Reconstitution of Melchizedek's history in Rabbinic and Christian traditions

Ioan Chirilă, Stelian Pașca-Tușa, Elena Onețiu

Abstract


Melchizedek’s meeting with Abraham in the King’s Valley (Genesis 14) would mark the history of the chosen people. As king of Salem and priest of the Almighty God, Melchizedek meets the patriarch with bread and wine and then blesses him in the name of the God they both served. Assuming this liturgical ritual Abraham offers Melchizedek a tenth of everything, by this acknowledging and accepting his sacerdotal service. Even though at a first sight their gestures are somewhat natural, we will understand going through our study that the attitude of each character implies a deeper significance. This is emphasized firstly in psalms, in the context of several Messianic sentences, which refer to an eternal priesthood that finds its origins not in the service of Aaron, but in that of Melchizedek. This text would generate and fundament later the Pauline discourse on the priesthood of Jesus Christ and implicitly of the Christians. The resemblance of Melchizedek with Jesus Christ is maximized by Saint Apostle Paul who states that the king of Salem was “without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life” (Hebrews 7:3). Who is, in fact, this mysterious character? Why did the Hebrew want to identify him with a known biblical character? What are the reasons that determined the Christian authors to recompose the history of this character? These are just a few of the questions we intend to answer through the research that we are about to present. 


Keywords


MCVRO, Melchizedek, Abraham, history, Jesus Christ, priest, Fathers, rabbis, tradition

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