Sunday, January 22 2012
A History Of Jerusalem: Melchizedek's Salem
The first specific Biblical mention (see also A Word Of God Reading Plan) of the city that became known as Jerusalem was when it was known by its earlier name, "Salem." The actual Hebrew word from which the English rendering is based is pronounced shaw-lame; it is from a Hebrew root word that means ready, or prepared, and so hence came to be used to mean peace, or peaceful (consider the difference in one's state of mind when one is getting ready to do something or to go somewhere, compared to when all has been done).
"Jerusalem," in Hebrew pronounced yer-oo-shaw-law-yim, verbally incorporated "Salem" in its name; in its root form, "Jerusalem" means founded peacefully - keeping in mind that the earliest meaning of the word for peace meant completed preparations, or a completed foundation (keep the "foundation" meaning of Salem in mind when you read our Fact Finder question below about the builder, or "carpenter," Who laid the Foundation of the world).
Salem is recorded in Bible History during the time of Abraham (then still know as Abram), an immigrant from Iraq (see The Journey From Ur Of The Chaldees; also 'Raghead' Racism) who was then living in Hebron, south of Jerusalem. The incident began when the Canaanite kings of the region went to war. Abraham's nephew Lot (see Lot's Choice) was taken captive from Sodom, in the time before the LORD incinerated it (see also Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?).
"14:1 And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations; 14:2 That these made war with Bera king of Sodom, and with Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, and Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar. 14:3 All these were joined together in the vale of Siddim, which is the salt sea. 14:4 Twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and in the thirteenth year they rebelled.
Abraham was a peaceful man, but he knew how to fight, and win, if ever he was forced to do so.
"14:13 And there came one that had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol, and brother of Aner: and these were confederate with Abram. 14:14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. 14:15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. 14:16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people." (Genesis 14:13-16 KJV)
It was during Abraham's return journey from that battle, while passing Salem, that Abraham was blessed by Melchizedek, who was both the King of Salem and the High Priest of God (terms and appointments that are found fulfilled only in reference to Jesus Christ; see Melchizedek: A Portrayal Of Christ).
"14:17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale. 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. 14:19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: 14:20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all." (Genesis 14:17-20 KJV)
A few years later, Abraham became more intimately-familiar with Melchizadek's city of Salem - that would one day be the property of Abraham's Israelite descendants (there were no Israelites during Abraham's lifetime - they began from the children of Abraham's grandson Jacob, who the LORD renamed as "Israel"; see Are Levites 'Jews'?). It was at Mount Moriah (see Moriah: Separating The Wheat From The Chaff) that the LORD God sent Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac - the very same place where God sent His Son to actually be Sacrificed centuries later.
"22:1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
The two incidents between Melchizadek and Abraham, in Jerusalem, involving ceremonial bread and wine, and a sacrifice that Christ later Himself fulfilled, had directly-Christian significance - not only long before the time that many people think that "Christians" existed (but they did - see Abraham The Christian), but also long before any Israelites or Jews existed. The explanation of how a faithful and obediently righteous man was worthy to accept the Sacrifice of the only one Who was worthy to declare him righteous, is explained in the book of Hebrews.
"6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, 6:14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee. 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
King David also understood what the foundation of "Salem" meant, and Who it meant, as we will cover, in detail, in a subsequent study in this series.
"76:1 To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm or Song of Asaph. In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. 76:2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. 76:3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah.
This Day In History, January 22
871: The forces of Ethelred of Wessex fought the Danes at the Battle at Basing.
1371: King Robert II of Scotland ascended to the throne.
1506: The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrived at the Vatican.
1517: The Battle of Raydaniyah near Cairo, Egypt. Ottoman Empire ruler Selim I defeated the Mamluk armies and invaded Cairo 7 days later, bringing Egypt under Ottoman rule (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1528: A declaration of war was made by England and France against Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1760: During the Seven Years War, the French under Lally-Tollendal were defeated by an Indian-British force at the Battle of Wandiwash in India.
1771: After a dispute that had gone on since the islands were discovered in 1592, Spain conceded that the Falkland Islands were British territory.
1775: The Jews of Warsaw, Poland were ordered expelled by Marshal Oscar von Lubomirski.
1840: The earliest British colonists arrived in New Zealand, at Port Nicholson.
1879: During the British-Zulu War, 830 British troops of the 24th Regiment were massacred at the Battle of Isandhlwana.
1901: After a reign of 64 years (1837 to 1901), Queen Victoria of Britain died at age 82.
1941: Tobruk was captured from Italian forces by Britain and Australia.
1944: During the Second World War, allied forced landed at Anzio.
1957: Israel's military withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula.
1973: The U.S. Supreme Court "legalized" (in their eyes, not in God's Eyes) the Satanic butchering of God's created children ("139:13 For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother's womb" Psalm 139:13 RSV) during the first 6 months of pregnancy. It became known as "the Roe versus Wade decision." Come the true Judgment Day, the LORD's Decision will have another name for all of those, in all nations, that have committed those millions of atrocities against the unborn.
"8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning" (John 8:44 KJV)
1984: The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, was introduced.