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Melchizedek and Shem

Are Melchizedek and Shem the same person?

This question is frequently asked and has caught the interest of many scholars. Let us examine first these two names and then the arguments for and against the two being the same person.

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Melchizedek means "King of righteousness" (Heb. 7:1-2). He was known as the great high priest, priest of the most high God (Gen. 14:18) ordained as priest after the order of the Son of God (Heb 7:3). He’s also known as Abram/ Abraham’s ecclesiastical leader (Gen. 14:19) (Gen. 14:20) (Heb. 7:4) and King of Salem (Gen. 14:18.)

Melchizedek_and_Shem_revised
Abraham and Melchizedek

Shem is the Son of Noah (Gen. 5:32), the progenitor of Abraham. (1 Chronicles 1:24-27.) It was assumed that he held the keys to the priesthood and was the great high priest of his day where he stands next to Noah during this time when patriarchs passed on the priesthood in the family.

Shem and Melchizedek are the same person:

  • The Great High Priest: There can’t be two high priests presiding at the same time. Shem was the great high priest of his day. Abraham honored the high priest Melchizedek by seeking a blessing at his hands and paying him tithes.
  • Order of Priesthood: Abraham stands next to Shem in the patriarchal order of the priesthood and would surely have received the priesthood from Shem, but Hebrews Teaching says Abraham received the priesthood from Melchizedek.
  • Reign over Salem: Shem inherited the land of Salem and Melchizedek is the king of Salem.
  • King of Righteousness: Shem reigned in righteousness (Melchizedek’s name means King of Righteousness), and the priesthood came through him. (Ginsberg, Legends of the Jews, p. 233.)
  • Name as Title: If Shem is indeed Melchizedek, the name is then used as a title, not an actual name. This title would seem to fit the biblical account of the Godliness and righteousness ascribed to Shem.
  • Hebrew Tradition: Shem, Noah’s Son that was still alive at the time of Abraham and that would make him the oldest man alive qualifying him as a candidate for the order of Melchizedek.

Shem and Melchizedek are two different people:

  • An account of Identity: Shem was born in 2448 B.C. and lived for 602 years. He was 100 years old at the time of the great flood. Abraham was born in 1948 B.C., and was 140 years old when Shem died. But the coincidence in Shem and Melchizedek living at the same time only makes their identity a possibility, not a reality.
  • Genealogy: We know Shem’s line and descendants. Abraham’s father was Terah, who was in the line of Shem. We do not know Melchizedek’s genealogy.
  • Melchizedek in the Bible: Genesis 14:18-20
    The Bible doesn't tell us much about Melchizedek beyond that he was a priest of God, and that his line of priesthood is an important one. Some Christians see Melchizedek as an early foreshadowing of Jesus himself.
  • Canaanite Priest: Jebusites were idolaters who worshiped Canaanite gods. Melchizedek could not have worshiped a heathen god because of the titles he used for the true God. Archaeological records reveal that the Jebusites were preceded by that of a Shemite group. Noah predicted that Canaan would serve under Shem (Gen.9:26).
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149 thoughts on “Melchizedek and Shem

  1. Shem died before Abraham, if we note that Abraham left Haran at the age of 75 (Gn 12:4) and that was right after the death of Terah Abraham’s father, who died at the age of 205 years old (Gn 11:32) when Shem was around 527 years old.
    So when Shem died 75 years later (602 years old – Gn 11:10-11), Abraham was 150 years old, 25 years before his death.

    1. Shem died during the time of Jacob. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were schooled in the knowledge of Yahovah that was passed down from Adam, by Shem.

  2. The oldest living man in the line of the first born would carry the title of Melchizedek. After Noah had died the title of Melchizedek fell to Him. While Shem was still alive and received the tithe Abraham the title was still his. Abraham would receive the title after Shem died if there were no other living first born between them. Regardless of whether Abraham had the title or not, He was
    called by God to be a blessing for the world.
    The way I see it is as follows: The line of the first born began with Adam and then skipped Cain because he killed his brother Abel. It continues through the third born instead and his son takes the place of the first born. The line continues unhindered after that until it came to Jacob(Israel) who changes things when he gives the blessing to Judah, the fourth born, when he states “the scepter shall remain between his feet until He comes to whom it belongs.
    The “He” referred to here is obviously a reference to Christ who, when he receives the title, carries the title into heaven and becomes both King and Priest for all.
    At the time of the Passover while Israel was in Egypt the Priesthood portion of the Melchizedek King/Priest title was transferred to the line of the Levites. This was done, I believe, because God had told Moses that he was going to kill the
    all of the first born in Egypt including even the animals. This placed the first born of Israel in Jeopardy as well. So God gave them the lamb as a temporary
    sacrifice yearly until Christ was born to fulfill the death penalty on the first born. In reality, since Christ is the “Word of God” while he was still with God, it was he who gave the command to kill the first born in the first place. By doing this he gives the way he would come to protect all of those who would be the first born in the kingdom when he comes to take us there. When Christ died he put an end to the carnal form of the Law which required sacrifices and replaced it for those who accepted his sacrifice with the New Covenant Law of Love.

    1. James Ussher made a one hundred seven year error in his calculation for the birth of the world in 4004 BC. This means that Adam was born in 4111 BC. Now follow the biblical geneologies of Adam and Shem, paying close attention to how long he lived after Arfaxad was born. You will find that the priest of On died when Joseph was 30 years old and so did Shem. Joset married either Shem’s daughter or granddaughter.

  3. The Melchizedek line came through the line of the first born but only if the next first born qualified for the job. Adam’s first born killed his second born. Seth, the third born was one who was in Adam’s “own likeness” became the chosen one. Likewise, Jacob handed down the scepter to Judah who was the fourth born when he said “The scepter shall remain with him until “He” comes to whom it belongs. The “He” is an obvious referral to Christ. The blessing came from God to the one chosen out of the line of the first born. It doesn’t seem that man had any choice here as to who would be next in line. God called Abraham when he wanted him to be the one through whom the world’s people would be blessed. Shem was Melchizedek when Abraham gave him the tithe. But Abraham was clearly the next in the Order of Melchizedek.

  4. No no no you misinterpret the scriptures, Jesus was of the priests hood of Melchisadek not of the levitical priesthood, you should go back and study Hebrews again. The line of the priesthood came through the Levites through Abraham because Abraham was blessed by the better. Jesus was not a priest after the levitical priesthood but he came to fulfill the end of it which was the law. Once he fulfilled that law and became the ultimate sacrifice then we had a new priest abiding Forever After the original one which was Shem oh, it’s a different priesthood, Jesus came out of the line of the tribe of Judah
    which was prophesied over Judah by Isaac before he died

    1. Yes. This is the clean path.
      Psalm 110 and Hebrew 7 gives correct descriptions.
      And yes – it means that the Levitical priesthood is temporary and the new /renewed priesthood is the NT order, the Royal priesthood, mentioned in 1Pt 2:8

  5. I don’t know why I got this email. However, if Melchizedek had no Father or mother, then he is God in the flesh always among us.

  6. Since Shems father was Noah and his mother, Noah’s wife, and since the book of Hebrews @ 7:3 describes Melchizedek as being “Without father, without mother, without genealogy…” It seems clear they could not possibly be the same person.

    1. She was just a woman. Read Isaiah very closely when he talks about “a vorgin”. He’s referring. To The whole progeny of yisrael. Yisrael the nation is the virgin. Not an actual woman. He refers to his bride (the one he made the covenant with). Covenant is a pre marriage. He took yisrael the nation into his tent (the whole reason to have a traveling tabernacle or tent). We have to see what is there not what we want to be. No actual virgin was necessary. The messiah came to bring eyes back the the father of Abraham isaac and joacob. That is exactly what hamashiach did. If not for hamashiach the Judaism (not quite Jewish) religion we see during the time of Jesus would have died out. The only physical aspect of Jesus that had to be was that he was born “of” a tribe of Israel and he was both from the tribe of Judah and he was a direct descendant of daud. That is all. No actual miraculous birth had to take place. This is a catholic dogma that was invented from the myth of Horus (what was also called CHRST). He did have to have certain things happen to be hamashiach but being impregnated by Elohim was not one. Elohim has no children, when he spoke to the prophets (nevee) he was very clear “I am Elohim; there is none beside me. When it says Elohim manifested in the flesh it does. Ot mean Jesus is the father “and furthermore he never claimed to be). It says he and the father are echad (one). This simply means he’s reached a level of actual wisdom (that cannot be attained in the land of the living Job 28) which means the years he was not recorded after during his training to become a rav something happened. And he left a brand new rav changed forever and slowly accepted by people as a prophet when he meets John. (Only John saw the dove descend). It was a sign that he was who was being sent and who he was preaching about. No one else saw that it was a vision. Only John heard the voice of Elohim (in a vision because that is how the creator talked to man; furthermore name one time where the creator gave an entire vision or an entire prophecy to a huge crowd in the form of a vision. It’s never happened in the history of man. Peripheral get visions and interpret them for the masses that’s how it worked). So John was the only credible witness that Jesus was indeed hamashiach since l prophets can’t be wrong.

      This virgin birth stuff has gotten way out of hand. Tshuva (true repentance is needed). Jesus said worship the father and the father alone when the “force that is inside us all (behold you have become like us knowing good and evil; you have become Gods-not to be confused with Elohim Gods in the words of a pagan or heathen god). That force is not capable to defy Elohim it’s just a natural part of the world to keep us tempted so we fail and feel guilt and shame which defines us like broken pottery.
      But Jesus was tempted by his carnal ways. He knew the prophecy so this force inside him tempted him. But he also knew he was who he was and that choice to revel was not in him. So he argued inside his own mind (like many of us would do if we were starving, struggling with a prophetic vision or knew we were going to be attacked and killed and die a horrific death to “wake “ up the nation of how evil it has become. Killing Jesus converted over 3000 natsrim (followers of the Nazarene) because they saw how evil the world had gotten by watching time burger hamashiach

      A virgin birth was not necessary and it makes Mary an impure person who did not keep the first commandment given to all creatures “be fruitful and multiply”. Plus and this is most important; “why include Joseph’s lineage? Because hamashiach had to be ben yoseph a son of joseph meaning this was indeed his actual son. We can’t take this away if we do we lose who hamashiach actually was and we lose our messiah.

      Look closely in Isaiah where it talks about the virgin. She’s not acting like a harlot yet (a woman who did or is about to cheat on her betrothed) she’s still a chaste and acceptable virgin (they children have not killed the prophets yet Isaiah was not sawn in half yet while hiding from an evil Judaism king in a tree). Sikh is saying Israel will bear fruit that is one day hamashiach. Not that an actual virgin birth a woman raped and impregnated by a powerful supernatural being (the actual story of Osiris and isis and how Horus was born). We need to stay biblical and stop stepping out of our own material to explain what is in them. Throw out your commentaries and stick to the facts. We are living in an amazing time where true scholarship can be achieved by the common folk. We need to respect that and read what it says not regurgitate the filth of dogmas that cannot be remotely true.

      Remember Rome wanted to abolish Christianity Pilate hated Christ and Jews. They called it magic in their actual documents and cult activity. So before Constantine had a vision of conquering in the symbol of a sin (his god) and a cross (how they cursed kings of Jews there were many). The story had to be more “Roman”. Also Jesus told us that we are to love our enemy, therefore he would not say “go start wars and co quote under this idol “symbol”. We are to make no heaven images that’s anything hewn. Remember books are hewn out of trees, nothing sculpted, nothing in heaven or earth is to ever be worshipped “not even a man”.

      “The righteous king” was a title passed down over and over in generations from Adam to David. “The righteous king helped build the first temple. It is here both become either one and the same or the malchezzadek priesthood only passes on from righteous to righteous. I think what Paul is saying is Ravs don’t have to be from the tribe of Levi to be an acceptable priest. And he’s proving it with two or more witnesses (him self and tinok “the Old Testament”) but they only had access to the Torah back then the other scrolls were only in synagogues so most of what was know. Was in oral torah or an oral form of tinok that did not stay as traditional (because they were additions to torah and that was forbidden to clump the three together). Only Torah cannot change ever. The rest is subject to interpretation because it’s not technically scripture (given to moshe and his camp). After that the creator of all sent the prophets. Levi and malchizzadek priests worked together for this temple to be built in the city of daud (not on Temple Mount but beside it) it was a very strict floor plan. It had to be precise. Then Melchizedek had to go in the shadows. Why? E side the prophets said they (the children of yisrael) would turn to unrighteousness and become like a harlot and unchaste bride no longer an acceptable one). So if malchizazadek was present the. That would have never happened. But the priest did not disappear he simply did not openly participate in the temple. His order co tinged and continues today. It has no end but it began with Adam (axon made an altar and became a son of Elohim by staying righteous). Adam taught his children the ways of Elohim after Abel was killed because he did not want to bear another Cain. So the order was passed down and passed down until Shem who was indeed malchezzadek “king of Salem” and it was passed down to there as well which is where the prophets come from. These prophets were kabbalists who wrote the very books we read. These prophets somehow knew that our physical eyes under an actual scan make the Hebrew letters if the brain is rotated that is why these letters were chose. Many thousands of years ago. These same righteous men were hunt down and slain so another priest had to be selected (this order cannot end). It was the power of Elohim, and wickedness of his bride that kept this order alive. We are to become so broken and remorseful we can do nothing but submit. This order made those feelings in Israel that’s why the prophets were “slaughtered”.

      Jesus could be the last malchizzadek priest but we would have to only take Paul’s word for it. We don’t have to take anyones word that the priesthood survived the flood and was passed down from the original creator of the priesthood itself. That part is common sense. Even if it was not Shem it was most definitely someone that Shem was teaching the ways of Elohim.

      1. You give a lot of detail, and imply that it is fact, but there is little reference or any backing. I will not dispute any of that because you may be right sometimes and wrong others. I will not into each one. But when you talk about the birth of Christ you are definitely wrong, and I must speak out. You deny the “virgin” birth and the “miraculous” birth, however you forget about the numerous prophecies of it. Isa 7:14 says “a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son…” Matt 1:23 says “a virgin shall be with child” Luke 1:27-31 says ” a virgin…Mary…thou shalt conceive in thy womb and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS:” Perhaps you don’t believe Isaiah, or Matthew, or Luke. You might not believe the New Testament, but what is your excuse for not believing Isiah?

  7. You misunderstand Hebrews 7:3. Nobody is without father or mother, not even Christ. He’s referring to the priesthood that he holds. Paul is speaking to the hebrews, who understood only that the priesthood is given only to those of the tribe of Levi (the Levitical Priesthood). They had to prove their genealogy, and if they couldn’t, or weren’t, they were said to be without father and mother.because they couldn’t document their lineage. Paul goes on to explain that there is a higher priesthood, after the order of Melchisedec, that does not depend of the genealogical lineage.. Levi wasn’t even born yet (verses 9-10) being Abraham’s great-grandson. Going to the time of Christ, John the Baptist was a Levite and held the Levitcal priesthood, thus he had the authority to baptize by water, but said himself that there was another (Jesus Christ) that had authority to baptize by fire and the Holy Ghost. Christ (a high priest after the order of Melchesidec, verses 15-17) gave that authority to his apostles.

    The fact is that Melchisedec is Shem. Information about him in the Bible is limited, but that is the tradition. Shem became the King of Salem, and Genesis 14:18 says Melchesidec was King of Salem. It is not unusual for some people in the scriptures to have a new name given to them. Abram became Abraham, Jacob became Israel, etc.

  8. Christ was not the second Adam. Adam was the gardener of Eden, while Jesus Himself was the garden.

    1. Jesus is the second Adam because when Adam fell he forfeited his position, his dominion over to Satan. Jesus came and and took it back. Therefore He is referred to as the second Adam.

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