Who was Melchizedec?

Priest of God Most High

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!” And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:18-20

Melchizedec appears in Scripture only in three places: Genesis 14:18-20, Psalm 110:4, and Hebrews 6:20-7:21. The author of Hebrews draws his preliminary discussion of Melchizedec from the Genesis account. His point is to show that Melchizedec is an Old Testament type of Christ. The author is here attempting to prove the superiority of the priesthood of Melchizedec to the Levitical priesthood. Then he will show that Christ, as a priest, after the order of Melchizedec, is also superior to the Levitical priesthood. These first three verses lay the historical background out of which these arguments are drawn. Melchizedec is said to be “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God.”

There is no record in Scripture of the genealogy of Melchizedec. This is not to conclude that he was not fully human. It does, however, show a type of Christ, the Son of God, who also fits the above description.

The name Melchizedec literally means “King of Righteousness.” He was the king of Salem or Jerusalem. Salem simply means peace. Therefore, by his name and location he was the king of both righteousness and peace, two attributes, which further link him in type to Christ. Obviously, in Scripture, there is no one greater than Jesus Christ Himself is. This could include Melchizedec, as he was simply a type of Christ.

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Dr. Elmer Towns is a college and seminary professor, an author of popular and scholarly works (the editor of two encyclopedias), a popular seminar lecturer, and dedicated worker in Sunday school, and has developed over 20 resource packets for leadership education.His personal education includes a B.S. from Northwestern College in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a M.A. from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, a Th.M. from Dallas Theological Seminary also in Dallas, a MRE from Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and a D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.He is co-founder of Liberty University, with Jerry Falwell, in 1971, and was the only full-time teacher in the first year of Liberty’s existence. Today, the University has over 11,400 students on campus with 39,000 in the Distance Learning Program (now Liberty University Online), and he is the Dean of the School of Religion.Dr. Towns has given theological lectures and taught intensive seminars at over 50 theological seminaries in America and abroad. He holds visiting professorship rank in five seminaries. He has written over 2,000 reference and/or popular articles and received six honorary doctoral degrees. Four doctoral dissertations have analyzed his contribution to religious education and evangelism.

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