Anonymous: The meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek (1510-1520)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

This painting used to be the left panel of an altarpiece. The entire altarpiece (a triptych) was probably commissioned by the Church of St Mary Magdalen in Goes. Depicted on this panel is Genesis 14:14-24 from the Old Testament:

14 And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.
15 And he divided himself against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus.
16 And he brought back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods, and the women also, and the people.
17 And the king of Sodom went out to meet him after his return from the slaughter of Chedorlaomer, and of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shaveh, which is the king's dale.
18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.
19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth:
20 And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.
21 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.
22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the Lord, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth,
23 That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:
24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Abraham is seen here with his army on the left side. Abraham has returned having defeated the kings of the East, who had attacked Sodom and Gomorrah and kidnapped his nephew Lot. Melchizedek, king of Salem, meets Abraham outside the gates of Salem and offers him bread and wine and blesses him ("Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth, And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all"). Painting from around 1510-1520.

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