Messianic Jews 7:1-10
Letter to the Messianic Jews
In my last post, we began a new mini-series on Yeshua’s Malki-Tzedek Cohenhood Surpasses the Levitical. We’re exploring Messianic Jews 7:1-10 on The Priority of the Malki-Tzedek Cohenhood. We covered the first three verses in the last post and will examine the final seven verses in this passage.
The Priority of the Malki-Tzedek Cohenhood
1 This Malki-Tzedek, king of Shalem, a cohen of God Ha‘Elyon, met Avraham on his way back from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; 2 also Avraham gave him a tenth of everything. Now first of all, by translation of his name, he is “king of righteousness”; and then he is also king of Shalem, which means “king of peace.” 3 There is no record of his father, mother, ancestry, birth or death; rather, like the Son of God, he continues as a cohen for all time. 4 Just think how great he was! Even the Patriarch Avraham gave him a tenth of the choicest spoils. 5 Now the descendants of Levi who became cohanim have a commandment in the Torah to take a tenth of the income of the people, that is, from their own brothers, despite the fact that they too are descended from Avraham. 6 But Malki-Tzedek, even though he was not descended from Levi, took a tenth from Avraham. Also, he blessed Avraham, the man who received God’s promises; 7 and it is beyond all dispute that the one who blesses has higher status than the one who receives the blessing. 8 Moreover, in the case of the cohanim, the tenth is received by men who die; while in the case of Malki-Tzedek, it is received by someone who is testified to be still alive. 9 One might go even further and say that Levi, who himself receives tenths, paid a tenth through Avraham; 10 inasmuch as he was still in his ancestor Avraham’s body when Malki-Tzedek met him.” ~ Hebrews 7:1-10 (CJB)
These last seven verses show five ways in which Malki-Tzedek is great. 
1. He took a tithe of the spoils of battle from Avraham, even though:
a. Avraham was the Patriarch, the father of all the Jews and thus the greatest of them;
b. Malki-Tzedek had no family connection with Avraham, whereas the Levitical priests receive tithes from their own brothers, from whom support is more naturally to be expected than from non-relatives; and
c. Malki-Tzedek was not explicitly entitled to collect tithes from anyone, whereas the Levitical cohanim have a commandment in the Torah to take a tenth of the income of the people. The comparison of the Levitical priests with Malki-Tzedek leads later to their similarity with Yeshua.
2. Malki-Tzedek blessed Avraham, which implies that Malki-Tzedek was greater than Avraham.
3. The Levitical priests receive tithes even though mortal, whereas Malki-Tzedek is testified to be still alive, that is, the text of the Tanakh does not tell us that he died.
4. An ordering of greatness is set forth as follows: Greatest, Malki-Tzedek, who received a tenth from Avraham; second greatest, Avraham, who paid it; third, Levi, who, even though he himself receives tenths, paid a tenth through Avraham, inasmuch as he was still in his ancestor Avraham’s body when Malki-Tzedek met him; fourth, Levi’s descendants, the cohanim, who are the ones who actually receive tenths, rather than Levi; and least, the people of Israel, who pay them.
5. The Jewish people were given the Torah in connection with the system of cohanim derived from L’vi. But this system was not the final one, nor was it possible through it to reach the goal of being eternally in God’s presence; this will be demonstrated in the next four chapters. This fact allows the possibility of and, more than that, shows the need for, another, different kind of cohen, to be compared with Malki-Tzedek, a cohen who by implication is greater than the greatest of the Levitical high priests, Aharon.
In my next post, we’ll continue in our mini-series on Yeshua’s Malki-Tzedek Cohenhood Surpasses the Levitical Part ~ Part 2. We’ll explore Messianic Jews 7:11-19 on the Transitory Cohenhood of Aaron vs. the Eternal Cohenhood of Yeshua.
 Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern.