When Abram returned from his victory over the kings of the East, he met Melchizedek. Melchizedek is a very interesting type of Christ. In this lesson, we will not only study Melchizedek, but we’ll also study the tithe and Abram’s separation from the king of Sodom.
Look at the comparisons between Melchizedek and Jesus Christ.
Similarity Melchizedek Jesus Christ
Bread and wine Genesis 14:18 Matthew 26: 26-29
Priest Genesis 14:18 Hebrews 7:26
Blessed Abram Genesis 14:19 Luke 24: 50-51
King of righteousness Hebrews 7:2 1 Corinthians 1:30; Rom. 10: 1-4
King of peace Hebrews 7: 2 Luke 19:38; Isaiah 9:6
No beginning, no end Hebrews 7: 3 Revelation 1:8
Melchizedek is probably a preincarnate appearance of the Lord Jesus Christ. That’s because he foreshadows the Lord’s Supper, is greater than Abram in that he blesses him, has no father, mother or earthly descent (since Jesus is God) and is eternal. The only difficulty with this is that he is like unto the Son of God. But that may not be so much of a problem because of Revelation 1:13, and because, before He was born of Mary, He was not called the Son of God, He was called the Word of God (John 1:1). Melchizedek’s appearance establishes a priesthood that is superior to the Levitical priesthood (Heb. 7).
In verse 20, Abram gave Melchizedek one tenth of all the spoil, Hebrews 7:4. This tithe was given before the law and it is the Lord’s (Lev. 27:30). There are some comparisons between the Old Testament tithe and New Testament giving.
Comparison Old Testament New Testament
Place Storehouse (Mal. 3:10) “laid by him in store” (1 Cor. 16:2)
Content Livestock, produce (Lev. 27:30-32, Money (1 Cor. 16:1-3, Rom. 15: 26) Matthew 23:23)
Purpose Support priests & Levites Support ministers & saints (Num. 18:24) (1 Cor. 9:9-14, Rom. 15: 25)
Time Every third year (Deut. 26:12) First day of week (1 Cor. 16:1-2)
Quantity A tenth & offerings (Mal. 3:8-10) According as he purposeth in his heart, not grudgingly, or of necessity, but cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:7)
Separation from Sodom
The king of Sodom wanted Abram to keep the spoils and only return the people. Abram did not want the king of Sodom to be able to say that he had made Abram rich. So, Abram had made an oath to God that he would not even accept a shoestring from the king’s spoils. After this victory, he didn’t want any “strings” attached. Otherwise, Abram would have been obligated to the king of Sodom. Likewise, we are to maintain a separation between ourselves and unbelievers that would cause us to be “unequally yoked together with” them (2 Cor. 6:14-18).