Not of the genealogy of the tribe of Levi … “No Genealogy”
1. Jesus, another priest who doesn’t belong to the tribe of Levi
In the Bible, only the tribe of Levi can accept altar work in the sanctuary. Of the twelve tribes of Israel except the Levites, the eleven tribes could never accept the work of the altar. That is, they cannot be priests. There are many priests, but no one has become such a priest as one who is not part of the genealogy of Levi. Except for Melchizedek.
Melchizedek is the only priest not included in the genealogy of Levi. As a priest, he is the only one in a different line. The important fact is that Jesus, like Melchizedek, was a priest even though he was not of the tribe of Levi.
<Heb 7:11-13> If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come–one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when there is a change of the priesthood, there must also be a change of the law. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar.
Here ‘no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar’ means the other tribe in which no one can be a priest because he doesn’t belong to the tribe of Levi. In other words, those who belong to another tribe refer to Jesus who belongs to the tribe of Judah.
<Heb 7:14> For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.
The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”(Psa110:4) This psalm’s prophecy pointed to Jesus who would be born to the tribe of Judah.
Jesus Christ is a priest like Melchizedek who has no genealogy of the tribe of Levi. ‘No genealogy’ does not mean that Jesus must be a Gentile but means that Jesus has no genealogy of the the tribe of Levi. It means that Jesus is a special priest who was not in the genealogy of the tribe of Levi. We must not miss the fact that the Bible elaborated the meaning of ‘no genealogy’ in the same chapter.
2. Jesus, a perfect and eternal priest
<Heb 5:8-10> Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
God has established Jesus as a perfect and eternal priest following the order of Melchizedek. In other words, accoooording to the prophecy of Psalm 110, ‘You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek’, Jesus from the tribe Judah became the eternal high priest of the heavenly sanctuary through his ressurection.
Some say that Jesus needs to return to the flesh to make Melchizedek’s prophecy perfect. But the Bible declares that Jesus has been the perfect and eternal high priest since two thousand years ago. Those who claim that Melchizedek’s prophecy was not fully fulfilled two thousand years ago are those who deviate from the words of Hebrews.
Let’s look again at the account of Hebrews.
<Heb 7:1-3> This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever.
If Melchizedek is a human being, he must have parents. However, we couldn’t confirm the existence of his father and mother in the Bible records. There is no records of his genealogy and of his birth and death. So Hebrews says that Melchizedek is like the Son of God and a priest forever.
We can see that the writer of Hebrews realized that Melchizedek, who appeared to Abraham, was Jesus.
‘King of righteousness’, ‘king of Salem’, and ‘king of peace’ are the titles for Christ Jesus.(Psa76:2, Isa32:1, 1The5:23)
<Phi 2:6> Christ Jesus who is in very nature God
Jesus, the high priest in the heavenly sanctuary, is in very nature God. He is who he is. He has no father or mother because he is conceived from Holy Spirit. He has no genealogy because he has no records of his birth and death. Every characteristics of Jesus are same with Melchizedek.
3. ‘Melchizedek=Gentiles’ … is merely a physical way of thinking that is far from the Bible
Jesus has completely fulfilled Melchizedek’s prophecy, since he broke the power of death and was resurrected to become the eternal high priest of the heavenly sanctuary two thousand years ago.
Genealogy is a record of birth and death. The priests of the Levitical genealogy should repeat ‘birth and death’. Thus, the priests who follow Aaron’s order must always be replaced. But the everlasting priest who ministers in the heavenly sanctuary is not replaced, but be alive always and prays for us. A priest in the genealogy repeating ‘birth and death’ cannot be a priest following the order of Melchizedek, who must always be alive and be an eternal priest.
<Heb 7:23-25> Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
The logic that Melchizedek must have no genealogy, and that the meaning should be Gentiles, is contrary to the Bible. Therefore, it is a misinterpretation that Jesus had to return in the flesh because Melchizedek’s prophecy had not been fulfilled.
4. Solid Food For the Mature
Finally, let’s study about the words, solid food for the mature.
<Heb 5:11-14> We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
This is a message that encourages some Hebrew saints at that time to arouse the atmosphere of stagnation and to worry about being separated from the truth.
In fact, the early church members enjoyed God’s grace and power more abundantly than those of other ages. Their faith and knowledge of Jesus was greater than ever. Nevertheless, it was too new and difficult for the Hebrews who entered the early church to understand the teaching that Jesus is an eternal priest in the heavenly sanctuary, even though he was not of the Levitical genealogy.
Because for thousands of years only those in the genealogy of Levi could be priests, the new teaching that Jesus, who was not in the Levitical genealogy, became high priest in the heavenly sanctuary was difficult for the Hebrews to understand. At that time, such a teaching was unthinkable to go against God’s Word. In this context, the writer of Hebrews said, “I have much to tell you about Melchizedek, but your hearing is dull.”
Therefore, the Hebrew Saints, who lacked the new covenant or the enlightenment of the heavenly sanctuary, were now urged to eat the spiritual food to become the mature. The writer of Hebrews explained in detail from chapters 7 to 13 how Jesus, the tribe of Judah, became the eternal priest of the heavenly sanctuary.
<Heb 6:1-2> Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
5. Teachings on the Apocalypse of the Early Church
<Heb 10:25> Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Bible says “all the more as you see the Day approaching”. What does it mean by ‘the Day approaching’ here.
<Heb 10:36-37> You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, “He who is coming will come and will not delay.
Bible says again “You need to persevere. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” Then when is the day to wait patiently? Does it mean waiting for the day when Jesus comes in the flesh? Or does it mean waiting for the final judgment?
The early church members waited patiently for Christ to come to judge. Some churches, however, teach that we must wait for Jesus to be born into the Gentiles with flesh. It is a wrong teaching. The Apostles always taught Jesus to come to judge in the flames, and the Saints at that time waited for Jesus to come to judge in the flames.
If the writer of Hebrews taught that the Second Coming Jesus should be born in the flesh and as a Gentile, the Saints in the early church would have been in great confusion. Biblical understanding is that Jesus has fulfilled Melchizedek’s prophecies in full and become the perfect and eternal high priest of the heavenly sanctuary.