Hebrews 7:13-14 Commentary

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The Epistle
to the Hebrews

Hebrews 1-10:18
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Superior Person
of Christ
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Superior Priest
in Christ
Hebrews 4:14-10:18
Superior Life
In Christ
Hebrews 10:19-13:25
Hebrews 1:1-4:13
Heb 4:14-7:28
Heb 8:1-13
Heb 9:1-10:18



ca. 64-68AD

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Hebrews 7:13 For the one concerning whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no one has officiated at the altar. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: eph' on gar legetai (3SPPI) tauta phules heteras metescheken, (3SRAI) aph' es oudeis prosescheken (3SRAI) to thusiasterio;

Amplified: For the One of Whom these things are said belonged [not to the priestly line but] to another tribe, no member of which has officiated at the altar. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

NLT: For the one we are talking about belongs to a different tribe, whose members do not serve at the altar. (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: For He concerning whom these things are spoken, pertained to a different kind of a tribe from which no one gave attendance at the altar.

Young's Literal: for he of whom these things are said in another tribe hath had part, of whom no one gave attendance at the altar,

FOR THE ONE CONCERNING WHOM THESE THINGS ARE SPOKEN BELONGS TO ANOTHER TRIBE FROM WHICH NO ONE HAS OFFICIATED AT THE ALTAR: eph on gar legetai (3SPPI) tauta phules heteras tauta phules heteras metescheken (3SRAI) aph es oudeis prosescheken (3SRAI) to thusiasterio:

  • Numbers 16:40; 17:5; 2 Chronicles 26:16-21

For (gar) see importance of pausing to ponder this term of explanation.

Belongs (3348)(metecho from metá = with, denoting association + écho = have) (8x -1Co 9:10, 9:12 10:17, 10:21, 10:30 Heb 2:14, 5:13, 7:13) has to do with taking hold of something that is not naturally one's own kind. So in Heb 2:14 we not that humans by nature are flesh and blood but Christ was not. Yet He willingly took hold of something which did not naturally belong to Him. He added to Himself our nature in order that He might die in our place, and that we might take hold of the divine nature that did not belong to us (cf. 2 Pe 1:4) Metecho means to share in the possession of something, to partake of or to consume food, whether solid or liquid eat, to eat food, to drink (1Co10:30; Heb 5:13), to be included in the membership of a group belong to (Heb 7:13)

Wuest - Since the Mosaic law required that the priests should come from the tribe of Levi, a new priesthood, not of the order of Aaron, must set aside that law. The Messiah comes from another tribe, and not merely from another tribe, but from a tribe which was not specially set apart for priestly service, a tribe of a different nature in that respect from the tribe of Levi. This is made clear by the use of heteros rather than allos (Excursus - Jesus used this word not heteros to describe the Spirit Who was "another" but of the same "kind" as Jesus - Jn 14:16 - Jesus would leave but His Spirit would come and indwell all believers and empower us for ministry in a way that was "better" than that of the earthly ministry of Jesus for He was only one place at one time whereas we are scattered throughout the world), the first referring to another of a different kind, the second to another of the same kind. (Hebrews Commentary online)

It was no small thing to state that a priest could come from any other tribe than Levi. King Uzziah pridefully and rebelliously played the fool and in a moment of vanity he attempted to usurp the Levitical role, but was confronted by the priests for it: (2Chr 26:18). And while Uzziah was raging at the priests, leprosy broke out on his forehead, and he remained a leper until his death! Sin costs! Sin has consequences! And we do not get to choose the consequences! Let us take heed to these OT examples of foolish rebellion lest we be struck with an outbreak of "leprosy" (whatever that might look like in our life!) Woe!

So the insistence that Jesus, from the tribe of Judah, was a priest was shocking to the Hebrew ear. Indeed, it was illegal (Josephus, Antiquities, 20.10.1). As the law prescribed that the priesthood should be of the order of Aaron, thus a new priesthood, not of that order, must set aside the law.

Spurgeon - According to the belief of the Jewish people, the Messiah was to come of the tribe of Judah, yet none of the house of David or of the tribe of Judah ever presumed to present themselves as priests of the order of God.

Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, a tribe with reference to which Moses spoke nothing concerning priests. (NASB: Lockman)

Greek: prodelon gar hoti ec Iouda anatetalken (3SRAI) o kurios hemon, eis en phulen peri hiereon ouden Mouses elalesen. (3SAAI)

Amplified: For it is obvious that our Lord sprang from the tribe of Judah, and Moses mentioned nothing about priests in connection with that tribe. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)

KJV: For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

NLT: What I mean is, our Lord came from the tribe of Judah, and Moses never mentioned Judah in connection with the priesthood. Christ Is like Melchizedek (NLT - Tyndale House)

Wuest: For it is known to all that out of Judah our Lord has sprung, with reference to which tribe concerning priesthood not even one thing did Moses say:

Young's Literal: for it is evident that out of Judah hath arisen our Lord, in regard to which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

FOR IT IS EVIDENT THAT OUR LORD WAS DESCENDED FROM JUDAH A TRIBE WITH REFERENCE TO WHICH MOSES SPOKE NOTHING CONCERNING PRIESTS: prodelon gar hoti ex iouda anatetalken (3SRAI) o kurios hemon eis en phulen ouden peri hierosunes moses elalesen (3SAAI):

  • Luke 1:43; John 20:13,28; Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 3:8
  • Genesis 46:12; 49:10; Ruth 4:18-22; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:3-16; Luke 2:23-33; 3:33; Romans 1:3; 2:3; Revelation 5:5; 22:16

For (gar) see importance of pausing to ponder this term of explanation.

It is evident - It is obvious, known to all. We can easily determine the lineage of Jesus. Keep in mind that this letter was written before the destruction of the Temple at which time all the ancestry records were destroyed. So today if one claimed to be Messiah, there would be no ancestral record to trace. When the true Messiah returns, His return is sufficient authentication to His claim as the true Messiah!

Wuest - The facts concerning the birth and ancestry of Jesus of Nazareth were well known from the records in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. The fact of this origin would naturally militate against His claims as High Priest, among Jews who knew nothing in the history of their nation except the Aaronic order of priests. (Hebrews Commentary online)

Evident (4271)(prodelos from pró = before + delos = manifest) (1Ti 5:24-:25, Heb7:14) pertains to being easily seen and known by the public, very easily known, very clear, very obvious.

Lord (master, owner)(2962)(kurios) conveys the main sense that this one is supreme, sovereign and possesses absolute authority, absolute ownership and uncontested power.

Wuest comments on this use of kurios - The word “Lord” is the translation of kurios which is used in the Septuagint (Lxx) to translate the august title of God, Jehovah. In the Jewish setting (of the book of Hebrews)...the use of this name is significant. The writer predicates (affirms, asserts) deity to Jesus of Nazareth. He calls Him our (the Jewish) Jehovah, the One to Whom the Jews laid claim as their God. (Hebrews Commentary online)

Was descended (393)(anatello from aná = up + téllo = set out for a goal) is used seven times (Mt 4:16, 5:45 Mk 16:2 Lk 12:54 Heb 7:14 Jas 1:11, 2Pe1:19) means to cause to arise, spring up, be up and was used of the rising of a heavenly body, sun, star, of a cloud, of the springing up of plants. To descend from as the Lord Jesus rose up from the tribe of Judah.

More literally was descended reads “has arisen" or "sprung up," a phrases which are reminiscent of Messianic passages described below...

Mal 4:2 Mal 4:2 “But for you who fear My name the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall.

Nu 24:17 Num 24:17 “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come forth from Jacob, And a scepter shall rise from Israel, And shall crush through the forehead of Moab, And tear down all the sons of Sheth.

Lu 1:78 Because of the tender mercy of our God, With which the Sunrise from on high shall visit us,

(cf. Rev 2:28).

2Pe 1:19 2Pet 1:19 And [so] we have the prophetic word [made] more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts.

Isa 11:1 Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, And a branch from his roots will bear fruit.

Jer 23:5 “Behold, [the] days are coming,” declares the LORD, “When I shall raise up for David a righteous Branch; And He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land.

Jer 33:15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth

Zechariah 3:8 ‘Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you–indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.

Zechariah 6:12 “Then say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the LORD.

Rev 22:16 “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star.

Priests (2409)(hiereus from hieros = sacred, holy, consecrated to God, used as a noun to mean a sacred place or temple, cp Mark 11:11; cp English derivative "hierarchy" = leadership) is a sacred or consecrated person who serves deity. Priests in the NT refer primarily to the ceremonial officials of Jesus' day, that group of men who offered Temple sacrifices and carried out the other sacred rites associated with the Jewish Temple and Jewish people (cp Heb 8:4) . Most of the uses of hiereus refer to Jewish priests, but Acts 14:13 refers to a priest of the pagan cult of Zeus (patron little g god of the city of Lystra). Jesus is our Great High Priest, which describes His primary ministry in our behalf today (Heb 7:1, 3, 11, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, 23), one aspect of that ministry being His continual intercession for us (Heb 7:25, Ro 8:34). Hiereus describes the specific position and not necessarily a priest’s character (e.g., see Lk 10:31 where a priest was a "bad Samaritan" so to speak). In Revelation hiereus describes believers who will rule and reign as priests with Christ the Great Priest (Jesus - Heb 10:21 = See Christ as Priest, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10, Rev 20:6). Even though the hiereus described religious men, it did not signify necessarily that they were saved (cp Acts 6:7).

Spurgeon - Therefore our Lord did not receive the priesthood by descent, but, like Melchizedek, his ordination was direct from God.