StoryOTB014_p29_MelchizedekBlessesAbrahamIn Genesis Chapter 14, we meet very briefly a figured named Melchizedek, King of Salem.  (Salem, or “Shalem” later because Jerusalem).

Abram (later to be named Abraham), has just returned from a battle with a series of Kings which, incidentally includes Nimrod (the King Amraphel of verse 1 is Nimrod):

“…According to Rab and Samuel, Amraphel is identical with Nimrod. Some say Amraphel was his real name, and he was called Nimrod, “the chief rebel,” as leader of the tower-builders, “who led the world unto rebellion” () against heaven’s Ruler; others again say Nimrod was his real name, and he was called Amraphel as the one who “commanded them to cast Abraham into the fire” () (‘Er. 53a and Targ. Yer. to Gen. xiv. 1). Among other fanciful etymologies the name is explained as that of one whose “commands brought darkness [destruction] on the world” (), or of one who “provoked and made sport of the world” () (see Gen. R. xlii.; Midr. LeḳaḦ Ṭob to Gen. xiv. 1, ed. Buber, i. 63, note 4; also Beer, “Leben Abrahams,” pp.130, 131). See also Abraham, Nimrod….” —Jewish Encylopedia

After the battle, Abraham rescues Lot, his nephew and meets the King of Sodom in the valley of Shaveh.  It is here that Melchizedek, King of Salem makes his appearance:

“…And Mechizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.  And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:  And blessed be the most high God, whih hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.  And he gave him tithes (lit, a tenth) of all…” – Genesis 14:18-20

Who was this Melchizedek, and where did he come from?

“…In the majority of Masoretic Hebrew text the name is written in as two words (“malki zedek”),[4] but in the Septuagint, New Testament, Latin Vulgate and Authorised King James Version it appears as one word…” – Wikipedia

“…From the two words we get “malki” as meaning “the king” and “tzedek”, meaning “righteous(ness)” or “justice”. This interpretation is upheld by modern scholars because in the Dead Sea Scroll QAmram 2.3 is found the opposite name Melchi-resha (“king of evil”) for a chief angel of darkness…” –Wikipedia

From the book “Patriarchal Palestine” by A.H. Sayce we read the following about Melchizedek:

“It is only since the discovery and decipherment of the cuneiform tablets of Tel el- Amarna that the story of Melchizedek has been illustrated and explained. The critics, in the superiority of their knowledge, had refused credit to it, and had denied that the name even of Jerusalem or Salem was known before the age of David. But the monuments have come to our help, and have
shown that it is the critics and not the Biblical writer who have been in error. Several of the most interesting of the Tel el-Amarna letters were written to the Pharaoh Amenôphis IV. Khu-n-Aten by Ebed-Tob the king of Jerusalem. Not only is the name of Uru-salim or Jerusalem the only one in use, the city itself is already one of the most important fortresses of Canaan. It was the capital of a large district which extended southwards as far as Keilah and Karmel of Judah. It commanded the approach to the vale of Siddim, and in one of his letters Ebed-Tob speaks of having repaired the royal roads not only in the mountains, but also in the kikar or “plain” of Jordan (Gen. xiii. 10). The possession of Jerusalem was eagerly coveted by the enemies of Ebed-Tob, whom he calls also the enemies of the Egyptian king. Now Ebed-Tob declares time after time that he is not an Egyptian governor, but a tributary ally and vassal of the Pharaoh, and that he had received his royal power, not
by inheritance from his father or mother, but through the arm (or oracle) of “the Mighty King.” As “the Mighty King” is distinguished from the “great King” of Egypt, we must see in him the god worshipped by Ebed-Tob, the “Most High God” of Melchizedek, and the prototype of “the Mighty God” of Isaiah. The origin of the name of Jerusalem also is now cleared up. It was no invention of the age of David; on the contrary, it goes back to the period of Babylonian intercourse with Canaan. It is written in the cuneiform documents Uru-Salim, “the city of Salim,” the god of peace.

From “The Book of the Bee“, we read:

NEITHER the father nor mother of this Melchizedek were written down in the genealogies; not that he had no natural parents, but that they were not written down. The greater number of the doctors say that he was of the seed of Canaan, whom Noah cursed. In the book of Chronography, however, (the author) affirms and says that he was of the seed of Shem the son of Noah. Shem begat Arphaxar, Arphaxar begat Cainan, and Cainan begat Shâlâh and Mâlâh, Shâlâh was written down in the genealogies; but Mâlâh was not, because his affairs were not sufficiently important to be written down in the genealogies. When Noah died, he commanded Shem concerning the bones of Adam, for they were with them in the ark, and were removed from the land of Eden to this earth. Then Shem entered the ark, and sealed it with his father’s seal, and said to his brethren, ‘My father commanded me to go and see the sources of the rivers and the seas and the structure of the earth, and to return.’ And he said to Mâlâh the father of Melchizedek, and to Yôzâdâk his mother, ‘Give me your son that he may be with me, and behold, my wife and my children are with you.’ Melchizedek’s parents said to him, ‘My lord, take thy servant; and may the angel of peace be with thee, and protect thee from wild beasts and desolation of the earth.’ Shem went by night into the ark, and took Adam’s coffin; and he sealed up the ark, saying to his brethren, ‘My father commanded me that no one should go into it.’ And he  journeyed by night with the angel before him, and Melchizedek with him, until they came and stood upon the spot where our Lord was crucified. When they had laid the coffin down there, the earth was rent in the form of a cross, and swallowed up the coffin, and was again sealed up and returned to its former condition. Shem laid his hand upon Melchizedek’s head, and blessed him, and delivered to him the priesthood, and commanded him to dwell there until the end of his life. And he said to him, ‘Thou shalt not drink wine nor any intoxicating liquor, neither shall a razor pass over thy head; thou shalt not offer up to God an offering of beasts, but only fine flour and olive oil and wine; thou shalt not build a house for thyself; and may the God of thy fathers be with thee.’ And Shem returned to his brethren, and Melchizedek’s parents said to him, ‘Where is our son?’ Shem said, ‘He died while he was with me on the way, and I buried him;’ and they mourned for him a month of days; but Melchizedek dwelt in that place until he died. When he was old, the kings of the earth heard his fame, and eleven of them gathered together and came to see him; and they entreated him to go with them, but he would not be persuaded. And when he did not conform to their wishes, they built a city for him there, and he called it Jerusalem; and the kings said to one another, ‘This is the king of all the earth, and the father of nations.‘”

Now, how is Melchizedek a prophecy of Christ?  First, Psalm 110 is a continuation of this Genesis prophecy, (which I will post about later).  In it, David, King of Israel, states that God said unto “my Lord”, to sit at God’s right hand until He makes the enemies his footstool.  This is significant because David is talking about someone other than himself, who he refers to as “my Lord”, in the future sitting at the right hand of God in Heaven until God has this person return to Earth and judge.  This person is also called a priest FOREVER after the order of Melchizedek, who again, was the High Priest of God.  This is absolutely referring to Jesus Christ, who through the line of David, gave the final sacrifice of Himself so that all would live who believed on his name:

Psalm 110 A Psalm of David.

{110:1} The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until
I make thine enemies thy footstool.
{110:2} The LORD shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule
thou in the midst of thine enemies.
{110:3} Thy people [shall be] willing in the day of thy power, in the
beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the
dew of thy youth.
{110:4} The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest
for ever after the order of Melchizedek.
{110:5} The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the
day of his wrath.
{110:6} He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill [the places]
with the dead bodies; he shall wound the heads over many
countries.
{110:7} He shall drink of the brook in the way: therefore shall he lift
up the head.

From the Second Apology of Justin Martyr, upon making the case that Melchizedek was a prophecy about Christ in Psalm 110:4:

And,” I continued, “I am not ignorant that you venture to expound this psalm as if it referred to king Hezekiah; but that you are mistaken, I shall prove to you from these very words forthwith. ‘The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent,’ it is said; and, ‘Thou art a priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek,’ with what follows and precedes. Not even you will venture to object that [King] Hezekiah was either a priest, or is the everlasting priest of God; but that this is spoken of our Jesus, these expressions show. But your ears are shut up, and your hearts are made dull.  For by this statement, ‘The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek,’ with an oath God has shown Him (on account of your unbelief) to be the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek; i.e., as Melchizedek was described by Moses as the priest of the Most High, and he was a priest of those who were in uncircumcision, and blessed the circumcised Abraham who brought him tithes, so God has shown that His everlasting Priest, called also by the Holy Spirit Lord, would be Priest of those in uncircumcision. Those too in circumcision who approach Him, that is, believing Him and seeking blessings from Him, He will both receive and bless. And that He shall be first humble as a man, and then exalted, these words at the end of the Psalm show: ‘He shall drink of the brook in the way,’ and then, ‘Therefore shall He lift up the head.’…

From John chapter 8, verses 56-58 we read:

“…Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?  Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am...”

Finally, Paul stated the case that Jesus was THE high priest after the order of Melchizedek in Hebrews Chapter 4:

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession.” – verse 14

and from chapter 5:

For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men
in things [pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: {5:2} Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. {5:3} And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. {5:4} And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as [was] Aaron. {5:5} So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. {5:6} As he saith also in another [place,] Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. {5:7} Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; {5:8} Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; {5:9} And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; {5:10} Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”

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