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For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men.... He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.(Hebrews 5:1)

According to the scripture above, Melchizedek had to be human to serve as priest.

(Genesis:14.18) Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High

Genesis 14 is a chapter dedicated to kings. Ten kings to be precise. The last of whom was Melchizedek. Since Melchizedek was king of Salem in Canaan;

QUESTIONS:

  1. Was Melchizedek, the king of Salem a Canaanite?

  2. As a king, who were his subjects in the land of Canaan?

  3. Did his priesthood serve any group of Canaanites at the time?

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  • I know that the writer of hebrews says that Melchizedek is "Without father or mother".
    – user20490
    Nov 26, 2017 at 0:50
  • 2
    But the absence of his genealogy has been accepted by some scholars as the reason he was described that way. Moreover only a Man can stand as priest on behalf of men according to Hebrews. Hence Melchizedek's priesthood would have been impossible without Adamic descent.
    – user20490
    Nov 26, 2017 at 0:51
  • This question is important to me because the Canaanites are described as a morally depraved people. This was how they were described from the days of Abraham and Melchizedek. If Melchizedek was king and priest in Canaan then there must have been Canaanites who were worshipping the true God at that time. So that's why I want to know if Melchizedek was a Canaanite. Thanks
    – user20490
    Nov 26, 2017 at 0:54
  • The doctrine of "the perspicuity of scripture" tells us that all of scripture is understandable. That may be but I think it it should mean that "you won't understand any scripture without breaking a sweat!"
    – Ruminator
    Nov 26, 2017 at 5:07
  • I believe that even the priesthood of Jesus is suspect in that his humanity was largely superficial. By this I mean, did he really experience the same temptations as we do given that he did not have indwelling sin? If indeed that is what is meant by "in the likeness of sinful flesh" (Romans 1:4).
    – Ruminator
    Nov 26, 2017 at 15:32

6 Answers 6

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MelchizedeK (King of Right)High Priest served the most high God, El Elyon, El shaddai later the scriptures reveal this same God is Yahweh or Yehova. The canaanites are not as everyone would believe. Noah curses canaan because Ham was already blessed (God blessed noah shem ham and japheth Gen 9) God does not curse canaan nor are the descendants of Ham cursed. Canaanites like many hamitic people knew God. Remember Moses learned from Jethro a midianite a hamite. Remember Balaam the false prophet, not false because his gift was fraud but false because he used the gift for his own glory. Remember God removed the canaanites from dominating the land because they had committed abominations. (The Israelites did not commit genocide, they never removed all canaanites from the land). This implies God was holding them accountable for a knowledge and revelation they had of HIM. Melkizedek being not only the King of Salem (Shalom/Peace Jeru-Salem/ The city of Righteousness and Peace) But also being a priest of the most High definitely implies people of that land knew Yahweh and served Him. To be honest the first ever historical evidence of YHWH being mentioned is in ancient canaan. The people of the land knew Yah before Avram. Matter of fact God calls Abram to where He is, in the land of canaan. The scriptures say Melkizedek has no father or mother and that he abides a priest forever. Is Melkizedek fully human? I dont know seeing how He points so much to Jesus Christ. Christ the King of Jerusalem, He is the king of Right, He is God's High Priest. He brings in everlasting righteousness and peace His body and blood is the bread and wine. What i can say is that i believe His earthly appearance was that of canaanite people even as Jesus took on the flesh of the people of His nation. To answer the question again but plainly Melchizedek served God and the people of the land of canaan. Jebusites dwelt in Jerusalem so they were most likely worshippers of Yah. Jebusites in Jerusalem (Joshua 12, Samuel 5, 1 chronicles 11) canaanites also did service in the temple this is most likely because they worshipped and served Yah before the priesthood of aaron. Seeing how they most likely served in the days of melchizedek. In the book of Zechariah 14:21 the prophecy says, "and in that day there shall be no more the canaanite in the house of the Lord of Hosts. Even in His day nearly the end of the old testament canaanites were still worshipping in the temple where the jews worshipped.

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  • Hi Melkizedek, welcome. Thanks for serving here in this community and nice initial effort. It can help if you look at how other more experienced users answer too - you'll notice they give attention to the answer's format (making it easier to read - through usage of paragraphs for example) as well as citations from other sources to validate certain claims. Nov 25, 2020 at 5:22
  • Yes, this answer badly needs formatting with paragraphs. It could also do with some references to support the assertions.
    – Dottard
    Nov 28, 2020 at 23:15
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We have extremely limited data about Melchizedek - even the book of Hebrews describes him as a man without mother and father (Heb 7:3), ie, without genealogy. What we do know about him is the following:

  • The name means "king of righteousness".
  • He was priest of God most High which the book of Hebrews confirms as priest of the the true God of heaven (Heb 7:1, compare Ps 57:2, 78:35, Gen 14:18, etc.)
  • Since "Salem" is the ancient name of Jerusalem (see Ps 76:2), we know that Melchizedek was king and priest in Jerusalem, at the time of Abraham, and well before the Israelite conquest of Canaan.
  • Melchizedek was one of several such people who were not Israelites but who served the true God of heaven. Another was Jethro, Moses' father-in-law (Ex 3:1), also called Reuel (Ex 2:18), who was also a priest of God in Midian, Ex 3:1, 18:1.

Hebrews uses Melchizedek as a type of Christ because both held the office of High Priest and King, Heb 7:1-3.

Therefore, Melchizedek lived, reigned and ministered in Jerusalem, and served the people of Jerusalem, a Canaanite city with Canaanite people at the time.

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  • Job was also a worshipper of the Most High. Job 1:1 says he lived in the land of Uz, which scholars associate with modern Arabia.
    – agarza
    Nov 25, 2020 at 15:22
  • @agarza - that may be true and simply supports the idea that the worship of the true God of heaven was never (originally) confined just to the Israelites.
    – Dottard
    Nov 25, 2020 at 20:00
  • I'm a bit skeptical as to "true God of heaven." I think he worshipped El, as did Abraham. But he may not have worshiped Him exclusively since among the Canaanites El was the father of the gods rather than the only God. I wouldn't judge him for that though... and Abraham was obviously willing to receive his blessing. Dec 31, 2023 at 0:28
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I believe the answers to your 3 good questions cannot be sourced. Our sources are the canons Jewish and Christian, Philo, Josephus, 2 Enoch, Qumran, Joseph Smith if one accepts Smith. And, obtusely, via a small early pseudo-Christian heretical group. None describe the people on whose behalf Melchizedek ministered. Melchizedek’s service is unto El... appropriate sacrifices and ministration unto his God. Priesthood is not dependent on a congregation, if you will. Michael Heiser has written and spoken fairly extensively on this; ie http://drmsh.com/naked-bible-podcast-episode-166-melchizedek-in-the-old-testament-part-1a/. Margaret Barker has innovative ideas about Melchizedek which find traction with LDS (She being Methodist)

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The answer is yes. Melchizedek, as the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon, served Canaanites in his city and the surrounding area. El Elyon means "God Most High." It combines the word "god" with the honorific "most high."

El was also the name of the supreme deity in Canaanite mythology. He was the father of the gods and the head of the assembly of the god, also called the divine council. The epithet "elyon" (also spelled Aliyan) was also applied to other deities. From the myths of the Ba'al Cycle

Baal sets the season and gives forth His voice from the clouds. He flashes lightning to the earth. As a house of cedars let Him complete it, or a house of bricks let Him erect it! Let it be told to Aliyan Baal: 'The mountains will bring Thee much silver.

Considering this, it is most probable that Elyon was one of many titles applied to the supreme deity El. Melchizedek would have worshiped him as the head of the divine assembly. Whether he also served other deities is not stated in the text, but Abram accepted El Elyon as being the same god as his own YHWH (the Lord). Gen. 14:22 - "I have sworn to the Lord, El Elyon, the creator of heaven and earth."

As priest-king of Canaan, Melchizedek's priesthood would have served the people of Salem and its environs. He also ministered to Abram when they shared a sacred meal together and Melchizedek blessed Abram as follows:

Genesis 14:19-20

“Blessed be Abram by El Elyon, the creator of heaven and earth; And blessed be El Elyon, who delivered your foes into your hand.”

Conclusion: Although this blessing is the only such benediction recorded, Melchizedek would have blessed many people of the region the in the name of El Elyon.

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I agree, and Paul only stated that the Hebrews, by way of Abraham, did not know the Jebusite King's heritage. Without father, without mother, without genealogy, nor beginning of days, nor having end of life, but like the Son of YAHWEH, His priesthood remains forever. (Heb 7:3)  The Greek word apatōr comes from Strong states: fatherless, that is, of unrecorded paternity. The same is said about his mother, and then to make it clear, the next Greek word is agenealogētos, which means unregistered as to birth. I feel that descent was a wrong word choice, and it has thrown many people off. It is vital not to make the Bible simple for all to understand. It is sad because the Pharisees started this racist falsehood against the Kanaanites, and then slavery came about because they were black people who came from Cham. The Bible wants to show that a person who committed sin by being drunk could not curse anyone. If all would read: And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Cham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Kanaan. (Gen 9:18) This Scripture lets you know that Kanaan was not cursed. Then, the Bible gives the highest honor to a Kanaanite that no other had before or after. Melchizedek was the King and Priest of YAHWEH EL SHADDAI! This black man would be honored to represent the order of YAHSHUA when HE returned to Heaven to become KING and PRIEST for all who will accept HIM and follow in HIS footsteps here on earth. YAHWEH Says HE changes not and will not let HIS WORD become void. (Isa 55:11) HE also respects anyone of any ethnic group. (Act 10:34) Abraham learned to return tithes from the Kanaanites. King Bera of Sodom and his people also the other four cities of the Vale had stop worshipping THE MOST HIGH and had turned to Baal. Abraham did not want any of the lute but he gave to Melchizedek tithing that the King need to return to YAHWEH. How fitting does it show that YAHWEH House is for all people.

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The answered were given above were profoundly correct. However, the most important part left out was, Canaan was black, and his children were black people. The Bible also said that Canaan's children "spread abroad," showing that the true Asian people are Black. China people trace their ancestry back to Sin. He is one of the sons of Canaan. The Amorites also assisted Abraham and they rule Babylon for a period of time. One notable king Hamarubi code was before Moses and they were extremely alike. Abraham came from southern Turkey and the Canaanites spoke a true Afrikan language. It was not Semitic the Elamites language is Semitic and has not been deciphered yet! Abraham was brought to Canaan to see the true worship of YAHWEH. He learned their language and he learned for the first time, THE MOST HIGH (EL ELYON EL SHADDAI) true worship, by the High Priest and King Melchizedek of Salem known as Urusalima and Yerushalayim. YAHWEH is no respect of person nor people. Ham was blessed and Noah awakened from a drunken sleep, curse, couldn't take that away. Black people are related to Japheth and Shem's children. WE ARE ALL COUSINS!

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  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Nov 20, 2021 at 20:53
  • I do not see how this is relevant to the question, quite apart from being based on unsupported assumptions and disputable facts.
    – Dottard
    Nov 26, 2021 at 10:03

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