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“King of Righteousness”
Melchizedek is the
English cognate of the Hebrew word מלכּ-צדק.
is a compound word, מלכּ
which means “king” and צדק
which means “righteous.”
from the scene as mysteriously as he appeared.
As the King of Salem,
Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God and to whom Abraham went to be
blessed after he and over three hundred of his servants went to rescue is
kidnapped nephew, Lot.1
After that brief mention
of Melchizedek in Genesis, the only other mention of him is in Psalm 110:4,
where the psalmist laments on the Lord’s attributes being “after the order
Since Melchizedek has
such a brief mention in the Bible there are very few facts or commentaries
available to describe him.
to have been mentioned on the Tel-el-Amarna
tablets of ancient Egypt.
More than three hundred of these clay tablets were discovered by a woman
in 1887 at Tel-el-Amarna,
capital of the Egyptian Pharoah Akhenaten (1353-1335 B.C.).
These tablets also describe the ‘Apiru - the cognate of today’s word
“Hebrew” and how they were taking control of various cities at the time.2
“Salem is most probably
Jerusalem [Salem] which is called on the Tel-el-Amarna
or city of Salim…There
are interesting statements with regard to the king of Uru-Salim
on the Tel-el-Amarna tablets.
He begs for help from Egypt, saying “that he was not like the other
Egyptian governors in Palestine, nor had he received his crown by inheritance
from his father or mother; it had been conferred on him by ‘the mighty
king,’” who is distinguished from the king of Egypt, and thought by some to
mean “the Most High God.”3
“However it is
explained there is a striking similarity to the priest-king Melchizedek, and the
description in Heb. 7:3. There is
something surprising and mysterious in the first appearance of Melchizedek, and
in the subsequent reference to him. Bearing
a title which Jews in after ages would recognize as designating their own
sovereign, bearing gifts which recall to Christians the Lord’s Supper, this
Canaanite crosses for a moment the path of Abram, and is unhesitatingly
recognized as a person of higher spiritual rank than the friend of God.
Disappearing as suddenly as he came, he is lost to the sacred writings
for a thousand years. Jewish
tradition pronounces Melchizedek to be a survivor of the deluge, the patriarch
In the highly
controversial, seemingly Apocryphal commentary, the Urantia
Book, they state: “Heretofore it
had been believed that salvation
could be secured only by works - sacrifices and offerings; now, Melchizedek
again brought to Urantia (Earth) the good news that salvation, favor with God,
is to be had by faith. But this
gospel of simple faith in God was too advanced; the Semitic Tribesmen
subsequently preferred to go back to the older sacrifices and atonement for sin
by the shedding of blood.”5
The Urantia Book
further goes on to describe Melchizedek’s sudden unexplained disappearance as
being transformed back into Heaven6
similar to the way Enoch was taken in Genesis 5:24.
The Apostle Paul
describes 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.”7
Each time Melchizedek is
referred to it is as a type of the priesthood of Christ.
‘The Melchizedek type of priesthood is, first, a royal
priesthood (king of righteousness);
second, a righteous priesthood (king of righteousness);
third , a priesthood promotive of peace, or exercised in the country of peace
(king of Salem = king of peace);
fourth, a personal,
not an inherited, dignity (without father, without mother, i.e. so far as the
record is concerned); fifth, it is an eternal
priesthood (without beginning of days or end of life - so far as the record is
Book of Hiram, ©2003
Christopher Knight & Robert Lomas, p. 139.
Peloubet’s Bible Dictionary, ©1925 John C. Winston Co., pp. 398-399
The Urantia Book, ©1995 Urantia Foundation, pp.
One Bible Commentary, ©1909
MacMillan Company, p. 24