Melchisedec
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Smith's Bible Dictionary
Melchisedec

(king of righteousness). (Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 6:1; Hebrews 7:1) ... [MELCHIZEDEK]

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
MELCHIZEDEK; MELCHISEDEC

mel-kiz'e-dek, and (the King James Version in the book of Hebrews) (malki-tsedheq, "Tsedheq, or Tsidhiq is my king" (Genesis 14:18 Psalm 110:4); Melchisedek (Hebrews 5:6, 10; Hebrews 6:20; Hebrews 7:1, 10, 11, 15, 17)): The name is explained in Hebrews 7:2 as "king of righteousness," with "-i" as the old genitive ending; but the correct explanation is no doubt the one given above; compare Adoni-zedek in Joshua 10:1, where Septuagint with Judges 1:5-7 has Adonibezek. Melchizedek was king of Salem (= Jerusalem) and "a priest unto 'El `Elyon" (Genesis 14:18). He brought bread and wine to Abraham after the latter's victory over the kings, and also bestowed upon him the blessing of 'El `Elyon. Abraham gave him "a tenth of all," i.e. of the booty probably, unless it be of all his possessions. Genesis 14:22 identifies Yahweh with 'El `Elyon, the title of the Deity as worshipped at Jerusalem; and so Hebrews 7:1;, following Septuagint of Genesis 14:18;, calls Melchizedek. "priest of God Most High," i.e. Yahweh.

Skinner (Gen, 271, where Josephus, Ant, XVI, vi, 2, and Am M 6:1 are cited) points out that the Maccabees were called "high priests of God most high." Hence, some hold that the story of Melchizedek is an invention of Judaism, but Gunkel (Genesis 3, 285;) maintains that he is a traditional, if not a historical, character.

Psalm 110:4 makes the klng-priest who is addressed there a virtual successor of Melchizedek, and the kings of Jerusalem might well, as Gunkel suggests, have been considered successors of Melchizedek in the same way that Charlemagne was regarded as the successor of the Caesars, and the latter as successors of the Pharaohs in Egypt. This leads naturally to an early date being ascribed to Psalm 110.

The thought of a priest after the order of Melchizedek is taken up by the author of Hebrews. He wanted to prove the claim of Christ to be called priest. It was impossible, even had he so wished, to consider Jesus as an Aaronic priest, for He was descended from the tribe of Judah and not from that of Levi (7:14). The words of Psalm 110:4 are taken to refer to Him (Hebrews 5:5 f), and in Hebrews 7:5; the order of Melchizedek is held to be higher than that of Aaron, for the superiority of Melchizedek was acknowledged by Abraham (a) when he paid tithes to Melchizedek and (b) when he was blessed by Melchizedek, for "the less is blessed of the better." It might be added that Jesus can be considered a priest after the order of Melchizedek in virtue of His descent from David, if the latter be regarded as successor to Melchizedek But the author of He does not explicitly say this. Further, Aaron is only a "type" brought forward in He to show the more excellent glory of the work of Jesus, whereas Melchizedek is "made like unto the Son of God" (7:3), and Jesus is said to be "after the likeness of Melchizedek" (7:15).

Hebrews 7:1; presents difficulties. Where did the author get the material for this description of Melchizedek?

(1) Melchizedek is said to be "without father, without mother, (i.e.) without genealogy"; and

(2) he is described as "having neither beginning of days nor end of life"; he "abideth a priest continually."

The answer is perhaps to be had among the Tell el-Amarna Letters, among which are at least 6, probably 8, letters from a king of Urusalim to Amenophis IV, king of Egypt, whose "slave" the former calls himself. Urusalim is to be identified with Jerusalem, and the letters belong to circa 1400 B.C. The name of this king is given as Abd-Khiba (or Abd-chiba), though Hommel, quoted by G.A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 14, note 7, reads Chiba. Zimmer, in ZA, 1891, 246, says that it can be read Abditaba, and so Sayce (HDB, III, 335b) calls him `ebhedh tobh. The king tells his Egyptian overlord, "Neither my father nor my mother set me in this place: the mighty arm of the king (or, according to Sayce, "the arm of the mighty king") established me in my father's house" (Letter 102 in Berlin collection, ll. 9-13; also number 103, ll. 25-28; number 104, ll. 13-15; see, further, H. Winckler, Die Thontafeln von Tell-el-Amarna; Knudtzon, Beitrage zur Assyriologie, IV, 101;, 279;, cited by G.A. Smith, Jerusalem, II, 8, note 1).

It thus becomes clear that possibly tradition identified Melchizedek with Abd-Khiba. At any rate the idea that Melchizedek was "without father, without mother, (i.e.) without genealogy" can easily be explained if the words of Abd-Khiba concerning himself can have been also attributed to Melchizedek. The words meant originally that he acknowledged that he did not come to the throne because he had a claim on it through descent; he owed it to appointment. But Jewish interpretation explained them as implying that he had no father or mother. Psalm 110:4 had spoken of the king there as being "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek," and this seems to have been taken to involve the perpetuity of Melchizedek also as priest. Melchizedek was then thought of as "having neither beginning of days" = "without father, without mother, without genealogy," and again as not having "end of life" = "abideth a priest continually." Hence, he is "made like unto the son of God," having neither beginning of days nor end of life. We get another New Testament example of Jewish interpretation in Galatians 4:21;. We have no actual proof that Melchizedek is identical with Abd-Khiba; possibly the reference to the former as being "without father," etc., is not to be explained as above. But why should Melchizedek, and he alone, of all the Old Testament characters be thought of in this way?

Westcott, Hebrews, 199, has a suggestive thought about Melchizedek: "The lessons of his appearance lie in the appearance itself. Abraham marks a new departure..... But before the fresh order is established we have a vision of the old in its superior majesty; and this, on the eve of disappearance, gives its blessing to the new."

On the references to Melchizedek in Philo see Westcott, op. cit., 201; F. Rendall, Hebrews, App., 58;; and especially (with the passages and other authorities cited there) G. Milligan, Theology of Epistle to the Hebrews, 203;.

The conclusions we come to are:

(1) There was a tradition in Jerusalem of Melchizedek, a king in pre-Israelitish times, who was also priest to 'El `Elyon. This is the origin of Genesis 14:18;, where 'El `Elyon is identified with Yahweh.

(2) Psalm 110 makes use of this tradition and the Psalmist's king is regarded as Melchizedek's successor.

(3) The Epistle to the Hebrews makes use of

(a) Psalm 110, which is taken to be a prophecy of Christ, (b) of Genesis 14:18;, and

(c) of oral tradition which was not found in the Old Testament. It is this unwritten tradition that is possibly explained by the Tell el-Amarna Letters. See , further, articles by Sayce, Driver, and Hommel in Expository Times, VII, VIII.

See alsoJERUSALEM.

David Francis Roberts

Greek
3198. Melchisedek -- Melchizedek, OT king of Salem
... Melchizedek. Of Hebrew origin (Malkiy-Tsedeq); Melchisedek (ie Malkitsedek),
a patriarch -- Melchisedec. see HEBREW Malkiy-Tsedeq. ...
//strongsnumbers.com/greek2/3198.htm - 6k
Library

Christ Our High Priest.
... for under it hath the people received the law), what further need was there that
another priest should arise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be ...
/.../xi christ our high priest.htm

Hebrews vii. 3-Jan
... frederic gardiner, dd late professor in the berkeley divinity school, middletown,
Homily XII. Hebrews vii. 1-3. Hebrews vii.1-3 "For this Melchisedec, King of ...
/.../homilies on the gospel of st john and hebrews/homily xii hebrews vii 3-jan.htm

On the Priestly Office of Christ
... through the mode of merit,") has been constituted a priest, by God, not according
to the order of Levi, but according to that of Melchisedec, who was "priest ...
/.../arminius/the works of james arminius vol 2/disputation xxxv on the priestly.htm

Dialogue ii. --The Unconfounded.
... But that I may make this point clearer to you from yet another authority, call to
mind the words used of Melchisedec in the Epistle to the Hebrews. ...
/.../the ecclesiastical history of theodoret/dialogue ii the unconfounded.htm

Melchisedecians.
... all their assertions similarly with those which have been already specified,
introducing one only alteration, viz., in respect of regarding Melchisedec as a ...
/.../hippolytus/the refutation of all heresies/chapter xx melchisedecians.htm

The Melchisedecians; the Nicolaitans.
... who himself also was styled Theodotus, and who was by trade a banker, [890] attempted
to establish (the doctrine), that a certain Melchisedec constitutes the ...
/.../chapter xxiv the melchisedecians the nicolaitans.htm

How Abram Fought with the Assyrians, and Overcame Them, and Saved ...
... Now the king of Sodom met him at a certain place, which they called The King's
Dale, where Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him. ...
/.../josephus/the antiquities of the jews/chapter 10 how abram fought.htm

Hebrews vii. 14-Nov
... for under it the people have received the law' [2951] ) what further need was there
that another priest should arise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be ...
/.../homily xiii hebrews vii 14-nov.htm

The Never Changing One.
... excellent than they (Heb. i:3-5). He is addressed by God as high priest according
to the order of Melchisedec (v:10). We gaze into the ...
//christianbookshelf.org/gaebelein/the lord of glory/the never changing one.htm

Christ a Complete Saviour:
... the greatness of his person, in that he preferreth him before Abraham, who is the
father of us all; yea, in that he preferreth him before Melchisedec, who was ...
/.../bunyan/the works of john bunyan volumes 1-3/christ a complete saviour .htm

Thesaurus
Melchisedec (10 Occurrences)
... Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia MELCHIZEDEK; MELCHISEDEC. ... See also JERUSALEM. David
Francis Roberts. Multi-Version Concordance Melchisedec (10 Occurrences). ...
/m/melchisedec.htm - 17k

Melchisedek (11 Occurrences)

/m/melchisedek.htm - 9k

Whither (151 Occurrences)
... (KJV ASV WBS YLT). Hebrews 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus,
made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. ...
/w/whither.htm - 40k

Testifieth (13 Occurrences)
... of God: (WBS). Hebrews 7:17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever
after the order of Melchisedec. (KJV WBS). Revelation 22 ...
/t/testifieth.htm - 9k

Melchizedek (12 Occurrences)
... Melchizedek in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia.
MELCHIZEDEK; MELCHISEDEC. mel-kiz'e-dek, and (the King ...
/m/melchizedek.htm - 19k

Melchiel

/m/melchiel.htm - 6k

Connexion (9 Occurrences)
... had their law given to them in connexion with it, what need was there still that
a different priest should arise according to the order of Melchisedec, and not ...
/c/connexion.htm - 9k

Addressed (23 Occurrences)
... which is Christ. (BBE). Hebrews 5:10 addressed by God as high priest according
to the order of Melchisedec. (DBY YLT). Hebrews 7:21 ...
/a/addressed.htm - 13k

Ariseth (20 Occurrences)
... (ASV). Hebrews 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude
of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, (KJV ASV WBS). ...
/a/ariseth.htm - 12k

Similitude (18 Occurrences)
... (KJV WBS). Hebrews 7:15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude
of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, (KJV DBY WBS YLT). ...
/s/similitude.htm - 13k

Concordance
Melchisedec (10 Occurrences)

Hebrews 5:6
As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 5:10
Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 6:20
Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 7:1
For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 7:10
For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 7:11
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 7:15
And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 7:17
For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
(KJV DBY WBS)

Hebrews 7:21
(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)
(KJV DBY WBS)

Genesis 14:18
And Melchisedec king of Salem brought out bread and wine. And he was priest of the Most High ?God.
(DBY)

Subtopics

Melchisedec

Related Terms

Melchisedek (11 Occurrences)

Whither (151 Occurrences)

Testifieth (13 Occurrences)

Melchizedek (12 Occurrences)

Melchiel

Connexion (9 Occurrences)

Addressed (23 Occurrences)

Ariseth (20 Occurrences)

Similitude (18 Occurrences)

Sware (90 Occurrences)

Smiting (76 Occurrences)

Swearing (17 Occurrences)

Loins (72 Occurrences)

Repent (74 Occurrences)

Borne (172 Occurrences)

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