Genesis Chapter 14
Verses 1-12: Raiding, conquering, and making other kings and city-states subservient vassals were all part of the world of the Fertile Crescent in Abraham’s day. These locations mentioned range from Shinar in the east (the region south of the Salt Sea; Dead Sea), to the Jordan Valley, to the land of Moab, Southwest of the Dead Sea to Mt. Seir (later Edom).
Amalekites (see note on Exodus 17:8), did not yet exist in Abram’s time (36:12), but they did when Moses wrote. Amorites scattered throughout Palestine became Canaanites. Vassal states, when they thought they could throw off the yoke of their suzerain with impunity, rebelled by not paying the assessed tribute and waited for any military response.
This time rebellion evoked a major military excursion by the offended suzerain Chedorlaomer and his allies (verses 5-7). In the ensuing confrontation with Sodom and Gomorrah and their allies (verses 8-10), the vassals miscalculated and they lost. Lot, by then a resident of Sodom, was taken captive.
Genesis 14:1 “And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations;”
Fourteen years previous to the time of the incident narrated here (verse 5), “Chedorlaomer” (not Hammurabi), had control of the plain of Jordan. At this time, Abram was possibly still in Haran. Five cities of the plain revolted; and Chedorlaomer, with three allies, marched against them.
The reason for the allies’ presence is only a guess, but they certainly came a long distance to control this area. So, they may have come to control the copper mines south and southwest of the Dead Sea. The Proto-Sinaitic Inscriptions reveal that the mines were worked for centuries. Later, Solomon worked them.
Genesis 14:2 “[That these] made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.”
The spirit of despotism had descended from Nimrod to the present potentates of the East, and prompted them to aim at universal empire. The five kings are the petty sovereigns, each of a single town and its neighborhood. The area in which these towns lay was very circumscribed.
With the exception of the territory of Bela it was afterward submerged and formed part of the basin of the Salt Sea. Hence, Siddim is said to be the Salt Sea. The dale is the deep valley or glen in which these kings dwelt on the banks of the Jordan, or the Salt Lake into which it flowed.
Of the five cities, Sodom was the chief in power, luxury, and wickedness; whence it is mentioned first. Bela is also called Zoar, “the little,” and, hence, is placed last; even the name of its king is not given. “All these joined together.”
Genesis 14:3 “All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea.”
Those mentioned in verse 1 formed a league in self-defense, and marched out to meet the enemy in the dale of Siddim. These made war with Bera, etc.
There are just a few things in this to note.
(1) Elam is modern Iran;
(2) Vale of Siddim and Salt Sea are the same as the Dead Sea; and
(3) Remember that Lot had settled at, or near, Sodom.
Genesis 14:4 “Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.”
It appears that these five Canaanitish kings had been subdued by Chedorlaomer, and were obliged to pay him tribute; and that, having been enslaved by him twelve years, wishing to recover their liberty, they revolted in the thirteenth.
In consequence of which Chedorlaomer, the following year, summoned to his assistance three of his vassals, invaded Canaan, fought with and discomfited the kings of the Pentapolis or five cities: Sodom, Gomorrah, Zeboiim, Zoar, and Admab, which were situated in the fruitful plain of Siddim, having previously overrun the whole land.
Genesis 14:5 “And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings that [were] with him, and smote the Rephaims in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emins in Shaveh Kiriathaim,”
The narrative here reverts to the previous circumstances which gave occasion to the present raid. “Twelve years had they served Chedorlaomer.” These years’ date probably from the commencement of his reign. They may have been previously dependent on the dominant power in Shinar, and connected with it by national descent.
If Chedorlaomer had wrested the supremacy from the king of Shinar, and so was regarded as an alien by the princes of Siddim, their coolness might gradually ripen into disaffection. In the thirteenth year, they rebelled, and in the fourteenth Chedorlaomer came to quell the revolt. This military expedition embraced far loftier objects than the mere control of the Pentapolis in the dale of Siddim.
Genesis 14:6 “And the Horites in their mount Seir, unto El-paran, which [is] by the wilderness.”
“And the Horites in their Mount Seir”: Or the Horim who dwelt in Mount Seir, so called from Seir the Horite, who continued here till they were drove out by the sons of Esau or Edom, from whom their country was afterwards called Edom or Idumea (see Genesis 36:20; Deuteronomy 2:12), unto El-paran, which is by the wilderness.
So far, these Horites inhabited, and the four kings smote all they met with unto this place. Which was either the plain or oak of Paran, near a wilderness of the same name. The wilderness of Arabia, through which the Israelites travelled forty years, in their way to Canaan.
The Horites were perhaps a Shemite tribe, the aboriginal inhabitants of Mount Seir, where they dwelt in caves; such as are still to be seen in Petra and other places around. They were afterward absorbed into the Edomites. Mount Seir stretches between the Salt Sea and the Elanitic Gulf.
The Horites: A people that dwelt in Mount Seir, till Esau and his sons drove them from there (Deuteronomy 2:22).
El-paran: The plain or oak of Paran, which was a city in the wilderness of Paran (Genesis 21:21).
Genesis 14:7 “And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which [is] Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that dwelt in Hazezon-tamar.”
“And they returned, and came to En-mishpat, which is Kadesh”: Pursuing their victories as far as Elparan by the wilderness, they had passed by the country of the Amalekites; wherefore they “returned”, or came back to fall upon them, and they came to a place called En-mishpat, or the “fountain of judgment”; which was not its future name.
It was there Moses and Aaron were to be judged concerning the business of that fountain, even the waters of Meribah, with which agrees the “Targum of Jonathan;” and they returned and came to the place where the judgment of Moses the prophet was determined by the fountain of the waters of contention.
It seems to have been the ancient name of the place, and by which it was called at this time, as Kadesh was the name of it at the time of Moses writing this; and therefore he adds: which is now called Kadesh, because there the Lord was sanctified, when the rock at that place was smitten, and waters gushed out.
“And smote all the country of the Amalekites”: Which, according to Josephus reached from Pelusium in Egypt to the Red sea.
They inhabited Arabia Petraea, for he says, the inhabitants of Gobolitis and Petra are called Amalekites; which name is generally supposed to have been given them here by way of anticipation, since the commonly received opinion is, that they were the descendants of Amalek, a grandson of Esau, who was not born when this war was waged (see Genesis 36:12).
It seems more probable that the Amalekites were of the posterity of Ham, since Chedorlaomer, a descendant of Shem, falls upon them, and kills them. They being confederate with the Canaanites, and Amorites, Philistines, and other Canaanitish nations, always mentioned, seem a more ancient nation than what could proceed from Amalek the son of Eliphaz.
Since Amalek is said to be the first of the nations (Numbers 24:20); nor does there ever appear to be any harmony and friendship between them and the Edomites, as it might be thought there would, if they were a branch of Esau’s family. Nor did they give them any assistance, when destroyed by Saul, so that they seem rather to be a tribe of the Canaanitish nations. And they are, by Philo the Jew, expressly called Phoenicians.
Genesis 14:8 “And there went out the king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same [is] Zoar;) and they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim;”
We have now arrived again at the point we had reached (in Genesis 14:3). The five kings came out and joined battle with the four in the dale of Siddim. This dale abounded in pits of mineral pitch, or asphalt.
“And there went out the king of Sodom”: With his armed men to meet the four kings, and give them battle, being so near him, and in so much danger from them, that if they could not stand their ground, they might flee to the mountains, and not perish in the city.
And the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the King of Zeboiim; whose names are before given (Genesis 14:2), and the king of Bela, the same is Zoar (as in Genesis 14:2). And they joined battle with them in the vale of Siddim.
The invaders were from Chaldea and Persia, then only small kingdoms. They took Lot among the rest, and his goods. Though he was righteous, and Abram’s brother’s son, yet he was with the rest in this trouble.
Neither our own reverence, nor relation to the favorites of Heaven, will be our security when God’s judgments are abroad. Many an honest man fares the worse for his wicked neighbors. It is our wisdom to separate, or at least to distinguish ourselves from them (2 Cor. 6:17).
Genesis 14:9 “With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and with Tidal king of nations, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings with five.”
And it came to pass. This chapter presents Abram in the unexpected character of a warrior. The occasion was this: The king of Sodom and the kings of the adjoining cities, after having been tributaries for twelve years to the king of Elam, combined to throw off his yoke.
To punish their rebellion, as he deemed it, Chedorlaomer, with the aid of three allies, invaded the territories of the refractory princes, and defeated them in a pitched battle where the nature of the ground favored his army (Gen. 14:10). And hastened in triumph on his homeward march, with many captives and booty, though merely a stranger.
I think that what we must see in all of this is that there was unrest in the land for over 14 years. This land was broken into small areas and each one had a king. Any time a group of people start a fight with someone else, it is the desire for power and wealth that makes them do it. I am just sure that such was the case here, as well. All these kings wanted to be the top king.
Genesis 14:10 “And the vale of Siddim [was full of] slimepits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.”
The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled toward these pits, and seem to have fallen into them and perished. The others betook themselves to the mountain, probably the heights on the cast of the dale.
Perhaps this was the large peninsula that comes out into the Dead Sea from the eastern shore. In Abram’s time, it may have come all the way across to the western shore (near Masada), so the bottom third of the current Dead Sea formed this dry valley.
“Slimepits”: These pits provided sealants for all sorts of uses.
This area of the slimepits was an area where oil deposits had come to the surface. Some of the modern Bibles call the slimepits (asphalt). At any rate, this would be of great use to them.
Genesis 14:11 “And they took all the goods of Sodom and Gomorrah, and all their victuals, and went their way.”
The provisions and other movable property of the vanquished are carried away from Sodom and Gomorrah. Among the prisoners is Lot, the son of Abram’s brother. This designation prepares us for what is to follow. It is added that he was “dwelling in Sodom,” to explain why he was among the captives.
“Went their way”: The invaders were now laden with booty. Their first concern was to transfer this to their native country, and deposit it in a place of safety. It was not prudent to delay while they were encumbered with so much valuable property. The terms on which the conquered tribes were to “serve” them could be settled by negotiation.
If these terms were not accepted, they would be quite ready for another predatory incursion.
Genesis 14:12 “And they took Lot, Abram’s brother’s son, who dwelt in Sodom, and his goods, and departed.”
“They took Lot … and his goods, and departed”: How would the conscience of that young man now upbraid him for his selfish folly and ingratitude in withdrawing from his kind and pious relative? Whenever we go out of the path of duty, we put ourselves away from God’s protection, and cannot expect that the choice we make will be for our lasting good (see Genesis 13:12.
So being a neighbor of the men of Sodom, and a sojourner among them, he partakes of their punishment.
The people, being exceedingly wicked, had provoked God to afflict them by means of those marauding kings; and Lot also suffered, being found in company with the workers of iniquity.
This was a just correction of him for choosing to dwell among such a people. And they took his goods, and departed; as him and his family, so all his substance, his cattle, wealth, and riches of every sort, and went off with it.
This is where they got into trouble. Abram would not have joined into this confusion, if they had left Lot alone. Why they did not just take Lot’s possessions was not clear. Possibly, he and his family would have become slaves to these barbaric people.
The people who are modern Iran are the same people who took Lot. They have not changed their tactics. They are still kidnapping people.
Genesis 14:13 “And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these [were] confederate with Abram.”
“There came one”: One of the survivors who had fled from the invaders to the mountains (verse 10), went further and located Lot’s uncle (the people knew who was related to whom). One as wealthy as Abram would not be hard to find, and was obviously thought to be one who could do something about the crisis which had affected his own close relatives.
“The Hebrew”: For the first time in the biblical record, this ethnic appellation, “descended from Eber” (11:15-17), is accorded to Abram. Foreigners used it of Israelites and Israelites used it of themselves in the presence of foreigners (34:14; 40:15; 43:32).
“Plain of Mamre” (see note on 13:18).
Genesis 14:14 “And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained [servants], born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued [them] unto Dan.”
“Trained servants”: Abram’s private militia, members of his extended family (“born in his house”), totaling 318, were highly skilled bodyguards and the protective force for his possessions.
These, together with the trained men of his allies (verses 13, 24), were mustered and set off in pursuit of the military kidnappers, lest their captives be taken away to the east, to Shinar (the early name for Mesopotamia), or further east, to Elam.
“Trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen”: The term indicates the might of Abram, especially the size and strength of his entourage. He actually had combat troops at his disposal.
The Ebla Tablets refer to an Ebrum, which was a dynastic title a few centuries before Abram. He is called a “mighty prince” (in 23:6), and thus is recognized by the inhabitants of the land as an influential person, possibly a ruler of a section of the land.
Our leaders could take instruction from Abram. He took immediate action. He gathered a few allies who had relatives captured. He took well trained (very loyal), servants to catch these kidnappers, who had run off with his nephew, Lot.
The word “brother”, above, was a loose use of the word. A better translation would have been relative, just as people might call Dr. Pepper, a Coke. When you say you want a Coke now, people ask what kind? They use the word Coke to mean all soda pops. So it is, with the use of “brother”. It could mean any relative.
Genesis 14:15-16 “And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which [is] on the left hand of Damascus.” “And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.”
“Divided … smote them … pursued … brought back”: Abram and his confederates found the enemy secure and at their ease, not expecting pursuit. They attack them on two quarters; Abram, probably, on the one, and his allies on the other; by night, defeat and pursue them unto “Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.”
A battle-wise Abram, no stranger to military strategy, had pursued the enemy for over 150 miles (north of Damascus), and defeated the marauding consortium, being totally successful in his objective. Abram seems to have understood the art of war, and the use of maneuvers; and, as it might be night before he could come up to them.
He took the advantage of that, and fell upon them unawares, when some were asleep in their beds, and others drunk, as Josephus relates; and who also says, it was on the fifth night after Abram had knowledge of what had happened at Sodom.
And he divided himself against them. It required both considerable courage in Abram to lead him to attack the victorious armies of these four kings with so small a number of troops, and on this occasion both his skill and his courage are exercised.
His affection for Lot appears to have been his chief motive; he readily risks his life for that nephew who had lately chosen the best part of the land, and left his uncle to live as he might, on what he did not think worthy his own acceptance.
You have heard the slogan (don’t mess with Texas). You certainly do not mess with the anointed of God. Abram was chosen of God. Lot did get an overflow of blessings through Abram.
It seemed that Abram and his servants had no trouble at all rescuing Lot, and all Lot’s earthly possessions. Not only did Abram bring Lot’s possessions back, but Abram took all their possessions.
Genesis 14:17 “And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that [were] with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which [is] the king’s dale.”
“The valley of Shaveh” (see note on 2 Sam. 18:18). The liberated king of Sodom went to meet Abram near Jerusalem.
“And the king of Sodom went out to meet him”: While Abram was in pursuit of the four kings, the king of Sodom came down from the mountain whither he and those that escaped with him fled, and came to Sodom.
From there he went out, not alone, but accompanied with his retinue, to meet Abram: after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him; to congratulate him upon the victory he had obtained over them.
This meeting was at the valley of Shaveh; a most plain and even valley, as the word signifies, clear of trees and everything that obstructs sight or passage, as Jarchi observes. And so, a proper place to have an interview in, which is the king’s dale.
It seemed this king’s dale, or Shaveh, was actually the Kidron valley right out of Jerusalem.
I am sure the king of Sodom was happy to see that someone could whip this evil group and return with what was taken.
Genesis 14:18 “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he [was] the priest of the most high God.”
“And he was priest to the most high God”: From this we are assured that the bread and wine refreshed not only the body, but the soul of Abram. In close connection with the preceding sentence, it seems to intimate that the bringing forth of bread and wine was a priestly act, and, accordingly, the crowning part of a sacred feast.
The priest, who is here mentioned for the first time in Scripture, was one who acted in sacred things on the part of others. He was a mediator between God and man, representing God holding out the hand of mercy, and man reaching forth the hand of faith.
The necessity of such an orifice grew out of the distance between God and man produced by sin. The business of the priest was to offer sacrifice and to intercede; in the former making amends to the law, in the latter appealing to the mercy of God.
In (verses 14:17-20), Melchizedek is spoken of as a king of Salem, supposed to be the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and it is generally thought that he was only a man.
The words of (Heb. 7:3), state only, that the sacred history has said nothing of his ancestors. The silence of the Scriptures on this is to raise our thoughts to Him, whose generation cannot be declared. Let us read on, in chapter 7 of Hebrews we see the resemblance of Melchizedec and Jesus, a type of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bread and wine were suitable refreshment for the weary followers of Abram; and it is remarkable that Christ appointed the same as the memorials of his body and blood, which are meat and drink indeed to the soul. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God. He blessed God from Abram.
“Melchizedek king of Salem” The lack of biographical and genealogical particulars for this ruler, whose name meant righteous king” and who was a king-priest over ancient Jerusalem, allowed for later revelation to use him as a type of Christ (Psalm 110:4; Heb. 7:17, 21). His superior status in Abram’s day is witnessed.
(1) By the king of Sodom, the first to meet Abram returning in victory, deferring to Melchizedek before continuing with his request (verses 17, 21); and
(2) By Abram, without demur, both accepting a blessing from and also giving a tithe to this priest-king (verses 19-20; Hebrews 7:1-2).
This was probably not a theophany, but an actual king of Jerusalem or Salem (Psalm 76:2). He typifies Christ and His priesthood according to (Psalm 110:4 and Hebrews 7).
He is a “Priest of the most high God”: The use of El Elyon (Sovereign Lord), for God’s name indicated that Melchizedek, who used this title two times (verses 18-19), worshiped, served and represented no Canaanite deity, but the same one whom Abram also called Yahweh El Elyon (verse 22).
That this was so confirmed by the added description, “Possessor of heaven and earth,” being used by both Abram and Melchizedek (verses 19, 22).
It is interesting to note believers besides Abram and his descendants in this limited account (chapters 12-50).
“Salem”: is generally thought to refer to the ancient Canaanite site of Jerusalem on the hill of Ophel. There is ample archaeological evidence of a Canaanite and Jebusite settlement during the Early and Middle Bronze Age periods, during which the first water shaft was dug to ensure an ample supply of water for the city.
Ancient evidence for the name of the city can be found in the Ebla Tablets (U-ru-sa-li-ma), the later Egyptian Execration Texts (Urushalimma), and the Amarna Letters (Urusalim or Beth-Shalem). Some scholars argue that Salem refers, not to Jerusalem, but to the fertile region of Salim near the Dead Sea.
This argument rests on the proximity of ‘Salim to Sodom and the reference to Abraham meeting the king of Sodom in the valley of Shaveh, rather than in the central hill country (verse 17).
Very few ministers will even touch this Scripture above, but being brave, we will give it a try. Who is this Melchizedek? Let’s look up the other Scriptures in the Bible that pertain to Him.
Psalms 110:4 “The LORD hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.”
This Scripture in Psalms was talking about Jesus being a high priest forever. It indicated that Melchizedek was also, a priest forever. It is a prophetic Scripture saying, Jesus would also be a priest forever.
Hebrews 5:6 “As he saith also in another [place], Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec.”
This Scripture was saying that Jesus was not like Aaron and the earthly priests, who received priesthood, because of the tribe they were born into. It was saying that Jesus (like Melchizedec), was always high priest.
Hebrews 5:10 “Called of God a high priest after the order of Melchizedec.”
Then, again, in Hebrews:
6:20 “Whither the forerunner is for us entered, [even] Jesus, made a high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec.”
You see, God showed the Israelites back in the Old Testament a high priest of His making. Then, He said here is your example of one to come. Jesus did not come through the Levitical tribe. He was ordained of God himself. He came from the tribe of Judah, but really was from God Himself.
Genesis 14:19 “And he blessed him, and said, Blessed [be] Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:”
“And he blessed him”: Here it comes out clearly that Melchizedec acts not only in a civil but in a sacred capacity. He blesses Abram. In the form of benediction employed we have two parts: the former of which is strictly a blessing or asking of good things for the person in question.
“Blessed be Abram”: It is the part of the father to bless the child, of the patriarch or superior to bless the subject or inferior, and of the priest to bless the people (Hebrews 7:7). Here, accordingly, Melchizedec assumes and Abram concedes to him the superiority.
“The Most High God” is here further designated as the Founder of heaven and earth, the great Architect or Builder, and, therefore, Possessor of all things. There is here no indistinct allusion to the creation of “heaven and earth,” mentioned in the opening of the Book of God.
This is a manifest identification of the God of Melchizedec with the one Creator and Upholder of all things. We have here no mere local or national deity, with limited power and province, but the sole and supreme God of the universe and of man.
We ought to give thanks for other’s mercies as for our own. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only offers up ours, but his own for us.
Genesis 14:20 “And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”
“Which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand”: Credit for victory over a superior military coalition correctly went to the sovereign Lord (El Elyon), and not to Abram’s prowess (see note at verses 15-16). To Melchizedek and to Abram too, this amounted to true worship of a true God.
“He gave him tithes of all”: Abram paid tithes to Melchizedek, indicating Melchizedek’s superior priesthood, since Levi was considered to be in the body (seminally), of Abram when he paid tithes to Melchizedek (Heb. 7:9-10).
Abram gave him the tenth of the spoils. When we have received some great mercy from God, it is very fit we should express our thankfulness by some special act of pious charity. Jesus Christ, our great Melchizedec, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly acknowledged as our King and Priest; not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be given up to him.
Hebrews 7:4 “Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.”
Note: The King James Bible does not say a tenth as do most of the other bible versions. However, in the book of Hebrews shown above, it does confirm that Abram gave Melchizedec a tenth of the spoils (even in the KJV).
Hebrews 7:1-6, “For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him;” “To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace;” “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.” “Now consider how great this man [was], unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils.” “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:” “But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.”
Let’s stop here from the Scriptures for just a moment, and discuss a few revelations. Who is the King of righteousness? Who is the King of peace? Who is the One who has no beginning and no end? Who was made Son of God? Who is a priest forever?
We know Him as Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God. We call Him Lord. We will call Him King, when he comes to reign. In heaven, one of His names is the Word of God.
Are you seeing what this is?
Melchizedek in the Hebrew and Melchizedec in the Greek could easily be another time when the Word of God took on the form of flesh and visited the earth.
Another point to ponder is that this Priest of God made His appearance here about 2000 years after Adam was born. The baby Jesus was born approximately 2000 years after Melchizedek appeared on the earth. Jesus, the King, will return about 2000 years after his manifestation as our Savior.
I do not believe this is coincidence. Abraham, the father of all believers, was the only one who saw Him. For Abraham to be the father of all the believers through our faith, he had to believe in the One we call Jesus. God has revealed something to us here.
The reason the Word of God took on the name, Jesus, was to show us He was our Savior. He took the name, Christ, so that we would know that He was the Anointed One. He had many names; Messiah, Jehovah, Mighty God, Immanuel, Bright and morning Star, and so many others.
I believe this Melchizedek was the Word of God (Jesus as we know Him).
Hebrews 7:7-24, “And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” “And here men that die receive tithes; but there he [receiveth them], of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.” “And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.” “For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchizedec met him.” “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need [was there] that another priest should rise after the order of Melchizedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?” “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” “For he of whom these things are spoken pertained to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.” “For [it is] evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.” “And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchizedec there ariseth another priest,” “Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” “For he testifieth, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec.” “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.” “For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope [did]; by the which we draw nigh unto God.” “And inasmuch as not without an oath [he was made priest]:” “(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not repent, Thou [art] a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedec:)” “By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament.” “And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death:” “But this [man], because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”
You see, what this is saying is that Jesus and Melchizedec are not at all like the other priests, who just serve for a short time during their lives, but are a Priest forever; on earth and in heaven. No one could truly be forgiven forever through the work of the priest here on the earth, but Jesus fulfilled the law and purchased our salvation. His power was shown in the endless life.
Hebrews 7:25-28, “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” “For such a high priest became us, [who is] holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;” “Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” “For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, [maketh] the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.”
Just as Jesus fed the disciples bread and wine (the Passover), we see Melchizedek fed Abram bread and wine. He blessed Abram. Only God can bless, really. All these things show me Jesus.
Genesis 14:21-24 “And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.” “And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,” “That I will not [take] from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that [is] thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:” “Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.”
If Abram acceded to the king of Sodom’s request, he would have allowed that wicked king to attribute Abram’s wealth to the king’s generosity, thus destroying the clear testimony of the Lord’s blessings on his life. To accept such payment would belie his trust in God! Such a personal commitment would not be foisted upon his allies, who could make their own decisions.
As for his own servants, their meals taken from the spoils were sufficient compensation. Undoubtedly, the servants remembered their master’s reaction and testimony; it overcame much of the negative aspects in the memory of the earlier exit from Egypt (see 12:20).
“Lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich”: Abram refused to take anything, so as not to be obligated to the king of Sodom, and also to demonstrate his total allegiance to the Lord. He took only food for his men and gave his allies the liberty to accept the spoils that were due them.
Abram did not want to be obligated to this king of Sodom. His intent was to rescue his nephew, Lot. He knew that God had won the battle for him. The only payment was wages for the men that went with him.
Genesis Chapter 14 Questions
1. What are two other names for the Salt Sea?
2. What country is Elam today?
3. How many years of unrest was in the land?
4. What two things caused the war?
5. What were the slimepits?
6. In Genesis 14:13, what is Abram called?
7. What did he do, when he found Lot was taken?
8. What did Abram bring back?
9. Where was the king’s dale?
10. When Abram met Melchizedec, what did Melchizedek bring forth?
11. What was different about Jesus and Melchizedec from Aaron?
12. Did Jesus or Melchizedec come through the Levitical tribe?
13. How long did Melchizedek live?
14. Who were his father and mother?
15. What does Salem mean?
16. What did Abram give Melchizedek?
17. Who is the King of Righteousness?
18. Who is the King of Peace?
19. Who has no beginning and no end?
20. Who is the Son of God?
21. What is Jesus’ most used name in heaven?
22. When did He acquire the name Jesus?
23. What does “Jesus” mean?
24. Give at least six more names of Jesus?
25. Who is made in the power of an endless life?
26. What did the law make perfect?
27. How many offerings of sacrifice did Jesus make?
28. What did the king of Sodom ask for?
29. What did he get?
30. What do you personally think about Melchizedek?