7:4 But see how great he must be, if 1 Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe 2 of his plunder. 7:5 And those of the sons of Levi who receive the priestly office 3 have authorization according to the law to collect a tithe from the people, that is, from their fellow countrymen, 4 although they too are descendants of Abraham. 5 7:6 But Melchizedek 6 who does not share their ancestry 7 collected a tithe 8 from Abraham and blessed 9 the one who possessed the promise.
7:9 And it could be said that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid a tithe through Abraham. 7:10 For he was still in his ancestor Abraham’s loins 10 when Melchizedek met him.
7:11 So if perfection had in fact been possible through the Levitical priesthood – for on that basis 11 the people received the law – what further need would there have been for another priest to arise, said to be in the order of Melchizedek and not in Aaron’s order? 7:12 For when the priesthood changes, a change in the law must come 12 as well.
1 tn Grk “to whom.”
2 tn Or “a tenth part.”
3 tn Or “the priesthood.”
4 tn Grk “from their brothers.” See BDAG 18-19 s.v. ἀδελφός 2.b.
5 tn Grk “have come from the loins of Abraham.”
6 tn Grk “the one”; in the translation the referent (Melchizedek) has been specified for clarity.
7 tn Grk “is not descended from them.”
8 tn Or “a tenth part.”
9 sn The verbs “collected…and blessed” emphasize the continuing effect of the past actions, i.e., Melchizedek’s importance.
10 tn Grk “in the loins of his father” (a reference to Abraham). The name “Abraham” has been repeated in the translation at this point (cf. v. 9) in order to clarify the referent (i.e., what ancestor was in view).
sn The point of the phrase still in his ancestor’s loins is that Levi was as yet unborn, still in his ancestor Abraham’s body. Thus Levi participated in Abraham’s action when Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.
11 tn Grk “based on it.”
12 tn Grk “of necessity a change in the law comes to pass.”