Martin McNamara, «Melchizedek: Gen 14,17-20 in the Targums, in Rabbinic and Early Christian Literature», Vol. 81 (2000) 1-31
The essay is introduced by some words on the nature of the Aramaic translations of Gen 14 used in the study (the Tgs. Onq., Pal. Tgs. as in Tgs. Neof. I, Frg. Tgs., Ps.-J.). Tg. Neof. identifies the Valley of Shaveh (Gen 14,17) as the Valley of the Gardens (pardesaya). The value of Tg. Neof.s evidence here is doubtful. Most Targums retain Melchizedek as a personal name (not so Tg. Ps.-J.). Salem of v. 18 is identified as Jerusalem. Melchizedek is identified as Shem, son of Noah, mainly because of the life-span assigned to Shem in Gen 11. The question of Melchizedeks priesthood in early rabbinic tradition and in the Targums (Tg. Gen 14; Tg Ps. 110) is considered, as is also the use of Jewish targumic-type tradition on Melchizedek in such early Fathers as Jerome, Ephrem, and Theodore of Mopsuestia.
and M. Simon32. Others do not consider such a conclusion necessary or warranted. The polemic may have originally been directed against a Jewish (or Samaritan) misuse of Ps 110,4, possibly Hasmoneans, such as Simon. In 1 Macc 14,35.41 we read: "The people saw Simons faithfulness and the glory that he had resolved to win for his nation, and they made him their leader and high priest. ... The Jews and their high priests resolved that Simon should be their leader and high priest forever, until a trustworthy prophet should arise". Ps 110, in particular Ps 110,4, would present legitimization for the Hasmonean union of royalty and kingship in the one person of Simon and his successors. The Hasidim strongly objected to Simons exercise of the high priesthood. The rift between the Pharisees and the Hasmoneans is dwelt on at length by Josephus (Ant. 13). An anti-Hasmonean interpretation of Ps 110 may have originated already in the second century BCE, in an effort to undermine this particular use of the psalm. This interpretation of the psalm would have been transmitted in Pharisaic and later in early rabbinic tradition. In this case R. Ishmaels interpretation would in origin have been pre-Christian, rather than anti-Christian, although he may have used it in an anti-Christian polemic. This view has been put forward by J.J. Petuchowski33.
4. Jewish Interpretation of Psalm 110 according to Antiochene and Early Irish Tradition
According to R. Ishmaels viewpoint, in Ps 110 the Lord addresses Abraham, and the psalm is interpreted as referring to him. This view is also found in other rabbinic texts34. In this interpretation Ps 110,1-3 would refer to Abrahams campaign against the four kings (Gen 14)35. We do not know how widely this particular view was held in Jewish circles in the fourth century. It does not appear to have left much trace in Christian sources. Jerome, living and writing in Palestine, makes no mention of it. However, matters appear to have been different in Antioch on the Orontes, at least among scholars of the exegetical school founded