Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Two brief biblical passages on Melchizedek generated a complex speculative tradition in Jewish and early Christian circles. In Genesis Melchizedek, the “king of Salem” and “priest of God Most High” (Gen 14:18), greets Abraham after his victory over the five kings who had taken captive Abraham’s nephew, Lot. Melchizedek blesses Abraham, who in turn gives him a tithe of his spoils (Gen 14:20). In Ps 110:1 (LXX 109) the psalmist tells of God addressing an Israelite king, telling him to take…

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Attridge, Harold W., “Melchizedek/Melchizedekians”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2018

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