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Hebrews 7:4-10

Context
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. 7:7 Now without dispute the inferior is blessed by the superior, 7:8 and in one case tithes are received by mortal men, while in the other by him who is affirmed to be alive. 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.

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.



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