HEBREWS 7:12: LEVITICAL PRIESTHOOD ABOLISHED, NOT MOST OF THE OTHER OT LAWS

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Hebrews 7:11,12,15-19,27,28: “If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood …….. 12 For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also ……… 15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest NOT ON THE BASIS OF A REGULATION AS TO HIS ANCESTRY but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared: ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.’ 18 THE FORMER REGULATION IS SET ASIDE because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God …….. 27 Unlike the other high priests he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day …….. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28 For the law appoints as high priests men in all their weakness; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” — Today’s New International Version

ANALYSIS: The subject here in verse 18 is the annulling of ONLY ONE specific law concerning the physical, Aaronic priesthood, NOT ALL of the Mosaic laws. Verse 19: “(for the law made nothing perfect).” Which law made nothing perfect? Verse 11 pinpoints the exact law that made nothing perfect: the Levitical priesthood law. Many reputable translations explain in a more understandable way the transition (and abolishment or annulling) of the old Mosaic, Aaronic priesthood to the new priesthood led by Jesus Christ. By reading the following 10 additional translations you can see that the emphasis is on ONLY a genealogical qualification or ONLY the law requiring an ancestral line of priests to serve that was nullified, not the entire law of Moses. Also, since when does one equal many? I thought one always equals one, not many dozens of laws. The above words “former regulation” contain no “s” in the word “regulation,” so it is far more likely only one specific law is being referred to here, not multiple laws.

Hebrews 7:16-18:

“who was appointed to be a priest, not on the basis of a regulation concerning his ancestry, but rather on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared about Him, ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.’ 18 Indeed, the cancellation of the former regulation has occurred because it was weak and ineffective.” — International Standard Version

“Who has been constituted a Priest, not on the basis of a bodily legal requirement [an externally imposed command concerning His physical ancestry], but on the basis of the power of an endless and indestructible Life. 17 For it is witnessed of Him, You are a Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. 18 So a previous physical regulation and command is cancelled because of its weakness and ineffectiveness and uselessness–” — The Amplified Bible

“who doesn’t become a [priest] based on a legal command concerning physical descent but based on the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it has been testified: You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. 18 So the previous commandment is annulled because it was weak and unprofitable.” — Holman Christian Standard Bible

“who has become a priest, not on the basis of a legal requirement, concerning bodily descent, but by the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is witnessed of Him, ‘You are a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.’ 18 On the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness.” — Holy Bible, English Standard Version

“one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is attested of Him, ‘You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.’ 18 There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual.” — The New Revised Standard Version

“who has been made, not after the law of a fleshly mitzvah, but after the power of an endless life: 17 for it is testified, ‘You are a Kohen forever, According to the order of Malki-Tzedek.’ 18 For there is an annulling of a foregoing mitzvah because of its weakness and uselessness.” — Hebrew Names Version of World English Bible (Mitzvah refers not to all the Mosaic laws, but to only one of them.)

“He became a priest, not by meeting the old requirement of belonging to the tribe of Levi, but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed. 17 And the psalmist pointed this out when he said of Christ, ‘You are a priest forever in the line of Melchizedek.’ 18 Yes, the old requirement about the priesthood was set aside because it was weak and useless.” — The New Living Translation

“who becomes, not after the torah of a fleshly misvah, but after the dynamis of an endless life. 17 For he witnesses, You are a priest to the eons after the order of Malki-Sedeq. 18 For indeed there becomes a putting away of the preceding misvah because of its frailty and unbeneficialness thereof.” (A misvah is about the same as a mitzvah.) — exeGeses Companion Bible

“16 for he is appointed not for possessing any legal physical qualifications, but by virtue of a life that cannot end.” — Goodspeed New Testament

“16 who is appointed not on the basis of a physical qualification but on the basis of a power flowing from a life that cannot end …….. 18 …….. the rescinding of a previous regulation takes place …….”— Williams New Testament

Again, what was annulled in verse 18 was the continuance of the Aaronic priesthood, not Old Testament laws as a whole. Old Testament laws certainly cannot be described as useless, weak, ineffective, unprofitable, or frail. Those laws literally save lives, preserve health, allow prosperity, and show reverence and obedience to our Creator. Many New Testament verses describe the “law,” which includes the Mosaic laws, as good, profitable, holy, just, and worthy of being upheld and established. The law referred to in verse 19 that made nothing perfect only refers to the law requiring the Levitical priesthood to teach righteousness, described specifically in verse 11 as a failure in perfection. Verse 28 further identifies what is weak: the Levitical high priests. The better hope brought in or introduced by Jesus involves the addition (not the abolition of anything except the Levitical priesthood law) of the gift of the Holy Spirit (not available in the Old Covenant), the gift of eventual immortality (also not available in the Old Covenant), and the gift of complete forgiveness of sin through the sacrifice of Jesus. Also, if the above Hebrew verses mean that all Old Testament laws have been done away with, we can now break laws of basic decency that even most pagan societies do not break, laws not specifically listed in the New Testament, such as the laws forbidding bestiality, bribery, membership in vandalizing mobs, removing property landmarks, convicting a son of a crime his father committed, eating parasite infested mice and rats, eating boiled poison dart frogs which can still kill you a year later, and incest which of course is a ridiculous supposition.

Please also read the lower half of http://www.ucg.org/booklet/new-covenant-does-it-abolish-gods-law/high-priest-essential-salvation/. For further insight go to  http://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible/covenants/the-new-covenant/.        

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