555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

211. Why Is Christ Described As a High Priest After the Order of Melchizedek?




The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews, whether Paul or some other person, was showing the superiority of Christianity to Judaism. It too had its priest and sacrifice. The Jew might answer that Christ could not be a high priest as he did not come of the tribe of Levi, to which the priesthood was confined. The answer is that there was another order of priesthoodó that of Melchizedek, which Abraham recognized (Gen. 14:2o) by paying him tithes. Christ belonged to that order as the Psalmist had predicted (Ps. 1104), and Levi, through his ancestor, had thus indicated his superiority. It is an argument that would have weight with a Jew. It is a curious fact, that among the recently discovered Tel el-Amarna tablets, are letters from one Ebed-tob, King of Uru Salim (Jerusalem), who describes himself as not having received the crown by inheritance from father or mother, but from the mighty God. We know nothing of Melchizedek beyond the scanty references in Genesis, but this tablet appears to intimate that the ancient Kings of Jerusalem claimed this divine right