There is a doctrine being circulated today amongst Christians that Melchizedek of Genesis chapter 14 was actually a Christophany. That is, a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ.
Many base this doctrine on a passage in Hebrews that states
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 unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
They say because Melchizedek was said to have had no beginning of days, nor end of life and without descent, he must be Jesus Christ.
However, a proper study of Scripture reveals that Jesus and Melchizedek were not the same person.
1. Melchizedek was said in the passage above to have been “without mother, without father.” Yet the Bible tells us Jesus had both a mother and a Father. God was His Father, Mary was His mother. This alone should refute the notion that Melchizedek was Jesus. Sadly, with many it does not.
The statement that Melchizedek had no mother, nor father is simply stating that there is no record of his birth parents. The Bible clearly gives man the record of Jesus’ birth, His parents names, His life, His death, and His subsequent ascension to His throne.
2. The Bible says of Melchizedek that he was “without descent.” The Greek for “without descent” is the word “agenealogētos” and is defined as “one whose descent there is no record of, without genealogy”. The inspired author of the book of Hebrews wrote that there is no record of Melchizedek’s descent. But we have the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. Clearly, the two are not the same person.
3. The Bible says of Melchizedek that he had “neither beginning of days, nor end of life.” Now, if this statement were the only thing that the Bible told us concerning Melchizedek, the argument that he was Jesus might hold to be true. But because of the facts mentioned in point #1 above, we must come to no other conclusion than that Jesus and Melchizedek could not have been the same person. Therefore, the statement that Melchizedek had neither beginning of days, nor end of life more than likely refers to what was previously said before… that there is no genealogical record of his being born or of his death. This is not to say he never was born. It simply means we have no record of his birth. Since Hebrews 7:4 identifies Melchizedek as a man, it is OBvious that Melchizedek had to have been born of a woman. This means he had a beginning. This forfeits any possibility of him being Jesus Christ in Genesis 14.
4. The Bible says of Melchizedek that he was “made like unto the Son of God.” “Like unto” does not mean “is.” If “like unto” means “is” we have a serious prOBlem. Jesus said the kingdom of Heaven is like unto grain of mustard seed. To say “like unto” means “is,” would mean that the kingdom of Heaven is not “like” a mustard seed, but that it is a grain of mustard seed.
Just as Jesus was comparing the Kingdom of Heaven to a mustard seed, the author of Hebrews was comparing Melchizedek to Jesus Christ.
And his comparison of the two shows that the two clearly are not the same person.