Monday, January 19, 2009

Melchizedek, King Priest of Salem

As Abram returned from his victory over Kedorlaomer and his allies, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).

Then Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought him bread and wine. Melchizedek blessed Abram with this blessing: "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, who has helped you conquer your enemies." Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered.

We don't know who Melchizedek was. I have heard everything from he was Jesus Christ incarnate to a lame theory he was the first Mason. Let's not speculate. Instead, let's give him credit where it is due, he clearly served as a representative of God Most High in Abram's eyes. And make note of their relationship, the greater blesses the lesser, so Melchizedek is the greater. And Abram, whose seed would one day bring forth the Levites, gave his tithe to Melchizedek.

And note the irony of Abram's company, King Bera representing Sodom which as we have said was exceedingly wicked and King Melchizedek a representative of God Most High.

The king of Sodom told Abram, "Give back my people who were captured. But you may keep for yourself all the goods you have recovered." Abram replied, "I have solemnly promised the LORD, God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, that I will not take so much as a single thread or sandal thong from you. Otherwise you might say, `I am the one who made Abram rich!'

All I'll accept is what these young men of mine have already eaten. But give a share of the goods to my allies--Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre."

<= = = Woah! Abram is going to have to watch his back around King Bera from now own, Abram really dissed him.

Well Master Cohen, I have been very impressed with the way you have been digging into the story, but Abram is not going to have to worry about King Bera, he is about to suffer a pretty bad case of burnout.


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  2. I'm guessing that the theory that Melchizedek was the Christ pre-incarnate comes from working backwards from the writer of the Hebrews' quotation of Psalm 110 (in Hebrews 5:6) - "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

    What the writer of the Hebrews is saying is that Jesus' priestly order precedes the Levitical priesthood (as you've said), and is using King David's psalm to illustrate it. Abram understood his relationship to Melchizedek, as King David knew his relationship to God the Son (Psalm 110:1). The writer of the Hebrews wants us to have that same relationship.

    But that comes much later in the story of God's unmerited favour. And, for the impatient, here's how it ends:

  3. Israel Cohen could not accept this explanation at this point in the story. Every year at Seder, the topic of Messianic Jews comes up and the answer is always, this is a contradiction in terms. Izzy really can't even lock on to the concept of Messiah.

    Melchizedek does establish priest as intercessor between man and God. And the story of Abraham makes it clear God communicates with and interacts with man (Abraham is a prophet, do what Sarah says, angel of God, angel of the LORD).

    That is a far as John Comfort ( Mr. Storyteller) can explain to Izzy at this point.