The reason I believe Melchisedec can be identified has to do with Biblical accountability and typology. Allow me to explain through the following Bible characters and associated typologies. My answer may not be right, but then again, it just very well may be absolutely so!
In 2 Kings 2:11, Elijah gets caught up into heaven by “… a chariot of fire, and horses of fire…” In Deuteronomy 34:1-5, Moses lives to 120 years old, then dies on Mt. Pisgah in Moab. Now, most Bible believers already know, or have been taught, that the two witnesses of Revelation 11 are, in fact, Moses and Elijah…correct. When one follows the life and actions/miracles of these two, it becomes readily apparent that the same miracles mentioned in Revelation have already been played out by Moses and Elijah. This, not to mention the two people standing with Jesus when he transfigures himself in Matthew 17, are none other than…you guessed it…Moses and Elijah. There is more but is sufficient for now as a backdrop for understanding Enoch.
Moses and Elijah are both under the Mosiac covenant…not Enoch. Enoch has nothing to do, specifically, with Israel! Enoch lives nearly 1,000 years before the Law ever comes to being. Enoch gets “raptured” or caught up to heaven by God in Genesis 5:24. Now, if Moses and Elijah are accounted for in scripture then Enoch should also be accounted for.
Enoch only appears in three places in the Bible: Genesis 5, Hebrews 11, and Jude, in that order. Genesis gives us his history, Hebrews reaffirms his rapture, and Jude gives us tremendous insight about his ministry, previously unknown. He prophesies about Jesus’ return with his saints for judgment!
Elijah: He pictures a Tribulation Saint who gets raptured alive and returns for the 1,000 years and then dies. (He was taken up alive to heaven in 2 Kings 2:11, thus, he never died then but will in the future. (See Rev. 11:8-11)
Moses: He pictures a Tribulation Saint who dies during that time, is then resurrected and returns for the millennial reign with Jesus, then dies a second time during that 1,000 year period. (He died a natural death (Deut. 34) and then God took his body to heaven. Read Jude 9 for some insight into that event! Then, he returns in Rev.11, with Elijah, only to die again in the Tribulation.) All is in order with the only people taken to heaven except for Enoch!! So…
Enoch: He gets raptured at 365 years old (Gen. 5:24) before Noah’s flood (Gen. 6-8). He pictures a Gentile Body of Christ who gets raptured (365 days in Gentile calendar — not Jewish!) before the Tribulation Period. The Body of Christ is both Jew and Gentile, but unlike the early start of the Church Period where it was predominantly Jewish believers, the opposite is true today, at the end of the Church Period, where it is predominantly Gentile!
The Jewish nation doesn’t begin until after Abram gets called out of Ur in Genesis 12, so Enoch is taken well before Israel comes to being. Also, Jesus said, “… as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. 24:37) Thus, the Tribulation Period is represented by Noah’s flood in typology.
Enoch prophesies in Jude 14 and 15, about the Lord’s return, and in Revelation 19:14, it’s the Church that returns with Jesus! So Enoch represents the Raptured Church awaiting a return with our Savior Jesus Christ! Now for the connection with Melchisedec:
Melchisedec first shows up Gen. 14:18, after Abraham defeats the kings in battle and delivers Lot (pictures a Jew/Israel who makes it through the Tribulation without genuine faith but endures to end). The battle with the kings represents Armageddon (Rev. 16:12-16); we, (the Church) return with Jesus to set up the kingdom (Rev. 19:11-16) and “…have authority over… cities.” (Luke 19:15-17) and “shall also reign with him…” (2 Tim. 2:12).
So, Enoch gets raptured before the flood and reappears after the flood (when Abraham returns from battle) where he receives tithes from Abraham as Melchisedec. He is a “King of Salem” and “priest of the most high God.” (Heb. 7:1, 2, 4, Gen. 14:17-20) So, too, in Revelation 1:5-6, we are “kings and priests unto God” — “priests” during the Church Age and “kings” when we reign!
But why the name change? Moses and Elijah both return as themselves (although not named as such in Rev. 11 because only they know their new names, so John doesn’t know what their new names are but certainly knows WHO they are!!), but Enoch returns as Melchisedec, doctrinally, thus satisfying and accounting for Enoch. He is the only other person who was taken off this earth while alive with no further accounting. Now when the Church returns with Jesus to rule and reign with him during the Kingdom Age, we will do so with a “new name!” (Rev. 2:17, 3:12) Thus, we get raptured as John Doe but don’t return as John Doe but, rather, with a “new name”…just like Enoch!! So when Melchisedec shows up randomly, as it appears in Genesis 14, it totally fulfills the role that Enoch plays in typology.
Enoch, then, represents a believer who gets raptured while alive and returns to earth with Jesus to rule and reign with a new name during the Kingdom Age. When Melchisedec first showed up, he was already raptured and, consequently given a new name, creating some confusion as to where he, Melchesidec, came from. Hebrews 7:3 says, “…without father, without mother…” which can be explained because our lineage, once saved, is in Christ (Eph. 1:4, Pro. 8:29-31) and therefore, eternal “…without (human) descent.” You will not be known by your present name in eternity but, rather, by the name God gives you. Your last name, while important now, will be immaterial then. So then, technically, we too will be without descent !!
I hope this study opens eyes and hearts to the amazing truths still untapped in our King James Bible!
Written by Dr. Joseph Costa, Pastor