Hebrews 7:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 7:1, NIV: This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,

Hebrews 7:1, ESV: For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

Hebrews 7:1, KJV: For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;

Hebrews 7:1, NASB: 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,

Hebrews 7:1, NLT: This Melchizedek was king of the city of Salem and also a priest of God Most High. When Abraham was returning home after winning a great battle against the kings, Melchizedek met him and blessed him.

Hebrews 7:1, CSB: For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham and blessed him as he returned from defeating the kings,

What does Hebrews 7:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The writer of Hebrews has just completed a warning about the danger of faithlessness. Returning to the main theme, this chapter begins a long, connected study of the figure of Melchizedek, whom the author had spoken of earlier. The explanation which starts here will run through the early verses of chapter 10, though it will cover several different topics along the way. The overall point is that Jesus Christ, as High Priest, is superior to the figures of Abraham, or the Old Testament priests.

Melchizedek is a figure who met with Abraham after his rescue of Lot, a story found in Genesis 14:14–24. In that encounter, Melchizedek gave Abraham a blessing along with bread and wine, and Abraham honored Melchizedek with a tithe. Interestingly, also at this meeting was the king of Sodom, with whom Abraham refused to trade. In the context of Abraham's story, this moment proved Abraham's willingness to honor God, and to reject wickedness, whatever the cost.

The writer of Hebrews will use this figure of Melchizedek to explain important aspects of the gospel. To begin with, the author seeks to prove that Melchizedek is "greater" than Abraham, since Abraham paid him a tithe. These verses will also point out that Melchizedek is given no genealogy in Scripture, setting up a useful analogy to both Jesus Christ and to His role as our High Priest.