Hebrews 7:24
But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
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(24) But this man.—Better, But He, because He remaineth for ever, hath His priesthood inviolable (or, unchangeable). The former ordinance related to a race, and the individuals were ever passing away; since His life is “indissoluble” (Hebrews 7:16), none can trespass on His right and invade His priesthood. The rendering of the margin, “that passeth not from one to another,” expresses nearly the same thought; but it is very doubtful whether the Greek will bear this meaning.

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.But this man - Greek "But he" - referring to Christ.

Because he continueth ever - Greek "Because he remains forever." The idea is because he does not die, but ever lives, he has an unchanging priesthood. There is no necessity that he should yield it to others, as was the case with the Jewish priests because they were mortal. The reason in their case, why it passed to others, was not that they did not perform the office well, but that they were mortal, and could not continue to hold it. But this reason could not operate in the case of the Lord Jesus, and therefore his priesthood would be permanent.

Hath an unchangeable priesthood - Margin, "or, "which passeth not from one to another." The margin expresses the sense of the passage. The idea is not strictly that it was "unchangable," but that "it did not pass over into other hands." The Levitical priesthood passed from one to another as successive generations came on the stage of action. This reasoning is not designed to prove that the priesthood of Christ will be literally "eternal" - for its necessity may cease when all the redeemed are in heaven - but that it is permanent, and does not pass from hand to hand,

24. he—emphatic; Greek, "Himself." So in Ps 110:4, "Thou art a priest"; singular, not priests, "many."

continueth—Greek, simple verb, not the compound as in Heb 7:23. "Remaineth," namely, in life.

unchangeable—Greek, "hath His priesthood unchangeable"; not passing from one to another, intransmissible. Therefore no earthly so-called apostolic succession of priests are His vicegerents. The Jewish priests had successors in office, because "they could not continue by reason of death." But this Man, because He liveth ever, hath no successor in office, not even Peter (1Pe 5:1).

But this man, because he continueth ever; this Priest, Jesus, Hebrews 7:22, is opposed to the Aaronical multitude; this excellent one, 1 Timothy 2:5, after his resurrection abideth immortal. He is eternal and permanent for person and office: see Hebrews 7:25 Romans 6:9. They are vanished, but he continues for ever, Revelation 1:17,18.

Hath an unchangeable priesthood; aparabaton, a priesthood that cannot pass from him to any other, as Aaron’s did to his successors: no person is to be a sharer in it, nor a successor to it: it is reciprocal with himself; his individual person terminateth it for ever; he hath no vicars nor successors of his priesthood, whatever the pope pretends to in it.

But this man, because he continueth ever,.... Though he died, death did not forbid him to continue, as it does other men; he was not forced to die, he died voluntarily; and he continued but for a small time under the power of death; besides, his death was a branch of his priestly office: so that he not only continued in his divine nature, which still had the human nature in union with it, but he continued in his office as a priest, and quickly rose from the dead; and the virtue of his sacrifice always remains, and he himself ever lives as an intercessor: wherefore he

hath an unchangeable priesthood; which will never be antiquated, and give place to another; nor does it, or ever will it pass from him to another, for it is needless, seeing he lives, and no other is sufficient for it; and it would be injustice to pass it to another; the glory of it is due to him; and this is matter of comfort to the saints, that he sits a priest upon his throne, and that his priesthood always continues.

But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an {i} unchangeable priesthood.

(i) Which cannot pass away.

Hebrews 7:24. The other, on the other hand, because (not “by the fact that,” de Wette, Bisping) He abides unto eternity, has His priesthood as an unchangeable one.

μένειν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα] must not be explained, with Estius, Seb. Schmidt, and others, of abiding for ever as priest. For in this way the declaration of Hebrews 7:24 becomes tautological. The expression denotes the everlasting duration of life (comp. John 12:34; John 21:22-23; 1 Corinthians 15:6; Php 1:25), is thus equivalent to the πάντοτε ζῆν, Hebrews 7:25.

ἀπαράβατος] a word belonging to later Greek (comp. Lobeck, ad Phryn. p. 313), save here, foreign to the N. T., as also to the LXX. Erasmus, Schlichting, Bengel, Schulz, Böhme, Stengel, Stuart, Ebrard, Hofmann, Conybeare, and the majority, take it in the active signification: not passing over to another, thus remaining with the same person, or unchanging. So, as it would seem, already Theodoret (οὗτος δὲ ἀθάνατος ὢν εἰς ἕτερον οὐ παραπέμπει τῆς ἱερωσύνης τὸ γέρας), Oecumenius (ἀδιάδοχον, ἀτελεύτητον), Theophylact (ἀδιάκοπον, ἀδιάδοχον). More correctly, however, because more consistently with the demonstrable usage of the language (see instances in Wetstein and Bleek), does Bleek, after the precedent of Elsner, insist upon the passive signification: “that which may not be overstepped, transgressed; therefore: inviolable, unalterable, immutable,” which then, it is true, includes likewise the notion of “unchanging.”

24. but this man] Rather, “but He

hath an unchangeable priesthood] Rather, “hath his priesthood unchangeable” (sempiternum, Vulg.) or perhaps “untransmissible;” “a priesthood that doth not pass to another,” as it is rendered in the margin of our Revised Version. The rendering “not to be transgressed against,” or “inviolate” (intransgressibile, Aug.), is not tenable here. This is the seventh particular of superiority. I think it quite needless to enter into tedious modern controversies as to the particular time of Christ’s ministry at which He assumed His priestly office, because I do not think that they so much as entered into the mind of the author. The one thought which was prominent in his mind was that of Christ passing as our Great High Priest with the offering of His finished sacrifice into the Heaven of Heavens. The minor details of Christ’s Priestly work are not defined, and those of Melchisedek are passed over in complete silence.

Hebrews 7:24. Μένειν, because that He continueth) in life and in the priesthood.—αὐτὸν) because He Himself continues: Σὺ, Thou art a Priest, in the singular.—ἀπαράβατον, not passing away) into the hands of successors.

Hebrews 7:24Hath an unchangeable priesthood (ἀπαράβατον ἔχει τὴν ἱερωσύνην)

Rend. hath his priesthood unchangeable. The A.V. misses the possessive force of the article, his priesthood, and the emphasis is on unchangeable ἀπαράβατος, N.T.o. olxx. This may be explained either as inviolable, or which does not pass over to another. Comp. Exodus 32:8; Sir. 23:18. Usage is in favor of the former meaning, but the other falls in better with the course of thought.

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