Melchizedek The Priest

A little girl asked this question of her mother. “Mother, who made God?” The mother was astonished that her little girl should ask such a question. “That’s a mighty big question,” she replied, The mother took off her wedding ring and, placing it in the h … More


We now come to the mysterious king-priest Melchizedek (v. 1). We do not know a great deal about him. In Genesis 14 there are only three verses about him (Gen. 14:18-20). The writer of Hebrews uses this story from Genesis to show that Christ is even greater than Abraham, father of the Jewish nation, and Levi (Abraham’s descendant). Therefore, the Jewish priesthood (made up of Levi’s descendants) was inferior to Melchizedek’s priesthood (A type of Christ’s priesthood).

A thousand years later David makes a brief mention about him in Psalm 110:4. And now after another thousand years, the writer of Hebrews gives us a little more information about him. The writer sees in the name of Melchizedek, and in the name of his city, indications of the kind of king he was (v. 2). There is much speculation about Melchizedek, but it seems that he was a historical person whose ministry was a type of Christ. He was the king of Salem, which became Jerusalem.

Melchizedek was a king and priest whose priestly order was “forever,” which is the main teaching of Christ in this chapter. The writer then says something very strange about Melchizedek that the text in Genesis does not say (vv. 3-10): He had no parents, genealogy, birth or death. Unlike other important figures in Genesis, none of these things was recorded about Melchizedek. He just wanders onto the pages of Genesis for a few verses and wanders off. Jesus, in His incarnation, had a father (the Heavenly Father), a mother, and a recorded genealogy - a kingly genealogy, but not a priestly genealogy (vv. 5-10). Like Melchizedek, Jesus is qualified to be a priest without the expected ancestry. Christ did not achieve His position by the authority of earthly parents. He had no descendants to take His position. He too is a continual priest, and He is the Son of God.


The Lord Jesus, my great High Priest, lives forever in heaven. When I am tempted to make compromising deals in this world I need to remember that my dependence must be in Him.

Hebrews 7:1-10 (English Standard Version)

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, and to him Abraham apportioned a tenth part of everything. He is first, by translation of his name, king of righteousness, and then he is also king of Salem, that is, king of peace. He is without father or mother or genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God he continues a priest forever. See how great this man was to whom Abraham the patriarch gave a tenth of the spoils! And those descendants of Levi who receive the priestly office have a commandment in the law to take tithes from the people, that is, from their brothers, though these also are descended from Abraham. But this man who does not have his descent from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. In the one case tithes are received by mortal men, but in the other case, by one of whom it is testified that he lives. One might even say that Levi himself, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, for he was still in the loins of his ancestor when Melchizedek met him.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »