Useful Bible Studies > Hebrews Commentary > chapter 7

Melchizedek: without father or mother

Hebrews 7:3

This is not a description of Melchizedek. It is a description of the Bibleís report about Melchizedek.

In other words, we think that Melchizedek had a father and a mother, like everyone else. He probably knew his family history. He was born at some time and he died at the end of his life.

But the Bible records none of these things, and that surprises us. Especially, it surprises us in the Book of Genesis. The author of Genesis was very careful to record these details about people who served God. But he was also very careful not to record any of those things about Melchizedek (Genesis 14:17-20).

There is a second reason why this should surprise us. Melchizedek was a priest. And Israelís priests had to know about their families. The father of a priest had to be from the family of Aaron. The priestís mother had to be Jewish (from the families of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob). In Ezra 2:61-63, some priests could not carry out their duties because they had lost their family records.

But Melchizedek had to be different because, by means of him, God was teaching us about his Son.

Melchizedek was a priest because God had appointed him, and not because of his human family. And that is true about Christ as well. We can read about Christís human family in Matthew 1:1-17, Luke 3:23-38 and Hebrews 7:13-14. But Christ was not a priest because of that family. He is our chief priest because God appointed him.

There is no record of Melchizedekís death. So there is no record of the end of his work as a priest. And that teaches us something about Christ, too. We know about Christís death. But that was not the end of his work as our chief priest. He became alive again; and he always lives, to pray for us, as our chief priest (Hebrews 7:24-25).

Next part: Abrahamís tithe (Hebrews 7:4)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.