MELCHISEDEC

The history of Melchisedec is purposely withheld. Only so much is recorded of him as would suffice to make him an eminent type of our Lord Jesus Christ; both in regard to his priesthood and kingly office. The priesthood of Aaron was hereditary, passing down from sire to son until by its limitation it ran out. But of Melchisedec, no record is given of his parentage or posterity. Without (so far as his priesthood was concerned) father or mother; that is, as we understand, he did not, like the sons of Aaron, inherit the priesthood from father or mother. As a mere man he undoubtedly had both father and mother, but as priest and king, we are told that his descent was not reckoned; for in these respects he had neither. Neither have we any account of his beginning of life or end of days; for such a presentation would have greatly lessened, if not destroyed, the force and beauty of the figure. He is just presented in the figure as a priest and king - nothing is told us of how or when he became a priest, or whence he received his crown and regal honors as a king, when he began to reign, or when he ceased to reign. His name and titles imply that God himself made him both priest and king: for he says king of Salem, which name signifies righteousness and peace. And he was priest unto the Most High God as he was evidently recognized as such by the oath and testimony of God in Psalm 110:4. The inspired apostle calls this whole account of Melchisdec a similitude. And it was principally designed to show the surpassing glory of the royal priesthood of Christ over the typical priesthood of Aaron and his sons.

1. In that he has power and dominion which did not belong to the Levitical priesthood. He is king as well as priest. And in his regal glory Zechariah saw and testified of him thus; “Behold the man whose name is THE BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; even he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne, and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both (Zechariah 6:12,13).”

2. Aaron was made a priest by the law of a carnal commandment; for the Levitical law made men priests who had infirmity, and were liable like other men to die. But Christ is made a priest after the power of an endless life.

3. Men, by that law were made priests without an oath; but of Christ it is said, “The Lord hath sworn and will not repent. Thou art a Priest forever; after the order of Melchisedec (Psalm 110:4).”

4. The priesthood of Christ is not transferable; He abideth a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.

5. The priesthood of Melchisedec was anterior to that of Aaron, and so far superior to it, that Levi, the patriarch of the Aaronic priesthood, paid tithes to Melchisedec when yet in the loins of Abraham; thus signifying that Christ’s priesthood is without beginning of days, nor end of life. And finally it shows Christ is the substance of all the types, shadows, and figures, used in the Old Testament, as pointing to him. That is, he is not in a figurative sense, but really the King of Righteousness, and Priest to the Most High God. And although all the redeemed people of God are made kings and priests unto God, and shall reign with him in immortal glory as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people, yet his priesthood is not hereditary, for it is in him, not as succeeding, or superseding him; as members of his body, his flesh, they are identified with him in his royal priesthood.

Our sister inquires! Who is Melchisedec? We have tried to answer, he was a man who in the days of Abraham was literally king of Salem, and priest to God, and made to prefigure the royal priesthood of the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus.

Abraham gave him a tenth part of the spoils he had taken from the kings over whom he triumphed in the restoration of Lot, and the treasures of Sodom and Gomorrah, and this in paying tithes of temporal things to Melchisedec, recognized his superiority; and signified that all honor shall be paid to Christ as our spiritual and ever abiding High Priest.

Is there more than one King of Salem, or King of Peace? There were many kings of Salem, or Jerusalem, all of whom, so far as their position is concerned, were typical of Christ. But in the anti-typical Salem, the New Jerusalem, there is but one King, and this is Christ, who is the “Blessed and only potentate,” the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the Only wise God, our Savior, to whom be honor, praise, power, majesty and glory forever. Amen.

Middletown, N.Y.
February 15, 1867.

Elder Gilbert Beebe
Editorials Volume 6
Pages 453 - 454