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Hebrews 5:1-6 – OT

03.28.2011

Gen 14:18-20

Who is Melchizedek?  He waltzes out of nowhere in Genesis 11, is called the High Priest of the most high God, offers Abe communion,* takes a tithe, and disappears.

One tradition says that he was the king of Jerusalem and a high priest of a local deity called Sedek and/or El Elyon.  This local deity would (a la Christopher Morgan’s definition of General Revelation Inclusivism) later be revealed as God Himself.

Another tradition says that ‘Melchizedek’ is not a name but a title given to Noah’s son Shem, who was Abe’s ancestor nine generations back and (according to a literal reading of the geneologies) was still living at this time.  Shem, then, was a faithful ruler of peoples and worshipper of God due to his experience in/after the flood.

We’ll take another look at Mel tomorrow, but both of these theories (however valid) raise a question that I eventually want to address: what did the relationship between God and man look like between the Fall and the time of the Patriarchs (or even the giving of the Law after the Exodus)?  Before God had established a specific nation as His people, and before He had laid out the terms of the relationship, what did a righteous life look like?  What was a believer?

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* (beta)

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