1 Melchizedek was the king of Salem and a priest for God the Most High. Melchizedek met Abraham when Abraham was coming back after defeating the kings. That day Melchizedek blessed Abraham. 2 And Abraham gave Melchizedek one-tenth of everything he had. (The name Melchizedek, king of Salem, has two meanings. First, Melchizedek means “king of goodness.” Also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”) 3 No person knows who Melchizedek’s father or mother was or where he came from. And no person knows when he was born or when he died. Melchizedek is like the Son of God and he continues being a priest forever. 4 You can see that Melchizedek was very great. Abraham, our great father, gave Melchizedek one-tenth of everything that Abraham won in battle. 5 Now the law says that people in the family group of Levi who become priests must get one-tenth from the people. The priests collect it from their own people ˻(the Jews)˼, even though the priests and their people are both from the family of Abraham. 6 Melchizedek was not from the family group of Levi. But he got one-tenth from Abraham. And he blessed Abraham—the man who had God’s promises. 7 And all people know that the more important person blesses the less important person. 8 Those priests get one-tenth, but they are only men who live and then die. But Melchizedek, who got one-tenth ˻from Abraham˼, continues living, like the Scriptures say. 9 It is Levi who gets one-tenth ˻from the people˼. But we can say that when Abraham paid Melchizedek one-tenth, then Levi also paid it. 10 Levi was not yet born. But Levi was in the body of his ancestor Abraham when Melchizedek met Abraham. 11 People were given the law under the system of priests from the Levi family group. But people could not be made spiritually perfect through that system of priests. So there was a need for another priest to come. I mean a priest that is like Melchizedek, not Aaron. 12 And when a different kind of priest comes, then the law must be changed too. 13 We are saying these things about Christ. He belonged to a different family group. No person from that family group ever served ˻as a priest˼ at the altar. 14 It is clear that our Lord ˻(Christ)˼ came from the family group of Judah. And Moses said nothing about priests belonging to that family group. 15 And these things become even more clear. We see that another priest ˻(Jesus)˼ comes who is like Melchizedek. 16 He was made a priest not by any law or rules about his human family. He became a priest through the power of his life which continues forever. 17 ˻The Scriptures˼ say this about him: “You are a priest forever—the kind of priest Melchizedek was.” 18 The old rule ˻(law)˼ is now ended because it was weak and worthless. 19 The law ˻of Moses˼ could not make anything perfect. And now a better hope has been given to us. And with that hope we can come near to God. 20 Also, it is important that God made a vow ˻(promise)˼ when he made Jesus high priest. When those other men became priests, there was no vow. 21 But Christ became a priest with God’s vow. God said to him: “The Lord has made a vow ˻(promise)˼ and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever.’” 22 So this means that Jesus is the guarantee of a better agreement ˻from God to his people˼. 23 Also, when one of those other priests died, he could not continue being a priest. So there were many of those priests. 24 But Jesus lives forever. He will never stop serving as priest. 25 So Christ can save those people who come to God through him. Christ can do this forever, because he always lives, ready to help people when they come before God. 26 So Jesus is the kind of high priest that we need. He is holy. He has no sin in him. He is pure and not influenced by sinners. And he is raised above the heavens. 27 He is not like those other priests. Those other priests had to offer ˻(give)˼ sacrifices every day. They had to offer sacrifices first for their own sins and then for the sins of the people. But Christ doesn’t need to do that. Christ offered only one sacrifice for all time. Christ offered himself. 28 The law chooses high priests who are people and have the same weaknesses as people. But God made a promise that came after the law. God spoke those words with a vow ˻(promise)˼, and those words made the Son of God to be the high priest. And that Son has been made perfect forever.