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LIFE > Life in the World > Drinkers of Wine > Early Use of Wine in the Bible > Melchizedek & Abraham


Abraham’s nephew, Lot, was captured in a battle between Chedorlaomer and his forces when they fought against and defeated the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, who has rebelled against Chedorlaomer after twelve years of servitude. Abraham was informed of Lot’s predicament. He armed three hundred and eighteen of his trained servants and went to rescue Lot, traveling as far north as Damascus. Abraham defeated the forces and freed Lot (Gen. 14:1-15).

On his return journey he came to Salem (the ancient name for Jerusalem, Ps. 76:2) and was met by Melchizedek, the king of Salem, who was also the priest of God Most High. Melchizedek, whose name means “king of righteousness” and who is an Old Testament type of Christ (Heb. 7:1-11), served Abraham “bread and wine (yayin)” (Gen. 14:18), which indicates a banquet. Hospitality was extended to Abraham who was surely weary, hungry, and thirsty from his long journey and rescue of Lot.

Yayin was served to Abraham, who enjoyed the same drink that Noah had enjoyed; but the Scriptures do not indicate that he drank as much as Noah.

In this incident wine is enjoyed as a beverage at a meal shared by two of the leading Old Testament personalities. Here is wine served by the priest of God to “the friend of God” (Jas. 2:23). Both drank wine without inhibition.

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