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Melchizedek, King of Sodom – How Scribes Invented the Biblical Priest-King - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Melchizedek, King of Sodom: How Scribes Invented the Biblical Priest-King

Robert R. Cargill


This book argues that the biblical figure Melchizedek mentioned in Gen. 14 as the king of Shalem originally appeared in the text as the king of Sodom. Textual evidence is presented to demonstrate that the word סדם‎ (Sodom) was changed to שׁלם‎ (Shalem) in order to avoid depicting the patriarch Abram as receiving a blessing and goods from the king of Sodom, whose city was soon thereafter destroyed for its sinfulness according to the biblical tradition. This change from Sodom to Shalem caused a disjointed narrative in Gen. 14:18–20, which many scholars have wrongly attributed to a later interpol ... More

Keywords: Melchizedek, Salem, Sodom, Genesis 14, Psalm 110, Shechem, Jerusalem, ʾEl ʿElyon, tithe, redaction

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190946968
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190946968.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert R. Cargill, author
Associate Professor of Classics and Religious Studies, University of Iowa

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