Ancient Astronomy and Astrology in Early Judaism
Helen R. Jacobus
The ancient mathematical basis of the Aramaic calendars in the Dead Sea Scrolls is analysed in this investigation. Helen R. Jacobus re-examines an Aramaic zodiac calendar with a thunder divination text (4Q318) and the calendar from the Aramaic Astronomical Book (4Q208 - 4Q209), all from Qumran. Jacobus demonstrates that 4Q318 is an ancestor of the Jewish calendar today and that it helps us to understand 4Q208 - 4Q209. She argues that these calendars were taught in antiquity as angelic knowledge described in 1 Enoch and the Book of Jubilees. The study also encompasses Babylonian, Hellenistic, Byzantine astronomy and astrology, and classical and Jewish writings. Finally, a medieval Hebrew zodiac calendar related to 4Q318 with an astrological text is published here for the first time.