Torah for “The Age of Wickedness”: The Authority of the Damascus and Serekh Texts in Light of Biblical and Rewritten Traditions

In: Dead Sea Discoveries

Abstract

Considerable attention has been paid recently to the similarities between the composition and development of biblical texts, rewritten scripture-type texts, and the major Qumran rule scrolls. This study adds a new dimension to that work by comparing the authority claims of the Damascus Document (D) and the Community Rule (S) with those made by Deuteronomy, the Temple Scroll (TS), and Jubilees. While D and S lack the pseudepigraphic self-presentation of the others, they share with them a concern to present themselves as the most authentic expression of God’s revealed will. D and S resemble Deuteronomy in particular in their use of several specific literary techniques to claim authority by means of asserting a close relationship with existing authoritative revelation.

  • 1

    See e.g. M. Segal“Between Bible and Rewritten Bible,” in Biblical Interpretation at Qumran (ed. M. Henze; Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans2005), 10–29; S. White Crawford, Rewriting Scripture in Second Temple Times (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2008); D. A. Teeter, “‘You Shall Not Seethe a Kid in Its Mother’s Milk’: The Text and the Law in Light of Early Witnesses,” Text 24 (2009): 37–63; M. M. Zahn, Rethinking Rewritten Scripture: Composition and Exegesis in the 4QReworked Pentateuch Manuscripts (Leiden: Brill, 2011).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    See especially C. Hempel“Pluralism and Authoritativeness: The Case of the S Tradition,” in Authoritative Scriptures in Ancient Judaism (ed. M. Popović; Leiden: Brill2010), 193–208; R. G. Kratz, “Der ‘Penal Code’ und das Verhältnis von Serekh ha-Yahad (S) und Damaskusschrift (D),” RevQ 25/98 (2011): 199–227; A. Steudel, “The Damascus Document (D) as a Rewriting of the Community Rule (S),” RevQ 25/100 (2012): 605–20.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4

    E.g., H. NajmanSeconding Sinai: The Development of Mosaic Discourse in Second Temple Judaism (Leiden: Brill2003); B. M. Levinson and M. M. Zahn, “Revelation Regained: The Hermeneutics of כי and אם in the Temple Scroll,” DSD 9 (2002): 295–346; E. Otto, “Die Rechtshermeneutik der Tempelrolle (11QTa),” in Altorientalische und biblische Rechtsgeschichte: Gesammelte Studien (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2008), 547–63.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5

    As proposed by M. SternbergThe Poetics of Biblical Narrative: Ideological Literature and the Drama of Reading (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press1985), 85.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    B. M. LevinsonDeuteronomy and the Hermeneutics of Legal Innovation (Oxford: Oxford University Press1997), 151. For a thorough analysis see also E. Otto, “Die Rechtshermeneutik im Pentateuch und in der Tempelrolle,” in Tora in der Hebräischen Bibel: Studien zur Redaktionsgeschichte und synchronen Logik diachroner Transformationen (ed. R. Achenbach, M. Arneth, and E. Otto; Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2007), 72–121 (87–98).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11

    H. Najman“Torah of Moses: Pseudonymous Attribution in Second Temple Writings,” in Past Renewals: Interpretative Authority, Renewed Revelation and the Quest for Perfection in Jewish Antiquity (Leiden: Brill2010), 73–86.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    NajmanSeconding Sinai1–40.

  • 14

    NajmanSeconding Sinai41–69.

  • 16

    See already Y. YadinThe Temple Scroll (3 vols.; Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society1983), 1:71–73; also the discussion of L. H. Schiffman, “The Temple Scroll and the Halakhic Pseudepigrapha of the Second Temple Period,” in The Courtyards of the House of the Lord: Studies on the Temple Scroll (ed. F. García Martínez; Leiden: Brill, 2008), 163–74.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20

    Translations follow J. C. VanderKamThe Book of Jubilees (Leuven: Peeters1989).

  • 21

    NajmanSeconding Sinai17.

  • 23

    See e.g. C. Hempel“Shared Traditions: Points of Contact Between S and D,” in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Transmission of Traditions and Production of Texts, 115–31 (131); eadem, “Pluralism,” 202–8.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24

    S. MetsoThe Textual Development of the Qumran Community Rule (Leiden: Brill1997); C. Hempel, “The Literary Development of the S Tradition—A New Paradigm,” RevQ 22/87 (2006): 389–401; A. Schofield, From Qumran to the Yaḥad: A New Paradigm of Textual Development for The Community Rule (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 69–130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25

    M. Kister“The Development of the Early Recensions of the Damascus Document,” DSD 14 (2007): 61–76; R. G. Kratz, “Jesaja in den Schriften vom Toten Meer,” in Prophetenstudien: Kleine Schriften II (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011), 243–71.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32

    See A. P. JassenMediating the Divine: Prophecy and Revelation in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Second Temple Judaism (Leiden: Brill2007), 341.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35

    J. Kampen“‘Torah’ and Authority in the Major Sectarian Rules Texts from Qumran,” in The Scrolls and Biblical Traditions: Proceedings of the Seventh Meeting of the IOQS in Helsinki (ed. G. J. Brooke et al.; Leiden: Brill2012), 231–54 (245–47). Although in some cases the נגלה is opposed to the נסתר as the “public” revelation available to all (e.g., 1QS 5:11–12), here as elsewhere (e.g. 1QS 5:9) הנגלה is actually equivalent to הנסתר, the hidden knowledge that is specially revealed to the group. See Jassen, Mediating the Divine, 335–37.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 51

    Fishbane“Mikra at Qumran,” 364–65; Newsom, Self, 70–71.

  • 53

    See A. J. Lucas“Scripture Citations as an Internal Redactional Control: 1QS 5:1–20a and Its 4Q Parallels,” DSD 17 (2010): 30–52 (37).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 54

    See MetsoTextual Development76–90; M. Bockmuehl, “Redaction and Ideology in the Rule of the Community (1QS/4QS),” RevQ 18/72 (1998): 541–60.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 55

    A. K. Petersen“The Riverrun of Rewriting Scripture: From Textual Cannibalism to Scriptural Completion,” JSJ 43 (2012): 475–96 (476).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 56

    See especially P. S. Alexander“The Redaction-History of Serekh ha-Yaḥad: A Proposal,” RevQ 17/65–68 (1996): 437–56 (448–51); Schofield, From Qumran to the Yaḥad, 77.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 57

    M. M. Zahn“Rewritten Scripture,” in The Oxford Handbook of the Dead Sea Scrolls (ed. J. J. Collins and T. H. Lim; Oxford: Oxford University Press2010), 323–36 (331); see now also Petersen, “Riverrun,” 490–91.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 58

    On this point, see M. L. Grossman“Beyond the Hand of Moses: Discourse and Interpretive Authority,” Proof 26 (2006): 294–301; J. J. Collins, “Changing Scripture,” in Changes in Scripture, 23–45.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 59

    Grossman“Hand of Moses,” 300; Petersen, “Riverrun,” 492.

  • 61

    Hempel“Pluralism,” 204–5; see also G. J. Brooke, “E Pluribus Unum: Textual Variety and Definitive Interpretation in the Qumran Scrolls,” and E. C. Ulrich, “The Qumran Biblical Scrolls – The Scriptures of Late Second Temple Judaism,” 107–19 and 67–87 (respectively) in The Dead Sea Scrolls in Their Historical Context (ed. T. H. Lim et al; Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 2000).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 64

    S. MetsoThe Serekh Texts (London: T&T Clark2007), 63–70.

  • 66

    See Kratz“Penal Code,” 213–14.

  • 67

    Hempel“Pluralism,” 208.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 130 93 7
Full Text Views 144 5 0
PDF Downloads 14 6 0