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Melchizedek Dead Sea Scroll Found at Qumran

Genesis 14:18-20 (KJV)

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

Of all the unusual individuals that show up in Scripture, Melchizedek, the King of Salem, is one of the most fascinating. Throughout the Old and New Testament, Melchizedek is only mentioned in three books: Genesis, Psalms, and Hebrews, with Genesis being the only book where he appears in person. The spiritual authority of Melchizedek and the way in which the author of Genesis brings the readers attention to the absence of any genealogy relating to Melchizedek, indicates the uniqueness of Melchizedek as a figure of Scripture. Melchizedek has no genealogy, he is a priest of God during a time when there were very few godly men, and the author of Hebrews draws comparisons between Melchizedek and Jesus, saying that Melchizedek was greater than Abraham (Hebrews 7:7). Similarly, in John 8 the Jews ask Jesus if he is greater than Abraham.

Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
– John 8:54-57

The parallels between Jesus and Melchizedek are so striking, that some Biblical scholars have wondered if Melchizedek could have been a manifestation of Jesus before the Nativity. However, the references made in Hebrews, stating that Jesus “is a priest after the order of Melchizedek”, would be redundant if Melchizedek had himself been a manifestation of Christ. What is certain is that Melchizedek was a great priest of God and that he was recognized as such by Abraham, David, and the author of the Book of Hebrew.

Very little information is given in Scripture about Melchizedek, however, among the discoveries made at the Qumran caves, was a scroll dating back to the 1st Century BC that gives more information about the importance of Melchizedek the priest.

Read the full text of the Melchizedek Dead Sea Scroll 11Q13 here or visit the Shrine of the Book (where the Dead Sea Scrolls are now kept) on a Christian Israel tour!

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