Melchizedek the Priest

Hebrews 7.1

This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.  This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.Hebrews 7:1-10

The writer of Hebrews continues to explain the superiority of Jesus as He focuses on Jesus as our Great High Priest. This is necessary because the Jews were well familiar with Aaron’s priesthood and the tribe of Levi.

We need to set the Scripture in context by reading Genesis 14:17-24:

17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley), after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him.  18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said:

“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20 And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”

And he gave him a tithe of all.

21 Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.”

22 But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, 23 that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’— 24 except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”

Some facts about Melchizedek according to Hebrews 7:1-10:

  • He was both king and priest (while Aaron was the first Levitical priest, Aaron was a priest only- not king). Melchizedek was not of the Levitical order, he was the priest of the Most High God – verse 1
  • His name means “king of righteousness” then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”
  • His family history – The Old Testament record did not record his father or mother, his genealogy, date of birth or death…in this way, he is like the Son of God
  • He receive tithes and blessed Abraham- Abraham gave him tithes,This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.” Abraham acknowledged the authority Melchizedek by giving the tithe and Melchizedek blessed Abraham, And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater.
  • Aaron and the tribe of Levi were not yet known, they were “in the loins of Abraham.” When Abraham acknowledged the greatness of Melchizedek, he did it for the future generations as well. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, 10 because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.

And yet Jesus is Superior to Abraham and Melchizedek…Praise God!

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To Know Jesus as Lord and Savior

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