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Ancient Mesopotamia
Assyria Nineveh
Arslan Tash Til Barsip
Iran Palace of Darius
Phoenicia Arabia Palmyra
Syrian coast
Ougarit Byblos


Cylinder Seal of the Priest-King

AO 6620

Room 1a showcase 2 (8)


The figure represented here with a beard, wearing a long skirt and offering

a wheat sheaf, is traditionally considered to be a ‘priest-king’.

Vested in the city with a special status, combining liturgical and warrior duties, he is presiding over a ceremony in honour of the goddess Inanna, protector of the city of Uruk.

The first mention of the word ’priest’ in the Bible concerns the King of Salem, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18). He was the only human ruler approved by God to exercise the dual role of king and priest. The Law of Moses was to later establish the principle of separating the Church and the State, the king not being authorised to exercise the duties of a priest. - 2 Chronicles 26:16-18

The Meeting of Abraham
and Melchizedek

M.I. 963

Peter Paul Rubens

A sketch on one of the ceilings of
the Jesuit church in Antwerp,
painted in 1620/1621 and
destroyed in a fire in 1718.


The Meeting of Abraham
and Melchizedek

inv 238

Giovanni Castiglione    


Denon 1st   floor Salvator Rosa

Room 13


The Apostle Paul applied the prophetic words of Psalm 110:4 to

“Jesus, who has become a high priest according to the manner of Mel·chiz´e·dek forever.”
- Hebrews 6:20; 5:1.

“The coming of the Kingdom

of God  on Earth may be considered
the core message of Jesus.”   

This ‘King of peace’ is a typical representation of Christ (Hebrews 7:1-3). The vision of the Revelation indicated who was to benefit from the services of this sovereign High Priest and of those of ‘the royal priesthood’ (1 Peter 2:9), associated with him in their capacity as kings and priests under his reign (Revelation 20:6). “The coming of the Kingdom of God on Earth may be considered the core message of Jesus.” A119

This kingdom is the central theme of the Bible, and the subject of every Christian’s prayers. - Matthew 6:9


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