Should the Church Teach Tithing?

A Theologian’s Conclusions about a Taboo Doctrine

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD  

Melchizedek: Was He a Pagan Gentile?

1. Melchizedek was not a descendant of Noah through Seth.

Gen 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 4:26 is biblical proof that Melchizedek was NOT a descendant of Seth because Seth’s descendants knew God as the LORD, or Yahweh and Melchizedek only knew God as El Elyon.

2. Though a descendant of Seth, Abraham was still literally a Babylonian Gentile when he received the promises in Genesis 12, 13 and 15 because the event of Genesis 14 PRECEDED Abraham’s circumcision in Genesis 17!

Rom 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcisedthat he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also.


Romans 4:8-14 is ignored by those who argue that, if Melchizedek was a pagan Gentile, then Jesus is being compared to a pagan in Hebrews 7. They miss the point that Abraham himself was yet uncircumcised when he met Melchizedek. Read Romans 4:8-14!

3. “After the order of Melchisedec” occurs SIX (6) times in Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:11, 17 and 21. Clearly, the comparison is NOT to the “historical” Melchizedek but instead to “ORDER” of the historical Melchizedek as the first biblical mention of a priest-king. This does NOT demand that the historical Melchizedek must be a worshipper of the true God.  It only demands that the historical Melchizedek by a literal priest-king. Why is this simple truth so hard to understand???

Heb 7:11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

4. The Bible teaches that the historical Melchizedek’s NAME was a type of the Messiah, and then only “by interpretation.” Why is this simple truth so hard to understand???

Heb 7:2 “…being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace…”

Jesus Christ was NOT the “king of righteousness” and the “king of peace” “by interpretation.” Jesus Christ was LITERALLY the “king of righteousness” and LITERALLY the “king of peace.”

5.  The “historical” Melchizedek was “made like unto the Son of God” by those attributes which disqualified him from being a priest or high priest in Israel.

Hebrews 7:3 “… made like unto the Son of God …”

Jesus Christ was NOT “made like unto the Son of God.” The Bible does not teach that!  Jesus Christ “IS” the “Son of God.” Why is it so difficult to understand the play on words?

6. The phrase in Hebrews 7:15, “after the similitude of Melchisedec,” again refers, not to the historical Melchizedek himself, but to his office as a priest-king. Christ could not be “after the similitude” of Aaron because Aaron was not a priest-king.

7.   Page 28, Should the Church Teach Tithing?“: Objection: How can Melchizedek be a type of Christ if he was not a relative of Shem or Abraham and was a Canaanite?

The Bible takes many terms and names which have negative meanings and turns them into very positive spiritual meanings. (1) Jerusalem had its Semitic Canaanite name long before the Israelites captured it and “Jerusalem” did not originally refer to David’s city of peace. (2) The Semitic Canaanite Jebusites who ruled in Jerusalem for 1000 years after Abraham called their pagan fort, Mount Zion (2 Sam. 5:7). Only later did “Mount Zion” become a very holy term for both Israelites and Christians. (3) The brass serpent which Moses made in Numbers 21:8, 9 to remind Israel of its rebellion became a symbol of God’s healing. (4) In Habakkuk the Babylonian army is depicted as God’s army which will punish Israel. (5) The pagan King Cyrus of Persia is called “my shepherd” in Isaiah 44:28 because God used him to deliver Israel. (6) The cross of Jesus was changed from a symbol of shame and sin into a symbol of victory and life in Hebrews 12:2. (7) Since the vowel markings were not added to the Hebrew language until many centuries after Christ, the triad of MLK in the Canaanite language most often referred o MoLoK (see Amos 5:26 in Hebrew). The title, Abi-melech, the Philistine king of Gerar whom Abraham served in Genesis 20:2 probably means “my father is Molok.”

8. Pages 159-160, Should the Church Teach Tithing?:

The “historical” Melchizedek of Genesis 14 was NEGATIVE FOR ISRAEL:

(1) Melchizedek received tithes because of a long-standing spoils of war Semitic Canaanite law. Pagans required 10% of spoils; the Law only required 1%. Compare Gen 18:18-20 with Numbers 31.

(2) Melchizedek received tithes because he was the governing priest-king of Abraham and the region he traveled through.  ,

(3) Melchizedek worshiped El Elyon, the very common title for pagan Baal. Israel did not worship God using this name until 1000 years later—after King David captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites,

(4) Melchizedek worshiped Salem (Shalim), goddess of the dawn, and Zedek (Tsadeq) (Jupiter) god of justice—two very common lower gods in the Canaanite pantheon (research under ‘Phoenician gods’),

(5) Melchizedek honored El Elyon as the “god of the nations” known to Gentiles; Melchizedek did not know God as YAHWEH, Abraham’s covenant God (Deut. 32:8).

(6) Melchizedek had no recorded genealogy to prove that he was an Israelite or Levitical priest, therefore, he was not qualified to be a priest, DISQUALIFIED.

(7) Melchizedek had no recorded birth or death, therefore, had no legal proof that he could be the father of a priest in Israel. DISQUALIFIED.

The “typical” Melchizedek, Jesus, was a POSITIVE FOR ALL NATIONS:

(1) Jesus received tithes as proof that he was greater than Abraham; [Since Jesus was also the seed of Abraham, does that prove that Melchizedek was greater than Jesus? Of course not!]

(2) Jesus received tithes because he was “like” the Son of God, “typical”,

(3) Jesus, who was Israel’s YAHWEH, re-interpreted Melchizedek’s Canaanite title to become the title for the true God Most High,

(4) Jesus is the true God of Peace whom Melchizedek thought that he worshiped; Jesus is the true God of Righteousness whom Melchizedek thought that he worshiped

(5) Jesus’ New Covenant transcends Israel’s Old Covenant and reveals the true God as “God of the Nations,” “Most High God,” and this Semitic Canaanite NEGATIVE of Melchizedek becomes a POSITIVE for Jesus,

(6) Like the historical Melchizedek Jesus, on his God-side, had no recorded parents because he was Eternal God; however, unlike the historical Melchizedek, Jesus on his human-side, both his mother’s and his father’s genealogical record is in the Bible,

(7) Jesus, on his God-side is Eternal; however, unlike the historical Melchizedek the Bible records both a birth and a death for him.

Other considerations:

(1) The nature of Abraham’s the tithe was only pre Mosaic Law; it was not pre-Canaanite law. It is easy to prove that non-Israelites all around the Semitic world gave spoils of war tithes long before the Mosaic Law existed.

(2) Therefore, the very common declaration that Abram gave it “voluntarily” is unbiblical—it is not stated in the Bible.

(3) The percentage of Abraham’s spoils of war tithe is not from the Mosaic Law. Numbers 31:21, 26-29 described an ordinance from the Law which limits the spoils of war tithe to only one 1000th (.1%) instead of one tenth (10%).

(4) Whereas, the “historical” is only such “by interpretation,” the “typical” is such in reality.

(5) Whereas, the historical Abraham returned 90% to the King of Sodom, the typical, Jesus, would never consider such action.

(6) Whereas, the historical Melchizedek was only “made like the Son of God,” the typical, Jesus, WAS the Son of God.

(7) Concerning Levi’s tithe to Melchizedek: First, even if Melchizedek were a true priest of Yahweh, Levi would normally give a true tithe of only 1%, that is, one tenth of one tenth, to the priests; therefore his gift is only typical. Second, according to Numbers 31, Levi’s spoils of war tithe to the Aaronic priests would only be .1%, that is, one part in a thousand; therefore, his tithe through Abraham is, again, typical.

(8) Since Hebrews 7:13-14 excludes the historical Melchizedek, then Levi never did pay tithes through Abraham to the “historical” Melchizedek! He paid them to the “typical” Melchizedek, Jesus Christ. It is wrong to use Hebrews 7’s description of the typical Melchizedek in order to change the literal meaning of Genesis 14. Hebrews 7:13, “For he of whom these things are spoken pertains to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar,” cannot possibly “literally” change Genesis 14 because Hebrews 7:14 says Jesus came out of Judah (which is not true of the historical Melchizedek).

(9) The typical Levi paid tithes to the typical Melchizedek, that is, Jesus Christ—every time he forwarded his tenth of the tithe to the priests. This is because Jesus is the true High Priest of all believers with no genealogy because he is eternal.

For articles abouit Zedek being the same as Jupiter in Canaan see:,-by-James-OFee.html