The image of the stone with seven eyes in the book of Zechariah 3-4 is very puzzling, and has been interpreted in various ways. In this study I will suggest that the most logical interpretation of this image lies in the Babylonian kalû ritual and the well-known mythological Sibittu iconography that was familiar and accepted by the returning Babylonian exiles. This iconography was chosen for a specific reason, and then was given a new identity by the prophet, probably as part of a certain agenda.
The Priestly source (P) is a common designation in scholarship for significant parts of the Pentateuch, which are assumed to have been written in priestly circles. While the social circles and theological background of P are more agreed upon, its dating is hotly debated, and various textual, intertextual, linguistic and historical evidence were employed in an attempt to date its composition. The present paper aims to examine the material world that is assumed by a number of Priestly texts, and the landscape in which the writings are embedded, in order to shed new light on their dating. The paper concludes that much of the priestly writings (inclusive of some of the texts commonly attributed to the Holiness school) are quite intelligible on the background the late Iron Age, mainly the 8th-7th centuries BCE.
Among the tefillin and mezuzot edited by Józef T. Milik in DJD 6 is 4Q147 (4QPhylactère T). Milik was unable to decipher this scroll, and it remains unpublished. This study offers a preliminary edition of 4Q147. Like many tefillin from the Judean Desert, it was written in a tiny semi-cursive script and folded. However, while tefillin contain passages from Exodus and Deuteronomy, 4Q147 features a non-scriptural text. Elaborating on God’s generous provisions and evoking angelic names, this minuscule scroll might be an amulet.