Hebrews 7:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Hebrews 7:17, NIV: For it is declared: 'You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.'

Hebrews 7:17, ESV: For it is witnessed of him, “You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:17, KJV: For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews 7:17, NASB: For it is attested of Him, 'YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK.'

Hebrews 7:17, NLT: And the psalmist pointed this out when he prophesied, 'You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.'

Hebrews 7:17, CSB: For it has been testified:You are a priest foreveraccording to the order of Melchizedek.

What does Hebrews 7:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This quote is from Psalm 110:4, a key Old Testament reference in the book of Hebrews. The context is of God speaking to a kingly figure—one holding a scepter—who is also promised to be made a priest "forever," after the order of Melchizedek. In the nation of Israel, however, kings were of the tribe of Judah and priests were of the tribe of Levi. Melchizedek, however, predates both, and this is the priesthood God promises to establish forever. Earlier in the book of Hebrews, this same passage was used in reference to Jesus (Hebrews 5:5–6).

The context here in Hebrews is that Jesus is the bearer of a greater priesthood than that of Levi, or Aaron, or any other Old Testament priest. Their offices were inherited through human ancestry, and only given under the law of Moses (Numbers 3:5–10). Christ's priesthood, on the other hand, is grounded in His "indestructible"—or eternal—life. The following verses will expand on the reasons why the Old Testament priesthood was not God's ultimate plan for mankind's salvation.