Deborah W. Rooke, «Jesus as Royal Priest: Reflections on the Interpretation of the Melchizedek Tradition in Heb 7», Vol. 81 (2000) 81-94
In Hebrews’ portrayal of Jesus as a high priest, not according to the line of Aaron but of Melchisedek, there is no reinterpretation of traditional messianic categories. Rather, inasmuch as Hebrews has shown Jesus to be an exalted figure of sacral monarchy, it has depicted him as a truly messianic figure, in whose person the lines of both priesthood and monarchy converge. This is, in turn, entirely consistent with the emphases in Hebrews on Sonship and priesthood, since taken together these are the two major elements of the royal ideology out of which messianism grew. There should, therefore, be allowed more room in Hebrews for royal ideology than traditionally seems to have been the case.
upon these elements for a possible interpretation of Jesuss priesthood as one which is expressed in terms of sacral kingship27. Instead, many commentators deny that the reference to Judah has any positive significance in the argument28. Others have attempted to bridge the gap between the priestly christology which appears in Hebrews and the royal christology which appears elsewhere in the New Testament (and indeed, in Hebrews itself in terms of divine Sonship) either by reference to the Qumran doctrine of two Messiahs29, or by comparison with the second and first century BCE Hasmonaean priest-kings30. However, such comparisons are unnecessary, because the very model from which messianism developed was that of a king from the tribe of Judah who as son of God was required to fulfil a priestly function on behalf of his people, including offering sacrifice on their behalf at the altar and interceding for them in times of trouble. Hence, in being a member of the tribe of Judah who nevertheless fulfils a priestly role in apparent contradiction of the Law, Jesus satisfies perfectly a set of messianic criteria which are readily explicable in terms of the ancient sacral kingship which formed the basis for later messianic ideology.
2. Jesus, Priest in the Likeness of Melchizedek (Heb 7,11.15)
Another aspect of Jesuss priesthood which corresponds to that of the ancient sacral monarchs is the way in which, according to Heb 7,11.15, it is related to that of Melchizedek. Although Heb 7,11 refers to the priesthood of Jesus in the words of Ps 110,4 (LXX 109,4) with the phrase kata_ th_n ta/cin Melxise/dek, which is often rendered in English after the order of Melchizedek, in Heb 7,15 the phrase is glossed with kata/ th/n o(moio/thta Melxise/dek, after the likeness of Melchizedek, implying that this is how the writer interpreted the