JEDP (Melchizedek) (JDS)

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.beitberl.ac.il
Tue Dec 21 07:33:28 EST 1999


Ian Hutchesson wrote:

> >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.
>
[JSafren] Biblical Hebrew literature was not written in a vacuum. It was
a development of, influenced by, and dependent on the literature of the
region. Need I mention the expressions, terms, parallels, idioms,
metaphors, etc. in Ugaritic which we also find in Biblical Literature?
The Aramaic inscription from Tel Fekheriyeh has the words tsalma and
demuta in parallel, just as they occur in Gen. 1, So "literary store"
used by the biblical authors icluded "merchandise" from many surrounding
peoples.

>> > 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?
>
>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
which
>archaeology supports.

I don't see how this really helps you.

[JSafren] It demonstrates that theophoric names ending in -tzedek
(Melchizedek, Adonizedek) can be early. How about Ammisaduqa of the OB
dynasty?

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.

[JSAfren] You're confusing the Song of Deborah with the incident of
Shg\hamgar.
Moreover, the Song od Feborah doesn't mention the classical tribes of
later historiography, but several Northern tribes. Judah and Simeon
don't even come within the ken of the Song. They may nothave even
existed, or have settled, atthe time the Song was composed. "Israel" at
this time was closer to the"Israel" of Merneptah than the "Israel" of
the Book od Samuel.

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!

If you want to say that the biblical narrative tends to use typological
number and that Adonizedek's deathbed utterance wasn't tape-recorded,
you're right. If you want to deny the historicity of an Adonizedek, then
it's a different matter. Perhaps I can't prove he existed, but you can't
provehe didn't exist. There's nothing at all miraculous about the
Adonizedek incident. God doesn't enter into it at all. You can't put
this into the same parcel as the Garden of Eden story.

>> 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.
>
>Many religious ideas come into full flower late, Ian, even though their
roots
>may be early. The Jewish idea of Messiah developed during late Second
Temple,
>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.

[JSafren] "Different" doesn't mean "correct" in my dictionary. It means
"other, alternative". Please prove that "different" means 'correct".





--
Jonathan D. Safren
Dept. of Biblical Studies
Beit Berl College
Beit Berl Post Office 44905
Israel

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