Study of Hebrews
Many people have a misunderstanding about Hebrews 7:8. This verse is talking about the same person written about earlier in Hebrews 7:1-3 and that person is Melchizedek. Melchizedek is the person ‘declared to be living’ in this passage. It really doesn’t matter as far as a discussion about tithing however. In that same verse as well as verse 9 it states two critical phrases in the current tense – ‘…the tenth is collected…’ and ‘…Levi, who collects the tenth…’. The writer was doing the same as he did in earlier chapters and that was to explain what was happening at the then current time. The writer was merely stating what was happening then and not giving a command as far as what Christians need to do now. In fact the writer was attempting to get the Hebrews to stop trying to obey parts of the law that included tithing.
For the benefit of those Hebrews – and everyone else who is trying to keep parts of the law God gave to the Israelites – Hebrews 7:18 ends the discussion. No matter how you choose to interpret the ‘regulation’ or ‘commandment’ mentioned – it is either talking about tithing, the Levitical priesthood, or all the laws – either way the Bible teaches that it has been set aside. Tithing was part of the law and the law was given on the basis of the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:11). The whole chapter is explaining how very important the tithe was under the Law, but points out at the end that now we have a perfect high priest who fulfilled the Law. The Bible teaches that believers should not be trying to keep any of the laws God gave to the Israelites. We have been given a new and better covenant (Galatians 2:16, Romans 3:28, Hebrews 7:20-22, Hebrews 8:6-7, Hebrews 8:13).