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Mysterious Melchizedek

“Mysterious Melchizedek” by Bro. Darrell W. Brown


We read in the Book of Genesis about a mysterious encounter that took place after Abraham rescued his nephew, Lot, from an attack by a coalition of kings from the East. Upon his return, Abraham was met a man by the name of Melchizedek, who was the King of Salem and called “a priest of the most high God.” Melchizedek brought bread and wine and blessed Abraham (Gen. 14:19-20). We also read that Abraham gave him a tithe of one-tenth of all his possessions. So, who was this mysterious King of Salem that commanded the reverence of the father of the Jewish race, Abraham?

The Book of Hebrews gives us a little insight into Melchizedek in Heb. 7:1-10. We learn his name meant, “King of Righteousness” and “King of Peace.” Next, comes an intriguing description of Melchizedek (Heb. 7:3). The fact that he had no parents or beginning or end of the days of his life, makes theologians wonder if he was some kind of divine or superhuman being. Most people reject this notion, since that would ascribe to another being that which only belongs to God, and that is His eternalness. Even in the Judeo-Christian worldview, all creatures-- even the angels-- had a beginning.

So, why then does the Holy Bible speak about Melchizedek in such terms? Many theologians believe that Melchizedek was used by the writer of Hebrews (possibly Paul, Barnabas, or Apollos) as a “type” of Christ, someone who in some respects resembled the divine figure of the Messiah. Some theologians (not a lot) actually believe that the appearance of Melchizedek was in fact a pre-New Testament appearance of Jesus Christ.

Nothing is known about Melchizedek’s origins, so in this respect, he is very similar to the Messiah, who came from God. To emphasize his divinity, Jesus is described in Hebrews as being a priest “in the order of Melchizedek,” rather than being a priest in the order of the Aaronic priesthood. Also, King David wrote in Psalm 110:4 that the coming messiah would be forever a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Like other mysteries of the Bible, the identity of Melchizedek, may never be fully known, or understood, until we get to Heaven!