John Speller's Web Pages Melchizedek

John Speller's Web Pages - Eucharist
The strange and mystical figure of Melchizedek is mentioned twice in the Hebrew Bible:

"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all" (Gen. 14:18-20.)


Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4).

In the Intertestamental Period Melchizedek is seen as a quasi-divine figure who will judge the peoples in Dead Sea Scroll 11Q13, and as the virgin-born son of the Noah's sister-in-law in 2 Enoch.

It was natural, then, that early Christianity should associate Melchizedek with Christ, particularly in view of the mention of bread and wine in the Genesis passage. Thus the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, quoting Ps. 110:4, writes:

"Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. For this Melchizedek, 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." (Heb. 6:19-7:4.)

Bishop Coxe's text is based upon these sources. I have modified one of Dr. Basil Harwood's hymn tunes to fit the meter.
Melchizedek brings forth bread and wine for Abram. Fifth-century mosaic in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome
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