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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

He had no predecessor, nor will he ever vacate the office that another may take his place.

It is probable that Shem was the personage to whom Abraham paid tithes on his return from the slaughter of the kings.

Abraham died thirty-five years before Shem reached his five hundred and second year, after the flood.

At this date, Isaac was one hundred and ten, and Jacob fifty; so that they were contemporary with Shem for these periods of their lives.

There is no account of Shem's death in the scripture; on the contrary, it is testified, as we have seen, that the person called Melchizedec still lives.

Now, Melchizedec is a word expressive of the character of the person who bore it.

It signifies king of righteousness, or righteous king.

He was the greatest king in Canaan, and reigned in Salem, which signifies peace, and is afterwards called Jerusalem; so that this righteous king was King of Peace.

Shem, king of righteousness, and king of peace, and priest of the Most High God, is the type, contemporary with the holder of the promises, of the Seed, or Christ, on the throne of the Kingdom of God.

The word of the oath, saying, "I have sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec" having changed the priesthood of the kingdom, "there is made of necessity also a change of the law" of the State.

No revolution was more complete and radical than that necessitated by the substitution of the Melchizedec for the Aaronic priesthood of the commonwealth of Israel.

Under the Mosaic code the regal and pontifical offices were divided, and held by two distinct orders of men.

The regal was hereditary in the family of David, and the pontifical was hereditary in the family of Aaron; but when the new code shall be promulgated, that, namely, which is to "go forth from Zion" when Christ shall give peace to the world, and judge among the nations, the kingly and priestly offices will be united, and their functions exercised by one person, even Jesus, "who is King of Righteousness and King of Peace, the Priest of the Most High God," as Melchizedec was.

Jesus the High Priest will inherit the throne of David by virtue of the covenant made with him.

If there had been no other oaths than that with Abraham, and this with David, David's son could not have been a priest upon his throne; but the word of the oath coming in, the throne and pontificate of the kingdom become the right of Christ, the Lord.


In the everlasting covenant made with David it is declared of his immortal son by the Lord, saying, "He shall build a house for my name".

David wished to execute this great national work, but was forbidden.

It was afterwards accomplished by Solomon, and in this he eminently typified the "greater than Solomon," who is to construct a similar edifice, only on a vastly more magnificent scale.

This will appear from the following testimony.

After Solomon's temple was laid in ruins, and while the Jews, after their return from Babylon, were erecting a new one upon the site of the old, the word of the Lord came to the prophet, saying, "Behold the man whose name is the Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and shall be a priest upon his throne.

And they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord".

Let the reader turn to the texts below, and he will have no doubt as to the person styled the Branch.