MELCHIZEDEK. Hebrews 7:1-10. 10/15/2023. #20.
1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. 5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; 6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. 8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. 9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him.
1. A priest before priests
a. Heb. emphasizes that there were priests of God before the Levitical priesthood
b. Melchizedek pops into the story in Genesis 14
a1. Abraham had conquered the 5 kings who had raided Sodom
a2. Mel met Abraham with bread and wine
c. Heb. demonstrated that Mel was superior to Abraham
a1. Abraham was revered as greatest ancestor
a2. Abraham paid a tithe of the plunder to Melchizedek (plunder = “off the top”)
a3. Mel blessed Abraham
d. Since Levi was descended from Abraham, Melchizedek was also greater than the High Priests
a1. In a sense, Aaron paid tithes to Melchizedek
a2. Melchizedek foreshadowed Christ
2. Greater than Melchizedek
a. Mel was a great man
a1. King of Righteousness, King of Salem (peace) – most believe that Salem was at Jerusalem (some say Shechem)
a2. Priest of God
b. Without beginning or end
a1. 2 different interpretations:
b1. Literally, no ancestry and eternal (pre-Incarnate manifestation of Christ)
b2. A person of unknown (unrecorded) ancestry, birth, and death (a great man without recorded history)
a2. Unlikely candidates: Shem (we know his lineage), an angel (described as a man), anyone of known lineage
c. In favor of a Christophany (form of Christ):
a1. Without beginning or end (Rev. 1)
a2. King of Peace (Is. 9:6…Prince of Peace)
a3. King of Righteousness (Mal. 4:2)
d. Mel was so great that Abraham paid a tithe to him
a1. Jesus Christ is a (the) priest after the order of Melchizedek
a2. He is both priest and king, without beginning or end (Psalm 110:1-7)
3. Aaron superseded
a. Heb. demonstrates Christ’s preeminence:
a1. Levi paid tithes to Mel while in Abraham’s loins
a2. Psalm 110:4 indicates that the Levitical priesthood would be surpassed by a new one
a3. Once the Levitical priesthood was replaced by Christ, it fell into disuse and obsolescence
b. To continue to hold onto archaic religious rites is to hinder one’s walk with the Lord
a1. OT priesthood was merely a place holder
a2. Law demonstrated that man could not be righteous and animal sacrifices could not remove sin or make one righteous
c. Heb. uses divine logic to persuade readers of the futility of keeping the trappings of the Law
d. The new High Priest, Christ, conquered sin and death
e. Mel is a type of Christ and His ministry
a1. Purposeful insertion to point to Christ
a2. Once completed, all temporary things cease
Key Verse: Psalm 110: 1-7
1 The Lord said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your Enemies Your footstool.”
2 The Lord shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion.
Rule in the midst of Your enemies!
3 Your people shall be volunteers
In the day of Your power;
In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,
You have the dew of Your youth.
4 The Lord has sworn
And will not relent,
“You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek.”
5 The Lord is at Your right hand;
He shall execute kings in the day of His wrath.
6 He shall judge among the nations,
He shall fill the places with dead bodies,
He shall execute the heads of many countries.
7 He shall drink of the brook by the wayside; Therefore, He shall lift up the head.