I just want to ask, who do you think is Melchizedek?
Some ministers think that he is just a person who is a king of Jerusalem during his lifetime while others think that he is God himself in the form of Theophany who appeared to Abraham. How about you? Who do you think he is?
Hi! Thank you for your question.
There is actually a great debate on this, whether or not Melchizedek is just a person like us who live in Abraham’s time (some think that he is Shem, the son of Noah), or if He is God Himself Who appeared to Abraham in a form of a Theophany. Ministers are divided on these. So to tackle this, we will lay down first the Scriptures concerning him and through them, we will answer who really Melchizedek is.
Heb. 7:4 “Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”
If you can think of a greatest man in the Old Testament, even greater than Abraham, it will be Melchizedek. That is why, it is only necessarily that we should know this man. The question is, how did he become the greatest among all the Old Testament men? According to Hebrews 1:1
“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.”
The reason why Melchizedek is the greatest is because he is both king and priest of the most high God. These attributes of Melchizedek are actually extraordinary. Why? It is because according to the Bible, a person is not allowed to have both the office of a king and at the same time, a priest of God. In the Law, the office of King and Priest are actually separated.
The Priest should only come from the tribe of Levi (Num. 3:10, 3:38 and 16:40) while the king will come from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10). Any person who will attempt to have both will suffer great consequences from God. Example of these people are King Saul and King Uzziah.
In 1 Samuel 13:8-14, Saul was already appointed king of Israel while Samuel is the priest of God. After defeating the Philistines, Saul finds it necessary to offer a burnt offering before God. You know, to offer a burnt offering before God is only the task of the Priest. But Samuel that time was delayed, so Saul decided for him to act as a priest and offer the burnt offering himself. In 1 Samuel 13:13-14, when Samuel arrive, he told Saul that he has done a foolish act and it will be the reason why God will take from him his kingdom and gave it to the new King (David).
In 2 Chronicles 26:16-21, we read that king Uzziah committed the same foolish act. This king became prideful and went to the temple to burn incense to the altar. Azariah the priest warned him not to do this foolish act for it is only the task of the priest to burn incense in the Temple. But King Uzziah insisted and because of it, God gave him leprosy and became leprous until the day he died.
So what is my point in laying down these stories? This is to emphasized that in the Old Testament, no man is allowed by God to be both a king and His priest. There will be great consequences. Why God does not allow this? Because the title of being both King and Priest of God is only allotted to our Lord Jesus Christ! No other man should possess this title.
We can read in Hebrews 7:14-17 that our Lord Jesus became our King for He is from the line of Judah, a descendant of King David. He became our priest not because of Levi, but because of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4). This is the first reason why Melchizedek cannot be a person like us. For no person is allowed to be both a king and a priest of God, only our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, because our Lord Jesus is dwelling in us Who is both King and Priest, He has also made us both king and priest unto God (Rev. 1:6) He has made us “mini Melchizedek.” But in the Old Testament, no person was indwelt by the Spirit of our Lord Jesus because He only started indwelling His people during the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). That’s why no person can claim to be both king and priest in the Old Testament. Therefore for me, Melchizedek is not a person like us but a Theophany (God’s bodily appearance) of our Lord.
Here are the other Biblical reasons why Melchizedek is not a person like us:
1. Melchizedek is the King of Righteousness and the King of Peace
Heb. 2:7 “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.”
Now, there is only one King of Righteousness and one King of Peace, He is no other than our Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, no one is righteous. No person is righteous as we can read in Romans 3:10:
“As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one.”
If Melchizedek is not the theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ and he is just a person like us, then this scripture will not be true. If he is indeed Shem as others think, then there is a person who is righteous before God aside from our Lord Jesus. Again, Roman 3:10 will become false. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the only one Who has no sin and is righteous before God (2 Cor. 5:21, 1 Pet. 2:22, 1 Cor. 1:30).
Our Lord is also the only one who is the King of Peace as written in Isaiah 9:6 and 2 Thessalonians 3:16.
2. He is without father, without mother and without descent, no beginning of days nor end of life.
Heb. 7:3 “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.”
This one has no need of explanation. If Melchizedek is a person like us or if he is Shem, then certainly, he has mother and father who is Noah and Mrs. Noah. And certainly Shem, has descendants. There is only one person who has no beginning of days nor end of life, He is no other than our Lord Jesus Who came from God (John 1:1-14) and was even before Abraham (John 8:58). Melchizedek here cannot die.
3. Our Lord Jesus is a Priest forever just like Melchizedek because He cannot die.
Heb. 7:17 “For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Heb. 7:23-24 “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
Just like Melchizedek who has no end of days and cannot die (Heb. 7:3), our Lord Jesus also is called a priest forever by the reason that He cannot die. He is the only one who has the title “Priest forever” because He is the only one who has no end of days.
So I hope you have seen now why for me, Melchizedek and the Lord Jesus Christ are the same person. Because of these Biblical evidence, I believe Melchizedek is not Shem nor any other ordinary person. I believe, He is the Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ.