Friday, 16 November 2018
Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Hebrews 7:7
The author here states a simple truth of both the Bible and of life in general. First, he says, “Now beyond all contradiction.” The meaning of the words is that there is absolutely no dispute in the matter which he will present. It is an understood and unquestioned principle recognized by all and at all times. From there, the author completes his thought with, “the lesser is blessed by the better.”
The position or person who is greater (better) bestows a blessing on the lesser. This isn’t the same meaning as when we say “Bless the Lord.” Rather, that is a form of praise from the lesser to the greater. Instead, the author is speaking of a blessing in the sense of something that can be bestowed upon another person.
Think of a graduate from college where the certificate is bestowed by the dean or some other important official. When handed to the graduate, a form of blessing might be given such as, “May the Lord bless the days of your working life abundantly.” If someone is named “Employee of the year” this blessing is granted by someone higher in the company’s ranks, etc. Or, one might think of the blessing of a father upon his children. The father is considered as the superior in that relationship.
Finally, and most directly to the matter at hand, there is the blessing of Aaron (and his line) upon the people of Israel. This was directed by the Lord, and it was – beyond all contradiction – that Aaron was considered the superior of all of Israel in this regard. That is recorded in Numbers 6 –
“‘“And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them:
24 “The Lord bless you and keep you;
25 The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
26 The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”’
27 “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”’”
As a note of clarification though, this is not speaking of moral superiority or some other related aspect. This is speaking of a position of rank, office, or authority. In the case of Abraham, he would be in a position lower than the “king of Salem” and “priest of the Most High God” in this regard. A difference between Melchizedek and Aaron is seen here. The Lord instructed through the law that Aaron was to bless the people. However, Melchizedek possessed this right apart from the law. Again, as with the receiving of the tithes, we have a confirmation of the greatness of Melchizedek, and the superiority of His office over that of Aaron.
Interestingly, in the account of Isaac meeting Pharaoh in Egypt, it twice says that Isaac blessed Pharaoh. The same word is used in both occasions and can also be interpreted to “greet,” but it appears the author of Genesis was indicating the greatness of Isaac over Pharaoh.
Likewise, Melchizedek is the one who blessed Abraham, not the other way around. In other words, the “lesser” person is Abraham. He, the man who had received the promise from God, was considered lesser than Melchizedek! For those who have been instructed in the greatness of Abraham, including his name being mentioned again and again in Scripture – such as in the genealogies of Jesus – this seems rather incredible. But the author states this is the case in order to draw the obvious and amazing parallel of Melchizedek to the Person of Jesus.
The greatness of Melchizedek in redemptive history, then, is one of extraordinary importance. There is still a large amount of information that the author of Hebrews is going to draw out of this one short meeting between these two great men – a meeting which consists of only three short verses in the Bible. The author of Hebrews, under divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is providing us with eternal truths about the nature of Jesus’ ministry which are simply astonishing!
Life application: If the author of Hebrews has drawn out (and will continue to draw out) this much theological information from an encounter of only a few verses in the Old Testament, then how much information has God packed into larger passages recorded there? As you read the Bible, ask questions of the text, seeking answers from God who reveals according to His wisdom. Finally, to understand the blessing of Aaron upon the people of Israel, along with doctrine on the Trinity, please feel free to watch this video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JeYlnhNMg3I&t
Lord God, it simply can’t be more exciting than to peer into the recesses of our history and see the Light of Christ shining through. His superiority over all of history is glorious, and all we can do is praise the immense wisdom which You have displayed in the pages of Scripture as You have revealed Him to a race of beings in desperate need of His coming! Amen.