Melchizedek (Gen 14:17-14:24)

“After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh, that is, the King’s Valley. King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine.  He was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth.  And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’”

After this great victory, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram in the Valley of Shaveh, north of Jerusalem.  King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine because he was the priest of the God Most High (El Elyon).    He then blessed Abram.  This episode has another name for God other than Yahweh. Many have seen Salem as Jerusalem.  This combination of a king priest of Jerusalem, Melchizedek, with his bread and wine, became a figure or allegory for Christ with his bread and wine within the priestly order of Melchizedek.

“Abram gave him one-tenth of everything.  Then 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 sworn to Yahweh God Most High, maker of heaven and earth,  that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, so that you might not 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.’”

            Abram gave 10% of everything to King Melchizedeck.  Perhaps this is a foreshadowing of things to come or was already in place concurrently at the time of the author. The king of Sodom said he wanted the people, but the not the goods that had been conquered. Abram refused to take any goods because he did not want to be known as someone who got rich out of this battle, since he already was rich.  Abram took nothing except what his men had eaten and the Amorite men’s share.