Understanding the Scriptures
Hebrews 6—Moving Forward
Paul reminded the Jews that they already knew the basic principles of the gospel and needed to move forward in their spiritual progression. He explained that God’s promise of eternal life to Abraham could be extended to them—as Abraham’s descendants—if they remained true and faithful to the end.
Hebrews 7—A Higher Priesthood
Paul taught the people more about Melchizedek and the difference between the Melchizedek Priesthood brought by Christ and the Aaronic Priesthood exercised by the Jews under the law of Moses. Because the Aaronic Priesthood is limited, a higher priesthood is necessary to obtain and administer the blessings of eternal life.
Hebrews 8—A New Covenant
Paul testified that Jesus Christ was the high priest of the “new covenant,” in fulfillment of a prophecy in Jeremiah 31:31–34.
Paul taught the Hebrews the significance of the temple and its ordinances under the law of Moses. He testified that all of the sacrifices offered were symbolic of Jesus Christ, whose sacrifice made all other sacrifices meaningful. Through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice we can obtain a remission of our sins and all, not just the high priest, may eventually enter into the presence of God.
Studying the Scriptures
Do the following activity as you study Hebrews 6–10.
Two Great Prophets
Read Hebrews 7:1–4, including the Joseph Smith Translation of verse 3, and write what you learn about Abraham and Melchizedek. The first part of verse 3 refers to the priesthood, not Melchizedek, and means that a person did not have to come from a specific tribe of Israel to receive this higher priesthood. The last part of the verse applies to all who receive the Melchizedek Priesthood. (See Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah: The First Coming of Christ , p. 451.)