The Meaning of Hebrews 7:16 Explained

Hebrews 7:16

KJV: Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

YLT: who came not according to the law of a fleshly command, but according to the power of an endless life,

Darby: who has been constituted not according to law of fleshly commandment, but according to power of indissoluble life.

ASV: who hath been made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life:

What does Hebrews 7:16 Mean?

Study Notes

carnal
fleshy, i.e. addressed to the carnal or natural man. Cf. Hebrews 9:10 .

Context Summary

Hebrews 7:11-28 - Our Ever-Living And All-Sufficient Intercessor
If, as we saw in our last reading, the Levitical priests have been superseded, clearly the whole order of things-that is, the Mosaic covenant under which these priests were appointed-has been superseded also. The law of the carnal-that is, the outward ritual-has passed away in favor of a new dispensation which deals with the heart and character. It served a temporary purpose, but we are living in an eternal order which is steadfast and abiding.
Our Lord's priesthood is unchangeable and indissoluble. His blood and righteousness, His mediation for us, His loving understanding of us, will be a joy and comfort in the unending ages. We shall always be specially associated with Him-the brethren of the King, the sheep of the Divine Shepherd. Each priest of Aaron's line had to vacate his office; but our Lord's priesthood will never pass to another; and therefore to the uttermost lapse of time and to the farthest demand of circumstance, He will save and help all that come to Him. No infirmity weakens Him, no stain or sin unfits Him-above the heavens and from the throne He exercises His ministry. [source]

Chapter Summary: Hebrews 7

1  Christ Jesus is a priest after the order of Melchizedek;
11  and so far more excellent than the priests of Aaron's order

Greek Commentary for Hebrews 7:16

Carnal [σαρκινης]
“Fleshen” as in 1 Corinthians 3:1, not σαρκικης — sarkikēs (fleshlike, 1 Corinthians 3:3). The Levitical priests became so merely by birth. Of an endless life Late compound (alpha privative and verbal adjective from καταλυω — kataluō to dissolve, as in 2 Corinthians 4:1), indissoluble. Jesus as priest lives on forever. He is Life. [source]
The law of a carnal commandment [νόμον ἐντολῆς σαρκίνης]
The phrase N.T.o Νόμον thenorm or standard, as Romans 7:21, Romans 7:23. Εντολῆς, the specific precept of the Mosaic law regarding Levitical priests. Comp. Ephesians 2:15. Σαρκίνης fleshlyindicates that the conditions of the Levitical priesthood had reference to the body. Fitness for office was determined largely by physical considerations. The priest must be of proper descent, without bodily blemish, ceremonially pure. See Hebrews 9:1-5, Hebrews 9:10, and comp. Romans 8:3. Such a priesthood cannot be eternal. [source]
After the power of an endless life [κατὰ δύαναμιν ἀκαταλύτου]
Δύναμιν inherentvirtue. Rend. for endless, indissoluble. Comp. καταλύθῃ looseneddown, of a tent, 2 Corinthians 5:1; of the stones of the temple, Matthew 24:2. Jesus was high priest in virtue of the energy of indissoluble life which dwelt in him, unlike the priests who die, Hebrews 7:8. This truth the writer finds in the Psalm. [source]

Reverse Greek Commentary Search for Hebrews 7:16

1 Corinthians 3:1 But as unto carnal [αλλ ως σαρκινοις]
Latin carneus. “As men o‘flesh,” Braid Scots; “as worldlings,” Moffatt. This form in ινος — ̇inos like λιτινος — lithinos in 2 Corinthians 3:3 means the material of flesh, “not on tablets of stone, but on fleshen tablets on hearts.” So in Hebrews 7:16. But in Romans 7:14 Paul says, “I am fleshen It is not culpable to a babe in Christ It is one of the tragedies of the minister‘s life that he has to keep on speaking to the church members “as unto babes in Christ” (ως νηπιοις εν Χριστωι — hōs nēpiois en Christōi), who actually glory in their long babyhood whereas they ought to be teachers of the gospel instead of belonging to the cradle roll. Paul‘s goal was for all the babes to become adults (Colossians 1:28). [source]
Hebrews 9:14 Through the eternal spirit [διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου]
For the rend. an. Διὰ through= by virtue of. Not the Holy Spirit, who is never so designated, but Christ's own human spirit: the higher element of Christ's being in his human life, which was charged with the eternal principle of the divine life. Comp. Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 1 Peter 3:18; Hebrews 7:16. This is the key to the doctrine of Christ's sacrifice. The significance and value of his atonement lie in the personal quality and motive of Christ himself which are back of the sacrificial act. The offering was the offering of Christ's deepest self - his inmost personality. Therein consists the attraction of the cross, not to the shedding of blood, but to Christ himself. This is Christ's own declaration, John 12:32. “I will draw all men unto me.” Therein consists its potency for men: not in Christ's satisfaction of justice by suffering a legal penalty, but in that the cross is the supreme expression of a divine spirit of love, truth, mercy, brotherhood, faith, ministry, unselfishness, holiness, - a spirit which goes out to men with divine intensity of purpose and yearning to draw them into its own sphere, and to make them partakers of its own eternal quality. This was a fact before the foundation of the world, is a fact today, and will be a fact so long as any life remains unreconciled to God. Atonement is eternal in virtue of the eternal spirit of Christ through which he offered himself to God. [source]
Hebrews 7:18 There is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before [ἀθέτησις μὲν γὰρ γίνεται προαγούσης ἐντολῆς]
Verily is superfluous. Ἀθέτησις only here and Hebrews 9:26; a very few times in lxx: The fundamental idea is the doing away of something established ( θετόν ). The verb ἀθετεῖν tomake void, do away with, is common in N.T. and in lxx, where it represents fifteen different Hebrew words, meaning to deal falsely, to make merchandise of, to abhor, to transgress, to rebel, to break an oath, etc. The noun, in a technical, legal sense, is found in a number of papyri from 98 to 271 a.d., meaning the making void of a document. It appears in the formula εἰς ἀθίτησιν καὶ ἀκύρωσιν forannulling and canceling. Προαγούσης ἐντολῆς rend. of a foregoing commandment. The expression is indefinite, applying to any commandment which might be superseded, although the commandment in Hebrews 7:16is probably in the writer's mind. Foregoing, not emphasizing mere precedence in time, but rather the preliminary character of the commandment as destined to be done away by a later ordinance. With foregoing comp. 1 Timothy 1:18; 1 Timothy 5:24. [source]

What do the individual words in Hebrews 7:16 mean?

who not according to a law of a commandment fleshly has been constituted but [the] power of a life indestructible
ὃς οὐ κατὰ νόμον ἐντολῆς σαρκίνης γέγονεν ἀλλὰ δύναμιν ζωῆς ἀκαταλύτου

κατὰ  according  to 
Parse: Preposition
Root: κατά 
Sense: down from, through out.
νόμον  a  law 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Masculine Singular
Root: νόμος  
Sense: anything established, anything received by usage, a custom, a law, a command.
ἐντολῆς  of  a  commandment 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ἐντολή  
Sense: an order, command, charge, precept, injunction.
σαρκίνης  fleshly 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: σάρκινος  
Sense: fleshly, consisting of flesh, composed of flesh.
γέγονεν  has  been  constituted 
Parse: Verb, Perfect Indicative Active, 3rd Person Singular
Root: γίνομαι  
Sense: to become, i.
δύναμιν  [the]  power 
Parse: Noun, Accusative Feminine Singular
Root: δύναμις  
Sense: strength power, ability.
ζωῆς  of  a  life 
Parse: Noun, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ζωή  
Sense: life.
ἀκαταλύτου  indestructible 
Parse: Adjective, Genitive Feminine Singular
Root: ἀκατάλυτος  
Sense: indissoluble, not subject to destruction.