Hebrews 7:17
For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) For he testifieth.—A slight change of reading makes the sense clearer: “For witness is borne to him”—as to this “power” of indissoluble life—in the words of the prophecy itself.

7:11-25 The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.For he testifieth - "That this is the true account of it is proved by the testimony of God himself, that he was to be a priest for ever;" see the note on Hebrews 5:6. 17. For—proving His life to be "endless" or indissoluble (Heb 7:16). The emphasis is on "for ever." The oldest manuscripts read, "He is testified of, that Thou art," &c. For he testifieth: this is proved by infallible testimony in Psalm 110:4, God the Father himself solemnly declared him to be so before the angels in heaven, and revealed it to men on earth by the prophet David.

Thou art a Priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec: that as Melchisedec had no end of days recorded, so this is repeated again to prove, that the Priest after his similitude, i.e. after his order, (the words being here synonymous), must continue for ever. Christ was not a temporary Priest by a carnal law, but was made a Priest for ever, with everlasting power endowed to save all his people: see Hebrews 7:24,25,28, and Matthew 1:21.

For he testifieth,.... That is, either David, the penman of the psalm, or rather the Holy Ghost, the enditer of it, or God in the Scripture, in Psalm 110:4 of this form of citing Scripture; see Gill on Hebrews 2:6.

thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec; see Hebrews 5:6.

For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Hebrews 7:17. Scripture proof for κατὰ δύναμιν ζωῆς ἀκαταλύτου, Hebrews 7:16. This Scripture proof the author finds in the εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα, Psalm 110:4, upon which words, therefore, the emphasis rests in Hebrews 7:17.

μαρτυρεῖται γάρ] for he (namely, the ἱερεὺς ἕτερος, Hebrews 7:15, i.e. Christ) has the testimony. μαρτυρεῖται is not to be taken impersonally: “it is witnessed” (Bleek, Bisping, Conybeare, al.).

ὅτι] recitative, as Hebrews 10:8, Hebrews 11:18.

Hebrews 7:17. That Jesus carries on His work perennially is proved by Scripture. “For it is witnessed Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek,” not merely as in Hebrews 7:11, κατὰ τ. τάξιν Μ., although this itself involves the perpetuity of the priesthood, but expressly and emphatically εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα. Hebrews 7:18-19 taking up the idea of Hebrews 7:16 affirm the negative and positive result of the superseding of the fleshly ordinance by the power of an indestructible life. On the one hand there is an ἀθέτησις προαγούσης ἐντολῆς, “a setting aside of a foregoing enactment,” that namely which is referred to in Hebrews 7:17, and on the other hand, there is “a further bringing in of a better hope”. ἐπεισαγωγὴ κρείττονος ἐλπίδος, the ἐπί in ἐπεισαγωγή balances προαγούσης, and indicates that the better hope was introduced over and above all that had already been done in the same behalf of bringing men to God. The μὲνδὲ indicate that the sentence must thus be construed, and not as rendered in A.V. The reason of this replacement of the old legal enactment is given in the clause, διὰ τὸ αὐτῆς ἀσθενὲς καὶ ἀνωφελές “on account of its weakness and uselessness”. This arrangement depending on the flesh was helpless to achieve the most spiritual of achievements, the union of man with God, the bringing together in true spiritual fellowship of sinful and earthly man with the holy God. So Paul found that arrangements of a mechanical and external nature were ἀσθενῆ καὶ πτωχὰ στοιχεῖα, Galatians 4:9. “The uselessness (unhelplessness) of the priesthood was proved by its inability to aid men in that ἐγγίζειν τῷ Θεῷ, which is their one want” (Vaughan). The ordinance regulating the priesthood failed to accomplish its object; and indeed this characterised the entire system of which it was a characteristic part. οὐδὲν γὰρ ἐτελείωσεν ὁ νόμος, “for nothing was brought to perfection by the law”. The law made beginnings, taught rudiments, gave initial impulses, hinted, foreshadowed, but brought nothing to perfection, did not in itself provide for man’s perfect entrance into God’s fellowship. Therefore there was introduced that which did achieve in perfect form this reconcilement with God, viz.: a better hope, which is therefore defined as διʼ ἧς ἐγγίζομεν τῷ Θεῷ, “by which we draw near to God”. The law said (Exodus 19:21) διαμάρτυραι τῷ λαῷ μήποτε ἐγγίσωσι πρὸς τὸν Θεόν. The “better” hope is that which springs from belief in the indestructible life of Christ and the assurance that that life is still active in the priestly function of intercession. It is the hope that is anchored within the veil fixed in Christ’s person and therefore bringing us into God’s presence and fellowship.

17. he testifieih] Rather, “he is testified of.”

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