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.
|Abram before God Most High whose possessions are
heaven and earth.
||Abram from [before] God Most High, who for the sake of the righteous created heaven and earth.||Abram abefore God Most Higha
who in his Memra made the heavens and the earth.
||ring, in the high priesthood before God Most
High (Frg. Tg.p).
18b-b=19a-a to God Most High (Tg. Neof. marg).
|20 And blessed be God Most High who has delivered your enemy into your hands. And he gave him one tenth of everything.||20 And blessed be God Most High who has made your enemies like a shield that receives a blow. And he gave him a tenth of everything that he had brought back.||20 And blessed is God Most High who ashattered your enemiesa before you. And he gave him one tenth of everything.||20a-a handed over your enemies (Tg. Neof. marg).|
The HT says that on Abrams return after victory the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh, that is the Kings Valley. Shaveh here is presumably different from the Shaveh-kiriathim of v. 5. There is a Kings Valley mentioned in 2 Sam 18,18, where Absalom erected a pillar for himself. The place-name is rendered literally in Tg. 2 Sam. Josephus (Ant. 7, 243) says that this was two stadia from Jerusalem. 1QapGen 22,13-14 identifies this "Valley of Shaveh that is the Vale of the King ()klm qm( )whw )w#$ qm(b)" as "the Valley of Beth-hacherem" ()mrk tyb t)qb). The Valley of Beth-haccherem is mentioned in Jer 6,1 in parallelism with Tekoa (cf. Neh 3,14), and in Josh 15,39. Going on this evidence, as well as evidence from the Mishnah and the Copper Scroll, J. Fitzmyer4 believes that it is quite plausible to locate Beth-haccherem at the modern site of Ramat Rachel, which is situated some 400 yards to the east of the old route from Jerusalem to Bethlehem on a summit which dominates the Valley of Rephaim.
Tg. Onq. has "to the empty5 plain, which is the race-course of