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Re: Melchizedek

Ian H. writes about the figure of Melchizedek:

> Among the dss fragments of Genesis this part is not testified to. The
>  strange thing is that the first document to testify to this important
>  is the so-called Genesis Apocryphon that even specifies that the city of
>  Melchizedek, Salem, was in fact Jerusalem.
>  Notwithstanding the views of the many scholars who have discussed this
>  information the evidence suggests that Melchizedek was not in fact in
>  Genesis when the book of Jubilees was written. It smacks of a case of
>  Genesis here being rewritten Genesis Apocryphon.

The Genesis Apocryphon's specification that the Salem of the Melchizedek
story is Jerusalem is generally taken to be anti-Samaritan polemics, since
the Samaritans held that Salem was their village Salem near Mt. Gerizim.
 This implies that a Samaritan version of the Melchizedek story predates the
Genesis Apocryphon (which in turn some scholars hold to predate Jubilees).

The Samaritan Book of Asatir (their own rewriting of Genesis-to-Joshua) does
indeed have a section on Melchizedek in which the latter is a Samaritan
figure located at "Salem the Great."   Moses Gaster (The Book of Asatir,
Royal Asiatic Society:  London, 1927, pp. 158-162) dates the Book of Asatir
to no later than 250-200 BCE based on the dependency of Pseudo-Eupolemus and
the Book 3 of the Sibylline Oracles.  The Book of Asatir, meanwhile, draws on
Genesis throughout, so the Melchizedek story is at the latest 3rd century.

Note that Jubilees also has anti-Samaritan polemics scattered throughout
(especially in the story of Levi and Simeon's slaughter of the Samaritans).
 It may have omitted the Melchizedek story altogether due to the Samaritan
version of the tale and their claim to the city of Salem.

Hope this helps.

Russ Gm.