What Is The Order Of Melchizedek? Exploring The World’s Oldest Priesthood

Who is Melchizedek?

Hear he, hear he; the Order of Melchizedek will now taketh place.

For thou whom wishes to be initiated into the Order, taketh thine bread and wine from thy high priest.

Haveth taken thou oath, renouncing whence ye have known, thou shalt walk through the flames of baptism, and emerge as an initiate — initiate meaning an eternal service to the Order of Melchizedek.

Sounds like a scene from this year’s Renaissance Fair.

While the Order of Melchizedek is related to priests and baptism, it was likely not the focus of any event at the Renaissance Fair.

The Order of Melchizedek is an archaic priesthood that continues to elude history. Its principles have permeated human cultures all over the globe, yet it’s origin remains unknown.

It shaped Christianity and Gnosticism 2,000 years ago. It was present during the emergence of Judaism over 4,000 years ago. And, there are even older parallels between Melchizedek and the ancient Egyptian God, Thoth… which predate history.

In more recent times, the priesthood of Melchizedek influenced the Knights Templar, the Freemasons, and is also recognized by the Mormon church.

But what exactly is the Order of Melchizedek? Who was Melchizedek and why is he still so significant?

The Order of Melchizedek Throughout History

Here, we will explore some of the most credible and relevant references to the Order of Melchizedek throughout time. We will only dive into the more prevailing sources in history, although Melchizedek is mentioned in a variety of lesser-known esoteric texts.

Initiates in the Order of Melchizedek

The Bible

Melchizedek is sparsely mentioned in the Bible: in the books of Genesis, Psalms, and Hebrews. However, these vague biblical references provide the foundation of our knowledge on Melchizedek.

In the book of Genesis, Melchizedek appears (out of nowhere) to bless Abraham. In turn, Abraham pays tribute to Melchizedek by sharing a tenth of his spoils from his raid in Sodom.

Melchizedek is described in Genesis as “a priest of the most high God” and the “King of Salem.” The word salem literally translates to “peace,” making Melchizedek the “King of Peace.”

In the book of Hebrews, Melchizedek is characterized as being, “without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.”

Furthermore, the book of Psalms prophetically illustrates Jesus as “forever a priest in the Order of Melchizedek.”

It is clear Melchizedek commands honor and respect, even from holy figures like Abraham and Jesus, and his description in Hebrews would lead us to believe he is an eternal being.

The Origin Of Jewish Priesthood

The Jewish priesthood (by religious law) is passed by lineage — only the son of a priest can become a priest (patrilineal).

Melchizedek is the first priest in the Torah (the central text of Judaism).

However, the first human priest was Adam, and the priesthood was then passed through his offspring. After the flood, Noah takes the mantle of the high priest, who passes it to Shem (Noah’s son).

From Shem, the title “high priest” skips 9 generations and gets passed on to Abraham through Melchizedek.

This poses a conundrum in Jewish law.

In the Torah, Melchizedek does not exist in the patriarchal lineage, yet he is able to bestow the priesthood upon Abraham and his lineage. For this reason, some Jews believe that Shem is Melchizedek.

In Jewish texts, like the Talmud, Melchizedek shares the same Hebrew name with Shem’s nickname (מלכי־צדק). However, there is no evidence to support this outside of Jewish texts.

The priesthood continues to pass patrilineally to this day. Genetic testing has shown that 60% of all Jewish priests share a single common ancestor about 3,000 years ago, around the time of Abraham. So, Melchizedek may have been the origin of the Jewish priesthood that exists today.


Gnosticism developed out of Judeo-Christian mysticism around the time of Christ.

The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Bruce Codex are Gnostic texts that contain information on Melchizedek. Like the Bible, they seem to create a correlation between biblical figures and Melchizedek.

The deterioration of the Dead Sea Scrolls has obscured much of the text surrounding the coming of Melchizedek. But, he is clearly depicted as the leader of God’s angels in the war against darkness, ranking above the Archangel Michael (whom the Bible cites as the leader of God’s angels)   

The Bruce Codex is a manuscript found in Upper Egypt. The manuscript is a compilation of different texts, many of which are not understandable or relatable. It was intended for initiates of mystic schools in life pursuit of Gnostic and esoteric knowledge.  

The Bruce Codex was passed down from initiate to initiate meaning that over time it became a record of secret knowledge acquired through the ages.

Recorded within the Bruce Codex are instructions by Jesus for baptism through fire (as opposed to holy water). Melchizedek is said to be the beholder of this holy fire, which, like holy water, purifies the body and washes away past sins.

Another Gnostic text, the Pistis Sophia, supports and expands the Bruce Codex’s explanation of Melchizedek. It portrays Melchizedek as a guide, leading souls towards the light of God (also known as the Light of the Seven),

What’s In A Name?

What is the Order of Melchizedek?

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

– William Shakespeare

While this saying is true for most things in life, it’s not so much true for the name Melchizedek. The name, itself, is an important clue to understanding the nature of who, or what, Melchizedek is.

The name is translated from Hebrew and is broken into two parts:

Melchi, meaning “my king”.

Zedek, meaning “righteousness”

Together, the name is translated to “My king is righteousness.” This distinction implies that Melchizedek is more of an idea or value, rather than a being with an ego.

Zedek is also the Hebrew name for Jupiter.

Uncoincidentally, Jupiter displayed unusual brightness during the time of Abraham. The planet was used to orient travelers. It would have lit up the night sky during Abraham’s journey back from Sodom (where he encountered Melchizedek).

Supporting this planetary connection, Jupiter happens to be the ruling planet of Aquarius — the constellation associated with baptism.

So, Who is Melchizedek? 3 Main Theories

The historical record is incomplete and inadequate when it comes to Melchizedek.

There are numerous connections we can make, many of them contradictory, but they all contribute to theories that can be used to uncover the mystery.

There are 3 main theories as to who (or what) Melchizedek is (or was):

  1. The spirit of Jesus, or the “Holy Spirit” —  an eternal being who materializes in specific humans throughout time to lead mankind toward the light of God.
  2. An idea — the union of priest and king into a single concept, representing a merging of consciousness between two dually opposed ideas (church and state).
  3. An Ascended Master of Atlantis — a teacher in ancient mystery schools, who was later reincarnated as both Thoth and Hermes.

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Who (or what) do you theorize Melchizedek is? Share your thoughts with us in a comment below!

Natasha Wanderly

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

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