9 One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, 10 for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.
This passage is a foundational for the argument that we participate in Adam’s sin because we were truly in Adam, so that his act is honestly charged to us.
But if this is correct reading of the passage, the argument of the author of Hebrews begins to collapse on itself. If Levi paid tithes to Melchizedek because he is in Abraham’s loins, then Jesus also paid tithes to Melchizedek in Abraham, for (as Matthew stresses), Jesus is the son of Abraham. The phrase “one might even say” strongly suggests that the author here is not giving an exact theological account of the imputation of acts from one generation to the next.