“For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; 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.”
Some have used this verse in an attempt to prove that Jesus is without “descent” or “beginning of days,” yet they seem to overlook some very crucial elements of this text.
Whatever this verse says about Christ it also says about Melchisedec. Melchisedec was an ordinary human who was a priest and a king. If this verse proves Christ had no beginning, then it also proves the same of Melchisedec.
Was Paul trying to teach some strange new doctrine concerning Melchisedec? If you read the context you find that Paul was demonstrating the superiority of the priesthood of Christ to the Levitical priesthood. This was his whole purpose for bringing up the geneology of Melchisidec. Levitical priests were required to prove that their geneology traced back to Levi, yet Melchisidec was exempt from this requirement. There is no biblical data that shows Melchisidec’s geneology. This is the point that Paul was making when he stated that Melchisedec was without father, mother, or descent.
A few verses later, Paul wrote of Melchisidec, “But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” (Hebrews 7:6, 7). Here Paul speaks of Melchisidec’s descent. Melchisidec had a literal descent but it was not recorded in Scripture and it certainly did not come from Levi. According to Paul, Levi’s descent was inferior to Melchisidec’s, thus showing that Christ’s priesthood is superior to Levi.
This is the burden of Paul’s writing in Hebrews 7. He was in no way indicating that Melchisidec, or Christ was without a literal father, mother, descent, or beginning of days. Instead Paul stated that neither Melchisidec nor Christ could trace their lineage to Levi.
If we take Paul’s writing here literally and conclude that neither Christ nor Melchisidec had a father, then we place Paul here in contradiction to himself, to Jesus Christ, and to the rest of the testimony of Scripture about Christ’s Father. If Paul was trying to teach in Hebrews chapter 7 that Jesus had no Father, then His whole first chapter is rendered meaningless. In Hebrews chapter 1 Paul uses the entire chapter to prove the reality of Christ as the Son of God and God as His Father.
Sadly, when trinitarians use He- brews chapter 7 to try to prove that Jesus is “without beginning of days,” they only focus on that one phrase, when it just as thoroughly proves that Jesus is “without father.” The fact is, it proves neither. Jesus literally has a Father, and He literally had a beginning when He was “brought forth” “before the hills” (Proverbs 8:24, 25). What He didn’t have is a Levitical descent.