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Hebrews 7:13

ESV For the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar.
NIV He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.
NASB For the one about whom these things are said belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar.
CSB For the one these things are spoken about belonged to a different tribe. No one from it has served at the altar.
NLT For the priest we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members have never served at the altar as priests.
KJV For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

What does Hebrews 7:13 mean?

Under the law of Moses, all priests were members of the tribe of Levi. This passage, however, has been speaking of the Old Testament figure of Melchizedek, who was not part of that line. In fact, he predates the tribe of Levi, and was given tithes and honors by Abraham himself (Genesis 14:14–24; Hebrews 7:4–7). In this way, Melchizedek is clearly a greater figure than Abraham, and his priesthood is clearly greater than that of Levi or Aaron.

The promises of God also separated the priesthood, through the tribe of Levi, from the throne, through the tribe of Judah. And yet, as earlier verses in Hebrews have shown, the Promised One is described as both a king and a priest. Melchizedek, then, serves as a foreshadowing of the ministry of Christ. He is greater than Abraham (John 8:53), predates the Law of Moses (John 8:58), and is without beginning or end (John 1:1–3). This not only means Christ can be the fulfillment of prophecy, He is the only one who can fulfill God's plan to perfectly—completely—provide for mankind's salvation. If the Levitical priesthood was able to accomplish this, God would never have promised, after Levi, to establish Melchizedek's order forever (Hebrews 7:11).
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