Who was Melchizedek and why does he matter? Hebrews 7

From my reading in Hebrews 7 in the One Year Bible New Testament.

Melchizedek is one of those weird Bible names that tends to just go over people’s heads.

But why does the writer of Hebrews spend a whole chapter talking about him? Who was he? What did he do? We should start with the Old testament story.

“And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has defeated your enemies for you.” Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.” Gen 14:18-20

The writer of Hebrews summarized who Melchizedek was and this interaction.


  • Was the king of Salem and a high priest .(1a)
  • Met and blessed Abraham. (1b)
  • Abraham gave him a tenth of what he captured in battle. (2a)
  • His names mean “king of justice” and “king of peace”. (2b)
  • No recorded ancestors or death. (3a)
  • He is a “priest forever.”He lives on. (3b, 8)
  • He is greater than Abraham. (4-7)
  • Jesus is a different and better priest “in the order of Melchizedek”. (9-22)

Melchizedek is a foreshadowing or “archetype” of Jesus in the Old Testament.

In Psalm 110:4 David makes a prophesy about Jesus, “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Like Melchizedek Jesus is a different and better kind of priest. Because Jesus is a perfect priest he is able to save all who come to him for salvation.

Jesus is a better high priest than Melchizedek.

  • Jesus guarantees a better covenant. (22)
  • Jesus’ priesthood lasts forever. (23-24)
  • Jesus is able to save all those who come to him. (25a)
  • Jesus intercedes for us. (25b)
  • Jesus is holy, blameless and unstained by sin. (26a)
  • Jesus has been given the highest honor. (26b)
  • Jesus does not need to keep making sacrifices everyday. (27a)
  • Jesus sacrificed himself once for all! (27b)
  • Jesus is perfect and not limited by human weakness. (28)

Jesus is our perfect high priest.

Melchizedek is meant to help us understand what a great high priest we have in Jesus!

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