Hebrews 7:3

What is the verse in the Bible and the name of the person that has no biological parents and was he created before Adam and Eve?

Asked By: 
Matthew
Hebrews 7:3

I think you are referring to Melchizedek, described in Genesis 14:18-20 as "king of Salem" and "a priest of God Most High." This figure blessed Abraham after the latter won a military victory, and Abraham gave him a tenth of all he had. The Genesis text makes no mention of Melchizedek's ancestry.

The author of the Letter to the Hebrews exploits this story and the lack of reference to parents in order to explain Jesus' priesthood. Since Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi but from Judah, the author of Hebrews -- who refers frequently to Jesus as high priest -- must give an account of Jesus' priesthood. He is a priest "according to the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 7:17, quoting Psalm 110:4). The author makes the following points from the Genesis account to describe Jesus' priesthood:

- The name "Melchizedek" means "king of righteousness," an apt description of Jesus.
- As Melchizedek was king of Salem, Jesus is "king of peace'' (note that "Salem" is close in spelling and sound to Shalom).
- Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, indicating the latter was superior to Abraham; by extension, Melchizedek was superior to Abraham 's descendants, including Levi; thus, the order of priesthood of Melchizedek is superior to the Levitical priesthood.
- It is the author of Hebrews who says that Melchizedek was "without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end" (Hebrews 7:3); now, is this a tradition he received, or are they claims made on the basis of silence in the Genesis text? That's not clear, but the author uses this description to ground Jesus' priesthood, the basis of which is "the power of a life that cannot be destroyed" and not ancestral bloodlines (Hebrews 7:16).

Author: Rev. Thomas D. Stegman, S.J.

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