This Melchizedek was king of Salem1 and priest of God Most High.2 He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him,32
and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means "king of righteousness"; then also, "king of Salem" means "king of peace."
Without father or mother, without genealogy,4 without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God5 he remains a priest forever.
Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch6 Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder!75
Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people8--that is, their brothers--even though their brothers are descended from Abraham.
This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed9 him who had the promises.107
And without doubt the lesser person is blessed by the greater.
In the one case, the tenth is collected by men who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living.119
One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham,
because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.