Genesis 14:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 14:18, NIV: "Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,"

Genesis 14:18, ESV: "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.)"

Genesis 14:18, KJV: "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God."

Genesis 14:18, NASB: "And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High."

Genesis 14:18, NLT: "And Melchizedek, the king of Salem and a priest of God Most High, brought Abram some bread and wine."

Genesis 14:18, CSB: "Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High."

What does Genesis 14:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

As Abram returns from his defeat of mighty Chedorlaomer and the forces of the kings of the east, he brings with him Lot and all of Lot's possessions. Abram's forces have also captured all of the possessions and peoples of Sodom and the other sacked Canaanite city-states. In the previous verse, Bera, the king of Sodom (Genesis 14:2), has come out to meet Abram at a place called the Valley of Shaveh. Now another king joins them. Melchizedek is a mysterious figure who is described as both the king of Salem and a priest of "God Most High." He brings to conquering Abram a royal feast of bread and wine. The king of Sodom, apparently, brought nothing worth mentioning to the meeting.

Many Bible scholars speculate that Melchizedek may be what is referred to as a theophany: the Lord taking human form for a specific purpose before His arrival on earth as Jesus. Others suggest Melchizedek was merely a local king, faithful to God, sent by God to bless Abram. It's even possible that Melchizedek was the king of Jerusalem, the future capital of Israel. According to linguists, Salem might be a shortened version of the word that would become eventually become the name Jerusalem. Either way, this figure will be monumental in our understanding of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

The writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm 110:4, in which Jesus is referred to as "a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek" (Hebrews 5:6). That writer also summarizes this moment in Genesis, pointing out that Melchizedek means "king of righteousness" and that "king of Salem" means "king of peace." The seventh chapter of Hebrews expands on these connections between Melchizedek and Jesus.