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Melchizedek

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Could "without beginning of days or end of life" be speaking of Jesus Christ?

No.

Jesus Christ was, like all of us, created by our Father and Mother in heaven. He had a beginning of days, too, in 1 BC when He was born in Bethlehem. ('Course, they didn't know it was 1 BC back then, but ...)

The phrase "without beginning of days or end of life" refers to the Priesthood we now call Melchizedek. It is, with all its offices, what we commonly think of when we say "eternal". It is truly the Priesthod of God.

Lehi

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Jesus Christ was, like all of us, created by our Father and Mother in heaven. He had a beginning of days, too, in 1 BC when He was born in Bethlehem. ('Course, they didn't know it was 1 BC back then, but ...)

We are all of us eternal beings, though our current forms both spiritual and physical are created (the first by our Heavenly Parents, the second by our earthly ones).

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We are all of us eternal beings, though our current forms both spiritual and physical are created (the first by our Heavenly Parents, the second by our earthly ones).

a) Literal, physical "Spiritual birth" has a ton of problematic issues. Adoption seems to be a more scriptural understanding of how we became the Children of God initially.

b) Parents do not create - they do, however, initiate a natural process that they then just 'let happen'.

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It's a topic for debate, but no one will know for sure whether Shem and Melchizedek are the same.

After the flood, Shem is not heard from again. Since many of us are his offspring, we should be concerned about why, after the flood, no one has heard from him. It's quite apparent to me that he must be Melchizedek. It's the priesthood he holds that is without father, mother, or beginning of years or end thereof. Those of us who have been entrusted with this priesthood should be rightfully impressed that God has freely given it to his children. If you tell a minister of another denomination that the priesthood resides with this church, he most likely will chuckle and insist that only Melchizedek and Jesus held it, and that it can't be passed on.

The New Testament does not tell us anything about this priesthood being passed on and I suspect the reason is that the Jews would find it offensive.

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What hasn't been mentioned is that Melchizedek was a Jebusite which a tribal group from the Hittites. Why Abraham had such affinity for the Hittites is unknown. What is known he settled on land that was Hittite owned and both he and his family were buried on land that was owned by Ephron the Hittite. Cyrus Gordon has suggested that Abraham's birthplace was in Ura in Northern Mesopotamia as opposed to the Sumerian Ur which is located farther south. Gordon, Cyrus H. “Where Is Abraham’s Ur?.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Jun 1977, 20-21, 52. http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=3&Issue=2&ArticleID=5. This would, of course, show that Abraham was very familiar with Hittite, i.e., Jebusite culture and therefore, Melchizedek.

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What do we know about Melchizedek, king of Salem?

Who was he, and why is he said to be "without Father or Mother...without beginning of days or end of life" (Heb. 7:3.)

If he's Jesus, why is he said to be "like the Son of God," and if he's not Jesus, why does it say he "remains a priest forever" (when Jesus is said to be filling the role of High Priest now)?

I gave a paper on Heb. 7:3 earlier this year at a small student symposium at BYU. In the paper I argued that Heb 7:3 is a quotation from a lost Jewish hymn that described Melchizedek as a divine or heavenly being, and the author of Hebrews incorporates this hymn into his description of Melchizedek. But unlike the author of the original hymn, the author of Hebrews does not consider Melchizedek to be a divine or heavenly being -- rather he uses the language of divinity in Heb. 7:3 to emphasize the eternal nature of Melchizedek's priesthood, which Christ now has, the same point that Joseph Smith makes in his inspired revision of the verse.

The author of Hebrews does not consider Melchizedek one and the same as Jesus. But a lot of Jews during the time (and some Christians for that matter) considered Melchizedek to be a divine or angelic being who made priestly intercession in heaven. The author of Hebrews does not consider him such (it is at odds with his theology), but he utilizes this popular belief to bring home his point about Melchizedek's priesthood and therefore Jesus' priesthood.

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While that "without Father or Mother... without beginning of days or end of life"

This was language used during the period to describe divine beings. Compare the following:

Hebrews 7:3, NRSV: “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”

Apocalypse of Abraham 17.11: “Eternal One, Mighty One, Holy El, God autocrat … without mother, without father, ungenerated, exalted, fiery, just, lover of men, benevolent, compassionate, bountiful, jealous over me, patient one, most merciful.”

Lactantius, The Divine Institutes, 1.7.1: “Apollo, indeed, whom they think divine above all others, and especially prophetic, giving responses at Colophon, — I suppose because, induced by the pleasantness of Asia, he had removed from Delphi, — to some one who asked who He was, or what God was at all, replied in twenty one verses, of which this is the beginning: — ‘Self-produced, untaught, without a mother, unshaken, / A name not even to be comprised in word, dwelling fire, / This is God; and we His messengers are a slight portion of God.’ Can anyone suspect that this is spoken of Jupiter, who had both a mother a name? Why should I say that Mercury, that thrice greatest, of whom I have made mention above, not only speaks of God as ‘without a mother,’ as Apollo does, but also as ‘without a father,’ because He has no origin from any other source but Himself? For he cannot be produced from any who, who Himself produced all things.

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What hasn't been mentioned is that Melchizedek was a Jebusite which a tribal group from the Hittites. Why Abraham had such affinity for the Hittites is unknown. What is known he settled on land that was Hittite owned and both he and his family were buried on land that was owned by Ephron the Hittite. ... Abraham was very familiar with Hittite, i.e., Jebusite culture and therefore, Melchizedek.

What seems obvious to me is that Abraham was a Semite. The Hittites (and all Canaanites) were Semites. Shem was the quintessential Semite, father of the race.

Shem was the conduit for Yawistic religion through the flood and beyond to all Semites.

We know that Abraham's fathers had apostatized, and the true religion and its Priesthood were lost. Abraham received that Priesthood from Melchizedek, even though Shem was still alive. If Shem was not the king of Salem (= "prince of peace") and the king of righteousness (= "Melchizedek"), then whoever was was a usurper.

The question we should ask is, "Where was Shem?"

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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The question we should ask is, "Where was Shem?"

A great question for some good Mormon Religious Fan Fiction to explore. I bet Deseret Book would sell it. "The Adventures of Shem"

Edited by nackhadlow

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What seems obvious to me is that Abraham was a Semite. The Hittites (and all Canaanite) were Semites. Shem was the quintessential Semite, father of the race.

Shem was the conduit for Yawistic religion through the flood and beyond to all Semites.

We know that Abraham's fathers had apostatized, and the true religion and its Priesthood were lost. Abraham received that Priesthood from Melchizedek, even though Shem was still alive. If Shem was not the king of Salem (= "prince of peace") and the king of righteousness (= "Melchizedek"), then whoever was was a usurper.

The question we should ask is, "Where was Shem?"

Lehi

As has probably already been mentioned Shem, in legend, was Melchizedek. According to later rabbis Shem came to Jerusalem and became their priest/king. The following is from the Jewish Encyclopedia...

He went to meet Abraham to show him that he was not angry with him for having killed the Elamites, his descendants (Midr. Agadah on Gen. l.c.). Shem, however, forfeited the priesthood by mentioning in his blessing Abraham's name before that of God, so that God took his office from him and gave it to Abraham (Ned. 32b; Pirḳe R. El. xxvii.). According to the Midrash Agadah (l.c.) Shem himself asked God togive the priesthood to Abraham, as he, in his prophetic capacity, knew that he (Shem) would have no children eligible for the sacerdotal office. Contrary to the Pirḳe R. El. and Gen. R. (xliii. 10), the Midrash Agadah explains that it was Shem who gave tithes to Abraham, showing that he recognized him as priest (see Gen. R. xliii. 7). The Rabbis point out that in certain cases Shem ranked as the equal of Abraham; so that the latter was afraid lest Shem might be angry at him for having slain the Elamites and might curse him (Gen. R. xliv. 8; Tan., Lek Leka, 19). In another instance God made a compromise between Shem and Abraham, namely, with regard to the name of the Holy City, the place of the Temple, which Abraham had called "Jireh" (Gen. xxii. 14; see Jehovah-jireh) and which Shem had called "Salem." God united both names; and thus arose the name "Jerusalem" (Gen. R. lvi. 16).Shem is supposed by the Rabbis to have established a school ("bet ha-midrash") in which the Torah was studied, and among the pupils of which was Jacob. Later, Shem was joined by Eber; and the school was called after both of them. Besides, the school was the seat of a regular bet din which promulgated the laws current in those times. Thus Esau was afraid to kill Jacob, lest he should be condemned by the bet din of Shem and Eber. The bet din of Shem proclaimed the prohibition of and the punishment for adultery; and according to this law Judah condemned Tamar to be burned ('Ab. Zarah 36b; Gen. R. lxiii. 7, lxvii. 8). Shem's bet din was one of the three in which the presence of the Shekinah was manifested (Mak. 23b). At Abraham's death Shem and Eber marched before his bier; and they indicated the place that was suitable for his burial (Gen. R. lxii. 6, according to the emendation of the text in Yalḳ., Gen. 110). At the division of the earth among the three sons of Noah, Shem's lot consisted of twenty-six countries, thirty-three islands, twenty-six out of seventy-two languages, and six out of sixteen scripts. Thus Shem took one script more than either of his two brothers: and this was the Hebrew script, in which the Torah was written. The other five were Egyptian, Libyan, Assyrian, Chaldean, and Guṭazaki (Guzarati ?) (Midr. ha-Gadol on Gen. x. 32, col. 182).W. B. M. Sel.

Read more: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=592&letter=S#ixzz1S0X9m9QR

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The question we should ask is, "Where was Shem?"

Why should we be asking that?

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Why should we be asking that?

Shem was a very important person in the history of the Earth. Of the three sons of Noah, he was the heir, both of the Priesthood and of the promised land (of Canaan).

And, as I noted earlier, he is the father of the Semites, of whom Abraham.

Further, since he was alive (and outlived Abraham), and since he was the senior High Priest of God, it must have been he who held the keys of the Priesthood when Abraham went to him to offer his tithe (long before the Law of Moses). If we do not know where he was when Melchizedek ordained Abraham, it seems that Melchizedek was unauthorized to confer the Priesthood on the father of the faithful—since Shem held the keys.

I believe, as many others here (and elsewhere), that Melchizedek was a "new name" or, probably better, The King of Righteousness was a title that Shem assumed when he became the prince of peace (Salem), the Priest-King.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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What hasn't been mentioned is that Melchizedek was a Jebusite which a tribal group from the Hittites. Why Abraham had such affinity for the Hittites is unknown. What is known he settled on land that was Hittite owned and both he and his family were buried on land that was owned by Ephron the Hittite. Cyrus Gordon has suggested that Abraham's birthplace was in Ura in Northern Mesopotamia as opposed to the Sumerian Ur which is located farther south. Gordon, Cyrus H. “Where Is Abraham’s Ur?.” Biblical Archaeology Review, Jun 1977, 20-21, 52. http://members.bib-arch.org/publication.asp?PubID=BSBA&Volume=3&Issue=2&ArticleID=5. This would, of course, show that Abraham was very familiar with Hittite, i.e., Jebusite culture and therefore, Melchizedek.

Nack mentioned it. Wasn't David's family also partly descended from Jebusites?

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What seems obvious to me is that Abraham was a Semite. The Hittites (and all Canaanites) were Semites. Shem was the quintessential Semite, father of the race.

Shem was the conduit for Yawistic religion through the flood and beyond to all Semites.

We know that Abraham's fathers had apostatized, and the true religion and its Priesthood were lost. Abraham received that Priesthood from Melchizedek, even though Shem was still alive. If Shem was not the king of Salem (= "prince of peace") and the king of righteousness (= "Melchizedek"), then whoever was was a usurper.

The question we should ask is, "Where was Shem?"

Lehi

Pretty sure that the Hittites were not Semitic. At least their names and language were indo-european.

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Pretty sure that the Hittites were not Semitic. At least their names and language were indo-european.

Whatever language they spoke, they were integrated into the Canaanite/Amorite peoples of Philistia: "The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites." "The Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites." "The Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites." "The Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites." "The Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites." "The Amalekites ... and the Hittites, and the Jebusites, and the Amorites, ... the Canaanites." Every time, save four (<13%), where the Hittites show up, they are listed among the Semitic peoples of the land of the Canaanites.

The people who spoke Nesili and those who spoke Hatti are unrelated. Those you point to do not seem to be the Hittites of the Old Testament.

Lehi

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Nack mentioned it. Wasn't David's family also partly descended from Jebusites?

Ooops...Sorry Nack.

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Pretty sure that the Hittites were not Semitic. At least their names and language were indo-european.

While they were culturally Indo-European they were also part Semitic in that they married into the dominant cultures of Phoenica and Syria both of whom were Semitic. Both Ezekiel 16:3 and 15 speak of the Jebusites as being Hittite/Amorite.

Ooops again...didn't see LeSellers post.

Edited by Ron Beron

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While they were culturally Indo-European they were also part Semitic in that they married into the dominant cultures of Phoenica and Syria both of whom were Semitic. Both Ezekiel 16:3 and 15 speak of the Jebusites as being Hittite/Amorite.

Ooops again...didn't see LeSellers post.

Yeah, I guess it depends on what we mean by Semitic. You could call them Semitic in the same sense that Ashkenazim are European or that the IE Philistines were Semitic.

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