By The Librarian
Shem,Ham and Japheth by James Tissot. Children Elam
Lud Parents Noah Shem, Sons of Noah
Shem (/ʃɛm/; Hebrew: שֵׁם Šēm[a]) "renown; prosperity; name") was one of the sons of Noah in the Hebrew Bible as well as in Islamic literature. He is most popularly regarded as the eldest son, though some traditions regard him as the second son. Genesis 10:21 refers to relative ages of Shem and his brother Japheth, but with sufficient ambiguity in each to have yielded different translations. The verse is translated in the KJV as "Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the brother of Japheth the elder, even to him were children born.". However, the New American Standard Bible gives, "Also to Shem, the father of all the children of Eber, and the older brother of Japheth, children were born."
The children of Shem were Elam, Ashur, Arphaxad, Lud and Aram, in addition to daughters. Abraham, the patriarch of the Hebrews and Arabs, was one of the descendants of Arphaxad.
Islamic literature describes Shem as one of the believing sons of Noah. Some sources even identify Shem as a prophet in his own right and that he was the next prophet after his father.
Shem is mentioned several times in Genesis 5-11 as well as 1 Chronicles 1:4.
The following family tree contains information from the Hebrew Bible, without data from any other sources. According to Luke 3, an additional figure named Cainan is the son of Arpachshad and the father of Shelah.
Shem Elam Ashur Arpachshad Lud Aram Salah Uz Hul Gether Mash Eber Peleg Joktan Reu Almodad
Jobab Serug Nahor Terah Abraham Sarah Nahor Haran
Genesis 11:10 records that Shem was 100 years old at the birth of Arpachshad two years after the flood, making him 98 at the time of the flood; and that he lived for another 500 years after this, making his age at death 600 years.
The children of Shem were Elam, Asshur, Aram, Arpachshad and Lud, in addition to daughters. Abraham, the patriarch of the Hebrews and Arabs, was one of the descendants of Arpachshad.
The 1st century historian Flavius Josephus, among many others, recounted the tradition that these five sons were the progenitors of the nations of Elam, Assyria, Syria, Chaldea, and Lydia, respectively.
Terms like "Semite" and "Hamite" are less common now, and may sometimes even be perceived as offensive, because of their "racial" connotations. The adjectival forms "Semitic" and "Hamitic" are more common, though the vague term 'Hamitic' dropped out of mainstream academic use in the 1960s. Semitic is still a commonly used term for the Semitic languages, as a subset of the Afro-Asiatic languages, denoting the common linguistic heritage of Arabic, Aramaic, Akkadian, Ethiopic, Hebrew andPhoenician languages.
'Semitic' also appears in the phrase "anti-Semitic" to refer to racial, ethnic or cultural prejudice aimed exclusively at Jews.
According to some Jewish traditions (e.g., B. Talmud Nedarim 32b; Genesis Rabbah 46:7; Genesis Rabbah 56:10; Leviticus Rabbah 25:6; Numbers Rabbah 4:8.), Shem is believed to have been Melchizedek, King of Salem whom Abraham is recorded to have met after the battle of the four kings.
In a few of the many extra-biblical sources that describe him, Shem is also credited with killing Nimrod, son of Cush.
Shem is mentioned in Genesis 5:32, 6:10; 7:13; 9:18,23,26-27; 10; 11:10; also in 1 Chronicles 1:4.
Genealogies according to "Book of Jasher"
Geographic identifications ofÂ Flavius Josephus, c. 100 AD;Â Japheth's sons shown in red, Ham's sons in blue, Shem's sons in green. A rabbinic document that surfaced in the 17th century, claiming to be the lost "Book of Jasher" provides some names not found in any other source. Some have reconstructed more complete genealogies based on this information as follows:
Shem. Also Sem. Literal meanings are named or renown (father of the Semitic races - Shemites). The sons of Shem were: Elam "eternity" (sons were Shushan, Machul and Harmon) - (Elamites, Khuzestanis) Asshur "a step" or "strong" (sons were Mirus and Mokil) - (Assyrians) Arphaxad (sons were Shelach, Anar and Ashcol) - Hebrews (Israelites, Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Ishmaelites, And Qahtanites) Ziezi - son of Shem and a grandson of Noah. His name is mentioned in the excerpt Ziezi ex quo vulgares meaning "Ziezi, of whom the Bulgars" but being regarded by some as the first European reference to the Bulgars as a people. (Ancient Thracians, Ancient Bulgarians, Thracians) Lud "strife" (sons were Pethor and Bizayon) - (Ludim, Lubim, Ludians, Ludu, Lydians, and other related groups in Asia Minor. Aram "exalted" (sons were Uz, Chul, Gather and Mash) - (Aramaeans). Other proposed lineages from Shem
According to The Bible, Genesis 10:22-31
22 The children of Shem: Elam, and Asshur, and Arphaxad and Lud and Aram. 23 And the children of Aram; Uz and Hul, and Gether and Mash. 24 And Arphaxad begat Salah and Salah begat Eber. 25 And unto Eber were born two sons: the name of one was Peleg; for in his days was the earth divided; and his brother's name was Joktan. 26 And Joktan begat Almodad, and Sheleph, and Hazarmaveth, and Jerah. 27 And Hadoram, and Uzal and Diklah, 28 And Obal, and Abimael and Sheba, 29 And Ophir, and Havilah, and Jobab: all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 And their dwelling was from Mesha, as thou goest unto Sephar a mount of the east 31 These are the sons ofÂ Shem, after their families, after their tongues, in their lands, after their nations.
From Genesis 11: 10-31
Shem begat Arphaxad ( and begat sons and daughters), Arphaxad begat Salah (+sons & daughters), Salah begat Eber (+sons & daughters), Eber begat Peleg (+sons & daughters), and Peleg begat Reu (+sons & daughters), and Reu begat Serug (+sons & daughters), and Serug begat Nahor, and Nahor begat Terah (+sons & daughters), and Terah begat Abram (his wife was Sarai) ,Nahor, and Haran, and Haran begat Lot.
Some believe that from Shem descend the whole of the European peoples. Ernest L. Martin writes, "...[The] Shemite tribes (people who were descendants of Shem and including some peoples who came from Abraham) later colonized the whole of southern Europe and replaced the people of JAVAN and his four descendants. JAVAN'S people were pushed mainly into the northern areas of Europe where in turn they migrated farther east into Asia (along with GOMER the firstborn son of JAPHETH and his descendants). Indeed, in prophecies dealing also with the End-Time, we find the people of JAVAN no longer in Europe, but they are now associated with TUBAL [Ezekiel 38: & 39 end time prophecy] (another son of JAPHETH) who became an eastern Mongolian type of people...though the name JAVAN still retained its geographical hold on the southern region of Europe, particularly in Greece)...It is not uncommon for people to give a name to a region and then the original people move on to other areas (or are killed off) and the original geographical name becomes associated with completely different people"
Some scholars have claimed that the Anglo-Saxons are the descendants of Shem. "Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons [b. 849 A.D.] was... the son [descendant] of Sem [Shem]" (Church Historians of England, vol. 2, p.Â 443). Proponents of this theory also claim thatÂ Alfred the GreatÂ was a descendant of Shem because he claimed to descend from Sceafa, a marooned man who came to Britain on a boat after a flood.
Le Petit, a writer in 1601 mentioned King Adel, said to be descendant of Shem, ruler of Britain having 3 children that migrated to India.
Further, it is said that Tuitsch a German patriarch is none other than Shem himself (see Assyrian-German theory).
A text from the Islamic world claims that the Greeks derived from Shem: Tabari II:11 "Shem, the son of Noah was the father of the Arabs, the Persians, and the Greeks;..."
In the Chronicles of George the Monk and Symeon Logothetes, the following genealogy occurs: "To the lot of Shem fell the Orient, and his share extended lengthwise as far as India and breadthwise (from east to south) as far as Phinocorura, including Persia and Bactria, as well as Syria, Media (which lies beside the Euphrates River), Babylon, Cordyna, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Arabia the Ancient, Elymais, India, Arabia the Mighty, Coelesyria, Commagene, and all Phoenicia."
According to Abulgazi, Shem's original land was Iran while Japheth's was the country called "Kuttup Shamach," said to be the name of the regions between the Caspian Sea and India.
According to Armenian tradition, Dr. Hales is quoted saying, "To the sons of Shem was alloted the middle region of the earth viz., Palestine, Syria, Assyria, Samaria (Shinar?) Babel (or Babylonia), Persia and Hedjaz (Arabia).
In Mystery of the Ages, by Dr. James Modlish, it is said that India is inhabited by Shemites.
Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, a 19th century Arab historian, states that al-Hind and al-Sind [(Sindh)Pakistan] are of Ophir, the son of Joktan. Isidore of Seville (c. 635) had also made Joktan the ancestor of Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis; his material was based on earlier enumerations made by Jerome and Josephus, who had stated that Joktan's descendants "inhabited from Cophen, an Indian river, and in part of Asia adjoining to it."
In Genesis, while Sheba and Seba are listed among descendants of Cush son of Ham in 10:7, another Sheba is listed as a son of Joktan, son of Eber in 10:28. These names are associated with Semitic tribes on both sides of the Red Sea in Yemen andEritrea (See Sabaeans). This situation may reflect a combined Hamito-Semitic ancestry postulated for Ethiopian peoples.
Some writers have associated Noah's sons with different skin colors or alleged races. For instance the Jewish text Pirqei R. Eliezer, depicts God as dividing the earth among Noah's sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, and attributing different skin colors to them (literally, —blessing" them with different skin colors): light colored skin for the Japhetites, medium dark or brown for the Semites, and very dark or black for the Hamites.
This passage from Pirqei R. Eliezer, a writing which was composed in Israel after the Islamic conquest, is paralleled in an Arabic text of approximately the same period. The historian abar? (d. 923) quotes Ibn Abbas (d. 686-8) as saying:
Genesis 5:32 32 And Noah was five hundred years old: and Noah begat Shem, Ham and Japhet.
The tradition is repeated in the 13th century by the Christian Ibn al-Ibr? (Bar Hebraeus), known for the fidelity with which he reproduces earlier writers. Again in another work, Bar Hebraeus speaks of Noah dividing the world among his three sons, with Ham getting the Land of the Blacks (s?d?n), Shem the Land of the Browns (sumra), and Japheth the Land of the Reds (?uqra).
"According to ISBE, Shem means "dusky", and Japheth means "fair." (McKissick, Beyond Roots. P. 108).
According to Armenian tradition, Shem had the region of the tawny.
Josiah Priest (1788–1851) believed that Shem, because he was a descendant in the Adamic line, and because "Adam" means reddish in Hebrew, that Shem too was of the "reddish race". Further, he believed that because Christ was a descendant in the line of Shem, that Christ was of "copper-colored stock".
Book of Jasher Chapter 7:15 http://www.freemaninstitute.com/RTGham.htm a b Book of Jasher Chapter 7:16 a b Book of Jasher Chapter 7:17 Prophetic Geography and the Time of the End, emphasis added Serge A. Zenkovsky's, Cited from In Serge A. Zenkovsky's, Medieval Russia's Epics, Chronicles, and Tales, Medieval Russia's Epics, Chronicles, and Tales, Revised and Enlarged Edition. (NY: Meridian Books, 1974) P. 94,Â Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan P. 27 Assyria: Her Manners and Customs, Arts and Arms: Restored from Her Monuments By Philip Mystery of the Ages, by Dr. James Modlish p. 1769 A dictionary of the Bible comprising its antiquities, biography, geography, and natural history. by William Smith, John Mee Fuller [The names of Noah's sons were prophetic. Shem signifies name or renown (the Scriptures have been given to us through the family of Shem, and Christ was of that family); Ham signifies hot or black (his descendants mainly peopled Africa); and Japheth signifies either fair or enlarged (his descendants are the white-faced Europeans, who have gone forth and established colonies in all the other grand divisions of the globe).] [Tarikh al- abar?, ed. M.J. de Goeje, 1:199. A little later (p. 220) abar? repeats this tradition, again in the name of Ibn Abbas, but this time has —tawny with hardly any whiteness" (udma wa-bay? qal?l) for Ham instead of —black with hardly any whiteness." My translation of abar?"s color terms follows Lane, who notes that applied to human complexion adam means —tawny or dark-complexioned, syn. asmar," umra means whiteness, and ?uqra implies some mix of red and white, the common classification for a light-skinned complexion (Lane, An Arabic-English Lexicon, pp. 37a, 640c [see also 642a, a mar], and 1581b).] [M. Sprengling and W.C. Graham, ed., Barhebraeus' Scholia on the Old Testament, pp. 34-35 and 44-45. Bar Hebraeus' father was a Jewish convert to Christianity (thus the name). The quotation is from J.B. Segal, The Encyclopedia of Islam, second edition, 3:805, s.v. Ibn al- Ibr?.] McKissick, Beyond Roots. P. 108) P. 162 Christmastide: Its History, Festivities, and Carols By William Sandys The Forging of Races: Race and Scripture in the Protestant Atlantic World, 1600-2000 By Colin Kidd
By Jack Ryan
Genesis 7:21 (NIV)
21 Every living thing that moved on land perished—birds, livestock, wild animals, all the creatures that swarm over the earth, and all mankind.
Jonah 4:11 (NIV)
11 And should I not have concern for the great city of Nineveh, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left—and also many animals?”
By Jack Ryan
The Flood may have been caused by all of the other planets being on one side of the earth simultaneously. God may have inserted the “youngestÂ” planet Neptune on the other side to act as a gravitational corrective to make sure it cannot happen again!Â’
The Golden Age Jun 16 1926 pg 583
By Jack Ryan
Old Tjikko is aÂ 9,560-year-oldÂ Norway Spruce, located onÂ FulufjÃ¤lletÂ Mountain ofÂ DalarnaÂ province inÂ Sweden. Old Tjikko originally gained fame as the "world's oldest tree."
By Bible Speaks
"You are a priest to time indefinite according to the manner of Melchizedek!"—Ps. 110:4.
Jesus Christ, the promised Seed, now rules from heaven. Also, he serves as mankind’s High Priest.
Christ’s Priesthood Typified. In a notable Messianic prophecy the sworn oath of Jehovah to David’s “Lord” is: “You are a priest to time indefinite according to the manner of Melchizedek!” (Ps 110:1, 4) This inspired psalm gave the Hebrews reason to regard the promised Messiah as the one in whom the office of priest and king would be combined. The apostle Paul, in the letter to the Hebrews, removed any doubt about the identity of the one foretold, speaking of “Jesus, who has become a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek forever.”—Heb 6:20; 5:10; see COVENANT.
Direct appointment. Jehovah evidently appointed Melchizedek to be a priest. In discussing Jesus’ status as the great High Priest, Paul showed that a man does not take the honor “of his own accord, but only when he is called by God, just as Aaron also was.” He also explained that “the Christ did not glorify himself by becoming a high priest, but was glorified by him who spoke with reference to him: ‘You are my son; I, today, I have become your father,’” and the apostle next applies the prophetic words of Psalm 110:4 to Jesus Christ.—Heb 5:1, 4-6.
No predecessors or successors. Paul clearly indicates that perfection was unattainable through the Levitical priesthood, thus necessitating the appearance of a priest “according to the manner of Melchizedek.” He points out that Christ sprang from Judah, a nonpriestly tribe, but, citing Jesus’ similarity to Melchizedek, shows that he became a priest, “not according to the law of a commandment depending upon the flesh, but according to the power of an indestructible life.” Aaron and his sons became priests without an oath, but the priesthood conferred on Christ was ordained by an oath of Jehovah. Also, whereas the Levitical priests kept dying and needed to have successors, the resurrected Jesus Christ “because of continuing alive forever has his priesthood without any successors” and, therefore, is able “to save completely those who are approaching God through him, because he is always alive to plead for them.”—Heb 7:11-25.
How was it true that Melchizedek had ‘neither beginning of days nor end of life’?
Paul isolated an outstanding fact respecting Melchizedek, in saying of him: “In being fatherless, motherless, without genealogy, having neither a beginning of days nor an end of life, but having been made like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.” (Heb 7:3)
Like other humans, Melchizedek was born and he died. However, the names of his father and mother are not furnished, his ancestry and posterity are not disclosed, and the Scriptures contain no information about the beginning of his days or the end of his life. Thus, Melchizedek could fittingly foreshadow Jesus Christ, who has an unending priesthood. As Melchizedek had no recorded predecessor or successor in his priesthood, so too Christ was preceded by no high priest similar to himself, and the Bible shows that none will ever succeed him.
Furthermore, although Jesus was born in the tribe of Judah and in the kingly line of David, his fleshly ancestry had no bearing on his priesthood, nor was it by virtue of human ancestry that the offices of both priest and king were combined in him. These things were as a result of Jehovah’s own oath to him.
A view that appears in the Targums of Jerusalem and that has gained wide acceptance among the Jews and others is that Melchizedek was Noah’s son Shem. Shem was then alive and even outlived Abraham’s wife Sarah. Also, Noah specifically blessed Shem. (Ge 9:26, 27) But this identification has not been confirmed.
The fact remains that Melchizedek’s nationality, genealogy, and offspring are left undisclosed in the Scriptures, and that with good reason, for he could thus typify Jesus Christ, who by Jehovah’s sworn oath “has become a high priest according to the manner of Melchizedek forever.”—Heb 6:20.
By The Librarian
Melchizedek, Melkisetek, or Malki Tzedek (/mɛl.ˈkɪz.ə.dɪk/; Hebrew: מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶֿק malkī-ṣeḏeq; Amharic: መልከ ጼዴቅ malkī-ṣeḏeq; Armenian: Մելքիսեդեք, Melkisetek), is the king of Salem and priest of El Elyon ("God most high") mentioned in the 14th chapter of the Book of Genesis. He brings out bread and wine and blesses Abram and El Elyon
In the majority of Masoretic Hebrew texts the name is written as two words, Meleḵi-ṣedeq מלכי־צדק, rendered in one word in both the Septuagint (Μελχισεδέκ) and Vulgate (Melchisedech). The Authorised King James Version of 1611 renders the name Melchizedek when translating from the Hebrew, and Melchisedec in the New Testament.
The name is composed from the two elements melek(h) "king" and ṣedeq "righteous(ness)". With the addition of the enclitic possessive pronoun (-ī), malk-ī means "my king", so that the name literally translates to "my king is righteousness" (or "my king is Ṣedeq"). By the Hellenistic era it appears the name came to be associated with the messiah and paraphrased as "king of righteousness".
"My King is Righteousness" is interpreted as a theophoric name associating Melchizedek's god, El Elyon with the epithet Ṣedeq ("Righteousness"), which is otherwise attested as the name of Canaanite deities. Thus, Ṣedeq and El Elyon ("God most high") may have been two epithets of the same Jebusite god, identified as an astral deity, perhaps eponymous of Salem itself: Salim or Shalem (שלם) is attested as a god, presumably identified with the evening star, in Ugaritic mythology; URUŠalim in this case would be the city of Salim, the Jebusite astral deity. The theonym is also preserved in Phoenician (ṣdq; Philo: Συδυκ), a deity identified with Roman Jupiter.
The name is formed in parallel with Adoni-ṣedeq אדני־צדק, also a king of Salem, mentioned in the Book of Joshua (10:1–3), where the element malik "king" is replaced by adon "lord". Parallel theophoric names, with Sedeq replaced by Yahu, are those of Malchijah and Adonijah, both biblical characters placed in the time of David.
Psalm 110 alludes to Melchizedek as a prototype of the messiah. This led to the re-interpretation of the name as "king of righteousness" in Hellenistic Judaism. Based on evidence found in the Qumran Scrolls, it was also used as a name of the Archangel Michael, interpreted as a heavenly priest; Michael as Melchi-zedek contrast with Belial, who is given the name of Melchi-resha "king of wickedness". The text of the Epistle to the Hebrews follows this interpretation in stating explicitly that the name in Greek translation (ἑρμηνευόμενος) means βασιλεὺς δικαιοσύνης ("king of righteousness"), omitting translation of the possessive suffix; the same passage interprets Melchizedek's title of king of Salem as translating to βασιλεὺς εἰρήνης "king of peace", the context being the presentation of Melchizedek's as an eternal priesthood associated with Jesus Christ (ἀφωμοιωμένος δὲ τῷ υἱῷ τοῦ θεοῦ μένει ἱερεὺς εἰς τὸ διηνεκές "made like unto the Son of God abideth a priest continually").
Melchizedek is mentioned twice in the Hebrew Bible, the first in Genesis and the second in Psalms.
The narrative of Genesis 14 is part of the larger story telling how Abram returns from defeating king Chedorlaomer and meets with Bera the king of Sodom, at which point:
Some textual critics classify the narration as not being derived from any of the usual pentateuchal sources. It has been speculated that verses 18–20 (in which Melchizedek appears) are an informal insertion into the narration, as they interrupt the account of the meeting of Abraham with the king of Sodom.
Lebanese Protestant scholar Kamal Salibi (1929–2011) observes that Hebrew: ֹמַעֲשֵׂר, m'sr, which literally does mean tenth, might more loosely be used to mean portion, and Hebrew: מִכֹּל, m-kl, or from all, might refer just to food in the giver's possession, so that the whole verse might mean He gave him a portion of food..
Genesis 14:18 introduces Melchizedek a "Priest of the Most High God" (El Elyon), a term which is re-used in 14:19, 20, 22. The term "Most High" is used another twenty times of the God of the Israel in the Psalms. Giorgio Levi Della Vida (1944) suspects that this is a late development, and Joseph Fitzmyer (1962) connects Genesis 14 with the mention of a god called "Most High," who may appear according to one of three possible translations of a 750 BC inscription found at Al-Safirah in Syria. Remi Lack (1962) considers that the Genesis verses were taken over by Jewish redactor(s), for whom El was already identified with YHWH, El-Elyon became an epithet for the God of Israel.
Due to an ambiguity in the Hebrew text, it is unclear who gave tithe to whom: Abram to Melchizedek, or Melchizedek to Abram: the verse in question states simply, "And [he] gave him tithe from all" (v-yiten-lo ma'aser mekol, ויתן לו מעשר מכל ). Most translations of this verse preserve the ambiguity, as in the Septuagint, which has edōken autōi, ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ "he gave to him", but some modern translations make explicit the mainstream interpretation of Abram being the giver and Melchizedek the recipient.
Targum Pseudo-Jonathan, the Book of Jubilees, Josephus, Philo of Alexandria, and Rashi all read Abram as the giver of the tithe to Melchizedek. The Rogatchover Gaon, also understanding Abram to be the tithe giver, comments that the presented tithe was not a standard tithe (Maaser Rishon) as described in the Torah (given on an annual basis), but was a one-time "tribute offering" (trumat ha-mekhes, תרומת המכס), such as Moses gave to God in Numbers 31:41.
Expressing a kabbalistic point of view, the Zohar commentary to Genesis 14 cites Rabbi Yitzchak as saying that it was God who gave a tithe to Abram in the form of removing the Hebrew letter He from his own throne of glory and presenting it to the soul of Abram for his benefit. Rabbi Meir Simcha of Dvinsk (1843–1926) interprets the phrase "And he gave him tithe from all" as a verbal continuation of Melchizedek's speech, i.e., Melchizedek exclaimed that God had chosen to gift Abram a tenth of God's possession of the entire human race (consisting of seventy nations as described in Genesis) in the form of the seven nations of the land of Canaan, including the cities of Sodom that Abram succeeded in saving. Rabbi Meir Simcha argues that continued speech of this sort was a common form of prophetic expression.
The second and final Hebrew Bible mention of Melchizedek is in Psalm 110:4. The many translations that follow the Septuagint translate such;
The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent: 'Thou art a priest for ever after the manner of Melchizedek.'. (JPS 1917)
Although the above is the traditional translation of the text, the Hebrew text can be interpreted in various ways, and the New Jewish Publication Society of America Version, (1985 edition), for example, has:
You are a priest forever, a rightful king by My decree. (JPS 1985)
Another alternative keeps Melchizedek as a personal name but changes the identity of the person addressed: "You are a priest forever by my order (or 'on my account'), O Melchizedek" – here it is Melchizedek who is being addressed throughout the psalm.
The majority of Chazalic literature attributes the primary character of the psalm as King David who was a "righteous king" (מלכי צדק) of Salem (Jerusalem) and, like Melchizedek, had certain priest-like responsibilities, while the Babylonian Talmud understands the chapter as referring to Abram who was victorious in battling to save his nephew Lot and merited priesthood.The Zohar defines the noted Melchizedek as referring to Ahron the Kohen Gadol (high priest).
Psalm 110:4 is cited in the New Testament letter to the Hebrews as an indicator that Jesus, regarded in the letter as the Messiah, had a right to a priesthood pre-dating the Jewish Aaronic priesthood (Hebrews 5:5–6).
Josephus refers to Melchizedek as a "Canaanite chief" in War of the Jews, but as a priest in Antiquities of the Jews.
Philo identifies Melchizedek with the Logos as priest of God, and honoured as an untutored priesthood.
The Second Book of Enoch (also called "Slavonic Enoch") is apparently a Jewish sectarian work of the 1st century AD. The last section of the work, the Exaltation of Melchizedek, tells how Melchizedek was born of a virgin, Sofonim (or Sopanima), the wife of Nir, a brother of Noah. The child came out from his mother after she had died and sat on the bed beside her corpse, already physically developed, clothed, speaking and blessing the Lord, and marked with the badge of priesthood. Forty days later, Melchizedek was taken by the archangel Gabriel (Michael in some manuscripts) to the Garden of Eden and was thus preserved from the Deluge without having to be in Noah's Ark.
Dead Sea Scrolls
11Q13 (11QMelch) is a fragment (that can be dated to the end of the 2nd or start of the 1st century BC) of a text about Melchizedek found in Cave 11 at Qumran in the Israeli Dead Sea area and which comprises part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In this eschatological text, Melchizedek is seen as a divine being and Hebrew titles as Elohim are applied to him. According to this text Melchizedek will proclaim the "Day of Atonement" and he will atone for the people who are predestined to him. He also will judge the peoples.
The Genesis Apocryphon (1QapGen) repeats information from Genesis.
Hebrew language Torah commentarians of the Rishonim era (11th to 15th centuries) have explained the (seemingly) abrupt intrusion of Melchizedek into the narration in various ways; Hezekiah ben Manoah (c. 1250) points out that the following verses has Abram refusing any of the king of Sodom's possessions which, if not for the insertion of Melchizedek's hospitality, would prompt the query as to where Abram and his weary men got their refreshments from. The Rashbam, Shmuel ben Meir (11th century), offers a similar explanation but varies by saying that only Abram's men partook in the booty (originally belonging to the king of Sodom) whereas the Melchizedek intrusion explains that Abram himself was sustained by Melchizedek since he refused to consume of the luxury of Sodom because his Lord was of the non-material world. Likewise, the commentary of Chaim ibn Attar (17th century) offers a three-pronged slew of reasons for the Melchizedek insertion.
In rabbinic literature
The narrative preceding Melchizedek's introduction presents a picture of Melchizedek's involvement in the events of his era. The narration details Abram's rescue of his nephew Lot and his spectacular defeat of multiple kings, and goes on to define the meeting place of Melchizedek and Abram as "Emek HaShaveh which is Emek HaMelech". The meeting site has been associated with Emek Yehoshaphat (the Valley of Josaphat). Targum Onkelos describes the meeting location's size as "a plot the size of a king's Riis". Midrashic exegesis describes how a large group of governors and kings convened in unison to pay homage to the victor Abram and desired to make him a deity, at which point he declined, attributing his victory to God's might and will alone.
The chronological work Seder ha-Dorot (published 1769) quotes that Melchizedek was the first to initiate and complete a wall in circumference of the city, and had to exit Salem to reach Abram and his men. Upon exiting Salem, he presented to them "bread and wine" with the intent to refresh them from their journey. Following the premise that Melchizedek was indeed Shem, he was 465 years old at the time and Abram was 75 years of age.
Chazalic literature unanimously identify Melchizedek as Shem son of Noah (Targum Yonathan to Genesis chap. 14, Genesis Rabbah 46:7, Babylonian Talmud to Tractate Nedarim 32b). The Talmud Bavli attributes him (Shem and his beth din court of justice) as pioneers in banning prostitution (Avodah Zarah p. 36a).
Middle eastern land distribution demonstrating the land of Canaangoverned by Cham
There is, however, disagreement amongst Rishonim as to whether Salem was Melchizedek/Shem's allocated residence by his father Noah or whether he was a foreigner in Salem which was considered the rightful land of his brother Cham. The Ramban is of the opinion that the land was rightfully owned and governed by the offspring of Cham, and explains that Melchizedek/Shem left his home country and came to Salem as a foreigner wishing to serve God as a Kohen. However, Rashi maintains that the land of Canaan was initially allotted to Shem, by Noah his father, and the offspring of Cham conquered the land by forced expansion.
Transition of the Priesthood
Although Melchizedek is the first person in the Torah to be titled a Kohen (priest), the medrash records that he was preceded in priesthood (kehuna) by Adam. Rabbinic commentarians to the Torah explain that Melchizedek – essentially Shem – was given the priesthood (Hebrew; kehuna) by receipt of his father Noah's blessing "G-d beatified Yefeth and will dwell in the house of Shem"; i.e., he will merit to serve and host God as a Kohen.
Torah Laws require that the Kohen (priest) must be a patrilineal descendant of a prior Kohen. Leviticus Rabbah maintains that God intended to permanently bring forth the priesthood ("Kehuna") through Melchizedek’s patrilineal descendants, but since Melchizedek preceded Abram's blessing to that of God, God instead chose to bring the priesthood ("kehuna") forth from Abram’s descendants. ]As the text states in regard to Melchizedek; "and he is a Kohen", meaning himself in the exclusive sense and not his patrilineal descendants.
The Ohr HaChayim commentary presents that God was not angered by Melchizedek's preceding Abram's blessing to that of God, since Abram was rightfully deemed worthy of precedence for independently coming to recognize God amidst a world of Paganism, but Melchizedek willingly gave the priesthood to Abram upon recognizing his outstanding uniqueness and Godly character traits.
Rabbinic authorities defer as to whether Kehuna was given to Abram there and then or after the demise of Melchizedek.
The Midrash records that Shem functioned as kohen gadol (high priest) in that he taught Torah to the Patriarchs before it was publicly given at Mount Sinai, while the official title of High Priest was conferred upon Aaron after the erection of the Tabernacle.
The Midrash quotes multiple aspects of both Melchizedek and Abram; The Rabbis taught that Melchizedek acted as a priest and handed down Adam’s robes to Abram (Numbers Rabbah 4:8).
Rabbi Isaac the Babylonian said that Melchizedek was born circumcised (Genesis Rabbah 43:6). Melchizedek called Jerusalem “Salem.” (Genesis Rabbah 56:10.) The Rabbis said that Melchizedek instructed Abram in the Torah. (Genesis Rabbah 43:6.) Rabbi Eleazar said that Melchizedek’s school was one of three places where the Holy Spirit (Ruach HaKodesh) manifested Himself (Babylonian Talmud Makkot 23b).
Rabbi Judah said in Rabbi Nehorai's name that Melchizedek’s blessing yielded prosperity for Abram, Isaac, and Jacob (Genesis Rabbah 43:8). Ephraim Miksha'ah the disciple of Rabbi Meir said in the latter's name that Tamar descended from Melchizedek (Genesis Rabbah 85:10).
Rabbi Hana bar Bizna citing Rabbi Simeon Hasida identified Melchizedek as one of the four craftsmen of whom Zechariah wrote in Zechariah 2:3. (Babylonian Talmud Sukkah 52b; see also Song of Songs Rabbah 2:33 (crediting Rabbi Berekiah in the name of Rabbi Isaac).) The Talmud teaches that David wrote the Book of Psalms, including in it the work of the elders, including Melchizedek.
Thus according to some rabbis[who?] confusion over Melchizedek being both King and Priest is solved by knowing that Shem was also a progenitor of the Davidic Monarchy, which descended from both Judah and Tamar, who was the daughter (or granddaughter by some opinions) of Shem.[original research?]
In the Zohar
The Zohar (redacted by Moses de León c. 1290s) finds in “Melchizedek king of Salem” a reference to “the King Who rules with complete sovereignty,” or according to another explanation, that “Melchizedek” alludes to the lower world and “king of Salem” to the upper world (Zohar 1:86b–87a). The Zohar's commentary on Genesis 14 cites a Rabbi Yitzchak as saying that it was God who gave tithe to Abram in the form of removing the Hebrew letter He from his throne of glory and presenting it to the soul of Abram for his benefit. The letter he is the letter God added to Abram's name to become "Abra-ha-m" in Genesis.
An image of Melchizedek painted onto the altar side near the Royal Doorsat Libotin wooden church, Maramureş County, Romania
In the New Testament, references to Melchizedek appear only in the Epistle to the Hebrews (later 1st century AD), though these are extensive (Hebrews 5:6, 10; 6:20; 7:1, 10, 11, 15, 17, 21). Jesus Christ is there identified as a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek quoting from Ps. 110:4.
In Heb. 7:3 , Melchizedek is described as an extraordinary person in ways that are unique in the biblical narrative. In Heb. 7:3, Melchizedek is depicted as being "Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life"; thus giving him an almost godlike status.
Association with the Messiah
The association or identification of Melchizedek with the Messiah predates Christianity, developing in Jewish messianism of the Second Temple period.
A collection of early Gnostic scripts dating on or before the 4th century, discovered in 1945 and known as the Nag Hammadi library, contains a tractate pertaining to Melchizedek. Here it is proposed that Melchizedek is Jesus Christ. Melchizedek, as Jesus Christ, lives, preaches, dies and is resurrected, in a gnostic perspective. The Coming of the Son of God Melchizedek speaks of his return to bring peace, supported by the gods, and he is a priest-king who dispenses justice.
The association with Christ is made explicit by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where Melchizedek the "king of righteousness" and "king of peace" is explicitly associated with the "eternal priesthood" of the Son of God. The Christological interpretation of this Old Testament character being a prefiguration or prototype of the Christ has varied between Christian denominations. The Pelagians saw in Melchizedek merely a man who lived a perfect life.
Typological association of Jesus Christ with Old Testament characters occurs frequently in the New Testament; thus, Jesus Christ is also associated with Adam (as the "New Adam") and with Abraham.
Melchizedek is mentioned in the Roman Canon, the First Eucharistic Prayer of the Roman rite of the Catholic Church, and also figures in the current Roman Martyrology as a commemoration on August 26.
He is commemorated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on May 22, and on the "Sunday of the Forefathers" (two Sundays before Christmas). In the Calendar of Saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church Melkisetek (Armenian: Մելքիսեդեք, Melkisetek) is commemorated as one of the Holy Forefathers on July 26.
Traditional Protestant Christian denominations, following Luther, teach that Melchizedek was a historical figure and an archetype of Christ.
Tremper Longman notes that a popular understanding of the relationship between Melchizedek and Jesus is that Melchizedek is an Old Testament Christophany – in other words, that Melchizedek is Jesus.
Latter Day Saint movement
In the Latter Day Saint movement, the Book of Mormon makes reference to Melchizedek (Alma 13:17–19). In Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, Melchizedek is described as "a man of faith, who wrought righteousness; and when a child he feared God, and stopped the mouths of lions." Because he was a righteous and God-fearing man, Melchizedek was "ordained a high priest" (JST Genesis 14:25–40) The Joseph Smith Translation notes that, when the Epistle to the Hebrew speaks of Melchizedek, it is the order of the priesthood named for him that is without father and mother, etc., and not Melchizedek himself (JST Bible Hebrews 7:3).
According to the Doctrine and Covenants, Melchizedek is a descendant of Noah (84:14). Latter Day Saints are unclear as to whether Melchizedek was Shem, or a descendant of Shem. The Latter Day Saint Melchizedek priesthood is named after him, so as not to over-use the name of the Son of God, after whom it was originally named.
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