Who was Melchizedek?
Who was the mysterious Melchizedek mentioned only a few times in the Bible? Surprisingly, his name is more of a title than a personal reference. It comes from two Hebrew words, melek and tsedeq. The word melek means 'king' and tsedeq means 'righteousness' (Strong's Concordance #H4442). Because a king is preeminent in his jurisdiction, he had to be preeminent in righteousness. Before reviewing our first scriptural reference, note that this priest in the book of Genesis, chapter 14, was the king of SALEM. The word Salem, as defined by Strong's #H8004, means 'peace.' This makes Melchizedek the "King of Peace" (Hebrews 7:2).
The first scripture referring to this priest is in the book of Genesis chapter 14, near the middle of the chapter: "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: 'Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand'" (Genesis 14:14, 16 - 18, NKJV throughout).
The second reference to this priest of God is in the book of Psalms: "The Lord said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool . . . ' The Lord has sworn and will not relent, 'You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek' " (Psalm 110:1 - 4).
Did Jesus say He was NOT inherently GOOD?
Jesus said no one, including Himself, is inherently good [righteous]: ". . . Why do you call Me good? No one is good except one – God" (Matthew 19:17). Melchizedek was the epitome of righteousness, and since no human is inherently righteous, it is evident that he could not be human. If he had been human, he would have been the same as Aaron or anyone else, i.e. a sinner. As the King of Righteousness, he was the image of God's Spirit (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3). He is also in Psalm 10:4.
Malachi refers to Melchizedek indirectly when he said that the SUN of Righteousness would arise with healing in His wings (Malachi 4:2). Malachi did not use the term "SON" for him because that would have suggested that Jesus was in some way a son or a descendant of the priest. This would have implied that the One who became Jesus Christ in the flesh was someone other than the king of Salem. In Hebrews 7, the apostle Paul makes some startling statements about this person.