Speculations concerning the identity of Melchizedek are plentiful and not without controversy. Most commentaries or study bibles that I have read say that he was merely an obscure king of a Canaanite city called Salem, who upheld the true religion. According to these writers, Salem was allegedly also known as the city of Jerusalem in the days of Abraham; thus Melchizedek is said to have been ruling there while administering his priestly functions for occupants who were undoubtedly pagan . These same commentaries also insist that the writer of Genesis 14 deliberately left out most of the pertinent details concerning Melchizedek’s past and future so that he could end up being the perfect type to which Christ could then be said to match as the anti-type. The resulting silence is seen as a convenience that allows the writer of Hebrews to surmise creative inferences and traits, all which are then ascribed to Melchizedek. The most disheartening discovery in regards to these mind-boggling opinions about Melchizedek is that again most commentaries that I have studied end up reducing the writer of Hebrews to someone who is restricted to or must rely on the sparseness of four Old Testament verses (Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:4) in order to advance a narrative about Melchizedek. It’s like the thought never even crosses the mind’s of these “bible scholars” that perhaps the writer of Hebrews–whose pen is tethered to the hand of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16)–is capable of revealing previously undisclosed truth about anything without exception. As Dr. Henry Morris suggests,
if these musings about Melchizedek are right, then the reader must wonder how he became the “founder of a priestly order greater than that of Aaron, one to whom even Abraham paid tithes? If anyone could be called “the priest of the most high God” (Genesis 14:18) at this time in history, it would seem that it should be Abraham himself—or possibly Job, “none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man” (Job 2:3), or even the patriarch Shem, who was still alive at this time, assuming no significant gaps in the genealogies of Genesis 11:1-32. But all of these have already been ruled out. If Melchizedek was greater than Shem or Job or Abraham, he must have been more than mortal man.”
Theses next twelve reasons confirm that Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Word of God.
- The name Melchizedek is really a title which means “King of righteousness.”
- Melchizedek is the King of Salem which is to say the King of Peace.
- Melchizedek has no mother nor father nor descendants.
- Melchizedek has no beginning of days, nor end of life (this means He is immortal)
- Melchizedek is made like unto the Son of God
- Melchizedek abides a priest continually and Jesus has a priesthood that is said to be unchangeable.
- Melchizedek’s priesthood is said to result in perfection.
- Melchizedek was without sin.
- Melchizedek was a heavenly high priest; not an earthly one.
- It is witnessed that Melchizedek lives forever.
- Melchizedek is said to have no descent and is yet a descendant.
- He [i.e. Melchizedek] of whom these things are spoken…is our Lord who sprang out of Judah
1. See notes on Ezekiel 16:3, The Defender’s Study Bible, Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D.
2. See notes on Genesis 14:18, The Defender’s Study Bible, Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D.