• 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

    Jan A. Sigvartsen
    Tom de Bruin (see profile)
    Spes Christiana (journal)
    Melchizedek, King of Salem
    Item Type:
    Permanent URL:
    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.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    8 months ago


    Item Name: pdf 05_sigvartsen_melchizedek-in-the-ot_speschri_34.1-2023.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 28