Tracking Melchizedek through the Scriptures – Part 1

Melchizedek is a fascinating character who is poorly understood by most and, surprisingly, not well appreciated even by some in the higher circles of the clergy – which  is what prompted me to publish this illuminating post.

This article was first published on this site on 6th March, 2013

I who am the King of Kings .....

Melchizedek – King of Righteousness

In his book ‘Awake, O Israel[1], author David Nathan develops the argument that the somewhat mysterious Melchizedek mentioned in the book of Genesis is none other than the Master referred to in King David’s Psalm 110 and the Messiah Jesus.

The relevance and connection of Melchizedek to the Messiah is further explained in the Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews, chapters 7 to 11.

I quote from David Nathan who develops his argument as quoted below: –

Genesis 14:18-20 – “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine and he was a priest of the Most High God. And He blessed him, and said, blessed be Abraham of the Most High God, who has delivered thy enemies into thy hand. And he gave him a tithe of everything.”

This account takes place +/- 450 years before the Mosaic Law and the Levitical Priesthood were established by God. Now, it is said by Bible scholars that Abraham was the first Jew and therefore the father of the Jewish nation. In diagnosing the above scriptures we find many peculiarities.

Firstly, this Melchizedek was said to be priest of the Most High God +/- 450 years before Aaron and his sons were inaugurated as first Levitical priests. This would mean that Melchizedek must be part of the Jewish nation as he serves the God of Abraham.

Secondly, we see that Melchizedek is a king of a city called Salem. Translated, the word Salem means peace. It is also the ancient name of the City of David, Jerusalem.

Now what strikes me (author David Nathan) as being peculiar is that Melchizedek is a Jewish king ruling over the capital city of Judaism ten centuries before any other Jew put a foot in the city.

Melchizedek: King of Righteousness, King of Salem

Melchizedek: King of Righteousness, King of Salem

In summing up Melchizedek, we find that he is a priest of a priesthood not yet established, a king of a city not yet founded and a Jew like Abraham who is never again mentioned until the psalms. Translated, he is the King of Peace (Salem).

Who can this person be? Follow me as we trace him through the Scriptures.

Psalm 110:1-7:

“The Lord says to my master, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send a mighty sceptre out of Zion: rule in the midst of thy enemies.

Thy people offered themselves willingly in the majesty of their holiness, on the day of thy battle; when the dew of thy youth was upon thee, fresh from the womb of dawn.

The Lord has sworn, and will not change His mind, thou shalt be a priest forever, after the manner of MELCHIZEDEK.

The Lord at thy right hand, He crushes kings on the day of His wrath. He judges among the nations: their land is full of dead bodies; He will shatter heads over many countries. He will drink of the brook in the way: therefore He will lift up the head.”


The above psalm was written by King David and is the only other recorded account in the Old Testament where Melchizedek appears. David starts off his psalm by writing: –

“The Lord says to my master, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thy enemies thy footstool….”

(Psa 110:1  A PsalmH4210 of David.H1732 The LORDH3068 saidH5002 unto my Lord,H113 SitH3427 thou at my right hand,H3225 untilH5704 I makeH7896 thine enemiesH341 thy footstool.H1916 H7272 ) NKJ+ version for comparison.

The Hebrew word for “master” is “ADOWNI”. Translated by Strong’s Concordance: – “From an unused root (meaning to rule); i.e. control (human or divine): – lord, master, owner.”


Who is this master that David is referring to and is he human or divine?

To answer this question let us take a look at David’s human masters.

As you look at David’s life you will notice that he only ever served two human masters, namely, his father Jesse and King Saul.

The reason that the psalm could not possibly be referring to King Saul is that Saul never ruled in “the midst of his enemies” as the psalm said he would. As you remember, King Saul died in battle because he disobeyed God’s Law and his enemies were never made “his footstool”. Neither could the psalm be referring to David’s father, Jesse, because David’s father was of the tribe of Judah and therefore was not a priest as the psalm declares David’s master to be.

Melchizedek: King of Righteousness, King of Salem

Melchizedek: King of Righteousness, King of Salem

In verse four of the psalm God swears by an oath that this priest whom David calls master shall be a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Now very few priests served for more than forty years and after that they died. But this priest is to serve for eternity. Could this be the same Melchizedek who appeared to Abraham?

We will answer that shortly.

Getting back to David’s master, it is clear that he is not David’s earthly master for the reasons already mentioned and, because the word ADOWNI can be translated human or divine, the latter is the correct translation. In other words, the psalm can only correctly read: –

“The Lord (Jehovah) says to my Lord (God/divine master), Sit thou at my right hand …”

God Himself is declaring in the psalm that He alone is not David’s Lord but there is at least one other. The position that this Lord holds at the right hand of God is symbolic of power and authority and thus He could be one of the “US’S” mentioned in the four scriptures previously discussed (concerning the author’s explanation of the Trinity).

Psalm 76:1-2:

“In Judah is God known; His name is great in Israel, in SALEM also is His tabernacle and His dwelling place is in Zion”.

(Psa 76:1  To the chief MusicianH5329 on Neginoth,H5058 A PsalmH4210 or SongH7892 of Asaph.H623

In JudahH3063 is GodH430 known:H3045 his nameH8034 is greatH1419 in Israel.H3478

Psa 76:2  In SalemH8004 also isH1961 his tabernacle,H5520 and his dwelling placeH4585 in Zion.H6726) NKJ+.


Melchizedek: King of Righteousness, King of Salem

Melchizedek: King of Righteousness, King of Salem

We have seen that Melchizedek was the King of Salem and a priest of God before the Law or Jerusalem were given to the Jews. The above psalm says, that in Salem is God’s tabernacle and that God’s dwelling place is in Zion. Was God dwelling in Salem in His tabernacle in Zion at the time of Abraham? The answer is, yes; but not the earthly city of Jerusalem or the earthly tabernacle of Moses. Rather, because Melchizedek is a priest forever (Psalm 110), the heavenly tabernacle and the heavenly city of Salem have always existed just like Melchizedek, David’s Lord. This Melchizedek is the one whom Isaiah the prophet calls the Prince of Peace.

thumbnail childhood JesusIsaiah 9:6: –

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and his name is called Pele-yo’ez-el-gibbor-avi-‘ad-sar-shalom (Wonderful, Counsellor, MIGHTY GOD, EVERLASTING FATHER, PRINCE OF PEACE).”

(Pele = wonderful; yo = advisor/counsellor; el-gibbor = Almighty God (gibbor = powerful); ad = eternal; sar = Prince; shalom = peace; avi = ab = father (literal or figurative))

In reading this passage we see one of the hundreds of prophecies about the Messiah. Isaiah calls Him the Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Melchizedek is the King of Peace (Jerusalem) which is the heavenly city of God.

I put it to you that the Messiah, Melchizedek and David’s Lord are one and the same person. Added to this, the Messiah who is to be born a child is also called the Mighty God.

So shocking is this scripture that the authors of the Jerusalem Bible were unwilling to translate His name from the Hebrew into the English. I took the liberty of doing that myself. If this scripture is made known to the Jewish nation their conversion to Christianity would be unchallenged by rabbinical scholars. Instead, rabbis have opted for the lie that the book of Isaiah is not inspired of God, as it contains the most accurate and powerful references to the Messiah that would (disprove their misconceptions about the Messiah).

End of Quote from David Nathan’s book, ‘Awake, O Israel’.

David Nathan goes on to show that Isaiah is a true prophet by demonstrating the truth of the prophecies about Cyrus which were given centuries before the birth of Cyrus.

Strong’s Dictionary and quotes from New King James version with links to the Dictionary meanings: –   

H4442: מלכּי־צדק, malkı̂y-tsedeq, mal-kee-tseh’-dek

From H4428 and H6664king of rightMalki-Tsedek, an early king in Palestine: – Melchizedek.

H8004: שׁלם, shâlêm, shaw-lame’

The same as H8003peacefulShalem, an early name of Jerusalem: – Salem.

Gen 14:18  And MelchizedekH4442 kingH4428 of SalemH8004 brought forthH3318 breadH3899 and wine:H3196 and heH1931 was the priestH3548 of the most highH5945 God.H410

Gen 14:19  And he blessedH1288 him, and said,H559 BlessedH1288 be AbramH87 of the most highH5945 God,H410possessorH7069 of heavenH8064 and earth:H776

Gen 14:20  And blessedH1288 be the most highH5945 God,H410 whichH834 hath deliveredH4042 thine enemiesH6862 into thy hand.H3027 And he gaveH5414 him tithesH4643 of all.H4480 H3605

 H410: אל , ‘êl, ale : Shortened from H352strength; as adjective mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity): – God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might (-y one), power, strong. Compare names in “-el.”

(NKJ+) Psa 110:1  A PsalmH4210 of David.H1732 The LORDH3068(Jehovah) saidH5002 unto my Lord,H113(master)SitH3427 thou at my right hand,H3225 untilH5704 I makeH7896 thine enemiesH341 thy footstool.H1916 H7272

Psa 110:2  The LORDH3068(Jehovah) shall sendH7971 the rodH4294 of thy strengthH5797 out of Zion:H4480 H6726ruleH7287 thou in the midstH7130 of thine enemies.H341

Psa 110:3  Thy peopleH5971 shall be willingH5071 in the dayH3117 of thy power,H2428 in the beautiesH1926 of holinessH6944 from the wombH4480 H7358 of the morning:H4891 thou hast the dewH2919 of thy youth.H3208

Psa 110:4  The LORDH3068 hath sworn,H7650 and will notH3808 repent,H5162 ThouH859 art a priestH3548 for everH5769 afterH5921 the orderH1700 of Melchizedek.H4442

Psa 110:5  The LordH136 atH5921 thy right handH3225 shall strike throughH4272 kingsH4428 in the dayH3117 of his wrath.H639

Psa 110:6  He shall judgeH1777 among the heathen,H1471 he shall fillH4390 the places with the dead bodies;H1472he shall woundH4272 the headsH7218 overH5921 manyH7227 countries.H776

Psa 110:7  He shall drinkH8354 of the brookH4480 H5158 in the way:H1870 thereforeH5921 H3651 shall he lift upH7311the head.H7218

H6726: ציּון, tsı̂yôn, tsee-yone’

The same (regular) as H6725Tsijon (as a permanent capital), a mountain of Jerusalem: – Zion.

H6725: ציוּן, tsı̂yûn, tsee-yoon’

From the same as H6723 in the sense of conspicuousness (compare H5329); a monumental or guiding pillar: – sign, title, waymark.

H113: אדן    אדון, ‘âdôn  ‘âdôn, aw-done’,aw-done’

From an unused root (meaning to rule); sovereign, that is, controller (human or divine): – lord, master, owner. Compare also names beginning with “Adoni-”.

 H1700; דּברה, dibrâh, dib-raw’

Feminine of H1697; a reasonsuit or style: – cause, end, estate, order, regard.

H136: אדני, ‘ădônây, ad-o-noy’

An emphatic form of H113; the Lord (used as a proper name of God only): – (my) Lord.

H430: אלהים, ‘ĕlôhı̂ym, el-o-heem’

Plural of H433gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative: – angels, X exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

H8269: שׂר, śar, sar
From H8323; a head person (of any rank or class): – captain (that had rule), chief (captain), general, governor, keeper, lord, ([-task-]) master, prince (-ipal), ruler, steward.

[1] ‘Awake O Israel’, by David Nathan, Published for DH Nathan by Victory Printers, 77 Bobstay Ave, Dalpark, Brakpan, Gauteng, RSA. Copyright 1991 by DH Nathan.

 This topic is continued in Part II.