JEDP (Melchizedek) (JDS)

Ian Charles Hutchesson MC2499 at
Mon Dec 20 13:27:16 EST 1999

> >  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.

You might like to change culture for the argument, Jonathan, but it's only a red herring. You have *absolutely no evidence* to justify any attempt for an early dating, so you give a contrived analogy (that doesn't work because you don't acknowledge that the term in your analogy has plain examples in the Hebrew tradition that can be dated). All you need to do is provide datable exemplars regarding el elyon to any period prior to the second century BCE, instead of talking about Hittite similarities (for which you'd have to establish a trajectory anyway). It is normal to work from datable materials to provide evidence for dating. I can date *all* datable usage of el elyon to the second century (or a little later). el elyon is translated into Greek in the Hebrew tradition as theos hypsistos and I indicated in the previous post that his term is used for the Hasmoneans. I'd take your argument regarding your Hittite term as sophistry.

> > >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.

Actually, he hasn't dealt with this. He has mentioned that a scrap may have been found of ps110. Yet it doesn't help the problem of the cave 11 psalms scroll which knows all the later psalms except 110-117.

> > >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.

If we are talking about the same period, there is not only no evidence for a conquest, but no evidence for infiltration either: there is no change in cultural artifacts, there is just new aggregations -- a type of re-urbanization. There is no way to justify the content of Judges -- just as there is none for Joshua -- (though perhaps some of Judges material is a lot older than Joshua material), so we are left with patently non-realistic accounts on which you would like to pin historical value. Sorry, I can't really see the rationale.

> Adonizedeq, whether he is king of Bezeq as written, or king of 
> Jerusalem, as some scholars have argued, is an early name.

Whatever he was king of, do you really think that we are getting a view into an early period?

I think it's quite damning that despite the proposal that Melchizedek refers to someone from a very early period, there is no speculation on, or use of, the mystical personage until Hasmonean times -- and then Melchizedek becomes relatively popular.



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