And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.…
The priesthood of Melchizedek was not based upon his birth, for he was not in any priestly line. It was not based upon the performance of any written laws of sacrifice; we know nothing of his burnt offerings. But higher than any priest by birth, he was a priest of the Most High God, because of his character, his righteousness. It was a spiritual, rather than a mere legal service which he rendered. His office work and his character were a unit in their inspiring motive and in their results. "True priesthood is life, and true life is priesthood." There is something almost weird in this meeting of Abram and Melchizedek. It was at the close of the first recorded war in history, in which the patriarch had become a hero. For the first time in human affairs this was the celebration of a victory. It had been the first conflict between the Church and the world. "Melchizedek is the setting sun of the primitive revelation which sheds its last rays on the patriarchs, from whom the true light of the world is to arise. The sun sets, that when the preparatory time of Israel have passed away, it may rise again in Jesus Christ the antitype." No sooner had he appeared and spoken, than he disappeared again into obscurity and silence. No priest had preceded him; and lie left no successor, — a lonely example of the eternal glory, greater than Abram whom he blessed. Such being the men and their meeting, we observe two of the practical lessons.
I. THE RIGHTEOUS MAN'S NOBILITY. Melchizedek was the "king of righteousness" before he was king of Salem; and this king of righteousness blessed righteous Abram. The patriarch was called the Friend of God, and history knows him as the "father of the faithful." But his trust in God was more than a profession; it was his life. His daily conduct was the tree bearing the fruit of a perfect faith; not that he was perfect, but he strove to become such. Every deed was an act of his living faith. It was no strange event when the king of Sodom prostrated himself at Abram's feet. And if all of God's children were like Abram, the world would pay still greater honour to the Church of the living God. The saints are the world's nobility.
II. THE RIGHTEOUS MAN'S BLESSING. No benediction was too great for Abram, as the patriarch bowed before "the priest of the Most High God," and received through the sacred lips the blessings from "the possessor of heaven and earth."
(D. O. Mears.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
WEB: Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine: and he was priest of God Most High.