Is Melchisadek Really a Priest of God?
Posted June 23, 2011
Greeting you Mike in Love of our Lord Jesus Christ!
You have really opened my eyes on some of the key difficulties with regard to the scripture, especially on the aspect of tithes, speaking/praying with tongues and other doctrinal topics in the Bible. Now I am anchoring my understanding of tithes so that I'm really sure about this topic. My further learning about this topic (tithes) is now stimulated by some pastors on the popular Christian TV and Radios, suggesting that we should pay tithes because Abraham paid tithes to the priest of the Most high God. But I am not sure whether it is right to use this incidence as justification to pay tithes!! I have done my research now to gain some understanding as who was Melchizedek of Genesis 14 and whether or not he was the priest of the Most High God that Abraham acknowledged and worshiped. I also used your materials to improve my understanding of this incidence (i.e. Abram paying the spoil of tithes to Melchizedek). After reading a lot of historical materials, I came to the conclusion that it is unlikely that this priest was appointed by God (Yahweh). You will notice that during the time of Abram, there were kings who choose to appoint themselves as priests. Apart from that, I also discovered that Melchizedek appointed the king of Sodom as his ambassador (I mean the person who was in charge of the most immoral city of the time), something which God would not have allowed to happen, given the fact that Abraham was on his way to become the Priest! Do you agree with my conclusion about this character of Mechidezek. I also learned that tithes payment did not begin here. It was the custom that used to be practiced in terms of the Arab Traditional Law! They use this to pay sacrifices to the gods, idols or baal. Which is why the expression of God in Genesis 14 18-22 seems to differ with the expression from Abraham (please refer to the Hebrew concordance expression).
In addition , Now I quote (Russell Earl Kelly, 2007): it is extremely important for a correct understanding of Genesis 14 to realize that “Most High God,” or “God the Most High,” (Hebrew: “El Elyon”) was a common Canaanite designation for Baal, and even his father, El. Again, neither sentence-structure nor context require this identification to point exclusively to Jehovah, as most commentators conclude. It is unfortunate that “El Elyon” has been “translated,” rather than merely being “transliterated,” and left as “El Elyon.” This error easily confuses the reader and encourages the reader towards a conclusion which is not apparent in the phrase itself. While a casual Canaanite reader would quickly identify the phrase with “El” or “Baal,” a casual contemporary westerner would conclude that the term identifies Jehovah, or Yahweh. A comparative problem has been eliminated by Bible translators who have wisely chosen to retain the name “Baal,” instead of translating it as “Lord.” Fausset’s Bible Dictionary comments on the name “El Elyon” by saying, “The Phoenicians so named their chief god according to Sanchoniathon in Enseb. Praep. Event., doubtless from primitive revelation.”
This is just a short version of what I am learning about Melchizedek. Please clarify this for me! Tell me if it is in agreement with your understanding of this event.May God's Love be upon you!
Your brother in Christ,
You ask me if Melchizedek was really a priest of the most high God?
Gen 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
I appreciate the study you are doing, but we should never, ever place the writings of commentators about the sum of God's Word. I have never heard of "Russel Earl Kelly", but if his words do not agree with the sum of God's Word, I would reject his teaching outright.
Psa 119:160 The sum of thy word is truth; And every one of thy righteous ordinances endureth for ever.
We must never attempt to establish doctrine with just one verse of scripture because no verse of scripture is its own interpretation. God's Word is designed to be understood only in the light of its sum.
2Pe 1:20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of scripture at all is becoming its own explanation.
2Pe 1:21 For not by the will of man was prophecy carried on at any time, but, being carried on by holy spirit, holy men of God speak. (CLV)
Now let's see what the holy spirit has inspired in the sum of His word. Here is how King David spoke of Melchizedek:
Psa 110:4 The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
Would the holy spirit inspire those words if Melchizedek had no relationship with the Almighty God? I think not.
This verse in Psa 110:4 is referenced six times more in the book of Hebrews. Here is but one of those references:
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. '
Would the holy spirit tell us that Christ's priesthood is "after the order" of a completely pagan priest who did not know God? Of course not.
Here are the other verses in Hebrews where Psa 110:4 is referenced:
Heb 5:6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 5:10 Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
Heb 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Heb 7:21 (For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
Yes, it is true that the title 'el' simply means 'god'. It can be used in reference to either true or false gods. I do not know whether 'El Elyon' was used commonly by Canaanites in reference to Baal or not. You quote Russell Earl Kelly, from 2007:
“God the Most High,” (Hebrew: “El Elyon”) was a common Canaanite designation for Baal, and even his father, El.
That may or may not be true. But whether it is or is not true is totally irrelevant to the sum of God's Word, which demonstrates that "Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God" and Christ's priesthood is "after the order of Melchizedek".
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
I hope all these verses from the Word of God serve to give the direction you need in this study. Above all I pray you are granted by our Lord to let Him and His Word always be true and to let every man who withstands His Word to be a liar.
Rom 3:4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
Please take the time to read this URL and if you still have questions then please let me know:
Your brother in Christ,