After the Order of Melchizedek

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What is the meaning of the phrase  “After of Melchizedek?”

Psalm 110 speaks about a person who is a king and a priest, but in the history of Israel, there was never such a king. It could be that the psalm speaks about a future king-priest. It is obvious that it deals not with a historical king, but with the messiah. The prediction of Jesus’ priesthood according to the order of Melchizedek indicated that the Aaronic priesthood was transitory (Heb 7 verses 11–14), and imperfect—that is, salvation from sin—was not possible through the Aaronic priesthood.

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This meant that God intended to change the priestly law, making it possible for one who was not a descendant of Aaron to become a High Priest. Once the new High Priest after the order of Melchizedek arrived, the typical priesthood would end (verses 15–19). Christ became priest, not on the basis of genealogical ties, but by a divine declaration. His priesthood is permanent because His life is indestructible. This is called in biblical theology typology. Whether or not typology can legitimately be embraced in the interpretation of certain messianic prophecies is by far the most controversial question.

One area of OT typology was that of typical individuals who served as prototypes both of other individuals within the OT and of Christ; in addition, the Melchizedek of Genesis 14:18-20 served as an individual type of the Messiah within the OT, as evinced in Psalm 110:4; and that the author of the Book of Hebrews utilized the Melchizedekian typology already employed within the OT canon to further his arguments for the supremacy of the priesthood of Jesus to that of the Levites. Matthew Henry and et al. reference to Hebrew 7. that Melchizedek met Abraham returning from the rescue of Lot, Melchizedek’s name, “King of Righteousness,” doubtless suitable to his character, marked him as a type of the Messiah and his kingdom. The name of his city signified “Peace;” and as King of Peace, he typified Christ, the Prince of Peace, the great Reconciler of God and man. Nothing is recorded as to the beginning or end of his life; thus he typically resembled the Son of God, whose existence is from everlasting to everlasting, who had no one that was before Him and will have no one come after Him, in His priesthood.

Every part of Scripture honors the great King of Righteousness and Peace, our glorious High Priest and Savior; and the more we examine it, the more we shall be convinced, that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. There are strong parallels between Melchizedek and Jesus: both are the Sons of God, priest of the Order of Melchizedek, King of Righteous, King of Peace, appointed by God, eternal priesthood, and preexistent. Statement of the Problem The problem this paper espouses is embodied in the questions: What was so special about the order of Melchizedek?

Why would God juxtapose the order of Melchizedek to that of Jesus if there were no credence to it?

Significance of the Study

The study is significant because it will explore the intertextual study of Melchizedek in relation to Jesus Christ. The study is vital because it will contribute to the knowledge of bringing to focus the importance of Jesus’ priesthood as superior and more elevating and able to meet the needs of God’s people during the closing days of earth’s history. Purpose of the Study

The main thrust of this paper is to provide a clearer view of the superior and excellent perception of Jesus’ priesthood as efficacious enough for the people of God. In reality, Jesus Christ is the only true priestly mediator between God and the human race. The priesthoods of Aaron and Melchizedek serve only as role models of Christ’s effective ministry. “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time” (1 Tim. 2:5,6).


The paper will be delimited to the few pericopes about Melchizedek in Genesis 14, Psalm 110, and the letter to the Hebrews chapter 7. Methodology This is qualitative research that describes Melchizedek and Jesus’ priesthood from Jewish and Christian sources. Chapter 1 is a description of the introduction that includes the significance of the study, purpose, and the delimitation of the research. Chapter 2 contains the literature review that extrapolates sources from Jewish, Christian, and non-Christian literature to expound on Melchizedek and Jesus’ priesthood as relevant to the plan of salvation.

Typology of Jesus and Melchozedek

What is Typology?

Exactly what is a type? Theologically speaking, a type may be defined as “a figure or ensample of something future and more or less prophetic, called the ‘Antitype’”. Muenscher says a type is “the preordained representative relation which certain persons, events, and institutions of the Old Testament bear to corresponding persons, events, and institutions in the New”. Wick Broomall has a concise statement that is helpful: “A type is a shadow cast on the pages of the Old Testament history by a truth whose full embodiment or antitype is found in the New Testament revelation”. We would, in summary, suggest the following definition, which we paraphrase from Terry: A type is a real, exalted happening in history which was divinely ordained by the omniscient God to be a prophetic picture of the good things which he purposed to bring to fruition in Christ Jesus.

Who is Melchizedek?

The identification of Melchizedek has been highly debated in the history of the church. Jewish tradition has identified Melchizedek with Shem, the son of Noah who, after the chronology in Genesis, survived the flood and lived at a time when Abraham was alive and was his contemporary for a hundred years. Christian tradition has proposed different interpretations to identify who Melchizedek was. Origen said that Melchizedek was an angel. Others have proposed that he was the Holy Spirit in human form.

Many Christians, ancient and contemporary, have said that this is a classical example of a Christophany in the Old Testament, that is, Melchizedek was Jesus Christ himself, who appeared to Abraham in human form. The concept of Christophany should be rejected because it contradicts the statement in the book of Hebrews that Jesus was designated a Priest after the order of Melchizedek. If Melchizedek was Christ then how could Christ himself become a Priest in the likeness of Melchizedek? Ellen White wrote in the Review and Herald that it was Christ that spoke through Melchizedek, the priest of the Highest God.

Melchizedek was not Christ, but he was the voice of God in the world, the representative of the Father. And all through the generations of the past, Christ has spoken; Christ has led His people and has been the light of the world. Another view is that Melchizedek was a type of Christ. The typological interpretation suggests that the priesthood of Melchizedek was a type of Christ’s priesthood. As Melchizedek was a priest of the Most High God, so was Jesus. As Melchizedek was a king, so was Jesus. Both Melchizedek and Jesus were royal priests.

In the persons of Melchizedek and Jesus, the offices of priest and king were combined. For this paper, we are going to focus on the view that Melchizedek was a type of Jesus. After The Order of Melchizedek The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Ps 110,4). Unlike the ordinary priests, for whom it was possible to be of priestly descent and yet not actually function as priests (cf. Deut 18,6-8; Lev 21,17-23), the priesthood of Jesus priest was sworn unto Him by God Himself to be after the order of Melchizedek.

He was not of any priestly descent inasmuch as he was not of the tribe of Levi, nor was he a priest in the sense of someone who was actually employed as a sanctuary attendant and was carrying out sanctuary duties on a day-to-day basis. However, his priesthood was more permanent and enduring than that of any other priest, since whether or not he was functioning in the sanctuary and ‘doing the job’ of a priest, he was by definition a mediator between people and deity for the rest of his life. [11] Christ was a priest of God after the “order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:11,17).

The word “order” (taxis) signifies an “arrangement. ” In this connection, it means “of a similar arrangement,” i. e. , the nature of, or “just like Melchizedek”. The meaning is this: in some sense, the kingly-priesthood of Jesus would be similar in nature to that of Melchizedek. Note the reference to Psalm 110:4 above, and observe that Christ made the application of this Psalm to Himself in Matthew 22:43-45. It was not that Melchizedek was “without father, without mother” literally, or that he had no genealogical background.

No, the truth being conveyed was this. Whereas the Aaronic priesthood resulted from being a part of a family line, i. e. , the descendants of Aaron, Moses’ brother, the priesthood of Melchizedek was bestowed directly by God. And it was precisely in this manner that the Lord Jesus was appointed as our High Priest; he did not inherit it by means of a physical lineage (cf. Hebrews 7:14). In the Letter to the Hebrews, the author uses the figure of Melchizedek in his reflection on the salvation-historical significance of Jesus' life.

Although there are probably original elements to his use of Melchizedek, much of what he affirms about Melchizedek is parallel or similar to what is found in Jesus. The author uses the view that his readers had about Melchizedek for the purpose of proving the superiority of Jesus' High Priesthood to that of Aaron and his descendants. His goal is to demonstrate that Christ's death brings the Levitical sacrificial system to an end. The figure of Melchizedek sees the unification of king and high priest into one individual. These two offices were separated in the Mosaic covenant and also later in the Davidic covenant.

Moses led the people whereas Aaron his brother founded a high-priestly order; later when God swore to David that he would establish his dynasty forever, the high priesthood belonged to the family of Zadok, who was a priest (from the line of Aaron). Melchizedek, in the author's view, prefigures the unification of two offices in one person, which should come to pass in the "last days. " To be a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek is to be both king and priest. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes in Abraham. 0 For he was yet in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Abraham, the father of the Levites and the nation of Israel, paid tithes to Melchizedek, and because of that, through Abraham, Levi also paid tithes to Melchizedek, so to speak. In doing so, not only was Melchizedek greater than Abraham, but greater than Levi and the priesthood that bore his name. If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, for under it the people received the law, what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

The writer, having established the superiority of the priestly ministry of Melchizedek over the Levitical priesthood, now shows the superiority of the priestly ministry of Christ Jesus over both. Perfection, as we have seen in this paper, refers to salvation. Perfection is the New Testament sacrifice; it is salvation through the sacrifice of Christ, and the completeness of His entire work for the believer. In addition if the Levitical priesthood and the Mosaic Law could bring a person into salvation, reconciliation and access to God, then there was no need for another priest to come after the order of Melchizedek.

The fact that there was one who came after the order of Melchizedek proved the failure of the Levitical priesthood and the Mosaic Law to provide complete and comprehensive salvation that only Christ, our great High Priest, provides. It means that Christ was not a High Priest, as in Aaronic and the Levitical order (according to the law of Moses). The High Priesthood of Jesus Christ is of a higher order! Christ was and is a High Priest like Melchizedek; and not as Aaron or Levi.

Note the following:

  1. Melchizedek's position as High Priest was not dependent on ancestry... either was Christ's. (7:14).
  2. Melchizedek was not in a succession of many priests... neither is Christ. (7:3).
  3. Melchizedek's priesthood was higher than and separate from the Levitical order... so is Christ's. (7:4-7).
  4. Melchizedek was priest and king... so is Christ! (See Zech. 6:9-15).
  5. Melchizedek received tribute from Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation; this shows the superiority of Melchizedek's priesthood above the Levitical (which came out of the loins of Abraham). {See Gen. 14:18-20 with Heb. 7:4}


The replacing of the old priesthood with the eternal priesthood of Christ also meant a replacement of the Old Covenant with the New Covenant, which was required. All of this was set up, executed and revealed by God, for the purpose of convincing the Jews - their old Levitical priesthood was now history. And it means that we have a High Priest and access to God! "For such a high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens.

Who needed not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people; for this, he did once when he offered up himself. " (Heb. 7:26-27). ?? "Wherefore, he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lived to make intercession for them," (Heb. 7:25).


A careful reading of Hebrews 7 provides a lens for understanding the rest of the letter. Christ’s priesthood, its efficacy and our response, is the main theme of the letter, and this is expounded carefully in chap. 7, via the vehicle of Melchizedek.

In the form of true Hebrew poetics, repetitions of references to Melchizedek lead the reader on a hermeneutical journey. However, also in good Hebrew form, what is left unsaid explicitly also colors the reading and understanding and makes the possibilities for interpretation even richer.


After a careful analysis of the juxtaposition position of the Melchizedek’s priesthood and Priesthood of Christ, this paper proposes the following recommendation for further research: In examining the priesthood of Christ, does grace have any antecedents?

What has Christ to offer up for the perfection of His Priesthood in heaven? Does Christ Priesthood offer any hope of salvation to the sinner?



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