Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Hebrews 7:21

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Those priests - The Levitical, were made without an oath, to show that the whole system was changeable, and might be abolished.

But this - The everlasting priesthood of Christ, with an oath, to show that the Gospel dispensation should never change, and never be abolished.

By him - God the Father, that said unto him - the promised Messiah, Psalm 110:4, The Lord sware, to show the immutability of his counsel, and will not repent - can never change his mind nor purpose, Thou art a priest for ever - as long as time shall run, and the generations of men be continued on earth. Till the necessity of the mediatorial kingdom be superseded by the fixed state of eternity, till this kingdom be delivered up unto the Father, and God shall be all in all, shall this priesthood of Christ endure.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For those priests were made without an oath - The Levitical priests were set apart and consecrated without their office being confirmed to them by an oath on the part of God. They received it by regular descent, and when they arrived at a suitable age they entered on it of course. Jesus received his office by special appointment, and it was secured to him by an oath. The word rendered “oath” is in the margin “swearing of an oath.” This is the proper meaning of the Greek word, but the sense is not materially varied.

But this with an oath - This priest, the Lord Jesus, became a priest in virtue of an oath.

The Lord sware - see the note at Hebrews 6:13. The reference here is to Psalm 110:4. “The Lord hath sworn.”

And will not repent - That is, “will not regret, or will not alter his mind through regret” - for this is the meaning of the Greek word.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
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.