Who Is Melchizedek?

Prerequisite studies: the Godhead studies

Genesis 14:17-20 “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. 18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he [Abraham] gave him tithes of all.”

There have been various suggestions for Melchizedek; Shem (an unknown priest) and Jesus. The problem with these interpretations is that we start to make the scripture contradict itself. However, if we let the Bible give the clear evidence, we will come to the conclusion. We are given some important facts about Melchizedek and his characteristics:

Hebrews 7:1-3 “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; 2 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”

From Hebrews chapter seven, we get a checklist:

  1. Without father
  2. Without mother
  3. Without descent
  4. Having neither beginning of days
  5. Nor end of life
  6. Made like unto the Son of God
  7. Abideth a priest continually (still alive)

Using a simple checklist derived from scripture, we can now test to see if Shem matches the seven criteria:

  1. Without father - Genesis 6:10 “And “Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.” - Failed
  2. Without mother - Genesis 7:7 “And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife…” - Failed
  3. Without descent (no ancestors) - Luke 3:36which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech…”- Failed
  4. Having neither beginning of days - Genesis 6:10 “And “Noah begat three sons, Shem…” - Failed
  5. Nor end of life - Genesis 11:11And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.” - Failed
  6. Made like unto the Son of God - Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image…”  Pass
  7. Abideth a priest continually - Genesis 11:11And Shem lived after he begat Arphaxad five hundred years, and begat sons and daughters.”- Failed (Shem is dead)

We can see that because Shem fails to meet 6 of the criteria listed above, he cannot be Melchizedek. Just by doing a critical examination of the list, one sees that this can’t be any human being because of Hebrews 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” One could say “how about humans that have never died (Enoch or Elijah)?” But the scripture says he has “neither beginning of days”. The very fact that all men are born makes it clear this can’t be ANY human. Even angels are created beings, so they still don’t make the cut because he has “neither beginning of days”.

The scripture is very clear. This Melchizedek is a God. The question becomes which one? The Father, Son or Holy Spirit?

Why it can’t be the Father

John 1:18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Due to scripture not being able to contradict itself, we learn from this that no one has seen the Father “at any time”. Hebrews 7:1 “For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham…” This Melchizedek “met” Abraham. We can easily conclude that this can’t be the Father, plus it says priest “of” the most high God.

Why it can't be Jesus

In Hebrews chapter 7, we see that Jesus seems to fit only five of the seven markers: 

  1. Without father - Jesus is eternal - Pass
  2. Without mother - Jesus needed no mother to exist - Pass
  3. Without descent - Jesus had no ancestry - Pass
  4. Having neither beginning of days - Jesus had no beginning of days - Pass
  5. Nor end of life - He is alive forever more - Pass
  6. Made like unto the Son of God - He can’t be “made like unto” himself - Failed
  7. Abideth a priest continually (still alive) - Hebrews 5:5 “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.” - Failed 

The Father made Christ a high priest but after the order of Melchizedek; Hebrews 5:5-6 “So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.” If Christ was the high priest before the world was even created, how could he be made a high priest after the cross? If one is an accountant for a company can someone make you what you already are? No! You can’t be made what you already are. It’s also clear reading further on that Melchizedek isn’t Christ because Paul talks about Him as a separate person in Hebrews 5:8-11Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; 10 Called of God [Father] an high priest after the order of Melchisedec 11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.” Paul actually mentions that he has a lot of things to say about Melchizedek but hard to be uttered, meanwhile, Paul says about Christ in Romans 15:19 saying, “Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.” It’s clear Jesus is not Melchizedek.

Why does Hebrews say “made like unto the Son of God”? The phrase “made like unto” in modern day English would equate to “looks like”. Exodus 25:33 Three bowls made like unto almonds…” In creating the sanctuary, these three bowls were meant to be shaped like almonds, Exodus 25:34 “And in the candlesticks shall be four bowls made like unto almonds.” This means Melchizedek looks like the son of God. Now hang on... Does more than one person look like Jesus? Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” there was more than one person involved in the decision making for what man would look like. All of those people happened to look like Jesus. Genesis 1:2 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The only other candidate who checks all seven boxes is the Holy Spirit:

  1. Without father - Holy Spirit is eternal
  2. Without mother - Holy Spirit needed no mother to exist 
  3. Without descent - Holy Spirit had no ancestry
  4. Having neither beginning of days - Holy Spirit had no beginning of days
  5. Nor end of life - Holy Spirit is alive forever more 
  6. Made like unto the Son of God - Holy Spirit looks like Jesus
  7. Abideth a priest continually (still alive) - Holy Spirit is still a high priest

The Holy Spirit has always been Christ’s representative on earth, while he’s not the angel of the Lord (who is Christ), we see he has been ever present in the affairs of man.

Hebrews 7 explained

Hebrews 7:4-24 “Now consider how great this man [Melchizedek] was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

(Consider how great Melchizedek was, who even Abraham paid tithes to, after the battle of kings in Genesis 14)

5  And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

(The priests that are the sons of Levi, to whom all the children of Israel paid tithes to came out of Abraham’s loins, however their father was paying tithes to a priest before they were ever even born)

6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

(Whilst Abraham had the promises of God, and in him was all nations of the earth to be blessed yet, we still see that Melchizedek was able to bless him, whilst not being one of his children. Yet this isn’t a contradiction because “the less [Abraham] is blessed of the better [Melchizedek]”)

8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.

(Even the men receiving tithes up to Paul’s day (including himself) die, but contrary to that he [Melchizedek] that “receiveth them [the tithes]” “he liveth”. This makes it clear Melchizedek is still alive over 3,800 years later. This man is clearly not human. That’s why Paul said in Hebrews 5:11 Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered…”. Realising that your father Abraham wasn’t talking to a regular man but the Holy Spirit is a hard thing to be uttered.)

9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.

10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

11 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 Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

(Levi paid his tithes to Abraham; however, he wasn’t even born when Melchizedek met Abraham. If the Law could only ordain priests after the order of Aaron (Moses’s brother), why didn’t Christ become a high priest after the order of Aaron? True Christians understand Aaron’s priesthood was only a type of the antitype in heaven. Aaron’s priesthood wasn’t the heavenly priesthood.)

12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.

13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.

14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

(Since the priesthood was to be changed, the commandments contained in ordinances or laws pertaining to the temple would also need to change. This is because according to the law, the tribe of Levi are to be priests, however “he [Jesus] who these things are spoken” was part of “another tribe” namely being the tribe of Judah. So according to the law, Christ can’t be a high priest after the earthly order.)

15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,

16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.

(Christ becomes a priest after the order of Melchizedek. The priesthood of Melchizedek isn’t after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. This implies Melchizedek has “an endless life”. Melchizedek is a God.)

17 For he [the Father] testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

(Paul is quoting Psalm 110:1-4 The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. 2 The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. 3 Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth. 4 The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”)

18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.

(For Christ to be our legal high priest, a new covenant is needed, because according to the old one, our high priest must be a descendant of Aaron, however that law due to its “weakness and unprofitableness thereof was to be disannulled; it was only for a time. Galatians 3:19 “Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed [Jesus] should come to whom the promise was made..”)

20 And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest:

21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him [The Father] that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)

(The priests after the order of Aaron were made priests without an oath but Christ was made a high priest by an oath; an oath from the Father.)

22 By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.

23 And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:

(The reason why there were so many high priests is because they died.)

24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”

(Because The Holy Spirit lives forever, his priesthood can never change and can ensure that Christ finishes the work of salvation where he will declare “It is done” as seen in Revelation 21:6)

The government of heaven

There are three powers in heaven; 1 John 5:7three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” Each God has their own office. Isaiah 33:22 “For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; he will save us.”

  1. Our king - Jesus - Hebrews 1:8 “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.”
  2. Our Lawgiver - Father - Romans 7:25 “I thank God [Father] through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God…”
  3. Our Judge - Holy Spirit - Deuteronomy  17: 8-9 “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke, being matters of controversy within thy gates: then shalt thou arise, and get thee up into the place which the Lord thy God shall choose; 9 And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:”

Typically, the priests assisted with the judgement, however as the Holy Spirit is the “priest of the most high God” (Hebrews 7:1), He would be the judge and priest at the same time. Hence when Jesus is made a priest after his order, all judgement was given unto Jesus. John 5:22 “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” Jesus became a high priest after the order of the Holy Spirit. 

I pray this study has blessed you and allowed you to see that Jesus’s representative, The Holy Spirit, has always been with man, assisting us and helping us turn from our wicked ways and live.