Melchizedek is mentioned in Genesis 14:18-20, but in Hebrews 7:11 it states that Jesus is a priest in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron. Other attributes of Melchizedek are noted in Hebrews 7 as well. From where does this information about Melchizedek and his order come?
Melchizedek was a priest-king (symbolized in the priestly bread and kingly wine), a ministry which was a succession initiated by Noah: men who mediated for God but also had the power of the state (execution of murderers). Most importantly, this was a priesthood of all nations. All men were under the Noahic Covenant.
With the circumcision of Abraham, this changed. Symbolically, Adam was cut in two (hence the application of blood and oil to only one side of Aaronic priests). The Aaronic priesthood concerned only one nation, which would serve as mediator, making sacrifices for all other nations.
The death, resurrection and ascension of Christ completed this Aaronic ministry, and end the circumcision. The ministry of Christ in heaven is thus like that of Melchizedek, a priesthood of all nations. All men everywhere are called to repent - and once baptized may serve as witnesses for Christ.
Related to this is the fact that Aaronic priests always tipped out the wine. They could not drink it as kings in God's presence. This was case between Melchizedek's meeting with Abraham and the Last Supper.
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In Hebrews 7:11 the KJV reads 'after the order of Melchisedec' while the NIV reads 'one in the order of Melchizedek'. In Hebrews 5:6 the KJV reads 'after the order of Melchisedec' while the NIV reads 'you are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek'. In other words, the translators see "in the order" and "after the order" as meaning the same thing.
Since the man who is now serving in the office of high priest to his God is permanent there is no possibility of making another change of the law. Therefore salvation can only be acquired, as a grant, by the faith of obeying this law. "For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." Rom. 2:13
Answer to question on topic: Historically there is a clear distinction between the king and the high priest. The first was always from the tribe of Judah and the second from the tribe of Levi. Even if there are examples of kings that also were priests, that was never an accepted order.
Still Jesus is claimed to be the Messiah (King):
AND the high priest:
The author of Hebrews argue that the office of Jesus goes back even further than to David and Aaron, even further than Levi. It goes all the way back to Melchizedek which merged the two offices in one:
That way it was possible for Jesus to both be considered a priest and a king.
As a side note, Jesus was also from the tribe of Judah by his earthly father (Luke 2:4) and of the tribe of Levi on his mothers side (Luke 1:5-6, 36).
These things were obviously very important for a Jew considering if Jesus was who the Christians claimed that he is.