Melchizedek; a preincarnate Christ?

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Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Discussed on a previous thread:

Monergism writes:
Christ wasn't hight priest of the Old Covenant.

It is my contention that Christ was in fact the 'high priest' of the old covenant.

Rev 13:8 And all those dwelling in the earth will worship it, those of whom the names had not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb having been slain from the foundation of the world.

Compare the Greek in Hebrews 1:8 and Heb 6:20:

1:8 'Forever and ever'

Heb 1:8 but as to the Son, "Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom;

6:20 'forever'

Heb 6:20 where Jesus entered as forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.

Was not Christs priesthood eternal? Was Christ a preincarnate Melchizedek?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Christ ruled as our Prophet Preist and Kng before the NT but as a Surety since he had not paid for redemption in time yet.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Was Melchizedek a theophany or a type of Christ? :candle:

In any case, there is no doubt in my mind that Christ is/was high priest for all believers both before and after His incarnation, although his sacrifice came at a distinct point in history.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
There is only one way of salvation. If Jesus was not the High Priest for those who were saved in the OT, then they could not be saved. But it is testified that Abraham was the one that the poor man Lazarus was leaning on in his reward. I don't doubt that Abraham, the father of all those who have faith, would not be excluded from that salvation that all those who have faith receive.

ergo: Jesus was High Priest in the OT too.

Whether Jesus was Melchizedek, or was only typified by Melchizedek, that's something we likely can't answer.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Hebrews Chapter 7

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;

7:2 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;

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.

7:4 Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Pat, what about your feelings in regards to Melchizedek?

He was the preist-king of Salem (Jerusalem), a worshipper of Jehovah in a pre-mosiac form of worship like Abraham and Job. He was a type of Christ in that function for Abraham, just like Isaac was in his particular function when he was to be offered up as a sacrifice. Melchezidek was superior to Levi because he preceded him and acted as mediator for Abraham. That is why Christ is a preist of that order. Levi also was never a king. I think the only case you can really make for pre-incarnate appearances of Christ is with the Angel of the Lord because more is ascribed (i.e. accepting worship, and being equated with "seeing God") to Him than what is ascribed to normal angels. :2cents:
 

gwine

Puritan Board Sophomore
The last verses of Hebrews 6

19 We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

'where Jesus has gone' to me reads that he was in the past

but

'after the order of' to me reads that he became later

I am confused now, in the present, before the future, after reading this. I thought Melchizedek was a type of Christ since Hebrews 7:4 says 'see how great this man was' and verse 3 says 'He is first, by translation of his name, . . .' which I took to mean that Melchizedek could be compared to Christ.

But, I will watch this unfold and learn more.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Hebrews Chapter 7

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;

7:2 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;

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.

7:4 Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
You guys need to read the reast of the passage. As pointed out, his name by translation is "King of righteousness" and "peace" and verse 4 he is called a "man." Paul is using a historical man, and his interaction with Abraham, as a picture of Christ. And he explains the "without father, without mother..." part in verse 6 "whose descent is not counted from them." He doesn't say Mel didn't have descendents, but that he wasn't counted from Levi. There is no requirement for him to be a pre-incarnate Christ.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Hebrews Chapter 7

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;

7:2 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;

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.

7:4 Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
You guys need to read the reast of the passage. As pointed out, his name by translation is "King of righteousness" and "peace" and verse 4 he is called a "man." Paul is using a historical man, and his interaction with Abraham, as a picture of Christ. And he explains the "without father, without mother..." part in verse 6 "whose descent is not counted from them." He doesn't say Mel didn't have descendents, but that he wasn't counted from Levi. There is no requirement for him to be a pre-incarnate Christ.

Patrick,
Why is it so far fetched to believe Christ was this man Melchezidek, here? How do you explain this passage:

"...having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;"
 

gwine

Puritan Board Sophomore
'but made like unto the Son of God . . .'

'Like unto' to me means similar to, not the same as.

Therein lies the confusion (for me.)

BTW, how do you get the indented quoted material to appear so nicely?
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Patrick,
Why is it so far fetched to believe Christ was this man Melchezidek, here? How do you explain this passage:

"...having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;"
His beginning and ending were not recorded. Paul (or the author of Hebrews) is using him as a type. The point was that a priest outside of Abraham's descendents, and outside of the Mosaic covenant in particular, was used, and so it is possible and even better, that Jesus was not a levitical preist but from a greater "order." You seem to be necessitating this view that Mel has to be Christ in to prove that Christ is the High Preist of the Old Covenant. That is not necessary at all. Hebrews 7:22 tells us how. Christ was our "Surety". He pledged to pay the debt owed to God on our behalf (including OT saints) and the Father accepted that pledge because Christ would fulfill it in time.

11Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar.
14For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.
15And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17For He testifies:
"You are a priest forever
According to the order of Melchizedek."
Notice, here again, he is explaining how Christ, of Judah, could be a preist. And he comes in the "order" of Mel vs. the "order" of Levi, and after the "likeness" of Mel, not Mel himself. It is better to keep the plain meaning of the Genesis narrative. Salem/Jerusalem was an established town long before David conquered it. There were several kings of whom Mel was one. If you are going to say the Mel was Christ, are you then going to say that Christ was reigning in Salem as an earthly king and as a contemporary of Abraham? I don't think you would want to go that far. :candle:

[Edited on 10-1-2005 by puritansailor]
 

Answerman

Puritan Board Sophomore
I would like to reiterate what gwine and puritansailor has said:

I forgot who said this but a comment that I read one time by one commentator has said that Melchizedek was not likely the preincarnate Christ because it is not likely that the author of Hebrews would compare Christ to Christ in saying that Christ is another priest "like" Melchizedek.

I would have to agree that it would seem strange or even possibly contradictory to compare something with something if there is a one to one correspondence with the thing being compared. And as others have pointed out the context is emphasizing the geneologies and not the ontologies of these two priesthoods.

Therefore I do not think that Melchizedek was the preincarnate Christ.
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Melchizedek was before Moses. The established OT basis for reconciliation with God was from Moses onward, but the promise of reconciliation was already from Adam. Melchizedek was priest of the promise, the same order in which Jesus served. The Mosaic service was to typify the actual sacrifice and justification that came in Christ. So I think Heb. 7 makes that distinction, as Melchizedek being a priest of the promise, not of the OT Mosaic system.

So I don't think that it is wrong to identify him with Christ, because that is clearly so. But to say that the man WAS Christ preincarnate goes beyond what Heb 7 really says. That may infer two incarnations.
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Maybe another way to approach this is to say: Are there any theophanies in the Old Testament? If so, what is the criteria for identifying a theophany?
 

JohnV

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Make sure its Theophany, not theophony. We tried to cover the latter in our discussion of whether or not angels sing, which would be more than a symphony, it would be a theophony. Right?

[Edited on 11-1-2005 by JohnV]
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
Originally posted by JohnV
Make sure its Theophany, not theophony. We tried to cover the latter in our discussion of whether or not angels sing, which would be more than a sumphony, it would be a theophony. Right?

Right. :D heh heh
 

Scot

Puritan Board Sophomore
Scott,

I believe you're right. I think that Melchizedek was a theophany of Christ (although I haven't studied it much).

Patrick,

In Isaiah 14:16, Satan is also called a man even though we know that he is a spirit being. Could God be using the term "man" in the Mechizedek passages in the same way? Just a thought.

[Edited on 12-1-2005 by Scot]
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Not when comparing him to the "man" Jesus Christ, or the "man" Abraham. Coem guys, you're making this way too complicated and you still have to deal with teh consequences. Are you then going to argue Jesus was ruling the city of Salem in His preincarnate form???
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Here's the Genesis passage.

18Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19And he blessed him and said:
"Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
Possessor of heaven and earth;
20And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."

And he gave him a tithe of all.

Mel is addressed just like the other kings in the chapter other than his title "priest of God Most High." There are no descriptions of deity given him.

I do find it interesting that he brings Abraham "bread and wine." Wonder if there's any intentional foreshadowing there to the "bread and wine" of the Lord's Supper the next preist in the order of Melchezidek would provide.
:detective:
 

VERITAS

Puritan Board Freshman
I like Patrick and David's reasoning best. Especially this:

You seem to be necessitating this view that Mel has to be Christ in to prove that Christ is the High Preist of the Old Covenant. That is not necessary at all. --Patrick

"...it is not likely that the author of Hebrews would compare Christ to Christ...

...it would seem strange or even possibly contradictory to compare something with something if there is a one to one correspondence with the thing being compared. And as others have pointed out the context is emphasizing the geneologies and not the ontologies of these two... --David

I believe the only point the writer to the Hebrews is trying to make is that Christ didn't HAVE TO BE a descendant of Levi/Aaron to be a high priest of/for God and I think he's playing off the name of the city-state where Mel ruled. The writer reminds his readers that the translation of "salem" is "peace" thus Mel (like Christ) could rightfully be called "The King of Peace." (P.S. I would really like to discuss that word with Andrew...?) But if Christ HAD TO BE Mel in the O.C. in order to be a legitimate priest, then are we prepared to say that He HAD TO BE a descendant of David in order to be king? Because I see His right as prophet, priest and king bound up in His Deity. In other words, the sin of Israel in asking for a king was that God was ALREADY their King. The same goes for His being a prophet - or spokesman for God/Himself.

BTW Garry, to quote someone you can copy & paste the relevent text between the word quote in brackets -i.e. [quote] before your pasted text and then after with the word quote preceded by a forward slash [/quote] (just make sure you close the brackets! ;) )


[Edited on 1-20-2005 by VERITAS]
 

matthew11v25

Puritan Board Sophomore
Originally posted by Scott Bushey
Originally posted by puritansailor
Originally posted by VirginiaHuguenot
Hebrews Chapter 7

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;

7:2 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;

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.

7:4 Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.

7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:

7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.

7:7 And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.

7:8 And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.
You guys need to read the reast of the passage. As pointed out, his name by translation is "King of righteousness" and "peace" and verse 4 he is called a "man." Paul is using a historical man, and his interaction with Abraham, as a picture of Christ. And he explains the "without father, without mother..." part in verse 6 "whose descent is not counted from them." He doesn't say Mel didn't have descendents, but that he wasn't counted from Levi. There is no requirement for him to be a pre-incarnate Christ.

Patrick,
Why is it so far fetched to believe Christ was this man Melchezidek, here? How do you explain this passage:

"...having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;"


I am wondering about also.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I would argue that the author of Hebrews is picking up on the point that so many of the principal characters in Genesis are spoken of with reference to their earthly life--their father, their age, their people, etc. Whereas with Melchizedek none of these things are given. He bursts on the scene out of nowhere. Up to this point in the story all the believers in the world seem to be in Abram's house--and nowhere else. The only kings of this region we know anything about are the degenerate types from Sodom.

But Abram honors this one, this Melchizedek (think how great he was!). But he remains an enigmatic figure. No "birth-day" or coronation--no past (beginning of days). No death-day, no descendants we are told of--no passing (end of life). David reflected upon him when he took that same city away from the heathen who occupied it centuries later. And Paul picks up the same thread after another thousand years, quite rightly applying David's reflections and Messianic hopes to Christ Jesus.

So, does Jesus properly belong to an "order" of which he is the only member? While this does have a ring of piety to it, I think that the choice of "order" language in Psalms and Hebrews actually implies that Christ enters into an order populated by at least Melchizedek, as formerly it's founder or chief representative (or last, or only representative). In which case, Christ fills up another type and renames it, just like he occupies "the throne of his father, David." It's Christ's throne moreso, but he is not too proud to sit on "David's" throne. Neither is he too vain to despise the name "order of Melchizedek."
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
Originally posted by puritansailor
Salem/Jerusalem was an established town long before David conquered it. There were several kings of whom Mel was one. If you are going to say the Mel was Christ, are you then going to say that Christ was reigning in Salem as an earthly king and as a contemporary of Abraham? I don't think you would want to go that far. :candle:

I'm still waiting for an answer, from those who think Mel was Christ, to this question I made a while back in the thread. No takers yet.
 
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