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The Traditions About Melchizedek In The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

The references to the figure of Melchizedek in the Dead Sea Scrolls are as meagre as they are in the Hebrew Bible. We do have a text from Cave 11 (11Q13) in which Melchizedek is a central figure. This text can be used confidently as representing the understanding of the traditions about Melchizedek in the Qumran Community and as an example of the interpretation of the Bible practised in that Community. This chapter presents two aspects of the text which contributes new elements to the complex problem of messianic hopes in the Qumran Community: 1) the extension of the concept of a redeeming figure in the eschatological period within pre-Christian Judaism, with the aim of including as an agent of salvation a non-human figure that we can denote as a “messiah” 2) the identification of the messianic character of the figure of the “messenger” foretold by the Prophet Isaiah.

Keywords: 11Q13; Dead Sea Scrolls; Hebrew Bible; Judaism; Melchizedek; messiah; prophet Isaiah; Qumran community; salvation



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