Who was Melchizedek? The Bible has only a few words to say about him, therefore, let us study most of the occurrences of his name in the Bible, and discover who he really was and why he is important.

Note: This is a revised version of the study of Melchizedek that was posted at the old website. That study was written about ten years ago. Since then, I have grown in my understanding of the Bible and the original languages, and I have attained a Doctorate in Theology. I have thus revised this study to better reflect my current stage of understanding. As usual, I add this disclaimer, that I am a fallible human therefore I make mistakes and have misunderstandings, consequently you should study the Bible yourself to determine whether or not you concur with my current understanding. 


Before we begin, let me express my beliefs concerning Melchizedek. I believe that he was a type of Christ. We will define what a type is according to the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, King James Version.

“A type is a preordained representation wherein certain persons, events, and institutions of the O.T. stand for corresponding persons, events, and institutions of the N.T. Types are pictures or object lessons by which God has taught His redemptive plan. They are a shadow of things to come, not the image of those things (Col. 2:17; Heb. 8:5; 10:1). The Mosaic system, for example, was a kind of kindergarten in which God’s people were trained in divine things and taught to look forward to the realities of things yet to come.” (The Dake Annotated Reference Bible, p. 103, © Dake Publishing, Inc., 764 Martins Chapel Rd., Lawrenceville, GA 30045)

As a type of Christ, Melchizedek’s appearance in Genesis was a picture of what Christ would be. An example of that is the statement that he has no beginning or end, that is we do not know of his birth, his lineage, parents, or his eventual death. If that were literally true, then Melchizedek would necessarily be a Person of the Trinity, either the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit. However, he is not Deity.

When God manifests himself in the shape of a man or an angel we call that a Theophany, or an appearance of God to men. I do not believe that Melchizedek was a Theophany. I believe that the Scripture employs a literary device here that shows that we simply do not know of his lineage or his mortality. He appears in the Scripture abruptly without mention of his lineage or parentage. When Abram leaves his presence, we hear no more about his life or his death. That does not necessarily mean he actually had no parents or that he did not die. It simply means we do not know about those things because Scripture is silent on those things. In that way his life is apparently similar to Christ, but he is not Christ, and that makes him a type of Christ.

This is a literary device that makes Melchizedek seem like he is eternal, though he is not. There is nothing in the passage in Genesis that leads us to believe the he is God. For example, when the Captain of the LORD’s hosts in Joshua 5:14-15, said, “Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy,” it leaves us with no alternative; He must be Christ. An angel would not make the ground holy, nor would any man. Only God Himself could make the ground holy. Yet, the Captain of the LORD’s Hosts cannot be God the Father, for the Father is the owner of the hosts. Neither do we see the Holy Spirit taking on the appearance of an angel or a man. Hence it must be another Person of the Godhead, or Christ Himself. In the account of Melchizedek, no such information is provided.

Again, my belief is that this appearance of Melchizedek in Genesis is not God, or Christ, or the Holy Spirit. I believe Melchizedek was a human man, who was the King of Salem, the city eventually called Jerusalem. Salem is a form of the Hebrew word meaning peace. Indeed, the writer of Hebrews calls him the king of peace. He was also ordained by El Elyon or the Most High God to be a priest. Thus he was a type of Christ and not a Christophany, or an Old Testament appearance of Christ. (A Christophany can also be an appearance of Christ after His resurrection).

Having said that, let me also say that there is thought-provoking evidence that he may have been an Old Testament Appearance of Christ; I am not convinced of that, though many are. We will discuss this further in this treatise. Let us now begin our study.


For a better understand of this study, please begin by reading Genesis 14:1-17.

(Gen 14:18) And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

There are two schools of thought on Melchizedek. One is that Melchizedek is a type of Christ, and Christ is the antitype, that is, Christ fulfilled the type. Thus Melchizedek would have been only a male human being, and not Deity. The other is that Melchizedek is a Preincarnate, Old Testament appearance of Christ to men. That is known as theophany, which means a manifestation or appearance of God to a person. We see theophanies when God appeared to Abraham at Mamre (Gen 18:2), when Christ appeared to Joshua at the Jericho (Jos 5:14), when He appeared to Gideon at Ophrah (Judg 6:11), and others. I personally understand Melchizedek to be a type of Christ and not the Preincarnate Christ. Technically, a preincarnate appearance of Christ to man is know as a Christophany, which also included appearances to men after his resurrection.

This is the first appearance of the Priest of the Most High God (Hebrew: Kohen El Elyon–Priest of God Most High). Abram’s nephew Lot had gone to live in Sodom. The King of Sodom (Bera) had been a vassal of Chedorlaomer (ked-or-lah’-oh-mer), the king of Elam. Note: there are so many possibilities for the meaning of Chedorlaomer, that we cannot know for certain what it represents. I prefer the Ugaritic meaning: “dark, turbulent warfare that leads to ashes, or a wasted heap,” according to Jim Steinhart, an attorney from Illinois, who is a student of the ancient Middle East. We are told by Brown-Driver-Briggs, and Strong’s, and other lexicons that is means something like “the roundness of a sheath” but this is of questionable validity. Bera rebelled and Chedorlaomer attacked and defeated him. Chedorlaomer looted Sodom, and carried off the men and women including Lot and his household. Abram chased and defeated Chedorlaomer and returned with Lot and all the plunder of Sodom, where he was greeted and blessed by Melchizedek. Abram gave a tithe, or ten percent, of the plunder to Melchizedek. The entire narrative is given in Genesis Chapter 14.

There are several things to note about this verse. First is the word Melchizedek. It is the compilation of two words, melek, and tsedeq. Melek, מלך, (Strong’s 4427) means king (or prince), and tsedeq, צדק, (Strong’s 6664) means right or righteous or just. So Melchizedek means King of Righteousness.

Salem, shelam, שׁלם, (Strong’s 8001), complete, peaceful, happy, etc; similar to שׁלום, shalom (Strong’s 7965), which means peace, welfare, health, etc. So the King of Righteousness is also the King of Peace. Jeremiah, in Jer 23:5, calls the Messiah a Righteous Branch and a King. Jesus is called righteous (1 John 2:1, 29); Jesus is called a King (Mat 2:2, 27:11, John 1:49, etc.); Isaiah 9:6 calls the Messiah the Prince of Peace. However, the word for prince in this verse is sar and not melek; they are synonyms. The Messiah is a king, he is righteous, and he has peace (John 14:27). Melchizedek is called by names similar to the Messiah. The Messiah is a King of Righteousness and a King of Peace.

Melchizedek brought bread and wine with him, which are the elements of Holy Communion. Bread represents the Body of Christ and wine represents the Blood of Christ. Christ is our Passover, Who was sacrificed for us (1 Cor 5:7) and we celebrate the Passover with Holy Communion, which some assemblies call The Lord’s Supper.

Psa 110:1-5 A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. {2} The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. {3} 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. {4} The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. {5} The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath.

This Psalm is messianic; that is, it refers to the Messiah, the Lord’s anointed. Of course, earthly kings are anointed. For example, when Samuel anointed David the Hebrew word used was mashach (Strong’s 4886), which means to anoint. But that word does not refer to the Messiah; Messiah is mashiyach (Strong’s 4899). It comes from the root mashach. Mashiyach refers to The Anointed or The Messiah.

The Septuagint translation shows that this messianic Psalm is essentially the same as it was in the days of the Apostles. The Septuagint is the translation of the scriptures from the Hebrew to the Greek. The translation was started around 250 BC by seventy-two (Septuagint means seventy) Hebrew scholars. This translation shows the mindset of Jewish scholars shortly before the time of Christ. The Qumran manuscripts show that the Septuagint we have today is very little changed from the third century BC.

The Talmud, Midrashim, and Targums, which are rabbinical commentaries on the scriptures, confirm that this Psalm is messianic. The Talmud and Midrash were written beginning in 100 AD. The Targums are dated from as far back as the second century BC. Fragments from the Dead Sea Psalms Scrolls confirm that the Psalm is reliable, and many of the Talmudic writings and Midrashim from 100 AD – 200 AD also confirm this Psalm to be messianic. And, more importantly, Scripture, in the form of the Epistle to the Hebrews confirms this (Heb 5:6).

So when the LORD (Yehovah), said to my Lord (Adonai), “Sit at My right hand,” He was talking to His Anointed One, the Messiah. David, quoting Yehovah, says that the Messiah is a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. So there is a messianic connection to Melchizedek. The writer of Hebrews has much to say on the subject.

(Heb 5:1) For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

The human high priest is ordained by God to offer tithes, offerings and sacrifices for men in order to temporarily atone for their sins.

(Heb 5:2) Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

Because the high priest is human and subject to human weakness, he can have compassion on men who are also subject to human weakness. The same applies to Christ, which is the point the Author is making.

(Heb 5:3) And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.

Because he is weak, he must also offer sacrifices for his own weakness, which Christ need not do for He is sinless.

(Heb 5:4) And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

A human high priest is called and ordained by God; he cannot call himself, nor can other men call him.

(Heb 5:5) So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

Even Jesus Christ did not call himself; he was called by God, the Father. The writer is quoting Psalm 2:7.

(Heb 5:6) As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec [Greek spelling].

This is a quote from Psalm 110:4, above. Jesus is a priest forever, which Melchizedek (Hebrew spelling) seems to be (Heb 7:3). There is no record of his parentage or death in the genealogies, therefore he seems to have existed forever. Hence he is called a priest forever by David. Of course, David is actually speaking as a prophet (see Acts 2:29; 30; 31) in Psalm 110; he refers to the Messiah when speaking of Melchizedek. Not that the man himself is the Messiah, but Christ is the High Priest according to the class (or order) of priest under which Melchizedek fell. That order is a priest that is not of the lineage of Aaron or Levi, yet still a priest that was ordained by God.

(Heb 5:7) Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared;

See Luke 22:41-44. Jesus is the subject of this verse. He prayed to God and was heard because of His fear of or submission to God. Though there is no direct indication of tears, Jesus did cry out to God fervently, in deep agony of spirit so that his sweat was like great drops of blood. It is certainly possible that tears came as well.

(Heb 5:8) Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;

Jesus obeyed God unto His torture and agonizing death (Luke 22:42). Because He obeyed, He took all the sins of all time and of the entire world upon Himself, thereby granting pardon to each of us if we place our faith and trust in Him.

(Heb 5:9) And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

Jesus the Christ, or Messiah, is the originator of our salvation (John 3:16, Acts 4:12, John 14:6, etc.).

(Heb 5:10) Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.

Jesus is our High Priest, Who offered the eternal sacrifice for our sins—He offered Himself. The subject now changes from Melchizedek to Christ.

(Heb 5:11) Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.

We are all dull of hearing for if not for the influence of the Holy Spirit on our hearts, none of us could ever hear the truth in our human hearts, hence none of us could ever be saved. Yet the writer is also talking to Christians that do not grow in Christ after being saved.

(Heb 5:12-14) For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. {13} For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. {14} But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The writer is telling those who should know the scriptures that they ought to be able to teach about Christ, yet they are still in need of teachers themselves. They must be taught again and again the fundamentals of Christianity. In other words, they needed to hear the salvation message over and over. I cannot sit under a Bible teacher that just teaches the way of salvation over and over and never gets to Spiritual growth. I have attended churches that did this, but only for a short while. Folks when you are a babe in Christ you need spiritual milk. However, human babies quickly begin to consume food and not just mother’s milk or formula. If they stayed on just milk they would become sickly and soon die. Do not stay a babe in Christ. As human babies grow quickly, so should babes in Christ grow in Christ. You received spiritual milk and became saved. Now move on to serious Bible study and Spiritual growth. Age here refers to spiritual maturity, not physical age.

Unfortunately many Christians today, especially in the pampered West, never grow beyond babes in Christ. They remain so for an entire life. Don’t be one of these. Read your Bible daily, pray daily, listen for God’s voice daily, and get involved in a small group of Christians. Some call this Sunday School, but there are plenty of other names for it, like women’s groups, men’s groups, Bible study groups, home groups, etc. Going to Worship services at Church is great and uplifting and necessary, but so is it necessary to be also involved in a small group of Christians.

(Heb 6:1-2) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, {2} Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

The writer says that by teaching again and again the elementary teachings about Christ, we are not going on to maturity. He enumerates those elementary teachings we should not teach over and over again. They are: salvation and repentance, faith, baptisms, laying on of hands, going to heaven, and the judgment.

As mentioned above, I have attended churches that preach only those elementary teachings. In fact they usually only teach salvation and repentance, baptism, and heaven and hell, never getting on to spiritual maturity. It is just as important to lead Christians to spiritual maturity as it is to get them saved.

(Heb 6:3) And this will we do, if God permit.

“This” is going “on unto perfection” The writer asserts that they would teach spiritual meat and not spiritual milk if God would allow. This does not mean that God was unwilling for them to teach truths. It is akin to the colloquial statement, “the Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise.” In other words we will teach these truths if we are not prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond our control. In other words, God does permit it. Do it!

(Heb 6:17-19) Wherein God, willing more abundantly to show unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath: {18} That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: {19} Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

Because God wanted us to clearly understand His promise, he confirmed it with an oath. The oath is based on two things about which God cannot lie. Those two unchangeable things are His promise and His oath. Our hope is Jesus Christ who is an anchor to the soul and who is able to enter within the veil. Behind the veil is the Most Holy Place where the very presence of God is found. Because Christ went through before us, the veil is torn and we have direct access to God Almighty through our High Priest and Mediator, Jesus Christ. We need no other priest or mediator. Therefore, there is no mediatrix—that is blasphemy taken directly from paganism (see Jer 7:18; Jer 44:17-19 & 25).

God promised He would bless and multiply Abraham and his progeny. That progeny, by the way, includes Christians (see Rom 4:1; Gal 3:7). God cannot lie so His promise is unbreakable. But, in addition to the unchangeable promise, God also swore by Himself that the promise would be kept:

Gen_22:16-17, And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: {17} That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

The promise is in verse 17 and the oath is in verse 16. Neither the promise nor the oath is breakable by itself. But God both promised and swore, showing the promise to us more abundantly. Also compare Psalm 110:4.

(Heb 6:20) Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Jesus has already entered the Most Holy Place and is a high priest similar to the office of Melchizedek. Melchizedek’s order was a type of the Order of High Priest that Christ fulfilled. Again, that order is a priest not of the lineage of Aaron or Levi, but still ordained by God.

(Heb 7:1-2) 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; {2} 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;

It is important to know that Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe; we will come to that later. The Bible is now explaining Melchizedek’s name. It means King of Righteousness and he was also the King of Salem or the King of Peace (see above).

(Heb 7:3) 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.

 As we saw in the preface to this study, the passage in Genesis that revealed the historical Melchizedek does not mention the beginning or end of his life. That is a literary device that is used to foreshadow the coming of Christ, Who is eternal and truly has no beginning or end. See Rev 22:13. 

(Heb 7:4-5) Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. {5} And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

Melchizedek was so great that he was able to collect a tithe from Abraham. By law, the Levites were to collect the tithe from their brethren, the descendants of Abraham.

(Heb 7:6) But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

Melchizedek was not one of the Levites nor were the children of Abraham his brethren, but he collected the tithe from Abraham.

(Heb 7:7) And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

Of Abraham and Melchizedek, Melchizedek was the better. Melchizedek was also better than the Levitical priesthood (see Heb 7:10).

(Heb 7:8) And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

This is a verse that many believe shows that Melchizedek was a Christophany, or preincarnate appearance of Christ to men. Keep in mind that Melchizedek is the subject of this discourse in verses 1- 13. If Melchizedek is the subject, then it is Melchizedek who is being spoken of. So let us supply the proper noun in place of the pronoun: “And here men that die [the priesthood] receive tithes; but there Melchizedek received them, of whom it is witnessed that Melchizedek lives.”

To make sure we are really getting the full impact of what is being said here, let’s look at a few other translations.

The literal from Green’s Interlinear:

“And here indeed tithes dying men receive, there but being witnessed that he lives.”

And from the left column of Green’s Interlinear:

“And here dying men indeed receive tithes, but there it having been witnessed that he lives.”


“And here dying men receive tithes; but there [one] of whom the witness is that he lives.”

American Standard:

“And here men that die receive tithes; but there one, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.”

New Revised Standard Version:

“In the one case, tithes are received by those who are mortal; in the other, by one of whom it is testified that he lives.”

The Living Bible (not a translation but a paraphrase):

“The Jewish priests, though mortal, received tithes; but we are told that Melchizedek lives on.”

Young’s Literal Translation:

“and here, indeed, men who die do receive tithes, and there [he], who is testified to that he was living,”


“Again, it is mortal men in the one case who receive tithes, while in the other it is one of whom the witness is that ‘he lives.'”

Last, The Amplified Bible:

“Furthermore here [in the Levitical Priesthood] tithes are received by men who are subject to death; while there [in the case of Melchizedek] they are received by one of whom it is testified that he lives [perpetually].” The bracketed text is included in the Amplified Bible.

The subject of this entire discourse is absolutely Melchizedek. That subject does not change until verse 13. There the subject changes to Jesus Christ. Thus, it is imperative, I believe, to say that Melchizedek was a type of Christ and the type lives on in its fulfillment, which is to say, in Christ. However we must also admit that some believe that Melchizedek was actually an Old Testament appearance or theophany of Christ. This is perfectly plausible. Consider the following Scripture.

(Josh 5:13-15) And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? {14} And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? {15} And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

The word “captain” is sar in the Hebrew which means “one who has dominion.” (The words Caesar, Tsar, Tzar, and Czar all originate with the Hebrew sar). Therefore, It can mean captain, prince, or king. If we use it that way (one with dominion), then verse 15, above would read, “And the One who has dominion over the LORD’S host said unto Joshua.” There is One who has been given power and dominion over everything including the host of the LORD—Jesus Christ (Eph 1:21, 1 Pet 4:11, 1 Pet 5:11, Jude 25, Rev 1:6).

Some might say this is Michael, but not even an archangel makes the ground he treads holy. Only God Himself does that. And Michael, an angel, would not allow Joshua to worship him just as no other angel would allow a man to worship him. (See Revelation 19:10). The Captain of the LORD’s host allowed Joshua to worship Him. We do not worship angels, only God. Only God would make the ground holy. See Exodus 3:3 & 4-5. Jesus is God, the Son, and He would make the ground holy. This is a Christophany of Christ Himself appearing to Joshua, Who is Jesus, the man’s namesake (Joshua is a Hebrew word and the name Jesus is transliterated from the Greek word Iesus, which is transliterated from the Hebrew word Joshua.)

(Heb 7:9-10) And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. {10} For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

Levi is the progenitor of the Levites who were the priests of the tabernacle and temple. Of course, when Abraham was living, there was no Levi and no priesthood. But the author is here stating that Levi, whose posterity was the Levitical priesthood and collected tithes from their brethren, gave a tithe to Melchizedek by proxy through his grandfather Abraham. Levi was yet in Abraham’s loins, that is, his seed was in his grandfather Abraham. Another way to look at is the DNA of Levi came from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob to Levi. So Melchizedek was greater than the Levitical priesthood because he received tithes from the father of the Israelites (Abraham) before Levi and his progeny (see Heb 7:7).

(Heb 7:11) If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

“Another priest” is a reference to Christ. The phrase “after the order of” is expressed in Greek) kata ten taxin (κατα την ταξιν), which can literally mean “down the succession of” or “according to the order of”. In the Greek the word “order” is taxis (uninflected), which, like our word taxonomy, means a regular arrangement or fixed succession, or a regular group (like priests). So Jesus Christ succeeds Melchizedek. How can Christ, Who is King of kings and Lord of lords and sovereign over everything succeed a mere man? How can he succeed anyone? He is eternal, from everlasting to everlasting and he has no predecessor. He was there before creation (John 1:1). Before Abraham was He is (John 8:58).

How could Deity come after the order of humanity? Yes, Jesus was a man, but he was also God, He was the God-Man. Jesus Christ is the One and Only, the Alpha and Omega; He has no beginning and no end (like Melchizedek; v.3). Those that believe Melchizedek to be a Christophany, argue that since there is no predecessor to Christ; therefore He could not come after the order of Melchizedek if Melchizedek was just a man. In fact if Melchizedek was any other but Christ, he could not be succeeded by Christ because Christ is preceded by no one. Nevertheless, since Melchizedek is a type, then Christ succeeds him in fulfillment of the type; Christ is the antitype, or fulfillment of the type.

(Heb 7:12) For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

This is a transition from the subject of Melchizedek to the subject of Jesus Christ. The priesthood changed from the Levites to the Priesthood of Christ. The law and ordinances also changed. Jesus fulfilled the sacrificial laws. He also gave us refuge from the law. The law condemns and Christ redeems.

(Heb 7:13-14) For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. {14} For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

Jesus was a Judahite or Jew. He was from the tribe of Judah by lineage (through Mary) and by law (through Joseph). Judah was not a priest and no priest sprang from him. Judah’s progeny were the tribe of kings; his was the scepter. So Jesus sprang from another line that was not the priest line. Aaron began the priest line and Levi, a son of Israel, is the ancestor of the tribe of priests. No man of Judah gave attendance at the altar in the Tabernacle or the Temple.

(Heb 7:15) And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

The phrase “after the similitude of” is kata ten homoioteta or “according to the likeness of” Melchizedek. The other priest is Jesus Christ who is according to the likeness of Melchizedek. This goes to the type. Does that mean that Jesus is similar to Melchizedek? Yes, as a type. However, those who understand Melchizedek to be Christ himself, it goes even deeper than just similitude. Observe the following two verses using this word, homoios, which means likeness:

(Rom 8:3) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

(Phil 2:7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Jesus came in the flesh, as a man to provide for men’s salvation. In both verses, the writer uses the word likeness. Does he mean that Jesus came not as a man but just similar to man or does he mean that Jesus came as a man? It is obvious; Jesus was a man, not just similar to a man.

Is it not possible, then, that in Hebrews 7:15 Jesus did not come similar to Melchizedek; He came as Melchizedek? And that Jesus was Melchizedek before the Christian Era and that He still is Melchizedek, which means the King Of Righteousness. Jesus is the King of Righteousness and the Hebrew word for the King of Righteousness is malkiy-tsedeq or Melchizedek. Certainly, it is possible, but that is not hard and fast, is is a mere possibility. Again in this thesis we present Melchizedek as a type of Christ, fulfilled in Christ.

(Heb 7:16) Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

Jesus was not a priest in the flesh, but an eternal priest, in fact, our High Priest (Heb 4:14 & 15).

(Heb 7:17) For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec

Who is he that “testifieth”? Literally, the verse reads, “for it is testified: ‘You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.'” We know who it is that testifies this. Refer again to Psalm 110:4, “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” It is Yehovah Who “testifieth.”

What does Yehovah testify to? Some would say that Jesus and Melchizedek are one in the same. That Melchizedek is a pre-Christian era manifestation or appearance of God the Son, Jesus the Christ. Again, it is certainly possible.

Yet it is also certainly possible that Melchizedek was a type of Christ and not Christ Himself. This idea definitely fits the Scriptures we have studied. The conclusion is that there are good, honest, and Biblically literate folks who believe that Melchizedek was an Old Testament appearance of Christ like in Joshua chapter five. There are other fine Christian folks who are Biblically literate that understand Melchizedek to be a type of Christ. I have provided both possibilities; you may choose for yourself. Nevertheless don’t decide based on what I, a fallible human, wrote; only do so after much prayer and Bible study.

I reiterate that I believe that Melchizedek is a type of Christ and Christ is the antitype or fulfilment of the type. This study was predicated on that belief. I hold to that belief, but I do not have any emnity toward those who see Melchizedek as a Christophany. We can have different opinions on such nonessential doctrines and still have Christian fellowship. However we must not dispute the essentials of the faith. The main essential of the faith is that Jesus is the Son of God, and that He was born of a virgin, grew as a man, died on the cross as a sacrifice in our place, was raised on the third day and today sits at the right hand of the Father making intercession for our sins. On that there can be no dispute.


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