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Who Is Malki Tzedek - The King of Righteousness? ©

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Our Devri Torah is in the loving Memory of Mr. Mordechai Litman, Mrs. Augusta Student Litman and Mr. Arnold Student Litman and Mr. Will Belk, Mrs Ida Simmons Belk, Mr. George Belk, Mr. Michael Sakash, Mrs Channah Horvat Sakash, Mrs Ethel Channah Sakash Belk, Donald Wayne Belk, Mr. Gary Lee Belk and may they rest in peace.


Bereisheit [Genesis] 14.1 - 24

Our Sages Teach that Malki Tzedek was Shem the son of Noach who survived the flood. How do we know this? This is discussed in the commentary of the Talmud, Nedarim 32b (9) and other ancient writings. Much of the commentary of the Talmud dates back to the Sages of the first Bet Ha Mikdosh to the Sages of the Great Assembly also known as the Great Sanhedrin. Those Sages Novim {Prophets} and Scribes of Ha Tenach, what Christians refer to as the Old Testament. Notable, ‘Among them were many prophets, including Chaggai [Haggai] Zecharyah [Zechariah], Malachi, Daniel, Chananiah, Mishael, Azariah, Ezra, Nechemiah, Mordechai, and Zerubavel... History of the Jewish People From Yavneh to Pumbedisa Mesorah Series, (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 97th Impression, 2004) p 34

As a point of interest the Shadrach, Meshach and Abed Nego that steeped out of the fire were also known as Chananiah, Mishael, Azariah. Daniel The Artscroll Tanach Series - Sefar Daniel (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. First Edition 1979), pp x; 128,129 Also please notice Daniel 1.6,7.

Zechariah lived at the time of the destruction of the first Bet Ha Mikdosh {3338 F. C. } and at the time of the construction of the second Bet Ha Mikdosh. Why is this significant? That was 2,431 years ago, 5769 F. C. - 3338 F. C. = 2,431. F. C. means From Creation. I.e. that is from the creation as stated in Bereisheit 1, 2. The Talmud States that R’ Zecharyah said in the name of R’ Yishmael[ben Nethaniah]: Originally, the Holy One, Blessed is He, wished for the priesthood to emerge from the descendants of Shem, son of Noach, as it is stated in reference to Shem, ‘and he was a priest of G-d, the most High...’ See Bereisheit 14.18

There are several important points to consider.

First, this is the Novie [Prophet] Zechariah who wrote Sefer Zecharyah of our Bible.

Second, he is credited by the Talmud of stating who Malki Tzedek is. He stated that Malki Tzedek was Shem the son of Noach. Even though Malki Tzedek’s identity as Shem was common knowledge thousands of years ago that information could be lost down through the years so Zechariah stated it.

Third, in Judaism the information of Malki Tzedek has been passed from Teacher to student for thousands of years. We did not loose sight of who Malki Tzedek was.

Fourth, there are different spellings for Mah Lih Cee Tzeh Dehk, Malki Tzedek, Malchizedek, Melchizedek and Melchisedec. These are variations in translations. In Ha Tenach there are two references to Malki Tzedek, Bereisheit 14.18 and Tehillim [Psalms] 110.4. In the New Testament there are nine references, Hebrews 5:6,10; 6:20; 7:1,10,11,15,17 and 21.

A series of serious differences surround Malki Tzedek. I feel that these differences exist due to a lack of historical knowledge and translation errors from Hebrew to English. It may be possible to clear up issues by providing additional information. Let’s carefully examine the details. Let’s examine Tehillim {Psalms} 110.4.

Tehillim 110.4

ˆh´àkoAhT…âa' µje%N:yI aOlèw“ { hw:!hy“ [Bæ¶v]nI

.qd<x≤âAyKil]m' yti%r:b]DIAl[' µl…-/[l]

English Translation:

Hashem Has Sworn and Will Not rescind [His Oath to Avraham] you are a Kohan {priest} [by dynasty] forever upon the word of Malki Tzedek.

1. Who is Tehillim 110.4 Making reference to? When did Hashem Swear this?

The first Word Tehillim 110.4 is [Bæ¶v]nI Nee Shih Bah, which means ‘has sworn’ has already taken place. Tehillim 110.4 is making reference to an event that happened between G-d, Malki Tzedek and Avraham in Bereisheit 14.18,19. The root word of [Bæ¶v]nI Nee Shih Bah is [Bæ¶v] Shih Bah. It is unusual for the Letter Nun to be added to the front of [Bæ¶v] Shih Bah. Placing the Letter Nun at the front of [Bæ¶v] Shih Bah represents ‘What G-d Has Sworn He Will Be Faithful to keep’. In addition if a human swears it maybe before seven men. When G-d Swears it is like this is before seventy men. This shows our Creator’s very strong commitment to keep His Oath. For more information compare the Gematria of 422 for [Bæ¶v]nI and the Gematria 422 for µy[ib]v Shee Vih Ee, meaning seventy.

The first time the Word [Bæ¶v]nI Nee Shih Bah occurs in Ha Torah is in Bereisheit 24.7 where Avraham Says to Eleazer, ‘Hashem, G-d of heaven, Who Took me from my father’s house, and from the land of my birth, and Who Spoke to me and Who Swore to me...’ This was years after Bereisheit 14.18,19. This is a challenging situation. Why? The Action of Hashem Swearing happened yet we do not have a pin pointed reference to where it happened or to when it happened. We Observe the Promises of Hashem to Avraham in Bereisheit 12.2,3 yet there is no reference to Hashem Swearing. Again in Bereisheit 13.14-17 we Observe the Promises of Hashem to Avraham, yet there is no reference to Hashem Swearing.

Tehillim 110.4

ˆh´àkoAhT…âa' µje%N:yI aOlèw“ { hw:!hy“ [Bæ¶v]nI

.qd<x≤âAyKil]m' yti%r:b]DIAl[' µl…-/[l]

2. The Writer of Tehillim 110.4 Informs us that not only did Hashem swear to Avraham but Hashem Will Not rescind [His Oath to Avraham]. Hashem’s Oath to Avraham is an eternal oath.

Tehillim 110.4

ˆh´àkoAhT…âa' µje%N:yI aOlèw“ { hw:!hy“ [Bæ¶v]nI

.qd<x≤âAyKil]m' yti%r:b]DIAl[' µl…-/[l]

3. Then Hashem Says to Avraham, ‘You are a Kohan {Priest} [by dynasty] forever.’ Now if one reads Bereisheit 14.18,19 these Words are not recorded there. One must question, Where does the Writer of Tehillim 110.4 come up with these Words, ‘You are a Kohan {Priest} forever.’ ? Tehillim 110.4 is the only place in all of Ha Tenach where these words are recorded. Spoken of once in all of Ha Tenach. As indicated earlier the New Testament mentions this four times. We now have a second instance where Tehillim 110.4 makes a proclamation that we cannot pin point the reference. Yet we know these Words, ‘You are a Kohan {Priest} forever.’ were Spoken by Hashem.

2 Samuel 8.18

yti`rEK]h'w“ [d:+y:/h∞y“AˆB, WŸhy:Ÿn:b]W

.Wyîh; µynIèh}Ko dwI¡d: ynEèb]W yti-leP]h'w“

1 Chronicles 18.17

dywIèd:AynEb]W yti-leP]h'w“ yti`rEK]h'Al[' [d:+y:/h∞y“AˆB, WŸhy:Ÿn:b]W

.Ël,M≤âh' dy"èl] µynI¡voarIh;

4. Define ˆheko Kohan. ˆheko Kohan is singular for priest. µynIhæKO Choh Nah Neem is plural for priests. ‘The term kohen [priest] always means one who ministers to Deity except for in specific cases - such as [Bereisheit 41.45]: The ˆheko [chief] of On; and [Exodus 2.16] Jethro the ˆheko [chief] of Midian - where the term denotes one of high rank.’ Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 495 Do we have precedence for this? Yes! 2 Samuel 8.18 Says, ‘...Dovid’s sons were senior ministers.’ Notice the Words in red above. Notice the third Word, µynIhæKO Choh Nah Neem, meaning Priests. Yet here we translate this ‘ministers’. The KJV translates this ‘Chief Rulers’. The NIV says David’s sons were royal advisors. Interesting, if one looks up ‘chief’ in the Strong’s Concordance for 2 Samuel 8.18 it gives the reference # 3548. Their they define ˆheko Kohan to include priest, chief ruler, prince, principle officer. Then in 1 Chronicles 18.17 Ha Tenach uses a different Word to describe Dovid’s sons, µynIvoarIh;

Haw Ree Shoh Neem, meaning the chief ministers. KJV says, chief again. NIV says, chief officials. This establishes that Kohan does not always mean priest.

5. Why is this important to prove that the Word ˆheko Kohan does NOT always mean priest? When Tehillim 110.4 Speaks in reference to Avraham as being a Kohan [by dynasty] forever it is important to understand that Avraham’s descendants were Priests through Aharon ben Levi ben Yaakov and kings through Yehudah ben Yaakov. G-d Willing we will discuss this later.

Tehillim 110.4

ˆh´àkoAhT…âa' µje%N:yI aOlèw“ { hw:!hy“ [Bæ¶v]nI

.qd<x≤âAyKil]m' yti%r:b]DIAl[' µl…-/[l]

6. Why do we say Avraham was a Kohan [by dynasty] forever? It is because Avraham is the beginning of a succession of people from the same family who play a prominent role as Kohanim {Priests} and Melechim {Kings}. On the second line of Hebrew above the first word is µl;wO[l] Lih Oh Lawm, meaning forever. When Hashem Says or Thinks Avraham is a Kohan forever that represents a dynasty.

7. Who spoke the Words, ‘You are a Kohan [by dynasty] forever.’ ? Were they directly Spoken by Hashem? Were they spoken through a Malach {Angel}? Did a Novie {Prophet} speak these Words? The answer is found in the last four Words of Tehillim 110.4. ‘...upon the Word of Malki Tzedek.’ The Words, ‘You are a Kohan [by dynasty] forever.’ were not spoken by anyone. These were perceived! They eminated from the Mind of Hashem. Over 2,400 years ago The Novie Zechariah provides us with an explanation. This explanation is quoted in numerious books. It is astounding that other religious have by in part ignored this.

‘‘[The Prophet] Zechariah said on behalf of Rav Yishmael [ben Nethaniah] that the Holy One, Blessed is He, had intended that the priesthood should stem from Shem the son of Noah [who later assumed the title of Malchizedek.] But after Malchizedek uttered this blessing, [G-d Decided] that the priesthood should stem from Abraham. For when Malchizedek blessed Abraham before [G-d], Abraham had rebuked Malchizedek: =[Saying]. ‘Should a servant’s blessing be given precedence over his Master’s?’

Therefore, [G-d Gave] the priesthood to Abraham. The [Words] of HASHEM... You shall be a priest forever because of the træB]dI Dee Bih Rawt, words of Malchizedek, who accorded Abraham precedence over Hashem.’’ After Tehillim 110.4 Says, ‘You are a Kohan [by dynasty] forever upon the Word of Malki Tzedek.’

Tehillim 110.4

ˆh´àkoAhT…âa' µje%N:yI aOlèw“ { hw:!hy“ [Bæ¶v]nI

.qd<x≤âAyKil]m' yti%r:b]DIAl[' µl…-/[l]

The Word l[æ Ahl means on, upon, by, on behalf of, on account of, because. As discussed already the Word ytræB]dI Dee Bih Raw Tee means, ‘Words’. The point is that ytiræB]dIAl[æ Ahl - Dee Bih Raw Tee means ‘upon the Words’ of Malki Tzedek. If one wanted to argue that the translation should be after the order of Malki Tzedek as is stated in the New Testament one must substantiate this position. Uf one looks up the Word Order in Strong’s Concordance for Psalms 110.4 the reference is

# 1700. Strong’s defines hr…b]DI Dee Vih Rawh as meaning, reason, suit or style, end, estate, order or regard. The correct definition of hr…b]DI Dee Vih Rawh is Word, cause or reason. The Word hr…b]DI Dee Vih Rawh is found only three times in all of Ha Tenach. If one examines how the KJV translates hr…b]DI Dee Vih Rawh in Genesis 29.10 and 39.19 the translation is ‘spoke’. In 2 Kings 5.4 the translation is ‘said’. The Word ytræB]d“ is found 79 times in Ha Tenach. Genesis 24.33 told, 28.15; 41.28 spoken, Genesis 42.14 spake, Exodus 20.22 talked, Exodus 25.22 commune, Numbers 11.17 talk, Numbers 14.35, Said, Numbers 23.26 told, Numbers 24.12 speak, and Deuteronomy 33.3 Word. We could go on. The point is that ytiræB]d“ Dee Bih Raw Tee does NOT mean order. To argue that ytiræB]dIAl[æ Ahl - Dee Bih Raw Tee means after the order of Malki Tzedek ignores what the Prophet Zechariah, what was then common knowledge and what the correct definition of ytiræB]d“ Dee Bih Raw Tee is. At the very least the Talmud Gives us a beginning and an ending of Malki Tzedek. He is not from an unknown priesthood. Malki Tzedek. is not without a father or mother. Noach was Malki Tzedek’s father and Na’amah was his mother.