Genesis 14:19
And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
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(19) Possessor.—Literally, creator, or framer. It is a poetical word, as are also those for “delivered” and “enemies.” The form of the blessing, moreover, is poetical, as it is arranged in parallel clauses.

Genesis 14:19. Blessed be Abram of the most high God — Observe the titles he here gives to God, which are very glorious. 1st, The most high God, which speaks his absolute perfection in himself, and his sovereign dominion over all the creatures. 2d, Possessor of heaven and earth — That is, rightful owner and sovereign Lord of all the creatures; because he made them.14:17-20 Melchizedek is spoken of as a king of Salem, supposed to be the place afterwards called Jerusalem, and it is generally thought that he was only a man. The words of the apostle, Heb 7:3, state only, that the sacred history has said nothing of his ancestors. The silence of the Scriptures on this, is to raise our thoughts to Him, whose generation cannot be declared. Bread and wine were suitable refreshment for the weary followers of Abram; and it is remarkable that Christ appointed the same as the memorials of his body and blood, which are meat and drink indeed to the soul. Melchizedek blessed Abram from God. He blessed God from Abram. We ought to give thanks for other's mercies as for our own. Jesus Christ, our great High Priest, is the Mediator both of our prayers and praises, and not only offers up ours, but his own for us. Abram gave him the tenth of the spoils, Heb 7:4. When we have received some great mercy from God, it is very fit we should express our thankfulness by some special act of pious charity. Jesus Christ, our great Melchisedek, is to have homage done him, and to be humbly acknowledged as our King and Priest; not only the tithe of all, but all we have, must be given up to him.An incident of the deepest interest here takes us by surprise. The connecting link in the narrative is obviously the place where the king of Sodom meets with Abram. The King's dale is plainly adjacent to the royal residence of Melkizedec, who therefore comes forth to greet and entertain the returning victor. This prince is the king of Shalem. This is apparently an ancient name of Jerusalem, which is so designated in Psalm 76:8. The other Shalem, which lay in the vicinity of Shekem (Genesis 33:18, if this be a proper name) is far away from the King's dale and the town of Sodom. Jerusalem is convenient to these localities, and contains the element Shalem in its composition, as the name signifies the foundation of peace (Shalom).

The king of Shalem, by name king of righteousness, and by office king of peace, "brought forth bread and wine." These are the standing elements of a simple repast for the refreshment of the body. In after times they were by divine appointment placed on the table of the presence in the tabernacle Exodus 25:29-30. They were the accompaniments of the Paschal lamb Matthew 26:26-27, and they were adopted by the Messiah as the sacred symbols of that heavenly fare, of which, if a man partake, he shall live forever John 6:48-58. The Author of revelation has made all nature intrinsically good and pure. He has realized therein a harmony of the laws of intelligence and design; everything meets and matches all that comes into contact with it; and all together form a cosmos, a system of things, a unity of types and antitypes. His word cannot but correspond to His work. Bread and wine are common things, familiar to the eye, the touch, and the taste of men. The Great Teacher takes them up out of the hands of man as emblems of grace, mercy, and peace, through an accepted ransom, of the lowliest as well as the loftiest boon of an everlasting salvation, and they have never lost their significance or appropriateness.

And he was priest to the most high God. - From this we are assured that the bread and wine refreshed not only the body, but the soul of Abram. In close connection with the preceding sentence, it seems to intimate that the bringing forth of bread and wine was a priestly act, and, accordingly, the crowning part of a sacred feast. The כהן kohen, or priest, who is here mentioned for the first time in Scripture, was one who acted in sacred things on the part of others. He was a mediator between God and man, representing God holding out the hand of mercy, and man reaching forth the hand of faith. The necessity of such an orifice grew out of the distance between God and man produced by sin. The business of the priest was to offer sacrifice and to intercede; in the former making amends to the law, in the latter appealing to the mercy of God. We do not learn by express statement what was the mode of intervention on the part of Melkizedec. But we know that sacrifice was as early as Habel, and that calling on the name of the Lord was commenced in the time of Enosh. These were early forms of approach to God. The offices of king and priest were combined in Melkizedec - a condition of things often exemplified in after times.

The most high God. - Here we meet with a new name of God, El, the Lasting, the Mighty, cognate with Elohim, and previously occurring in the compound proper names Mebujael, Mahalalel, and Bethel. We have also an epithet of God, "Elion the most high," now appearing for the first time. Hence, we perceive that the unity, the omnipotence, and the absolute pre-eminence of God were still living in the memory and conscience of a section at least of the inhabitants of this land. Still more, the worship of God was not a mere domestic custom, in which the father or head of the family officiated, but a public ordinance conducted by a stated functionary. And, lastly, the mode of worship was of such a nature as to represent the doctrine and acknowledge the necessity of an atonement, since it was performed by means of a priest.

Genesis 14:18

And he blessed him. - Here it comes out clearly that Melkizedec acts not only in a civil but in a sacred capacity. He blesses Abram. In the form of benediction employed we have two parts: the former of which is strictly a blessing or asking of good things for the person in question. "Blessed be Abram." It is the part of the father to bless the child, of the patriarch or superior to bless the subject or inferior, and of the priest to bless the people Hebrews 7:7. Here, accordingly, Melkizedec assumes and Abram concedes to him the superiority. The Most High God is here further designated as the Founder of heaven and earth, the great Architect or Builder, and, therefore, Possessor of all things. There is here no indistinct allusion to the creation of "heaven and earth," mentioned in the opening of the Book of God. This is a manifest identification of the God of Melkizedec with the one Creator and Upholder of all things. We have here no mere local or national deity, with limited power and province, but the sole and supreme God of the universe and of man.

18. Melchizedek—This victory conferred a public benefit on that part of the country; and Abram, on his return, was treated with high respect and consideration, particularly by the king of Sodom and Melchizedek, who seems to have been one of the few native princes, if not the only one, who knew and worshipped, "the most high God," whom Abram served. This king who was a type of the Saviour (Heb 7:1), came to bless God for the victory which had been won, and in the name of God to bless Abram, by whose arms it had been achieved—a pious acknowledgment which we should imitate on succeeding in any lawful enterprise. And, or therefore, ( as the particle is oft taken, i.e. because he was a priest of God),

he (i.e. Melchizedek)

blessed him, ( Abram,) which was one act of the priestly office. See Poole on "Hebrews 7:6". See Poole on "Hebrews 7:7". So it is a prayer for him, that God would confirm and increase the blessing which he had given him. Or, blessed is; so it is an acknowledgment of God’s blessing conferred upon Abram both formerly, and in this late and great victory. Or, blessed shall be; so it is a prediction concerning his future and further blessedness, whereof this was only an earnest. And he blessed him,.... Melchizedek blessed Abram, which was one part of his office as a priest, to wish and pray for a blessing on others, see Numbers 6:23, &c. and herein typified Christ, who really blesses or confers blessings on all his people, even spiritual blessings, such as redemption, remission of sins, and justifying righteousness, adoption, and eternal life:

and said, blessed be Abram of the most high God; that is, may he be blessed by him who is the most high God, with all kind of blessings, both temporal and spiritual; or he declares him to be blessed of him, as he undoubtedly was, or foretells that he would be, as was certainly his case: and another epithet of God is added, which abundantly shows he was able to bless him, since he is the

possessor of heaven and earth; is the Maker of both, and has a right to dispose of all things in them, both heavenly and earthly.

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

(i) Melchizedek fed Abram, declared himself to represent a king, and he blessed him as the high priest.

19. he blessed him] Melchizedek, as a priest, blessed Abram for his courageous and chivalrous action. A stranger in the land, he had come to the rescue of its people.

of God Most High] i.e. by God Most High. The blessing of El Elyon is invoked by Melchizedek upon Abram, the servant of Jehovah.

possessor of heaven and earth] R.V. marg. maker. The word is poetical. It expresses the ideas of making, producing, creating, as in Deuteronomy 32:6, Psalm 139:13, Proverbs 8:22. It is more often used for “acquiring” (cf. Genesis 4:1), a sense which would not here be applicable. In Isaiah 1:3, it is found, as here, with the meaning of “owner.”Verse 19. - And he blessed him (in which act appears his distinctively sacerdotal character), and said (the form of the benediction is poetical, consisting of two parallel stanzas), Blessed be Abram - so Isaac blessed Jacob (Genesis 27:27), and Jacob Joseph (Genesis 48:15), conveying in each case a Divine bone-diction - of the most high God - לְ after a passive verb indicating the efficient cause (vide Gesenius, § 143, 2, and cf. Genesis 31:15; Proverbs 14:50) - possessor - so Onkelos and Calvin; but koneh, from kanah, to erect, set up, hence found or create, means founder and creator (Gesenius), combines the meanings of κτίζειν and κτᾶσθαι (Keil), contains no indistinct allusion to the doctrine of Genesis 1:1 (Murphy), and is rendered ο{ς ἔκτισε (LXX.) and qui creavit (Vulgate) - of heaven and earth. A fugitive (lit., the fugitive; the article denotes the genus, Ewald, 277) brought intelligence of this to Abram the Hebrew (העברי, an immigrant from beyond the Euphrates). Abram is so called in distinction from Mamre and his two brothers, who were Amorites, and had made a defensive treaty with him. To rescue Lot, Abram ordered his trained slaves (חניכיו, i.e., practised in arms) born in the house (cf. Genesis 17:12), 318 men, to turn out (lit., to pour themselves out); and with these, and (as the supplementary remark in Genesis 14:24 shows) with his allies, he pursued the enemy as far as Dan, where "he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night," - i.e., he divided his men into companies, who fell upon the enemy by night from different sides - "smote them, and pursued them to Hobah, to the left (or north) of Damascus." Hobah has probably been preserved in the village of Noba, mentioned by Troilo, a quarter of a mile to the north of Damascus. So far as the situation of Dan is concerned, this passage proves that it cannot have been identical with Leshem or Laish in the valley of Beth Rehob, which the Danites conquered and named Dan (Judges 18:28-29; Joshua 19:47); for this Laish-Dan was on the central source of the Jordan, el Leddan in Tell el Kady, which does not lie in either of the two roads, leading from the vale of Siddim or of the Jordan to Damascus.

(Note: One runs below the Sea of Galilee past Fik and Nowa, almost in a straight line to Damascus; the other from Jacob's Bridge, below Lake Merom. But if the enemy, instead of returning with their booty to Thapsacus, on the Euphrates, by one of the direct roads leading from the Jordan past Damascus and Palmyra, had gone through the land of Canaan to the sources of the Jordan, they would undoubtedly, when defeated at Laish-Dan, have fled through the Wady et Teim and the Bekaa to Hamath, and not by Damascus at all (vid., Robinson, Bibl. Researches).)

This Dan belonged to Gilead (Deuteronomy 34:1), and is no doubt the same as the Dan-Jaan mentioned in 2 Samuel 24:6 in connection with Gilead, and to be sought for in northern Peraea to the south-west of Damascus.

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