JEDP (Melchizedek) (JDS)

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at
Mon Dec 20 05:34:31 EST 1999

Ian Hutchesson wrote:

>  First the context of the Melchizedek episode is the one place
> in the Pentateuch where the term el elyon is used. The Hasmoneans were
> known in the Assumption of Moses as the priests of the Most High God, just
> as in Josephus Hyrcanus II was known in a similar manner. There is a
> relatively strong connection between the Hasmoneans and the use of el elyon
> (theos hypsistos). It is the connection between Melchizedek and el elyon
> that is the foundation, along with the emergence of the Melchizedek
> tradition in later Qumran production as a replacement for the Michael imagery.

The Melchizedek episode is also the only place in the Pentateuch where the expression
qoneh $amayim we'eretz is used. Yet a similar expression, el kunirsa (=el qoneh eretz)
is used in Hittite texts. So, arguing on logic similar to yours, I could make a case
for Gen. 14 being Late Bronze.

> >As for your first foundation, has every chapter of every biblical book
> been found at
> >Qumran? The absence of Ps. 110 from Qumran is no proof of its
> lateness.This may be due
> >to the vicissitudes of time and chance.
> The cave 11 psalms scroll is rather interesting because it knows nearly all
> the later psalms except that one sequence.

I believe Dave Washburn has answered you on that one.

> >As for the name Melchizedek and Zadok, don't forget King Adonizedek of the
> Conquest
> >and Setllement Narratives. And don't forget the astral deity Zedek.
> Adonizedek and
> >Melchizedek are theophoric names indicating worship of that god.
> But the context in which we find Adonizedek, Joshua's conquest of the long
> abandoned Ai, cannot be given any historical weight at all. The text was
> clearly written so long after the hypothetical date that the writer didn't
> even known that the ruin (Ai) was abandoned at the time. This leads us to
> ask when that part of the Joshua tradition was penned.

An Adonizedek is also mentioned in Judges 1, in which there are local infiltrations
and conquests, in which Israelites live side by side with the Canaanite population
until they are strong enough to take control. This situation fits the archaeological
evidence of setlement in the hill-country in the late 13th- 11th centuries BCE.
Adonizedeq, whether he is king of Bezeq as written, or king of Jerusalem, as some
scholars have argued, is an early name.
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl Post Office 44905

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