Peter Paul Rubens 1577 – 1640

Abraham Meets Melchizedek

oil on panel (66 × 82 cm) — ca. 1625 Museum National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Peter Paul Rubens biography

This work is linked to Genesis 14:18

Tags: Abraham

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Melchizedek was king of Salem (presumably Jerusalem) and high-priest of the local sanctuary. He received Abram (Abraham) with bread and wine blessing him and granting him the authority to decide how the tithes were spent. These tithes were in fact a sort of tax, the returns of which were meant for the sanctuary. The right to allocate these funds would be transferred from one king or priest to the next, befalling David in his turn when he conquered Jerusalem. Abraham at the time was caught up in several conflicts and was happy to receive support from Melchizedek.

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