¶ This Melchisedech king of Salem (which being priest of the most high God, met Abraham, as he returned again from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him: to whom also Abraham gave tithes of all things) first is by interpretation king of righteousness, after that he is king of Salem, that is to say king of peace, without father, without mother, without kin, and hath neither beginning of his time, neither yet end of his life: but is likened unto the son of God, and remaineth a priest for ever.
¶ Consider what a man this was, unto whom the patriarch Abraham gave tithes of the spoils. And verily those children of Levi, which receive the office of the priests, have a commandment to take according to the law, tithes of the people, that is to say, of their brethren, yea though they sprung out of the loins of Abraham. But he whose kindred is not counted among them, received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And no man denyeth but that which is less, receiveth blessing of that which is greater. And here men that die receive tithes. But there he receiveth tithes of whom it is witnessed, that he liveth. And to say the truth, Levi him self also which receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father Abraham, when Melchisedech met him. If now therefore perfection came by the priesthood of the levites (for under that priesthood the people received the law) what needed it furthermore that another priest should rise, after the order of Melchisedech, and not after the order of Aaron? Now no doubt, if the priesthood be translated, then of necessity must the law be translated also.
¶ For he of whom these things are spoken, pertaineth unto another tribe, of which, never man served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprung of the tribe of Iuda, of which tribe spake Moses nothing concerning priesthood.
¶ And it is yet a more evident thing, if after the similitude of Melchisedech there arise another priest, which is not made after the law of the carnal commandment: but after the power of the endless life. For he testifieth: Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedech. Then the commandment that went afore, is disannulled, because of his weakness and unprofitableness. For the law made no thing perfect: but was an introduction of a better hope, by which hope, we draw nye unto God.
¶ And for this cause it is a better hope, that it was not promised without an oath. Those priests were made without an oath: but this priest with an oath, by him that said unto him: The Lord sware, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedech: And for that cause was Iesus a stablisher of a better testament.
¶ And among them many were made priests, because they were not suffered to endure by the reason of death. But this man, because he endureth ever, hath an everlasting priesthood: Wherefore he is able also ever to save them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth, to make intercession for us.
¶ Such an high priest it becommeth us to have, which is wholy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher then heaven. Which needeth not daily (as yonder high priests) to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's sins. For that did he at once for all, when he offered up himself: For the law maketh men priests, which have infirmity: but the word of the oath that came since the law, maketh the son priest, which is perfect for evermore.
© Faith of God
William Tyndale 1526