1 Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him.
2 Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything to him. He was first of all, by translation of his name, »King of Righteousness,« and then he was also ruler of Salem, which means, »King of Peace.«
3 He was without father or mother or genealogy, and neither had beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he continues as a priest forever.
4 See how great he was! Abraham the patriarch gave him a tenth of the spoils.
5 The descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the Law to take tithes from the people. This is from their brothers, for these are descended from Abraham.
6 But this man does not have their genealogy. He received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises.
7 It is beyond dispute that the superior blesses the inferior.
8 In this instance mortal men receive tithes, in the other by the one of whom it is testified that he lives.
9 One might even say that Levi, the priest who takes the tenth from the people, gave his tenth through Abraham.
10 He was still in the loins of his ancestor not yet born when Melchizedek met him.
11 If perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the Law, what further need would there have been for another priest to arise after the order of Melchizedek, instead of one named after the order of Aaron?
12 The priesthood was changed, and therefore it is necessary to also change the Law.
13 The one about whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.
14 It is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests.
15 This is clear if another priest arises according to the likeness of Melchizedek,
16 He would 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 announced: »You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.«
18 The former commandment was set aside because it was weak and useless.
19 The Law could not make anything perfect. A better hope has been provided through which we can draw near to God.
20 It was not without an oath. Others were made priest without any oath.
21 He became a priest with an oath when God said to him: »Jehovah has sworn and he will feel no regret, you are a priest forever.« (Psalm 110:4)
22 Jesus became the guarantee of a better covenant.
23 There have been many priests. This is because they have been prevented from continuing by death.
24 He continues forever and therefore has his priesthood without change.
25 He is able to save completely those who approach God through him, because he is always alive to intercede for them.
26 Such a high priest as this was suitable for us. He is holy, harmless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and higher than the heavens.
27 He does not have a day-by-day need as the high priests do, first to offer up sacrifices for his own sins, then for those of the people. He sacrificed for sin once for all when he offered up himself.
28 The Law appoints men as high priests who have weakness. But the oath that came after the Law appointed the Son who is perfect forever.