What does Hebrews 7:19 mean?
ESV: (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
NIV: (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
NASB: (for the Law made nothing perfect); on the other hand, there is the introduction of a better hope, through which we come near to God.
CSB: (for the law perfected nothing), but a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God.
NLT: For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
KJV: For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.
NKJV: for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Verse Commentary:
A major point made in the New Testament is that the law of Moses was never meant to be our final, ultimate means of salvation (Acts 13:39). Rather, the law was meant to teach us (Romans 2:18), and to convict us (James 2:9), and to point the way towards God's perfect promise, in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:19—4:7). This passage is meant to explain how the priesthood of Jesus—in the order of Melchizedek—is superior to that of the Old Testament Levitical priesthood. The overall context of the book of Hebrews is for persecuted Christians to hold fast to their faith in Christ, rather than falling back into an imperfect and incomplete Judaism (Hebrews 6:18).

The limitations of that former covenant will be explained in the next few verses. Primarily, the priests are commissioned by ancestry (Numbers 3:5–10), they have limited lifespans (Hebrews 7:23), and they themselves are sinful (Hebrews 7:27). This arrangement could never completely save mankind. Christ, on the other hand, is able to offer not only a perfect and complete sacrifice (Hebrews 9:12), but can serve eternally as our priest. In that way, Jesus can save "to the uttermost" where human efforts will always fall short (Hebrews 7:25).
Verse Context:
Hebrews 7:11–28 expands on prior arguments related to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Here, the author shows how the priesthood of Jesus is superior to that of the Old Testament Law. This uses the figure of Melchizedek as a model. Christ's priesthood is sinless, perfect, unending, and decreed as such by God. The Levitical priesthood was temporary, flawed, imperfect, and could not last forever. This better promise, in Christ, is tied into the confidence we have as believers.
Chapter Summary:
When Abraham met with Melchizedek in the Old Testament, he honored him with tithes. This shows that Abraham recognized Melchizedek's superiority. Since the Old Covenant was flawed—based on limited priests and limited sacrifices—it is inferior to the priesthood of Melchizedek, which is unending. Jesus Christ fulfills God's promise to establish a priest ''forever'' in a way which perfectly meets our needs.
Chapter Context:
Chapters 5 and 6 detoured from the main theme in order to present a warning about faithlessness and apostasy. Chapter 7 returns to the topic of Melchizedek, who represents a mysterious but important moment in Old Testament history. Here, the author will show how Melchizedek was superior to Abraham, and that Melchizedek's priesthood is superior to the priesthood of Aaron. This leads into the next chapters, which show how Jesus Christ perfectly fulfills our salvation in ways which the Old Covenant cannot.
Book Summary:
The book of Hebrews is meant to challenge, encourage, and empower Christian believers. According to this letter, Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets and all other claims to truth. Since God has given us Christ, we ought to listen to what He says and not move backwards. The consequences of ignoring God are dire. Hebrews is important for drawing on many portions of the Old Testament in making a case that Christ is the ultimate and perfect expression of God's plan for mankind. This book presents some tough ideas about the Christian faith, a fact the author makes specific note of.
Accessed 5/26/2024 5:15:02 PM
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