Melchizedek is one of those really obscure characters in the Bible that doesn’t get much light shone on him. About all we have to go on is a handful of passages that have little to no details. The first mention of Melchizedek is in Genesis 14:
“And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was [is] the priest of the Most High God. And he blessed him, and said, ‘Blessed be Abram to the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, And blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand’. And he gave him tithe from all.”-Genesis 14:18-20
Granted that’s a pretty big head nod denoted above. Malḵi-ṣedeq מלכי־צדק- literatlly translates into King Of Righteousness right. So, this Righteous King gets the honor of blessing Abrams mission before he establishes the twelve tribes of Israel. To the Christian this is huge. Here is Abram, the man who is responsible for the foundation of the Semitic tribes who would later give rise to the birth of Logos in the flesh. No Abram; no mystery of Golgotha. Yet somehow theologians struggle with this concept so much that they have been known to write him off as a complete fantasy.
Rosicrucian doctrines simply highlight the verse found in Hebrews referencing the origin of Melchizedek:
“Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.”-Hebrews 7:3
For the Rosicrucian philosopher this verse ends the mystery. Without genealogy simply indicates there is no lineage that can be traced back to any of the tribes of Israel. Since the priestly classes have always passed down from Father to Son in a long line of succession it wraps up the whole mystery in a nice little bow. Melchizedek simply wasn’t a Semite so we must search outside of the Jewish genealogy to find an answer to who he is. They play up the theory that El Elyon denotes a Canaanite deity and tie the tale into Kemet. For them, Melchizedek is simply a priest of the monotheistic order of Akhenaten and can be traced back to Meryra.
While this is a fantastic segway to the verse in Hebrews 5:6 naming Christ as “a Priest Forever according to Melchizedek,” it just doesn’t hold any weight. There are massive amounts of rabbinical scholars, theologians and historians that can provide data tracing Yehoshuas- the human whose body was Christ in the flesh- lineage back with a fair level of certainty. Of course, there are discrepancies and counterarguments but the fact of the matter remains that while Melchizedek ties into the story of Christ, Christ was definitely born of a Semite tribe. Albeit, outsiders who lived in the caves of Qumran, but Semite none the less.
Of course, Anna May-Rychter was a student of anthroposophy. She did paint the figure with a ceremonial headdress with rays of light coming from above to below enveloping the beings body. The source of those energy lines could very well be from the spiritual realms. This seems to indicate that she believed Melchizedek has a cosmic origin. I don’t mean in the ‘we are all stardust’ way but actually a divine being guiding humanity.
There is an obscure reference to the complex nature of Melchizedek found in Psalms 110:
“The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”-Psalms 110:1-4
Of course Steiner being Steiner loved the fluidity of the Hebrew language and would reject this interpretation altogether. He postulated that the actual translation would read as follows:
“Thy people shall offer themselves freely, beautiful raiments of holiness, on the Day of thy Empowerment. Thou shalt receive thy disciples like dew, from the womb of the morning. For the Lord has sworn, and will not waver, Thou art a Priest in the order of Melchizedek forever.”-Psalms 110:1-4 (Steiners Interpretation)
When you tie Steiner’s understanding of Psalms 110 into the passage found in Hebrews 7:3 you can almost see a cosmic connection taking place. It’s as if this priest with no lineage was paving the way for the Logos to be made flesh. Would that imply that God had a divine plan that laid beyond all reasoning of our earthly rules and regulations? I mean, what’s a priestly class ordained by humankind to El ‘Elyon?
Rudolf Steiner postulated that Melchizedek was a divine being on more than one occasion. In one lecture on the Pistis-Sophia Steiner insisted that he was a “Light-purifier before Christ.” He saw these beings as guardians that ensured the path of Christ wasn’t tainted by malignant forces. From that perspective, Christ being attributed to the Order of Melchizedek simply meant that he was born into a line of protectors that ensured his coming.
It’s crazy how much sense Steiner’s theory actually makes when we think of how little we understand of kairos time. “No one knows about that day or hour. As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” What we know is a drop. Whether Melchizedek was one of the divine beings that influenced the Oracles of Kemet or a leader of some forgotten Mystery School from the long lost Atlantean times is speculative at best. About the only thing we do know is Melchizedek obviously had the divine authority to send the biblical patriarch Abram on his way. That means, with or without lineage, he had stroke.
Since The Triptych Grail is focused on the Christian Mysteries according to Steiner we can presume that this mysterious figure is tied into the cosmic events- the heavenly workings beyond our understanding- of Christ manifesting. It’s honestly the only sensible way to interpret Steiner. Mayhaps that’s why directly underneath Melchizedek in the painting we find Abraham, with Isaac and his grandson Jacob. Of course, the photocopies don’t provide us a clear picture so that assumption is based on the writing of the painter herself. I’m willing to take her word for it. Suffice it to say, it was her intent to portray Melchizedek as a divine protector of the bloodline that would give birth to Christ.
So, at some point after I’ve gone through the rest of the painting I’ll be glad to do a few posts on the other accounts of Melchizedek. He is fascinating to say the least. It’s no wonder that anthroposophists have meditated on this mystery in the way they have. To look at the divine lineage as one that has always had the unseen hand of God moving through it is bad ass.
Hats off to the free thinking mystics who meditate worldwide.
Thank you for reading.
NOTE: Anyone interested in reading about a truly in depth look at this painting should check out Adrian Anderson, Ph.D. He understands Rudolf Steiner intellectually in a way few do. I’ve used his works on numerous occasions to cross-reference my own studies. (Just giving credit where credit is due. He literally enhanced all the images I’ll be using and is making this series possible. You can find his book here. Rudolf Steiner’s Esoteric Christianity)