Melchizedek

Melchizedek

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Melchizedek or Malki Tzedek (Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

  ) translated as "my king (is) righteous(ness)") is a king and priest mentioned during the Abram narrative in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis.

He is introduced as the king of Salem, and priest of El
El (god)
is a Northwest Semitic word meaning "deity", cognate to Akkadian and then to Hebrew : Eli and Arabic )....

 Elyon
Elyon
Elyon is an epithet of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible. is usually rendered as English "God Most High"....

("The highest God"). He brings out bread and wine and blesses Abram and El Elyon. Chazal
Chazal
Chazal or Ḥazal is an acronym for the Hebrew "Ḥakhameinu Zikhronam Liv'rakha",...

ic literature, specifically Targum Jonathan
Targum Jonathan
Targum Jonathan - otherwise referred to as Targum Yonasan/Yonatan is the official eastern targum to the Nevi'im. Its early origins, however, are western i.e. from the Land of Israel, and the Talmudic tradition attributes its authorship to Jonathan ben Uzziel...

, Targum Yerushalmi, and the Babylonian Talmud, presents the name ( as a nickname
Nickname
A nickname is "a usually familiar or humorous but sometimes pointed or cruel name given to a person or place, as a supposedly appropriate replacement for or addition to the proper name.", or a name similar in origin and pronunciation from the original name....

 title for Shem
Shem
Shem was one of the sons of Noah in the Hebrew Bible as well as in Islamic literature. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. Genesis 10:21 refers to relative ages of Shem and his brother Japheth, but with sufficient ambiguity in each...

, the son of Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

.

Spelling


In the majority of Masoretic (Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

) text the name is written in as two words ("malki zedek"). Whereas in the Septuagint, New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Vulgate
Vulgate
The Vulgate is a late 4th-century Latin translation of the Bible. It was largely the work of St. Jerome, who was commissioned by Pope Damasus I in 382 to make a revision of the old Latin translations...

 and Authorised King James Version he appears as one word.

Etymology


The Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the books in the New Testament. Its author is not known.The primary purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews is to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his...

, along with Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

 and Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

, interpret the name as meaning "the king", and "tzedek", meaning "righteous(ness)" or "justice". This interpretation is upheld by modern scholars because in the Dead Sea Scroll
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

 4QAmram 2.3 is found the opposite name Melchi-resha ("king of evil") for a chief angel of darkness.

Based on the detail that the word "malki" contains a possessive pronoun
Possessive pronoun
A possessive pronoun is a part of speech that substitutes for a noun phrase that begins with a possessive determiner . For example, in the sentence These glasses are mine, not yours, the words mine and yours are possessive pronouns and stand for my glasses and your glasses, respectively...

, connoting a meaning of "my king", the Ramban
Nahmanides
Nahmanides, also known as Rabbi Moses ben Naḥman Girondi, Bonastruc ça Porta and by his acronym Ramban, , was a leading medieval Jewish scholar, Catalan rabbi, philosopher, physician, kabbalist, and biblical commentator.-Name:"Nahmanides" is a Greek-influenced formation meaning "son of Naḥman"...

 opines that the name implies "my king is tzedek" -based on the notion that the city of Salem is associated with the attribute of "Tzedek" (Righteousness).

Lebanese Protestant scholar Kamal Salibi
Kamal Salibi
Kamal Suleiman Salibi was a prominent Lebanese historian, professor of history at the American University of Beirut and the founding Director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies in Amman, Jordan...

 cites Arabic cognates to suggest that the words "malki zedek" can be interpreted as mouthful of offering, so that the verse begins And food the king of Salem brought out, bread and wine ... The implication is to say that the king (whether of Sodom or of Salem) brought out food, then blessed Abraham and El Elyon. If the Albright reading, "a king allied to him" is also accepted, this would then imply that the whole interchange was with the King of Sodom.

Theophoric association



Some scholars provide a theophoric association on the latter part of the name, Ṣedeq ("righteousness") as an epithet of a Canaan
Canaan
Canaan is a historical region roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan...

ite god,, translating to "Sedeq is my king/lord". Ṣedeq and El Elyon ("God most high") may have been two epithets of the same Jebusite
Jebusite
According to the Hebrew Bible, the Jebusites were a Canaanite tribe who inhabited and built Jerusalem prior to its conquest by King David; the Books of Kings state that Jerusalem was known as Jebus prior to this event...

 god, identified as an astral deity, perhaps eponymous of Salem
Salem (name)
Salem is an Arabic given name and surname, a Sephardic Jewish surname of Hebrew origin, and an English origin surname.-Given name:* Salem Chalabi, Iraqi-American lawyer* Salem Al Fakir, Swedish musician...

 itself: Salim or Shalem (שלם) is attested as a god, presumably identified with the evening star
Evening Star
Evening Star is the name given to the planet Venus when it appears in the West after sunset; the ancient Greeks gave it the name Hesperus. It may also refer to:-People:* Arwen, an elf-maiden in J.R.R...

, in Ugaritic mythology; URUŠalim in this case would be the city of Salim, the Jebusite astral deity.

Parallel theophoric names, with Sedeq replaced by Yahu, are those of Malchijah
Malchijah
Malchijah is a biblical name belonging to several persons mentioned in the Hebrew Bible and means "Yahu is King" or "the king is Yahu".-In 1 Chronicles:...

 and Adonijah
Adonijah
Adonijah was the fourth son of King David according to the book of Samuel , which is contained in the Bible.-Life:After the death of his elder brothers Amnon and Absalom, he became heir-apparent to the throne, but Solomon, a younger brother, was preferred to him. Adonijah, however, when his father...

, both biblical characters placed in the time of David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

.

Bible commentators associate as a parallel to the king , with the common denominator of both being king of Salem.

Samaritan variance



Genesis calls Melchizedek "king of Salem", traditionally taken to be the name for Jerusalem prior to the Binding of Isaac
Binding of Isaac
The Binding of Isaac Akedah or Akeidat Yitzchak in Hebrew and Dhabih in Arabic, is a story from the Hebrew Bible in which God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Mount Moriah...

.

The Samaritan Pentateuch
Samaritan Pentateuch
The Samaritan Pentateuch, sometimes called Samaritan Torah, , is a version of the Hebrew language Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, used by the Samaritans....

 reads "שלמו" (lit. "his peace" or in contextual flow "allied with him") in place of the Masoretic "שלם" (Salem). With the difference being the altering of the final Mem
Mem
Mem is the thirteenth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic...

 into the two letters מ (middle Mem
Mem
Mem is the thirteenth letter of many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew and Arabic...

) and ו (vav).

William F. Albright
William F. Albright
William Foxwell Albright was an American archaeologist, biblical scholar, philologist and expert on ceramics. From the early twentieth century until his death, he was the dean of biblical archaeologists and the universally acknowledged founder of the Biblical archaeology movement...

 has proposed that "king of Salem" is a corruption of an original text which he reconstructed as: "And Melchizedek, a king allied to him The New American Bible makes a similar note.

Even if the "king of Salem" reading is correct, the equation with Jerusalem co-existed with another tradition which identified "Salem" as a place on the slopes of Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim
Mount Gerizim is one of the two mountains in the immediate vicinity of the West Bank city of Nablus , and forms the southern side of the valley in which Nablus is situated,...

 which served as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Israel. The tradition is associated with the Samaritans, for whom Gerizim (and not Jerusalem) is the site intended for the Temple, and thus serves an obvious sectarian purpose. Yet, it is not solely associated with the Samaritans, being found also in the 3rd or 2nd century BC Book of Jubilees and even in the Septuagint version of Genesis.

In the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 14


Melchizedek is mentioned twice in the Hebrew Bible, the first in Genesis and the second in psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

. The first mentioning, as part of the larger story of which tells how Abram returns from defeating king Chedorlaomer
Chedorlaomer
Chedorlaomer "a handful of sheaves", was a king of Elam according to the Hebrew Bible book of Genesis Chapter 14. He ruled fourteen years, from the East in southwestern Persia, occupying the regions east of the Jordan river, in the days of Abram...

 and meets with Bera
Bera (Bible)
Bera is the king of Sodom in Genesis 14. There is no mention of this monarch outside this biblical passage, and no trace of the city of Sodom has ever been found. In the story, Bera joins other Canaanite city kings in rebelling against Chedorlaomer, an Elamite king who rules a vast empire...

 the king of Sodom
Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah were cities mentioned in the Book of Genesis and later expounded upon throughout the Hebrew Bible, the New Testament and Deuterocanonical sources....

, at which point:
Some textual critics classify the narration as not being derived from any of the usual pentateuchal sources. 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.

However, Torah commentarians of the Rishonim
Rishonim
"Rishon" redirects here. For the preon model in particle physics, see Harari Rishon Model. For the Israeli town, see Rishon LeZion.Rishonim were the leading Rabbis and Poskim who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the Shulkhan Arukh and...

 era ( 11th to 15th centuries) have explained the seemingly abrupt intrusion of Melchizedek into the narration in various ways; Hezekiah ben Manoah
Hezekiah ben Manoah
Hezekiah ben Manoah was a French rabbi and exegete.In memory of his father, who lost his right hand through his stead-fastness in the faith, Hezekiah wrote a commentary on the Pentateuch, under the title Ḥazzeḳuni. It was printed at Venice in 1524...

 (c.1250) points out that the following verses has Abram refusing any of the king of Sodom's possessions 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. The Rashbam, Shmuel ben Meir (11th C.), offers a similar explanation but varies by saying that only Abram's men partook in the booty (originally belonging to the king of Sodom) whereas the Melchizedek intrusion explains that Abram himself was sustained by Melchizedek since he refused to consume of the booty of Sodom. Likewise, the commentary of Chaim ibn Attar
Chaim ibn Attar
Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar also known as the Ohr ha-Chaim after his popular commentary on the Pentateuch, was a Talmudist and kabbalist; born at Meknes, Morocco, in 1696; died in Jerusalem, Israel July 7, 1743. He was one of the most prominent rabbis in Morocco.In 1733 he decided to leave his native...

 (17th C) offers a three-pronged slew of reasons for the Melchizedek insertion.

Tithe recipient


The final verse of the Melchizedek narration provides an ambiguous statement of "And he gave him tithe from all" (v-yiten-lo ma'aser mekol "ויתן לו מעשר מכל") without specification of both who the giving party ("he") was and who was the recipient of the given tithe ("him"). The Septuagint likewise does not specify who "he gave him" (edōken autōi ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ) was.

Targum Jonathan
Targum Jonathan
Targum Jonathan - otherwise referred to as Targum Yonasan/Yonatan is the official eastern targum to the Nevi'im. Its early origins, however, are western i.e. from the Land of Israel, and the Talmudic tradition attributes its authorship to Jonathan ben Uzziel...

, Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, Abraham ibn Ezra
Abraham ibn Ezra
Rabbi Abraham ben Meir Ibn Ezra was born at Tudela, Navarre in 1089, and died c. 1167, apparently in Calahorra....

 (1089—1164) and Rashi
Rashi
Shlomo Yitzhaki , or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi , was a medieval French rabbi famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh...

 all read Abram as the giver of the tithes to Melchizedek. The Rogatchover Gaon
Rogatchover Gaon
Joseph Rosen known as the Rogatchover Gaon, , and also often referred to by the title of his main work Tzofnath Paneach , , was a rabbi and one of the most prominent talmudic scholars of the early 20th-century, known as a genius because of...

, based on the explanation that it was Abram who presented the tithe, describes that the tithe presented was not the standard tithe (Maaser Rishon
Maaser Rishon
The first tithe is a positive commandment in the Torah requiring the giving of one tenth of agricultural produce, after the giving of the standard terumah, to the Kohen...

) described in the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 as given on an annual basis, but was of the form of one-time "tribute offering" (trumat ha-mekhes תרומת המכס ; ) given with Abram's intent to publicize that God sustains his world with kindness and that tithe-giving merits Gods blessing of monetary wealth.

From a kabbalah
Kabbalah
Kabbalah/Kabala is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the esoteric aspect of Rabbinic Judaism. It was systematized in 11th-13th century Hachmei Provence and Spain, and again after the Expulsion from Spain, in 16th century Ottoman Palestine...

 point of view, the Zohar
Zohar
The Zohar is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah and scriptural interpretations as well as material on Mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology...

 commentary to Genesis 14 cites Rabbi Yitzchak as saying that it was God who gave tithe to Abram in the form of removing the Hebrew letter He
He (letter)
He is the fifth letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician , Aramaic, Hebrew , Syriac and Arabic . Its sound value is a voiceless glottal fricative ....

from his throne of glory and presenting it to the soul of Abram for his benefit.

Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk
Meir Simcha of Dvinsk
Meir Simcha of Dvinsk was a rabbi and prominent leader of Orthodox Judaism in Eastern Europe in the early 20th century. He was a kohen, and is therefore often referred to as Meir Simcha ha-Kohen...

 (1843–1926) presents that the phrase "And he gave him tithe from all" as a verbal continuation of Melchizedek's speech. Meaning that Melchizedek exclaimed how God has 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
Land of Canaan
Land of Canaan is a Mystery-thriller film and is directed by Reginald LaFrance, it stars Christina Applegate, Robert Englund, Juliet Landau and Neve Campbell.-Plot:...

 - including the cities of Sodom that Abram succeeded in saving. Rabbi Meir Simcha concludes that this type of verbal continuity expressed by Melchizedek is a common form of prophetic expression.

Lebanese Protestant scholar Kamal Salibi
Kamal Salibi
Kamal Suleiman Salibi was a prominent Lebanese historian, professor of history at the American University of Beirut and the founding Director of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies in Amman, Jordan...

 (1985) observes that , which does indeed mean tenth, could also mean just portion and , taken to mean from all, could also mean from food items, so that the whole verse could imply He gave him a morsel of food..

Priest of El Elyon



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
Giorgio Levi Della Vida
Giorgio Levi Della Vida was an Italian Jewish linguist whose expertise lay in Hebrew, Arabic, and other Semitic languages, as well as on the history and culture of the Near East.-Biography:...

 (1944) suspects that this is a late development, and Joseph Fitzmyer
Joseph Fitzmyer
Rev. Joseph Augustine Fitzmyer, S.J., is a priest of the Society of Jesus and a New Testament scholar.He entered the Maryland Province, made his novitiate in Wernersville, PA, and was ordained on July 30, 1938. His academic studies were done at Loyola University of Chicago; Facultes St-Albert de...

 (1962) connects Genesis 14 with the mention of a god called "Most High
Elyon
Elyon is an epithet of the God of Israel in the Hebrew Bible. is usually rendered as English "God Most High"....

," who may appear according to one of three possible translations of a 750BCE inscription found at Al-Safirah in Syria. 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.

Psalm 110



The second and final Hebrew Bible mention of Melchizedek is in Psalm .
The many translations that follow the Septuagint translate such;
"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 contains ambiguities and can be interpreted in various ways, and the New Jewish Publication Society of America Version
New Jewish Publication Society of America Version
The JPS TANAKH, published in 1985, is a modern Jewish translation of Hebrew Scripture into English.This translation emerged from the collaborative efforts of an interdenominational team of Jewish scholars and rabbis working together over a thirty-year period...

, (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.

The majority of Chazal
Chazal
Chazal or Ḥazal is an acronym for the Hebrew "Ḥakhameinu Zikhronam Liv'rakha",...

ic literature attributes the primary character of the psalm as King David 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 brother in law Lot and merited priesthood. The Zohar defines the noted Melchizedek as referring to Ahron the Kohen Gadol
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

 (high priest).

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).

Rabbinic interpretation


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
Valley of Josaphat
The Valley of Josaphat is mentioned in only one passage of the Bible, in Joel 3.2 : "I will gather together all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Josaphat: and I will plead with them there for my people, and for my inheritance Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations"...

). Targum Onkelos
Targum Onkelos
right|thumb|Interlinear text of [[Hebrew language|Hebrew]] [[Book of Numbers|Numbers]] 6.3–10 with [[Aramaic language|Aramaic]] Targum Onkelos from the [[British Library]]....

 describes the meeting location's size as "a plot the size of a king's Riis". Midrash
Midrash
The Hebrew term Midrash is a homiletic method of biblical exegesis. The term also refers to the whole compilation of homiletic teachings on the Bible....

ic 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
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

, at which point he declined, attributing his victory to God's might and will alone.

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, 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. Following the premise that Melchizedek was indeed Shem
Shem
Shem was one of the sons of Noah in the Hebrew Bible as well as in Islamic literature. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. Genesis 10:21 refers to relative ages of Shem and his brother Japheth, but with sufficient ambiguity in each...

, he was 465 years old at the time and Abram was 75 years of age.

Chazal
Chazal
Chazal or Ḥazal is an acronym for the Hebrew "Ḥakhameinu Zikhronam Liv'rakha",...

ic literature, unanimously identifies Melchizedek as Shem
Shem
Shem was one of the sons of Noah in the Hebrew Bible as well as in Islamic literature. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. Genesis 10:21 refers to relative ages of Shem and his brother Japheth, but with sufficient ambiguity in each...

 son of Noah
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

 (Targum Yonathan to Genesis chap. 14, Genesis Rabba
Genesis Rabba
Genesis Rabba is a religious text from Judaism's classical period. It is a midrash comprising a collection of ancient rabbinical homiletical interpretations of the Book of Genesis ....

h 46:7, Babylonian Talmud to Tractate Nedarim 32b).


There is, however, disagreement amongst Rishonim
Rishonim
"Rishon" redirects here. For the preon model in particle physics, see Harari Rishon Model. For the Israeli town, see Rishon LeZion.Rishonim were the leading Rabbis and Poskim who lived approximately during the 11th to 15th centuries, in the era before the writing of the Shulkhan Arukh and...

 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
Nahmanides
Nahmanides, also known as Rabbi Moses ben Naḥman Girondi, Bonastruc ça Porta and by his acronym Ramban, , was a leading medieval Jewish scholar, Catalan rabbi, philosopher, physician, kabbalist, and biblical commentator.-Name:"Nahmanides" is a Greek-influenced formation meaning "son of Naḥman"...

 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. Whereas Rashi
Rashi
Shlomo Yitzhaki , or in Latin Salomon Isaacides, and today generally known by the acronym Rashi , was a medieval French rabbi famed as the author of a comprehensive commentary on the Talmud, as well as a comprehensive commentary on the Tanakh...

 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.

Transition of the Priesthood


Although Melchizedek is the first person in the Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 to be titled a Kohen
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 (priest), the medrash records that he was preceded in priesthood (kehuna) by Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

. Rabbinic commentarians
Jewish commentaries on the Bible
This article describes the first printing of the Hebrew Bible with major Jewish commentaries, notes concerning translations into Aramaic and English, lists some universally accepted Jewish commentaries with notes on their method of approach and lists modern translations into English with notes.-...

 to the Torah explain that Melchizedek — essentially Shem
Shem
Shem was one of the sons of Noah in the Hebrew Bible as well as in Islamic literature. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. Genesis 10:21 refers to relative ages of Shem and his brother Japheth, but with sufficient ambiguity in each...

 — 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"; i.e., he will merit to serve and host G-d as a Kohen.

Torah Laws require that the Kohen
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 (priest) must be a patrilineal descendant of a prior Kohen. Leviticus Rabbah
Leviticus Rabbah
Leviticus Rabbah, Vayikrah Rabbah, or Wayiqra Rabbah is a homiletic midrash to the Biblical book of Leviticus . It is referred to by Nathan ben Jehiel in his Aruk as well as by Rashi in his commentaries on , and elsewhere. According to Leopold Zunz, Hai Gaon and Nissim knew and made use of it...

 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, God instead chose to bring the priesthood ("kehuna") forth from Abram’s descendants. As the text states in regard to Melchizedek; "and he is a Kohen", meaning himself in the exclusive sense and not his patrilineal descendants.

The Ohr HaChayim commentary presents that G-d was not angered by Melchizedek's preceding Abram's blessing to that of G-d, since Abram was rightfully deemed worthy of precedence for independently coming to recognize G-d amidst a world of Paganism
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

, but Melchizedek willingly gave the priesthood to Abram upon recognizing his outstanding uniqueness and G-dly character traits.

Rabbinic authorities defer as to whether Kehuna was given to Abram there and then or after the demise of Melchizedek.

The Medrash records that Shem functioned as kohen gadol
Kohen Gadol
The High Priest was the chief religious official of Israelite religion and of classical Judaism from the rise of the Israelite nation until the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem...

 (high priest) in that he taught Torah
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

 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
Tabernacle
The Tabernacle , according to the Hebrew Torah/Old Testament, was the portable dwelling place for the divine presence from the time of the Exodus from Egypt through the conquering of the land of Canaan. Built to specifications revealed by God to Moses at Mount Sinai, it accompanied the Israelites...

.

Midrash text


The Midrash quotes multiple aspects of both Melchizedek and Abram; The Rabbis taught that Melchizedek acted as a priest
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

 and handed down Adam’s
Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve were, according to the Genesis creation narratives, the first human couple to inhabit Earth, created by YHWH, the God of the ancient Hebrews...

 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
Torah
Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five books of the bible—Genesis , Exodus , Leviticus , Numbers and Deuteronomy Torah- A scroll containing the first five books of the BibleThe Torah , is name given by Jews to the first five...

. (Genesis Rabbah 43:6.) Rabbi Eleazar said that Melchizedek’s school was one of three places where the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh
Ruach HaKodesh
The Hebrew language phrase ruach ha-kodesh is a term used in the Hebrew Bible and Jewish writings to refer to the Spirit of YHVH. The Hebrew term ruakh kodeshka , without the definite article, also occurs...

) 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 (Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 52b; see also Song of Songs Rabbah
Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah
Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah is a Haggadic midrash on Canticles, quoted by Rashi under the title "Midrash Shir ha-Shirim" . It is called also "Agadat Ḥazita", from its initial word "Ḥazita" , or "Midrash Ḥazita" Shir ha-Shirim Rabbah (Hebrew: שיר השירים רבה) is a Haggadic midrash on Canticles, quoted by...

 2:33 (crediting Rabbi Berekiah in the name of Rabbi Isaac).) The Talmud teaches that David
David
David was the second king of the united Kingdom of Israel according to the Hebrew Bible and, according to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, an ancestor of Jesus Christ through both Saint Joseph and Mary...

 wrote the Book of Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

, including in it the work of the elders, including Melchizedek.

Thus according to some rabbis 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 the daughter (or granddaughter by some opinions) of Shem.

In the Zohar


The Zohar
Zohar
The Zohar is the foundational work in the literature of Jewish mystical thought known as Kabbalah. It is a group of books including commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah and scriptural interpretations as well as material on Mysticism, mythical cosmogony, and mystical psychology...

 (redacted by Moses de León
Moses de Leon
Moses de León , known in Hebrew as Moshe ben Shem-Tov , was a Spanish rabbi and Kabbalist who is thought of as the composer or redactor of the Zohar. It is a matter of controversy if the Zohar is his own work, or that he committed traditions going back to Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai in writing...

 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
He (letter)
He is the fifth letter of many Semitic alphabets, including Phoenician , Aramaic, Hebrew , Syriac and Arabic . Its sound value is a voiceless glottal fricative ....

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.

11Q13


11Q13
11Q13
11Q13, also 11QMelch or the Melchizedek document, is a fragmentary manuscript among the Dead Sea Scrolls 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...

 (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
Qumran
Qumran is an archaeological site in the West Bank. It is located on a dry plateau about a mile inland from the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, near the Israeli settlement and kibbutz of Kalia...

 in the Israeli Dead Sea area and which comprises part of the Dead Sea Scrolls
Dead Sea scrolls
The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name...

. In this eschatological
Eschatology
Eschatology is a part of theology, philosophy, and futurology concerned with what are believed to be the final events in history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity, commonly referred to as the end of the world or the World to Come...

 text, Melchizedek is seen as a divine being and Hebrew titles as Elohim
Elohim
Elohim is a grammatically singular or plural noun for "god" or "gods" in both modern and ancient Hebrew language. When used with singular verbs and adjectives elohim is usually singular, "god" or especially, the God. When used with plural verbs and adjectives elohim is usually plural, "gods" or...

 are applied to him. According to this text Melchizedek will proclaim the "Day of Atonement
Atonement in Judaism
Atonement in Judaism is the process of causing a transgression to be forgiven or pardoned.- In Rabbinic Judaism :In Rabbinic Judaism, atonement is achieved through some combination of*repentance*Temple service Atonement in Judaism is the process of causing a transgression to be forgiven or...

" and he will atone for the people who are predestined to him. He also will judge the peoples.

Philo


Philo
Philo
Philo , known also as Philo of Alexandria , Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria....

 identifies Melchizedek with the Logos
Logos
' is an important term in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric and religion. Originally a word meaning "a ground", "a plea", "an opinion", "an expectation", "word," "speech," "account," "reason," it became a technical term in philosophy, beginning with Heraclitus ' is an important term in...

 as priest of God, and honoured as an untutored priesthood.

Josephus


Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 refers to Melchizedek as a "Canaanite chief" in War of the Jews, but as a priest in Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews
Antiquities of the Jews is a twenty volume historiographical work composed by the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Roman emperor Flavius Domitian which was around 93 or 94 AD. Antiquities of the Jews contains an account of history of the Jewish people,...

.

Second Book of Enoch


The Second Book of Enoch
Second Book of Enoch
The Second Book of Enoch is a pseudepigraphic of the Old Testament. It is usually considered to be part of the Apocalyptic literature. Late 1st century CE is the dating often preferred...

 (also called "Slavonic Enoch") is apparently a Jewish sectarian work of the 1st century AD. 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
Noah
Noah was, according to the Hebrew Bible, the tenth and last of the antediluvian Patriarchs. The biblical story of Noah is contained in chapters 6–9 of the book of Genesis, where he saves his family and representatives of all animals from the flood by constructing an ark...

. 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
Gabriel
In Abrahamic religions, Gabriel is an Archangel who typically serves as a messenger to humans from God.He first appears in the Book of Daniel, delivering explanations of Daniel's visions. In the Gospel of Luke Gabriel foretells the births of both John the Baptist and of Jesus...

 (Michael
Michael (archangel)
Michael , Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; , Mikhaḗl; or Míchaël; , Mīkhā'īl) is an archangel in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic teachings. Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and Lutherans refer to him as Saint Michael the Archangel and also simply as Saint Michael...

 in some manuscripts) to the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

 and was thus preserved from the Deluge without having to be in Noah's Ark
Noah's Ark
Noah's Ark is a vessel appearing in the Book of Genesis and the Quran . These narratives describe the construction of the ark by Noah at God's command to save himself, his family, and the world's animals from the worldwide deluge of the Great Flood.In the narrative of the ark, God sees the...

.

In Christianity



Melchizedek is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers in the Calendar of Saints
Calendar of Saints (Armenian Apostolic Church)
-January:* 1 Third Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 2 Fourth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 3 Fifth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 4 Sixth Day of the Fast of the Nativity* 5 Eve of the Nativity and Theophany of our Lord Jesus Christ...

 of the Armenian Apostolic Church
Armenian Apostolic Church
The Armenian Apostolic Church is the world's oldest National Church, is part of Oriental Orthodoxy, and is one of the most ancient Christian communities. Armenia was the first country to adopt Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD, in establishing this church...

 on July 26. He is mentioned in the Roman Canon
Text and rubrics of the Roman Canon
Before the 1970 revision of the Roman Missal, the Mass had, in the Roman Rite, only one Anaphora or Eucharistic Prayer, which was referred to as the Canon of the Mass. Since the 1970 revision, which made only minimal changes in the text, but somewhat more important changes in the rubrics, it is...

, the First Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman rite
Roman Rite
The Roman Rite is the liturgical rite used in the Diocese of Rome in the Catholic Church. It is by far the most widespread of the Latin liturgical rites used within the Western or Latin autonomous particular Church, the particular Church that itself is also called the Latin Rite, and that is one of...

, and also figures in the current Roman Martyrology
Roman Martyrology
The Roman Martyrology is the official martyrology of the Roman Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. It provides an extensive but not exhaustive list of the saints recognized by the Church.-History:...

, or Martyrologium Romanum as a commemoration on August 26.

New Testament



In the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, references to Melchizedek appear only in the Letter to the Hebrews (later 1st 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 . and so Jesus assumes the role of High Priest once and for all. Abraham's transfer of goods to Melchizedek is seen to imply that Melchizedek is superior to Abraham, in that Abraham is tithing to him. Thus, Melchizedek's (Jesus') priesthood is superior to the Aaronic priesthood
Kohen
A Kohen is the Hebrew word for priest. Jewish Kohens are traditionally believed and halachically required to be of direct patrilineal descent from the Biblical Aaron....

, and the Temple in Jerusalem
Temple in Jerusalem
The Temple in Jerusalem or Holy Temple , refers to one of a series of structures which were historically located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem, the current site of the Dome of the Rock. Historically, these successive temples stood at this location and functioned as the centre of...

 is now unnecessary.

In Nag Hammadi Library


A collection of early Gnostic
Gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

 scripts dating on or before the 4th-century, discovered in 1945 and known as the Nag Hammadi Library
Nag Hammadi library
The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945. That year, twelve leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by a local peasant named Mohammed Ali Samman...

, contains a tractate pertaining to Melchizedek. Here it is proposed that Melchizedek is Jesus Christ. 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.

Evangelical Christian beliefs


Traditional Evangelical Christan denominations, following Luther, teach that Melchizedek was a historical figure and an antitype of Christ. Some evangelical Christians since the 19th Century or earlier have taught that Melchizedek was an appearance of the pre-incarnate Christ
Pre-existence of Christ
The pre-existence of Christ refers to the doctrine of the ontological or personal existence of Christ before his conception. One of the relevant Bible passages is where, in the Trinitarian view, Christ is identified with a pre-existent divine hypostasis called the Logos or Word...

. Others teach that Melchizedek was an angel sent by God as a representative.

Purported immortality



Hebrews 7:3 creates some confusion between denominations regarding Melchizedek's nature and background. This is how it stands in the KJV, describing Melchizedek as "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually."

Different denominations interpret this in vastly different ways. Some say that Melchizedek is literally like the Son of God (or even is the Son of God) in that he has no father or mother. Others say that he has been adopted into Christ's lineage through the Lord's suffering, still others claim that the verse has been mistranslated, and that Melchizedek's priesthood is without lineage, not Melchizedek himself. Others claim that the verse merely represents Melchizedek's not being a priesthood holder because of lineage (in other words, "without descent" meaning not a descendant of Levi as required by Mosaic Law.)

The Book of the Bee
Book of the Bee
The Book of the Bee is an historical/theological compilation containing numerous bible legends. It was written by Syrian Nestorian Solomon, Bishop of Bassora . It was written in Syriac.-Book:...

, a 13th C. Syriac text, also offers insights contrary to Melchizedek's purported immortal nature:

NEITHER the fathers nor mother of this Melchizedek were written down in the genealogies; not that he had no natural parents, but that they were not written down. The greater number of the doctors say that he was of the seed of Canaan, whom Noah cursed. In the book of Chronography, however, (the author) affirms and says that he was of the seed of Shem the son of Noah. Shem begat Arphaxar, Arphaxar begat Cainan, and Cainan begat Shâlâh and Mâlâh, Shâlâh was written down in the genealogies; but Mâlâh was not, because his affairs were not sufficiently important to be written down in the genealogies. When Noah died, he commanded Shem concerning the bones of Adam, for they were with them in the ark, and were removed from the land of Eden to this earth. Then Shem entered the ark, and sealed it with his father's seal, and said to his brethren, 'My father commanded me to go and see the sources of the rivers and the seas and the structure of the earth, and to return.' And he said to Mâlâh the father of Melchizedek, and to Yôzâdâk his mother...."

Latter-Day Saint beliefs


The Book of Mormon of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints describes the work of Melchizedek in Salem in Alma 13:17-19. According to Alma
Book of Alma
The Book of Alma is one of the books that make up the Book of Mormon. The full title is The Book of Alma: The Son of Alma. The title refers to Alma the Younger, a prophet and "chief judge" of the Nephites.-Historical Outline:...

, Melchizedek was King over the wicked people of Salem, but because of his righteousness, his people repented of their wickedness and became a peaceful city in accordance with the meaning of that name. With respect to Old Testament prophets, Alma declares that "there were many before [Melchizedek], and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater."

Also, in Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible
Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible
The Joseph Smith Translation , also called the Inspired Version , was a revision of the Bible by Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint movement. Smith considered this work to be "a branch of his calling" as a prophet. Smith was murdered before he ever deemed it complete, though most of...

, Melchizedek is described as "a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions." Because he was a righteous and God fearing man, Melchizedek was "ordained a high priest." The Translation also describes Melchizedek as establishing peace in his city and being called "the king of heaven" and "the King of peace" (JST Bible Gen 14:25-40), that he and his people sought to be translated, like Enoch (ancestor of Noah)
Enoch (ancestor of Noah)
Enoch is a figure in the Generations of Adam. Enoch is described as Adam's greatx4 grandson , the son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah...

's people were.
Finally, the Joseph Smith Translation notes that, in Hebrews, when Paul speaks of Melchizedek, the order of the priesthood named for him is without father and mother, etc., and not Melchizedek himself. (JST Bible Heb 7:3)

Other Latter-day Saint views on Melchizedek closely match the King James Bible. The Melchizedek Priesthood
Melchizedek priesthood
The Melchizedek priesthood is the greater of the two orders of priesthood recognized in Mormonism. The others are the Aaronic priesthood and the rarely recognized Patriarchal priesthood...

 is named after him, so as not to over-use the name of Christ, after whom it was originally named Section 107:3-4.

According to the Doctrine and Covenants
Doctrine and Covenants
The Doctrine and Covenants is a part of the open scriptural canon of several denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement...

, Melchizedek is a descendant of Noah (LDS Church Section 84:14; Community of Christ
Community of Christ
The Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints , is an American-based international Christian church established in April 1830 that claims as its mission "to proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love, and peace"...

 Section 83:2e). There remains controversy whether he was Shem, or a descendant. John Taylor taught the former — perhaps due to Jasher 16:11, which says Adonizedek; Bruce McConkie the latter.

In Islam


There is no mention of Melchizedek in the Qur'an
Qur'an
The Quran , also transliterated Qur'an, Koran, Alcoran, Qur’ān, Coran, Kuran, and al-Qur’ān, is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God . It is regarded widely as the finest piece of literature in the Arabic language...

 or in early Islamic exegesis
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

 or literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

. Some later commentators, including Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
Hafiz Abdullah Yusuf Ali, CBE, FRSL was an Indian Islamic scholar who translated the Qur'an into English. His translation of the Qur'an is one of the most widely-known and used in the English-speaking world....

, however, did suggest a link between Melchizedek and Khidr. They referred to St. Paul's allegory of Melchizedek in his Epistle to the Hebrews
Epistle to the Hebrews
The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of the books in the New Testament. Its author is not known.The primary purpose of the Letter to the Hebrews is to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. The central thought of the entire Epistle is the doctrine of the Person of Christ and his...

 as a parallel to the Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 view
View
A view is what can be seen in a range of vision. View may also be used as a synonym of point of view in the first sense. View may also be used figuratively or with special significance—for example, to imply a scenic outlook or significant vantage point:...

 of Khidr. In Ismailism, however, Melchizedek is of greater importance as one of the 'Permanent Imams'; that is those who guide people through the ages of history.

The Urantia Book



In the 20th-century The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book
The Urantia Book is a spiritual and philosophical book that discusses God, Jesus, science, cosmology, religion, history, and destiny. It originated in Chicago, Illinois, sometime between 1924 and 1955...

, Melchizedek is reported as being the first of the four orders of descending sonship designated as local universe Sons of God, created by the Creator Son and Creative Spirit in collaboration with the Father Melchizedek in the early days of populating the local universe of Nebadon.

See also



  • Melchisedechians
    Melchisedechians
    The Melchisedechians, also known as Athingani were a 9th-century sect of Monarchians located in Phrygia, founded by Theodotus the banker....

  • Amraphel
    Amraphel
    In the Tanakh or Old Testament, Amraphel was a king of Shinar in Genesis xiv.1 and 9, who invaded the west along with Chedorlaomer, king of Elam, and others, and defeated Sodom and the other Cities of the Plain in the Battle of the Vale of Siddim.Beginning with E...

  • Arioch
    Arioch
    Arioch is a Hebrew name that means "fierce lion". It originally appears in the Book of Genesis chapter 14 as the name of the "King of Ellasar", part of the confederation of kings who did battle with the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah and with Abraham in the Battle of the Vale of Siddim...

  • Lech-Lecha
    Lech-Lecha
    Lech-Lecha, Lekh-Lekha, or Lech-L'cha is the third weekly Torah portion in the annual Jewish cycle of Torah reading. It constitutes Genesis Jews read it on the third Sabbath after Simchat Torah, generally in October or November....

  • Zadok
    Zadok
    Zadok was a high priest of the Israelites in Jerusalem after it was conquered by David.Zadok may also refer to:*Rabbi Zadok, tanna of the 1st-century CE*Zadok the Priest, an 18th-century coronation anthem by Handel...