don’t worry, though, for those of you looking for commandments to keep, there are over 1,050 commandments in the New Testament, variously called “the law of Christ”, “the law of liberty”, “the Royal law”, and my favorite, “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”, for we do not labor to keep a list of laws (the letter) but we trust the Spirit of God to lead us moment by moment and live the life of Jesus in us.
I’ll let the writer conclude this Part 1 with this summary statement from 7:18-22:
“ 18 For, on the one hand, there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the Law made nothing perfect), and on the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. 20 And inasmuch as it was not without an oath 21 (for they indeed became priests without an oath, but He with an oath through the One who said to Him, ‘The Lord has sworn And will not change His mind, “You are a priest forever”’); 22 so much the more also Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.”
Hebrews 7 & 8: Change of Priesthood, Change of Law
Yesterday, we saw that Jesus was appointed our High Priest forever, not on the basis of a law or commandment, but on the basis of “an indestructible life”. Praise God for the resurrection of Jesus that proved that His High Priesthood for us continues on forever, and cannot be invalidated by any sinfulness of an earthly high priesthood. So the writer makes two key points about Him before stating His main point of the book:
- He saves forever!
7: “ 23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing, 24 but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Emphasis mine)
- He cleanses forever!
26 For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. 28 For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever. (Emphasis mine)
On the basis of everything the author of Hebrews has presented so far about Jesus, the main point of the whole book is now given to us:
8: “ 1 Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2 a minister in the sanctuary and in the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, not man.” and “ 6 … now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises.”
Are you confused about the relationship of the “Old Testament” and the “New Testament”? Both are the Word of God, and both are extremely valuable for us as believers to understand today. But confusion (and division) will reign in the body of Christ, if we fail to recognize that God gives different commands at different times for different situations and for peoples. Under Jesus, we have been given a “better covenant” than that which was given to Moses. Why? Because, as our passage continues…
“ 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion sought for a second.”
God had a problem. He gave commandments to people, but He knew they wouldn’t be able to keep them. God’s solution: those commandments, as we learn in Romans and Galatians, would reveal our sin, and help us to see our need for a Savior, Jesus Christ His very own Son. At various places in the Old Testament, God even says to the people, “I hate your sacrifices!” God reveals to us that the big problem is not as much outward performance as it is an inner change of heart. Change the heart and you change the outward manifestation. So now this writer of Hebrews draws from that great prophecy in Jeremiah chapter 31:
“8 For finding fault with them, He says, ‘Behold, days are coming, says the Lord, When I will effect a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in My covenant, and I did not care for them, says the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and I will write themon their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.’” (Emphasis mine)
Proponents of the “Torah Observant” movement today try to mislead New Covenant believers by interpreting this passage to mean that the laws God would put on the hearts of New Covenant believers would be the laws of Moses that they should keep. Beware of this fast growing new sect that is increasingly dividing families, believers and churches. This passage makes clear that the New Covenant would be “not like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt. (v. 9) You can summarize the difference between the 613 Old Covenant commandments and the 1050+ New Covenant commandments fairly simply: the former primarily say “Do”, while the latter primarily say “Be”. It is the difference of doing certain things vs. being a different kind of person altogether.
So this chapter ends with a single verse that ought to be as memorized and familiar to every New Covenant believer as John 3:16, for it speaks to the whole foundation of how we actually live out our new life in Christ:
“ 13 When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear.”
The Old Covenant, the Law of Moses, God says is now obsolete. This book, written prior to AD 70 (the Temple sacrifices were still going on) evidences that a transition was taking place, the old passing away having been replaced by the new. It would take time for more and more Hebrews to embrace this fact, that the old is now obsolete. Therefore many of the warnings of the book of Hebrews are likely directed to the temptation of Jewish believers to go back to the Law of Moses and so “again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” (Hebrews 6:6)
Brothers and sisters, “hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end…”! (Heb. 3:14)