The Essenes were
Expecting a Divine Messiah
(A look at 11Q13 from the Dead Sea Scrolls)
Some people have the mis-impression that Jews failed to realize that the Messiah would be God in the flesh before He actually came. NOT TRUE! Many people figured out the Messiah would be Divine from the Tanakh alone. The writings of the Essenes recovered from the Dead Sea Scrolls are clear that they were expecting the coming Messiah to be a Divine being, long before He was born.
Teh/Psalm 110 is clearly a Messianic prophecy that says the Messiah will be a high priest like Melketzedek. I was reading through some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and found an interesting tidbit. 11Q13 talks about the Messiah as the "Melketzedek" figure of Teh/Ps 110. In this text, which was written about the first century BC, before Y'shua came, it replaces the Name of YHWH with "Melketzedek" in several scriptural quotes. Often, "Adonai" was a euphemism, but it appears that they were using "Melketzedek" as a euphemism. In verse 8 of this tract, it says the Melketzedek will atone for the sons of light. It also says the "Melketzedek" who is to come (at their time period) would judge the nations and comments on Him by saying that Teh/Ps 7:7-8 applies to "Melketzedek".
Note that this section refers addresses "YHWH",
"the Most High" and "Elohim", so they
obvously were expecting a Divine Messiah. There's also a
place where it quotes Isa/Yesh 52:7 and comments on the phrase
"Your God reigns" and says
this refers to "the Melketzedek who
will deliver them from the power of Belial (Satan)."
So it would appear as though the Essenes of the first
century BC where expecting the Messiah to be a Divine being even
before He came!