WHO WAS MELCHIZEDEK?
Genesis 14:18-20, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.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.‟ He gave him a tenth of all....”This is all we know about this mysterious priest from the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Pulpit Commentary says, “King of Salem = "king of peace(Hebrews 7:1).
The capital of Melchizedek was either Jerusalem, of which the ancient name was Salem, as in Psalm 76:2(Josephus, Onkelos, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Knobel, Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch, Murphy, Bush) or a city on the other side Jordan ...”
Since there was no city other than Jerusalem called“Salem”, we know that Melchizedek was either called a king and priest of Salem” because he was a king and priest of the ancient Canaanite city of Jerusalem called Salem, or he was a heavenly king and priest of the heavenly Jerusalem which inspired scripture calls “the Jerusalem above (Gal 4:25-
26 –the heavenly Jerusalem).”
“Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.” Gal. 4:25-26The scriptural evidence proves that Melchizedek could not have been a king and priest over the ancient Canaanite city of Jerusalem because the ancient inhabitants of Jerusalem were pagan (Exodus 33:2; Deuteronomy 7:1-2).
FIVE BIBLE FACTS ABOUT MELCHIZEDEK
1-MELCHIZEDEK NOT JESUS MELCHIZEDEK COULD NOT BE GOD AS A PRE-INCARNATE “PRIEST OF THE MOST HIGH GOD.”Hebrews 7:1, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him ...”If Jesus is the same person as Melchizedek, how could Melchizedek be the “priest of the Most High God” and still be that God prior to the incarnation?
2-MELCHIZEDEK COULD NOT HAVE BEEN A MAN BECAUSE HE HAD NO PARENTS, NOR DID HE EVER DIE.Hebrews 7:2-3, “To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all;first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like(Greek “SIMILAR) unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually.”
Melchizedek was made like (similar too) the Son of God to abide as “a priest continually.” Could God have been made prior to the incarnation? Certainly not! Unlike Melchizedek, Jesus had a biological descent from his human mother, but Melchizedek had no father or mother, nor did he ever die (“nor end of life”) because he was never a mortal priest.
Hebrews 7:3 clearly states that Melchizedek was “ made like unto the Son of God”, yet the same verse says that Melchizedek had no “beginning of days.” Since inspired scripture could not contradict itself, we know that Melchizedek was “made” before the “beginning of days” in Genesis chapter one.
Genesis 1:5, “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”Wherefore, since the book of Genesis indicates that the angels were created before Genesis chapter one (Genesis 1:26, 3:1, 3:22-24), Melchizedek had to have been “made like (similar) unto the Son of God” as an angel before days and nights were created in the Genesis act of creation.
3-MELCHIZEDEK STILL LIVES IN HEAVEN BECAUSE HE NEVER DIED.Hebrews 7:4, “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives.”
According to the book of Hebrews, Melchizedek still lives in heaven as an angelic priest who receives tithes. The writer of Hebrews makes a distinction between mortal men on earth who die and Melchizedek up in heaven who never died.
Since the book of Hebrews was written during the New Covenant dispensation of grace, we knowthat God is receiving (or recording) our tithes in heaven through Melchizedek as an angelic priest of the Most High God.
4-MELCHIZEDEK COULD NOT BE JESUS BECAUSE JESUS IS CALLED “ANOTHER PRIEST.”Hebrews 7:15, “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there arises another priest...”Since Jesus is called “ANOTHER PRIEST,” he could not be the same individual as Melchizedek.
5-JESUS IS SIMILAR TO MELCHIZEDEK BECAUSE BOTH JESUS AND MELCHIZEDEK WERE MADE TO BE KINGS AND PRIESTS FOREVER.Hebrews 7:2-3,“To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all;first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but madelike(Greek “SIMILAR) unto the Son of God; abides a priest continually.”
Hebrews 7:16-17, “Who is made (the context proves Jesus was made), not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifies, You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
These five scriptural facts prove that Melchizedek ...
1.Was a heavenly high “priest of the Most High God” before Jesus was born to become a priest.
2.Melchizedek could not have been a mere mortal man because he had no parents, nor did he ever die.
3.Melchizedek has always lived in heaven as a heavenly high priest who receives tithes.
4.Melchizedek could not be the same person as Jesus Christ because scripture calls Christ “another priest.”
5.Melchizedek is similar to Jesus because he is a heavenly king and high priest who was created to have an enduring priesthood.Since the non-canonical Dead Sea Scrolls (dated to the first century) mentions Melchizedek as a heavenly high priest, it seem likely that the Hebrews would have had some idea about the identity of Melchizedek.
James R. Davila: Ph.D., Harvard University,Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. M.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures.James R. Davila wrote an interesting article about the Dead Sea Scrolls entitled, “MELCHIZEDEK, MICHAEL, AND WAR IN HEAVEN” in which he identified Melchizedek in the scroll entitled, “The Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice” as being one of the “angelic beings in the heavenly temple.
“Such, I propose, was the structure of song five of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice. It described the ordination of the angelic beings in the heavenly temple, presumably including Melchizedek, then narrated the war in heaven that results in eschatological judgment. The exact nature of the opposition is not clear in the preserved fragments.”
Wherefore, the internal evidence within scripture and from the Dead Sea Scrolls identifies Melchizedek as a leading angelic priest who appeared to Abraham.