The First Recorded Communion Feast

19 June 2023

2.5 MINS

The first recorded communion feast in Scripture is found in Genesis 14:17-20.

In order to understand this account of the communion feast, I think it is helpful to look at the events that took place just prior to this account. The previous verses in this chapter (Genesis 14:1-16) tell of several kings attacking the towns of kings of Sodom, Gomorrah and a few other nearby towns.

As a result, the towns and people were defeated and the attacking kings to people and goods captive. This included Abram’s nephew Lot, and his family and their possessions.

When Abram found out about this, he took 318 of his trained men and routed the attacking kings and rescued all the people, including Lot and his family.

When Abram arrived back from the victory with the people and all their possessions, the King of Sodom met him and offered him a big gift as payment for what he had done to rescue the people. Melchizedek, the king of Salem, also met him.

A Blessing


Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek (1464–1467), by Dieric Bouts the Elder

Melchizedek met with Abram to share communion with him and bless him.

Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. He blessed him and said:

“Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and blessed be God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you.”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
Genesis 14:17-20 (CSB)

What is significant about Melchizedek and the communion?

There is significance in his name — Melchizedek means, King of righteousness (Hebrews 7:2)

  • This is a foreshadowing of the Righteous One of GodYeshua, Who came as the King, ‘The Sun of righteousness… with healing in his wings’ (Malachi 4:2) and ‘Jesus Christ the righteous one’ (1 John 2:1)

There is significance in the place — ‘The king of Salem — this means ‘the king of peace’.

  • This is a foreshadowing of the Prince of Peace from God, Who is The ONE who brings us peace with God.

The city of Salem was later named Jerusalem. The name Jerusalem literally means the City of Peace.

  • This is a strange name for a city that has not known any lasting peace since the times of Solomon.
  • Over the month of May, we and believers all around the world have been praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
  • While we pray for political peace for Jerusalem and freedom from conflict, we more significantly pray for Jerusalem to know the peace that comes through the Prince of Peace.

Priest and King

Melchizedek was not only the king; he was also a priest of God Most High. Hebrews 7:1 “For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High…”

  • Melchizedek was not a Levite. He was not even an Israelite. So he was unique in that God had appointed him as His priest to represent God to the people and intercede on behalf of the people to God.
  • This is a foreshadowing of the King of Righteousness, the Prince of Peace, who is also our Great High Priest.
  • Jesus was not of the tribe of Levi; he was not appointed by the Law of Moses to be a priest. In fact, the law forbade anyone who was not of the Levitical tribe to be a priest.
  • Jesus was appointed by the Father to be the Great High Priest to reveal God’s salvation to all people and to intercede on behalf of all people before God.

To sum up what the Lord is saying through the writer of this letter to the Hebrews, I ask you to read Hebrews 7:15-18 and 23-28, where the writer to the Hebrews shows the connection between Melchizedek and Christ, yet shows the eternal superiority of the priestly reign of Christ.


Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash.

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