JEDP (Melchizedek) (JDS)

Ian Hutchesson mc2499 at
Tue Dec 21 06:59:17 EST 1999

>How about the eighth-century Sefireh Inscruption, where el and elyon are 
>mentioned together? el elyon and el qoneh $amayim wa'eretz are not only 
>ancient expressions, they are not even Israelite in origin.

We are however dealing with Hebrew traditions.

>> > 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
>> an early period?
>Yes. The whole picture presented by Judges 1, one of gradual infiltration by
>disparate groups, few and local conquests, and final subjugation and 
>assimilation (but not annihilation) of Canaanite populations is the one
>archaeology supports.

I don't see how this really helps you.

At the same time all the evidence I have seen indicates that there was no
tradition at around 1200 BCE that would support the hypothesis that Judges
in any way reflects historical situations. Isn't Garbini (and others)
correct when they say that Dan was one of the Sea Peoples? What do you
think of the *ten* tribes (note which) of the song of Deborah? This is the
work that talks about zillions being killed with the jaw bone of a
Rhodesian trotting duck. Then of course we might consider the little
Adonizedek story itself: poor old Adonizedek says that he'd lopped off the
digits of seventy kings -- mind you we're talking about miniture central
Judea, seventy is really impressive!

>> I think it's quite damning that despite the proposal that Melchizedek
>> to someone from a very early period, there is no speculation on, or use of,
>> the mystical personage until Hasmonean times -- and then Melchizedek
>> relatively popular.
>Many religious ideas come into full flower late, Ian, even though their
>may be early. The Jewish idea of Messiah developed during late Second
>but it was based on the ideal Davidic king envisioned by Isaiah and other 
>prophets of the 8th and 7th centuries BCE.

Sadly my datings of these works are very different from yours.

>Angels - divine messengers - were around since pre-Israelite times, 
>but when did angelology become important?

Angelology is ultimately a different kettle of fish from divine messengers.
You'll note that the word we use today is derived from a Persian word,
which is indicative of when angelology started to be important in itself.

>So even if you are right that Melchizedek became popular during Hasmonean 
>times, it proves nothing about when he may have lived.

Note that the Gen14 context doesn't even make the episode likely: Abraham
goes off to meet the king of Sodom; suddenly on the way, which just
happened to be past Jerusalem, he meets Melchizedek, institutes tithing and
then we're back to the king of Sodom narrative as though nothing had happened.

As there is absolutely no traditions based on the figure -- we find
reference to him suddenly appear in DSS times and later -- I see no reason
for anyone to even suspect that Melchizedek had currency before that time. 



>Nitey nite,

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you.

(Actually I fell asleep before I could finish the post...)

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