Who is Melchizedek?

A couple of months ago I decided that it’s about time for me to read the whole bible. I started in Genesis and I am working my way towards Revelation. I recently got stuck in Hebrews, where a read about a very curious fellow called Melchizedek.

Please read Hebrews 5, 6 & 7 Hebrews 5 in my words says; Jesus was made a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. How curious?? But I continued to read while making my confused face and sometimes scratching at my head. In Hebrews 7, I read in my own words that Melchizedek means king of righteousness, he is the king of Salem which means king of peace and he resembles the Son of God. Melchizedek was apparently so great that Abraham paid tribute to him and gave him a tithe. He was not of Aaron’s order.

That would mean he is not from Abraham’s family. What did I miss? Who is this character? I put down my bible and picked up my phone, and did what any good student would do. I sent a text to someone who knows what they are talking about and asked the; who, what, when, where and why questions. As I must admit I am not very keen on consulting Google, when it comes to biblical things. Because you often come across some conspiracy theory or a half truth, so I needed a solid starting point before I got stuck in my research.

In the Bible you read about Melchizedek in 3 places namely: Hebrews, Genesis & Psalms

Hebrews 5 , 7

Genesis 14: 17-20 After Abram returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Shaveh Valley (that is, the King’s Valley). Melchizedek, king of Salem,brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. He blessed him and said: Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you. And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.(CSB)

Psalm 110:4 The Lord has sworn an oath and will not take it back:“You are a priest forever according to the pattern of Melchizedek.” (CSB)

There are 2 opinions of Melchizedek:

  • One is that he is a Christophany (appearance of Jesus in the Old Testament) and the assumption in the New Testament is that Melchizedek and Jesus are the same person.
  • The other is that he was/is a real person who was a king and a priest. With whom Jesus is compared because Jesus is the only other person known to be a king and a priest.

Job also worshiped God, so there where people other than Abraham and his family, that believed in and worshiped God.

I would say that I lean towards Melchizedek being a real person. He was the King of Salem (Jerusalem) and Priest of the Most High God during 1900BC, archaeologist Eli Shukron discovered the temple from the time period that Melchizedek reined. It is believed that this is where he blessed Abraham.

In my blog The Bible is a book of fiction I used the Dead Sea Scrolls found at the Qumran caves during the 1st Century BC to prove the existence of the Old Testament.

Scroll 11Q13 is the Melchizedek Dead Sea Scroll.  A.S. Van der Woude first published it in 1965. Melchizedek is a heavenly deliverer, who presides over the final judgement and condemnation of Satan, on the Day of Atonement at the end of the tenth Jubilee. The manuscript sheds light on Melchizedek’s character and the messianic concept to the early Christians in Hebrews (Vermes, G 1990:301)

Photo of the book: The Dead Sea Scrolls in English by G. Vermes

This takes us back to Hebrews, in Hebrews 7:3 it says resembling the Son of God. Resemble means similar in appearance or has similar qualities. Therefore Jesus and Melchizedek had the same qualities but they are not the same person.

The qualities are where the confusion comes in. So how are Melchizedek and Jesus similar?

MelchizedekJesus
King of Salem means king of peaceJesus is the king of peace
Melchizedek means king of righteousnessJesus is the king of righteousness
Priest of God Most HighJesus is the Priest of God Most High
Appointed by GodJesus was appointed by God
Just a personJesus is God

Melchizedek is therefore not a Christophany or Jesus as there is biblical and non-biblical proof that he was an actual person. He was such a great priest that he is used as a model to explain Jesus to the Hebrew church. Jesus is a greater King and Priest as he reigns forever, because he defeated sin and is seated on the throne in heaven.

1 Corinthians 15: 3- 4 For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.(CSB)

Eli Shukron: Melchizedek Standing Stone Was Kept Hidden | Living Passages Christian Travel
Who was Melchizedek? Southern Southern Seminary
  • Works Cited
  • Vermes G 1990 The Dead Sea Scrolls in English 4th ed England, Penquin Books

online works consulted

Who was Melchizedek? GotQuestions.org

Who was Melchizedek and what is his significance?

Is Melchizedek Jesus?

Melchizedek Dead Sea Scroll Found at Qumran

Archaeological Evidence For Melchizedek’s House of God

Archaeologist Says a Stone Pillar in the City of David is Where Abraham Met Melchizedek

Melchizedek, Abraham, and Biblical Accuracy

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