Who Was Melchizedek, Priest of the Most High God?


Quick Answer

Melchizedek, Priest of the Most High God, was King of Salem. He worshipped God, although he was not Jewish; this was a rarity in the ancient world, as most people at the time worshipped several gods. Some scholars have described him as living in a similar manner to Christ.

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According to the Book of Genesis, Melchizedek blessed Abraham after Abraham rescued Lot from captivity. Genesis describes Melchizedek as a priest of God most high; although it is not known how Melchizedek came to know about God, his graciousness towards Abraham partly led to the comparisons with Christ.

The Epistle to the Hebrews describes Melchizedek as having no parents and no end to his life, a portrayal that further paints him as a godlike figure. Some Protestant denominations consider Melchizedek to be an archetype of Christ; the Epistle to the Hebrews and Psalm 110 describe Jesus Christ as being a priest in the order of Melchizedek.

Melchizedek appears in the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which he is considered a divine being. According to the scrolls, he will both atone for and judge people. While he appears in Psalm 110, the Hebrew text is open to interpretation. Different interpretations variously view King David, Abram and Aaron as being the Psalm's subject.

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