King of righteousness, king of Salem, and also priest of the most high God, in which capacity he blessed Abraham, and received tithes at his hand, Genesis 14:18-20. Scripture tells us nothing of his father or mother, of his genealogy, his birth, or his death; he stands alone, without predecessor or successor, a royal priest by the appointment of God; and thus he was a type of Jesus Christ, who is "a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek," and not after the order of Aaron, whose origin, consecration, life, and death, are known, Psalms 110:4 Hebrews 7:1-28. See GENEALOGY.
It has been a matter of great inquiry among commentators, who Melchizedek really was. He has been variously supposed to be the Holy Spirit, the Son of God, an angel, Enoch and Shem. But the safest and most probable opinion is that which considers Melchizedek as a righteous and peaceful king, a worshiper and priest of the most high God, in the land of Caanan; a friend of Abraham, and of a rank elevated above him. This opinion, indeed, lies upon the very face of the sacred record in Genesis 14:1-24 Hebrews 7:1-28, and it is the only one that can be defeated on any tolerable grounds of interpretation. See SALEM.