Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek - Rubens

This artwork by Peter Paul Rubens shows the meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek, which is recounted in Genesis 14:18-20. Abraham arrives in the kingdom of Melchizedek, victorious from war, having freed his cousin Lot from the enemies of Sodom. Melchizedek, who is a priest as well as the king of Salem, presents Abraham and his men with bread and wine. This scene, so wonderfully portrayed by Rubens, is highly symbolic of the Mass. Melchizedek stands on steps above the reverent Abraham and his soldiers. The priest's serving-boys, resembling acolytes, hold his robe and help to distribute loaves of bread. Cherubs look down from amid boughs of fruit, which symbolize the fruits of the vine and of wheat that become the Eucharist.

Collections: Bible