Genesis 14:18

Hebrew Bible

16 He retrieved all the stolen property. He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of the people. 17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 18 Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 19 He blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 Worthy of praise is the Most High God, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of everything.

Hebrews 7:3

New Testament

1 Now this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him. 2 To him also Abraham apportioned a tithe of everything. His name first means king of righteousness, then king of Salem, that is, king of peace. 3 Without father, without mother, without genealogy, he has neither beginning of days nor end of life but is like the son of God, and he remains a priest for all time. 4 But see how great he must be, if Abraham the patriarch gave him a tithe of his plunder. 5 And those of the sons of Levi who receive the priestly office have authorization according to the law to collect a tithe from the people, that is, from their fellow countrymen, although they, too, are descendants of Abraham.

 Notes and References

"... Hebrews 7:1-25 is based on a coherent Christological interpretation of Psalm 110.4 supplemented by Genesis 14:17-24 that leaves no room for speculation about a heavenly or angelic Melchizedek. The best assumption is that the writer sees in the mysterious appearance and disappearance of this genealogy-less priest a picture of the eternal Son of God who is the priest forever of Psalm 110:4. Melchizedek has only prophetic, but not soteriological significance. The lack of clear evidence for Melchizedek speculations contemporary with Hebrews confirms the conclusions reached in our study or Hebrews 7:1-25. Mainstream Jewish interpretation, represented by the Targums, the Rabbinic writings, and Josephus, understood the Melchizedek of Genesis 14:14-24 and Psalm 110:4 as a human being, often identifying him with Shem and his city Salem with Jerusalem. However. many have suggested that Philo and 11QMelch bear testimony to speculations about Melchizedek. Because of Hebrews' alleged affinity with both Philonic Judaism and Qumran eschatology it is important to investigate these claims ..."

Cockerill, Gareth Lee "Melchizedek Without Speculation: Hebrews 7.1-25 and Genesis 14.17-24" in Bauckham, Richard (ed.) A Cloud of Witnesses: The Theology of Hebrews in Its Ancient Contexts (pp. 133-134) T&T Clark International, 2008

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.