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Bible Dictionaries

People's Dictionary of the Bible

Melchizedek

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Melchizedek, or Melchisedec (mel-kĭz'-e-dĕk), the Greek form in the New Testament (king of righteousness), is mentioned in Genesis 14:18-20 as king of Salem and priest of the Most High God, meeting Abram in the valley of Shaveh, bringing out bread and wine to him, blessing him, and receiving tithes from him; in Psalms 110:4, where Messiah is described as a priest "after the order of Melchizedek;" and finally, in Hebrews 5:6-7, where the typical relations between Melchizedek and Christ are defined, both being priests without belonging to the Levitical tribe, superior to Abram, of unknown beginning and end, and kings of righteousness and peace. The short but impressive account of Melchizedek in Genesis, and the striking though mystical applications made in the Psalms and the Epistle to the Hebrews, have given rise to various interpretations. One Jewish tradition considers him to be a survivor of the Deluge, the patriarch Shem, and thus entitled by his very age to bless the father of the faithful, and by his position as ruler of Canaan to confer his rights to Abram. Another tradition, equally old, but not so widely accepted, considers him to be an angel, the Son of God in human form, the Messiah. Modern scholars, arguing back from the expositions given in the Epistle to the Hebrews, consider him to be a descendant of Ham, a priest among the heathen, constituted by God himself; and given a title above that of the ordinary patriarchal priesthood, even above that of Abram.

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Bibliography Information
Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Melchizedek'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/m/melchizedek.html. 1893.

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