Seal of Melchizedek: Symbol of Jesus Christ
The So-called Seal of Melchizedek, or 8-pointed star, points to Christ in so many ways. We will consider a few.
First: The Number Eight
Eight in Hebrew was symbolic of “beginning again” or “new start.” More often, the instances of Eight in the scriptures show a new beginning in Christ from an older or “corrupt” life. A child was brought to the Temple at 8 days of age to be circumcized and devoted unto the Lord. Eight souls were saved from a corrupt world aboard the ark of Noah to begin a clean, new life in Christ. Latter-day Saints are baptized at age 8. Eight souls went with the prophet Lehi out of the soon to be destroyed Jerusalem to start fresh in the “New World.” The new day of rest, the Sabboth, was changed by Christ to the Eighth day, or in other words, the first day of a new week, in the New Testament. And so on. Clearly, the number Eight points to a new life in Christ. Also symbolic of new beginnings such as baptism, marriage, and ressurrection, ordinances of Christ’s Gospel! What a powerful aspect of the Seal of Melchizedek symbol for Jesus Christ, His gospel, His Priesthood ordinances!
Second: Relation to temples
The symbol is found on the front of the altar in the Byzantine Mosaics mentioned in Hugh Nibley’s “Temple and Cosmos” from the Catholic basilicas in Italy, also picture on the Home page of this website. Behind the altar is Melchizedek. The altar, of course, symbolic of the temple. Also the symbol is the basis for the design of the San Diego Temple and has been added to the Salt Lake City temple. The symbol’s association with Temples cannot be under-stated! The Temple, of course, is the House of the Lord, and also points us directly to Jesus Christ, His gospel and ordinances!
Finally, a third evidence, the eight-pointed star in other cultures/religions
A different version of the eight-pointed star was very common in Babylonian art to indicate diety. Islamic mosques are based on the eight-sided star and it is very, very common in their decor throughout the Middle East. The symbol is found in Buddhist temples, and many other buildings of worship to the supreme Creator or God. Again, the symbol to many times and cultures pointing to God, or Jesus Christ as known to Christians!
All these evidences and more reveal the amazing heritage and value of this so-called Seal of Melchizedek. To understand it is to allow the power of symbolism to direct one’s mind and soul to Christ. These are the beginnings to understanding its power. We invite you to ponder further, especially in the light that the Lord teaches most often through symbolism, whether through parables, temples, or scripture.
Why does God use symbolism?
Symbols, metaphors and parables are often used in spiritual teachings to give insight to those who are ready to hear and understand: “He who hath ears, let him hear…” Jesus in New Testament times used common, everyday examples like bread, coins, farming, and water to help his listeners understand and relate to his higher spiritual message. Even in Jesus’ time, ancient Hebrew symbolism had deep meaning and far-reaching effect on the minds of the people. Let’s explore some of the significance behind the numbers and shapes that can be found in the “Seal of King Melchizedek”: