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03-Jan-2018 06:04

Manuscript B Fragment 1, is a mundane, rather typical, recital of the paraphernalia of Temple sacrifice. Then were opened] (21) to me the gates of Heaven, and an Angel [spoke to me, Levi, enter...] (1)... And we went to my (grand)father Isaac, and he also blessed me thus. the Ways of Righteousness you will aba[n]don, [and] all the ways (6)... Thus, you shall not destroy the weak by wasting away or by [crucif]ixion... This text belongs to the genre of pseudepigrapha like the Testament of Levi and A Firm Foundation (Aaron A) above.Then, wh]en Jacob my father was tithing (5) [everything that he owned according to a vow made to God, for the first time I was at the head of the priest]s, and to me of (all) his sons he gave... you will renounce, and you will walk in Darkn[ess] (7)... All of these texts, including the one attributed to Amram below, are associated with one or other of the principal characters in the priestly succession; in fact, we may be witnessing a tradition here not dissimilar to that of the Rabbinical one (e.g.Though it is perhaps possible to identify themes such as these in literature of the Second Temple period generally, their emphasis in documents like this one is particularly telling.

Testaments attached to Levi, Naphtali, Kohath and Amram have emerged.(7) [Then you shall have a blessed and good [harvest.] He who sows Good reaps Good, (8) [while he who sows Evil,] his [sowing turns against him.] And now, my sons, [teach] Torah, its interpretation and Wisdom (9) [to your sons, and Wisdom shall be with you] as an eternal honor. [the Kingdom will not] pass away from you until (19)... And [when you begin to offer up one of these [wood]s upon [the] altar and the [fire begins] (8) to burn them, you are to sprinkle the blood] on the sides of the altar. He will overthrow his evil generation (6) and there will be [great wrath]. (2) your ju[dgment] but you will not be gui[lty]... This text derives its name from an allusion to Amram as my son in Line 9 of the Second Column, and to Levi as the father of the speaker in Line 11. ff.) Here, we have as beautifully preserved a piece of pseudepigrapha as one could wish.He who teaches Wisdom (10) [will find] honor [therein. Again, [wash] (9) [your hands and feet of the blood, then begin to offer up] sa[lt]ed portion[s.] As for [its[ he[ad,]... his Wisdom [will be great.] He will make atonement for all the children of his generation. When he arises there will be Lying and violence, and the people will wander astray [in] his days and be confounded. The instructions it conserves are also of the most high-minded, zealous, and xenophobic kind, presumably in the style of the proverbial Phineas (also a descendant of Kohath), the archetypical progenitor of both Maccabean and Zealot movements.In addition, other forms of Wisdom literature are ubiquitious in the Scrolls; this Chapter presents several examples.

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When reading the Qumran testaments, the reader may want to bear the following genealogical relationships in mind: Even though it is possible to harbour reservations about whether all this material of varying emphases can, in fact, ever be made to correspond to a single whole, it is important to note themes and imagery even in well-known texts such as this one, which at once move across the entire spectrum of Qumran literature and are completely harmonious with the Qumran perspective.

From Line 16 Column 2, the fragment shifts emphasis to Messianic-style visions of the Kingdom reminiscent both of Dan. Fragment 5 is, of course, a typically Righteousness-oriented apocalypse using the by now well-known Qumran nomenclature of walking (either in Light or Darkness) and Ways. I [washed myself] and all (11) [...then] I raised [my eyes and my countenance] to Heaven (12)... Then (17) I lay down and I remained a[t Abel Mayin...] (18) Then I was shown visions...

Revealed 28 Dead Sea Scrolls fragments have been sold in the US and could be published within a year. The fragments are now sitting in three US institutions awaiting.… continue reading »

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Chapter 5 - Testaments and Admonitions Life is complicated and always has been. In the ancient world, millennia before the time of the Scrolls, one response to this.… continue reading »

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