The Danielic Discourse on Empire in Second Temple Literature, Alexandria Frisch asks: how did Jews in the Second Temple period understand the phenomenon of foreign empire? In answering this question, a remarkable trend reveals itself—the book of Daniel, which situates its narrative in an imperial context and apocalyptically envisions empires, was overwhelmingly used by Jewish writers when they wanted to say something about empires. This study examines Daniel, as well as antecedents to and interpretations of Daniel, in order to identify the diachronic changes in perceptions of empire during this period. Oftentimes, this Danielic discourse directly reacted to imperial ideologies, either copying, subverting, or adapting those ideologies. Throughout this study, postcolonial criticism, therefore, provides a hermeneutical lens through which to ask a second question: in an imperial context, is the Jewish conception of empire actually Jewish?
This article examines the concept of the body within a wide range of Qumran literature. In a comparison with the biblical tradition, which does not evince a consistent and systematic idea of the body, this article demonstrates that the sectarians developed their own somatic model. The sectarian model, as revealed through a close reading of such texts as Hodayot, 1QS, 1QSa, CD and 1QM, is one that repeatedly emphasized the body as a corporate entity comprised jointly of flesh and spirit. This article then reexamines the same Qumran texts to show that this concept of the body explains the extreme focus on purity at Qumran, particularly the sectarian conflation of moral and ritual purification. A final comparison with Philo, who espoused a dualistic model of the body, underscores just how truly unique the sectarian view of the body and purity was among early Jews.