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Heb. 7. 6, and to the whole drift of his | Melchizedek was a priest, not by inargument. For if Melchizedek were heritance, but by immediate divine apShem, Levi was in his loins as well as pointment. Though as man he in the loins of Abraham, from which it doubtless had a father and mother, and follows, that while he paid tithes in the was born and died like other men, yet loins of one of his ancestors he re- as nothing is said on these points by ceived them in another, that is, paid the historian, the Apostle, holding him them to himself; which is absurd. forth precisely in the light which Moses The identity of Melchizedek and Shem, does, and in no other, says that he was therefore, cannot with any show of 'without father, without mother, with reason be consistently held. Others out descent, having neither beginning accordingly rejecting the Jewish tra- of days nor end of life ; but made like dition on this head, have adopted the unto the Son of God, abiding a priest opinion that Melchizedek was the Son continually.' That is, he derived his of God himself. To this conclusion office from no predecessor and deliverthey are led by an unwillingness to aled it down to no successor, but stands low that any mere man was superior before us in the sacred record single and to Abraham. But in this case we can alone, constituting himself an order of hardly suppose the Apostle would have priesthood. In this respect he was said that Melchizedek was made like eminently 'made like the Son of God;' to the Son of God; or that Christ was who was also a priest, not after the constituted a Priest after the order of manner of the sons of Aaron, by desMelchizedek;' or in other words, that cent from their predecessors, but after he was a type of himself! The most the similitude of Melchizedek, that is, probable view therefore of the true by an immediate divine constitution character of Melchizedek is that given These are the grand points of resem. by Josephus, viz. that he was a Canaan- blance between Melchizedek and Christ, itish prince, a pious and religious man; of which the Apostle makes so happy a personage eminently raised up by a use in writing to the Hebrews; and God, whose genealogy was perhaps de- we think it by no means unlikely, that signedly veiled in mystery, that he Moses, penning his narrative under might be in this, as in other things, a divine guidance, was moved to suptype of Christ. He is mentioned else- press the various particulars respecting where in the Scriptures only in the 110th the birth and parentage of Melchizedek, Psalm and in the epistle to the He- and the commencement and close of his brews, where the Apostle, aiming to priesthood, and to introduce him thus shew the pre-eminence of Christ's briefly and abruptly into the thread of priesthood over that of Aaron, avails his history, for the very purpose of afhimself of the somewhat remarkable fording to another inspired penman, in coincidences which happened to sub- after ages, the means of so pertinently sist between what is here related of and forcibly illustrating this sublime Melchizedek, and what he designed to feature of Christ's official character. affirm of Christ. As Melchizedek com- - King of Salem. bined in his own person the dignity D3w melek shalem, i. e. king of peace, both of king and priest, this fact en- an import of the title of which the abled him to illustrate more strikingly Apostle makes use Heb. 7. 2. Whethto the Jews to whom he wrote the union er this were the same place with that of the same offices in Christ, who sits which afterwards attained such emi“a priest upon his throne. Again, as nence under the name of Jerusalem, far as appears from the sacred record, I is somewhat doubtful, though proba
19 And he blessed him, and most high God, 6 possessor of said, Blessed be Abram of the heaven and earth.
g ver. 22. Mat. 11. 25.
bilities are in favour of the supposition tered in Christ. In the most ancient that it was, Ps. 76. 1, 2. Bochart and periods, among all nations whose recothers take it for the place called Salim ords have reached us, the office of priest on the banks of the Jordan, where and king appear to have been conjoinJohn baptized, John, 3. 23. But as ed in the same person. there was a 'king's dale' near this Sa- 19. And he blessed him, and said, lem, v. 17, and also in the vicinity of &c. That is, Melchizedek blessed Jerusalem, the latter was probably the Abraham, in doing which he performseat of Melchizedek's residence. -Ted one of the characteristic functions Brought forth bread and wine. As it of a priest, whose duty it was 'to bless is evidently the post-resurrection priest in the name of the Lord for ever.' hood of Christ which was prefigured | 1 Chron. 23. 13, Num. 6. 23, 27. Viewby that of Melchizedek, we see no obed in this light, the act of blessing on jection to considering the 'bread and the part of Melchizedek would imply wine' which he brought forth for the more than a personal well-wishing; it refreshment of Abraham and his fol- would be prophetic. In pronouncing lowers, as an adumbration of the sa- a benediction, he would set his seal to cramental elements, which Christ in what God had done before him. It is the institution of the supper has pro- not unlikely that he might have known vided for the weary soldiers of the cross. Abraham previously to this, and have
- And he was the priest of the been well acquainted with his being a most high God. Heb. 77733 383 773 favourite of heaven, in whom all the priest to the most high God. Chal. nations of the earth were to be blessed; Minister before the most high God.' and to whose posterity God had prom. The leading idea conveyed by the origi- ised the land of Canaan. If so, his nal term for 'priest 775 cohen, is that blessing him in so solemn a manner of ministration in general, but yet, as implied his devout acquiescence in the predicated of him who is next in rank divine will, even though it would be at to the supreme power. Thus, 2 Sam. the expense of his ungodly country8. 18, •And David's sons were chief men.“ - Possessor of heaven and rulers;' Heb. 'cohens, priests, is ren- earth. Heb. 1989 nu nop. The dered literally in the parallel passage, idea of a 'possessor' is very intimately I Chron. 18. 17, 'And David's sons related to that of a 'disposer,' especialwere the first at the king's hand. So ly when, as in the present case, tho also 2 Sam. 20. 26, “And Ira also the possession is founded upon creation; Jairite, was a chief ruler about David;' and we think it highly probable that Heb. 'a priest to David.' In its gen- the words were intended to convey a eral usage, however, it is appropriated tacit acknowledgment of the sovereign as the office-title of one who performs right of the most high God, who had the functions of a sacrificer, an offerer created all things, to make such an alof sacred oblations to God, and an in- lotment of the earth or any part of it tercessor for, and blesser of, the people, as he saw fit. The speaker, therefore, 1 Chron. 23. 13. Under the gospel in employing this language virtually dispensation this office is abolished puts his Amen to the Divine promise among men, its functions being cen- which secured to Abraham and his seed 20 And be blessed be the most 21 And the king of Sodom saiu high God, which hath delivered unto Abram, Give me the persons, thine enemies into thine hand. and take the goods to thyself. And he gave him tithes i of all. 22 And Abram said to the king
h ch. 24. 27. i Heb. 7. 4.
the possession of the land of Canaan. who minister to men in spiritual things, The rendering of the Sept. and the who are to be esteemed very highly in Vulg. who created the heaven and love for their work's sake, and who, the earth,' is not exact, and has prob- while they serve at the altar, are orably flown from confounding the literal dained to live of the altar. with an inferential sense of the original 21. Give me the persons. Heb. 20:17 word.
the soul ; col. sing. for ‘souls;' correct. 20. Blessed be the most high God. ly rendered 'persons,' according to a This discloses the native working of a usage of very frequent occurrence. It truly pious and devout spint, which means of course the captive men and cannot contentedly stop short of the
Gr. 'Give me the men.' It fountain-head of all blessing. Instead would seem that while these things of launching out into encomiums on
were going on between Melchizedek and Abraham's valour and skill as a war- Abraham, the king of Sodom stood by rior, he rises in his ascription of praise and heard what passed, but without tato the God of Abraham, who had gra- king any particular interest in it. What ciously conferred the victory upon his occurred between these two great char
-1 He gave him tithes of all. acters appears to have made no impresThat is, Abraham gave to Melchiz- sion upon him. Apparently he thought edek, as the Apostle assures us, Heb. of nothing, and cared for nothing, but 7. 2. The expression is thought by what respected himself. Though there some too general to be confined to a is no evidence that he could claim any tenth of the spoils taken from the con- right at least to the goods, yet he federate kings, but as it does not appear speaks in a manner as if he would be that he had any thing else there to thought not a little generous in relintithe, we think it more probable that a quishing them.-T And take the goods tenth of the spoils is all that is meant, to thyself. 'It would seem that here and in this we are evidently sustained the king claims his own due, and alby the testimony of Paul, Heb. 7. 4. lows Abraham his. According to Arab As Melchizedek in this transaction had usage Abraham had an undoubted right officiated in his priestly capacity as a to the recovered goods and cattle. The kind of mediator between God and custom is, if an enemy has spoiled an him, it was undoubtedly in this light Arab camp, and carried away some of that he regarded him in making the the persons as prisoners, and if the oblation. He gave him tithes, not as whole be afterwards recovered by a friend, but as God's representative. another party, for the persons to be reThe present was undoubtedly accom- stored, but for the property to remain panied by sentiments of personal re- in the possession of those by whom it spect and gratitude, but it was principal- was recaptured. This elucidation, ly designed as a tribute of piety to God. which has escaped the notice of annoConsidered in this light it was a very lators, exalts the conduct of Abraban early and significant intimation of the in declining to receive his due, and do debt of temporal support due to those tracts from the generosity for which of Sodom, I have lifted up mine 23 That m I will not take from hand unto the LORD, the most a thread even to a shoe-latchhigh God, I the possessor of heav- et, and that I will not take any en and earth,
thing that is thine, lest thou
k Ex. 6. 8. Dan. 12. 7. Rev. 10. 5, 6. 1 ver. 19. ch. 21. 33.
m So Esther 9. 15, 16.
the king of Sodom has obtained credit. strued; where it might be said that he Indeed we see that Abraham himself was prompted to the rescue of Lot admits the right of his friends to that more by the hope of plunder than the which, for himself, ho declined.' Pict. spirit of benevolence. His conduct in Bible.
this emergency affords a good hint to 22. I have lifted up mine hand. A Christians. They are really so rich in Hebraism for 'I have sworn,' derived their own inheritance that it ill befrom the custom, 10 which there are comes them to crave the possessions of frequent allusions in the Bible, of ele- others. vating the right hand in the act of ta. 23. That I will not take. Heb. DX king an oath. Abraham doubtless på if I will take ; an imperfect mode knew the man, and perceiving his af- of expression peculiar to the original fected generosity, gave him to under- Scriptures, and frequently occurring in stand that he had already decided, and oaths. It is equivalent to a negative, even sworn, in the presence of the most as rendered in our version. Tnus in high God, what he would do in respect like manner Ps. 95. 11, ‘Unto whom I to that part of the spoils which had pre-, sware in my wrath that they should not viously belonged to him. This answer enter my rest (Heb. if they shall enter of Abraham is somewhat remarkable. my rest);' explained by the Apostle, His having determined upon his course Heb. 3. 18, that they should not enter before the king of Sodom met him, im- into his rest.' So Mark, 8. 12, 'Verily plies something dishonourable in the I say unto you, there shall be no sign character of that prince. He must given unto this generation (Gr. if a have been well known to Abraham as sign shall be given);' whereas in the a vain-boasting, unprincipled man, or parallel passage Mat. 16. 4, it stands, he would not have resolved, in so sol. There shall no sign be given it.' emu a manner, to preserve himself clear Comp. Gen. 21. 23. From a from the very shadow of an obligation to thread even to a shoe-latchet. Heb. . .
This was thrown out some malignant insinua- probably a proverbial expression of tions against Lot and his uncle on the diminution, equivalent to 'the meanest score of their religion. At any rate, he thing. As to the original w777 hoot had become for some reason fixed in rendered thread nothing satisfactory his purpose not to become in any sense can be determined respecting it, fara debtor to the king of Sodom. In this ther than that it denotes some kind he may have designed to honour the of fastening either to the hair or the promise of blessing which had been dress. "This may refer to the red maile to him. If the possessor of heav- thread worn round the neck or the arm, en and earth has engaged to provide for and which binds on the amulet; or him he will not be beholden to an earthly the string with which females tie up potentate, especially where his motives their hair. The latchet I suppose to in so doing were liable to be miscon- I mean the thong of the sandal, which
.מחוט ועד שרוך נעל | him
shouldest say, I have made Abram CHAPTER XV. rich :
FTER these things the word 24 Save only that which the
A young men have eaten, and the in a vision, saying, Fear not, portion of the men " which went Abram : I am thy shield, and with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mam- thy exceeding a great reward. re; let them take their portion.
a Dan. 10. 1. Acts 10. 10, 11. b ch. 26. 24. Dan. 10. 12. Luke 1. 13, 30. c Ps. 3. 3. & 5. 12. & 84. 11. & 91. 4. & 119. 114. d Ps. 16. 5. & 58. 11. Prov. 11. 18.
n ver. 13.
goes over the top of the foot and be- ed in the Scriptures for thing, or that iwixt the great and little toes. It is which is the subject of words. Thus proverbial to say, should a man be ac- Lev. 5. 2, an 'unclean thing is in the cused of taking away some valuable Heb. 'an unclean word ;' Deut. 17. 5, article, which belongs to another, 'I wicked thing,' Heb.' wicked word; have not taken away even a piece of and so in innumerable other cases. On the thong of your worn-out sandals.'' the ground of this usage we are perhaps Roberts.
to explain our Saviour's declaration, 24. Save only that which the young Mat. 12. 37, 'By thy words thou shalt men have caten. Heb. 1917. The be justified, and by thy words thou shalt leading idea to be attached in numerous be condemned,' i. e. by thy deeds ; for instances to the phrase 'young men conduct is constructive or virtual lanis that of service or ministry instead of guage. Accordingly the Apostle speakyouthful age. Thus Est. 2. 2. Then ing Heb. 11. 14, of the conduct of the said the king's servants that ministered believing patriarchs, remarks, 'For they unto him ;' Heb. “Then said the king's that say such things declare plainly young men.' Neh. 5. 15, 'Nay even that they seek a country;' i. e. whose their servants bare rule over the peo
actions say such things, or, in other ple;' Heb. 'their young men.'
Ex. words, who do such things. So also 24. 5, ‘And he sent young men of the Eccl. 10. 3, 'When he that is a fool children of Israel which offered burnt- walketh by the way, his wisdom failofferings ;' i. e. servants ; men who eth him, and he saith to every one that performed the burdensome parts of the he is a fool;' i. e. his conduct proclaims ritual. Acts, 5. 6, 'And the
him to be one. -4 The word of the
young men arose and wound him up, and carried Lord came to Abram. Heb. 38 7777 him out and buried him ;' i. e. the ser- & was to Abram ; i. e. efficaciousvants, ministers, or deacons of the ly was; was made to be. This is the church; men doubtless of adult years. first instance of the occurrence of the So those who by one Evangelist, Luke, phrase 'word of the Lord,' as applied 12. 45, are called in Gr. 'young men
to a divine communication. It is the and young mauds, are by another, usual way in which the fact of a speMat. 24, 49, denominated 'fellow-ser- cial revelation to the prophets is aftervants."
wards announced. See the Prophets passim. - In a vision. Heb. minna
in a sight. Gr. ev opaparı, id. Chal. CHAPTER XV.
172202 in a prophecy ; i. e. in a pro1. After these things. Heb. 097777 phetic vision. Prophets were in the 773877 after these words ; i. e. these earliest ages called seers (Heb. 1, things spoken of. “Word' is often us-1787), 1 Sam. 9. 9. 2 Sam. 24. 11, and