For some background reading on this post you may wish to read the post of January 11, 2018 entitled Shalom & Jerusalem: Melchizedek & Yeshua.
Have you ever wondered exactly what is meant in Book of Hebrews where Yeshua is referred to as being after the order of Melchizedek? My thoughts were it could mean that first, Yeshua was a high priest, and secondly that like Melchizedek, Yeshua disappeared into thin air.
But, as always these may be only a few words, but there is a more depth and meaning than first meets the eye.
Qumran Caves and Dead Sea Scrolls
I will be referring to two books for this post.
- a book called The Handwriting of God (hereafter “Jeffrey Book”), written by Grant Jeffrey in 1997; and
- a book published in 1979 called The Gospel of the Essenes: The Unknown Book of the Essenes and Lost Scrolls of the Essene Brotherhood (hereafter “Brotherhood Book”). I recall reading years ago that it is thought that Yeshua was a member of this brotherhood and that he studied their ways in order to become one of them.
According to Jeffrey, in 1946-47 when the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered in the Qumran caves, they included a scroll entitled The Heavenly Prince Melchizedek (hereafter “Heavenly Book/Scroll”). He says this book was all but ignored for over 50 years. That statement is incorrect as we have a record of at least one publication as far back as 1937.
The Brotherhood Book intro says it contains Books II and III of the Gospel of the Essenes. These two volumes, along with Book I, The Gospel of Peace, were first published in the United States in 1974. Further, we are told that Book I was first published in the United Kingdom in 1937 under the name of The Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ by the Disciple John. In the United States the book was called The Essene Gospel of John.
These are important facts primarily because the names of these books seem to vary, depending on where and when they were published. So, let’s just summarize what I know of Book I:
- The Gospel of Peace of Jesus Christ by the Disciple John – published in the United Kingdom in 1937
- The Essene Gospel of John and later editions The Essene Gospel of Peace – first published in the United States in 1974
- The Gospel of the Essenes – published in the United States circa 1979
- The Heavenly Prince Melchizedek – suggested by Jeffrey in his 1997 book as being the name given to the original scroll
Sidebar: Yeshua & the Essenes
Because of the “Essene” connection, I thought it necessary to see how Yeshua comes into play in reference to Melchizedek. There is so much information and history on the Essenes, I will do a separate blog later.
The Essenes were very religious and strict brotherhood. History has it that the group existed from about the 3rd century BC until the end of the 1st century AD.
A few of the teachers and healers that they sent out from their brotherhood, we know of from the Torah and Bible:
- John the Baptist
- John the Beloved and
- Essene Master, Yeshua (Jesus)
To become an Essene you had a probationary period of one year and three years of initiatory work, followed by seven more years before being admitted to the full inner teaching.
So, Yeshua spent at least 11 years within the Essene community in either Syria or Egypt before he was sent out.
We first see Melchizedek in Genesis 14:18-20 when he meets up with Abraham. We’re told he was the King of Salem and a priest “of the most high God.” At his meeting with Abraham he shared bread and wine and Abraham gave him tithes, the first recorded reference to tithes.
The offering of the bread and wine is something that Yeshua did to his disciples at the Last Supper at Passover.
In Psalm 110:1-7 David makes a declaration concerning Melchizedek:
The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. …. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. … “
It is suggested by Jeffrey that David was prophesying about Yeshua, referring to the future victory of Yeshua the Messiah who is called David’s Lord. He says David was clearly speaking of the mystery of the Trinity, and that David was identifying Yeshua the Messiah with Melchizedek: “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
Jeffrey is of the opinion that Scripture is telling us that God appeared to Abraham as a theophany in the person of Melchizedek. Theophany is defined as:
A visible manifestation of a deity. From the Greek, theophaneia which translates “appearance/showing of God”, theophany means an appearance of a god to man, or a divine disclosure.
In the Book of Hebrews, Paul also writes about Melchizedek:
- Heb 4:6, 10 “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec. … Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchizedek”. Paul affirms this connection when he continues with, “
- Heb 6:20 “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”
In Hebrews 7 more is said about Melchizedek, when Paul asks, in verses 1 and 10-11, if perfection was to be found in the high priest, then why would anyone have to follow Melchizedek, and not be called after the order of Aaron? In verses 15, 17 and 21 Paul gives more weight to what he is suggesting about Yeshua when he notes that ordinary priests were made “without an oath”, but
“this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
The Heavenly Prince Melchizedek Scroll
The following are exact words from this scroll, as set out by Grant Jeffrey in his book (except where I add my own comments in [ ] square brackets).
[The first few lines relate to the year of Jubilee and reference Lev 25:13, Deut 15:2.]
“To proclaim liberty to the captives (Isaiah 61:1). Its interpretation is that He will assign them to the Sons of Heaven and to the inheritance of Melchizedek; for He will cast their lot amid the portions of Melchizedek who will return them there and will proclaim to them liberty, forgiving them the wrongdoings of all their iniquities.
And this thing will occur in the first week of the Jubilee that follows the nine
Jubilees. And the Day of Atonement is the end of the tenth Jubilee, when all the Sons of Light and the men of the lot of Melchizedek will be atoned for. … For this is the moment of the Year of Grace for Melchizedek. And he will, by his strength, judge the holy ones of God, executing judgment as it is written concerning him in the songs of David, who said Elohim has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment (Psalms 82:1). …
And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgments of God … and he will drag them from the hand of Satan and from the hand of all the spirits of his lot. … This is the day of Peace/Salvation concerning which God spoke through Isaiah the prophet, who said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion: Your Elohim reigns (Isaiah 52:7).
Its interpretation; the mountains are the prophets … and the messenger is the Anointed one of the spirit, concerning whom Daniel said, Until an anointed one, a prince (Daniel 9:25) … And he who brings good news, who proclaims salvation: it is concerning him that it is written … To comfort all who mourn, to grant to those who mourn in Zion (Isaiah 62:2-3). To comfort those who mourn; its interpretation, to make them understand all the ages of time … In truth … will turn away from Satan … by the judgment(s) of God, as it is written concerning him, (who says to Zion); your Elohim reigns. Zion is …, those who uphold the Covenant, who turn from walking in the way of the people. And your Elohim is Melchizedek, who will save them from the hand of Satan. As for that which He said, Then you shall send abroad the loud trumpets in the seventh month. (Leviticus 25:9)”
So, the above is written and taught before the birth of Yeshua (somewhere between the 3rd (c) BC and the 1st (c) AD. When you read those words, written at a time when Yeshua was not, is it just me or does it not sound like they are written about Yeshua. Yet, the second last sentence above threw me for a loop:
“And your Elohim is Melchizedek, who will save them from the hand of Satan. …”
Have they written that the person they knew as Melchizedek, the guy who broke the bread and wine with Abraham, was in fact YHWH? We know even less about him than Yeshua. I don’t recall it ever being suggested he was the “son of YHWH,” whereas Yeshua is called by that name.
Melchizedek a “Type” for Yeshua
Was Melchizedek YHWH himself manifest in the form of the person the Torah/Bible call by the name of Melchizedek. Was Melchizedek in fact the person we later knew as Yeshua?
We only hear about Melchizedek in Genesis, when Abraham meets up with him. Abraham has already offered Isaac, his son. Sodom and Gomorrah are quickly going, if not on their way to hell. Could this meeting with the King of Salem (now Jerusalem) been a sealing of the promise that Yeshua would fulfill many years later?
Why is it we know so little about Melchizedek and Yeshua? Why is it that the Old Testament just mentions in passing, just as the New Testament barely gives us anything about Yeshua’s life?
There has to be more to this then I am getting at this time, and because Spirit has brought it to my attention, then I will keep seeking. I would love some help and feedback on this Melchizedek-Yeshua connection.