• Who in the World was the Priest-King Melchizedek? From Old Testament Obscurity to Second Temple Period to Eschatological Prominence. Part 1: Melchizedek in the Old Testament

    Author(s):
    Jan A. Sigvartsen
    Editor(s):
    Tom de Bruin (see profile)
    Date:
    2023
    Group(s):
    Spes Christiana (journal)
    Subject(s):
    Melchizedek, King of Salem
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/r74b-hy29
    Abstract:
    Melchizedek is an obscure figure in the Hebrew Scriptures and only sparse data can be mined from the two brief passages where he is mentioned, Genesis 14:18−20 and Psalm 110. These two passages are filled with ambiguities which became fertile ground for speculation during the Second Temple period. This article, the first in a series of three articles exploring the biblical character Melchizedek, is an exegetical study which shows that a small change in the parsing of the two key words/phrases in Psalm 110, ‎עַל־דִּבְרָתִי מַלְכִּי־צֶדֶק (v. 4c) and ‎אֲדֹנָי (v. 5a), create a significant change in the amount of information a reader can extract about Melchizedek. Based on the interpretation/parsing of these two words/phrases, three distinct views emerge: the minimalist view, the moderate view, and the maximalist view. The minimalists do not see any reference to Melchizedek in Psalm 110, the moderates would see a reference to Melchizedek in Psalm 110:4, although this verse does not seem to add much to the body of knowledge regarding Melchizedek, apart from confirming the tradition of him being a YHWH anointed priestking of Jerusalem. The maximalists would interpret the entirety of Psalm 110 as a reference to Melchizedek, thus, making Melchizedek a supernatural being and providing a number of additional details about him. The second article in this series considers Melchizedek in the Dead Sea Scrolls while the third considers him in the New Testament writings.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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