posted by roshavotJuly 24, 2010

First Principles: Priestly instructions

the Order of the Melchisedec

Heb 5:6-9 As said in another passage, "You are a high priest forever after the Estate of Melchisedec" (Psa 110:4). During the days of his flesh (that is, prior to his resurrection) the Messiah of Israel offered prayers and appeals, with loud cries and tears, to the One who was able to save him from death (Act 2:29-35). He was heard, because of his fear of Elohim. Though a Son, the Messiah learned obedience through what he suffered. After being made perfect (after his resurrection, Luk 13:32-33), he became the source of eternal victory, prosperity, preservation, and safety to all who will hear Elohim (1Cor 15:22).

Heb 5:10-12 He was declared by Elohim a high priest in the Order of the Melchisedec (we have many things to say about the Melchisedecian High Priest, yet difficult to explain since ye are apathetic hearers). But when for the time you priests ought to be teaching (Lev 10:8,11; Eze 44:15, 23; Mal 2:4-7), ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the things of YHVH and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Fundamental duties of the High Priest

the priestly service during the Day of Atonement

Heb 6:1-2 Skipping over the basic things about the Messianic High Priest, let us reach toward more complex things, and not the fundamental duties of the high priesthood, illustrated by (in keeping with the theme of the Letter to the Hebrews, the author uses the priestly service during the Day of Atonement to typify the basic duties):

1. Repentance from dead works (Lev 16:21-28, "return to the camp". The Hebrew word for "repent" is shuv which means to return to the starting point. The Hebrew word for "work", maaseh, has also been translated in 2Chr 4:6 as a thing offered. Therefore we can render this phrase as, "returning from dead offerings").

2. Being faithful to YHVH (Lev 16:1-2; 10:1-2, "come not at all times").

3. Instructions about washings (Lev 16:24, "wash his flesh with water").

4. Laying on of hands (Lev 16:21, "putting them upon the head").

5. The resurrection of the dead (Lev 16:22, "let go").

6. Eternal judgment (Lev 16:27, "burn in the fire").

Heb 6:3 (And we will skip over the fundamental duties, if Elohim permits).

Futility of restoring the Aaronic High Priest

The high priests who were once washed

Heb 6:4-6a To restore the status quo of...

1. The high priests who were once washed (from the Aramaic and Ethiopic texts, cp. Heb 10:22. This corresponds to #3 above).

2. The high priests who tasted the heavenly gift (Heb 13:11-14, "returning safely to the Camp" is the definition of Salvation. This is #1 above).

3. The high priests who became partakers of the set apart spirit (The anointing, Lev 16:32. This is #4 above).

4. The high priests who tasted YHVH's good Word (The oracles from the Urim, Num 27:18-22; #2 above).

5. The high priests who tasted the powers of the coming age (anticipating a Resurrection; #5 above).

6. And having gone astray (Eze 44:9-15; 48:11-12) ...

Heb 6:6b ... it is impossible to cause the death of the Son of Elohim again (the High Priest, Num 35:28), making it (the high priesthood) a public disgrace.

Faith and Perseverance

thorns and thistles (an inference to the Aaronic high priesthood of that day)

Heb 6:7-8 Indeed, the ground (in this allegory, the "ground" represents the high priesthood) that has drunk the rain that has often fallen on it, and that produces vegetation useful to those it is cultivated for, receives a blessing from YHVH. But if the ground that has drunk the rain produces thorns and thistles (an inference to the Aaronic high priesthood of that day), the ground is worthless and about to be cursed, and will be burned in the end (i.e. the end of that Temple period).

Heb 6:9 Even though we are speaking this way, fellow priests, in your case we are confident of the better things connected with salvation (i.e. connected with the preservation of the Levitical priesthood, Eze 40:46).

Heb 6:10 For YHVH is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward the place where He put his Name (Deu 12:5), in that ye have performed and continue to perform your Temple service to the saints (Psa 148:14).

Heb 6:11-12 Now we want each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the final realization of your hope in a restored Melchisedecian high priesthood, that ye be not ambivalent, but imitators of those, like Abraham, who inherit promises through faith and perseverance.

Heb 6:13-14 For example, when YHVH made a promise to Abraham, since He had no one greater to swear by, He swore by Himself: “I will most certainly bless you, and I will greatly multiply you”.

Heb 6:15 And so, after waiting patiently through faith and perseverance, Abraham obtained the Promise (Isaac, Rom 9:7-9; Jos 24:3).

Heb 6:16-20 For men swear by something greater than themselves, and for them a confirming oath ends every dispute. Because YHVH wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the Heirs of the Promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, so that through two unchangeable things (His purpose and His oath), in which it is impossible for Elohim to lie, we who have fled for a City of Refuge (Num 35:25) might have strong encouragement to seize the Hope set before us (i.e. the death of the Aaronic high priesthood, Num 35:25b). We have this Hope (like a sure and firm anchor of the soul) Yeshua, who has entered within the veil on the priests’ behalf as a forerunner, because he has become a high priest forever in the Order of the Melchisedec.

A fun excercise

a fun excercise

Find more links between Hebrews Chapter Six and Numbers Chapter 35.

Here are three tiny hints:

1. The death of the High Priest

2. The defilement of the Land

3. The names (translated from Hebrew) for the Levitical Cities of Refuge found in Josh 20:7-8: Clean, Compliant, Join, a Place to Dig Gold, Lifted Up, and Exile.