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Re: Three and Seven
On Thu, 1 Feb 1996, Dr. G.Brooke wrote:
> Or any suggestions for explaining the seven crowns of 11QNew Jerusalem
col -IV (van der Woude Fst) = Frag 14 in Garcia Martinez DSST, p. 134.
> George Brooke
I don't have any suggestions on the first three documents you mention;
but I do have a suggestion with regard to Frag 14. I draw your attention
to Revelation 4:4-5. We first see 24 elders (astronomic decans) on thrones
wearing crowns (*stephanoi*). This is followed by seven torches in front
of God's throne, interpreted by the visionary as "God's seven spirits" or
"God's seven winds." The crowns do not seem to have any further
significance here beyond symbols of honor.
In Frag 14 we see 7 crowns, evidently ordered by intensity of radiance
("according to the radiance..."). This radiance lends itself to a
celestial interpretation which may connect it (somehow?) to the passage
in Revelation. If the fragments that Garcia Martinez lists together here
really belong together, and "New Jerusalem" is an appropriate label for
them, then perhaps these cultic arrangements parallel the vision in
Revelation which is rooted in the interpretation of the sky and stars.
Note that Frag 1 begins with a "throne"--something which is not in the
Jerusalem temple, but is in the sky as God's central position. And like
Revelation, Frag 17 includes seven bowls. The whole list in Frag 17 is
"over the earth."
For imagery connected with the interpretation of the sky, see:
Bruce J. Malina, _On the Genre and Message of Revelation: Star Visions
and Sky Journeys_. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995.
My colleague Malina has collected a prodigious amount of ancient
documentary evidence for the ancient interpretation of the sky.
Peace, K. C. Hanson
Omaha, Nebraska, USA