Church of Christ
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20) Hebrews - Chapter 7:1-10
Melchizedek - There is a scaricity of knowledge about him.
- Genesis 14: Three short verses
- Psalm 110:4: Appears about 1,000 years later
- Hebrews 7:1: Another 1,000 years later
King of Salem - We know it as Jerusalem. "Salem" meant "peace". "Habitation of peace", or "city of peace", is its
name, but it has seldom known peace. This city David later chose as his capital when Hebron was too far south for
his united kingdom. Who were the people over whom he ruled? Genesis 14:18 is the first mention of the City.
Melchizedek was king and he was the priest of the Most High God. He seems to have been an actual king, in that
others such as the king of Sodom were mentioned in the same words.
Priest of God Most High - It seems a little strange that in a country abounding in corruption, a man would be found
preserving the pure worship of God. Sodom and Gomorrah was on one side and the Canaanites on the other, yet
here was a king who acted also as priest. The world had seemed to turn from God, but here was Melchizedek
remaining true. Christ came into a world of sin, yet he remained true and faithful, and became our sinless High
And met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings - Lot had been taken prisoner. Abraham completely
routed these men and released Lot. Being a priest of God that Abraham worshipped, we can see why these two
would be on friendly terms.
In Genesis 14:20 it is difficult to find who paid tithes to whom, but this verse leaves no doubt. This act of devotion
on the part of Abraham indicated a custom that was practiced in early times.
King of Righteousness - Jesus is also righteousness. Zechariah 2:10 - "Rejoice, O daughter of Zion, behold thy
righteous king cometh unto thee." It is actually in Christ's priestly function that He becomes our righteousness. See
King of Salem, which is King of peace - Abraham had moved into the territory of Melchizedek, but we see him
making a peaceful gesture toward Abraham, the victorious warrior. Genesis 14:18: He brought bread and wine. In
Psalms 104:15 we read: "Wine maketh glad the heart of man and bread strengthened the heart of man." This
gesture refreshed Abraham's servants, and thus proved Melchizedek's right for receiving the tithe, as well as being
king of a city whose name is "peace".
It is folly to ransack the archives of antiquity with the view of discovering more about him than Genesis 14 tells us.
He comes out suddenly from the dark invisible background of the drama of human redemption, then retires forever
without leaving any trace of predecessors or successors.
Without traced ancestry. This may mean in his position, for none are recorded before him or after him. Having
neither beginning of days nor end of life. His birth and death are not recorded, as though eternity were ascribed to
him. Calvin says this omission of birth and life was done to give us an idea of one above the common order of men.