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Priest - A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and

one or more deities. Why Priest or pastor? It's a question of custom. In the Catholic and some protestant churches like the Anglican Churches where the sacramental role of the priest is seen as important, then their clergy are called priests, as priests are given authority to perform sacraments - such as baptism and being the president at the Catholic mass or the Anglican Holy Communion. In most of the other protestant churches, the sacramental role of the clergy is not seen as so important, and therefore the 'priest' title is seldom used. Instead, the pastoral, teaching and preaching role is seen as more important and therefore their clergy are referred to as 'pastors' or 'ministers' (from the idea 'to minister to' meaning 'to take care of') instead. They are still 'priests' in the sacramental sense, as they can still baptize and preside at communion services, but their emphasis is not seen as being here but in the role of pastor instead. Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Anglican Communions, some Lutheran churches have priests. One of the main changes brought about by the Protestant Reformation was the removal of a specialized set of men who were the only people able to intercede between the faithful and God, and the institution of the formal position that each person's relationship with God was direct and personal. This is related to the concept of the priesthood of all believers. But there was still a need for someone to perform rituals, teach the faithful about their faith, and generally be a moral pain in the butt for the "sinners." presbyter - (in the early Christian church) an office bearer who exercised teaching, priestly, and administrative functions. Bishop - bisc ( e ) op Middle English; Old English < Vulgar Latin *ebiscopus, for Late Latin episcopus < Greek epískopos overseer, equivalent to epi- + skopós (watcher) (BEDBT) Christ as Priest. The Old Testament. The priestly activity of drawing near to God in sacrifice and prayer is introduced in the Old Testament through Abel the head of a family (Gen. 4:4), Melchizedek the king of Salem and priest of God Most High (Gen. 14:18), Jethro the priest of Midian (Exod. 18:1), Aaron (Exod. 28:1), and the Levites (Exod. 32:28–29; Num. 1:47–53). The law of Moses established a closed, hereditary, vocational priesthood in Israel (Exod. 28:1; 29:9; 40:12–15). It was their assignment to serve the Lord with dignity and honor in the tabernacle and later in the temple, representing the people in the presence of God (Exod. 28:29; Num. 3:5–10). Through the casting of lots, they possessed the oracular power of pronouncing divine decisions (Exod. 28:30; 33:7–11; Lev. 13–16; Deut. 17:8–12; 1 Sam. 28:6). They were the guardians of the sanctuary and the spiritual piety of the nation (Num. 18:1–7). The extensive cultic instructions concerning sacrificial and ceremonial duties in the tabernacle and temple overshadow their responsibility to teach the truth of God (Exod. 7:1; Lev. 10:11; Deut. 17:11; 27:9–10; 33:10; Ezra 7:10–12, 21), and soon this role is assumed by the prophets of Israel. Although the Levites served in the tabernacle and temple, caring for its furnishings and maintenance, and assisting the priests (1 Chron. 23:28–32), the responsibility of presenting offerings and leading ceremonial rituals was restricted to the levitical family of Aaron and his descendants (Num. 3:5–10; 16:8–11; 2 Chron. 13:9). A physical deformity or disability disqualified them from approaching the altar of God (Lev. 21:16–23; cf. Luke 22:50), and those who qualified to serve had to be thirty to fifty years of age (Num. 4:47; 8:23–26). They were to avoid uncleanness by contact with the dead (Lev. 21:1–4, 11), remain unshaven (Lev. 21:5–6, 10), and marry a virgin (Lev. 21:7–8, 13–15). Only the high priest could enter the Most Holy Place on the Day of Atonement (Lev. 16). Through the appointment of David and later exilic developments, the office of high priest became restricted further to Zadok and his descendants (2 Sam. 15:24–29; 1 Kings 2:35; 4:2; Ezek. 40:46). The ritual of ordination consecrating Aaron to the office of high priest lasted seven days (Exod. 29:35). At the entrance to the Tent of Meeting (Exod. 29:4; Lev. 8:1–3), he was washed with water and dressed in priestly garments; anointing oil was poured on his head (Exod. 29:4–7; 40:12–16; Lev. 8:12, 30; Ps. 133:2). Aaron and his sons laid their hands on a bull and one of two rams without defect, which were sacrificed as offerings (Exod. 29:10–28). A feast followed on that first day, during which Aaron and his sons ate the meat of the ram with unleavened bread (Exod. 29:32). The consecration continued with the daily sacrifice of two lambs a year old, and when completed, “the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle” (Exod. 40:35).

he praised the poor widow who put in two small coins (Luke 21:1–4). He is qualified to enter the Most Holy Place. Each of these acts had priestly implications. Luke 20:42–43. the village of Simon the Leper (Mark 14:3) and the resurrected Lazarus (John 11:1. 1). Jesus experienced human nature. While at a dinner given in his honor. Melchizedek. The psalm of David continues with a reference to the mysterious king-priest Melchizedek: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: „You are a priest forever. The people of Christ now have confidence that they also may enter the very presence of God by the blood of Jesus (10:19). The new covenant. Exod. Jesus left the temple and went out of the city to Bethany. 4:15. 22:44. Jesus was without the ancestral. Luke 17:14). early on in the nation‟s history a priestly order was constituted within Israel* and charged with representing the people before God* through the cultic affairs of the tabernacle/temple and performing sacrifices. in the order of Melchizedek‟ ” (Ps. in order that he might become merciful and faithful high priest in service to God. 3:1. 19:6. genealogical credentials necessary for the Aaronic priesthood (7:3. theological commentary on the life. offering his own blood as the perfect sacrifice to take away sins and cleansing the consciences of many people (9:28. and received a blessing (Gen. his disciples. but by his own blood (9:12). Luke reports a scathing criticism of priests and Levites who would pass by a dying man. This was clearly interpreted as an affront to the authority of the chief priests and teachers of the law. 11). for they began plotting to kill him (Mark 11:18. but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him (9:28). This apparently was the consensus of rabbinic interpretation at the time of Jesus. 18:1. which is not of this world (9:11). 5:12). and comforted him with the assurance of his priestly intercession on his behalf (Luke 22:31–32). John 12:2–8). and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people” (2:17. Jesus has become the High Priest in the true tabernacle (8:2). for this Old Testament verse is the most frequently quoted in the New Testament (Matt. Abraham recognized the greatness of Melchizedek. 53:12). he sent them to the priest for the determination of cleanness in accordance with the law (Mark 1:44. not to bear sin. John 2:13–16). The Epistle to the Hebrews. Jesus warned Simon Peter of his approaching trial by Satan. 8:6–13. cf. Entering the temple he cleansed it of the merchants and money changers (Matt. among . offered his tithe. 13. 2:5). During the week of his passion. Jesus Christ has been exalted to a permanent priesthood by his resurrection and enthronement at the right hand of God in the heaven (8:1). 9). which Jesus inaugurates and serves as mediator of. Jer. Luke 19:45–46. 21:12–13. Mary took an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume and anointed Jesus‟ head (Matt. He justifies his Sabbath activity on the basis of the priestly exemption in Matthew 12:3–8. 110:4). which echoed the anointing of Aaron to the office of high priest (cf. Whereas the blood of Aaronic sacrifices could make the people outwardly clean but had to be repeated (9:13. 10:1–4. After the Exile priests played a primary role in the reorganization of the people (see Judaism). 17–18. affirming the temple as “a house of prayer” (cf. Acts 2:46. cf. Mark 14:3–9. 12:2). 7:26. While their political power waxed and waned in the centuries leading up to the NT era. 9:15. Deut. 40:13). not by the blood of a bull and a ram. (DJG) 1.The Gospels. Christ the Priest will appear a second time. 7:6–10). where a connection is made between the anticipated messianic King and Priest. Acts 2:34–35. cf. preventing them from continuing in office (7:23). and then for those who would believe through the disciples‟ message. 21:15). suffering. 1 Peter 2:5. Introduction Israel itself was to be a “kingdom of priests” (Ex 19:4–6). imperfect law and levitical priesthood (7:11–12. assuming the ceremony of royal enthronement to kingly power. 26:6–13. 1 Tim. cf. 17:8–11). and exaltation of Jesus. and his descendants all died. There were several ways in which Jesus fulfilled the function of the messianic priest. Mark 12:36. As with Melchizedek. 16). however. 31:31–34. Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem and prophesied her future destruction (Luke 19:41–44. When he healed lepers. 9:14). cf. who served in the dual offices of king of Salem and priest of God Most High. 1:13). being “made like his brothers in every way. 12:24. while a heretical Samaritan models divine love for his neighbor (Luke 10:30–35). Perhaps the ultimate priestly action of Jesus is recorded in John 17. Mark 11:15–17. The Messiah is told to sit at Yahweh‟s right hand. cf. In Hebrews the motif of Jesus Christ as High Priest is most prominent. he was also before Aaron and the transitory. Heb. He prayed for himself. but in the very presence of God (v. supersedes the old (7:22. 14:18–20. cf. although he neither refers to himself nor to his disciples as priests. Luke 19:47. Aaron. Observing the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. Heb. The basis for the priestly Christology of Hebrews is found in the familiar words of Psalm 110. Num. 8:7). Isa. Matt. and participate in “a holy priesthood” (Exod. and serves as an early church. Jesus continues in the presence of God (9:25) as the perfect High Priest (9:25–26).

Priesthood (BEDBT) Offerings and Sacrifices (BEDBT) . Duties of ordinary priests included pronouncing blessings (see Blessing and Woe). The blessing of Levi by Moses (Deut 33:10) gives an indication of what the priest was called to do: “They shall teach Jacob thy ordinances and Israel thy law. worthy of Israel‟s chosen ancestors and influential in the long political-religious struggle of God‟s people. The author also discerns tensions within the Old Testament theology of priesthood. within the Old Testament itself. blowing trumpets on various festive occasions.Old Testament in the New Testament The author of Hebrews employs this kind of argument frequently. Similarly. provided the setting and catalyst for a vigorous religious development of the Melchizedek title. policing the boundaries of the Temple area. its significance cannot be overlooked. Simundson II. the high priest served both political and cultic roles. the Temple and its priesthood became the destination of an increasing flow of tithes and taxes. he blessed Abram.” Teach the torah and tend to the altar -it sounds like Word . This portrait of priestly power and privilege concerns especially those priests residing in Jerusalem. theirs was the exclusive right to perform sacrifices (cf. brought out bread and wine.(15) This title. inspecting diseases and performing purification rites (cf. fixing the sacrificial limits of worshippers according to their ability to pay. The string of quotations from the psalms in 1:5-13 are applied to Christ because they say things about the human Davidic king that actually could be true of no mere human being. 7:23)? But Jesus makes up this deficiency (7:25-28). (BEDBT) Priest. providing Temple music (vocal and instrumental). And alongside the levitical priesthood another priesthood inexplicably appears in the Old Testament. collecting tithes and maintaining the Temple treasury. involving entry into the Holy of Holies.(14) Centuries before Moses had formally established the levitical priesthood. Mk 1:44). it was already a fully developed institution. Wisdom Teacher: Old Testament Models of the Minister Daniel J. at least those who grew up in a low church tradition. king of Salem. do not particularly like the word “priest” and hesitate to claim it for themselves.the people of God their positions of influence continued to receive divine legitimation until the final destruction of the Temple* by Rome (see Destruction of Jerusalem). And. In fact. 2. Moreover. and whole burnt offering upon thy altar. that of Melchizedek. 10:15-17) and Psalm 40:68 (10:5-7).* adding to the centrality of the priesthood on the sociopolitical stage of Palestine at the turn of the era (see Schürer. and not so much those priests of lower status. inspecting and repairing the grounds and buildings of the Temple. when priesthood is first introduced. absorbed more and more of Israel‟s messianic hopes. Priest. even at times on an international scale. Psalm 8:4-6 ( Hebrews 2:6-8 ) says things about "man" that are not true of any man except one. and evaluating problems resulting from contact with dead bodies and bodily emissions (see Clean and Unclean). How can priests save people from things to which they themselves are prey (5:2-3. the tabernacle itself harbors contradictions: it was meant to be "the tent of meeting. (Stuhlmueller) One of the first historical manifestations of priesthood occurs in Genesis 14: Melchizedek. from villages and more rural areas. originally of a pagan king. they shall put incense before thee. the author finds. THE PRIEST Who is the priest? What does he do? How is he chosen? Some Protestants. where the title first appears. Prophet. and being a priest of God Most High.(17) In each of these cases politics. But the priest‟s function may be most like what we think of as the role of the ordained minister. Lev 8–10) on behalf of God‟s people. (Gen 14:18) While this chapter has many difficulties. he was the only priest who could perform the great sin offering on the Day of Atonement. the expectation of something better. one of the royal Davidic titles granted to the crown prince on the occasion of his coronation was „“priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Ps 110:4). the sacrificial system of the Old Testament proclaims its own inadequacy by the requirement of constant repetition (10:1-4). following the Exile. a priest from Canaanite stock blessed Moses‟ ancestor. Therefore. The functions of priests were many. Later. Up to and during the time of Jesus. primary among which was the offering of sacrifices. Ex 28–29. opens with a military invasion. such as Zechariah (mentioned in Lk 1). Similarly. In passages like Jeremiah 31:31-34 (8:8-12. above all perhaps. chapter 14 of Genesis. " and yet it was structured to keep God separate! "The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed" (9:8). especially at Qumran(16) and later in the Epistle to the Hebrews.257–74). Abraham. after all.

The sacred palladium of the sanctuary at Shiloh was the ARK. in later times. while the latter. Thus Gideon.). its origin cannot be looked for in the sacrificial functions. The priest ministers to people at important points in their lives (in the life stages of individuals. Abinadab's son .). Functions of the Priest. having special charge of the doors. xiii. The priest is the teacher of the tradition. In ancient Israel one was not required to be specially consecrated in order to perform the sacrificial functions. 19) sacrificed in person at the express command of God and the angel of God respectively. and no wrong was found on his lips. I Kings viii. 3. and the Danite Manoah (ib. 17. who makes a commitment to be with them and help them through the stages of life. are presented by Elijah. a Levite. Malachi 2:4-7 provides some words about God‟s covenant with Levi: “True instruction was found in Levi‟s mouth. vi. xviii. 16. Thus the Ephraimite Micah. the ark was returned from the field of the Philistines and brought to the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim. on the occasion of the transference of the Ark to Zion. The important point to consider here is the more general one: the community decides whom it wants. later. but the images it sheltered. and that. 25). who had consulted the oracle in behalf of their exploring party with auspicious results (ib. The priesthood is a self-perpetuating class of people. When. To begin with. It is not only or primarily a personal vocational decision. He is the custodian of the holy things. any one might approach the altar and offer sacrifices. There is a well-defined system of accreditation. was the essential thing. and Solomon. 15. one who was qualified to consult the oracle (Judges xvii.). 5-13). xxiv. 14. teaching. If a distinct established priesthood is nevertheless found at the sanctuary of Shiloh and at that of Dan as early as the time of the Judges. nourishing. over which the sons of Eli and Samuel kept guard. 32 et seq.). The former carried it when it was taken to the battle-field. 18. sacrificing on Mount Carmel (I Kings xviii. of the tribe of Manasseh (Judges vi. comforting. 54 el seq. for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts. before the ark in Jerusalem (I Kings iii.” The priest is the one who brings the means of grace to people. Neh 8:1-9 where the priests teach the law of Moses to the people who are gathered at the water gate. Similar instances.). similarly. and he turned many from iniquity. together with the priest. it is obvious that its real office cannot have been connected with the altar or the sacrifices. 22. (See.and Sacrament ministry. at the dedication of the Temple of Jerusalem. The church in our day will continue to insist on deciding whom it wants to carry on its priestly functions. 26 et seq. after having provided an ephod and teraphim (see Ephod) for his shrine. 15). the sacred symbols.) The priest is the one who lives with people over the long haul. According to these. slept nightly near it (I Sam. and the structured remembrance of God‟s activity in the past). in the Temple at Jerusalem (II Kings xvi. and Solomon. The priest does the “in-house” work of the minister: taking care of the flock. administering the sacraments. It is evident that not the shrine. He walked with me in peace and uprightness. and (of still greater importance) to consult the oracle. he must be male and he must belong to a specific family. though it will surely use different criteria than those of ancient Israel. The priest is chosen by the religious community. consequently. iii.). One theory about the structure of the book of Deuteronomy is that it reflects the homiletical style of Levite priests who were responsible to pass on the story of God‟s dealings with the people from one generation to the next. the latter continued to personally offer sacrifices on the altar of YHWH at regular intervals (I Kings ix. Not everyone can serve in this office. David sacrificed on the altar he had built at God's command on the thrashing-floor of Araunah (II Sam. 12 et seq. ministered as priests (II Sam. and humans should seek instruction from his mouth. Priests are set aside as special persons. installed one of his sons as priest to take care of them. iv. These it was that the migrating Danites coveted and carried off to their new home. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge. and by Ahaz. We would not want to follow that tradition with regard to those matters. preaching. but only until he could secure a professional priest. for example.. It is not a charismatic choice (“God called me to do this”). 25). David. the functions of the priest were twofold: to care for and guard the sanctuary and its sacred images and palladia. for the purpose. the yearly cycles of nature. 4 et seq. Wherein the origin of the Israelite priest-hood really lies is sufficiently apparent from the older Biblical records of the time of the Judges and the following period.

in his capacity of priest. Ḳid. be referred to Him by the priest for decision (Ex. "Whosoever had to consult God went out to the tent of meeting. 14. were the authoritative interpreters of the Law. inasmuch as it speaks of the urim and thummim as insignia of the priesthood (Deut. Abiathar. xxx. ii. the former. 65. (2) the oracle by means of the Urim (here." that is. xviii. Post-exilic Israel had neither the sacred breastplate nor the Urim and Thummim. 10. 41. xxvii. so the priests. iii. undoubtedly. Hos. Jer. iv. vii. xxxiii. as does also the Deuteronomic code. 18. Josh. translates. and just as Moses." p..3-6 mentions three methods of divine communication: (1) the dream-oracle. 18. xvii. "niḳrab el Elohim" is applied to consulting the oracle by means of the Urim and Thummim (comp. Josh. xiv. Ahiah accompanied Saul and the Israclites. xxvi. After the capture of its ark by the Philistines the sanctuary of Shiloh disappeared from history (its destruction is referred to in Jer. xxi. which also had an ephod (I Sam. the following verses. 202. vii. as may be inferred from the description in I Sam. (Sirach) xxxiii. This primitive custom is reflected even in as late a passage as Prov.). 33. appeared in the following period at the sanctuary of Nob. vii. The bearing of the ark. 16 et seq. 26). This document shows. end) that the Urim and Thummim first failed in the Maccabean era (B. § 9. 3 may possibly prove a knowledge of the tradition concerning the use of the Urim and Thummim. 6). ii. 21. xxxi. Thus the Book of the Covenant prescribes that all dubious criminal cases "be brought before God. while the Deuteronomic code decrees that all difficult criminal as well as civil cases be referred to the priests (ib. 5). 10). 7).Eleazar was at once consecrated guardian over it (ib. remained. Ecclus. Eleazar was then high priest. the latter verse being so read by the LXX. . "Flavii Josephi Opera. where the same phrase. Soṭah. 9. xxii. "the judges") is clear from I Sam. as synonymous with "kohen" (II Kings xii. xxii. 3. 10). at Shiloh. It declares that the priests are the guardians of God's teachings and Law. vii." iii. The only other mention of actual consultation of YHWH by means of the Urim and Thummim found in the Old Testament is in Num. xviii. V. 7. 11). Tosef. 63 tacitly contradicts the assertion of Josephus ("Ant. the sons of Eli were entrusted. 8. 3). found among all Semitic nations. Further proof to the same effect lies in the frequent references of the Prophets to the judicial and teaching functions of the priesthood (comp. in pre-exilic times. 8.). 8. Isa. xxxiii. That "Elohim" here means "God" (not. the last two verses as read by the LXX. Interpreters of the Law. that throughout pre-exilic times the expounding of the Torah and the administration of justice remained the specific functions of the priests. with which. 3. xiv. such as could not be adjusted without reference to this highest tribunal (Ex. "Ezra and Nehemiah. its priesthood. "bearing the ephod" and ascertaining for them the decisions of the oracle (ib. The priests' duty of guarding the sanctuary and its sacred contents accounts for the use. as the A. see also I Macc. fied with the ephod to David (ib. as the frequent statements to this effect in later Biblical literature show. xviii. vi." i. xxiii. but it can not be inferred that answers were received at that time by means of them. whom thenceforward he accompanied on all his military expeditions. and explains also how "shamar" and "sheret" became the technical terms of priestly service and were retained as such even after the nature of the service had materially changed. iv. The Blessing of Moses proves that the sacred lots continued to be cast by the priests during the time of the monarchy. 37-42. an abbreviation for "Urim and Thummim"). vii. and that it is their mission to teach God's judgments and Torah to Israel (Deut. 42. 14 and I Sam. 6. 2. who was the sole survivor. iv. 12. 8-11. a specific priestly function throughout pre-exilic times (comp. 9." where Moses ascertained the will of God. and Moses was permitted by the Lord to address Him directly. 9. 6 et seq. 25 may be cited in further proof of the fact that direct appeal to divine judgment was made in ancient Israel.""doorkeeper" (corresponding to the Arabic "sadin"). 46. and through whom His judgment was invoked in all difficult cases. x.. Ryle. 8). xiv. down to the close of pre-exilic times. 1 Sam. 41). Micah iii. Amos ii. 8. 1.7. Ezra ii. xiv. Deut. xiii. iv. It is quite probable that the age of Ezra and Nehemiah was no longer cognizant of the nature of the Urim and Thummim (Ezra ii. bearing the ephod in order to consult the oracle for him whenever occasion demanded (ib. 11. 8). 63. however. in the campaign against the Philistines.). of which frequent mention is made also in Assyrian and Babylonian literature. The Urim and Thummim were employed together with the ephod in consulting the oracle. Similarly. 28. But Joshua and his successors could speak to the Lord only through the mediation of the high priest and by means of the Urim and Thummim. Niese. 9. viii.. (3) the oracle by the word of the Prophets. of "shomer hasaf. 6). 12. 1. After the massacre of the priesthood of Nob. 36. Yer. 9 et seq. xxi. I Kings viii. Ezek. while the sanctuaries were the seats of judgment. Neh. 12. 18. 32). 1). being a kind of sacred lots: in all probability they were cast before the ephod. see also Soṭah ix. xxiii. xiv. xxviii. was the intermediary through whom Yhwh revealed the Torah to the Israelites in the wilderness.

) Before Abram leaves Chaldea there is a culture present in Palestine with its polytheistic practices and we know. The teaching has been handed over to the scribes who used it to be „god's voice' to the people. The role of the priest was that of a holy person who maintained a sacred site or sanctuary and was consulted for oracular divination and held a role in the community of teaching the Torah. As long as the kinship system remained functionally decisive. Daily observances. Something like this situation is re-created in the narrative cycles about the ancestors in Genesis 12 -50. I will only deal with that in as much as it progresses out of the Babylonian exile. Finally we see a fourth period where the priesthood becomes more influenced by the political arena in the times of the Maccabees. 13:4. The early priesthood roles of sacrifice and cult are held within the paterfamilias. such as the Maccabeans. their altars and the sacrificial practices in the families were diverse. What becomes evident is that the early culture of Abram was as polytheistic and nomadic in its nature as any of the other Mediterranean groups of people at the time. become more and more a Temple practice. As Roland De Vaux points out rites such as the circumcision that had initially been done by the father had. that this is a journey of turning things around. sacrifices and rites of passage were performed by the head of the family. 28:18. Shechem (12:6-7. through archeological findings. The second epoch is the priesthood given through Moses on Mount Sinai followed by the third period defined by the changes that are incorporated during and after the Babylonian exile. 35. This later period arises with Moses and the appearance of the priesthood of Aaron and the Levites with its codes. The locations of the priests.The Evolution of Priesthood and Priestly Offices in the Old Testament Part One: An initial observation of the changes in the priesthood of Israel The religious life of the early Israelites was primarily carried in the family institutions. oracular divination and teaching while the sacrificial roles were carried out in the religious life of a family by the head of a household. In fact it is more likely that the ways of Palestinian life reflected similar purification systems that the Israelites picked up and codified into the Law of Yahweh them selves later. The first period is the early settlement time which includes the religious expression of the patriarchs. often involving the ancestors of the group in question. amongst all the other gods) and later the monotheistic understanding appear. 22. or of political manipulation. post exile. at first. or of the misuse of power. to sort the state of the nation. Yet other practices such as marriages and funerals did remain in secular function. Abram's group also has a religious-cultic life that reflects its nomadic nature: It is obvious that the level of complexity at which a cult and priesthood operate is correlative and coextensive with the stage of development of the society in General. sacrifice and divination are reflected as the „intellectual leadership exercised by sage. Does this reversal arise out of a natural process of the journey of the people in exile and their changing religious needs and possibilities of expression. The original priesthood had the functions of prophecy. the Friday night Shabbat meal being the central one. or a combination of all three? The priestly role in early Israel The life of the Israelites in the Promised Land is a complex story of a nomadic people finding a place to live. The diversity of the priesthoods and cults is as diverse as the . the paterfamilias would have represented the local unit in the performance of cult acts. We read of one or another patriarch building an altar and calling on the name of Yahweh. The teaching role became the domain of individual people's political endeavor. An obvious fifth step is the post Temple expression of priesthood in rabbinical Judaism but. By the time Jesus was born the priests have confined the role of priesthood to holding sacrifices in the Jerusalem Temple to entrench their political power. Only through its own journey with the Patriarchs and the captivity in Egypt does a more henotheistic (The one special god of one's people. These three functions of teaching. including a conquering of an indigenous people known as the Canaanites and the Palestinians (Philistines. that is setting up the Yahweh cult at what was formerly a Canaanite holy place – Bethel (Gen. priest and prophet' The progression of the priesthood of Israel in the first testament follows four great changes. while the sacred shrines or high places of Palestine are filled initially with the sages and oracles that were existent but slowly become sacred places to Yahweh and managed by priesthoods established by the patriarchs.7). 33:20) and Beersheba (26:25) in particular. It seems. a folk spirit. purification rituals. Families had the core religious role of sacrifice taken from them and are only permitted to perform certain religious practices in their home. 12:8. the Seleucids and Herodians and first century times into which Jesus was born. that these people were thinking and acting in way that did not reflect a later Israeli canon in the book of Deuteronomy.

the priesthoods of the state-sponsored cults – at Bethel and Dan in the North. It was therefore in a very appropriate place that he sought and found the divinely given tablets. Through his journey with the people in the desert Moses claims both political and intellectual leadership specifically through the Mt. In many ways it is an acculturation of Palestine by the new people later to be called the Israelites. 24:3). King David establishes his own line of Priesthood out the tradition of the original Jerusalem Priesthood of Zadok. and the other priesthoods and holy places being sidelined. The emphasis of the holy places being in many surroundings shifts from the Diaspora into the Temple of Jerusalem . which means Mountain of the Moon. who have specific roles in the journey of Israel. there were as many priesthoods as there were cult centers. If this observation is taken seriously the relationship between this one god of Israel and God Most High that Melchizedek serves is placed into an open field of questions. The development of Israel now reflects a re-forging of the roles of intellectual and political leadership in the social development of a nation. As Blenkinsopp reminds us: In the earliest period of the history. 1 Chr. Prior to the captivity he social structures suited a nomadic people until they were taken captive in Egypt. The intellectual and teaching roles move from local priests to a centralized Temple priesthood supported by the state. which then later gets conferred onto the high priest of Jerusalem in specific. The shift of the political leadership is from a patriarchy through the judges. which can be seen as a result of an underdeveloped leadership not being able to plan for the long term needs of an emerging nation. The change in the role of Priesthood through the Jerusalem Temple becoming more and more the high place of Yahweh. Esther Harding gives us a convincing insight as to who this deity. This raises more questions of the politics and diverse cultural leanings within Israel that could have been the cause of much tension between the Jews of Jerusalem and the Samaritans and Galileans. With the emergence of the state system.places and natures of the original Palestinian sacred places. once passed on through local priests. becomes heard only through the prophets. Sinai episode which showed that the people up until that point were still comfortable in holding to a more polytheistic cult to gods of the region. At the same time we get the picture that the Jerusalem Temple puts a lot of effort into becoming a primary focus of the Jewish cult and priesthood. who still show some ability of oracular power. as they worshiped elsewhere than Jerusalem. This also resulted in a non-defined leadership not being able to rouse the captives to leave Egypt until a young Moses hears the voice and instruction of his sending by the one god of his people! Post captivity the leadership roles and forms needed another expression. is the assuming of the office of sacrifice on behalf of the people. M. This fact throws an interesting side light on Jewish history for it will be recalled that it was on Mount Sinai that Moses received the tablets of the Law. is familiar to us in Mount Sinai . was the ancient law giver long predating Moses. as the one god of their people. The sacrificial role and cultic functions of the paterfamilias are more and more assumed by the Temple priesthood leaving the people disempowered to understand and interpret the law. who weren't considered „pure' enough in their religious expressions. that guides Moses. known to them as Yahweh. may be: The name of this moon god. This shift is also an assumption of the role of atonement. to that of the kings. specifically the dating of the Passover/Easter festival. I will explore the possibilities of this relationship within the Elohim (The plural form of Eloha) in the meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek in part two. The voice of Yahweh. which also then get the Levitical status conferred upon them as their lineage „was traced back through the family of Eli at Nob to that of Eli at Shiloh' (2 Sam. We hopefully will see there that The One God of Abraham and the God Most High whom Melchizedek serves are the Deities of Moon and Sun. requiring a new and specific priesthood. The second development of the priesthood Interestingly enough this second phase of the priesthood falls between the Captivity in Egypt and the Exile in Babylon . Sinn. that of Aaron and the Levites. I will for the purposes of this paper equate Yahweh with the Moon God and differentiate him from the Sun deities known as the Elohim in the Jewish tradition. as moon god (of the Babylonians). It is at this point that the early Israelites focus on the moon god. Sinn. but should not forget that it also was partially successful. 8:17. . Harding also points out how the Jewish calendar and festival events are calculated from the cycles of the moon.

which was further complicated by the influence of increase in Hellenistic thinking among the scholarly elite. or of the misuse of power. the place of cult and religious practice had to change and the influence of the Iranian culture was absorbed. These two factors have a huge effect on Jewish expression in the post Babylonian times until the rebuilding of the second Temple by Herod. It also became evident that a body of scholarly experts took charge of interpreting the Law and in fact became more powerful than the Temple priests whose task was confined to sacrifice and atonement. 12:1-28). though they were not entirely successful in suppressing unofficial cult centers attested in both biblical and the archeological records. 8: 1-12) This reached its pinnacle at the time of Jesus with the Scribes and Pharisees being cursed by Christ for this way of leadership. cf. now claiming an authoritative predominance over both the priestly and oracular powers of the intellectual leadership. role and office of the intellectual leadership) arise out of a natural process of the journey of the people in exile and their changing religious needs and possibilities of expression. At one level it was the worst case scenario of what was possibly a very positive and free religious experience of rabbinical Judaism in exile. 44:15). My initial question: Does this reversal (of function. re-instated the Jerusalem Zadokite priesthood which had claimed itself as the authentic one during the exile (Ezek. The effects of the Babylonian Exile on the third phase of the development of priesthood When the first Temple was destroyed and the Israelites were in Babylon two major influences appeared. the Seleucids and the Roman presence. Gilgal (Amos 4:4. (Jn. . Gibeon (1 Kings 3:4).Jerusalem in the South –achieved dominance. the high priest had political leadership vested upon him by way of default through having the chief seat in the Sanhedrin. One of these groups was known as the Essenes who lived in an eschatological hope-driven community after the Hasmoneans gained their foothold on the Jerusalem Temple. or a combination of all three. Deut. These include the dualistic images of the Messianic expectation being couched in language of the prince of light – prince of darkness. Shechem (Judges 8-9). Here I see the intellectual leadership role of „Priest' had become a political power using the priestly function of sacrifice to protect is position by instilling fear into the religious practices of the people (Lk. or of political manipulation. At the same time once the Jews return from Babylon their language and images around the messianic eschatology reflect a strong influenced from the Persian and Zoroastrian teachings. seems to have answered itself around 200BC! The Maccabees and the Roman influence Towards the time of Jesus things became more and more politically driven. started rebuilding the priesthood. 5:5) – and there were also numerous open-air shrines or „High places' (bamot) that would have required the services of one or more priests. Dan. It is possible that the exile also had a very strong releasing affect on the people's connection to the high places they visited when living in Israel and that upon their return the Jerusalem cult took predominance and advantage of this fact. which had lost a far bit of prominence in the exile due to people getting used to having no Temple. in narrative and prophetic texts – Shiloh (1 Samuel 1-3). (Mt. a teaching of Zoroaster also found in the book of Enoch. 23: 1-39) The second shift in leadership role was that their was no independent political leader outside of the Sanhedrin. The knowledge of social dysfunction led to a violent political struggle. sometimes in passing. Further the third intellectual role of „Prophet' was now forced to be assumed by the people epitomized by the Maccabeans (Heads of the Family) assuming the function of teaching to educate the people politically. Initially there is no Temple left and the people are in exile resulting in the appearance of rabbinical leadership and synagogue based teaching and worship. The prophetic powers were then confined to individuals such as John the Baptist and small groups of people. 22:1 – 6). I see that the intellectual leadership role of „Sage' had become that of spiritual lawyer claiming to know the will of god and assuming the oracular function of prophet in a negative way. Several sanctuaries other than the three (Bethel. Beersheba (Amos 8:14). The people became less and less allowed to interpret the law and fulfill the purification laws for themselves without fear of an intellectual policing of their actions by the scribes and interpreters of the law. and the Son of Man. Even the determined effort to create a Jerusalemite and Yahwistic cult monopoly in the in the last decades of the Kingdom of Judah was only partially successful (2Kings 23:4-20. vested the scribes with teaching roles and began a dominance that lasted until the Maccabean revolt. They further asserted their understanding of the political and intellectual leadership. Jerusalem) mentioned appear.

The ousted Zadokite priesthood founded the Qumran community and. and also in the priesthood established on Sinai. this role still seems to function amongst the local high places of original religion of Palestine and Israel. We can also say that there is a more positive conclusion to be drawn from the shifts of function reflected on above. The various roles of leadership within the Jewish nation are re-forged according to its journey and influences. the exile and the later influence of other cultures in their lands that the actual function of mediating the word of god gets lost. There must be some other level of observation possible that will allow us to find a religious or theological connection to the unfolding of the priestly roles and offices. The Legends of the Jews interprets the story . a moon god called Yahweh. At the same time because the high priest became more and more a singular political-religious leader the people also began to have a priestly expectation of the Messiah alongside that of a kingly figure! Conclusion and Riddles As Kobelski points out we see a convergence of Jewish. who more or less reflect Caiaphas' political attitude of “We have no king but Caesar!” (Jn. One set of last questions remain to be addressed. At this point is difficult to see the unfolding of the priesthood within Old Testament times beyond the anthropological comment of Blenkinsopp: “It is obvious that the level of complexity at which a cult and priesthood operate is correlative and coextensive with the stage of development of the society in General. started to see in the Hasmoneans the „Wicked Priest'. The Maccabees revolted against this and placed the Hasmonean Jonathan as high priest in Jerusalem. Regardless of form and persuasion there must be the opportunity for the priesthood to maintain its functions of cult. teaching and prophecy. Isaac and Jacob. with Herod and the Romans arbitrarily placing high priests into office. through the henotheistic awakening of a people in relationship to a folk spirit. If Yahweh is the one god if the Israelites. With this I will also take a look at the priestly nature of Abraham to show that two forms of priesthood were active in the journey of the Jewish nation so that the forces of the Sun and the Moon could be part of the preparation of the indwelling of the Logos in Jesus. Iranian and Hellenistic thinking within Israel clashing with the political machinations of the Roman Caesarian cult assuming the role of Son of God. the nation became vulnerable to political manipulation by the Seleucids. 19:15).” My original observation was that the priestly function was an oracular function of helping people hear god speak in their life. Their own founder was seen to be the „Teacher of Righteousness'. both of which are cursory in their nature. The Priesthood of Melchizedek The meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek is enigmatic in that it is condensed into two references in the first Testament in the 14th chapter of Genesis and the 110th Psalm. but is it really that simple? Part Two In this part of the paper I will explore the priesthood and person of Melchizedek to try and show that even though he was an historical figure he also has mythic and spiritual/cosmic dimensions that create the eschatological hopes of the Israelites. loosing their ability to function in a spiritually real way. Due to a conflict in the Hellenistic – Jewish thinking within the leadership. what is the function of the other deities? Do other deities have a role in the shift from the polytheistic origins. Certain streams of priesthood become influenced by power and politics. later being promoted as the only god. influenced by the Iranian thinking brought back from the Exile. In many ways God finds ways to keep the connectivity and the revelation happening. atonement. and then claiming a monotheistic regime over a people? Who are the priests of the God of Abraham. in relation to the priests of God most High? What is the relationship between Yahweh and the God most High? Can we just presume that they are one and the same deity in the light of a culture that was originally polytheistic? We do this out of a long monotheistic Christian tradition. The Office of High Priest becomes a bought leadership. which at first appear so easily undermined by the social progression. It also then becomes confused in both the functions and the eschatological expectations within various communities according to their leanings. Other parts of the community then take charge of that function.During the last two centuries before Jesus there is an incredible intensification of the complexities already mentioned. In the first two phases of development above. The other Biblical source for the priesthood of Melchizedek is the book of Hebrews. assuming the role for that aspect of the priestly office for a time. If priesthood is to provide some sort of connection or mediation between a god and her or his people then we cannot remain satisfied with the above progression of development. sacrifice. It is only through the political influence of the kings.

Sukkah 52b. Hippolytus ( Haer.that because Melchizedek greets Abraham before God he has his priestly office taken from him. 1. 12b.Reub. as revealed in the Moses/Aaron story. 21:2. The theme of the indwelling of God as part of the Israelites journey is well represented in both Old (Sir. point to the possibility that the meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek was possibly not transference of priestly office from some Pagan culture to the Yahwistic need. Sl.R. Isaac and Jacob! (Ps. Hag. and the myth of the primeval man. 24:1. is an active and present priesthood in the lives of the early Israelites.. 29:22) opens a door of possible connection beyond purely being priesthoods at the same place. the son of Noah. 6:8. 4QpPs 37 2:15..Enoch 48C. It could be a meeting of acknowledgement that both forms were required to prepare the transformation of Priesthood through the working of Christ. This event seems to be unrelated to the appearance of the Levitical priesthood.. which David made into the Temple priesthood. 1QSb 4:23. 7.Enoch 89:76. This was joined with angel speculations (Test. Heb.7) Emil Bock in his book on Genesis 11 studies the Legends of the Jews and Ephraem of Syrus' Cave of Treasurers and shows that the relationship between Abraham and Melchizedek was not limited to this one event. Sl. At the same time the more hidden aspect of the Melchizedek priesthood remains a question in regard to its existence or role in this story. It is interesting that Christ became the high priest of the order of Melchizedek and not that of the God of Abraham. Sir. 4:25. The activity of Melchizedek on Mount Moriah in the Valley of the Kings. 55) report of a probably gnostic group of “Melchizedekians” who worshipped Melchizedek as a higher Logos than Jesus… . Num. 14:18 and Ps. or Metatron (Jub. 18:2. on 2:13. 110:4. who is the founder of the Semitic people after the flood. It may only be through the Qumran texts that we find any continuity in this priesthood of Melchizedek in the development of Israel at all. who in Gen. Enoch. the names of God and the fields of expression. Bock uses historical and Narrative criticism to reveal a number of interesting legends: Isaac enters into the School of Shem (another name for Melchizedek) at Moriah after the Angel held Abraham's hand with the knife back. to prepare the incarnation of the I-Am/Logos in the events of Palestine. only in 1 Chr. Test. not until the finding of the Qumran text known as 11Qmelch. and that there was a priestly activity of bread and wine on this site of the Kidron Valley for many generations prior to Abraham's arrival. 7:36. 34).g. The fact that the word High priest is used in connection with Melchizedek and for the Priesthood of Zadok (1Chr. R.Enoch 64:5A) and Melchizedek all appear as incarnations of the primeval man or primeval priest. including the sacrificial symbols. 110:4 (109:4) is called king of Salem and priest of ' el -'elyôn (LXX “the Most High God”). 2:54) goes back to the basic meaning of priestly office. .Lev.). 438. 48D. 6:2. The Words Zedek and Zadok are also similar and have a common root in etymology meaning righteousness: Melchizedek. Ant.). where Michael offers a spiritual sacrifice). one which is to prepare the appearance of the Messiah. … An eschatological ? repeatedly stands alongside the messiah (Cant. 20. The different languages in the two streams. Ab.Jud. which he names as Jerusalem. Adam (Gen.R. That is. 14:23). the founder and first priest of Jerusalem. The Temple priesthood development had the task of focusing a certain amount of religious energy on interiorizing the energy of the One God. Is it possible that even though we have a highly visible Temple priesthood there is a parallel story of priesthood going on that we know very little of? It seems that this idea also finds some scholarly support even though there is not much evidence around to critique this claim.Dan. which is then transferred to Abraham. Eth. that the site of Jerusalem was also the burial place of Adam's body. Melchizedek is present at the funeral of Sarah.R. The only point of correlation is that Melchizedek is referred to as a priest and that the Messiah is mentioned in the psalms (Ps. 180 f.N. 1. 1QS 9:10 f. 1 Macc. There is a lot of lost history including the fact that Melchizedek is related to Shem. CD 12:23 f. 110:4) as being of the priesthood of Melchizedek: The high esteem of the high-priestly office led to a widespread Jewish expectation of an eschatological priest or high priest alongside the kingly messiah (Test.24: 3-11) and New Testament (Jn. Test. 4). 1QSa 2:12 ff.Enoch 22:4 ff. 45:24. but several times in the Apocrypha (e. is according to Josephus ( War 6. This priesthood of Melchizedek was the original priesthood in Jerusalem and could possibly be related to the Jerusalem priesthood of Zadok. Heb. 10:24) and Epiphanius ( Haer . 29:22 in the LXX (for Zadok's priesthood).

1. Here we can observe yet another cultural shift. This was done under the ordination of Yahweh and the forms that were given worked upon the people in such a way that their consciousness grew in the understanding that they needed to allow the I-Am to dwell in the human soul. Abraham journeys throughout Canaan and establishes altars (Shechem. This God was a moon being as we have already heard above. the one special God amongst others. The altars and sacrifices were to Yahweh. 16 f. Two major differences between Abraham and Melchizedek in their priestly work give us cause to open another possibility of this relationship. After the Hasmoneans ousted the Zadokites from Jerusalem the Qumran and Essene communities establish a very esoteric and socially removed order out of the Iranian influence.). who had called Abraham to take on the task of strengthening his activity in Humanity. the Patriarch. 3: 2131). . the institution of the Eucharist by the high priest in the order of Melchizedek? I think that this priesthood is based on the idea that labor or the work of an individual. prophecy and teaching. In fact one can say that Abraham performed the priestly roles of the head of the family. burnt offerings of animals. (Jn 14:1 – 31) When Christ came to earth both forms of priesthood were incorporated into the Christian priesthood through the last supper: The Melchizedekian sacrifice of bread and wine. and. showing that the fruit of human work was now part of the sacred journey of transformation. and in the structure. and the Levitical forms in the cycle of festivals such as Easter at Passover. Is it possible that the priesthood of Melchizedek has a task of holding the rejected form of offering. of sacrifice. The second is that Melchizedek offers bread and wine while Abraham at first offers burnt sacrifices of animals and later adds the sacrifice of tithing to Melchizedek. the offering of an individuals work. equated him with the conscience ( Deus Imm. to a point where it was to be an acceptable form again.The meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek requires a further pondering as Abraham himself held a priestly position under the auspice of being a patriarch and it seems the two continued to acknowledge the valid place of the other in the development of the nation. while Abraham moves around in nomadic fashion establishing holy sites around the Promised Land eventually settling in Mamre. The first is that Melchizedek remains in one place. forms and roles of the vestments. Bethel and Hebron) of sacrifice. The first difference could possibly lead us to wonder what the relationship between the Zadokite priests of Jerusalem and the priesthood of Melchizedek really was. through the Egyptian and Babylonian influence. 198. He also establishes or replaces priesthoods at certain high places. Paul tells us that it is not through works of the Law but works that source themselves in the Faith in Christ that now are the valid sacrifice (Rom. focusing on the Moon God Yahweh. Jerusalem. the Zadokites after the Babylonian captivity become part of the Qumran community which really speaks of them being a secret priesthood. In claiming to be the real Temple priests as established by David. The priestly nature of Abraham This leads us to the question of the priestly nature of Abraham as predecessor of the Levitical order. liturgy and priesthood. Who is Melchizedek? The way Philo uses the word for priest (hiereus) and high priest (archiereus) brings in another aspect of priesthood to that of the oracular function of the Hebrew Kohen: Philo saw in the priest t he symbol of the Logos ( Abr. At first the more hidden priesthood of Melchizedek are the custodians of the holy place of Jerusalem. In fact their whole story was about the indwelling of God. Cher. Originally this kind of sacrifice from Cain was rejected by God as it was at that point untimely in that it is only through the high priest Christ that the work of the individual can attain atonement. The Second difference is a more exciting one as we can follow the theme of the difference between sacrifices of animals and crops right back to Cain and Abel. fruit of human labor. brought into the public through David and the Zadokites. yet after the Exile they are ultimately dispossessed and others assert themselves on Mount Moriah while the Melchizedekians/Zadokites move to other monasteries to continue their task of preparing a specific aspect of Priesthood.) or with the divine power of the soul in the reason of man ( Som. In the mean time the public priesthood of Aaron had to continue establishing sacrificial communion with God. 131 ff. Emil Bock in his book on Genesis also confirms Abraham's journey out of a polytheistic culture. when psychologizing. is a transformative element in the world.

as is told us in the book of Hebrews. the first Logos of all. but points in the direction that Melchizedek in the identity of Michael has a priesthood that is in the spiritual world and acts as a spiritual mediator at God's throne for humanity. At the same time the intellectual leadership roles of sacrifice. 243). Her. By using the term Elohim and identifying him with Michael the Melchizedek scroll points to the fact this priesthood has a lot to do with the sun forces and the God of the Sun. the high priest holds sway in the Temple of the cosmos of which his vestments are an image.Leg. This was in a time when the priestly role of living our lives according to the Law. Moses is.215). This term is also brought into alignment with the fact that Melchizedek is the priest of God Most High and not the One God of Abraham.Leg. . originally rejected by God. Melchizedek takes on a common identity with the Archangel Michael who is the leader of the Angels of Light against the Angel of Darkness. 214 f. was not yet fully developed. I would like to think that the role of priesthood was originally that of prophecy and teaching which then needed to step into the role of sacrifice and establishing communion with God for a specific time of our journey in history. These two streams then find unification in the event of Jesus Christ. Spec. Yet another possibility of understanding that at a certain point in time the Jewish people needed to concentrate on a more moon filled quality in their outer religious life. in conscience. The Levites are the picture of the true priesthood in renouncing the passions and in turning to the true Logos ( Ebr. gives us insight into the being and role of Melchizedek. In this work he shows us that there are many correlations between a real person in an ordained priesthood and a mythic character along the lines that Bock explored.). 182) and chief head of the people. 109-135) Here we see that there was and is an opening that the priestly roles are not confined to an ordination or a particular intellectual leadership. Paul Kobelski in his book Melchizedek and Melchiresa explains how the fragmentary Melchizedek scroll. He himself becomes a “cosmos in miniature” ( Som . as individuals. This priesthood then receives an earthly expression in Jesus Christ who becomes the mediator on the earthly plain. Fug. who stands on the border-line between creation and Creator ( Rer. 1. 18:20 ff. 11QMelch.. The high priestly aspect is then a person who lives a life in fulfillment of the Law and becomes a leader in the community as they are an embodiment of wisdom and stand on the border between creation and creator. 82-97. 1. but divine Logos ( Fug. 109). being held in a quite parallel story until such time that the high priest. Vit. since he is no longer man. In Jewish Angelology the Elohim. a theme developed in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews. Conclusion I have shown the journey of priesthood in the Old Testament as one of transforming and transferal of roles. Everyone who lives according to the law is. 164). according to Wis. Div. 2. He also sees that the Iranian influence brings in a dualistic philosophy of light versus darkness in the Qumran community. teaching and prophecy move from secular family leaders and institutionalized priesthoods so that by the time Christ is born the roles have done a complete shift in who. as high priest ( Rer. the Creator spirits are the Angels of the Sun. Stoic influence betrays itself. Kobelski leaves the whole question of Melchizedek's identity open. Div. At the same time Melchizedek starts to play into the eschatological expectations of the Messiah and all the attributes of him as the high priest and the Angel of Light as mediator and bringer of atonement are formed as the high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Melchiresa or Belial. 2. To balance this journey we also see the priesthood of Melchizedek in Jerusalem upholding a particular role in sacrificing bread and wine. while Melchizedek maintained a connection for the people with the Sun forces. Her.Leg. . could bring it into the main stream again. 1. to become a co-creative entity on the earth. The priestly role is also a faculty in the human being that establishes a communion between God and the individual through conscience. As Logos. 108). a highpriestly Logos ( Spec. 205 f. Further to this he explores the fact that the term Elohim is applied to Melchizedek. The priestly role of Melchizedek was to uphold the possibility of communion with God out of fruit of the work of our hands. where and how they are practiced. Christ the King-Priest Messiah. Everyone who no longer walks in the way of sin belongs to the priestly family ( Spec. Throughout the development of the societal forms the priesthood shifts to meet this in respect to creating a single Temple in Jerusalem for the indwelling of God into the human soul. 76. The time needed to come when the act of atonement between the human being and God was established so that this faith could allow us. This is the sacrifice of Cain.Mos . Philo's idea of the high priest is a unique synthesis of these motifs.