Hebrews 7:1 ¶ For this Melchisedec, 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 by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 3 Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
We must caution ourselves as we enter into this study. For this is the subject that the apostle introduced in chapter five and verse ten, but then stopped to inform some of his students that they had no ability to hear it, as they were apostates. And here we are, launching out into that same study. Let us tread carefully.
Consider these cautions: Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
Hebrews 4:1 Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2 For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
The name Melchisedec is interpreted for us in our verse two. It means King of Salem, which is, King of peace. Then we are informed that quite unlike all the other individuals in the Old Testament, who have their genealogies fully listed, (just read the fifth chapter of Genesis), there is no record of Melchisedec’s lineage. And of his priesthood there is not listed either a line to precede him, or a line of succession to follow him. Therefore the apostle writes him as without beginning of days, nor end of life. It is not that he had no parents, or a birth, or a death! It’s just that these things, quiet unlike the rest of the Jewish peoples, is not recorded in the scriptures. And there is no line of succession he follows to become a priest as did the priests of Israel. Therefore the apostle finds him to be presented to us as, made like unto the Son of God.
For neither Melchisedec nor the Lord Jesus were of the tribe of Levi in order to qualify for being a priest from this one family, which was to minister exclusively for the nation of Israel. For Melchisedec is said to be the representative of the most high God, and not just the priest of the God of Israel! Hebrews 7:13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
For the promise of God to Abraham to be fulfilled in Christ came 430 years before the law of Moses. Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.
And both Melchisedec and Christ are King-Priests! Which thing was strictly forbidden by the law of God in Israel! In 2 Chronicles 26:16-21 we have the account of King Uzziah attempting to go into the holy place with a priest’s sensor to offer sacrifice to God. He was a great and glorious king, with almost the accomplishments of Solomon. But he, nor anyone else other than the house of Levi, were allowed to be priests in Israel!
2 Chronicles 26:16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense. 17 And Azariah the priest went in after him, and with him fourscore priests of the LORD, that were valiant men: 18 And they withstood Uzziah the king, and said unto him, It appertaineth not unto thee, Uzziah, to burn incense unto the LORD, but to the priests the sons of Aaron, that are consecrated to burn incense: go out of the sanctuary; for thou hast trespassed; neither shall it be for thine honour from the LORD God. 19 Then Uzziah was wroth, and had a censer in his hand to burn incense: and while he was wroth with the priests, the leprosy even rose up in his forehead before the priests in the house of the LORD, from beside the incense altar. 20 And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests, looked upon him, and, behold, he was leprous in his forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him. 21 And Uzziah the king was a leper unto the day of his death, and dwelt in a several house, being a leper; for he was cut off from the house of the LORD: and Jotham his son was over the king’s house, judging the people of the land.
Yet there were only these two who were recognized by God as being His king-priests! – Melchisedec and the Lord Jesus Christ! Zechariah prophesied of the Lord as being such. Zechariah 6:13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. Christ is the Great High Priest ruling upon his throne! And he alone builds the temple of the LORD – the true church! Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
These two king-priests are presented to us as ministering prior to the law, and as ministering eternally. Hebrews 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. 16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
We have no record that Abraham and Melchisedec had any other contact than that recorded in Genesis 14:18-20. And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
But there is that connection of the two in the offering of Isaac by Abraham. For Melchisedec was King of Salem. And Salem is spoken of as being in Zion. Psalm 76:2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. So Salem is connected with Jeru-Salem! And in the offering of Isaac, Abraham is commanded to go to mount Moriah. Genesis 22:2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
And mount Moriah is the place of Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem. 2 Chronicles 3:1 Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. And Salem, or Jerusalem, was in the territory of the kingdom of Melchisedec.
Therefore as Abraham took Isaac, his son, up on Mount Moriah to sacrifice him, with knife and fire in his hands, and the wood on Isaac’s back; so God the Father took his son up on the same mount bearing his cross. And the fire of God’s wrath and the knife of his justice fell upon the Son of God to finish the sacrifice forever! John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself. 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Truly, as Abraham told Isaac, God did provide Himself as a sacrifice! Genesis 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.
And Abraham said of Mount Moriah that it was the mount of the LORD! And that is where he came to “see” the day of the Lord Jesus Christ! Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. John 8:56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Therefore there was something special to God concerning this mount, for there was the revelation of the sacrifice of the Son of God manifest! And it was in Mount Moriah, the same as mount Calvary, in Jeru-Salem. And Melchisedec was King of Salem.
The combination of Abram and Melchisedec give us a better understanding of the God-man, our Lord Jesus Christ. For Eternal God, dwelling in human flesh is a profound mystery! 1Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
But if we are permitted to view Abram as the humanity of Christ, and Melchisedec as the eternal spirit of Christ, we may have a more edifying view of our Savior. Melchisedec was reported as being without beginning of days. The Lord Jesus, prior to his Incarnation is said to ever, eternally exist! John 8:58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Proverbs 8:22 The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. 23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. 24 When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;
And Abraham is said to be a victorious warrior. See Hebrews 7:1 in our text above. So the Lord Jesus is pictured as a victorious warrior, conquering the strong man (Satan), and spoiling him of his goods (the souls of men)! Luke 11:21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.
Psalm 45:3 Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy glory and thy majesty. 4 And in thy majesty ride prosperously because of truth and meekness and righteousness; and thy right hand shall teach thee terrible things. 5 Thine arrows are sharp in the heart of the king’s enemies; whereby the people fall under thee.
Revelation 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. 2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.
And Melchisedec, representing the spiritual man, was said to feed Abraham when he came forth from the warfare. So the Lord Jesus had spiritual food that the disciples could neither provide nor see. His food was said to be inner, spiritual nourishment. Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
John 4:32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of. 34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. And this is also a picture of the hungry spirits of the elect feasting off Christ for their sustenance. John 6:57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
And as Abraham would have nothing from the king of Sodom; not even a shoe lace, so Satan has nothing in Christ. And the Lord’s people have nothing in the world! John 14:30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Truly the Lord God left not himself without witness even in these shadows of things to come. (Hebrews 10:1).
Pastor Gene Breed
August 10, 2017