Bible passage: Genesis 14:18-20
Written: As early as 1400 BC
In Genesis 14, Abraham returns home, victoriously, from a battle in which he rescued his nephew, Lot. He then is greeted by a mysterious priest named Melchizedek, who presents Abraham with bread and wine, and a blessing from God:
Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Gen. 14:18-20, NIV)
This is the only time in the Old Testament in which a priest is described as presenting bread and wine. And Melchizedek does so to a man of faith, Abraham, a man whose future descendants would include the Messiah himself.
With the use of bread and wine, Melchizedek provides a precedent and a partial illustration of the use of bread and wine by Jesus. In the New Testament, Jesus administers bread and wine as his body and blood to his followers:
• While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body." (Mark 14:22, NIV)
• Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. (John 6:54-56, NIV)
• Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you." (John 6:53, NIV)
• "Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:49-51, NIV)
* Note: Moses is not the deliverer of this prophecy but rather the one who recorded the prophecy when he wrote the book of Genesis.