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11Q13, also 11QMelch or the Melchizedek document, is a fragmentary manuscript among the Dead Sea Scrolls which mentions Melchizedek as leader of God's angels in a war in Heaven against the angels of darkness instead of the more familiar Archangel Michael. The text is an apocalyptic commentary on the Jubilee year of Leviticus 25.[1][2][3] The Dead Sea Scrolls contain texts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, the language of 11Q13 is Hebrew, date of composition is circa 100 BCE.[4]

In the fragmentary passage the term "Elohim" appears a dozen times, mainly referring to the God of Israel, but in commentary on "who says to Zion "Your Elohim reigns" (Isa. 52;7) 11Q13 states that Zion is the congregation of all the sons of righteousness, while Melchizedek is "Your Elohim" who will deliver the sons of righteousness from Belial.[5][6][7][8]


— ...[And it will be proclaimed at] the end of days concerning the captives as [He said, To proclaim liberty to the captives (Isa. 61.l). Its interpretation is that He] will assign them to the Sons of Heaven and to the inheritance of Melchizedek; f[or He will cast] their 5 [lot] amid the po[rtions of Melchize]dek, who will return them there and will proclaim to them will proclaim to them liberty, forgiving them [the wrong-doings] of all their iniquities.

And the Day of Atonement is the e[nd of the] tenth [Ju]bilee, when all the Sons of [Light] and the men of the lot of Mel[chi]zedek will be atoned for. [And] a statute concerns them [to prov]ide them with their rewards. For this is the moment of the Year of Grace for Melchizedek. [And h]e will, by his strength, judge the holy ones of God, executing judgement as it is written concerning him in the Songs of David, who said, ELOHIM has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgement [Ps 82:1]. ...

And Melchizedek will avenge the vengeance of the judgements of God... and he will drag [them from the hand of] Belial.[9]


  1. ^ Gard Granerød Abraham and Melchizedek: Scribal Activity of Second Temple Times 23 p208 2010 "The Melchizedek document from Qumran (11Q13) offers no explicit reference to Psalm 110 or to Genesis 14. That is, its main protagonist, qdc yklm, is not explicitly connected with the only two biblical texts that contain the identical ..."
  2. ^ John R. Hinnells A handbook of ancient religions 2007 p241 "In a fragmentary text from cave 11 at Qumran (11q13 in Vermes 1997: 500–2) the role of Michael as leader of God's angels and destroyer of the angels of darkness is taken over by Melchizedek. The text is a commentary on the Jubilee law ..."
  3. ^ James H. Charlesworth The Dead Sea scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts vol.4 p7 - 1994 "Speculation about Melchizedek is attested at Qumran in Melchizedek (11Q13)"
  4. ^ Florentino García Martínez Qumran and Apocalyptic: studies on the Aramaic texts from Qumran 1992 p176 "11QMelchizedek This is a clearly eschatological Hebrew fragment"
  5. ^ Timo Eskola Messiah and the throne: Jewish Merkabah mysticism and early 2001 p140 "Melchizedek was also called Elohim (1 IQMelch. 25).48 The divine name of the angel here does not necessarily mean ... Melchizedek is apparently quite special, since he will also be the one who saves people from the power of Belial."
  6. ^ Richard Bauckham Jesus and the God of Israel: God Crucified and other studies on p222 " (1) Melchizedek: In 11QMelchizedek, Melchizedek is the name of a principal angel, probably to be regarded as another ... angels (called 'elim in 2:14, as frequently in the Qumran literature), from the power of Belial and his evil angels."
  7. ^ Max Turner Power from on high: the Spirit in Israel's restoration and witness p227 - 1996 "61.1-2.39 The writer concludes that an exalted figure (probably 'Melchizedek')40 will appear in the tenth Jubilee ... and 8), and to execute God's judgment on the hosts of Belial (lines 9, 1 1-15, 20)."
  8. ^ The Messiah: developments in earliest Judaism and Christianity: 1987 vol.2 James H. Charlesworth - 1992 "Apparently the obedient angels and even the powers of Belial are called by that name. But most probably in line 10 it means a divine figure or heavenly being, with whom Melchizedek is identified, so that he appears here as a Redeemer."
  9. ^ The complete Dead Sea scrolls in English Géza Vermès 1997

External links[edit]

  1. Translation in The Dead Sea Scrolls Today by James C. VanderKam (2010), pp. 73–74
  2. Translation by J. Trimm