Think of this post as a movie trailer for Chapters 7 and 8. I will give the background to the mysterious chapter 7 of Hebrews (because we are human and curious), but the whole time the focus is not on Melchizedek; it is on the Lord.
Genesis 14- (Oh, how I wish we could now go back and reread the entire Bible…the gems we would see now)
Background: Before Genesis 14, Abram (Abraham) left his home and headed to Canaan (obeying the Lord). He took with him his nephew Lot. They had too many possessions, and to avoid arguments, they split the company. Lot, being young and wild, headed towards the region of Sodom, the party town.
In the meantime, rulers and kings were fighting for land called. For about 12 years, 4 kings:—Elam, Shinar, Ellasar, and Goiim—had ruled in and around Canaan. Finally, the five kings of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim, and Zoar have gathered their forces to stand against the eastern kings. To make a long story short (too late), the 5 kings defeated the 4 kings. HOWEVER, Lot got swept up in the plunder in all the chaos.
A survivor comes and tells Abram what has happened. Then, without hesitation, Abram—who is more than seventy-five years old, gathers a mere 318 men trained for the battle to save Lot.
What could Abram’s small army do against this force that had conquered all in their path without a loss? With God’s help, they could win. They do so in one night! Abram’s forces chase down the enemy and retrieve Lot, all of his possessions, and everything else the eastern kings had plundered along the way.
As Abram returns home, two kings come out to meet him.
- One is the king of Sodom (Genesis 13:13), who survived the battle.
- The other is a mysterious figure identified as Melchizedek, the king of Salem and priest of God Most High.
- Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness,” was a king of Salem (Jerusalem) (Peace) and priest of the Most High God.
- Melchizedek brings Abram bread and wine and a blessing from God.
- Abram immediately responds by giving ten percent of all the plunder to God’s priest.
- Melchizedek is both a High Priest AND a King.
Why are we talking about Melchizaeke in Genesis, and why does he get a whole chapter in Hebrews? (chapter 7)
Read part of Genesis 14: (Click here to read the chapter…it’s so good)
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was the priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,
“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And praise be to God Most High,
who delivered your enemies into your hand.”
Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
The LAST scripture in yesterday’s read (Hebrews 6) was: He (Jesus) has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.
Here are what we know and some questions…
- The priests in the Old Testament come from the line of Levi (Melchizadek does not)
- The High Priest comes from Aaron’s (Moses’ brother) descendants (Melchizadek does not)
- If God put the Levitical priesthood in place- why would we need a Priest from a different order?
- Was the old order weak and flawed?
- Finally, who is this guy??