Melchizedek 9

Q. Heb 5:6 And he says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” Who is Melchizedek and what is his order?

A. The name Melchizedek appears a total of 11 times in the NIV. Besides Heb 5:6, these are:

Gen 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High
• Ps 110:4 The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
• Heb 5:10 says, “and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
• Heb 6:20 where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
• Heb 7:1-2 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
• Heb 7:10-11 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor. If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?
• Heb 7:15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears,
• Heb 7:17 For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”

Observe the following:
• Melchizedek was a historical person, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, the LORD, Creator of heaven and earth (Gen 14:22), not a pagan priest, nor a theophany or Christophany as some commentators claimed.
Heb 7:3 “Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.” He resembled the Son of God, but was not the pre-incarnate Christ.
• David prophesied that Jesus will be a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. This is confirmed five times in the NT in Heb 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 17.
• Just like Melchizedek, Jesus is king of righteousness and king of peace.
• Unlike Gen 5 and 10, which recorded the genealogies from Adam to Noah and the descendents of Noah respectively, there was no recorded genealogy (no mention of father or mother) of Melchizedek in Gen 14. The author of Hebrews used this argument from silence to use Melchizedek as an analogy or type of Christ. He appeared out of nowhere, and nothing was said about his death. This “without beginning” or “end” was used as argument for his being priest forever, which represented Christ’s eternal priesthood.
• Jesus’ order of Melchizedek is higher than the Levitical priesthood, because:
o It is forever and superseded the order of Aaron.
o Levi paid the tenth through Abraham to Melchizedek, the lesser to the greater (Heb 7:7).
o It has the power of an indestructible life (Heb 7:16), so He is able to save completely.
o It was based on God’s oath and has the guarantee of a better covenant (Heb 7:21-22).
o He sacrificed for our sins once for all, not repeated like the Aaronic high priests (Heb 7:27).

I for one am grateful that Jesus’ priesthood is in the order of Melchizedek, so that we have a better hope by which we draw near to God (Heb 7:19).

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