Between Ebed-Tob and Melchizedek there is more than analogy; there is a striking and un expected resemblance; the description given of hitnself by Ebed-Tob explains what has so long puzzled us in the person of Melchizedek (Patri archal Palestine, pp. 71, sq.).
We may justly conclude that his twofold capacity of king and priest (characters very com monly united in the remote ages) afforded Abra ham an opportunity of testifying his thankfulness to God in the manner usual in those times, by of fering a tenth of all the spoil. This combina tion of character happens for the first time in Scripture to be exhibited in his person, which, with the abrupt manner in which he is intro duced, and the nature of the intercourse between him and Abraham, render him in various respects an appropriate and obvious type of the Messiah in his united regal and priestly character. Salem, of which Melchizedek was king, is usually sup posed to have been the original of Jerusalem (Jo seph. Antiq. IO, 2 ; Jerome, Qucest. on Genes.).
Prof. Sayce also says: The origin of the name of Jerusalem also is now cleared up. It was no invention of the age of David; on the contrary, it goes back to the period of Babylonian inter course with Canaan. It is written in the cuneiform documents Uru-Salim, "the city of Salim," the god of peace. We can now understand why Melchizedek should have heen called the "king of Salem." His capital could be described either as Jeru-salem or as the city of Salem. And that it was often referred to as Salem simply is shown by the Egyptian monuments. One of the cities of Southern Palestine, the capture of which is represented by Rameses II on the walls of the Ramesseum at Thebes, is Shalam or Salem, and "the district of Salem" is mentioned, between "the country of Hadashah" (Josh. xv :37) and "the
district of the Dead Sea" and "the Jordan," in the list of the places which Rameses III at Nledi net Habu describes himself as having conquered in the same part of the world.
It may be that Isaiah is playing upon the old name of Jerusalem when he gives the Messiah the title of "Prince of Peace." But in any case the fact that Salim, the god of peace, was the patron deity of Jerusalem, lends a special significance to Melchizedek's treatment of Abraham. The patri arch had returned in peace from an. expedition in which he had overthrown the invaders of Canaan; he had restored peace to the country of the priest king, and had driven away its enemies. The offer ing of bread and wine on the part of Melchizedek was a sign of freedom from the enemy and of gratitude to the deliverer, while the tithes paid by Abraham were equally a token that the land was again at peace. The name of Salim, the god of peace, was under one form or another widely spread in the Semitic world. Salamanu, or Solo mon, was the king of Moab in the time of Tig lath-pileser III; the name of Shalmaneser of Assyria is written Sulman-asarid, "the god Sul man is chief." in the cuneiform inscriptions; and one of the Tell Amarna letters was sent by Ebed Sullim, "the servant of Sullim," who was gov ernor of Hazor. In one of the Assyrian cities (Dimmen-Silim, "the foundation stone of peace") worship was paid to the god "Sulman the fish." Nor must we forget that "Salina was the father of Bethlehem" (i Citron. ii:51). (Patriarchal Palestine, pp. 74-76.)