Inquiring Minds: Who was Melchisedec?

Each week the staff at the Roseville Library answers more than 2,500 questions on every subject under the sun. Here’s one of the most interesting ones they’ve gotten lately.

Q. In the Bible it says, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”  What does that mean? Who was Melchisedec?

A. Melchizedek (or Melchisedec) is mentioned in the Old Testament (Genesis 14) as the “King of Salem” and “the priest of the most high God.” In fact, Melchizedek is the first Hebrew priest mentioned in the Bible.  This is important because the New Testament bases its contention that Christ is the Messiah partly on His descent from the long line of Hebrew priests.  So when Scripture reads, “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec,”  (Hebrews 7:13-17 KJV) it is Christ that is being referred to, and it is intended to be interpreted as an additional proof of Christ’s legitimacy as the Redeemer of Mankind.  The line also appears in Psalm 110.  Christians interpret that as providing additional weight to Christ’s mission by associating Him with the psalmist King David. 

(Bible King James Version and additional online resources.)

Do you have a question for the staff at the Roseville Library? You can call them at 651-724-6001 or ask your question in person at the Information Desk, Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave. Library hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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