Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States
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Who was Melchizedek?

The literal translation of Melchizedek is "my king is righteous". Melchizedek was the king of Salem (Jerusalem) and is considered to be a prototype of our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a real person and is the only figure in the Holy Scripture, other than our Lord, who offered the sacrifice of bread and wine. In the case of Melchizedek, it was symbolic of the priesthood offering this sacrifice; but in our Lord, Jesus Christ is the High Priest, and the bread is His Holy Body and the wine is His Honored Blood. It was Melchizedek, to whom our father Abraham instituted the offering of the tithes (Genesis 14:20), and it was Melchizedek who was the first to bestow a blessing upon Abraham (Genesis 14:19). The Holy Scripture does not reveal anything else about Melchizedek, his ancestry, heritage, from where he came, or to where he went. Our church honors Melchizedek in the prayers of the ordination of the priesthood and in the presence of our fathers the patriarch and bishops, who are said to be ordained after the order of Melchizedek.
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