ASK Commentary
March 14, 2005 

About Melchizedeck

Commentary for March 14, 2005 — Was He Jesus?

NOTE: This commentary has been superceded by additional data. While the issues I raise in this Commentary are valid, additional research and data has indicated a totally different conclusion.

See the article "Who Was Melchizedek?" for more comprehensive material about Melchizedek.

QUESTION: Melchizedek

Is Melchizidec an order of priests or is Melchizidec one spirit being? Is there more than one Melchizidec? Is Jesus the only Melchizidec or is there (or are there) another (others)? Was the powerful angel that gave the Law to Israel, Melchizidec? When there was a change in the law, was that change given by another Melchizidec, Christ? Thanks for your answer.

ANSWER: The term “Melchizedek” in Hebrew means “King of Righteousness.” He is identified as the King of Salem, which was the future site of Jerusalem. The term Melchizedek is spelled two ways in the King James Version. The other spelling is Melchizedec.

“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, ‘Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which has delivered thine enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him tithes of all.”

Genesis 14:18–20

Note that Melchizedek brought forth bread and wine, apparently for everyone. The implication is that he likely ate with the king of Sodom, his people, Lot, Lot’s people along with Abraham and Abraham’s people who performed the rescue (Genesis 14:1–17). As you are no doubt aware, the occurrences of Melchizedek are found in only a few verses:
Genesis 14:18; Psalm 110:4; and Hebrews 5:6, 10, 6:20, 7:1, 10f, 15, 17, 21.
Portions of Psalm 110 are quoted more in the New Testament than from any other Old Testament passage. While King David wrote Psalm 110 with reference to himself, the New Testament writers correctly attribute the Psalm’s message to Jesus Christ, the prophesies He fulfilled, and His present status as God’s co-regent. In Psalm 110 the subject (Christ) is different from Melchizedek.

The Order of Melchizedek

“The Lord has sworn, and will not repent, ‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’”

Psalm 110:4

The phrase “after the order of” is a way of saying that the subject of that verse was “like” or “as” Melchizedek. This should be sufficient alone to demonstrate that David was NOT Melchizedek. But there is more. Of course the passages in the Book of Hebrews understand that distinction between Christ and Melchizedek. The passages there are a commentary and expansion upon the passages in the Old Testament. The passages also clearly denote a distinction and a difference between Melchizedek and Christ by using comparative words:

“after the order of” in Hebrews 5:6 (but not identified with Melchizedek beyond the relationship of the “order” of the priesthood).

“after the order of” in Hebrews 5:10

“after the order of” in Hebrews 6:20

“made like unto the Son of God in Hebrews 7:3 (in context from vv. 1-3).

It does not say Melchizedek was the Son of God, which would have been easy and reasonable for Paul to do.

“after the order of” in Hebrews 7:10f

“after the similitude of” in Hebrews 7:15

“after the order of” in Hebrews 7:17 (quoting Psalm 110:4)

“after the order of” in Hebrews 7:21

Nowhere does it say that Melchizedek WAS Christ. In fact Paul assiduously avoided doing so, continually making comparisons between Melchizedek and Christ.

Was Melchizedek a Man?

Does not Hebrews 7:4 say that Melchizedek was a man? Speaking of him:

“Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”

Hebrews 7:4

Well, no. Actually the text has a demonstrative pronoun “this one” or “this,” without a particular reference. The word translated in the King James is not a noun meaning “man” or “person” or even “human.” The word has no reference to a human being. And indeed this is consistent with the other verses regarding Melchizedek, because he was not a human being.

I agree with Dr. Martin, that Melchizedek was NOT a Son of God. (There were several, back in the past: Genesis 6:2–4; Job 1:6, 2:1, 38:7; and in the time of the apostles to the present: John 1:12; Romans 8:14, 19; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1–2).

And Melchizedek was distinct from Jesus Christ. In fact, Dr. Martin understood Melchizedek to be the “Angel of the Lord,” who was also the other anointed cherub who was the twin to the King of Tyre (the rebellious anointed cherub of Ezekiel 28:14). Once this is understood, then the entire passage of Hebrews 6:7–7:28 makes clear common sense.

See the reasoning about the above passages in Dr. Martin’s book, The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine., pages 345 and 370. See particularly Dr. Martin’s excellent article “Discovering the Mark of the Beast.”

I hope this is helpful.

David Sielaff
david@askelm.com

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