Melchizedek is a character in the Bible who appeared in Genesis to the patriarch Abraham. He is called "king of Salem (believed to be ancient Jerusalem)" and "priest of the most high God" in Genesis 14:18.
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Reference to Melchizedek is brief in the Old Testament. Melchizedek first appears bringing bread and wine to Abraham (then Abram) after his victory (described in Genesis 14) over the four kings who had besieged Sodom and Gomorrah and had taken his nephew Lot prisoner. In return, Abraham gives Melchizedek a tithe of the bounty that he took in battle:
- Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. — Genesis 14:18-20 (NIV).
Psalm 110:4 names Melchizedek as representative of the priestly line through which a future king of Israel's Davidic line was ordained. The future king -- in Christian belief, Jesus Christ -- is referred to as a "priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek".
- The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind. You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. — Psalms 110:4 (NIV).
Some rabbinic scholars identify Melchizedek with Noah's son Shem. The account of Melchizedek given in the Dead Sea Scrolls has also divided scholars into two camps, one that touts his existence as a mortal man and another that identifies him with the archangel Michael.
Hebrews 7:3 in the New Testament refers to Melchizedek as a king "without father or mother or genealogy", a reference which some Christians take as referring to Melchizedek's true nature as an angel or even as Jesus himself, appearing thousands of years before his earthly incarnation.
Biblical references to Melchizedek
Genesis 14:18-20; Psalms 110:4; Hebrews 5:6-10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:1-17
A large portion of this article was taken from: Wikipedia. (2004). Melchizedek (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melchizedek). Retrieved Sapt. 20, 2004.