The common elements which emerge from this study are: Melchizedek was a priest-king, ruling a small city-state and presiding over the cult. He lived among a people far advanced from the primitive. There is no consensus among scholars concerning the meaning of his name but "Sedeq (a name for God) is my King" is a possible translation. Melchizedek's city-state was named Salem and of the four plausible geographical locations postulated, the Salem-Shechem theory leaves fewer problems. Abraham and Melchizedek worshiped the same God who was known by several names, among which were 'El 'elyon, God Most High and Yahweh. All of these names point to a superlative god above all others. Jewish traditions identify Melchizedek with Shem and Salem with Jerusalem. They also subordinate Melchizedek to Abraham and see the priesthood lost by Melchizedek and passing to Abraham. The Christians claimed Melchizedek as the type for Christ and his priesthood, and thus forged their own link to antiquity. Joseph Smith's teachings parallel the early Christian traditions of Melchizedek as a type of Christ and other traditions on priestly kingship and ritual. He also defines orders in the priesthood.
College and Department
Religious Education; Ancient Scripture
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Madsen, Ann Nicholls, "Melchizedek, the Man and the Tradition" (1975). All Theses and Dissertations. 4896.
Nag Hammadi Library, Dead Sea Scrolls, Joseph Smith, Melchezidek, contributions, patriarchs, Hebrews, Egyptians, Israel, archaeology, archaeological discoveries