And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. (Hebrews 07:05-10, NKJV).
Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek some 500 years before the Mosaic Law.
Abraham was the recipient of God's unconditional promises; that he would be the father of many nations, that he would prosper, that those who blessed him would be blessed and those who cursed him would be cursed, that through him all the nations of the world would be blessed, that the Promised Land would be his and his descendants forever, that his faith was accounted to him for righteousness.
And yet, the Patriarch Abraham, the founding member of the Jews, paid tithes and received a blessing from an otherwise unknown Priest in the desert. Thus, if the progenitor of the Levitical priesthood was inferior to the priestly Melchizedek, then the Levitical priesthood, descended from Abraham, itself is also inferior.
And since Christ was made a Priest according to the order of Melchizedek, and not according to the order of Aaron, the first Levitical priest, then Christ's priesthood is by that precedent is also superior, because beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better.
Hammering this point home, the author of Hebrews further reasons that Levi, who is the recipient of lawful tithes now, and pays no tithes himself, paid tithes then for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
Further, the payments to the Levitical/Aaronic priests were from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham, but Melchizedek, whose genealogy is not derived from them, meaning he was not even descended from Abraham, received tithes from Abraham, and even symbolically from Levi himself.
So long before the Law, long before the Jewish priesthood was established, the first Jew's actions confirmed the superiority of Melchizedek's role, and by extension, Christ's own singular royal priesthood.
Christ's every aspect is thus superior to all that came before or since.
Parenthetically, notice that receive, rather than take is the operative verb in these matters. Levi and his descendants received the priesthood and tithes. They did not pursue nor take either.
Likewise Melchizedek received tithes, as Abraham both received blessing and the earlier promises.
There is no taking in the redemptive economy of God, with the one exception of the proffered cup of salvation (Ps 116:13).
So we see from the writer's finely woven argument regarding Melchizedek, Abraham and Levi presented that Christ is superior beyond all contradiction in every way.
Jewish history itself portended His superiority, extravagantly decorated as it was with these prototypical foreshadowings, these venerable precedents, pointing prophetically to the exclusive and ultimate conclusion.
Christ's inheritance, His authority, His name, His character, His privilege, His everything, is beyond all compare and beyond all contradiction.
There is none like Him.
Nor will there ever be.
Accept and worship Him, and Him alone. Nothing less.