Melchizedek is first mentioned in the book of Genesis: “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all” (Genesis 14:18-20).
From this passage, we learn that Melchizedek was the priest-king of Salem who joined the king of Sodom in welcoming Abram back from a war to rescue his nephew Lot. While Sodom’s king came to meet Abram with the purpose of obtaining the release of his subjects (Genesis 14:21), Melchizedek came to bless the victorious commander. And Abraham gave tithe to the king of Salem.
Melchizedek, means “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace” (Hebrews 7:2) since Jerusalem meant the city of peace. The city of Jerusalem is first attested in Egyptian records of the 19th century b.c., and was then ruled by Amorite kings.
Bible commentators have made guesses about the person of Melchizedek, who appears suddenly in the Biblical narrative only to disappear again into the impenetrable obscurity of ancient history. But based on what is known from the Bible, Melchizedek was a real Old Testament figure. He was not Christ but his work prefigured that of Christ as shown in the following references:
“The Lord has sworn and will not relent, “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Psalms 110:4).
“where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek…” (Hebrews 6:20 to 7:21).
Melchizedek’s unexpected appearance makes him in a certain sense a timeless figure, and his priesthood a type of the priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Is there any historical record of Melchizedek?
Melchizedek has no historical record although the Jews were very meticulous to write and preserve their genealogies. This was especially true concerning the priests (Ezra 2:61–63). No priest could minister unless he was part of Aaron’s family and the tribe of Levi. If there was a break in the lineage, he would be dismissed from the priesthood. For this reason every Jew, and especially the priests, kept carefully their genealogical records. But there was no reference to the genealogy of Melchizedek. This fact makes him a symbol of Christ who is without beginning or end and who is our high priest in heaven, or the New Jerusalem.
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In His service,