I have heard Protestants try to make the claim that Melchizedek and the “Captain of the host of the Lord” that appeared to Joshua, (Joshua 5:13-15) were Old Testament appearances of Jesus Christ, which they refer to as “Christophanies”(Sic?) I find that teaching to be troubling, as they are deifying two Old Testament characters, based on their own presumptions of what Scripture is saying. The problem is, as a Catholic, I must admit, I have no clue what the Catholic Church teaches about either of them. Has the Catholic Church made any statements as to how we are to perceive Melchizedek or the “Captain of the host of the Lord?”
I see so far that this topic isn’t going over very well. Wouldn’t y’all like to find out if we can retort a “you worship Mary” allegation with a, “No we don’t, but you worship a man called Melchizedek, and an angel.” Don’t y’all see the possibility of really putting evangelicals on the defensive with this one?
You can learn more about Mel. and more here.
straight to it here:
Although the Melchizedek example is new to me, some Fathers of the Church indeed saw such Old Testament appearances as the Son of God. For instance, St. Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Trypho the Jew, argued that the Son of God was one of the three “angels” who appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre in Genesis 18, was the “angel” who wrestled with Jacob in Genesis 32, and was the “angel” who spoke to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3. In Haydock’s Catholic Bible commentary on Joshua 5:13-15, it says that, though most understand it to refer to St. Michael the Archangel, the early Christian writer Origen considered “the captain of the host of the Lord” to be the Son of God.
Haydock’s Catholic Bible commentary on Genesis 14:18 says that Melchizedek is probably not the Son of God because elsewhere in Scripture (perhaps a reference to Hebrews 7 and Psalm 110) they are compared together.
It is okay portray Melchizedek as Christ-Type. The following comes from the Catholic Encyclopedia.
Melchisedek: from the Hebrew meaning "King of righteousness was King of Salem (Gen. xiv, 18-20) who, on Abraham’s return with the booty taken from the four kings, “bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God, blessed him”, and received from him “the tithes of all”…
the typical character of Melchisedech and its Messianic import are fully explained. Christ is “a priest forever according to the order of Melchisedech” (Hebrews 7:6; Psalm 109:4); “a high priest forever”, etc (Hebrews 6:20), i.e. order or manner, not after the manner of Aaron. The Apostle develops his teaching in Heb., vii: Melchisedech was a type by reason…
The silence of Scripture about the facts of Melchisedech’s birth and death was part of the divine plan to make him prefigure more strikingly the mysteries of Christ’s generation, the eternity of His priesthood. Abraham, patriarch and father of nations, paid tithes to Melchisedech and received his blessing. This was all the more remarkable since the priest-king was a stranger, to whom he was not bound to pay tithes, as were the children of Israel to the priests of the Aaronic line. Abraham, therefore, and Levi “in the loins of his father” (Heb. vii, 9), by acknowledging his superiority as a type of Christ (for personally he was not greater than Abraham), thereby confessed the excellence of Christ’s priesthood. Neither can it be fairly objected that Christ was in the loins of Abraham as Levi was, and paid tithes to Melchisedech; for, though descended from Abraham, he had no human father, but was conceived by the Holy Ghost. In the history of
Melchisedech St. Paul says nothing about the bread and wine which the “priest of the most High” offered, and on account of which his name is placed in the Canon of the Mass. The scope of the Apostle accounts for this; for he wishes to show that the priesthood of Christ was in dignity and duration superior to that of
Aaron, and therefore, since it is not what Melchisedech offered, but rather the other circumstances of his priesthood which belonged to the theme, they alone are mentioned.
I found an interesting answer by Scott Hahn that says Shem is Malchizadek. I’d have made a link but I’m new and can’t figure out the tutorial. SOME ONE HELP!
God promises to bless Abraham. And we know that those blessings come in his descendants, especially in Jesus. But during the course of Genesis, the only actual blessing that Abraham receives is from the mysterious king-priest, Melchizedek (see Genesis 14:18-20).
We have to do a little background, and even a little math, to understand what that’s all about.
Shem receives a cosmic blessing from Noah - “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem!” - which marks the first time in Scripture that God is identified with any one human being (see Genesis 9:26-27). God is designated as “the God of Shem” - a sign of Shem’s great righteousness and stature before God.
However, then Shem disappears. Unlike the other first-borns - Adam, Cain, Noah - we don’t see him fall into disgrace. In fact, we don’t hear anything more about him - except that he has sons and that ten generations later one of his descendants, Terah, gives birth to three sons, the first-born of which is Abraham (see Genesis 11:26-27). It is very curious, though, that we never see Shem - heralded as the most righteous of the men born after the Flood - handing on his blessing to his first-born or to any one of his children.
This is where the math comes in: Add up the numbers given in the account of the descendants of Shem’s line (see Genesis 11:10-26): Abraham is born 290 years after Shem’s first-born, Arpachshad. Now, if Shem is 100 years old when Arpachshad is born, that means that he’s 390 when Abraham is born. And, if Shem lived five hundred years after Arpachshad’s birth, and Abraham lived to be 175 years old (see Genesis 25:7), that means that Shem outlived Abraham by 35 years.
Who cares? Why does it matter? Well, for the ancient rabbis and for centuries of early Christian interpreters, including probably the author of the Letter to Hebrews, it mattered a great deal. It’s also the key to figuring out what’s happening between Abraham and Melchizedek in Genesis 14.
According to a long tradition - Jewish and Christian - the mysterious Melchizedek is actually Shem, the great patriarch, the righteous inheritor of the blessings promised by God after the Flood.
Sorry, maybe this will do it.
This is how I see this according to scripture Micah 5:2 stated that the messianic King to come was “from everlasting.” Jesus had appeared in His divine life before His human birth as the priest-king Melchizedek.
Again I always use script and stick to script as the bible always interprets itself. Hebrews 7 “This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,
and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means king of righteousness; then also, king of Salem means king of peace”.
“Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest for ever”.
This same one for Joshua and And Abram was the Jesus Christ personified. Notice that any angel in the bible will imediately tell someone not to BOW to them. When Joshua bows to this one standing holding the sword there was not a word spoken to the Contrary. Joshua was on Holy Ground…