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Morrish Bible Dictionary
It is remarkable that the first priest spoken of in scripture is Melchizedek: he is said to be "priest of the most high God." Nothing is said of his offering sacrifices, but he brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abraham. Genesis 14:18,19 . He is a type of Christ, who is constituted a "priest after the order of Melchizedek," and who will come forth to bless His people in the future. See MELCHIZEDEK.
Before the institution of the Levitical priesthood, Israel had been redeemed out of Egypt. The object of priesthood was not therefore to bring them into redemption, but to maintain their position based on redemption before God. At first it was said that they should all be priests (Exodus 19:6 ), but law afterwards came in, and the service of priesthood was very definitely confined to the house of Aaron. The names of the twelve tribes were engraved on the breastplate and on the plates on the priest's shoulders: whenever he went in to the presence of God , the people were thus represented. So Christ is the great High Priest at the right hand of God, not for the world, but for His saints: "We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens." Hebrews 8:1 . He represents His saints there, and in virtue of His presence there, and of His experience here, He is able to sympathise with them in trial and to succour them in temptation.
The Lord was not nor could be a priest on earth, for He was not of the order of Aaron (Hebrews 7:14; Hebrews 8:4 ); but on the cross He offered Himself to God, the antitype of Aaron on the day of atonement. He was really Offering, Priest, and Victim in His own person, and, being perfected, is now the great High Priest above for the Christian. Hebrews 4:14-16 . See AARONIC PRIESTHOOD.
Christians are priests by calling, as being risen together with Christ, and have access to God: "an holy, priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 2:5,9; Hebrews 10:19; Revelation 1:6 .
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Morrish, George. Entry for 'Priest, Priesthood'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/mbd/p/priest-priesthood.html. 1897.