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Genesis 14:18-20, Priest and King, Difficult Aspects, Salem, ’el ‘Elyon, Hebrews 7:1-10, Abraham and Levi, Hebrews 7:11-28


Commentators have long recognized the mystery of Melchizedek, noting “that Melchizedek appears in the narrative out of nowhere and just as quickly is gone.” In light of the nature of this Melchizedek figure, the task for a deep reader of Scripture becomes not only identifying who this figure is as he appears in Genesis, but also drawing out the biblical-theological implications of his presence. To determine how to best understand Melchizedek as well as his presence within the canon, the most effective approach is to examine the text in which he first appears—Genesis 14:18-20—and examine its interplay with another key Melchizedekian-text—Hebrews 7:1-28. Upon gaining a firm grasp of Melchizedek’s character as explained in Genesis 14 and subsequently in Hebrews 7, we not only begin to understand him as a priest-king, but furthermore, our texts subtly suggest that the merging and coaction of these two offices in Melchizedek was how God always intended each of them to exist. Thus, the institution of the Levitical priesthood was a deviation from the perfect will of God, though not his permissive will.



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