JEDP (Melchizedek)

peter_kirk at peter_kirk at
Mon Dec 20 16:34:34 EST 1999

Ian, have you read Psalm 110 in Hebrew recently? It is full of the 
sort of obscurities which are usually taken as evidence of earlier 
dating. How do you account for that? I would account for this by 
suggesting early dating, that this was indeed a psalm addressed to 
David (rather than written by David) from the period when he took 
Jerusalem and became its priest-king. See 2 Samuel 6:17-18, 24:25 for 
David acting as priest as well as king in Jerusalem.

There is a simple reason why this psalm (and the Melchizedek story in 
Genesis) might have been omitted from the Qumran collections: its 
theology (which puzzled the Pharisees: Matthew 22:41-46 and parallels) 
was not to the liking of the Qumran sect(s), perhaps because it was 
being used by their enemies in Jerusalem to justify their rule.

Peter Kirk

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: JEDP (Melchizedek)
Author:  <mc2499 at> at Internet
Date:    19/12/1999 23:36

At 19.49 19/12/99 +0200, Jonathan D. Safren wrote:
>The Melchizedek incident of Gen. 14 is not referred to; but Melchizedek 
>is, in Ps. 110.

Yes, Jonathan, I did refer to Ps. 110 specifically as not appearing at 
Qumran being part of a group that has no presence.

>The Davidic priest-king is designated as M.'s sucessor

It is extremely important to realise the Melchizedek propaganda after the 
Michael material used by the later Oniads -- see the usages in the DSS. 
When the Hasmoneans had usurped the throne of Jerusalem, they ruled as 
priest kings. Whereas the Oniad was known as zedek, the priest king used 
the connection with melchizedek, the righteous king. Recourse to 
Melchizedek by-passed the Zadokite prerequisite for the high priesthood, 
hence its placement before anthing to do with the main line of priestly 

Is psalm 110 anything more or less than a Hasmonean incoronation?

>and, if suggested textual emendations are correct, YHWH's adopted son. 
>So at least the Temple cultic psalms retained a memory of an earlier 
>dynasty in Jerusalemm before the Davidic one. This doesn't at all prove 
>that Gen. 14 is early or authentic; but it does indicate that there is 
>some historical tradition underlying it.



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