Monday, December 29, 2008

Ok...I can't wait any more!

Well, the past two times I was at church, I did not get a chance to talk to anyone about my 'very interesting discovery' with anyone, so I decided I'm going to post on it.

My interesting discovery was 'Melchizedek'. Has anyone heard of him? He is mentioned only a few times in the Bible.

Once he was mentioned in Genesis 14. Another time in Psalm 110. And again in Hebrews 5, 6 and 7.

Why do I find him so interesting and perplexing? Hebrews 7:1-3 says:
1This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace." 3Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever

It says he is 'with out father or mother, with out genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life'. When I first read that, I was like 'WHOA!' How can this be!?! Well, after going some research, I read somewhere that back in those days the term 'without mother or father' met that the parent's were not notable in society....they were not high in social stature. Well, ok, that makes a little sense and may explain the 'no genealogy' part too.....if in fact that is true. But what about the 'without beginning of days or end of life'? This still has me stumped.

Later in Hebrews it says that "The Lord has sworn and will never change his mind, 'You are a priest forever'". So let's see.....according to the Bible, this dude is a high priest of God forever, he is the king of Salem(Jerusalem), he has no mother or father or genealogy, he has no beginning or end of days...... Abraham gave him a tenth of the spoils and Melchizedek blessed him: Hebrews 7:4
"Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils."

I'm not sure what I think of all of this. In someways, it sounds like Jesus, or a character representing Jesus; but if it was, then why would he be called a preist of God? And Jesus DID have a mother. So, I think it's a real person. But it still doesn't make total sense........

I would encourage you all to read Hebrews 7 in particular and share your opinions and thought on it! I am still rereading it, as I really want to understand it. However, maybe there are things that God just doesn't want us to understand.....


Wesley said...

I'm going to haul my huge concordance downstairs tonight and spend some time studying this. I'll let you know my thoughts on it afterwards.

I had heard of Melchizedek, but never really new anything about him... do you remember who God was speaking about when he said "A high priest after the order of Melchizedek?" Was that Jesus? I'll find out tonight...

Morgan said...

wow, thats fascinating! i need to look that up!

Emily said...

coll wes! I'm looking forward to hearing your imput!

well, I'm not sure. I doesn't seem like He's really talking to anyone. However, in Hebrews 5:4-6 it says:

4No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,
"You are my Son;
today I have become your Father." 6And he says in another place,
"You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek."

So...yeah, it sorta sounds like He could be talking to Jesus....I'm not sure.

Another thing, it's interesting to read different versions in the Bible of these verses, as they can vary. 'The Message'(which I just looked at and hadn't until now) makes a lot more sense, and it sounds like it's Jesus or it's representing Jesus.

Emily said...

*cool, not coll, lol!

Wesley said...

Okay... from my findings...

Melchizedek was a priest who was called "righteous." I assume that was because of his faith, because Abraham was called the same because of his faith. So, first, he was an upright man.

Now, comparing Jesus to Melchizedek. I was a little confused about this at first because it seems to degrade Jesus by comparing him to a man. I believe that the only way that they are compared, however, is that they are both priests, and that neither, as you said, had note-worthy parents.

It is clear, also, that Jesus is higher than Melchizedek, because, first, he lives forever (verse 24 of chapter 7). I think that when it talks about Melchizedek being forever, it probably means that he will be a priest in heaven. Secondly, verses 27-28 say, "Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath [that appointed Jesus], which came after the law [when were appointed the other high priests], appointed the Son, who has been made /perfect/ forever." There is an obvious distinction between the perfection of Jesus and Melchizedek. Hebrews 7:2 says that Melchizedek was the "king of righteousness." In Genesis 15:6, "Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness." Abraham was obviously a sinner, however, so I believe I'm right in thinking that Melchizedek was the same. That is the main difference between Jesus and Melchizedek... Jesus was perfect, and Melchizedek was not.

I think that clarifies what I was confused about... =)

I wish the Bible would have clarified this for itself... oh, wait, it does. "There is no one righteous, not even one;..." Romans 3:10b. If there is no one righteous, then we must automatically assume that Melchizedek was credited to righteousness, and that he was not actually righteous.

Yup. =)

Emily said...

hm...interesting. I gotta reread this. Thanks for your thoughts :)

Matt said...

yeah i've definitely heard of him, but i didn't know all those details...that's really odd. i'm gonna talk to my dad about it.

Isaiah English said...

I just read this and thought I'd offer some of my own understanding of Melchizedek, and Hebrews.

First, it is helpful to understand the purpose of the book of Hebrews. One of the primary purposes of this book is to show the Jews that Jesus is better than Moses, the angels, or the Levitical priesthood.

The writer of Hebrews uses Melchizedek as an analogy for Jesus. In Genesis Melchizedek just seems to appear out of nowhere. He is the king of Jerusalem (Salem) and a high priest of God. Apparently God has visited Him separately from Abraham and revealed Himself to this man. It could be that He simply had inherited that faith from his ancestors. Remember all men came from Noah who knew God and Shem was still alive when Abraham came along. It could very well be there were some faithful parents who taught their children to fear God. While I agree with your interpretation of Melchizedek's lack of parents, I think it is also speaking of the fact that we are never told much about him. He just shows up out of nowhere.

But now to the main point. The writer of Hebrews is concerned in this chapter to form an argument for Jesus' superiority to the Levitical priests, by analogy. This is seen clearly as he speaks of Abraham paying tithes to Melchizedek. He points that the father of Levi (the father of the Levitical priests) payed tithes to Melchizedek. As he goes on to state, the greater does not pay tithes to the lesser. This proves Melchizedek is greater than Abraham. The writer then goes on to say that Jesus is a far greater priest than the descendants of Aaron because He is of the order of Melchizedek.

Hope this helps in your understanding. ; )