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Hebrews 7:18

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For there is verily a disannulling - There is a total abrogation, προαγουσης εντολης, of the former law, relative to the Levitical priesthood. See Hebrews 7:19.

For the weakness - It had no energy; it communicated none; it had no Spirit to minister; it required perfect obedience, but furnished no assistance to those who were under it.

And unprofitableness - No man was benefited by the mere observance of its precepts: it pardoned no sin, changed no heart, reformed no life; it found men dead in trespasses and sins, and it consigned them to eternal death. It was therefore weak in itself, and unprofitable to men.

The Jews, who still cleave to it, are a proof that it is both weak and unprofitable; for there is not a more miserable, distressed, and profligate class of men on the face of the earth.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For there is verily a disannulling - A setting aside. The Law which existed before in regard to the priesthood becomes now abrogated in consequence of the change which has been made in the priesthood; see the note at Hebrews 7:12.

Of the commandment - Relating to the office of priest, or to the ceremonial rites in general. This does not refer to the moral law, as if that was abrogated, for:

(1)the reasoning of the apostle does not pertain to that, and,

(2)that law cannot be abrogated. It grows out of the nature of things, and must be perpetual and universal.

Going before - Going before the Christian dispensation and introducing it.

For the weakness and unprofitableness thereof - That is, it was not adapted to save man; it had not power to accomplish what was necessary to be done in human salvation. It answered the end for which it was designed - that of introducing a more perfect plan, and then vanished as a matter of course. It did not expiate guilt; it did not give peace to the conscience; it did not produce perfection Hebrews 7:11, and therefore it gave place to a better system.

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.
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