|Who was Melchizedek?||| Print ||
|Written by drk|
|Thursday, 02 October 2008 06:12|
Dr. Kluane Spake
The identity of Melchizedek (Melchizedek) has been the subject of much debate.
Hebrews tells us about the nature of the Melchizedek priesthood. His identity does not seem to be veiled to those in the early church to the same degree that it is to us. Perhaps because they had the tradition of their forefathers' teaching which was passed down from generation to generation.
Rabbinical literature claims that Melchizedek from the lineage of Shem. This view is called a theophany - meaning he was a man. The Dead Sea Scrolls seems to affirm that Melchizedek was Jesus preincarnate. His mysterious identity may never be positively known for sure. There is evidence for both of these points of view.
What is important to us is WHY was there a need to change the priesthood from the Levitical (Aaronic) order to the order of Melchizedek? Hebrews 7 tells us that the priesthood CHANGED.
First, let’s establish that Jesus was born from the tribe of Judah not Levi. The early Jews claimed that Jesus could not have been a priest since He was not a Levite. Hebrews argues that Jesus was a Melchizedek priest of God. Hebrews also insists that the Melchizedek priesthood was superior to the Levitical priests. The Melchizedek priesthood was said to be superior to that of the Law of Moses by insisting the order of priesthood necessitated a CHANGE of covenants.
Melchizedek was both a king and priest, as was Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:1, 3). It appears that this Melchizedek was a literal king over a literal city called Salem. Most scholars agree that Salem was the ancient name for Jerusalem. Please notice salem is the root word of "Jeru-salem." Psalm 76:2 also equates Salem with Zion, where the tabernacle of God dwells.
“Salem” means peace. Hebrews 7:2 tells us that Melchizedek is the King of Peace, In ancient times, cities and people were named for specific reasons. The city of Jerusalem meant peace. We are to pray for the PEACE of Jerusalem.
Hebrews 7:3 indicates that Melchizedek could have been eternal "without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days or end of life." However, we can find this expression in secular literature of the day to mean that a certain person did not have a recorded genealogy.
Many of the famous people of the Bible have their births and deaths recorded. The Levitical priest also But of Melchizedek it is said, "having neither beginning of days, nor end of life" (Hebrews 7:3). This could merely mean that the day of Melchizedek's birth and death are not recorded. Levitical priests could not become a priest until they were twenty-five years old, and they retired at the age of fifty (Numbers 4:1-3, 22-23, 35, 43; 8:24-25). Age was vital to the Aaronic priesthood -- but seemingly not to the Melchizedek Priesthood. He was as a priest for life. Melchizedek "abides a priest continually." The word "abides" in the Greek is in the present tense, indicating continuous action. This means that the Melchizedek is a priesthood of endless life that never dies.
To the Jew, genealogy was vitally important – especially for the priesthood. If a man could not prove his lineage, he could never become a priest (Nehemiah 7:64). The phrase "without descent" (Heb. 7:3) is translated from the Greek word agenealogetos which could also have meant the absence of a traced genealogy. "Genealogetos” is a person who’s name is entered on record. Therefore, agenealogetos is a person whose descent and pedigree is not entered or recorded.
The genealogical descent of Melchizedek wasn’t important, because THIS priesthood was not dependant on genealogy.
Under the Law of Moses, the priesthood had to be of the Levitical order (Aaronic). Therefore, the Law had to be fulfilled in Christ and the priesthood had to be changed so that we could become priests!
Hebrews 7:17 reads, "For he testifies, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek." Notice that the priesthood of Jesus is a priesthood after His order. The New Covenant which was established by the blood of Christ changed the order of the priesthood. Jesus, being a descendant of Judah (praise) established a different order of priesthood for us to enjoy.
Jesus was made priest "after the power of an endless life" (vs. 16-17). Imagine! This is what Jesus gives to us.
We must obtain a greater understanding of the Melchizedek priesthood in order to activate the priesthood that we hold.
There is LOTS of applicable information about Melchizedek on the DVD in our Store !
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:46|