Follow the Money

Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. And indeed, those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him” (Hebrews 7:4-10).

“And he gave him a tithe of all.” is the way Moses records this historical event (Genesis 14:20. Without an inspired New Testament recounting of this transaction, a potential disagreement could arise over whether Abraham was the “he” or the “him” in this sentence.

When you follow the money of the patriarch’s tithe to the King-Priest of Salem, you come to a clearer understanding and appreciation of Melchizedek’s greatness. Though it is painful for a Jew to even consider the possibility of such, following the money reveals that Melchizedek was a man of spiritual dignity and rank greater than Abraham.

Concerning tithing, the Law of Moses taught:

  • Levites received tithes from their kinsmen; foreigners had no obligation to tithe to them.

  • Levites received tithes because of their divinely authorized rank; it was not necessarily because of a righteous character.

  • Levites were permitted to proclaim God’s blessing on others because of their divinely assigned rank.

Unlike the Levitical priests, Melchizedek received a tithe from Abraham who was not a fleshly kinsman. Unlike the Levitical priests, Abraham voluntarily gave a tithe to Melchizedek because he recognized the weighty gravitas of his righteous character. Like the Levitical priests, Melchizedek—the higher in rank—blessed Abraham—the lesser in rank.

The final discovery made when you follow the money is: Levi is inferior to Abraham. Abraham is inferior to Melchizedek. Therefore, Levi (and his priesthood) is inferior to Melchizedek (and his priesthood).

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Author: jchowning

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