A GLARING contradiction in current translations lies in the
statement that Melchisedec "abideth a priest continually." One of the
grandest glories of the new Jerusalem is the absence of a temple (Rev.21:22). In the new
earth God Himself tabernacles with mankind (Rev.21:3). At the consummation God becomes All
in all (1 Cor.15:28). These great truths have been practically obliterated by the idea
that Christ, in His Melchisedec priesthood, abides continually. This is specially
bewildering in Hebrews, for there the Aaronic priesthood is shown to be imperfect because
it continues, without coming to a conclusion. The whole argument of the epistle is clouded
by the mistranslation of a single word.
The Greek word dieenekes occurs four times in the Scriptures, all in this
epistle, as follows (A.V.):
eis to dieenekes, INTO
|| abideth a priest continually
|| continually make the comers thereunto perfect
|| forever sat down on the right hand of God
|| he hath perfected forever them that are
It is freely acknowledged that the usage of words is the final
test of their significance. Yet when their literal force agrees with their usage, it is
always to be preferred. This Greek word is made up of two elements THRU and
CARRY. Literally it signifies to carry any action through to a finality. It
does not signify to keep at it continually forever and never get through, but the
The Scriptures are written with intense exactitude. For the last century it has been
popular to say that this word means that. Now we wish to insist that, in
each case, this means this, and nothing else. In this case we wish to affirm
that, if God intended to say continually in two of these passages, He would have
used diapantos THRU EVERY, which the A.V. itself translates continually in Hebrews
13:15. Since He has not used it, He did not mean it. He does not need the aid of
translators to edit His words. In this case it works havoc, for it gives the opposite
impression. Continuous repetition belongs to the imperfect Aaronic priesthood. Finality is
associated with the Melchisedec order, because Christ carries through what the
Levitical failed to do.
So also with the rendering "for ever." If God intended to say that the
seating of Christ (10:12) and the perfection of the saints (10:14) should endure for the
same length of time as His Melchisedec priesthood (Heb.5:6; 6:20; 7:17,21,24,28 for the
eon), which the translators have rendered "for ever," why did He not use the
phrase for the eon, in these passages? One would think that God was a mere amateur
in literary craft, and sadly in need of instruction in the precise meaning and use of
words. The fact that we honor God by allowing that He does know how to write, and has
used infinite exactitude, has been richly rewarded by removing all contradictions from the
The conclusive proof that this word really means to a finality, is found in its
contexts, as given in the C.V.
eis to dieenekes, INTO
|| is remaining a priest to a finality
|| are never finally able to perfect those
|| is seated to a finality at the right hand of
|| He has made those who are hallowed perfect to a
A great deal has been said about Melchisedec, which fails to see that his
record in the Scriptures pictures the Son of God. There is no question as to his
actually having a father and mother, or a beginning of days or consummation of life. God
alone had no beginning, and this man was only a picture of God's Son, hence he was
not that Son, as some suppose. The point is that he did not "continually"
minister as a priest, nor did he hand down the office to his descendants, as Aaron was
compelled to do. He carried through his work. So also will Christ carry through
His priesthood, to a finality.
In contrast to the Melchisedec priesthood are the offerings under the law, which are
"never finally able to perfect those approaching" (Heb.10:1). The A.V.,
by connecting eis to dieenekes (INTO THE THRU-CARRY) with the time
of offering under the law instead of the perfection of those who approached, gives a false
color to the meaning of the Greek phrase. It is not "which they offer year by
year continually," but "finally able to perfect." The offerings
were, indeed, continual, but the perfection was not final.
The same sort of error is apparent in the next passage. It is not that Christ
"offered one sacrifice for sins for ever." That is quite unthinkable. His
sacrifice was short in duration. How a translator can speak of it as being "for
ever" passes our comprehension. It is utterly opposed to the whole argument of
Hebrews. This should be punctuated so as to read "forever sat down." It
is in contrast to the previous verse "and every priest standeth daily...offering
oftentimes..." It is no contrast for Him to "sacrifice...forever."
There is a great difference, if He stops work altogether and is seated to a finality,
His work finally finished.
It is evident, therefore, that the continuance of the Aaronic priesthood was a badge of
its futility. Is the Melchisedec order likewise inefficient? Or does this priesthood
accomplish its object? How long is the duration of the Melchisedec reign of Christ? Six
passages bring before us the duration of the priesthood of our Lord, Jesus Christ. For the
A.V. it is always "for ever" or "for evermore." The CONCORDANT
|| Thou art a priest for the eon
According to the order of Melchisedec.
|| Chief Priest according to the order of Melchisedec for
|| because He is remaining for the eon, has an
|| For the law is constituting men chief priests who
yet the word sworn in the oath which is after the law, the Son,
perfected for the eon.
This phrase "for the eon" is in contrast to that at the end of
the epistle, where glory is ascribed to Jesus Christ "for the eons of the eons"
(Heb.13:21). He has many glories. Two of these are of special note. He is Priest and King.
A priest is appointed to represent the people before God, and is only needed in the
presence of sin, while mankind is at a distance from God. Priesthood vanishes in the new
creation, just as rule itself is abrogated at the consummation of the eons. If the
priesthood of Christ were like that under the law, in which the people were ever brought
nigh, but never near, then it would be lacking its chief excellence. That is, that it carries
through (dieenekes) its object, and makes priesthood needless, for all can then
approach the Deity.
As priests, the saints reign with Christ a thousand years. As kings, their rule is
associated with His for the whole day of God, which follows the day of Jehovah. So that
the Melchisedec priesthood of Christ is literally "for the eon," and yet His
reign as the Son of God goes on throughout the eon which follows. His priesthood is for
but one eon, His kingdom for two. And the greatest glory of each is that He accomplishes
the object for which they exist. He brings men so near to God that no priest is needed. He
rules so effectively and subordinates the race to God so completely that no further rule
is desirable. Then, and not till then, He hands over all to God, Himself being crowned
only with the amaranthine halo of humility.