A Daily Genesis

Genesis 14:17-20a

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[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 14:17 . .When he returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh, which is the Valley of the King.[/B]

The location of the Shaveh Valley is a total mystery; this being the only place in the entire Old Testament where it's mentioned. "Shaveh" is a transliteration of [I]Shaveh[/I] (shaw-vay') which means: plain or level or equal.

Some feel that the Shaveh Valley was some sort of neutral zone, like a Geneva Switzerland; where rival sheiks could meet and talk turkey without fear of reprisal or assassination. The Valley of the King is thought to be a special location where kingships were publicly bestowed upon individuals-- which, if true, would imply that Abram may have been offered an opportunity to rule a portion of Canaan.

It's not unusual for victorious military commanders to be politically popular. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the USA's 34th president, was one of those; and so was the great Shawnee chieftain Tecumseh. (had the British not reneged on their commitment to support Tecumseh's hard-won coalition of eastern tribes, the United States east of the Mississippi river might be half its size today)
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[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 14:18a . . And King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine;[/B]

Melchizedek's name is [I]Malkiy-Tsedeq[/I] (mal-kee-tseh'-dek) which means: king of right or possibly just simply righteous king; in contrast to the wickedness which was the stock in trade of Bera, king of Sodom. I tend to think that King Mel was a widely-accepted circuit judge in that region; a sort of one-man Supreme Court in his day like Samuel was in his.

"Salem"-- an early name of Jerusalem --is from [I]Shalem[/I] (shaw-lame') which means: peaceful.

Some make a big deal out of the bread and wine; relating it to the elements of the Christian Eucharist. However, the word for "bread" is [I]lechem[/I] (lekh'-em) which isn't strictly limited to bakery products. It just means food (for man or beast), especially bread, or grain (for making it).

A good example of the ambiguity of lechem is the feast that Joseph ordered prepared for his brothers. (Gen 43:25-31)

The "bread" Joseph ordered wasn't a basket of Focaccia al rosmarino; it was a whole banquet. In contrast, the bread that the Lord broke at his last passover was the koiné Greek word [I]artos[/I] (ar'-tos) which always, and every time; specifically indicates nothing else but bakery products.

There's really nothing especially symbolic about the wine either; it was a common dinner beverage introduced to the post Flood world by none other than grampa Noah. (Gen 9:20-21)

Mel's catering service probably brought enough food and drink for Abram's entire detachment. They certainly deserved to be feted for their efforts, not just the old boy himself. Mel's feast was a celebration; no doubt instigated by Mel, but participated in by the whole region as a gesture of deep gratitude to Abram and his men for ridding Canaan of that awful Ched person. In other words: I think that what we're looking at here is a fiesta.

The wine that Mel brought to this event was capable of making everybody quite drunk if they imbibed an amount beyond their tolerance. The word is [I]yayin[/I] (yah'-yin) which means: to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication, intoxication. It's the very same word used of the beverage that hammered gramps in chapter nine.

Mel was not only a political figure in that region; but a religious figure as well.
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[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 14:18b . . he was a priest of God Most High.[/B]

"Most High" is a brand new superlative for God at this point in Genesis. It's [I]'elyown[/I] (el-yone') which means: an elevation, i.e. lofty. As a title it means: the Supreme, or the Very Highest.

We might have thought that Abram's camp comprised the only God-fearing people in all of Canaan. But surprise of surprises. There was another man in the land who was a God-fearing sheik just like Abram. But Mel went one better. This man was not just a sheik, but also a priest of the Supreme God; and he holds the honor of being the very first official priest of God in the entire Bible; many years before Aaron.

Abram was a great sheik, and a great man of God; and although he did the part of a priest for his clan-- as did Job, Noah, and others-- he was never really an official priest nor was he ever really a true king. So Mel easily outranked Abram. (cf. Heb 7:4-7)

True priests are mediators between God and Man; and in that capacity, have the authority and the wherewithal to effect a reconciliation between the two whenever there's a breakdown in diplomatic relations. Priests also have a knowledge of God; which they have a sacred duty to dispense to their constituents. (Mal 2:7)

The Bible is completely silent about Mel's origin. It doesn't list his genealogy; no, not even so much as his mother and father; which is very unusual because Aaronic priests have to prove their lineage before being permitted to take office. So that, in reality, a priest like Mel doesn't have to be related to Aaron, nor does he even have to be particularly Jewish; nor any other specific ethnic for that matter. He just has to be a human being.

However, being human doesn't eo ipso qualify someone for the office of Melchizedekian priest because it's an appointment rather than a career track. (Heb 5:4-6)

Mel was definitely a Gentile because Abram (himself also a Gentile, from the region of Iraq) had yet to engender Isaac; the father of Jacob, who was to become the progenitor of the twelve tribes of the people of Israel; viz: the Jews. So; though Christ was a Jew, a number of his ancestors weren't.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 14:19-20a . . He blessed him, saying: Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your foes into your hand.[/B]

At this point in time, Abram's relationship with God was very satisfactory. 'Elyown had nothing critical for Mel to say of Abram; and Mel verified that God was the reason behind Abram's success in battle.

There are Christians who, allegedly for conscience sake, are totally against all war and violence. They fail to appreciate that peace, liberty, and human rights are preserved in an evil world only by force of arms.

Conscientious objectors-- while refusing to put themselves in harm's way standing guard over their family and their country, and to lend a hand in keeping the world a relatively safe, stable place to live, sacrificing their own lives and futures if need be --don't seem to mind taking advantage of the abundance of benefits purchased by the blood of others whom they despise as baby killers and war mongers.
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[SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] The most important thing to note about Mel is that he was a priest prior to the institution of Israel's covenanted law. Therefore, since Bible law isn't retroactive-- viz: doesn't have ex post facto jurisdiction (Gal 3:17) --then Mel's constituents weren't obligated to comply with the Commandments; ergo: the Commandments cannot be used to prosecute them in heaven's court of law (cf. Rom 4:15, Rom 5:13).

This rather outstanding advantage carries over to Christ's constituents too because the Lord's priesthood is patterned after Mel's. (Ps 110:4, Heb 5:4-6)

Another thing to note about Mel's priesthood is that according to the letter to Hebrews; it's a high-priest priesthood; which means that only one man at a time can hold the office.

That right there totally invalidates Mormonism's order of Melchizedek. It also invalidates Mormonism's Aaronic order too because Aaron's is also a high-priest priesthood. In other words: the high priest's priesthood doesn't consist of a panel of priests like the nine justices comprising the US Supreme Court. No, the high-priest's priesthood is a one-man show.

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Updated 11-14-2015 at 09:41 PM by WebersHome

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