The priest Melchizedek
appears in three sections of Scripture.
He is briefly introduced in Genesis 14:18–20.
David addresses the “order of Melchizedek” specifically:
after describing the
victory and glory of the
“The Lord has sworn and will not
change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever,
order of Melchizedek’”
The author of Hebrews, in speaking of Christ,
quotes this verse in Hebrews 7:17.
provides background regarding the identity of Melchizedek,
and Hebrews chapters 5, 6, and 7
describe the supremacy
Jesus as the Great High Priest,
using Melchizedek’s role as an illustration of
priesthood and kingship
The Bible utilizes
the phrase the order of to point to a lineage.
An Aaronic priest
would have been a priest according to
"the order of” Aaron (Hebrews 7:11).
These priests would have come from the lineage of Aaron,
sharing a similar function and nature.
So, another translation of Psalm 110:4 says that
will be a priest “after the pattern of Melchizedek”
(NET) or “after the manner of Melchizedek” (ISV).
Genesis 14 describes Melchizedek
king of Salem (which would later become Jerusalem)
priest of God Most High.
Abram recognized Melchizedek’s priesthood through
his tithing of the possessions he had taken in battle
Interestingly, this incident took place before the
institution of the Aaronic line
(part of the Levitical priesthood),
which was to mediate between God and man
under the Mosaic Law.
Melchizedek was not a priest of Israel, as that nation did not exist—Abraham had no children yet.
would not become a priestly tribe for
another four centuries.
describes the messianic nature of Jesus’
with an emphasis on Jesus’ eternality.
It is in the context of Jesus’ kingship (cf. Psalm 110:2)
that David writes about the
Messiah’s being “a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110:4).
Priests according to the order of Aaron were
not kings but priests alone.
However, as the author of Hebrews says,
Melchizedek was both a priest and a king
In the same way,
the dual role of king and priest.
The eternal nature of the order of Melchizedek is presented in Hebrews 7:3:
“Without father or mother,
without beginning of days or
end of life, resembling
The Son of God,
he remains a priest forever.”
In other words,
Melchizedek appears in history with
no record of a genealogy or ancestral line,
no record of his birth, and no record of his death.
The point is,
Melchizedek appears to
transcend earthly existence;
this makes him a
type of Christ,
who truly does transcend earthly existence
as the eternal King-Priest
no predecessor and no successor
His high office
One implication of Jesus’ priesthood according
to the order of Melchizedek
The Mosaic Law was insufficient
“If perfection could have been attained through
the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given
to the people established that priesthood—why was there
still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek,
not in the order of Aaron?
For when the priesthood is changed, the
law must be changed also”
We needed a better priesthood--
an eternal priesthood--
to save us from our sins for
We needed Jesus,
“one who has become a priest
not on the basis of a
as to his ancestry but on the
basis of the power of an
A priest is a mediator between
God and man.
Within the Old Testament,
Aaronic or Levitical priests
sacrifices on behalf of the nation of Israel
Those sacrifices had to be repeated
over and over.
Eventually the priest would die, and his work
as mediator would cease.
Jesus, our High Priest
"in the order of Melchizedek,”
is not only our mediator but also
(see 1 John 2:1–2).
Because of His resurrection,
death does not interrupt
Jesus remains our eternal High Priest.
Not only is Jesus the sympathetic High Priest
but He is the King as well
Jesus will physically reign as
king in Jerusalem
and His kingship will be everlasting
(2 Samuel 7:13).
Much like Melchizedek was both priest and king,
Jesus is also both priest and king.
He is the
eternal mediator between God and man
soon to return
establish His physical kingdom
in the same city where Melchizedek