Melchizedek is mentioned in the Old Testament only in Genesis 14:18-20; Psalms 110:4, and in the New Testament only in the book of Hebrews 6:20 to 7:21.

The Old Testament

Some teach that Melchizedek was Christ; others, the Holy Spirit; others, Shem; or a supernatural being. But there is no Biblical evidence to any of these claims. The Bible tells us that Melchizedek was one of the contemporaries of Abraham, king of one of the small areas of that time.

Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High” (Genesis 14:18). The priest-king of Salem joins the king of Sodom in welcoming Abram. While Sodom’s king came to see Abram for having the release of his subjects (Genesis 14:21), Melchizedek came to bless the triumphant commander. In the days of Abram, Jerusalem was known as Salem, or Shalem, “peace,” (Psalm 76:2) and Melchizedek, “my king is righteous” or “King of righteousness” (Hebrews 7:2).

Melchizedek was not Christ but He is a type of Christ, based on the Messianic prediction that says, “The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:4).

The New Testament

The writer of the book of Hebrews says, “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,  to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,”  without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually” (Hebrews 7:1-3).

Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek the high priest of the booty taken from the enemy. This was an acknowledgment of the divine priesthood of Melchizedek, and it shows that Abram knew about the sacred institution of tithe paying even before Moses.

About Melchizedek having no end of life, this can mean that either he didn’t pass away or people have no record of his death. So, even though we have no recorded evidence of his death, we can say that being a mere man, Melchizedek died. Or maybe the Lord took him to heaven as He did to Elijah and Enoch. Without a doubt he was not Jesus because Jesus Christ ascended to heaven and is alive there. His unexpected appearance makes him in a certain sense a timeless person, and his priesthood a type of the priesthood of Jesus Christ.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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