About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Verses 1 through 13 tells
us of the first war in the Bible. Four
kings went to war against five other kings in the Valley Siddim by the
I won't comment on the
details of all the names mentioned here and what transpired.
I will note the term
"tar pits" in verse 10. It
might be a reference to oil. Today, in the same general area, there has
been oil discovered.
The main reason for
including this passage in Genesis is what we see in verse 11.
The four kings took
Chapter 13 verse 12 tells
us that Lot pitched his tent near Sodom
and lived there. Here in
verse 12 the text says that Lot actually lived in
Here in verse 13 we see
the first mention of the word "Hebrew".
The text says that Abram was a Hebrew.
Hebrews came from the line of Ebor.
The word Ebor became to be known as Hebrew.
Thus the offspring of Abram became known as Hebrews.
Verse 14 tells us that
Abram had quite an extensive household.
Within his household were 318 trained men. These men were
soldiers. So although the
battle that took place in this chapter is the first recorded battle, it
probably wasn't the first war in human history.
Abram had an army, and I assume it was for protection from
invasion. We also know that
the main reason why God sent the flood in Noah's day was because of all
the violence between men. This
probably means wars.
Verses 15 and 16 are a
brief explanation of Abraham going on the attack to rescue
Verse 17 speaks of the
King of Sodom coming out to meet Abram.
The king of
Verse 18 has garnered
much attention over the years. After
meeting with the King of Sodom, Melchizedek met Abram.
He was the King of Salam, or what would become known as Jerusalem. It says that Melchizedek
was "the priest of the Most High God".
The name Melchizedek
means "king of peace," and peace is often associated with
So Melchizedek is king of
Salem, or King of Peace, as the writer of the book of Hebrews puts it.
There's not much known about Melchizedek.
The only other place in all the Old Testament where he is
mentioned is in Psalms 110:4 that calls him a priest forever.
The only place in the New Testament that he is mentioned is
Hebrews 6:20 through to the end of Hebrews 7, the Psalms 110:4 is quoted
In the Jewish system as
specified in the Law of Moses that would later come, the line of the
kings would come through Judah, while the line of the priests would come
through Levi, and the two were not to be blurred
A king could not be a priest, and a priest could not be a king,
but Melchizedek was both king and priest, albeit this was before the Law
of Moses, which the writer of Hebrews points out.
The basic point to the Hebrew passage is that Jesus is not a
priest after the line of Levi, but Jesus is like Melchizedek, both king
and priest. As an aside, we
as believers in Jesus are also both king and priest as well.
Hebrews 7:3 tells us that
Melchizedek had no parents, had no birth, and had no death.
This is what stumps most scholars.
Some say that this was really an Old Testament incarnation of
Jesus. Other's suggest
that it's not that he had no genealogy, it's just that it's not
recorded. I'm not sure what
to think at the present. I
do know that Jesus is compared to him and what Melchizedek represented
so does Jesus. That is,
Jesus is both king and priest. Jesus
is both King of righteousness, and King of peace, as was Melchizedek.
We see that Melchizedek
is priest of "God Most High".
This term suggests that by now mankind had begun to formulate
their own gods, but the god that Melchizedek was priest for was the only
true God, the God of all things, the Creator.
"bread and wine" when he met up with Abram.
This has to be a clear type of the bread and wine that Jesus ate
at the "last supper", and that has been ceremonially
instituted in what Christians call the Lord's Supper.
Bread and wine in relation to Jesus stand for "His body and
We have no information on
just how the two ate the bread and drank the wine, but associated with
this came a blessing to Abram from Melchizedek, which we can properly
assumer came from God. It
was prophetic in one sense of the word.
Verse 19 gives the
blessing. "Blessed be
Abram by God Most High, creator of heaven and earth."
The word bless in the Hebrew comes from a root word meaning
"to kneel." When
used here, the blessing is saying that God is setting Abram apart from
others. You might call this
an "anointing" of sorts.
God's call and God's revelation came to Abram in stages, and this
event was one of these stages.
The blessing continues in
verse 20. "Blessed be
God Most High who delivered your enemies into your hands."
God, that God above all other gods is to be blessed as one
distinct and set apart from all there is. This is the God that Abram is
now in the process of learning how to serve.
Notice here that God is
in reference to delivering Abram's enemies into his hands.
This is part of the story of the Bible, that is, God delivers the
enemies of Jesus into Jesus' hands.
God is often associated with war and the conquest of His enemies
in the Bible. Modern and
secular man tend not to see God in this respect these days.
Verse 20 says that Abram
gave Melchizedek "a tenth of everything."
First of all we need to qualify what "everything"
means. Abram was coming back
from war. He didn't have
everything, as in all of his possessions with him to give a tenth of.
Besides, Hebrews 7:4 tells us that Abram "gave a tenth of
the plunder." He gave a
tenth of what he got in the victory of the battle.
This was maybe due to the fact that God helped him win the
I won't get into the
discussion on tithing here. I've
done that elsewhere, but many people who believe that tithing is a New
Testament practice for New Testament Christians use this verse in their
defense. They make the point
that Abram tithed, and this was before the Law of Moses came telling Israel
to tithe. They then
say because tithing was practiced before the Law, it should be practiced
after the Law has been done away with, as it has.
This is not the case Like
many other pre-Law practices, tithing was incorporated into the Law, and
when the Law passed on, so did tithing.
Another thing to note
here is that Abram's tithing was a "one time giving, and it was not
based on income" as modern-day tithing teachers ignore.
The king of
The king of Sodom
asked Abram if he could have the people that he rescued.
The king of Sodom
said that Abram could have the spoils of war, all he wanted was the
Abram's response is found
in verses 22 to 24. The
first thing we note in his response is that he had made an oath to the
Most High God. This might
have been taken when he ate the bread and drank the wine with
Melchizedek. It's clear to me that Abram's time with Melchizedek was
more than a simple meal.
The oath stated that
Abram would accept nothing from the king of
It's almost as if the
One might see the king of
The idea that Abram made
an oath, or a covenant with Melchizedek is often overlooked.
We tend to study much about the Abraham Covenant, but this is
another covenant that seems to be made from Abram's standpoint, not
God's as was the Abrahamic Covenant.
The oath might have been initially suggested to Abram by
Melchizedek but it was Abram that entered into the covenant.
The covenant stated that Abram would not form any unholy
alliance, but as we know, Abraham's descendents often broke this
covenant, and so do Christians today.