Who is Melchizedek and what role does he play in the Old Testament?
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In the Old Testament, Melchizedek is the king of Salem and a high priest who blesses Abraham after he rescues his nephew Lot from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham gives him one tenth of his wealth, which is today known as tithing. Although his people practive polytheism, Melchizedek recognizes the one true God and ushers Abraham into his role as the father of the Israelites.
In The Alchemist, Melchizedek guides Santiago on his journey to achieve his dreams. In exchange for the location of the treasure in Egypt, Melchizedek demands one tenth of Santiago's sheep, demonstrating that the pursuit of riches always comes with a price and that Santiago will have to make wise choices in his dealings with other characters.
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