Under Foot from Hebrews

Under feet and footstool are mentioned several times in the Book of Hebrews.  Jesus and Melchizedek are whose appendages and furniture we are referring to.  Of course, these references come from Psalm 110 that was written by David.  I will bring in other references so that we can have a larger picture of this topic.  This study will end with Hebrews 12:13 which after some reflection really surprised me.

Footstool – Hebrews 1:13 and 10:13 are the references to Psalm 110:1 and a footstool.  This is the beginning of the tradition of Melchizedek being a military messiah as well as a priest forever of the Lord.  1:13 is in a set of verses that deal with the “Son” and His superiority to angels.  (The name Jesus is not used until 2:9.)  10:13 has the enemies of Jesus being the footstool but this is because of The ONE SACRIFICE that allowed Him to take back the keys.  The concept is that Jesus is waiting for this to happen.  Luke 20:43 and Acts 2:35 reference Jesus speaking of David and the Messiah and again Psalm 110 is the verse He is quoting. 

Enemies are not the only thing that is a “footstool” in Scripture.  Matthew 5:34 and Isaiah 66:1 note that the earth is God’s footstool. David in 1 Chronicles 28:2 wants to build a house for the Ark as a footstool for God. (Some translations give the idea that the house is the stool while others seem to imply that the Ark is the footstool.)  I think, that Lamentations 2:1 pulls in Jerusalem as the “splendor of Israel” into the Temple and Ark.

We are also directed in Psalm 99:5 and 132:7 to worship at the Footstool of God.

Under Foot or Feet

I guess I separated footstool and underfoot because if you are using a footstool you should be sitting down.  Things can be “underfoot” if you are walking or standing.  Also, people have Creation under their feet in Psalm 8:6 and the Woman in Revelations 12:1 has the moon under her feet.  God in Exodus 24:10 has dinner with Moses and the seventy elders with a lapis lazuli pavement under His feet (that always sounds like the blue ball we live on).  2 Samuel 22:10 and Psalm 18:9 has God parting the heavens and there are dark clouds under His feet and not a footstool.

Enemies and everything is the main things that will be under Jesus’ feet.  There are many references – Hebrews 2:8, Ephesians 1:22, 1 Corinthians 15:25+27, Matthew 22:44, and Mark 12:36.

Hebrews 12:13

This verse echoes Proverbs 4:26. My reflection on this verse is that Jesus is stepping on enemies and putting everything under His feet, so when we are not turning to the left or the right the path behind Him is smooth.

Miracles, People, and Teachings Before Palm Sunday

The miracles, people, and teachings of Jesus’ trip before Palm Sunday need to be combined with Holy Week’s activities and His work from Passover to Pentecost to have a

Jesus on the Donkey

solid look at what the Church needs to be doing in the world today.  Lately, when I have focused on a small block of time I have a lot of questions as to the content of the teachings and the miracles.  But I come back to the fact that the Gospels were written by the Holy Spirit and just put on paper by men.  So, try and look at these not as individual stories and events but as a unified collection of activities that are to show us more of how we should be living.

The hashtags and numbers refer to my attempt at a chronology order in The Triumphal Entry.  (As a study this may not be super detailed as you would like so you make it your own, then let me know and the post may be edited.)  

Miracles

  1. Matthew 19:2 healed them (the crowd). Matthew list no other miracles other than the prediction of his death. #1,7. Matthew wrote for the Jewish reader.  Since they usually demanded “signs” you would think he would have included more miracles.
  2. Ten Lepers #1. Luke was writing as a witness to a Gentile.  One of the ten was a Samaritan.
  3. Lazarus #3,5,10,11 This is one of the miracles John uses to prove Jesus is the Messiah, He could defeat death.
  4. Bartimaeus #8 I do wonder if he became important to the Church in Jerusalem.
  5. Zacchaeus – knowing he was there and stopping #9 Jesus’ ministry was to Israel, no matter how hard they had become.
  6. Predicts His own death #7 This prediction was to prepare the disciples for Easter Sunday.

People

  1. #1,11,12,13,15 Large crowds with healings- Matthew 19:1, 20:29. John 11:41+42 miracles believing. Mark 10:1 taught them.
  2. #1,3,4,5 Pharisees, Caiaphas, and his prophecy 
  3. #1,6 Little Children
  4. #6 Rich Young Man
  5. #6 Peter – “we have left everything”
  6. #7 The Twelve Disciples – predication of death 
  7. Mother of Zebedee’s sons – James and John, the Ten (with Judas)
  8. #3,5,10,11 Lazarus, Mary (anointed Jesus with Nard), and Martha 
  9. #8 Blind Men (Bartimaeus)
  10. #9 Zacchaeus
  11. #12 Two Disciples for the donkey (Peter and John?) We do not know which two disciples Jesus sent but these two as part of the inner circle would be a good guess.

Teachings 

  1. Divorce
  2. Receive the Kingdom like a little child 
  3. End times/leaving and getting/Workers in the Vineyard.  Luke 17:20 – 38 more in-depth
  4. Pray and the widow, Pharisee and the Tax Collector, Three Servants and Money (only Luke)  
  5. Teaching about His death
  6. Who is great among you

Places 

Across the Jordan #2

Ephraim (only in John) #4, This is the name of Jospeh’s second son who was “made first son” by Israel.

Mark 10:10 has them in a house.

Jericho #8,9

Bethphage and Bethany #3,5,10,11

Mount of Olives #12,13 The Mount is first called this in 2 Samuel 15:30 and Zechariah 14:4 connects it to Jesus’ Second Coming. 

The Triumphal Entry Ending in a Palm Sunday Ride

The prophecy below heralds Jesus’ Palm Sunday triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (KJV)

But this is just the last leg of His tour de force procession that leads to His Kingship.  I see His journey starting in Luke 17:11 (healing ten lepers) because in Luke 19:37 the people are praising Jesus because of the miracles they had seen. The verses below chronicle the miracles that were done as Jesus traveled to His sacrifice as the Lamb of God.  His location is important as well as the teachings and other events that are written in the Gospels.     

Jesus is following a path (from the Jordan to Jerusalem) that was first marched by Joshua when he crossed the Jordan River and started the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 3).  Elisha in 2 Kings 2:13 walked roughly the same route after his anointing from Elijah.  

Note #1 – Because of the length I have a separate post on just the miracles, people, and teachings.

Note #2 – Some locations and timings are hard to place, especially John 12:1+2.  The distance from the Jordan to Bethany/Jerusalem is not great.  So, I can see Jesus walking to and from it several times.  That is however for you to decide.

Matthew 19:1-21:12, Mark 10:1-11:11, Luke 17:11-19:44 (18:31), John 10:40-12:19

All references are from the King James Version of the Bible. The bold and italics are added.

  • #1 Luke 17:11+12 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers
  • #2 Matthew 19:1 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan

                        Mark 10:1 And he arose from thence, and cometh into the coasts of Judaea by the farther side of Jordan: and the people resort unto him again; and, as he was wont, he taught them again.

John 10:40+41 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

  • #3 John 11:18 (The story of Lazarus) Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off
  • #4 John 11:54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.
  • #5 John 12:1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
  • #6 Mark 10:17 And when he (Jesus) was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? (The Rich Young Man) Added explanation. Matthew and Luke also have a version of this story.
  • #7 Mark 10:32+33 And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him, Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death

Matthew 20:17+18 And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death

Luke 18:31 Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go    up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.

  • #8 Mark 10:46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging.

Luke 18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging

  • #9 Luke 19:1+2 And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.  And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

                        Luke 19:11 And as they heard these things, he added and spake a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear.

  • #10 John 12:1+2 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.  There they made him a supper
  • #11 John 12:9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus
  • #12 Matthew 21:1+2 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her

                        Mark 11:1 And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples

Luke 19:28+29 And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem.  And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives

  • #13 Luke 19:37 And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen
  • #14 Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it
  • #15 John 12:12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem

Melchizedek in Hebrews

The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews did a tour de force presentation of Melchizedek as a type of Jesus.  As a Book, Hebrews beautifully joins the Old Testament to the New Testament. The main topic in chapters one through ten is Jesus as the new High Priest of God and His superiority above all priests and other apostles or “sent ones”.  This is shown by His personal commission from the Father and by His sacrifice and His blood.  But why spend so much time dealing with Melchizedek?  (A reference source I used is pages 406 – 438 of The New American Commentary of Hebrews by David L. Allen.) He is mentioned only three times in the Bible.  

  1. His introduction is in Genesis 14 where he interacts with Abraham.
  2. Psalm 110 where his messianic typology is recorded by David.
  3. In Hebrews where His priesthood is expounded and compared with the Messiah, Jesus. 

Hebrews was written to exalt and “explain” Jesus.  Because Melchizedek, through David, had become a type of messiah we feel we must attribute many great things to him.  He is a type of Jesus, not a competitor.  So, “in the order of Melchizedek” is not a super-secret priest club.  He was a Canaanite king that was not in the family line of Terah, as far as we know.  He is associated with Jerusalem/King’s Valley because he has the title of “king of peace” and he was a priest of the God Most High.  (Jerusalem is a footnote in my Bible, it is not named until Joshua 10:1.) 

History 

  1. Canaan is the son of Ham, who was cursed by Noah in Genesis 9:25.
  2. Joshua 10:1 has Adoni-Zedek king of Jerusalem forming an alliance to attack Gibeon/Israel.  Adoni means lord and Zedek translates into righteous, but he did not act like Melchizedek.  His plan was to attack God’s chosen people, not bless and refresh them with a meal.
  3. The uncomfortable thought that God had connected with someone (Melchizedek) outside of Abraham’s family may offend many of our paradigms.  That, however, is the foundation of the greatness of Jesus’ Priesthood outside of the family of Aaron.  
  4. Balaam is not identified as a prophet or priest but as someone who worships God, hears the Lord speak, and had the Spirit come on him.  He walks in the promises of Abraham (Numbers 22:6).  I can see him as a descendent of Abraham through Keturah, his third wife, or even Ishmael his first son. (Numbers 24:2 and 22:18 are verses for his relationship to God.)  The reality of Balaam is he heard God and he did offer sacrifices, even if it was through divination and not relationships.  He also loved money and betrayed the Children of Israel.
  5. Exodus 19: 22 and 24 mention priests in Israel before Aaron, his sons, and the Law.  Were they inferior imitators of Melchizedek? 
  6. Gideon was from Manasseh, yet the Lord (Hashem) order him to build an altar and offer a sacrifice (Judges 6:25).  Was he acting as a priest in the order of Melchizedek?
  7. Job is identified as a servant of the Lord, nothing else!  In chapters one and forty-two he offers sacrifices for his family and friends.  He may have been a contemporary of Abraham but like Melchizedek, we do not know about his family tree.
  8. David does many things that are “priestly” in nature.  He could not be a priest after the order of Aaron because he is from the tribe of Judah.

Psalm 110 and David

Psalm 110 certainly extends the idea of a messiah for Israel being a military leader. I can see this psalm written in the timeframe of 2 Samuel 2:1 when David was made king in Judah.

Many times, Jesus was asked if He was going to “restore the kingdom of Israel” (Acts 1:6).  This was in part because of the legends that were built around Psalm 110 and “another David” who would lead Israel.   Matthew 22:43-45, Mark 12:36+37, Luke 20:42-44, Acts 2:25+34 are all verses about Psalm 110.  It is clear that David was not talking about himself.  

LORD VS. Lord – In Psalm 110 these two words are used and it can cause some confusion.  The Gospel references highlight these different terms.  LORD is Hashem (OJB) and means “the name” or God.  Lord is Adonai, this does mean lord but is used in a wide variety of references.  It can refer to God, a king, a husband, or your boss.  This is the point that is made in the Gospel references.  Verse one could be read – God says to my king.  In verse five, I keep feeling that has the king, Adonai, at the right hand of God.  Christians clearly see these as references to Jesus, which is what the writer of Hebrews is also referring to. 

A Kingdom of Priest

Exodus 19:6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. (KJV)

Revelations 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (KJV)

In Exodus 19:6 it is clear what the Father wanted to do.  This is written before Moses starts his many coming and goings on the Mount.  God wanted a holy group of people who could act as priests.  This is still the heart of the Father and what the Church should be.  In Revelations, the thought is still there but it sounds like we have/are catching up to God’s original plan.

What About …

Is Melchizedek a supernatural being?  Is he an example of the pre-incarnate Jesus?  Is he a non-Hebrew priest of God Most High that we know very little about, especially his linage?  According to David L. Allen the phrase “without mother or father” indicates there is nothing listed/known about that part of his life.  So, a pre-incarnate Jesus is a possibility, or like Terah and Abraham, he had a heart open to God and chose to follow Him.

Personal Takeaway 

I have tried to explain why Mary must or could have had a priestly ancestor.  I have not done well with that thought.  Now, I know and understand that my striving was unnecessary.  Jesus’ priesthood does not depend on the Law.  When there is a change in the Law there is a change in the priesthood.  I believe I am correct in this thought – Melchizedek, no Law; activate the Law, Aaron; Jesus satisfies the Law and now the priesthood is in the “order of Melchizedek” like the writer of Hebrews explained.  Like Jesus, we are priests unto God in the order of Melchizedek.

The Sword’s Ayre – The Stirring

The Sword’s Ayre is a collection of stories revolving around the lands of Teras and Semeia.  My hope is that it will read like a faery tale after the tradition of European literature.  The Stirring is the first book in this series.  It is an allegory of a Christian being called into the service of Jesus.

When I started researching for The Stirring I read fairytales, folk stories, and legends from many of the mainland European countries.  I found that many of the stories were shared across boundary lines that divided countries, but not people.  There may have been slight variations, but the core of the stories remained the same. The three islands (England, Ireland, and Iceland) have added their own stories and twist into the mix.  And each country held and added their own stories to the collection of verbal and written tales that make up the body of European tales.

In studying my family’s genealogy and learning more about the early history of Europe, it was easy to see why all of this sharing occurred.  Boundary lines and borders were present but people went across them in living their lives.  This led to the sharing of inventions, goods, art, and beliefs. That is history and to some extent, it is documented and can be called fact.  

The world of Teras and the Sacred Forest, however, belongs to Marek, Eliisabet, and Melchi the Messenger, and the other characters.  My story is a work of fiction.  I have added historical details to the tale for a touch of realism.  I have used places, names, and terms from many countries and time periods.  This was done for several reasons but mainly to produce a fun story for the average reader, not the historical purist.

My, pray is that my book(s) will be enjoyed as a tale.  Parents, if you read this to your children, I also hope that it will provide topics for you to discuss with them.