How some obscure Old Testament priest-king got so mixed up with Jesus.
Psalm 110.4 KWL
- The L
ORDswore, and isn’t turning back from it:
- “You’re a priest, eternally, in the manner of Melchizédek.”
Melchizédek (Hebrew melkhí chédeq/“king [of] rightness”) is probably a title, not a name. He appeared once in the bible; he never appeared again, but he sure got everyone’s attention: David in this psalm, and the writer of Hebrews in her interpretation of the psalm.
The Canaanite king Khedorlaómer of Elam, and his allies, conquered Sodom and dragged its people into slavery. Among them was Lot ben Haran, the nephew of Avrám ben Terah, whom the L
Genesis 14.18-20 KWL
- 18 King Melchizédek of Salém brought out bread and wine.
- He was a priest of the Highest God, 19 and blessed Avrám and said,
- “Avrám is blessed by the Highest God, owner of the heavens and earth.
- 20 The Highest God is blessed: He handed your opponents to you.”
- Avrám gave Melchizédek a tithe from everything.
“Highest God” (Hebrew El Elyón, Greek Theós Ýpsistos) is what pagans tend to call God. ’Cause they don’t know his name; they don’t know what he calls himself; they only know he’s God. And not just any god—’cause these pagans believed in all sorts of gods—but the highest God. The God beyond all the other gods. Higher than even their king-gods, like Odin or Zeus. Often the god who created the other gods—the one the gods considered God. Any time you encounter a
I know; lots of Christians insist a pagan’s highest god can’t be our God, can’t be the Father of Christ Jesus. ’Cause these pagans are so wrong. I get their concerns. But look at it this way: If someone seriously misrepresented who George Washington was (say, Mason Weems, just so he could sell books), does this mean there’s not a real Washington at the back of all the made-up stories? Of course there is; and some pagan’s idea of the Highest God does have the L
Anyway, this was the God whom Melchizédek knew, and Avrám recognized they followed the very same God. Avrám called him El Shadda’í/“God Almighty,”
Christians have analyzed this Genesis appearance like crazy. Sometimes a little too crazy, but I’ll get to that.