1 sn <i>Salemi> is a shorter name for Jerusalem (see <data ref="Bible:Ge 14:18">Gen 14:18data>).
2 tn <i>Hebi> “and his place of refuge is in Salem, and his lair in Zion.” God may be likened here to a lion (see v. <data ref="Bible:Ps 76:4">4data>).
5 sn The Davidic king’s priestly role is analogous to that of <i>Melchizedeki>, who was both “king of Salem” (i.e., Jerusalem) and a “priest of God Most High” in the time of Abraham (<data ref="Bible:Ge 14:18-20">Gen 14:18-20data>). Like Melchizedek, the Davidic king was a royal priest, distinct from the Aaronic line (see <data ref="Bible:Heb 7">Heb 7data>). The analogy focuses on the king’s priestly role; the language need not imply that Melchizedek himself was “an eternal priest.”
1 sn <i>Salemi> is traditionally identified as the Jebusite stronghold of old Jerusalem. Accordingly, there has been much speculation about its king. Though some have identified him with the preincarnate Christ or with Noah’s son Shem, it is far more likely that Melchizedek was a Canaanite royal priest whom God used to renew the promise of the blessing to Abram, perhaps because Abram considered Melchizedek his spiritual superior. But Melchizedek remains an enigma. In a book filled with genealogical records he appears on the scene without a genealogy and then disappears from the narrative. In <data ref="Bible:Ps 110">Ps 110data> the <span class="smcaps">Lordspan> declares that the Davidic king is a royal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.
2 tn The precise locations of <span class="greek">Αἰνώνspan> (<span class="translit">Ainōnspan>) and <span class="greek">Σαλείμspan> (<span class="translit">Saleimspan>) are unknown. Three possibilities are suggested: (1) In Perea, which is in Transjordan (cf. <data ref="Bible:Jn 1:28">1:28data>). Perea is just across the river from Judea. (2) In the northern Jordan Valley, on the west bank some 8 miles [13 km] south of Scythopolis. But with the Jordan River so close, the reference to abundant water (<data ref="Bible:Jn 3:23">3:23data>) seems superfluous. (3) Thus Samaria has been suggested. 4 miles (6.6 km) east of Shechem is a town called Salim, and 8 miles (13 km) northeast of Salim lies modern Ainun. In the general vicinity are many springs. Because of the meanings of the names (<span class="greek">Αἰνώνspan> = “springs” in Aramaic and <span class="greek">Σαλείμspan> = Salem, “peace”) some have attempted to allegorize here that John the Baptist is <i>neari> salvation. Obviously there is no need for this. It is far more probable that the author has in mind real places, even if their locations cannot be determined with certainty.