The Order of Melchizedek


#1

Referring to Psalm 110:4 “The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek"”. We are told in the letter to the Hebrews God never swore an oath to the Levitical priests the way he swore an oath in this Psalm. I wonder when this Psalm was first heard at the coronation of Solomon wouldn’t the Levites have filled threatened that their ministry was coming to an end? Is there any biblical or extra-biblical documents that discusses this?


#2

I should just point out that the Hebrew of that Psalm (’atâ-ḵōhēn lə‘ ōlām, ‘al-diḇərāṯî maləkî-ṣeḏeq) is quite obscure. The Septuagint, the epistle to the Hebrews, and modern translations understand the î of diḇərāṯî (dibrah 'cause', 'manner', 'reason') as a ḥiriq compaginis (a relic of the old genitive or rather, the construct case-ending). The alternative way is to understand it as a first singular pronominal suffix ("my order"), which leads to two possibilities: (1) "You are a priest forever by my, Melchizedek's, order;" (2) "You are a priest forever by my order [on my account], Melchizedek."


#3

Thanks for pointing that out. I suppose either way the message still would have raised the Levites eyebrows...


#4

[quote="Augustine3, post:3, topic:339026"]
Thanks for pointing that out. I suppose either way the message still would have raised the Levites eyebrows...

[/quote]

We don't have any record of how Levites reacted to this particular Psalm, but Psalm 110 did inspire some speculation about Melchizedek during the Second Temple period. The interpretation reading verse 4 as "You are a priest forever by my order, O Melchizedek" (understanding the passage to mean God speaking directly to Melchizedek), coupled with the lofty language ("Yhwh said to my lord..." etc.) led to ideas like Melchizedek being the forerunner to the high priestly office or even Melchizedek actually being an angelic, semi-divine figure.


#5

[quote="patrick457, post:4, topic:339026"]
We don't have any record of how Levites reacted to this particular Psalm, but Psalm 110 did inspire some speculation about Melchizedek during the Second Temple period. The interpretation reading verse 4 as "You are a priest forever by my order, O Melchizedek" (understanding the passage to mean God speaking directly to Melchizedek), coupled with the lofty language ("Yhwh said to my lord..." etc.) led to ideas like Melchizedek being the forerunner to the high priestly office or even Melchizedek actually being an angelic, semi-divine figure.

[/quote]

Interesting – can you point me to a website or recommend a document supporting this?


#6

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