Melchizedek

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This page is part of the Jesus Database project of the FaithFutures Foundation


The figure of Melchizedek appears in several biblical and extra-biblical texts. This page provides the text of the passages that explicitly mention Melchizedek.


Contents

Hebrew Bible

Genesis 14:18-€“20

/18/ And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was priest of God Most High. /19/ He blessed him and said, "€œBlessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth; /20/ and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!" And Abram gave give one tenth of everything.

Psalm 110:4

The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, "You are a priest for ever according to the order of Melchizedek."€


Qumran

Excerpts from the Dead Sea Scrolls

4Q 'Amram b

(I saw Watchers) in my vision, a dream vision, and behold two (of them) argued about me and said ... and they were engaged in a great quarrel concerning me. I asked them: 'You, what are you ... thus ... [about me?] They answered and [said to me: 'We have been made m]asters and rule over all the sons of men." And they said to me: "Which of us do you [choose ...]?" I raised my eyes and saw one of them. His looks were frightening [like those of a vi]per, and his [ga]rm[en]ts were multi-coloured and he was extremely dark ... And afterwards I looked and behold ... by his appearance and his face was like that of an adder, and he was covered with ... together, and his eyes ... this [Watcher]: 'Who is he?' He said to me: 'This Wa[tcher] ...[and his three names are Belial, Prince of Darkness] and Melchiresha'.' And I said: 'My Lord, what ...?' [And he said to me] ... [and all his paths are darkness, and all his work is darkness, and he is ... in darkness ... you see. And he rules over all darkness and I [rule over all light] ... [Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 262f]

4Q280

May God set him apart] for evil from the midst of the Sons of Li[ght because he has turned away from following Him. And they shall continue saying: Be cursed, Melkiresha', in all the thou[ghts of your guilty inclination. May] God [deliver you up] for torture at the hands of the vengeful Avengers. May God not heed [when] you call on Him. [May He raise His angry face] towards you. May there be no (greeting of) 'Peace' for you in the mouth of all those who hold fast to the Father[s. May you be cursed] with no remnant, and damned without escape. Cursed be those who practi[se their wicked designs] and [es]tablish in their hearts your (evil) devices, plotting against the Covenant of God ..., seers of [His] truth. [Who]ever refuses to enter [His Covenant, walking in the stubbornness of his heart] ... [Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 161]

11Q13 = 11QMelch

He will assign them to the Sons of Heaven and to the inheritance of Melchizedek; for He will cast their lot amid the portions of Melchizedek, who will return them there and will proclaim to them liberty, forgiving them the wrong-doings of all their inquities. And this thing will occur in the first week of the Jubilee that follows the nine Jubilees. And the Day of Atonement is the end of the tenth Jubilee, when all the Sons of Light and the men of the lot of Melchizedek will be atoned for. For this is the moment of the Year of Grace for Melchizedek. And he will, by his strength, judge the holy ones of God, executing judgement as it is written concerning him in the Songs of David, who said, ELOHIM has taken his place in the divine council, in the midst of the gods he holds judgement. -- And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God -- and he will drag them from the hand of Belial -- This is the day of Peace/Salvation concerning which God spoke through Isaiah the prophet, who said, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who proclaims peace, who brings good news, who proclaims salvation, who says to Zion your ELOHIM reigns -- and your ELOHIM is Melchizedek, who will save them from the hand of Belial. [Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 301]


Philo of Alexandria

Allegorical Interpretation, III.79-€“82

/79/ Melchizedek, too, has God made both king of peace, for that is the meaning of "Salem,"€ and His own priest. He has not fashioned beforehand any deed of his, but produces him to begin with as such a king, peaceable and worthy of His own priesthood. For he is entitled "€œthe righteous king,"€ and a "€œking"€ is a thing at enmity with a despot, the one being the author of laws, the other of lawlessness. /80/ So mind, the despot, decrees for both soul and body harsh and hurtful decrees working grievous woes, conduct, I mean, such as wickedness prompts, and free indulgence of the passions. But the king in the first place resorts to persuasion rather than decrees, and in the next place issues directions such as to enable a vessel, the living being I mean, to make life'€™s journey successfully, piloted by the good pilot, who is right principle. /81/ Let the despot'€™s title therefore be ruler of war, the king'€™s prince of peace, of Salem, and let him offer to the soul food full of joy and gladness; for he brings bread and wine, things which the Ammonites and Moabites refused to supply ... /82/ But let Melchizedek instead of water offer wine, and give to souls strong drink, that they may be seized by a divine intoxication, more sober than sobriety itself. For he is a priest, even Reason, having as his portion Him that is, and all his thoughts of God are high and vast and sublime: for he is priest of the Most High... [Loeb]

New Testament

Hebrews 5:7-€“10; 7:1-€“3 & 7:15-€“17

/5:7/ In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. /8/ Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; /9/ and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, /10/ having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek. ...

/7:1/ This "King Melchizedek of Salem, priest of the Most High God, met Abraham as he was returning from defeating the kings and blessed him"; /2/ and to him Abraham apportioned "one-tenth of everything." His name, in the first place, means "king of righteousness"; next he is also king of Salem, that is, "king of peace." /3/ Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. ...

/7:15/ It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, /16/ one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. /17/ For it is attested of him, "You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek." [NRSV]

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