To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all
Or tithes, as in ( Genesis 14:20 ) . Philo the Jew F2 renders the Hebrew phrase, (lkm rvem) , just as the apostle does (dekathn apo pantwn) , "a tenth part of all", or "out of all"; not of all that he brought back, as Lot's goods, or the king of Sodom's, or any others; only of the spoils of the enemy, as in ( Hebrews 7:4 ) which is no proof of any obligation on men to pay tithes now to any order of men; for this was a voluntary act, and not what any law obliged to; it was done but once, and not constantly, or every year; it was out of the spoils of the enemy, and not out of his own substance, or of the increase of the earth; nor was it for the maintenance of Melchizedek, as a priest, who also was a king, and was richly provided for; but to testify his gratitude to God, for the victory obtained, and his reverence of, and subjection to the priest of God.
First being by interpretation king of righteousness;
or a "righteous king", as Melchizedek was; not the king of a righteous place, as Aben Ezra thought, a place wherein dwelt righteousness, or righteous persons; but it was his proper name, which so signifies, and in which he was a type of Christ; who is righteous, not only as God, and as man, and as Mediator, but particularly in the administration of his kingly office: his kingdom lies in righteousness, as well as peace; the subjects of it are righteous persons, and all his ways are just and true; his Gospel, by which he rules, is a declaration of righteousness; and he himself is the author of righteousness to all his people:
and after that also king of Salem, which is king of peace;
and may respect his peaceable government; and is very applicable to Christ, the Prince of peace; whose kingdom is a kingdom of peace; his sceptre is a sceptre of peace; his royal proclamation is the Gospel of peace; and his subjects are the sons of peace; and he himself is the author of peace, not only between Jew and Gentile, but between God and his people; and he is the donor of peace, external, internal, and eternal. So Philo the Jew F3 interprets this name, "king of peace", just as the apostle does.
F2 De Congressu, p. 438.
F3 Leg. Alleg. l. 2. p. 75.