We first meet Melchizedek in Genesis chapter fourteen. Abraham met and gave tithes to him as he returned from a victorious battle. The whole incident is covered in just three verses. (Genesis 14:18-20) One might consider it to be a very insignificant incident in the Genesis record but later it becomes very important.
The next mention that we have of this Melchizedek makes him a very significant actor in God’s plan of redemption for mankind. Here it is: “The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [the Messiah] art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.” (Psalm 110:4) The meaning of this passage from the Psalms is explained in the Book of Hebrews. (Hebrews 7) It has reference to our High Priest – Jesus Christ. Jesus is a high priest not after the order of Aaron as under the law but rather Jesus is our High Priest after a much higher order – the order of Melchizedek.
How did the writer of Genesis know to include this brief incident of Abraham meeting Melchizedek? Did he know that nine hundred years later his name would come up in one of the great Messianic Psalms? Did he know of the importance the name Melchizedek would play in explaining the High Priesthood of Christ? Probably not, but the Holy Spirit who guided the Bible writers knew.