Hebrews 7:20 MEANING

Hebrews 7:20
(20) This and the next two verses constitute one sentence, the third verse answering to the first, and Hebrews 7:21 being parenthetical. Hitherto no reference has been made to the remarkable opening of Psalm 110:4, so often quoted: these three verses are occupied with the thought of the oath--or rather (for a very uncommon word is used, one that answers well to the importance of the thought) the "swearing of an oath." This is a further illustration of the words of Hebrews 7:15, "a different priest."

He was made priest.--Some supplement is needed to give clearness to the English sentence; but one of general meaning, such as "all this was done," will best answer the purpose.

Verses 20-22. - And inasmuch as not without an oath [properly, swearing of an oath, ὁρκωμοσίας] he was made priest: (for they indeed have been made priests without an oath; but he with an oath by him that saith unto him, Thou art a Priest for ever); by so much of a better covenant hath Jesus become surety. The significance of the Divine oath, in connection with the promise to Abraham, has been dwelt on above: the oath of Psalm 110. is here similarly referred to, as imitating a priesthood that rests on no mere temporary ordinance, but on the immutable Divine counsels. (Observe the first occurrence here of the word διαθήκη, introducing in the way of hint (as is usual in the Epistle) an idea to be afterwards expanded, as it is in Hebrews 8. and 9. The meaning of the word will be considered below.)

7:11-25 The priesthood and law by which perfection could not come, are done away; a Priest is risen, and a dispensation now set up, by which true believers may be made perfect. That there is such a change is plain. The law which made the Levitical priesthood, showed that the priests were frail, dying creatures, not able to save their own lives, much less could they save the souls of those who came to them. But the High Priest of our profession holds his office by the power of endless life in himself; not only to keep himself alive, but to give spiritual and eternal life to all who rely upon his sacrifice and intercession. The better covenant, of which Jesus was the Surety, is not here contrasted with the covenant of works, by which every transgressor is shut up under the curse. It is distinguished from the Sinai covenant with Israel, and the legal dispensation under which the church so long remained. The better covenant brought the church and every believer into clearer light, more perfect liberty, and more abundant privileges. In the order of Aaron there was a multitude of priests, of high priests one after another; but in the priesthood of Christ there is only one and the same. This is the believer's safety and happiness, that this everlasting High Priest is able to save to the uttermost, in all times, in all cases. Surely then it becomes us to desire a spirituality and holiness, as much beyond those of the Old Testament believers, as our advantages exceed theirs.And inasmuch as not without an oath,.... Our version supplies as follows,

he was made priest; which well agrees with what is said in the next verse; the Syriac version renders it, "and which he confirmed to us by an oath"; that is, the better hope, Christ and his priesthood, said to be brought in, and by which men draw nigh to God; this is established by the oath of God himself referring to Psalm 110:4 afterwards cited in proof of it.

Courtesy of Open Bible