Melchizedec without Father, without Mother and without descent?
I was recently challenged by a brother with whom I was sharing about the begotten Son of God. The verses presented to me are found in
Hebrews 7:2,3 To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
The reasoning presented was, if Christ is a priest after the order of Melchizedec then according to Hebrews 7:2,3 it would appear that Christ has no Father (without Father) or Mother (without Mother) or offspring (without Descent). If therefore Christ is a priest after the similitude of Melchizedec (who was without Father) then how can Christ be referred to as a Son? Seeing that He has no Father. I had no answer to offer my brother except to study the scriptures and ask for wisdom as I have no wisdom inherent within me. The following wonderful answers came during my study;
- Although the next verse (verse 4) calls Melchizedec “this man” in the greek this word is οὗτος houtos which is not restrictive to humanity and therefore not conclusive as to the origin of this king-priest.
- Looking at the words without father etc reveals the following;
- “without Father” is the greek word (G0540) ἀπάτωρ apatōr. the meaning of this word is fatherless, i.e. of unrecorded paternity:— without father. AV (1)- without father 1; whose father is not recorded in the genealogies.
- “without Mother” is the greek word (G0282) ἀμήτωρ amētōr motherless, i.e. of unknown maternity:— without mother. AV (1)- without mother 1; born without a mother, bereft of a mother, born of a base or unknown mother unmotherly, not worthy of the name of mother.
- “without descent” is the greek word (G0035) ἀγενεαλόγητος agenealogētos; unregistered as to birth:— without descent. AV (1)- without descent 1; one whose descent there is no record of, without genealogy
Melchizedec then is a king and a priest who has no recorded ancestry and yet has the qualities of being begotten, a king, a priest and has no record of when he was born or when he died. It is for all these reasons that the word “similitude” is used in verse 14 (g3665. ὁμοιότης homoiotēs; from 3664; resemblance:— like as, similitude. (2)- like as +g2596 1, similitude 1;). This word does not mean “the same” but “similar”. Christ thus shares some characteristics with Melchizedec, which makes for a beautiful allegory, while not attributing any divinity to Melchizedec through the comparison.