Genesis 14:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,

New Living Translation
And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine.

English Standard Version
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)

New American Standard Bible
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.

King James Bible
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High.

International Standard Version
King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine, since he was serving as the priest of God Most High.

NET Bible
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.)

New Heart English Bible
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest of God the Most High.

New American Standard 1977
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God.

King James 2000 Bible
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

American King James Version
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

American Standard Version
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But Melchisedech the king of Salem, bringing forth bread and wine, for he was the priest of the most high God,

Darby Bible Translation
And Melchisedec king of Salem brought out bread and wine. And he was priest of the Most High God.

English Revised Version
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Melchisedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

World English Bible
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.

Young's Literal Translation
And Melchizedek king of Salem hath brought out bread and wine, and he is priest of God Most High;
Study Bible
Melchizedek Blesses Abram
17Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley). 18And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. 19He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;…
Cross References
Hebrews 5:6
And in another passage God says: "You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek."

Hebrews 5:10
and was designated by God as high priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Hebrews 7:1
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him,

Psalm 76:2
His tabernacle is in Salem; His dwelling place also is in Zion.

Psalm 104:15
And wine which makes man's heart glad, So that he may make his face glisten with oil, And food which sustains man's heart.

Psalm 110:4
The LORD has sworn and will not change His mind, "You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek."
Treasury of Scripture

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

king.

Psalm 76:2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion.

Hebrews 7:1,2 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, …

bread.

Matthew 26:26-29 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke …

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good to all men, especially …

the priest.

Psalm 110:4 The LORD has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever …

Hebrews 5:6,10 As he said also in another place, You are a priest for ever after …

Hebrews 6:20 Where the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high …

Hebrews 7:1,3,10-22 For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, …

the most.

Ruth 3:10 And he said, Blessed be you of the LORD, my daughter: for you have …

2 Samuel 2:5 And David sent messengers to the men of Jabeshgilead, and said to …

Psalm 7:17 I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing …

Psalm 50:14 Offer to God thanksgiving; and pay your vows to the most High:

Psalm 57:2 I will cry to God most high; to God that performes all things for me.

Micah 6:6 With which shall I come before the LORD, and bow myself before the …

Acts 7:48 However, the most High dwells not in temples made with hands; as …

Acts 16:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the …

(18) Melchizedek king of Salem.--There is a Salem near Scythopolis in the tribe of Ephraim, near to which John baptised (John 3:23, where it is called Salim), and Jerome mentions that some local ruins there were said to be the remains of Melchizedek's palace. But such traditions are of little value, and we may eel certain that the place was really Jerusalem (Psalm 76:2); for it lay on Abram's route homeward, and was within a reasonable distance of Sodom, which, as we have seen, lay in the Ciccar of Jericho, at the northern end of the Dead Sea. Salem is a common name for towns in Palestine (Conder, Tent-work, i. 91), and the village in Ephraim is too remote to have been the place of meeting.

In Melchizedek we have a type of Christ (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6; Hebrews 5:10; Hebrews 7:1-21), and so venerable is his character and aspect that Jewish tradition identified him with the patriarch Shem, thus reconciling also to themselves his superiority over their forefather Abraham. But this idea is contradicted by Hebrews 7:3. He was more probably the king of some Semitic race who still occupied Salem, but from whom it was at a subsequent period wrested by the Jebusites, who called it Jebus, after the name of their ancestor (Judges 19:10-11). Up to David's days it seems to have still had a titular king (2Samuel 24:23), and upon his conquest of it its old name reappears, but with a prefix, and henceforward it was known as Jeru-salem, that is (probably), the possession of Salem.

The typical value of Melehizedek's priesthood lies not merely in his being "king of righteousness and king of peace," but even more in his priesthood being universal, limited by no external ordinances, and attached to no particular race or people. Moreover, he is a king-priest (Psalms 110), and by taking precedence of Abram. and blessing him, and receiving of him tithes, he became the representative of a higher priesthood than any that could spring from Abram's loins.

Bread and wine.--The representatives of food of all kinds, both liquid and solid. Though the primary object of this offering was the refreshing of the bodies of Abram's men, and of the prisoners wearied with their long march to and fro, yet we cannot but recognise in it a foreshowing of the bestowal by Christ, the antitype, upon His Church of the spiritual food of His most blessed Body and Blood.

Priest of the most high God.--Heb., of El 'elyon. The mention of the term priest (used here for the first time) shows that some sort of sacrificial worship existed at Salem. Sacrifice had, however, been practised before; for Abel had acted as a priest when offering his firstlings, and Abram at the various altars which he built. Apparently, however, Melchizedek had been set apart for the priesthood in some more definite way. El 'elyon means "the supreme God," and though the two words are so similar in English, they are altogether unlike in Hebrew. In Psalm 7:17 the epithet 'elyon is applied to Jehovah. With that precision in the use of the names of Deity which we have so often noticed before, Melchizedek is described as a priest of El 'elyon, the Supreme Ruler of the universe; but Abram swears by Jehovah El 'elyon, thus claiming that Jehovah was that Supreme Deity whom Melchizedek served, though without the special knowledge of Him which the patriarch possessed.

Verse 18. - And Melchisedeck. "King of righteousness" (Hebrews 7:2); an indication that the Canaanitish language was Shemitie, having been probably 'adopted from the original Shemite inhabitants of the country. Not a titular designation, like Augustus, Pharaoh, or Malek-ol-adel (rexjustus) of the Mohammedan kings (Cajetan), but the name of a person; neither an angel (Origen), nor the Holy Ghost (Hieracas), nor some great Divine power (the Melchisedecians), all of which interpretations are baseless conjectures; nor Christ (Ambrose), which is contrary to Hebrews 6:20; Norghem (Targums, Lyre, Willet, Luther, Ainsworth), which Hebrews 7:3 sufficiently negatives; but most probably a Canaanitish prince by whom the true faith was retained amid the gloom of surrounding heathenism (Josephus, Irenaeus, Eusebius, Calvin, A Lapide, Delitzsch, Keil, Rosenmüller, Candlish, Bush), though it has been suggested that "the enlightenment of the king of Salem was but a ray of the sun of Abram's faith" (Kalisch), an opinion difficult to harmonize with Hebrews 7:4. King of Salem = "king of peace (Hebrews 7:1). The capital of Melchisedeck was either Jerusalem, of which the ancient name was Salem, as in Psalm 76:2 (Josephus, Onkelos, Aben Ezra, Kimchi, Knobel, Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch, Murphy, Bush); or a city on the other side Jordan en route from Damascus to Sodom (Ewald); or, though less likely, as being too remote from Sodom and the king's dale, Salem in the tribe of Ephraim, a city near Scythopolis, where the ruins of Melchisedeck's palace were said to exist (Jerome), and near to which John baptized (Bochart). Brought forth bread and wine. As a refreshment to the patriarch and his soldiers (Josephus, Calvin, Clarke, Rosenmüller), which, however, was the less necessary since the spoils of the conquered foe were in possession of Abram and his men (Kalisch); hence mainly as a symbol, not of his transference of the soil of Canaan to the patriarch, bread and wine being the chief productions of the ground (Lightfoot), or of his gratitude to Abram, who had recovered for the land peace, freedom, and prosperity (Delitzsch), or of the institution of the Supper by the Lord Jesus Christ (Bush); but of the priestly benediction which followed and of the spiritual refreshment which it conferred upon the soul of Abram (Kalisch, Murphy). The Romish idea, that the act of Melchisedeck was sacrificial, is precluded by the statement that he brought forth the bread and wine before the people, and not before God. And he was the priest. Cohen; one who undertakes another's cause, hence one who acts as mediator between God and man, though the primary signification of the root is doubtful and disputed. The necessity for this office has its ground in the sinfulness of man, which disqualifies him for direct intercourse with a holy Being (cf. Kurtz, 'Sacrificial Worship,' ch. 1. b.). The occurrence of this term, here mentioned for the flint time, implies the existence of a regularly-constituted form of worship by means of priests and sacrifice. Hence the Mosaic cultus afterwards instituted may only have been a resuscitation and further development of what had existed from the beginning. Of the most high God. Literally, El-Ellen, a proper name for the Supreme Deity (occurring only here, in the narrative of Abram's interview with the kings); of which the first term, El, from the same root as Elohim (Genesis 1:1, q.v.), signifies the Strong One, and is seldom applied to God without some qualifying attribute or cognomen, as El-Shaddai, or El, the God of Israel; and the second, 'Elion (occurring frequently afterwards, as in Numbers 24:16; Deuteronomy 32:8; Psalm 7:18 [Psalm 7:17]; Psalms 9:2), describes God as the High, the Highest, the Exalted, the Supreme, and is sometimes used in conjunction with Jehovah (Psalm. 7:18 [Psalm 7:17]), and with Elohim (Psalm 57:3 [Psalm 57:2]), while sometimes it stands alone (Psalm 21:8 [Psalm 21:7]). Most probably the designation here describes the name under which the Supreme Deity was worshipped by Melchisedeck and the king of Sodom, whom Abram recognizes as followers of the true God by identifying, as in Ver. 22, El-Elion with Jehovah (cf. Quarry, p. 426). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine,.... Both the Targums of Jonathan and Jerusalem say, this is Shem the son of Noah, and which is the sense of the Jewish writers in general, and of many Christian ones; but, though it is highly probable he was living at this time, yet it is not easy to account for it why his name should be changed, or that he should reign in a country in the possession of his brother's son; or that he should meet Abram, and congratulate him on the slaughter of one of his own descendants, as Chedorlaomer was; and especially it cannot be said of him that he was without father or mother, or that those were not known, since Shem's parentage and pedigree are famous enough; some have thought him to be more than a mere man, even the Son of God himself, but he is manifestly distinguished from him in Hebrews 7:3; he seems to be what Josephus (k) says he was, a Canaanitish prince, a pious and religious man, eminently raised up by God, and whose genealogy was kept a secret, that he might be in this as in other things a type of Christ; but that he should be Canaan himself, as Dr. Clayton (l) thinks, a brother of Metsir, or Mizraim, the second son of Ham, being by Sanchoniatho called Sedec, is not likely, since he was cursed by Noah. Salem, of which he was king, is by the above Targums said to be Jerusalem, and which is the opinion of many writers, Jewish and Christian, and of which opinion I myself was formerly; see Gill on Hebrews 7:1; Jerusalem being plainly called Salem, Psalm 76:2, but it seems clear from hence that it must be near to Sodom, and lay in the way between Damascus and Sodom; whereas Jerusalem was in a contrary situation, and lay nearly forty miles from Sodom; for Josephus says (m), the lake Asphaltites, where Sodom once stood, was three hundred furlongs from Jerusalem, which is about thirty eight miles; and Jerom relates (n), that Salem was a town near Scythopolis, which was so called in his times, and where was showed the palace of Melchizedek, which, by the largeness of the ruins, appeared to have been very magnificent, and takes it to be the same place with Shalem in Genesis 33:18; and Salim, near to which John was baptizing, John 3:23, this great man "brought forth bread and wine"; not as a priest for an offering, but as a munificent king, to refresh Abram and his weary troops, and which the king of Sodom could not do, because the victuals of that place were carried off by the four kings, Genesis 14:11; and as Abram had the land of Canaan by promise, and now had made conquest in it over the invaders of it, Melchizedek, sensible of his right unto it, brings forth the best fruits of it, and, as Dr. Lightfoot observes (o), tenders them to him as "livery and seisin" of it: in this Melchizedek was a type of Christ, who comforts and refreshes his hungry and weary people with himself, the bread of life, and with the wine of his love, as well as his name and title agree with him, who is a righteous King and Prince of Peace, Jeremiah 23:5,

and he was the priest of the most high God; a priest as well as a king, as in many countries princes were both (p); and in this he was a type of Christ in his kingly and priestly offices, who is a priest upon the throne, both king and priest, Zechariah 6:13. Melchizedek was a priest not of any of the Phoenician deities, but of the true and living God, who is above all gods, dwells in the highest heaven, and is the most High over all the earth; by him was he called to this office and invested with it, and he ministered to him in it.

(k) De Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 10. (l) Chronology of the Hebrew Bible, p. 100. (m) Autiqu. l. 15. c. 6. sect. 2.((n) Ad Evagrium, tom. 3. fol. 13. E. (o) Works, vol. 1. p. 694. (p) "Rex Anius, rex idem hominum Phoebique sacerdos", Virgil. Aeneid. l. 3. vid. Servium in loc. 18. Melchizedek—This victory conferred a public benefit on that part of the country; and Abram, on his return, was treated with high respect and consideration, particularly by the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, who seems to have been one of the few native princes, if not the only one, who knew and worshipped, "the most high God," whom Abram served. This king who was a type of the Saviour (Heb 7:1), came to bless God for the victory which had been won, and in the name of God to bless Abram, by whose arms it had been achieved—a pious acknowledgment which we should imitate on succeeding in any lawful enterprise.14:17-20 Melchizedek is spoken of as a king of Salem, supposed to be the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and it is generally thought that he was only a man. The words of the apostle, Heb 7:3, state only, that the sacred history has said nothing of his ancestors. The silence of the Scriptures on this, is to raise our thoughts to Him, whose generation cannot be declared. Bread and wine were suitable refreshment for the weary followers of Abram; and it is remarkable that Christ appointed the same as the memorials of his body and blood, which are meat and drink indeed to the soul. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God. He blessed God from Abram. We ought to give thanks for other's mercies as for our own. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only offers up ours, but his own for us. Abram gave him the tenth of the spoils, Heb 7:4. When we have received some great mercy from God, it is very fit we should express our thankfulness by some special act of pious charity. Jesus Christ, our great Melchisedek, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly acknowledged as our King and Priest; not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be given up to him.
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