1. The first section (1:1-4:13) emphasizes "the superiority of Christ as God's spokesman." 2. The second section (4:14-ch.10) emphasizes "the superiority of Christ as High Priest." 3. Ch.7 reveals additional information that shows how the Lord's priesthood is superior to the Jewish ["Levitical"] priesthood. a. Some very prominent names appear in ch.7, including Melchisedec, Abraham, Levi, Aaron, Judah, and Christ. b. To properly understand this chapter we need to know: 1) who these prominent Bible characters are 2) how they relate to each other.
A. He was a great and special man in God's sight. B. God made a special promise to him in Genesis 12:1-3.
A. Abraham had some dealings with him (Genesis 14:18-20). B. Melchisedec: 1. was "king of Salem" and "the priest of the most high God" (vs.18) 2. blessed Abraham (vs.19) 3. received tithes from Abraham (vs.20) 4. is mentioned numerous times in connection with the Lord's priesthood.
III. LEVI AND JUDAH
A. Jacob (Abraham's grandson) had 12 sons (Genesis 35:22b-26). B. The 12 tribes of Israel descended from Jacob's sons (Genesis 49:1-2, 28a). C. The priests of Israel [Aaron and his sons] came from the tribe of Levi (Numbers 18:1-7). D. The law made no provision for priests to come from the tribe of Judah. E. While the Levitical priesthood was in effect, a prophecy was made about someone who would be made a priest after the order of Melchisedec (Psalm 110:1-4).
A. Christ fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 110:4 (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20). B. The question in Hebrews 7:11 shows us why it was necessary for a priest to be appointed after the order of Melchisedec.