Melchizedek, the Saviour of Israel

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by Neil Godfrey

Image by Lawrence OP via Flickr

Continuing from my earlier post, Divine human-like figures in Hellenistic Judaism, based on notes from Alan F. Segal’s Two Powers in Heaven. Segal discusses several divine mediators and archangels that once formed part of the kaleidoscope of Jewish sectarian belief systems. Some Jews even believed there were two Adams in Eden at creation. Segal wrote the following in response to Paul’s linking of a similar Adam idea with the Messiah:

This leads one to suspect that Christianity was the first to synthesize the various divine agents at creation by identifying all of them with the Christian messiah. (p. 190)

Another divine mediator of certain early (intertestamental, including first century) Jews was Melchizedek. The New Testament canon includes a book declaring Jesus Christ to be a Melchizedek priest.

I outline here Segal’s account of some of the details of this pre-Christian Melchizedek belief, with additional quotations from the Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) literature.

Melchizedek, the archangel, may be identified in Qumran texts with The Prince of Light, the Angel of His Truth, the Spirit of His Truth, and with the archangel Michael.

The return of Melchizedek brings about the end-time judgement of God and the salvation of Zion. Continue reading “Melchizedek, the Saviour of Israel”