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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
Creighton University
Omaha, Nebraska, USA