Melchizedek

Melchizedek, Melchisedech, Melkisetek, or Malki Tzedek (/mɛlˈkɪzədɛk/;[1] Hebrew: מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶֿק malkī-ṣeḏeq, "king of righteousness"; Amharic: መልከ ጼዴቅ malkī-ṣeḏeq; Armenian: Մելքիսեդեք, Melkisetek), was the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon (often translated as "most high God ") mentioned in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis. He brings out bread and wine and then blesses Abram and El Elyon.[2]

Chazalic literature—specifically Targum Jonathan, Targum Yerushalmi, and the Babylonian Talmud—presents the name מלכי־צדק)) as a nickname title for Shem, the son of Noah.[3]

In Christianity, according to the Epistle to the Hebrews, Jesus Christ is identified as "High priest forever in the order of Melchizedek", and so Jesus assumes the role of High Priest once and for all.

It is speculated that the story of Melchizedek is an informal insertion into the narration, possibly inserted in order to give validity to the priesthood and tithes connected with the Second Temple. His name indicates he may have worshipped Zedek, a Canaanite deity worshipped in pre-Israelite Jerusalem.[4]:58

Melchizedek
Meeting of abraham and melchizadek
Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek – by Dieric Bouts the Elder, 1464–1467
Priest, King of Salem
Venerated inJudaism, Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches, Anglican Communion, Mormonism, Lutheranism, Ismailism, Theosophy
Feast22 May (Eastern Orthodox Church)
26 August (Catholic Church)

Name

In the majority of Masoretic Hebrew texts the name is written as two words, Meleḵi-ṣedeq מלכי־צדק‎,[5] rendered in one word in both the Septuagint (Μελχισεδέκ) and Vulgate (Melchisedech). The Authorised King James Version of 1611 renders the name Melchizedek when translating from the Hebrew, and Melchisedec in the New Testament.

The name is composed from the two elements melek(h) "king" and ṣedeq, which means either "righteousness"[6] or the proper name "Zedek".[7] With the addition of the hiriq compaginis () indicating the archaic construct form, malk-ī means "king of", so that the name literally translates to "king of righteousness"[8] or "my king is Zedek",[7] indicating that he worshipped Zedek, a Canaanite deity worshipped in pre-Israelite Jerusalem.[4]:58

The name is formed in parallel with Adoni-ṣedeq אדני־צדק‎, also a king of Salem, mentioned in the Book of Joshua (10:1–3), where the element malik "king" is replaced by adon "lord".[9] Parallel theophoric names, with Sedeq replaced by Yahu, are those of Malchijah and Adonijah, both biblical characters placed in the time of David.[10]

Hebrew Bible

Melchizedek is mentioned twice in the Hebrew Bible, the first in Genesis and the second in Psalms.

Genesis 14

The narrative of Genesis 14 is part of the larger story telling how Abram returns from defeating king Chedorlaomer and meets with Bera the king of Sodom,[11] at which point:

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was [is] the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, 'Blessed be Abram to the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand'. And he gave him tithe from all.

— Genesis 14:18–20

Some textual critics classify the narration as not being derived from any of the usual pentateuchal sources.[12] It has been speculated that verses 18–20 (in which Melchizedek appears) are an informal insertion into the narration, as they interrupt the account of the meeting of Abraham with the king of Sodom.[13][4]:56 There is no consensus on when or why the story was added. It may have been inserted in order to give validity to the priesthood and tithes connected with the Second Temple.[4]:59-60 It also may have been inserted to give validity to the superiority of the Zadokite priests over the Levite priests.[14]

Lebanese Protestant scholar Kamal Salibi (1929–2011) observes that Hebrew: ֹמַעֲשֵׂר, m'sr, which literally does mean tenth, might more loosely be used to mean portion, and Hebrew: מִכֹּל, m-kl, or from all, might refer just to food in the giver's possession, so that the whole verse might mean He gave him a portion of food..[15]

Genesis 14:18 introduces Melchizedek a "Priest of the Most High God" (El Elyon), a term which is re-used in 14:19, 20, 22. The term "Most High" is used another twenty times of the God of the Israel in the Psalms. Giorgio Levi Della Vida (1944) suspects that this is a late development,[16] and Joseph Fitzmyer (1962) connects Genesis 14 with the mention of a god called "Most High," who may appear according to one of three possible translations of a 750 BC inscription found at Al-Safirah in Syria.[17] Remi Lack (1962) considers that the Genesis verses were taken over by Jewish redactor(s), for whom El was already identified with YHWH, El-Elyon became an epithet for the God of Israel.[18]

Tithe recipient

Due to an ambiguity in the Hebrew text, it is unclear who gave tithe to whom: Abram to Melchizedek, or Melchizedek to Abram: the verse in question states simply, "And [he] gave him tithe from all" (v-yiten-lo ma'aser mekol, ויתן לו מעשר מכל‎). Most translations of this verse preserve the ambiguity, as in the Septuagint, which has edōken autōi, ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ "he gave to him", but some modern translations make explicit the mainstream interpretation of Abram being the giver and Melchizedek the recipient.[19][20]

Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, the Book of Jubilees, Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, and Rashi all read Abram as the giver of the tithe to Melchizedek.[21][22] The Rogatchover Gaon, also understanding Abram to be the tithe giver, comments that the presented tithe was not a standard tithe (Maaser Rishon) as described in the Torah (given on an annual basis), but was a one-time "tribute offering" (trumat ha-mekhes, תרומת המכס), such as Moses gave to God in Numbers 31:41.[23]

Expressing a kabbalistic point of view, the Zohar commentary to Genesis 14 cites Rabbi Yitzchak as saying that it was God who gave a tithe to Abram in the form of removing the Hebrew letter He from his own throne of glory and presenting it to the soul of Abram for his benefit.[24] Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (1843–1926) interprets the phrase "And he gave him tithe from all" as a verbal continuation of Melchizedek's speech, i.e., Melchizedek exclaimed that God had chosen to gift Abram a tenth of God's possession of the entire human race (consisting of seventy nations as described in Genesis) in the form of the seven nations of the land of Canaan, including the cities of Sodom that Abram succeeded in saving. Rabbi Meir Simcha argues that continued speech of this sort was a common form of prophetic expression.[25]

Hebrews Chapter 7 verses 1 and 4 in the New Testament state that the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoil to Melchizedek.

Samaritan Pentateuch

The Samaritan Pentateuch reads שלמו (lit. "his peace" or in contextual flow "allied with him") in place of the Masoretic שלם (Salem), with addition of a letter ו (vav).

William F. Albright views the Samaritan wording as authentic[26] as does the New American Bible[27] Regarding the residence of Malkizedek, Samaritan tradition identified a "Salem" as a place on the slopes of Mount Gerizim which served as a blessing place of the children of Israel upon their initial crossing of the Jordan river. The Samaritans allocate Gerizim (and not Jerusalem) as the site intended for the Temple, and thus the "שלמו" text serves an obvious sectarian purpose. However, this practice is not solely associated with the Samaritans: the possessive suffix is also found in the 3rd- or 2nd-century BCE Book of Jubilees, and Greek possessive suffixes are even used in the Septuagint version of Genesis.[28]

Psalm 110

The second and final Hebrew Bible mention of Melchizedek is in Psalm 110:4. The many translations that follow the Septuagint[29] translate it as:

The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent: 'Thou art a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek.'. (JPS 1917)

Although the above is the traditional translation of the text, the Hebrew text can be interpreted in various ways, and the New Jewish Publication Society of America Tanakh, (1985 edition), for example, has:

You are a priest forever, a rightful king by My decree. (JPS 1985)

Another alternative keeps Melchizedek as a personal name but changes the identity of the person addressed: "You are a priest forever by my order (or 'on my account'), O Melchizedek" – here it is Melchizedek who is being addressed throughout the psalm.[30]

The majority of Chazalic literature attributes the primary character of the psalm as King David[31] who was a "righteous king" (מלכי צדק) of Salem (Jerusalem) and, like Melchizedek, had certain priest-like responsibilities, while the Babylonian Talmud understands the chapter as referring to Abram who was victorious in battling to save his nephew Lot and merited priesthood.[32] The Zohar defines the noted Melchizedek as referring to Ahron the Kohen Gadol (high priest).[33]

Psalm 110:4 is cited in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews as an indicator that Jesus, regarded in the letter as the Messiah, had a right to a priesthood pre-dating the Jewish Aaronic priesthood (Hebrews 5:5–6).

In Judaism

Hellenistic Judaism

Josephus refers to Melchizedek as a "Canaanite chief" in War of the Jews, but as a priest in Antiquities of the Jews.

Philo identifies Melchizedek with the Logos as priest of God,[34] and honoured as an untutored priesthood.[35]

The Second Book of Enoch (also called "Slavonic Enoch") is apparently a Jewish sectarian work of the 1st century AD.[36] The last section of the work, the Exaltation of Melchizedek, tells how Melchizedek was born of a virgin, Sofonim (or Sopanima), the wife of Nir, a brother of Noah. The child came out from his mother after she had died and sat on the bed beside her corpse, already physically developed, clothed, speaking and blessing the Lord, and marked with the badge of priesthood. Forty days later, Melchizedek was taken by the archangel Gabriel (Michael in some manuscripts) to the Garden of Eden and was thus preserved from the Deluge without having to be in Noah's Ark.[37][38]

Dead Sea Scrolls

11Q13 (11QMelch) is a fragment (that can be dated to the end of the 2nd or start of the 1st century BC) of a text about Melchizedek found in Cave 11 at Qumran in the Israeli Dead Sea area and which comprises part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this eschatological text, Melchizedek is seen as a divine being and Hebrew titles such as Elohim are applied to him. According to this text Melchizedek will proclaim the "Day of Atonement" and he will atone for the people who are predestined to him. He also will judge the peoples.[39]

The Genesis Apocryphon (1QapGen) repeats information from Genesis.[40]

The Qumran Scrolls, also indicate that Melchizedek was used as a name of the Archangel Michael, interpreted as a heavenly priest; Michael as Melchi-zedek contrast with Belial, who is given the name of Melchi-resha "king of wickedness".[41] The text of the Epistle to the Hebrews follows this interpretation in stating explicitly that the name in Greek translation (ἑρμηνευόμενος) means βασιλεὺς δικαιοσύνης ("king of righteousness"), omitting translation of the possessive suffix; the same passage interprets Melchizedek's title of king of Salem as translating to βασιλεὺς εἰρήνης "king of peace", the context being the presentation of Melchizedek's as an eternal priesthood associated with Jesus Christ (ἀφωμοιωμένος δὲ τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸ διηνεκές "made like unto the Son of God abideth a priest continually").[42]

Torah commentaries

Hebrew language Torah commentarians of the Rishonim era (11th to 15th centuries) have explained the (seemingly) abrupt intrusion of Melchizedek into the narration in various ways; Hezekiah ben Manoah (c. 1250) points out that the following verses has Abram refusing any of the king of Sodom's possessions[43] which, if not for the insertion of Melchizedek's hospitality, would prompt the query as to where Abram and his weary men got their refreshments from.[44] The Rashbam, Shmuel ben Meir (11th century), offers a similar explanation but varies by saying that only Abram's men partook in the booty (originally belonging to the king of Sodom)[45] whereas the Melchizedek intrusion explains that Abram himself was sustained by Melchizedek since he refused to consume of the luxury of Sodom because his Lord was of the non-material world.[46] Likewise, the commentary of Chaim ibn Attar (17th century) offers a three-pronged slew of reasons for the Melchizedek insertion.[47]

In rabbinic literature

The narrative preceding Melchizedek's introduction presents a picture of Melchizedek's involvement in the events of his era. The narration details Abram's rescue of his nephew Lot and his spectacular defeat of multiple kings, and goes on to define the meeting place of Melchizedek and Abram as "Emek HaShaveh which is Emek HaMelech". The meeting site has been associated with Emek Yehoshaphat (the Valley of Josaphat).[48] Targum Onkelos describes the meeting location's size as "a plot the size of a king's Riis".[49] Midrashic exegesis describes how a large group of governors and kings convened in unison to pay homage to the victor Abram and desired to make him a deity, at which point he declined, attributing his victory to God's might and will alone.[50]

The chronological work Seder ha-Dorot (published 1769) quotes that Melchizedek was the first to initiate and complete a wall in circumference of the city,[51] and had to exit Salem to reach Abram and his men. Upon exiting Salem, he presented to them "bread and wine" with the intent to refresh them from their journey.[52] Assuming the premise that Melchizedek was Shem, he would have been 465 years old at the time and Abram was 75 years of age.[51]

Chazalic literature unanimously identify Melchizedek as Shem son of Noah (Targum Yonathan to Genesis chap. 14, Genesis Rabbah 46:7, Babylonian Talmud to Tractate Nedarim 32b). The Talmud Bavli attributes him (Shem and his beth din court of justice) as pioneers in banning prostitution (Avodah Zarah p. 36a).

Middle East Shem-Ham
Middle Eastern land distribution demonstrating the land of Canaan governed by Cham

There is, however, disagreement amongst Rishonim as to whether Salem was Melchizedek/Shem's allocated residence by his father Noah or whether he was a foreigner in Salem which was considered the rightful land of his brother Cham. The Ramban is of the opinion that the land was rightfully owned and governed by the offspring of Cham, and explains that Melchizedek/Shem left his home country and came to Salem as a foreigner wishing to serve God as a Kohen.[53] However, Rashi maintains that the land of Canaan was initially allotted to Shem, by Noah his father, and the offspring of Cham conquered the land by forced expansion.[54]

Transition of the Priesthood

Although Melchizedek is the first person in the Torah to be titled a Kohen (priest), the medrash records that he was preceded in priesthood (kehuna) by Adam.[55] Rabbinic commentarians to the Torah explain that Melchizedek – (sometimes associated with Shem) – was given the priesthood (Hebrew; kehuna) by receipt of his father Noah's blessing "G-d beatified Yefeth and will dwell in the house of Shem";[56] i.e., he will merit to serve and host God as a Kohen.[57]

Torah Laws require that the Kohen (priest) must be a patrilineal descendant of a prior Kohen.[58] Leviticus Rabbah maintains that God intended to permanently bring forth the priesthood ("Kehuna") through Melchizedek's patrilineal descendants, but since Melchizedek preceded Abram's blessing to that of God,[59] God instead chose to bring the priesthood ("kehuna") forth from Abram's descendants.[60] As the text states in regard to Melchizedek; "and he is a Kohen",[61] meaning himself in the exclusive sense and not his patrilineal descendants.[62]

The Ohr HaChayim commentary presents that God was not angered by Melchizedek's preceding Abram's blessing to that of God, since Abram was rightfully deemed worthy of precedence for independently coming to recognize God amidst a world of Paganism, but Melchizedek willingly gave the priesthood to Abram upon recognizing his outstanding uniqueness and Godly character traits.[63]

Rabbinic authorities differ as to whether Kehuna was given to Abram there and then[64] or after the demise of Melchizedek.[65]

The Midrash records that Shem functioned as kohen gadol (high priest) in that he taught Torah to the Patriarchs before it was publicly given at Mount Sinai, while the official title of High Priest was conferred upon Aaron after the erection of the Tabernacle.

Midrash text

The Midrash quotes multiple aspects of both Melchizedek and Abram; The Rabbis taught that Melchizedek acted as a priest and handed down Adam's robes to Abram (Numbers Rabbah 4:8).

Rabbi Isaac the Babylonian said that Melchizedek was born circumcised (Genesis Rabbah 43:6). Melchizedek called Jerusalem "Salem." (Genesis Rabbah 56:10.) The Rabbis said that Melchizedek instructed Abram in the Torah. (Genesis Rabbah 43:6.) Rabbi Eleazar said that Melchizedek's school was one of three places where the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) manifested Himself (Babylonian Talmud Makkot 23b).

Rabbi Judah said in Rabbi Nehorai's name that Melchizedek's blessing yielded prosperity for Abram, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis Rabbah 43:8). Ephraim Miksha'ah the disciple of Rabbi Meir said in the latter's name that Tamar descended from Melchizedek (Genesis Rabbah 85:10).

Rabbi Hana bar Bizna citing Rabbi Simeon Hasida identified Melchizedek as one of the four craftsmen of whom Zechariah wrote in Zechariah 2:3. (Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 52b; see also Song of Songs Rabbah 2:33 (crediting Rabbi Berekiah in the name of Rabbi Isaac).) The Talmud teaches that David wrote the Book of Psalms, including in it the work of the elders, including Melchizedek.[66]

Thus according to Jewish legend, confusion over Melchizedek being both King and Priest is solved by knowing that Shem was also a progenitor of the Davidic Monarchy, which descended from both Judah and Tamar, who was sentenced to 'death by fire' when accused of committing prostitution as the daughter of high priest Shem.[67]

In the Zohar

The Zohar (redacted by Moses de León c. 1290s) finds in "Melchizedek king of Salem" a reference to "the King Who rules with complete sovereignty". or according to another explanation, that "Melchizedek" alludes to the lower world and "king of Salem" to the upper world (Zohar 1:86b–87a). The Zohar's commentary on Genesis 14 cites a Rabbi Yitzchak as saying that it was God who gave tithe to Abram in the form of removing the Hebrew letter He from his throne of glory and presenting it to the soul of Abram for his benefit. The letter he is the letter God added to Abram's name to become "Abra-ha-m" in Genesis.

In Christianity

Biserica de lemn Sf.Arhangheli din Libotin (13)
An image of Melchizedek painted onto the altar side near the Royal Doors at Libotin wooden church, Maramureş County, Romania

In the New Testament, references to Melchizedek appear only in the Epistle to the Hebrews (later 1st century to early 2nd century, AD), though these are extensive (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21). Jesus Christ is there identified as a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek quoting from Ps. 110:4.[68]

Association with the Messiah

The association or identification of Melchizedek with the Messiah predates Christianity, developing in Jewish messianism of the Second Temple period.

A collection of early Gnostic scripts dating on or before the 4th century, discovered in 1945 and known as the Nag Hammadi library, contains a tractate pertaining to Melchizedek. Here it is proposed that Melchizedek is Jesus Christ.[69] Melchizedek, as Jesus Christ, lives, preaches, dies and is resurrected, in a gnostic perspective. The Coming of the Son of God Melchizedek speaks of his return to bring peace, supported by the gods, and he is a priest-king who dispenses justice.[70]

The association with Christ is made explicit by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where Melchizedek the "king of righteousness" and "king of peace" is explicitly associated with the "eternal priesthood" of the Son of God.[71] The Christological interpretation of this Old Testament character being a prefiguration or prototype of the Christ has varied between Christian denominations. The Pelagians saw in Melchizedek merely a man who lived a perfect life.[72]

Typological association of Jesus Christ with Old Testament characters occurs frequently in the New Testament; thus, Jesus Christ is also associated with Adam (as the "New Adam") and with Abraham.[73]

Liturgical commemoration

Melchizedek is mentioned in the Roman Canon, the First Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman rite of the Catholic Church, and also figures in the current Roman Martyrology as a commemoration on August 26.[74]

He is commemorated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on May 22,[75] and on the "Sunday of the Forefathers" (two Sundays before Christmas). In the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church Melkisetek (Armenian: Մելքիսեդեք, Melkisetek) is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers on July 26.

Protestantism

Traditional Protestant Christian denominations, following Luther, teach that Melchizedek was a historical figure and an archetype of Christ.[76]

Tremper Longman notes that a popular understanding of the relationship between Melchizedek and Jesus is that Melchizedek is an Old Testament Christophany – in other words, that Melchizedek is Jesus.[77]

Latter Day Saint movement

In the Latter Day Saint movement, the Book of Mormon makes reference to Melchizedek (Alma 13:17–19). These priesthoods are laid out by Smith in (Doctrine and Covenants 107:1-2,4,6-10,14,17-18,22,29,71,73,76) as well as more than twenty additional references in that work. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, Joseph Smith "appointed his male followers to priesthoods, named for the biblical figures Melchizedek and Aaron, that were overseen by the office of High Priest", incorporating selected practices from the Hebrew Bible.[78]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ English pronunciation according to the "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (lds.org; retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «mĕl-kĭz´a-dĭk»
  2. ^ Genesis 14:18–20
  3. ^ Targum Yonathan and Targum Yerushalmi to Bereishith 14:18–20. Talmud Bavli to tractate Nedarim 32b et al.
  4. ^ a b c d Blenkinsopp, Joseph (2015). Abraham: The Story of a Life. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-8028-7287-6.
  5. ^ [Minchath shai http://www.hebrewbooks.org/14036] to genesis (bereishith) 14:18–20
  6. ^ Strong's Concordance no. 4428 and 6666.
  7. ^ a b van der Toorn, K.; et al. (1996). Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 560.
  8. ^ A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament with an appendix containing the Biblical Aramaic, written by Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver and Charles Augustus Briggs, based on the Hebrew lexicon of Wilhelm Gesenius as translated by Edward Robinson, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1906, p. 575.
  9. ^ Ramban, bereishith chap. 14, opines that the name implies "my king is tzedek", based on the notion that the city of Salem is associated with the attribute of righteousness.
  10. ^ The Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges at Google Books
  11. ^ Genesis 14:1724 see below
  12. ^ Speiser, E. A. "Genesis. Introduction, translation, and notes" (AB 1; Garden City 1964) p. 105; Von Rad, "Genesis", pp. 170, 174; Noth, Martin. "A History of Pentateuchal Traditions" (Englewood Cliffs 1972) p. 28, n. 84.
  13. ^ Gunkel, Hermann. Genesis (Göttingen 1922) pp. 284–5
  14. ^ Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions. Encyclopaedia Britannica Publishers, Inc. Staff. p. 708.
  15. ^ Kamal Salibi, The Bible Came from Arabia Jonathan Cape, 1985, chapter 12
  16. ^ Della Vida, G. Levi. "El Elyon in Genesis 14:18–20", JBL 63 (1944) pp. 1–9
  17. ^ Fitzmyer, J. A. The Aramaic Inscriptions of Sefire, Revised Edition (Bibor 19A; Rome 1995) pp. 41, 75
  18. ^ Lack, R. "Les origines de Elyon, le Très-Haut, dans la tradition cultuelle d’Israel", CBQ 24 (1962) pp. 44–64
  19. ^ Alter, Robert (2004). The Five Books of Moses. W. W. Norton & Co. p. 70. ISBN 0-393-01955-1. Employment of the verb without a subject, not uncommon in biblical usage, occurs at the end of verse 20, where the Hebrew does not state what the context implies, that it is Abram who gives the tithe.
  20. ^ The Revised English Bible. Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press. 1989. p. 11.
  21. ^ Hayward, C. T. Robert (2010). Targums and the transmission of scripture into Judaism and Christianity. Koninklijke Brill NV. p. 15. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan makes it clear that Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek, as does the interpretation adopted by Jub. 13.25–27; Josephus Ant. 1.181; Philo Cong. 93, 99; and, of course, the epistle to the Hebrews [7:4].
  22. ^ Herczeg, Yisrael Isser Zvi (1995). The Torah: With Rashi's Commentary Translated, Annotated, and Elucidated. Mesorah Publications. p. 140.
  23. ^ Rogatchover Gaon. Tzafnat Paaneach al HaTorah. commentary on Gen. 14
  24. ^ Zohar Chodosh to Bereishit chap. 14 (the Zohar text, however, does not state that a name change to "Abra-ha-m" occurred at this point).
  25. ^ i.e. beginning in a form of talking to the person directly and ending the speech as speaking for the recipient – Meshech Chochma to Bereishit chap. 14
  26. ^ Albright reads melek shelomo (מלך-שלמו), "of his peace", instead of melek Salem, "king of Jerusalem", brought out bread and wine..." Albright, W. F. "Abram the Hebrew: A New Archaeological Interpretation", BASOR 163 (1961) 36–54, esp. 52.
  27. ^ New American Bible (1980), Genesis 14, fn.5
  28. ^ James L. Kugel, Traditions of the Bible, pp. 283–4
  29. ^ such as the Vulgate, KJV 1611, JPS 1917
  30. ^ Kugel, James L. Traditions of the Bible, pp. 278–9
  31. ^ based on the text שב לימיני with "Yemini" referring either to King Saul of the tribe of Benjamin (Binyamin) whom David was careful not to overthrow or to the Torah (as per it being referred to as "from his right hand – a fire of religion to them" –Deuteronomy) – Targum Yonathan to Psalm 110
  32. ^ Babylonian Talmud to Nedarim, p. 32
  33. ^ zohar vol. 3 p. 53b
  34. ^ Jutta Leonhardt Jewish worship in Philo of Alexandria 2001 p216 "IIl 82 Philo also identifies Melchizedek with the Logos as priest of God. Thus Melchizedek, Although Philo interprets the Jewish first-fruit offering and quotes the Jewish laws, the general context is still Cain's sacrifice."
  35. ^ Fred L. Horton The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources 2005 p170 "In the Genesis Apocryphon Melchizedek is brought into connection with Jerusalem (as he is later in Josephus), and in Philo Melchizedek is honored as the possessor of an unlearned and untutored priesthood, indeed as a representation"
  36. ^ Harry Alan Hahne (2006). Corruption and Redemption of Creation: the Natural World in Romans 8.19–22 and Jewish Apocalyptic Literature. p. 83. ISBN 0-567-03055-5.
  37. ^ 2 Enoch, Chapters 69–72
  38. ^ Morfill, W R (translator). The Book of the Secrets of Enoch.
  39. ^ Wise, Abegg, Cook (1996). The Dead Sea Scrolls: a New Translation.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  40. ^ The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources p. 85 Fred L. Horton – 2005 "Interestingly enough, we see that the Genesis Apocryphon offers no unique information about Melchizedek. Josephus gives three items of information not found in the other sources, and Philo four."
  41. ^ Pearson, Birger A. (2003). "Melchizedek in Early Judaism, Christianity and Gnosticism". In Stone, Michael E.; Bergren, Theodore A. (eds.). Biblical Figures Outside the Bible. p. 181. ISBN 978-1-56338-411-0. Gareth Lee Cockerill, The Epistle to the Hebrews, vol. 29 of The New International Commentary on the New Testament Author, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012, 298f. (fn. 14).
  42. ^ Willard M. Swartley, Covenant of Peace, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006, p. 255. Gary Staats, A Christological Commentary on Hebrews (2012), p. 71: "[The writer of Hebrews] is identifying Melchizedek as a king of righteousness and a king of peace. He thus becomes a beautiful type of Jesus Christ who is also the final King of righteousness and the final King of peace."
  43. ^ "if from a string and until a shoe string" – Bereishith 14:23
  44. ^ Chizkuni to Bereishith 14:18
  45. ^ And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the persons, but take the goods for yourself." But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have lifted my hand to the Lord, God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth, that I would not take a thread or a sandal strap or anything that is yours, lest you should say, 'I have made Abram rich.' I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me. Let Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre take their share."Genesis 14:21-24>as the later verse reads "aside..for what the young men consumed" – Bereishith 14:24
  46. ^ Rashbam to Bereishith 1418
  47. ^ see ohr hachayim to Bereishit 14:18
  48. ^ Machzor Vitry to Pirkei Avoth4:22
  49. ^ understood by Rashi as 30 Kanns. Of note is the Rogatchover Gaon, who demonstrates that the king's riis is inclusive of the demarcating boundary as part and parcel of the said boundary – Tzafnath Paaneach to Bereishith 14
  50. ^ Rashi to genesis 14:17, quoting medrash aggadahauthored by Rabbi Moshe HaDarshan. Medrash Rabbah
  51. ^ a b seder hadoroth p. 9b.
  52. ^ malbim to genesis chap. 14
  53. ^ Ramban to Bereishith 14:18
  54. ^ Rashi (based on Sifra) to Bereishith 12:6
  55. ^ introduction to Torath HaKohanim (M. Rizikoff)
  56. ^ Genesis 9:27
  57. ^ Maharzav (Rabbi Zev Wolf Einhorn; ?–1862; Lithuania), to Leviticus Rabbah 25:6
  58. ^ Bamidbar 18:7. The Chizkuni to Leviticus reasons that since the kohen father of the household naturally instills in his children the duties of Kehuna from birth and onward making them successful at their Kohanic duties
  59. ^ In Gen. 14:19–20, a precedence not befitting a kohen who is to be of total service to God – Eitz Yosef to Leviticu Rabbah 25:6.
  60. ^ Rabbi Zechariah, quoting Rabbi Ishmael; Leviticus Rabbah 25:6, Babylonian Talmud to Nedarim 32b. Zohar vol. 1 p. 86b.
  61. ^ in Hebrew; "והוא כהן" – Genesis 14
  62. ^ Ohr HaChayim (Rabbi Chaim ben Attar 1696–1742, Morocco) to Genesis 14:18 (first explanation). Eitz Yosef commentary to Leviticus Rabbah 25:6. Zohar vol. 1 p. 86b
  63. ^ Ohr HaChaim to Bereishith 14:18
  64. ^ Maharzav (Z. V. Einhorn) to Leviticus Rabbah 25:6 (since Abraham's demise preceded Shem's by 35 years)
  65. ^ this latter opinion being of the Eitz Yosef commentary to Vayikra Rabbah 25:6
  66. ^ (in Psalm 110). (Babylonian Talmud Baba Batra 14b–15a.)
  67. ^ Ginzberg, Louis (1909). The Legends of the Jews Volume III: Judah and His Sons (Translated by Henrietta Szold) Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.
  68. ^ Hebrews 5:6
  69. ^ Robinson, James M (translator) (1978). The Nag Hammadi Library in English.
  70. ^ Text of the tractate: http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/melchiz.html
  71. ^ Gareth Lee Cockerill, "The Epistle to the Hebrews", vol. 29 of The New International Commentary on the New Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012, 298f. (fn. 14). Willard M. Swartley, Covenant of Peace, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006, p. 255. Gary Staats, A Christological Commentary on Hebrews (2012), p. 71: "[The writer of Hebrews] is identifying Melchizedek as a king of righteousness and a king of peace. He thus becomes a beautiful type of Jesus Christ who is also the final King of righteousness and the final King of peace."
  72. ^ Philip Edgcumbe Hughes, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews p. 244
  73. ^ "Jesus Christ is not only typologically linked with the priestly order of Melchizedek, but fulfills and supersedes Melchizedek's person and role" Willard M. Swartley, Covenant of Peace, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2006, p. 255f.
  74. ^ Martyrologium Romanum ex Decreto Sacrosancti Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II instauratum, auctoritate Ioannis Pauli Pp. II promulgatum, editio [typica] altera, Typis vaticanis, [2004], p. 476.
  75. ^ May 22/June 4 Archived 2014-08-22 at the Wayback Machine. Orthodox Calendar (Provaslavie.ru).
  76. ^ Luther's works: First lectures on the Psalms II, Psalms 76-126 Martin Luther, Hilton C. Oswald – 1976 "After the order of Melchizedek, which is understood, first, in accordance with the name. ... Therefore He is the true Melchizedek. Second, this is understood in accordance with the office, because Melchizedek offered the bread and wine"
  77. ^ Longman, Tremper (2005). How To Read Genesis. p. 172. ISBN 9780830875603.
  78. ^ Bushman, Richard L. (25 April 2017). "Joseph Smith — American religious leader (1805–1844)". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 30 May 2017. He appointed his male followers to priesthoods, named for the biblical figures Melchizedek and Aaron, that were overseen by the office of High Priest.

Further reading

  • Dallmann, Robert W. (2013). Melchisedec: A Character Study. Niagara Falls, NY: ChristLife. ISBN 9780991489114.
  • Horton, Fred L. (1976). The Melchizedek Tradition: A Critical Examination of the Sources to the Fifth Century A.D. and in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Kugel, James L. (1998). "Melchizedek". Traditions of the Bible: A Guide to the Bible as It Was at the Start of the Common Era. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. pp. 275–93. ISBN 0-674-79151-7.
  • Manzi, Franco (1997). Melchisedek e l'angelologia nell'Epistola agli Ebrei e a Qumran. Rome: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico. p. 433. ISBN 978-88-7653-136-1.
  • Mathews, Joshua G. (2013). Melchizedek's Alternative Priestly Order: A Compositional Analysis of Genesis 14 :18-20 and Its Echoes Throughout the Tanak. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. ISBN 978-1-57506-820-6.
  • "Priesthood of Melchizedek". Let Us Reason Ministries. 2009.

External links

11Q13

11Q13, also 11QMelch or the Melchizedek document, is a fragmentary manuscript among the Dead Sea Scrolls (from Cave 11) which mentions Melchizedek as leader of God's angels in a war in Heaven against the angels of darkness instead of the more familiar Archangel Michael. The text is an apocalyptic commentary on the Jubilee year of Leviticus 25. The Dead Sea Scrolls contain texts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the language of 11Q13 is Hebrew, date of composition is circa 100 BCE.

Aaronic priesthood (Latter Day Saints)

The Aaronic priesthood (; also called the priesthood of Aaron or the Levitical priesthood) is the lesser of the two (or sometimes three) orders of priesthood recognized in the Latter Day Saint movement. The others are the Melchizedek priesthood and the rarely recognized Patriarchal priesthood. Unlike the Melchizedek priesthood, which is modeled after the authority of Jesus and the Twelve Apostles, or the Patriarchal priesthood, which is modeled after the authority of Abraham, the Aaronic priesthood is modeled after the priesthood of Aaron the Levite, the first high priest of the Hebrews, and his descendents. The Aaronic priesthood is thought to be a lesser or preparatory priesthood and an "appendage" of the more powerful Melchizedek priesthood.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) today, the holders of the Aaronic priesthood are primarily young men ages 11 to 18 and recent adult male converts to the church. The general leadership of the Aaronic priesthood, called the Presiding Bishopric, are administrative and financial agents of the church. Local leaders of the Aaronic priesthood are adult male bishops, who serve as pastoral leaders of individual congregations. Aaronic priesthood holders generally prepare, bless, and administer the sacrament, collect fast offerings, perform church and community service, assist in ministering, and occasionally perform baptisms. In their priesthood activities, holders of the Aaronic priesthood are also supported by the church's Young Men organization.

Athinganoi

The Athinganoi (Ancient Greek: Ἀθίγγανοι, singular Athinganos, Ἀθίγγανος) were a 9th-century sect of Monarchians located in Phrygia, founded by Theodotus the Banker. The etymology of the word is not certain, but a common determination is a derivation in Greek for "(the) untouchables" derived from a privative alpha prefix and the verb thingano (θιγγάνειν, "thinganein", "to touch"). It is uncertain whether the sect survived beyond the 9th century. They were probably scattered across Anatolia and the Balkans following the destruction of the Paulician capital Tephrike in the 870s.

An earlier, and probably quite distinct, sect with the same name is refuted by Marcus Eremita, who seems to have been a disciple of St. John Chrysostom. His book Eis ton Melchisedek, or according to Photius "Against the Melchisedekites", speaks of these new teachers as making Melchisedech an incarnation of the Logos (divine Word).

They were anathematized by the bishops, but would not cease to preach. They seem to have been otherwise orthodox. St. Jerome (Ep. 73) refutes an anonymous work which identified Melchisedech with the Holy Ghost. About AD 600, Timotheus, Presbyter of Constantinople, in his book De receptione Haereticorum adds at the end of his list of heretics who need rebaptism the Melchisedechians, "now called Athingani. They live in Phrygia, and are neither Hebrews nor Gentiles. They keep the Sabbath, but are not circumcised. They will not touch any man. If food is offered to them, they ask for it to be placed on the ground; then they come and take it. They give to others with the same precautions."

The name athinganoi, later variant form of which is atsinganoi, came to be associated with the Romani people who first appeared in the Byzantine Empire at the time and is the root word for "cigano", "çingene", "zigeuner", "tzigan", "țigan", and "zingaro", words used to describe members of the Romani people. Today many of these words are still used in a derogatory sense, albeit others are the most common exonym for them in a given language. It is still not clear if the athinganoi who were present in the 9th century in Europe are related to the Romani people of today.

Bishop (Latter Day Saints)

Bishop is the highest priesthood office of the Aaronic priesthood in the Latter Day Saint movement. It is almost always held by one who already holds the Melchizedek priesthood office of high priest. The Latter Day Saint concept of the office differs significantly from the role of bishops in other Christian denominations, being in some respects more analogous to a pastor or parish priest. Each bishop serves with two counselors, which together form a bishopric.

The role of a bishop varies in the different Latter Day Saint denominations; however, they derive from a common history.

Dominion of Melchizedek

The Dominion of Melchizedek (DoM), is a unilaterally declared, internationally unrecognised micronation known for facilitating large scale banking fraud in many parts of the world during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Drunvalo Melchizedek

Drunvalo Melchizedek (born: Bernard Perona, also formerly known as AKBAR and Hummingbird) is an American New Age mystic. His various teachings have had some influence on the Western New Age Movement as well as certain celebrities. He is a published author and has run multiple schools of New Age teaching, such as the School of Remembering and was formerly associated with the Seed Of Life Institute.

Elder (Latter Day Saints)

Elder is a priesthood office in the Melchizedek priesthood of denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church).

High priest (Latter Day Saints)

In most denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement, a high priest is an office of the priesthood within the Melchizedek priesthood. High priests are typically more experienced leaders within the priesthood. The term derives in part from the Epistle to the Hebrews, which describes Jesus as "a high priest after the order of Melchizedek" (5:10; see also 6:20). Movement founder Joseph Smith ordained the first high priests on June 3, 1831.High priests are organized into quorums. The first president of a high priests quorum of the church was Smith's younger brother, Don Carlos Smith.

Jebusite

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites (; Hebrew: יְבוּסִי, Modern: Yevusi, Tiberian: Yəḇûsî ISO 259-3 Ybusi) were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited Jerusalem prior to the conquest initiated by Joshua (11:3 and 12:10) and completed by King David (2 Samuel 5:6-10). The Books of Kings as well as 1 Chronicles 11:4 state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event. According to some biblical chronologies, the city was conquered by King David in 1003 BCE. The identification of Jebus with Jerusalem is disputed.

Melchizedek priesthood (Latter Day Saints)

The Melchizedek priesthood ( ) is the greater of the two orders of priesthood recognized in Mormonism. The other is the Aaronic priesthood. The Patriarchal priesthood which is sometimes confused as a separate priesthood was explained by Boyd K. Packer, an apostle in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) as:

The patriarchal order is not a third, separate priesthood. Whatever relates to the patriarchal order is embraced in the Melchizedek Priesthood. "All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to [the Melchizedek] priesthood." (D&C 107:5.) The patriarchal order is a part of the Melchizedek Priesthood which enables endowed and worthy men to preside over their posterity in time and eternity.

The Melchizedek priesthood is also referred to as the high priesthood of the holy order of God and the Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God, or simply as the high priesthood.

In Mormonism, unlike most other Christian denominations, the Melchizedek priesthood is thought to be held by common mortals and not solely by either pre-Aaronic priests such as Melchizedek, or Jesus alone, as most Christians interpret the Epistle to the Hebrews. According to Joseph Smith, the name of this priesthood became Melchizedek "because Melchizedek was such a great high priest" and "to avoid the too frequent repetition" of the "name of the Supreme Being". Smith taught that this priesthood was on the earth since Adam received it and conferred it upon his sons Abel and Seth, and it was conferred successively upon the early biblical patriarchs. Through it Enoch led his people to become so righteous and obedient that they qualified to be translated as the City of Enoch. Noah held this priesthood, as did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It remained on earth until the time of Moses, who received it "under the hand of his father-in-law, Jethro" and it would have been given to the Israelites if they had been worthy of it and had not "hardened their hearts".

Patriarchal priesthood

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the patriarchal priesthood (or Abrahamic priesthood) is sometimes understood as one of types or "orders" of priesthood. The two commonly known orders are the Aaronic priesthood and the Melchizedek priesthood. The patriarchal priesthood should not be confused with the calling of the patriarch. The patriarchal priesthood is associated with the patriarchal order found in Mormonism and is especially connected with celestial marriage.

Boyd K. Packer, an LDS Church apostle, has explained that the patriarchal priesthood is included in the Melchizedek priesthood: "There are references to a patriarchal priesthood. The patriarchal order is not a third, separate priesthood. Whatever relates to the patriarchal order is embraced in the Melchizedek Priesthood. 'All other authorities or offices in the church are appendages to [the Melchizedek] priesthood.' [D&C 107:5] The patriarchal order is a part of the Melchizedek Priesthood which enables endowed and worthy men to preside over their posterity in time and eternity."

Pearlasia Gamboa

Pearlasia Gamboa (born Elvira G. Gamboa) is a Filipino American business woman involved in controversial banking and investments, for which she has been successfully sued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and various state agencies. She was connected to the Dominion of Melchizedek, a micronation that has been used as a front for fraudulent criminal activity.

Priesthood (LDS Church)

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the priesthood is the power and authority to act in the name of God for the salvation of humankind. Male members of the church who meet standards of worthy behavior and church participation are generally ordained to specific offices within the priesthood.

Priesthood (Latter Day Saints)

In the Latter Day Saint movement, priesthood is the power and authority of God given to man, including the authority to perform ordinances and to act as a leader in the church. A body of priesthood holders is referred to as a quorum.

Priesthood denotes elements of both power and authority. The priesthood includes the power Jesus gave his apostles to perform miracles such as the casting out of devils and the healing of sick (Luke 9:1). Latter Day Saints believe that the Biblical miracles performed by prophets and apostles were performed by the power of priesthood, including the miracles of Jesus, who holds all of the keys of the priesthood. The priesthood is formally known as the "Priesthood after the Order of the Son of God", but to avoid the too frequent use of the name of deity, the priesthood is referred to as the Melchizedek priesthood (Melchizedek being the high priest to whom Abraham paid tithes).

As an authority, priesthood is the authority by which a bearer may perform ecclesiastical acts of service in the name of God. Latter Day Saints believe that acts (and in particular, ordinances) performed by one with priesthood authority are recognized by God and are binding in heaven, on earth, and in the afterlife. In addition, Latter Day Saints believe that leadership positions within the church are legitimized by the priesthood authority.

For most of the history of the Latter Day Saint movement, only men have been ordained to specific offices in the priesthood. The first exception to this policy was within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), a faction founded by James J. Strang that flourished between 1844 and 1856 (though a diminutive remnant still exists today). In Strang's church, women were—and still are—permitted to hold the offices of priest and teacher (but not any other offices) from as early as 1856. In 1984, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ), the second largest denomination of the movement, began ordaining women to all of its priesthood offices. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the largest church in the movement, still restricts its priesthood to men, as do most of the other Latter Day Saint denominations. Mormon feminist Kate Kelly was excommunicated for campaigning to allow women's ordination in the LDS Church. An apostle of the LDS Church has taught that "[m]en have no greater claim than women upon the blessings that issue from the Priesthood and accompany its possession."

Priesthood of Melchizedek

The priesthood of Melchizedek is a role in Abrahamic religions, modelled on Melchizedek, combining the dual position of king and priest.

Psalm 110

Psalm 110 is the 110th psalm of the Book of Psalms, generally known in English by its first verse, in the King James Version, "The LORD said unto my Lord". In the Greek Septuagint version of the bible, and in its Latin translation in the Vulgate, this psalm is Psalm 109 in a slightly different numbering system. In Latin, it is known as "Dixit Dominus". It is considered both a royal psalm and a messianic psalm. This psalm is a cornerstone in Christian theology, as it is cited as proof of the plurality of the Godhead and Jesus' supremacy as king, priest, and Messiah. For this reason, Psalm 110 is "the most frequently quoted or referenced psalm in the New Testament". Classical Jewish sources, in contrast, state that the subject of the psalm is either Abraham, David, or the Jewish Messiah.

The psalm is a regular part of Jewish, Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant liturgies. Because this psalm is prominent in the Office of Vespers, its Latin text has particular significance in music. Well-known vespers settings are Monteverdi's Vespro della Beata Vergine (1610), and Mozart's Vesperae solennes de confessore (1780). Handel composed Dixit Dominus in 1707, and Vivaldi set the psalm in Latin three times.

Quorum (Latter Day Saints)

In the Latter Day Saint movement, a quorum is a group of people ordained or endowed with priesthood authority, and organized to act together as a body. The idea of a quorum was established by Joseph Smith early in the history of the movement, and during his lifetime it has included several church-wide quorums, including the First Presidency, the Presiding High Council, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the Anointed Quorum, and the Quorum of the Seventy, as well as numerous local quorums for each congregation. The Council of Fifty, or General Council, was not part of the church, but a quorum-like body designed as a forerunner to establishing a theocratic government.

The concept of a quorum continues to have significant meaning in most modern Latter Day Saint denominations. Quorums are expected to act unanimously, if possible, and are chaired by one person who is designated as the president or presiding officer.

The Meeting Between Abraham and Melchizedek (Rubens)

The Meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek is a 1616-17 painting by Peter Paul Rubens, showing the meeting between Abraham and Melchizedek as recounted in the Genesis 14. It measures 204 cm by 250 cm and is now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen.

The painting's origins are unknown. It belonged to the Du Bois family when, at the end of 1749, it was bought for William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel by an art dealer in Antwerp for 6,000 florins. From that date onwards it was considered as a pendant to The Crowning of the Virtuous Hero in the inventory of the Kassel gallery. Both paintings were confiscated in 1806 by Vivant Denon and sent to Paris. Meeting was retained for the museum at Caen in 1811. After the fall of Napoleon, the Elector of Hesse sent a delegation in 1815 to recover it, though Élouis (curator of the Caen museum) pretended to be unable to find it. The Germans left disappointed, but continued trying to reclaim the painting until 1830.

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