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Hebrews7;- Melchizedek

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posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 05:05 PM
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The epistle to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians, perhaps to a specific Jewish church.
The message of the letter is that Christ has brought “completeness”.
That is, God is making available, through him, a much greater and more decisive revelation than anything they have received from him previously

An important part of the writer’s case is that Christ has a function modelled upon the Old Testament figure of Melchizedek.
In the fifth chapter, he quotes the Psalm;
“Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110 v4).
He returns to the theme in the seventh chapter by taking up the story of the king’s meeting with Abraham.

The story can yield three different kinds of information.
First, the key details of what happened.
Melchizedek blessed Abraham, and Abraham responded by giving Melchizedek a tenth of what he had taken in battle.
Secondly, the names.
Melchizedek’s own name means “King of Righteousness”.
Then the name of his city identifies him as the “King of Peace”.
Righteousness comes first, because true Peace depends on righteousness; that is, a right relationship with God.
The implication is that Melchizedek offers them both (ch7 vv1-2).

Thirdly, the inferences which can be drawn from what the Genesis account does not say about Melchizedek.
We are not told about his ancestry. We are not told the names of his parents.
In effect, he has no earthly origin.
Again, we are not told that he died, or that he had any successors.
In effect, then , he continues “for ever”, just as the Psalmist says about the one who follows the same pattern.
As a symbolic figure, he resembles what this letter has already said about the Son of God, in that he has “neither beginning of days nor end of life” (v3).
And if the Son of God is to be identified with Melchizedek, then the rest of the information about Melchizedek belongs to him as well.

So we come back to that exchange of blessing and tithing, which demonstrates the greatness of Melchizedek.
The story shows that even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tithe.
Offering tithe is a kind of submission, accepting the recipient as one’s priest.
Therefore Melchizedek shows himself to be greater than Abraham.
That’s not very important in itself, because Abraham has already been co-opted into the Christian message.
But under the laws of Moses, the right to receive tithe was confined to the descendants of Levi.
This man was not just receiving tithe without being one of their number.
He was, in symbol, receiving a tithe from Levi himself, who was still “in the loins of Abraham”.
Thus being greater than Abraham also entails being greater than the house of Levi (vv4-10).

The same point can be made about the act of blessing. A “blessing” is a gift which comes from power, so the one who gives the blessing is necessarily (“beyond dispute”) greater than the one who receives it (v7).
(Thus when the Psalms invite the congregation to “Bless the Lord”, the word has to be taken more loosely.)

So the priesthood of Melchizedek is a priesthood other than the priesthood of Levi.
The very fact that a different priesthood has been provided demonstrates that a new priesthood was necessary.
And if a new priesthood was necessary, that shows that the old priesthood was not capable of providing “perfection” [TELEIOSIS].

Now a change in the priesthood necessarily involves a change in the law.
“This” (that is, the change in the law) becomes “even more evident” from the fact, already noted, that Melchizedek’s appointment ignored the criterion of “bodily descent” which the old law requires.
Jesus was born into the tribe of Judah, rather than the tribe nominated as priests by the law.
He was appointed instead “by the power of an indestructible life” (vv11-17).

To sum up the conclusion of the argument so far;
The old law has been set aside for the same reason that the old priesthood has been replaced.
It was weak and useless, being incapable of bringing anyone to “perfection” or “completeness”.
In its place, a “better hope” has been introduced, by which we can draw near to God, the source of completeness (vv18-19).

The opening words of the reference in the Psalms help to prove this conclusion.
For the appointment of this priest, unlike the appointment of the old priests, was confirmed by an oath;
“The Lord has sworn, and will not change his mind…”
As the writer pointed out when discussing the promises to Abraham, an oath from God provides greater certainty and assurance.
So this, too, shows Jesus to be the guarantor of “a better covenant” (vv20-22).

Another difference is that the old priests were subject to death. There had to be a long succession of them, because death interrupted their service.
One of the implications was anticipated earlier; since the sons of Levi are subject to death, that also makes them inferior to one who has “no end of life” (v8).

Whereas the same Psalm has already told us that the new priest holds his priesthood “for ever”.
He keeps it “inviolate”, unchangeable.
This means that his intercession will always be available to those who “draw near to God through him” (vv23-25).

In conclusion, then “it was fitting” that we should have a high priest of this kind (v26)
The first time the writer used “it was fitting”, he was talking about the pioneer of our salvation being brought to completeness through suffering death (ch2 v10).
What is “fitting” in this case is that we have “such a high priest”, which refers back to “always living for the purpose of making intercession” for us.
As we learn later, the two things go together.

The verse goes on to describe his character as priest.
He is holy [HOSIOS].
He is “without blame” [AKAKOS].
He is “unstained” [AMIANTOS].
He is “separated from sinners”, never having been one of their number.
This is the kind of high priest who has been “exalted beyond the heavens” into the presence of God.
In both respects, in his holiness and in his exaltation, he has brought to completion what the high priests of the old law managed only imperfectly.

“He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people” (v28).
This observation causes difficulty to commentators, because the great day of Atonement for the sins of the people was annual, not daily.
But my own commentator points out the need to look at the word order carefully.
The word “daily” is not, in the Greek text, attached to “offer sacrifices”; it is attached to “he has no need”.
The new high priest is interceding for us daily, and in his intercession there is a daily absence of need to offer the kind of sacrifices for sin which the old priests had to present.
That is because his own self-offering completed the job, “once for all”.

The final summary of the argument (v28);
The old law provided a priesthood which was weak and not effective in meeting our need, being sinful and subject to death.
But the word of the oath, given in the Psalm, is later than the law and has replaced it.
This has appointed for us a new high priest in the person of a Son, who has been “made perfect” [TELEIOMENON] for ever.




posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 05:09 PM
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N.B. The words of the opening post are my own, but the commentary of B.F. Westcott has been my invaluable guide to the sense of the original text.



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 05:20 PM
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Very interesting post...Melchizedek is a major figure (actually a writer) of the Urantia Book, which claims to be an updated version of the bible. According to the Urantia Book, Melchizedek was the third bestowal of epochal significance to Earth. The fourth was the incarnation of Jesus, and the fifth was the Urantia Book. It was with Melchizedek that Abraham made the great Covenant...



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 05:22 PM
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a reply to: Zoyd23
I'm afraid my theology is only based on the standard version of the Bible.



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 07:23 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI
“Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110 v4).


That's one of the biblical proofs of re-incarnation.

After all, you only need a priest as the go between man and god, when man is on earth, living as a sinner, and needs someone to guide him onto the right path.

So, how could any person be a priest "for ever", if a man only lives 60-120 years?

It must be that he reincarnates over and over, each time coming back as a priest.



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 07:28 PM
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a reply to: AMPTAH
The understanding of Hebrews is that this verse is addressed to Christ.
As everyone knows, the New Testament teaching is that Christ was raised from the dead once and does not die again. THAT is how he continues "for ever". That is what the writer means by "indestructible life".
if he does not die, then the idea of reincarnation is unnecessary and redundant.



posted on Feb, 17 2017 @ 08:23 PM
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originally posted by: AMPTAH

originally posted by: DISRAELI
“Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110 v4).


That's one of the biblical proofs of re-incarnation.

After all, you only need a priest as the go between man and god, when man is on earth, living as a sinner, and needs someone to guide him onto the right path.

So, how could any person be a priest "for ever", if a man only lives 60-120 years?

It must be that he reincarnates over and over, each time coming back as a priest.



The writers of the scriptures are essentially priests forever.

It is my opinion that Melchizedek is the priest who gave the world Zoroastrianism. Making him littleraly the founder of one of the world's oldest religions teaching monotheism.

Zoroastrianism will continue to be considered the spiritual work of a prophet/high priest forever.



posted on Feb, 18 2017 @ 07:05 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Hi D....Lots of work and though goes into this subject .I am putting a short YT podcast by Micheal Heiser . He is responding to a Q&A . one of the first things he brings up is the meaning of the name . "My King is Righteous" It might be worth while for readers as a introductory to the character as well as some of the problems .



posted on Feb, 18 2017 @ 07:23 AM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1
Thank you for that very useful addition.



posted on Feb, 19 2017 @ 02:39 PM
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This thread is one of a series, which began with;
Jesus, the greater revelation
Jesus; Suffering death by the grace of God



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 03:50 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

I guess this thread is "dead"? There have been no further comments.

I'm rather sorry you posted your OP because it's caused me to study on this subject, off and on, for the last 5 days. The whole discussion of Melchizedek is quite troubling to me and I guess my mind isn't sufficiently capable of really understanding the significance of Melchizedek.

On the one hand you make the point:
"So the priesthood of Melchizedek is a priesthood other than the priesthood of Levi. The very fact that a different priesthood has been provided demonstrates that a new priesthood was necessary. And if a new priesthood was necessary, that shows that the old priesthood was not capable of providing “perfection” [TELEIOSIS]"

But then again we have:
"The epistle to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians, perhaps to a specific Jewish church. The message of the letter is that Christ has brought “completeness”. That is, God is making available, through him, a much greater and more decisive revelation than anything they have received from him previously An important part of the writer’s case is that Christ has a function modelled upon the Old Testament figure of Melchizedek. In the fifth chapter, he quotes the Psalm; “Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek” (Psalm 110 v4)."

Perhaps I'm mixing up the metaphors here, but it seems to me we can't have it both ways and that seems to suggest to me that something of the understanding of the nature of the priesthood of Melchizedek has been lost or obscured.

The statement is made that:
"We are not told about his ancestry. We are not told the names of his parents. In effect, he has no earthly origin. Again, we are not told that he died, or that he had any successors."

However, further examination reveals that there are at least two accounts for the origin of Melchizedek:
1) "According to some Jewish traditions (e.g., B. Talmud Nedarim 32b; Genesis Rabbah 46:7; Genesis Rabbah 56:10; Leviticus Rabbah 25:6; Numbers Rabbah 4:8.), Shem is believed to have been Melchizedek, King of Salem whom Abraham is recorded to have met after the battle of the four kings."" (from:en.wikipedia.org...).

2) "The Second Book of Enoch (also called "Slavonic Enoch") is apparently a Jewish sectarian work of the 1st century AD.[40] The last section of the work, the Exaltation of Melchizedek, tells how Melchizedek was born of a virgin, Sofonim (or Sopanima), the wife of Nir, a brother of Noah. The child came out from his mother after she had died and sat on the bed beside her corpse, already physically developed, clothed, speaking and blessing the Lord, and marked with the badge of priesthood. Forty days later, Melchizedek was taken by the archangel Gabriel (Michael in some manuscripts) to the Garden of Eden and was thus preserved from the Deluge without having to be in Noah's Ark."

Slavonic Enoch is of questionable provenance, but 1 Enoch is presently dated at 300 BC and at least one Jewish Scholar has suggested that 1 Enoch may well be proto-Genesis, i.e., that 1 Enoch predates the written book of Genesis which he suggests is a distillation or abreviated account that would have been found in an earlier version of Enoch. This view also seems to be implied by the Ethiopic beliefs about 1 Enoch.

So what am I suggesting here?
It occurs to me that perhaps we misunderstand the import and meaning of the priesthood of Melchizedek in that the priesthood of Melchizedek was divinely ordained and as such was capable of "Perfection" TELEIOSIS, that the Levite Priesthood was not divinely ordained in the same sense and was NOT capable of "Perfection" and that as both the Son of Man and the Son of God, Jesus is therefore "a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek", or perhaps better expressed "as of the order of Melchizedek".

What I think that suggests is that a priesthood of Melchizedek, having been directly Divinely Ordained IS forever in the sense that Melchizedek survives and serves in the presence of the Godhead as a Priest, as does Jesus Christ and that distinguishes the two from the Levite Priesthood which was an inherited Priesthood but not properly or directly "Ordained" by God, being rather an invention of mankind to serve as a Ministry.

That whole idea seems rather fantastical, but it does serve to prompt inquiry into a seminal question, i.e., what had gone so wrong that it was necessary for Christ to come onto the scene? I'm not biblical scholar enough to answer that but it seems that something went horribly wrong with God's original Covenant with the Hebrews such that it had essentially torn up and thrown away and that as a result, Christ is sent to establish a new and everlasting Covenant between God and mankind.

I don't have the resources to fully understand what all went awry but after some readings on the history of the Israelite's, it occurs to me that the shredding of the original Covenant was signified by the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the Babylonian conquest and exile.

A second Temple was constructed and improved upon by Herod, but it is noted that the Second Temple lacked:
--The Ark of the Covenant containing the Tablets of Stone, before which were placed, the pot of manna and Aaron's rod
--The Urim and Thummim, (divination objects contained in the Hoshen)
--The holy oil
--The sacred fire.

Presumably these objects or the sources were captured and/or destroyed by the Babylonians.
Further, though I can't find the source at the moment, it has been noted that the Levite Priesthood of the First Temple had been abandoned and that another line of Priesthood had supplanted them in the operation of the Second Temple. Christ seemed to have nought but contempt for the Second Temple Priesthood and may well have viewed them as counterfeit.

Just my thoughts anyway.
Thanks for your OP.



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 04:21 PM
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a reply to: TonyS Good post ... Something to consider is the Babel incident .Prior to that all the languages were one .Deut 32:8 esv Deu 32:8  When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. 
Deu 32:9  But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.  Jacob/Israel was later then Abram ...


edit on 21-2-2017 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 04:22 PM
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originally posted by: TonyS
On the one hand you make the point:
"...So the priesthood of Melchizedek is a priesthood other than the priesthood of Levi. [TELEIOSIS]"
...
But then again we have:
"... An important part of the writer’s case is that Christ has a function modelled upon the Old Testament figure of Melchizedek. ...
Perhaps I'm mixing up the metaphors here, but it seems to me we can't have it both ways.

Have I correctly identified the two points which you think are in conflict?
I don't see any clash between them. Obviously I'm paraphrasing the writer of Hebrews, but he's using both points as different stages in the same argument, so I don't suppose he saw a clash either.
His case could be summed up as "Melchizedek is a priesthood other than the priesthood of Levi, and Christ is identified with Melchizedek, which shows therefore that Christ has a priesthood other than the priesthood of Levi".
Where do you see the difficulty?


The statement is made that:
"We are not told about his ancestry. We are not told the names of his parents. In effect, he has no earthly origin. Again, we are not told that he died, or that he had any successors."

You need to bear in mind that the writer isn't concerned with the realities of Melchizedek's existence.
Obviously, in real life, he would have had a father and a mother and a grave and dates of birth and death.
The writer's point is based on the symbolism of the fact that none of these things are mentioned in the text of scripture. Within the Old Testament, he appears to be without beginning or end, and that is what makes him a suitable symbol of a Christ who is without beginning or end.
So the fact that traditions and extra-Biblical accounts make claims about the rest of his life is neither here nor there. This is about Melchizedek as a symbol, as a "type" of Christ, and not about the flesh-and-blood Melchizedek.

The best way of understanding the declaration in Psalms is probably that the Psalmist was treating him in the same way.


What I think that suggests is that a priesthood of Melchizedek, having been directly Divinely Ordained IS forever in the sense that Melchizedek survives and serves in the presence of the Godhead as a Priest, as does Jesus Christ and that distinguishes the two from the Levite Priesthood

I think it's a mistake to try to distinguish between the priesthoods of Christ and Melchizedek. The author of Hebrews isn't doing that. His idea is "The priesthood of Melchizedek is the Old Testament''s way of telling us about the priesthood of Christ".


I'm not biblical scholar enough to answer that but it seems that something went horribly wrong with God's original Covenant with the Hebrews such that it had essentially torn up and thrown away and that as a result, Christ is sent to establish a new and everlasting Covenant between God and mankind.

The question is very effectively answered by Paul.
The problem with the old covenant was that it worked through the keeping of a law, and the law is essentially unkeepable.
Over the next few chapters, Hebrews will be giving a similar explanation from a different angle. He is going to argue that the old sacrifices were inherently incapable of "cleansing the conscience".



edit on 21-2-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 21 2017 @ 06:55 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI


is it at all possible that Christs birth was planned by a priesthood ?
two of the right people...
to make one of the right man ?

is it possible Gnostic sex rituals were a part of it ?




edit on 21-2-2017 by kibric because: boo



posted on Feb, 22 2017 @ 01:42 AM
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a reply to: kibric
There is no particular reason to think so.



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