Chapter 7:19. But the bringing in, etc. Theophylact, Luther, Capellus, and others have rendered this noun as in the same predicament with |disannulling| or abrogation in the former verse, --
18. |There is therefore an abrogation of the preceding commandment, on account of its weakness and uselessness, (for
19. the law perfected nothing,) and an introduction of a better hope, through which we draw nigh to God.|
This passage forms an inference or a conclusion from what has been said. The |commandment| abrogated was respecting the Levitical priesthood. Its |weakness| was, that it could not really atone for sin; and its uselessness, that it could not make men holy or confer life. The same thing is expressed in the words included in the parenthesis. But what has been said does not only prove that the Levitical priesthood is abolished, but also that there is brought in or introduced a better hope; which means that a better thing than the Levitical priesthood, which was an object of hope to the ancient saints, is introduced after that priesthood, and was expressly mentioned by David in the Psalms many years after the Levitical priesthood was established. This appears to be the genuine meaning of the passage.
Then the following verses come in very suitably, as the |introduction| is mentioned here, --
20. |And inasmuch as it was not without an oath, (for they
21. indeed were made priests without an oath, but he with an oath, made by him who said to him, The Lord hath sworn and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever, according
22. to the order of Melchisedec,') of a covenant so much the
23. better is Jesus the surety. They are also many who are made priests, because they are not suffered by death to continue; but he, because he abideth for ever, hath a priesthood that passeth not to another, (or more literally, hath an intransmissible priesthood.)|
What was not |without an oath| was |the introduction,| etc. There are here two additional things stated as proving the superiority of Christ's priesthood: the oath proved that he was the surety of a better covenant; and his priesthood, unlike that of Aaron, which passed from one to another, was intransmissible or unsuccessive, as the word means, and not |unchangeable,| as in our version.