Melchizedek, Hebrews, and the Jubilee

Melchizedek is a character only mentioned twice in the entire Hebrew Bible and yet he becomes one of the main characters in the Letter to the Hebrews. What was it about this Melchizedek that was so important that he receives such a prominent place in Hebrews’ midrash on the Messiah? In this series we will investigate the passages referring to Melchizedek in the Hebrew Bible and the extra-Biblical references to him in 2nd Temple Jewish literature. We will especially focus upon the Melchizedek Scroll (11Q13) from Qumran which provides important parallels to the Letter to the Hebrews’ usage of Melchizedek. The Melchizedek Scroll depicts Melchizedek as the agent of YHWH who enacts an eschatological Jubilee on the Day of Atonement which is similar to the theme of Hebrews.

By analyzing the background sources as well as the Hebrew and Greek texts themselves, we will determine why Hebrews compares Melchizedek to Yeshua, what the “order of Melchizedek” actually is, what was actually changed after Yeshua’s death and resurrection, and what our role is now in the Kingdom of God.


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Resources

Reference list:

  • Astour, “Mechizedek (Person),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

  • Bergsma, John. The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran: A History of Interpretation. Boston: Brill Press, 2007.

  • Brooke, George J.  “Melchizedek (11QMelch),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

  • deSilva, David. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods and Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

  • deSilva, David. The Letter to the Hebrews in Social-Scientific Perspective, vol. 15, Cascade Companions. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012.

  • Fensham, F. C. "Hebrews and Qumrân.” Neotestamentica 5 (1971): 9-21.

  • Flusser, David. Judaism and the Origins of Christianity. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1988.

  • Jacobson, Howard. A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum, Vol 1. New York: Brill, 1996.

  • Koester, Craig R. Hebrews: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 36, Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008.

  • Lim, Timothy H., Larry W. Hurtado, A. Graeme Auld, and Alison M. Jack. The Dead Sea Scrolls in Their Historical Context. London;  New York: T&T Clark, 2004.

  • Mason, Eric (editor). Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.

  • Mason, Eric. “You Are a Priest Forever”: Second Temple Jewish Messianism and the Priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Leiden: Brill, 2008.

  • Miller, Merril. “The Function of Isa 61:1-2 in 11Q Melchizedek.” JBL 88 (1969): 467-469.

  • New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

  • Rooke, Deborah. “Jesus as Royal Priest: Reflections on the Interpretation of the Melchizedek Tradition in Heb 7.” Biblica 81 (2000): 81-94. 

  • Schniedewind, W. M.  “Melchizedek, Traditions of,” ed. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

  • Skarsaune, Oskar. In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

  • Thompson, James W. Hebrews, Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.

  • Weinfeld, Moshe. Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East. Jerusalem; Minneapolis, MN: The Magnes Press; Fortress Press, 1995.

  • Wise, Michael O., Martin G. Abegg Jr., and Edward M. Cook. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York: HarperOne, 2005.


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Part 1-2

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Part 3-4

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Part 5-6


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Part 7-8

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Part 9-10

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Resources

Reference list:

  • Astour, “Mechizedek (Person),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

  • Bergsma, John. The Jubilee from Leviticus to Qumran: A History of Interpretation. Boston: Brill Press, 2007.

  • Brooke, George J.  “Melchizedek (11QMelch),” ed. David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary. New York: Doubleday, 1992.

  • deSilva, David. An Introduction to the New Testament: Contexts, Methods and Ministry Formation. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004.

  • deSilva, David. The Letter to the Hebrews in Social-Scientific Perspective, vol. 15, Cascade Companions. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012.

  • Fensham, F. C. "Hebrews and Qumrân.” Neotestamentica 5 (1971): 9-21.

  • Flusser, David. Judaism and the Origins of Christianity. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press, 1988.

  • Jacobson, Howard. A Commentary on Pseudo-Philo’s Liber Antiquitatum Biblicarum, Vol 1. New York: Brill, 1996.

  • Koester, Craig R. Hebrews: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, vol. 36, Anchor Yale Bible. New Haven; London: Yale University Press, 2008.

  • Lim, Timothy H., Larry W. Hurtado, A. Graeme Auld, and Alison M. Jack. The Dead Sea Scrolls in Their Historical Context. London;  New York: T&T Clark, 2004.

  • Mason, Eric (editor). Reading the Epistle to the Hebrews. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2011.

  • Mason, Eric. “You Are a Priest Forever”: Second Temple Jewish Messianism and the Priestly Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews. Leiden: Brill, 2008.

  • Miller, Merril. “The Function of Isa 61:1-2 in 11Q Melchizedek.” JBL 88 (1969): 467-469.

  • New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update. LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation, 1995.

  • Rooke, Deborah. “Jesus as Royal Priest: Reflections on the Interpretation of the Melchizedek Tradition in Heb 7.” Biblica 81 (2000): 81-94. 

  • Schniedewind, W. M.  “Melchizedek, Traditions of,” ed. Craig A. Evans and Stanley E. Porter, Dictionary of New Testament Background: A Compendium of Contemporary Biblical Scholarship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000.

  • Skarsaune, Oskar. In the Shadow of the Temple: Jewish Influences on Early Christianity. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002.

  • Thompson, James W. Hebrews, Paideia Commentaries on the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008.

  • Weinfeld, Moshe. Social Justice in Ancient Israel and in the Ancient Near East. Jerusalem; Minneapolis, MN: The Magnes Press; Fortress Press, 1995.

  • Wise, Michael O., Martin G. Abegg Jr., and Edward M. Cook. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New Translation. New York: HarperOne, 2005.


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5 comments

  1. I have a couple of questions.

    1) Are these the full-length videos? I’m not used to your videos being shorter than 25 minutes or so! 😉 Don’t get me wrong! These are POWER PACKED, but I was just curious about the length.

    2) Concerning the use of “to the order of” in Psalm 110:4, I see the Strong’s #1700, and it being used only 5 times total (Job 5:8, Ps 110:4, Ecc 3:18, Ecc 7:14 -according to blue letter bible), and only 2 times (according to biblehub.com), not 82.

    Now, I am JUST learning Hebrew (through your teachings and the BBH DVD’s), so yes, I know that “dabar” means word, matter, or thing. I also get that dabar is the root of the word dibrah/dibrati that is used in Ps 110:4, but what I don’t get is where you see the word used differently 82 times.

    • I am so sorry to keep bugging you! I am a relatively new subscriber to your website, so I’m not really sure how things work when it comes to new teachings. I noticed that for this teaching, videos 3-10 are all the same, so are these videos just a (I’m struggling for the right word) “commercial”, “tease”, “taste”, “preview” of what the full teaching is? In other words, do I need to purchase the DVD set to get the full teaching?

      Thank you for your reply.
      Shalom!

    • Hi Christy,

      Actually, that’s an error on my end. I made the videos available for purchase for those not on the website and it looks like it messed things up. I am working on fixing it right now and the videos should be online shortly. You will not need to purchase anything additional.

      The Hebrew word in Ps 110:4 is ‘divarti’. Strong’s is not an end all, it is just some scholars opinion of what a word could possibly mean and is very out dated. Also, in reality it is just a list of all the ways that the word is translated in the KJV. The thing is, nobody can actually say whether the word is from the noun ‘davar’ (word, thing) or the proposed noun ‘divrah’ (manner, order, cause, because of, so that). Given that it only (supposedly) appears 5 times, its probable that its actually just a different usage of ‘davar’. However, you won’t be able to trace that in a Strong’s because it is limited to how the KJV has categorized the word.

      What I did instead is that I ran a search of the Hebrew text to find the number of times דִּבְרָתִֽי appears in the Masoretic text with the exact same spelling and it resulted 82 different times. One of those times is Ps 110:4 and another is Job 5:8, but the ones in Ecc are actually ‘divrat’, not ‘divarti’ (same root word, just without the singular possessive suffix). The other 80 occurrences are spelled exactly the same with the same nikkud (vowel markings) and yet some scholar decided that they came from the root word ‘davar’ rather than ‘divrah’. So my statement is simply challenging the scholars opinion which is biased due to the traditional rendering of Ps 110:4 due to the rendering in Hebrews.

      Hope that makes sense.

      • Thank you, Ryan. That makes sense, and I hope to one day have access to resources beyond Strong’s. I am just one who likes to see it for myself, especially now. Thanks again!

  2. Ryan,
    Great teaching on Melchizedek, Hebrews, and the Jubilee!! Can’t wait to hear the rest!!
    Blessings to you and your family!!

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