Who Is Or Was Melchizedek
Melchizedek sounds like a name of a person, but it is really a title, much like Pharoah, Caesar, and Cleopatra became titles. Because Melchizedek is a two-part word, the Melchi is my king, or king.
The second part of Melchizedek is Zedek Zedek means righteousness. Now you can put the whole word together Melchi-Zedek means My King is Righteousness or My King is Righteous this is the order in which the priesthood is supposed to be ordered after, righteousness.
Adam was the original King of the earth and head of the order. However, that role and the title have now been appointed to Yashaya the Christ as the Head of the Order. He is the Head of the Church, of the Order of the Son of Elohim.
Genesis 14:18 KJV
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
This was not Christ, as often thought it was Shem, the firstborn of Noah.
Hebrews 5:6,9-10 KJV
As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Although Shem was the man in Genesis 14, his lineage produced Abraham, David, and Yashaya who carried on the order. This is the order all who would seek the kingdom of Elohim must follow. The ordinances are set by the Order of the Son of Elohim .
1st Corinthians 11:1-3 KJV
A Mystery Solved: The Identity Of Melchizedek
To understand Melchizedek’s identity, we must let the Bible interpret the Bible.
We have already seen that Jesus Christ is the Mediator between God and man. His willing sacrifice for our sins uniquely qualified Him for this crucial role. Yet the preexistent Word also prefigured this sacred office during the time of Abraham.
He did so in the person of Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God. The book of Genesis only briefly mentions this mysterious person. But King David, and especially the New Testament book of Hebrews, does not miss His deep significance.
To understand Melchizedek’s identity, we must again let the Bible interpret the Bible. Our breadth of understanding is augmented enormously when we join these three accounts together and consider them as a whole.
First let’s look at the Genesis account. After rescuing his nephew Lot from military capture, Abraham encountered Melchizedek. “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth and blessed be God Most High who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tithe of all” .
Psalm 110, one of David’s psalms, is one of the most theologically significant. As we saw in an earlier chapter, it features both the Father and the Word in the opening verse: “The LORD said to my Lord, sit at my right hand . . .” It is Christ who now resides at the Father’s right hand .
How Was It Possible For Melchizedek To Exist Without Parents
In Hebrews chapter 7 the author writes about the life of the priest Melchizedek. Verse 3 of that same chapter tells us that Melchizedek is Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life but made like unto the Son of God abideth a priest continually.
How is it possible for Melchizedek to exist without parents? Through prior research I have read that Melchizedek may have be a kings title, not a mans name given, is this true?
To answer briefly, it is NOT possible for Melchizedek to have existed without having parents. That should be obvious. The intended meaning behind the Greek is that he had no genealogy or parentage.
For this Melchizedek was ordained a priest after the order of the Son of God, which order was without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life. And all those who are ordained unto this priesthood are made like unto the Son of God, abiding a priest continually.
JST Hebrews 7:3
The implication is that he wasnt a priest of the Most High God because of his parentage or because he was born of a certain tribe like the Levites. He was a priest because of who he was in relation to God. He was a righteous man who was called directly to be His high priest. There was no earthly inheritance from which he derived his divine authority. But it was given him directly from God, Himself.
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The Mystery Of Melchizedek Solved
FEW MYSTERIES of the Bible have attracted more interest than the mystery of the identity of Melchizedek. Who is he?
You will read in Hebrews 6:19-20 that Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, is High Priest “after the order of Melchizedek.” The plainer English of the Moffatt translation words it: “. . with the rank of” that is, equal status with “Melchizedek.”
Melchizedek Was God’s Priest
First, notice from both Old and New Testaments that the man of mystery, Melchizedek, was a priest of the Most High God. Turn ‘low to the account in Genesis 14. During the war between a number of ancient city-states in Canaan and Mesopotamia, Abraham’s nephew Lot had been captured. He and his family and goods were carted off.
One of their number escaped and brought the news to Abraham, who armed 318 of his own servants and pursued the invaders to what was later named Dan and beyond. Abraham rescued Lot and his family and returned them safely to the Canaanite cities.
On Abraham’s return a man of mystery bursts upon the scene. Abraham was ministered to by Melchizedek.
Here is the account:
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine he was priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything” that is, a tithe of all, for a tithe means a tenth .
Then who is the mystery man Melchizedek?
Melchizedek Is A Type Of Christ In The Derivation And Duration Of His Priesthood
Being a priest in Israel was totally dependent on your family lineage. All priests came from the tribe of Levi. No one else need apply. If you could not establish your family heritage, you were excluded from the priesthood . But Melchizedek was without father, without mother, without genealogy . Yet he was priest of the Most High God .
A few have interpreted Melchizedeks lack of genealogy and the next phrase, that he had neither beginning of days nor end of life, to mean that he was superhuman, either an angel or a preincarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. But the vast majority of commentators reject that interpretation and agree that Melchizedek was simply a great man who lived at the same time as Abraham.
The author of Hebrews is building an argument from the strange silence of Genesis. That book emphasizes genealogies and the number of years that the patriarchs lived. In the midst of this emphasis, seemingly out of nowhere, comes this man Melchizedek. His family lineage is never mentioned, nor does Genesis say anything about the length of his life or his death. The author is saying that the Holy Spirit deliberately omitted these facts from a book that emphasizes such, in order to make Melchizedek an appropriate type of Jesus Christ. Thats why he says that Melchizedek was made like the Son of God , rather than Jesus was made like Melchizedek. It is not that Melchizedek never died, but rather in what Genesis omits, that he remains a priest perpetually.
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What Did Jesus Say Just Before He Died
Just before he breathed his last breath, Jesus uttered the phrase it is finished. Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, I am thirsty. A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips.
Qualifications Of The Melchizedek Priest
Now, in verses 2 and 3, the author establishes the qualifications of the order of Melchizedekwhich grows out of this typological picture. This is where it becomes very clear that, no, you are not a member of this order. Look at the second half of verse two,
He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever.
There are 3 aspects of this living type that God wrote into the character of Melchizedek in Genesis 14 that establish the qualifications for Jesus to stand as High Priest in this order:
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Lesson : Why You Need To Know About Melchizedek
Most of you would probably admit that youre not highly motivated to learn about Melchizedek. Youve got marriage problems, problems with your kids, financial problems, personal problems, and other practical needs. Why in the world would you be interested in learning about some obscure figure from many centuries ago named Melchizedek? For crying out loud, Steve, its Mothers Day! Give us a message that relates to mothers! I believe that learning about Melchizedek will help you to be a better mother, father, child, or whatever role you are in. My aim is to convince you that you do need to know about this man.
To understand this, we need to put the chapter in its context. The Jewish Christians to whom this letter was addressed were tempted to abandon their Christian faith and return to Judaism under the threat of persecution. Some of them had lost their property and had suffered public reproach on account of their faith . They were thinking, Hey, we didnt have it so bad as Jews! The Jewish religion was a good system. It spelled out how we should live. The rituals were familiar and satisfying. It was the faith of our forefathers for many centuries. Maybe we should just go back to the way things were.
You need to know about Melchizedek because he is a type of the Lord Jesus Christ, and you desperately need to know about Christ.
Want To Know More About Melchizedek And The Book Of Hebrews
You can download a Hebrews study guide that looks at Melchizedek and the rest of Hebrews in more detailand coaches you through studying Hebrews yourself. For a 3-minute read, explore this quick overview on Hebrews.
More of a visual learner? Heres an infographic on Hebrews. You can also take a look at this illustration based on the theme verse of Hebrews.
1Baker, Warren, and Eugene E. Carpenter. The Complete Word Study Dictionary: Old Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2003.
I used my favorite Bible study tool, Logos Bible software, to do research that made this post possible. If you’re a Bible geek like me, you might want to check it out.
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Melchizedek Is A Type Of Christ In The Dignity Of His Person
Everything we know about Melchizedek comes from Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:4, and Hebrews 7. The first text is historical, the second is prophetic, and the third is theological. Melchizedek was the king of Salem and priest of the Most High God. Abraham had gone after four kings that had taken his nephew Lot and his family captive when they raided Sodom, where Lot was living. Abraham defeated these kings, recovered all of the goods, and brought back Lot and his family. As Abraham returned from this battle, Melchizedek came out to meet him. He blessed Abraham and Abraham gave Melchizedek a tenth of his spoils.
Out of what that short account says and does not say, the author of Hebrews draws some amazing parallels between Melchizedek and Christ. It is interesting that he omits what seems to be an obvious parallel, that Melchizedek met Abraham with bread and wine! You would think, Thats clearly a type of Christ giving bread and wine to the disciples! In the original story, Melchizedek was bringing refreshment to Abraham and his weary men. But for some reason, the author of Hebrews passes over the easy parallel and focuses on some things that most of us would have missed.
If you know Jesus Christ as your King of righteousness and peace, you will be growing in righteous behavior and you will be pursuing peace with others . I am not talking about perfection, but rather, direction. You will be growing in conformity to your King.
A High Priest For All
The author of Hebrews repeatedly contrasts Old Testament heroes and practices and then profoundly reveals how Jesus is the better and truer fulfillment of the Hebrews beloved traditions and patriarchs. In chapters 5 through the beginning of chapter 8 the author focuses on the superior priesthood of Jesus over the Levitical Priesthood as the eternal, perfected priest of the order of Melchizedek.
The Levitical priests would represent the people of Israel before God. They became priests by lineage, which didnt guarantee righteous living see Aarons sons unauthorized fire or Elis wicked sons for example. Over and over the Old Testament prophesies that the Messiah will be a descendent of David from the line of Judah.
Genesis is filled with genealogies, but for Melchizedek there is no record of his lineage, before or after. Melchizedek was a priest in an order that had no beginning because Jesus is the orders greatest priest, it will also never end. The great news found here is that Jesus is not a Levitical priest for the Israelites, but a priest of the order of Melchizedek meaning he is a priest for all.
Jesus is superior to every Levite office, including priesthood, because like the first high priest Melchizedek, his priesthood extends to every nation, tribe, and tongue, and Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.Hebrews 7:22.
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Why Was Melchizedek Important
Melchizedek, who appears in the Old Testament, is important in biblical tradition because he was both king and priest, connected with Jerusalem, and revered by Abraham, who paid a tithe to him. For Abraham to recognize the authority and authenticity of a Canaanite priest-king is startling and has no parallel in biblical literature.
Melchizedek: The Theophany Of Christ
God revealed himself to Abraham, but we don’t know how Melchizedek learned of the true God. Monotheism, or worship of one god, was rare in the ancient world. Most of the people worshiped several gods. Some even had dozens of local or household gods, which were represented by manmade idols.
The Bible does not shed any light on Melchizedek’s religious rituals either, except to mention that he brought out “bread and wine” for Abram. This act and Melchizedek’s holiness have led some scholars to describe him as a type of Christ, one of those Bible people who show the same qualities as Jesus Christ, Savior of the World. With no record of father or mother and no genealogical background in Scripture, this description is fitting. Other scholars go a step further, theorizing that Melchizedek may have been a theophany of Christ or a manifestation of deity in temporary form.
Understanding Jesus’ status as our high priest is a key point in the Book of Hebrews. Just as Melchizedek was not born into the Levitical priesthood but was appointed by God, so Jesus was named our eternal high priest, interceding with God the Father on our behalf.
Hebrews 5:8-10 says: “Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
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New Testament References To Melchizedek
The New testament book of Hebrews picks up the Psalm 110 reference to Melchizedek. It is the only new testament book that mentions him.
Hebrews focuses the early chapters on what defines a High Priest and I cant go into all that here. However it seems to say that Melchizedek was an example of a high priest in the Old testament and Jesus represents this same type of figure in the New testament. Here is the High Priest reference in Hebrews 4.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
And in Hebrews 5:8, the New testament links the priesthood of Melchizedek with Jesus.
8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek
And finally we get the longest description of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7:1. Which describes him as the king of righteousness and the king of peace but he does not have a genealogy, which is in contrast to the other old testament kings and priests. In other words why isnt his father, mother and children listed in the old testament?