In these passages the account of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, separating from Abraham and moving to the city of Sodom with Lot’s family and herds. The city of Sodom was subsequently attacked by an alliance of kings. Lot and his family were taken captive. Abraham and a small army pursue them and rescued Lot and Lot’s family along with the king of Sodom. After this victory, Abraham was visited by Melchizedek, who was ‘a priest of God Most High.’ Melchizedek was also the king of Salem. Melchizedek blessed Abraham, and Abraham gave Melchizedek an offering of a tenth of all that Abraham possessed. Much later the Apostle Paul wrote about Melchizedek in the book of Hebrews. Paul said Melchizedek was a person without earthly lineage, without father or mother. Many believe that Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Jesus who visited Abraham. In the book of Hebrews Paul said that after Jesus’ death on the cross, He became our High Priest who represents us before God. Paul said Jesus is our High Priest from the order of Melchizedek.
The Jews denied this assertion saying that the priesthood is through the tribe of Levi. Jesus was from the tribe of Judah rather than Levi. So, the Jews claimed Jesus could not be our High Priest. The Jews claimed that Melchizedek was actually Shem, the son of Noah. Jewish scribes evidently altered the Masoretic text of the old testament to indicate that Shem was still alive when Abraham lived. However, the Septuagint version of the old testament which predated the Masoretic version indicates that Shem was already dead when Abraham lived. Therefore, Melchizedek could not have been Shem. Melchizedek was not related to Abraham. So, his priesthood was of a different lineage than Abraham’s.