The analysis of the uses of the passive participle כתוב in the halakhic section of MMT shows that the כתוב formula introduces keywords rather than summative quotations. By quoting keywords, the authors of MMT enable their addressee to easily identify a passage from Scripture. The way in which the scriptural passage is quoted suggests that the words introduced by the formula have been selected so that they are appropriate for only one passage, and that the addressee knows perfectly well to which passage the author refers. The selection of keywords does not allow us to note any exegetical act in it; it is only about quoting a text, which in itself is an argument in the polemic.
This article tells the story of 4Q419, a manuscript that was once associated with a well-known Wisdom text: 4QInstruction. However, following its removal from 4QInstruction and re-categorisation as an “Unclassified Manuscript” in the 1990s (see DSSR 6 and DJD 39), 4Q419 has been largely overlooked by the scholarly community. There are two core objectives to this article. First, it encourages scholars to re-engage with a neglected manuscript that still has much to contribute to discussions of pluriformity, textual development, and the scribal background of 4QInstruction. Second, this article attempts to shed light on the ramifications of scholarly adherence to the Wisdom label and raises broader concerns about the degree to which our designated labels influence the way we read, understand, and talk about the Scrolls.