What exactly is the order of Melchizedek?


All Priests fall under this order right?

”For it is declared: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” - Hebrews 7:17

Who is Melchizedek? He’s found in Genesis I believe, why is he specifically important and models the order of priesthood? Is he like the first priest or something?

”The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” - Psalm 110:4


Melchizedek was an ancient priest-King who greeted and blessed Abraham. Abraham tithed to him, respecting his authority. He brought out an offering of bread and wine- an ancient prefiguring of the Eucharist. The Jews of Jesus’ day were used to the hereditary Levitical priesthood. Jesus, and his priests of the new covenant, are not hereditary priests from that line. Jesus was appointed by God, as was Melchizedek.


But all priests today are from this order?

The priesthood is synonymous with the order of Melchizedek?


It means that Christ was not like the priests of Aaron, but like Melchizedek. This is an archetype. Melchizedek was priest and king, that is, king of justice, and the city was Salem (peace). The priest receives Holy Orders and then acts in persona Christi.

Hebrews 7

1 It was this Melchisedech, king of Salem, and priest of the most high God, who met Abraham and blessed him on his way home, after the defeat of the kings; 2 and to him Abraham gave a tenth of his spoils. Observe, in the first place, that his name means, the king of justice; and further that he is king of Salem, that is, of peace. 3 That is all; no name of father or mother, no pedigree, no date of birth or of death; there he stands, eternally, a priest, the true figure of the Son of God.


Yes, all validly ordained priests (Catholic and Orthodox) are of the order of Melchizidek.


Hebrews deals with the question at considerable length, beginning at 6:13 and continuing all through chapters 7 and 8. It contrasts the OT rule that only descendants of Aaron were entitled to serve as priests in the Temple with the fact that Melchizedek, the ancient priest-king to whom Abraham paid tithes, obviously didn’t comply with the later genealogical requirement. Jesus, too, being descended from Judah, didn’t have the genealogical credentials to be a priest in the Temple, but nevertheless is rightly honored as a priest and king, just as Melchizedek was.


Let’s look in Genesis 14 NABRE (USCCB) to get some background on this:


When Abram returned from his defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were allied with him, the king of Sodom went out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
Melchizedek, king of Salem,* brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High.
He blessed Abram with these words:c
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
the creator of heaven and earth;
And blessed be God Most High,
who delivered your foes into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

Melchizedek is of mysterious origin - King of Salem (Peace) - one who is both King & Priest.

A king of the Davidic line could not be a priest per se in that priests came from the tribe of Levi, & Davidic kings were from the tribe of Judah.


David, too, is once glimpsed performing a sacred ritual, an action that we would expect to see done by a duly qualified priest:

And they brought in the ark of the Lord and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the Lord. And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts (2 Sam 6:17-18).


Yes, I know this, so as king, he did in fact perform some priestly functions, but he was not specifically a Levite formally called to the office.


Very ironic, I just so happened to be the lector today at daily mass and the reading and Psalm was all about “you are a Priest forever in the line of Melchizedek”. Very ironic I asked this question yesterday and the answers are in today’s reading and psalm which I just so happened to be lector of lol


My understanding is that Melchizedek did not offer blood sacrifices, but wine and bread.



Lol, that happens a lot to me, too.

Matthew 7:7
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you


No, the author of Hebrews specifically limits the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek to Christ, distinguishin him as the one who provides eternal intercession before the father by his own sacrifice against the imperfect sacrifices offered by earthly priests.

Melchizedek provides a typological illustration of Christ as the perfect mediator compared to earthly priests. He is found in Genesis after Abraham rescues Lot. Great question.


I always took it to mean that for Jesus to be the ultimate Priest offering the ultimate sacrifice He had to legitimately come from a divine line of Priest.
He had to fulfill the Law perfectly…so being able to trace the lineage of His priesthood back gives Him absolute “Legal” claim to stand in the Holiest of the Holy’s and offer the ultimate sacrifice.


1.He is both a king and priest , the first to be titled Kohen or Priest in the Hebrew Bible. Melchizedek means “King of Righteousness.” 2.Under the Law of Moses, only descendants of Aaron could be Kings or Priests; however, Melchizedek predates Aaron by many generations.
Thus he is rightly considered as the first priest.


Mine too. At a church where I worship sometimes there is a huge painting of a man welcoming an army with wine and bread. I looked it up in a book on the history of the church and it is supposed to be Melchizedek welcoming Abraham.


Once again today at daily mass I was the lector, I’m almost never the lector, I go everyday so probably 100 times this past semester and now getting into this semester and I think I’ve been lector now 4 times, including today and yesterday.

Well today’s reading ended with “you are a Priest forever in the line of Melchizedek”. I ask this question and then two days in a row I just so happen to be asked to be lector and the readings are about Melchizedek. It’s like God is smacking me on the head with a 2x4 lol. I guess God likes your answers and wants me to know it! Hahaha


I would recommend doing a thorough reading of the epistle to the Hebrews. Great theological/doctrinal letter.


The “order of Melchizedek” (τάξιν Μελχισέδεκ taxin Melchizedek in Greek) is not an ‘order’ as, say, the ‘Order of Preachers’ or the ‘Order of Friars Minor’. “Order of Melchizedek” isn’t the name of a specific society or group, it’s a kind of description.

You can also render the passage “You are a priest forever according to/after the order of Melchizedek” as something like “You are a priest forever, according to the likeness/manner of (or “in the same manner as”) Melchizedek” - in other words, Jesus’ eternal priesthood is unlike those of the Aaronic priests whose status is based on genealogical descent.


Interestingly, Salem is part of the word Jerusalem.

So say, Salem is the same spot as Jerusalem–physically.

I think my source for that is a homily I heard.

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