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.
1. Observations on the texts
It will be noticed that for v. 18 Tgs. Onq., Neof. and Ps.-J. follow the order of the HT (a,b,c). The texts of the Frg. Tgs. do not. Manuscripts VNL omit b, while manuscript P has the order a,c,b,c. I have no explanation of this phenomenon. The differences may have arisen within the Frg. Tgs. tradition, but may also conceivably represent an early Pal. Tg. tradition.
2. Melchizedek King of Salem (v. 18)
a) The Name
The name in Hebrew is Melchisedek, written in the critical edition of the MT as qdc-yklm. The name qdc-yklm is reproduced in Tg. Onq. and in Frg. Tgs.PVNL. Tg. Ps.-J. has )qydc )klm, "the righteous king" in full: "the righteous king, he is Shem son of Noah, king of Jerusalem". In Tg. Ps.-J. the change is probably intentional: the identification of Melchisedek with Shem has been so thoroughly made that he has lost his identity and name. Tg. Neof. has qdc )klm (in full Ml#$wryd )klm qdc )klm), where the final alef in )klm is hard to explain. It may have arisen through a contamination between the forms in Tg. Onq. and the Frg. Tgs., or may represent a confusion between y (yod) and ) (aleph)11.
b) Identification of
Salem with Jerusalem (v. 18)
"Melchizedek king of Jerusalem ... brought out bread and wine". The MT has "Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine", Nyyw Mxl )ycwh Ml#$ Klm qd#&-yklmw. If by Salem a town or city was originally intended in the narrative, this may well have been the town of Sâlim, north east of Nablus12.
Whatever of the original meaning or intended identification in MT Gen 14,1813, in Ps 76,3 Salem (in parallelism with Zion) means