“You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.Psalm 110:4
This is a very specific statement which is hard to deal with apart from it being exclusive. There is only one in all of biblical history who has been described in this way. The statement is unique. There is only One in all of history Who has been referred to in this way. Thus if we take this statement at face value the odds are astronomical. The estimate of the number of people who have ever lived on the earth is circa 100,000,000,000 or approximately 100 billion. But that doesn’t help us any and if I chose that figure many would accuse me of exaggerating the figures for effect. But it is nonetheless true as only one in all history truly fulfilled the role of both priest and king, the Messiah, the One referred to as a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek – the King of Righteousness. Melchizedek was the king of Salem; he was a type of the Christ to come. Jesus was a King and Priest in the order of Melchizedek, but the reverse was not true. i.e. Melchizedek was not a king and priest in the order of Messiah.
If we took this statement at face value we might allow a theoretical probability of 2:100,000,000,000 or 1:50,000,000,000. However that is taking a broad approach to the inference and meaning of the King and Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
I intend to take a different approach and suggest we look at the priesthood of Israel more generally by using the Levitical Priesthood. After all the Levitical Priesthood were the representatives of God before the population and are a more normal ratio of priests to people. For this exercise let’s use the following verses as our base for calculation.
And all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and upward, all who were able to go forth to war in Israel: Even all those who were numbered were six hundred three thousand, five hundred and fifty.Numbers 1:45-46
These two verses give us a figure for all the men of Israel over 20 at a particular point in time.
All who were numbered of the Levites, whom Moses and Aaron numbered at the command of the LORD, throughout their families, all the males from a month old and upward, were twenty-two thousand . . . And all the firstborn males by the number of names, from a month old and upward, of those numbered of them, were twenty-two thousand two hundred and seventy-three.Numbers 3:39, 43
These two verses give us a more specific number of Levites born with the eligibility of being a part of the tribe of Levi and therefore eligible to be a Levitical priest.
So the formula for the calculation of the ratio for the those eligible to be Levitical priests compared with all males over 20 in the tribe of Levi Levitical Priest was 22,673:603,550 which yields a probability factor of 1:26.6. But again I will reduce the ratio to a base ten and opt for a ratio of 1:10 in order to keep the maths simple.