Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.
Read Chapter 7
George Leo Haydock
Consider how great this man (Melchisedech) was, and greater than our great patriarch, Abraham: 1. Because Abraham, of his own accord, paid tithes to this priest of all the chief things he had: which was to own himself inferior to him: as the rest of the Jewish people are inferior to the sons of Levi, the descendants of Aaron, who being raised to the dignity of the priesthood by the command of God, have a right to take tithes or tenths of the people; and so are honoured above the rest. 2. This Melchisedech blessed, or gave a benediction to our great father Abraham, to whom the promises of blessing all nations was made. Now he that gives a blessing to another, must be better or greater than he to whom the blessing is given; therefore Melchisedech was greater than Abraham. 3. To show another pre-eminence of the priesthood of Melchisedech (which was a figure of the eternal priesthood of Christ) above the priesthood of Aaron, the apostle takes notice that the sons of Levi, the priests of th...
Now consider (says he) how great this man is to whom even the Patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. Up to this point he has been applying the type: henceforward he boldly shows him [Melchisedec] to be more glorious than the Jewish realities. But if he who bears a type of Christ is so much better not merely than the priests, but even than the forefather himself of the priests, what should one say of the reality? You see how super-abundantly he shows the superiority.
Now consider (he says) how great this man is to whom even the Patriarch Abraham gave a tenth out of the choice portions. Spoils taken in battle are called choice portions. And it cannot be said that he gave them to him as having a part in the war, because (he said) he met him returning from the slaughter of the kings, for he had staid at home (he means), yet [Abraham] gave him the first-fruits of his labors. ...