Who is Melchezedek?
The name Melchezedek is made up of smaller words collectively meaning “my king is righteous” and is name that echoes an individual who has both kingly and priestly functions. In the Hebrew Bible He is the first individual to be given the title Kohen, or the Hebrew word for priest.
The Law of Moses stipulated only the male descendants of Aaron would be commissioned to serve as Jewish priests before the God of Israel and the Jewish nation. This commission is believed in Judaism to be a covenant of everlasting priesthood" ("Brith HaKehuna") or the Aaronic priesthood. A verse in Psalm 110 mentions a priest who reigns forever of the order of Melchizedek.
“A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” ( Psalms 110:1-4)
Some people would say that Melchezedek is a christophany or a spiritual appearance of Christ. Often they offer the example His moment of ascension into Heaven in the book of Acts. However, Jesus Christ has existed since the beginning of time, just like God, and scriptural evidence of this proving His deity can be found written in scripture. The first verse in the book of John leaves no question as to the Word being the Son Jesus Christ of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit since the beginning of time.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. “ (John 1:1)
Melchezedek is first mentioned in the book of Genesis. The King of Salem, also known as Melchezedek, has an encounter with Abram (later known as Abraham). Salem is an area that is widely thought to be where Jerusalem was located. Jesus was King of Jerusalem.
“And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto HOBah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people. And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” (Genesis 14:14-18)
Not only was Melchezedek found to be living in Jerusalem but was also was the priest of the most- high God. Both of these strongly point toward him being Jesus Christ, the Son of the Trinity, and an application from the Old Testament, a picture or reference of the coming Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
The New Testament also refers to the King of Peace and Righteousness, who is also called the King of Salem. It is also important to note that Abraham gave a tenth part of all to the King of Salem. This was the practice of tithing in the early scriptures of the Old Testament.
“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 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 unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (Hebrews 7:1-3)
The person whom Abraham met in the preceding scripture served as the Priest of the Most High God. There cannot be two High Priests, Melchezedek and Aaron, both holding the same office. Jesus must have been the person who met Abraham, since the only interaction between God and man has been through Jesus.
This tithe mentioned in the preceeding verse was given by Abraham to Melchezedek before Moses got the law from God upon Mt. Sinai. Therefore tithing is above or previous to the written law from God’s hand. Tithing was done in the Old Testament and is also referenced more than once in the New Testament. In Matthew we are to have godly judgment, great faith, and mercy for others along with being good stewards and honoring God with the monies He has entrusted to us to steward unto His glory. All men have free choice and men can choose to tithe to God or not but we all must answer to God one day for the choices we make.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23)
The Trinity; God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit have been together in the world since the beginning of time. Jesus Christ is also called the Great High Priest in the Old Testament and referred to by the same in the New Testament. The following scriptures speak clearly of the existence of the Trinity:
"Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. John 8:58
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
( Revelation 1:5-6)
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1)
The following verses speak of God being the first and the last, forever present, and the anointed One:
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty." (Revelation 1:8)
"Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (this was prophecy fulfilled) (Psalms 45:6-7)
"But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." (Hebrews 1:8-9)
These above verses from the book of Hebrews clearly point to the Deity of God, His righteousness, and that God the Father anointed His Son as the Great High Priest over and above the earthly Priesthood of Aaron. Every priest taken from among earthly men is ordained to serve on behalf of men in things pertaining to God so that he may offer gifts and sacrifices for sin. God must call these men, as he did Aaron, men cannot take the task upon themselves (Hebrews 5:1, 4).
Christ did not glorify Himself to be made a high priest but God declared it in the New Testament when He said, "'You are My Son, today I have begotten You.' And elsewhere in Old Testament scripture God declares: 'You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek . . .'" (Hebrews 5:5-6).
Because Melchizedek (incarnate Jesus Christ) loved righteousness and hated iniquity (like God’s attributes), God made Him a Son and anointed Him with the oil of gladness above His brethren (Hebrews 1:9). This made Him above the leadership of the Aaronic priesthood.
Christ was also anointed by God in the New Testament in the book of Luke. This anointing and His High Priesthood was mentioned in greater detail in the book of Hebrews:
And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased. Luke 3:22
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. Hebrews 5:9-10
Jesus Christ became God's High Priest because perfection and salvation were not attainable through the Levitical priesthood (Hebrews 7:11).
And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest: (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:) Hebrews 7:20-21
Christ was made a Priest forever by an oath of the Most High God.
Jesus Christ is the one and only Melchizedek, the King of Peace and Righteousness.
"And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Revelation 5:10
I believe without a doubt that Jesus is the Messiah spoken of as "a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek" (Ps. 110:4), and so Jesus plays the role of the king-priest once and for all. He does not continue to die for sin but died once for all sin.
Some day we, as well, will reign and serve with Him in His eternal kingdom forever.
For Further Contemplation:
Here are many other points about the priesthood and the order of Melchezedek.
Take the opportunity to dive into scripture and study these points more thoroughly for yourself.
v According to the writer of Hebrews (7:13-17) Jesus is considered a priest in the order of Melchizedek because, The one who blesses is always greater than the one being blessed. Thus, Melchizedek was greater than Abraham.
v If the priesthood of Aaron were effective (if burnt sacrifices were able to take away sin), God would not have called a new priest in a different order in Psalm 110. (Heb. 7:11)
v The basis of the Aaronic priesthood was ancestry; the basis of the priesthood of Melchizedek is everlasting life. That is, there is there is no break in the rein (lasts eternally) due to a priest's death. (Heb. 7:8,15-16,23-25)
v Christ, being sinless, does not need a sacrifice for his own sins. (Heb. 7:26-27)
v The priesthood of Melchizedek is more effective because it required a single sacrifice once and for all (Jesus), while the Levitical priesthood of Aaron made endless sacrifices. (Heb. 7:27)
v The Aaronic priests serve (or, rather, served) in an earthly copy and shadow of the heavenly Temple, which Jesus serves in. (Heb. 8:5)
v Melchizedek gave Abraham bread and wine, which some Christians consider symbols (some consider them literal symbols) of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the sacrifice to confirm a covenant. Jesus sacrificed once for all, (not over and over again as some OBserve out of traditions of men still today)
v Some Christians believe Jesus Christ the Son came to Earth at various times before the New Testament, including once as Melchizedek himself. These appearances are called Christophanies.