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  1. I do not understand why Melchizedek is said "priest of God Most High" (Genesis 14:18) while to my humble knowledge, priesthood started in the law of Moses and at that point of time the law of Moses did not exist. Or, am I missing something?
  2. Hebrews 7:3 ".....resembling the Son of God he continues a priest for ever". I believe Christ is the only one Priest Who exists for ever who is with His Father God for ever.
  3. Hebrews 7:15,16 "15 This becomes even more evident when another priest arises in the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become a priest,..". Namely, Christ priesthood is after priest Melchizedek? Thus, where is Christ a priest forever?
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Yes, the Aaronic priesthood was established many centuries after Abram met Melchizedek the priest, according to the timeline of the biblical story. But priesthood is not unique to the religion of YHWH. Many religions, then as now, have priests. The Hebrew Bible also mentions priests of Egypt (e.g. Gen.47:22) and Midian (e.g. Ex.2:16) prior to the revelation to Moses, as well as priests of other gods afterward, including Dagon (e.g. 1Sam.5:5) and Baal (e.g. 2Ki.10:19). That Melchizedek is called a priest in Genesis 14:17-24 prior to the institution of the Aaronic priesthood is not a problem in itself.

The challenge comes when Melchizedek, priest of El Elyon, and Abram appear to serve the same god. ‘Melchizedek’ literally means ‘Sedeq is king’, and he is called a ‘priest of El Elyon’ and the ‘king of Salem’. All three names – Sedeq, El Elyon, and Shalem – are associated with gods of the pagan Canaanite pantheon. Here's the problem: the Hebrew god YHWH didn't appropriate the titles El and El Elyon (‘God Most High’) until centuries after this story’s putative setting. Consequently, many scholars see in these stories – which found their final form well over a millennium after Abraham is supposed to have lived – evidence of an evolution from Canaanite polytheism through Hebrew monolatry to Jewish monotheism. As history, the Melchizedek story is problematic, which is perhaps what prompts this question.

But if Melchizedek is understood not as a historical person but as a character in the founding myth of the Jewish nation, any anachronistic aspects of his story are unimportant. He appears at the beginning of the Bible as the archetypal king/priest of Jerusalem, a model of righteous and peaceful governance for later Jewish and Christian accommodation.

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  • "‘Melchizedek’ literally means ‘Sedeq is king’" Almost certain it means 'King of Righteousness'..' how did you arrive at that meaning? Feb 17 '18 at 23:34
  • Thanks, @SolaGratia. It depends on what language you’re translating it from, and when. Here I’m highlighting the ancient Semitic etymology of the name, prior to Biblical Hebrew. More here: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sydyk
    – Schuh
    Feb 18 '18 at 7:57
  • Forgive me, but doesn't giving an etymology prior to Biblical Hebrew defeat the purpose of Biblical exegesis? The link you gave itself asserts that the underlying meaning of the word is Righteousness. Leaving it untranslated implies it is the proper name of a pagan deity as opposed to a simple צדק 'Righteousness.' Feb 18 '18 at 14:14
  • Both are true. The multivalent words Jeru-salem and Melchi-zedek each incorporate the name of an ancient god (SLM and SDK, respectively) which later symbolized a virtue (peace and righteousness). My 2nd paragraph deals with the words’ historical reference (which is often ignored), and the 3rd names their symbolic meaning (as every Bible dictionary explains). I think both are relevant to exegeting this text.
    – Schuh
    Feb 18 '18 at 16:48
  • I'm not sure I agree these were gods before they were virtues. As I would dispute that בעל ('lord/master') came from B'aal and not the other way around. But this is not the place to debate such things. Feb 18 '18 at 17:21
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Melchizedek could only be the Holy Spirit. He cannot be Jesus which I previously thought. According to Hebrews 7:1 Melchizedek was priest to the most high God. If one studies the scriptures it will be seen that the most high God is Jesus, so it doesn't make sense that he is priest to himself. As well as the Most High and also the Highest refers to Jesus. Acts 16:17, Psalms 78:14-15 and 51-and 56 is Jesus. Philippians 2:9 and Ephesians 1:17-23 both say roughly that Jesus has a name above all names. Genesis 14:19 says blessed be Abraham of the most high God, possessor, (H7069)which means creator of heaven and earth. We know Jesus created the world...John 1:1 Melchizedek (H4442) is the order of the priesthood to which Christ belongs. Psalms 110:4 the LORD hath sworn and will not repent, thou (Jesus) art a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. That "order" should have already been established by God, don't you think? Hebrews 5:6 says "You are a priest forever after or according to, the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:9 is talking about Jesus. Now I read verse 10 as saying that Jesus was "Called of God, an high priest, after the ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK. THEREFORE I think God was saying He was the high priest and that he called Jesus to be the author of eternal salvation Verse 6.

Hebrews 7:3 states that this King of Salem was without father without mother without descent having neither beginning of days nor end of life. That could only be the Father-or the Holy Spirit. Revelation 3:14 says Jesus was the beginning of the creation of God. So, Melchizedek could not be Jesus. Hebrews 7:6 states that Melchizedeks is NOT from them....Levi or Levitical line, verse 5. Hebrews 7:15-16 after the similitude of Melchizedek there ariseth another Priest.....this then must be Jesus who is the other priest.

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