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Genesis 14:18

And Melchizedek King of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

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.

Melchi means King: Zedek means righteousness or justice. Thus Melchizedek means King of Righteousness. Only the king holds the sceptre! Can there be only one eternal King of Righteousness?

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  • 1
    I am still not sure what you are asking here.
    – Dottard
    Dec 24, 2023 at 6:27
  • biblegateway.com/passage/… consider that two mentions of the sceptre (pastoral stock, or helper)are not mentioning the same sceptre, but two different ones exactly as in Zakaria 11:7. One of the law or punishment and the other of attraction(or beauty) or reward. Also, consider that the kingdom in your quote Heb1:8 in Greek is actually female, so this is a Queen, not kingdom(neutrum), thus Beauty.
    – grammaplow
    Dec 24, 2023 at 14:35
  • @Dottard. My focus here was on the eternal nature. The HEB.1:8 verse speaks of "for ever and ever" and the whole chapter emphasizes the exclusive position of the SON. So does for ever go back in time as well as forward. I read that it does!
    – RHPclass79
    Dec 24, 2023 at 17:11
  • On Earth there can be as many kings of anything, as they name themselves. How does that link to 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy Kingdom.' Not to go sideways to 'Coal/Cotton/Steel/Tobacco King' does your culture not recognize 'Beauty Queen' as a modern extrapolation from 'Queen of the May'? Why not ask a search engine about 'King of the (anything but Hill)…'? Millennia ago and cultures away, who says 'Melchi meaning King, Zedek righteousness make him King of Righteousness. Who not give an earthly priest king poetic licence? Dec 24, 2023 at 18:48
  • @RobbieGoodwin. Robbie Melchizedek is mysteriously referenced in three places. Gen.14, Psalm 110, and HEB. Ch.5-7. Chronologically about a thousand years apart. HEB. 7:3 specifically says " having neither beginning of days nor end of life". The context in Psalm and Hebrews emphasize the eternal nature of the Melchizedek order and how superior it is to a mortal Levetical one. I use KJV .
    – RHPclass79
    Dec 24, 2023 at 19:13

3 Answers 3

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Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High ...

Genesis 14:18 NIV

Melchizedek has three titles.
His name is a title itself being king of righteousness.
Immediately we are informed he is also king of Salem or peace.
His role is subsequently explained as priest of god most high.

Paul walks us through these :

This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High.

First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”

Hebrews 7:1,2 NIV

Melchizedek is noteworthy for a couple of reasons.

Abraham paid him tithes. Inasmuch as Abram was called out from among the descendents of Shem to be the physical and spiritual father to all faithful, the most high had provided for himself another man for service.
An analog to this relationship later found in Moses and Jethro :

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, brought a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat a meal with Moses’ father-in-law in the presence of God.

Exodus 18:12 NIV

But an analog to this arrangement also later found in Moses :

I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the Lord. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’

Numbers 18:24 NIV

This also noted by Paul :

Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham.

Hebrews 7:5 NIV

He also seemingly appeared out of a clear blue sky. While the peculiarities of the mechanism are not explained, there's no more difficulty with this than the calling of Abraham.
However, the stark lack of information in this regard presents Melchizedek not only as a forerunner of the Aaronic priesthood but as a type of the interactions between elohim and men themselves.
This circumstance abstracting Melchizedek to an incredible pre-eminence as mediator, akin to Jesus as a type :

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus ...

1 Timothy 2:5 NIV

This lack of detail and consequent elevation also noted by Paul :

Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God ...

Hebrews 7:3 NIV

Plainly informed as to Melchizedek's incapacity for atonement and mortality.

Paul labours these ideas to elegantly point to the redemptive sacrifice and ultimate elevation of Jesus :

... why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek ...

Hebrews 7:11 NIV

And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation ... but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.

Hebrews 7:15-16 NIV

The argument being that, if perfection had been achieved through Melchizedek, or the Aaronic priesthood, regardless of genealogies or any other regulation, there would be no further need of any new priest.
Obviously that was not the case.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God

Hebrews 10:11-12 NIV

The "order" of Melchizedek.

The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”

Psalm 110:4 NIV

Clearly, Jesus was not a priest after the order of Aaron, not being descended from Levi but from Judah.

He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

Hebrews 7:13-14 NIV

At the same time it is also clear that Jesus is not descended from Melchizedek, being supposed as it was descended from Abraham through Joseph, but also likewise through Mary. So if the qualification to be a Levitical priest under the law is genealogy, i.e. to be of Levi, then how can one be reckoned to the Melchizedek priesthood?
Clearly, there are other qualifications.

... when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also.

Hebrews 7:12 NIV

While it's certainly true that Jesus belongs to Melchizedek by having no father, where Melchizedek, though not recorded clearly did and is but a type in that regard, the greater connection is the notion of immortality.

Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God ...

Hebrews 7:3 NIV

... a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.

Hebrews 7:16 NIV

Clearly both had mothers.
And clearly both were born.
Only one had no earthly father, but in connection with that, through obedience, was bruised and slept in the earth for 3 days but otherwise continued to live.

Melchizedek dependent on a greater priest.

While Melchizedek's death is not recorded, we know his sacrifices, though pleasing to god, did not amount to an atonement, and ultimately he died.

... sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned ...

... death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses ...

Romans 5:12,14 NIV

This is also evident in the subsequent establishment of the Aaronic priesthood under Moses.

In this sense, the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus and him consequently being the firstfruits of them that slept, he is elevated to a priesthood that is not only greater than the Aaronic priesthood, but also the Melchizedek.

So while there are have been many priests :

... we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God ...

Hebrews 4:14 NIV

We are informed :

Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection ... they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6 NIV

There is a clear pre-eminence afforded Jesus.
As David puts it :

He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says,

“‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’

If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Matthew 22:43-46 NIV

In other words, all claims to pre-eminence as kings and/or priests are moot in comparison.

But, ye,––do not be called Rabbi,––for, one, is your Teacher, and, all ye, are brethren ...

Neither be called leaders, for, your leader, is one, the Christ ...

Matthew 23:8,10 Rotherham

Titles and names.

As to titles, and names :

No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations.

Genesis 17:5 NIV

“Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.”

Genesis 32:28 NIV

... you will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow.

Isaiah 62:2 NIV

We also learn :

To the one who is victorious, I will give ... that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.

Revelation 2:17 NIV

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name.

Revelation 3:12 NIV

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.

Revelation 19:11,12 NIV

In this sense, it seems likely that many names such as Melchizedek, and certainly titles such as king of Salem, will be no more, certainly having outlived their utility.

Only the king holds the sceptre!
Can there be only one eternal
King of Righteousness?

Absolutely!

“He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords.

Revelation 19:15-16 NIV

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  • Thoroughly excellent. Up-voted +1 and I have also up-voted the question in order to draw attention to this answer. Very much appreciated. I was initially put off by the name 'davidian' but perhaps I have misunderstood.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 24, 2023 at 12:10
  • Thank you kind sir. I posted it and smugly said to myself "legend" and now waiting for the points to roll in. Someone pointed out to me the davidian thing and I see it but it's just my middle name. Have a brilliant day son/brother. I'm old and call a lot of people son. For me, it's Jack Daniel's time ... Dec 24, 2023 at 12:38
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    Well I am 72 so I don't mind, brother, but I do suggest you give Jack a miss. At our age, many succumb to overmuch and it does no good at all. Moderation in all things, saith the apostle. Else, your faculties will suffer and you will find it, eventually, impossible to produce the quality of work which you once did. Fare thee well.
    – Nigel J
    Dec 24, 2023 at 14:01
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Hebrews 7:15-17

15 And it yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedek there abideth another priest, 16 Who is made, not after the law of carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. 17 For he testified, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

There seems to be no argument on the Gen. 14:18 verse that Melchizedek means King of Righteousness and some realize the forshadowing of Salem being Jerusalem of ancient name.

Psalm 132:13-14 KJV

0130 For the Lord has chosen Zion: he hath desired it for his habitation. 14 This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.

The writer of Hebrews says of Jesus:

Hebrews 5:10-11

10 Called of God 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.

So it appears that many will not understand who Melchisedec is because they are still on just the milk and not meat of God's word. Seven verses in Hebrews chapters 5-7 speak of the eternal or forever aspect of the order of Melchisedec. So why would God the Father swear and not repent (Psalm 110:4 & Hebrews 7:21) that Jesus was a forever eternal priest after the order of Melchisedec if Melchizedek were a mere Canaanite pagan? That would be an insult to the only Son of God. The word order in this context means a fixed succession of rank or character. Therefore the rank of Melchisedec is the most high priest of God. Just as Jesus sits at the right hand of God the Father in Heaven and intercedes on our behalf now, he also did before! Yes, in Abraham's time, Jesus was there as Melchisedec to be a priest to Abraham.

Just as Melchisedec was King of Righteousness and peace 2000 years before Christ's incarnation at ancient Jerusalem, so shall Jesus reign again at his 2nd coming.

There is only one eternal High King and High Priest of Righteousness.

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  • I really would recommend you take some time to work out how to format your posts using your phone. I understand it can be difficult but any task can be done with effort.
    – agarza
    Dec 28, 2023 at 14:40
  • 1
    I will try the edit link on an old post that hopefully I won't mess up. I have tried various ways up till now, but to little avail. I thought others were getting points for editing my questions and answers, so I did not make it a priority. Thank you for advice without sarcasm, you have been a friend.
    – RHPclass79
    Dec 28, 2023 at 15:23
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"King of Righteousness" in not a formal biblical title but belongs to Christian tradition. The name Melchizedek can be translated either as "righteous king" or "king of righteousness." There can be more than one righteous king; and the term "king of righteousness" appears only in the Hebrews 7, where it is used as a translation Melchizedek's name (7:2) - not a title.

The bible refers to several righteous kings, the model for them being King David.

Chronicles 17:3-4

And the Lord was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the first ways of his father David and sought not unto the Baalim, but sought the Lord God of his father and walked in His commandments...

Josiah was another:

Josiah... did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. (2 Kings 22:1-2)

With regard to Melchizedek, this was merely his throne name as king of a non-Israelite city, not a formal title conferred on him by God or the author of Genesis. After all, Zedekiah was a king whose name means "righteousness of God" but in fact he was the opposite of a righteous king. All we really know about Melchizedek's identity from the story is he was the king of Salem and a priest of El Olam (God on High), who supported Abraham and other allies against the coalition led by Chedorlaomer of Elam. (Gen. 14) Later tradition (Psalm 110) refers to the psalmist's unnamed master as "a priest in the order of Melchizedek," and in the NT this is interpreted as referring to Christ's role as the "high priest" of the New Covenant (Hebrews 7).

Conclusion: Melchizedek's name happens to combine the words "righteous" and "king," but he is known in both Jewish and Christian tradition mainly for his priestly status. "King of Righteousness" is not a formal title given to anyone in the Bible. For Christians there is only one "King of Righteousness," namely Jesus. For Jews and Christians alike, there were several righteous kings.

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  • I strongly disagree with you on this topic Dan. The fact that God himself uses this descriptive rank or ORDER in Psalm 110 to describe Jesus ( as verified in HEB.5:6) speaks to a different conclusion than yours. You can't view the whole picture or beauty of a many pieced picture puzzle by the first few pieces. It is only after assembling the whole that one can see all of the picture. Obviously the writer of Hebrews felt that all his comments on Melchisedec were important or he would not have dedicated so much time to the penning of them. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. See nex
    – RHPclass79
    Dec 28, 2023 at 20:00
  • Psalm 110 refers to a priestly order, not to the 'King of Righteousness.' I insist that this title, as such, is not used in the bible. But it's true that for Christians, only Jesus deserves the title. Dec 28, 2023 at 20:18
  • If someone could show me where Abraham basically took communion and gave a tenth of all he had to any other Canaanite king, that might change my point of view. HEB.7:7 says "And without contradiction the less is blessed of the better". Taking this at face value Melchisedec was greater than Abraham. No pagan priest or canaanite king would deserve this honor. At least not if he were a meer mortal. But there in lies one of the answeres. I hope you all had a blessed Christmas I know I did.
    – RHPclass79
    Dec 28, 2023 at 20:27
  • @ Dan Fefferman Dan you are missing the importance of the name Melchizedek or Melchisedec in the new testament means King of. Righteousness.
    – RHPclass79
    Dec 28, 2023 at 20:33

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