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Melchizedek: Figure of Christ. Introduction.  Melchizedek is the first Priest/King mentioned in the Bible in the Old Testament. He is from the city of Salem that later becomes Jerusalem . There is no mention of his nationality, his religion, his genealogy, or any other information .

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  •  Melchizedek is the first Priest/King mentioned in the Bible in the Old Testament. He is from the city of Salem that later becomes Jerusalem .
  • There is no mention of his nationality, his religion, his genealogy,or any other information.
  • Melchizedek is not so much a name as it is a title or designation.
  • Melchizedek consists of two Hebrew words, which is translated to “melek” and “tsedeq”. In Hebrew the word melek means ‘king’ and tsedeq means ‘righteousness’.
  • So the title “Melchizedek King of Salem” and the “King of Righteousness”, which is what Melchizedek means, and King of Peace (peace being the translation of Salem).
melchizedek in the old testament
Melchizedek in the old Testament.
  • This “King of Salem and Priest of God Most High”, met with Abram in the Valley of Shaveh, as Abram was returning from the war of the kings, brought him bread and wine and blessed him, to whom also Abram apportioned a tenth part of all the spoils. Genesis 14:17-20
melchizedek in the old testament cont
Melchizedek in the old Testament cont.
  • Note the “Sacrament of Bread and Wine” not the usual sacrificial meal of meat.
  • Here we have a Priest of the God Most High, King of Righteousness and Peace that Abram willing gives a tithe to.
  • Not only does Abram give him a tithing, but Melchizedek also blesses Abram and in return Abram swears an oath to the “Lord God Most High”. 
  • According to Old Testament teaching, the one who blessed occupied a position of superiority in reference to the one who received the blessing. Without any dispute the lesser offers tribute to and is blessed by the greater.

As we mention, according to Genesis:14 he is a Priest of the God Most High “blessed be Abram of God The Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth” This shows that Melchizedek was a priest of the same God that Abram later made a covenant with.

  • We contend that Melchizedek was indeed a superior to Abram and his blessing and Abram’s oath to the “Lord God Most High” was the catalyst that later set the stage for Abram’s covenant with God.

This priestly act of Melchizedek blessing was the bestowal of favor or privilege. Abram had been set apart by the Lord, and given honor and privilege. God later enters into a divine covenant with him, promising prominence, possessions multitudinous offspring and eternal blessings. Genesis 15:28-21

  • It is only after this blessing that the “word” of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision in Genesis 15 and later still in Genesis 17 that God makes his covenant with Abram and changes his name to Abraham.

Psalm 110:4 “The Lord hath sworn and will not repent “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

  • So now we have David who is inducted into the Order or Way of Melchizedek. 
  • Was this a way to insure that a religious group would be given a certain degree of rights and acknowledgement under the new King of Israel?  If so who were these people who followed The Way of Melchizedek - King of Righteousness and Peace?
melchizedek the figure of christ
Melchizedek (The figure of Christ)
  • Melchizedek takes on a whole new personality and meaning in the new testament.
  • The priesthood of Melchizedek in the New Testament is now an “order forever”.
  • Melchizedek was made priest without an oath and his priesthood can neither be transmitted nor interrupted by death: “this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
  • In contrast, the priesthood of Aaron had a history of disruptions and termination. 

The Book of Hebrews also presents Jesus as a priest after the order of Melchizedek (4:14-7:28).

  • Saint Paul draws directly from Psalm 110:4 and uses several crucial points to explain and prove that the priesthood of Christ is in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
  • Hebrews 5:6 ...He also said in another place, “You will be a priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.”
  • Hebrews 5:10 ...and God declared him to be high priest, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
  • Hebrews 6:20 ...On our behalf Jesus has gone in there before us and has become a high priest forever, in the priestly order of Melchizedek.
  • Hebrews 7:1-17
church fathers opinion
Church Fathers’ opinion
  • St. Jerome “This is he Melchizedek who offered the Holy sacrifice as Jesus offers Himself as a sacrifice through His Body and Blood”
  • St. Ambrosious “As Melchizedek was a Holy man, priest ,and king ,he symbolizes The Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • St. Caprianous “When Melchizedek offered the bread and wine to our father Abram, he gave us the understanding of the priesthood shows in the figures of the High priest Our Lord Jesus Christ”
melchizedek mentioned in our liturgical services
Melchizedek mentioned in our Liturgical services
  • When the Pope or the Bishop is presence;
    • After the reading of the Psalm we say “Let us exalt him in the church of his people, and bless him in the assembly of the elders, for he makes his families like flock, the righteous will see and be glad. The Lord swore and will not repent, for you are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek”.
    • During the conclusion of the service: “You received the grace of Moses, the priesthood of Melchizedek. You received the honor our father Peter the head of the apostles”.