Martin Bodinger's “L'énigme de Melkisédeq” 1994 essay, translated.

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Japhethite
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Re: Martin Bodinger's “L'énigme de Melkisédeq” 1994 essay, translated.

Post by Japhethite »

I couldn't read the full document as Jstor login page doesn't have boxes showing for username and password (tried all 3 browsers).

Biblically I think the theory that Melchizedek is Shem seems probably right. Melchizedek's having no mentioned parents could match Shem as having no parents after the Flood. Jesus as being a priest of the order of Melchizedek may mean Jesus is descended from Melchizedek, and there is no other candidate in the direct Shemite line. Shem's wife Sedegetelebab has similar word sedeg/zedek in it.

Archaeologically/historically the best candidate I could find is Meskalamdug/Meskalamshar, though I'm not overcertain of this match.

Mythologically there are similarities with some other persons in some other nations myths/legends such as Philitis (Herodotus), Sydyk (Phoenician/Canaanite), Azhi-dahak (Iranian), etc.
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billd89
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Re: Melchizedek PhD (2013)

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K.Dalgaard's 2013 PhD, "A Priest for All Generations: An Investigation into the Use of the Melchizedek Figure from Genesis to the Cave of Treasures"
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billd89
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Re: Dating BT Ned 32b

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Link:
R. Zechariah said, in the name of R.Ishmael (2nd century), "The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to cause the priesthood to go forth from Shem (rabbinic thought identified him with Melchizedek). For it is said (Gen 14:18), 'And he was priest of God Most High.' As soon as he put the blessing of Abraham before the blessing of God (Gen 14:19), He caused it to go forth from Abraham …. Abraham said to him (Melchizedek), 'Do they put the blessing of the servant before the blessing of his owner?' Immediately it was given to Abraham, as it is said (he cites cites Psalm 110:4),'Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek')."

I'm seeking a date for Babylonian Talmud to Nedarim 32b.; is it fair to state c.140 AD? Then, Rabbi Ishmael would have been about Age 50 (assumed).

I suppose the rulings against Melchizedek intensified after 75 AD, but I'd like a 'best date' for BT Ned.32b.

I see this rabbinical ruling as the end of the Melchizedkian Controversy within Judaism. Melchizedek (servant, not King) is revised below Abraham; his (Sethian) association with Shem is still noted. It is therefore a retort to the Minim (antinomian Jews, also Christians). It may possibly be seen as a polemic against xtian theology of Epistle to the Hebrews, but I suppose it is primarily directed at the greatly weakened or residual Melchizedekian cult: closure.

Therefore, the real fight - against any Jewish association of Melchizedek w/ the Logos, the Warrior-Priest, the Savior, the Divine Teacher, etc. - would have occurred 1-2 generations earlier. Melchizedekians (old Judeo-Egyptian cult, in decline for decades) were effectively wiped out in Egypt by c.120 AD. What happened? If your Savior doesnt save, he is soon abandoned or eventually replaced (viz., with the Christ, Archangels Michael/Gabriel, Metatron, etc.) Subsequently, heretical Melchizedek materials were then systematically destroyed by Jewish and then Xtian authorities, whenever found.
andrewcriddle
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Re: Dating BT Ned 32b

Post by andrewcriddle »

billd89 wrote: Sun Apr 25, 2021 5:08 am Link:
R. Zechariah said, in the name of R.Ishmael (2nd century), "The Holy One, Blessed be He, sought to cause the priesthood to go forth from Shem (rabbinic thought identified him with Melchizedek). For it is said (Gen 14:18), 'And he was priest of God Most High.' As soon as he put the blessing of Abraham before the blessing of God (Gen 14:19), He caused it to go forth from Abraham …. Abraham said to him (Melchizedek), 'Do they put the blessing of the servant before the blessing of his owner?' Immediately it was given to Abraham, as it is said (he cites cites Psalm 110:4),'Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek')."

I'm seeking a date for Babylonian Talmud to Nedarim 32b.; is it fair to state c.140 AD? Then, Rabbi Ishmael would have been about Age 50 (assumed).

I suppose the rulings against Melchizedek intensified after 75 AD, but I'd like a 'best date' for BT Ned.32b.

I see this rabbinical ruling as the end of the Melchizedkian Controversy within Judaism. Melchizedek (servant, not King) is revised below Abraham; his (Sethian) association with Shem is still noted. It is therefore a retort to the Minim (antinomian Jews, also Christians). It may possibly be seen as a polemic against xtian theology of Epistle to the Hebrews, but I suppose it is primarily directed at the greatly weakened or residual Melchizedekian cult: closure.

Therefore, the real fight - against any Jewish association of Melchizedek w/ the Logos, the Warrior-Priest, the Savior, the Divine Teacher, etc. - would have occurred 1-2 generations earlier. Melchizedekians (old Judeo-Egyptian cult, in decline for decades) were effectively wiped out in Egypt by c.120 AD. What happened? If your Savior doesnt save, he is soon abandoned or eventually replaced (viz., with the Christ, Archangels Michael/Gabriel, Metatron, etc.) Subsequently, heretical Melchizedek materials were then systematically destroyed by Jewish and then Xtian authorities, whenever found.
The Babylonian Talmud is much later than Rabbi Ishmael. It may or may not accurately report his views. It is difficult to say.

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billd89
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Re: BT Ned.32b, older than 150 AD

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For the context and dating of these Melchizedek sources, and to witness the transformation of the Melchizedek character over just a few centuries - from the earliest Jewish sources - a Must-Read is Kasper Dalgaard's 2013 PhD "A Priest for All Generations: An Investigation into the Use of the Melchizedek Figure from Genesis to the Cave of Treasure". See LINK, esp. pp.169-170.

Brackets are my own, following his text and approximating the time-frames he cites.

5.3.3 Conclusions to Melchizedek in the Nedarim Tractate {BT Ned.32b}

The version of Gen 14:18–20 found in the Babylonian Talmud Nedarim tractate presents an exegesis that effectively removes the importance previously ascribed to the Melchizedek figure. The first part of the Nedarim passage {c.100-140 AD} is a repetition of the tradition that we encountered in the Fragmentary Targums and Targum Neofiti {c.200-300 AD, of an older Proto-Palestinian Targum Source c.75-140 AD?}, in which the name has been removed and the figure is reidentified as Shem. However, the second part presents a unique tradition in which the priesthood is also separated from the figure, due to the sacrilegious sequence of the blessings in Gen 14:19–20.

According to the interpretation in Nedarim, the action of the amalgamated Melchizedek-Shem figure in giving precedence in his blessing to Abraham over God made it impossible for the figure to continue as the origin of the traditional priesthood ascribed to the figure. Based on this mistake, on Abraham’s reporting of the error to God, and on a unique interpretation of Genesis and Psalm 110, the sidelining of Melchizedek has also fallen on Shem. Through the detailed study of the Genesis text, a careful midrash was created to explain how and why Melchizedek’s troublesome priesthood was removed by God and transferred to Abraham, thus extolling the patriarch further. As a consequence of this exegesis, the Melchizedekian priesthood has disappeared from Scripture and the Levitical priesthood has become the dominant and original priesthood—all without dispensing with any of the original text from Hebrew Scripture. The Nedarim tractate has continued the tradition found in the Palestinian Targumim, but carries the polemical approach further by removing any traits from the figure upon which a future priesthood could be built. This tradition, which with increasing tenacity sought to remove all importance from Melchizedek, finds its culmination during our time period in Nedarim. It presents a tradition in which Melchizedek’s priesthood is once again of central importance to the exegesis. This time however, the rewriting serves both to further extol Abraham and to remove the possibility of a sectarian priesthood being founded on the basis of the exalted Melchizedek traditions.

As was the case with the parallel tradition in the Palestinian Targumim, this exegesis appears to be a polemical attack aimed at exalted Melchizedek traditions. The tractate thus represents a rewriting of the Melchizedek traditions that is definitively part of the polemical category of interpretation. Yet again, the object of the polemical treatment of Melchizedek and the priesthood associated with the figure is unknown. As with the earliest instance of the tradition, it has been suggested that the exegesis was aimed at the Christian use of Melchizedek in Hebrews.477 Yet in the case of the Nedarim tractate, our conclusions from the Targumic discussion apply in full: it is more likely that the furthering of the polemical Melchizedek tradition was aimed not at Epistle to the Hebrews {c.65 AD}, but instead constitutes a furthering of the attack, begun in the Palestinian Targumim {Proto PT Source, c.75-150 AD?}, against the exalted Melchizedek traditions in circulation during our time period {200 BC-200 AD}. These exalted traditions are best exemplified by Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice {c.75-25 BC}, 11Q13 {c.125-50BC}, and 2 Enoch {c.10-70 AD}, although we will, in the following chapter, encounter evidence of an additional wealth of traditions that similarly present exalted Melchizedeks.

A couple of points on what is basically a 1st-2nd C AD Jewish concern:
1) M.'s recognized association w/ Shem in rabbinical sources came relatively late (c.75 AD?), recognizing a Sethian-Melchizedekian claim which had grown popular at that point.
2) M. is effectively repudiated in rabbinical sources not long after the Temple's Destruction, insinuating some threat of a sectarian priesthood/doctrine HAD emerged on the basis of the Melchizedek Savior Myth c.50-100 AD.
3) When did Jewish Melchizedekians have to be de-legitimized, then excommunicated? Before or after Metatron and more complex myths had replaced the Melchizedek trope in heretical literature, c.200 AD? Why assume Xtian 'Great Power' heresies pre-date similar (original?) Jewish heresies, a logically backwards sequence?
4) M's repudiation by rabbinical sources was directed at apocalyptic/proto-Gnostic Jewish sectarians and Judaizers from the Diaspora (some perhaps Jewish Christians) then penetrating Palestine. Melchizedek propaganda represents a foreign Jewish doctrine. Epistle to the Hebrews/Apollos, Philo's Two God thesis, and Sethian Gnostic trappings all point to Alexandria Egypt as the locus and origin of the troublesome Melchizedek cult 'threatening' Palestinian Judaism in 1st C. AD.
5) Co-incidental: sporadic/localized Christological Melchizedekian sects (which emerged elsewhere c.50-200 AD) are a bridge into Christian heresy, but all that remains outside orthodox Judaism which had already condemned this Minim belief c.75-150 AD.

By tentative date of "c.140 AD" looks late and not early by some estimates of R. Ismael's lifetime: BT Ned.32b plausibly dates to c.125 AD. See Robert Travers Herford, Christianity in Talmud and Midrash[1903], p.339:
Evidently the intention of R. Ishmael, in his haggadah, was to destroy the foundation for this exalted conception of Melchizedek, by showing that the priesthood was taken away from him. This R. Ishmael is the same whom we have already met with several times as an opponent of Minim.... He lived in Palestine at the end of the first, and well on into the second century. The depreciation of Melchizedek would serve as an argument against both the Gnostic sect and the Christian readers of the Epistle to the Hebrews; but I see no reason to restrict the reference to the first. The Melchizedekites do not appear to have been a very important or very aggressive sect, certainly not more prominent than the Jewish Christians. It has been suggested above (p. 265) that the doctrine of Two Powers in Heaven, ascribed to the Minim, is the Jewish version of the Christology of the Epistle to the Hebrews. I take the present passage to be additional evidence in support of the view that the teaching of that Epistle was known to the Rabbis, and that the Minim were, or at least included, Jewish Christians whose theology was represented in that Epistle. It should be noticed that R. Ishmael, as well as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, made use of Psalm 110:4 in support of his argument. The Rabbi interpreted the words xxx by (Eng. version, After the order of), to mean according to the saying of Melchizedek. ... That his argument does impugn the doctrine of the Epistle to the Hebrews there can be no question.

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