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I have a query that has come out of writing the article on Qahat for
the Encyclopedia of the DSS. It is this:
Qahat refers to an opposition of light and darkness (cf. col. ii).
Puech in his edition of Qahat points out this dualistic aspect.
He also thinks, as Milik suggested, and I concur, that Qahat is
dependent of Aramaic Levi. Qahat is dated second century, i.e.,
after Aramaic Levi (itself dated, not the least, because it is
used by Jubilees, and so must be early second century at the
(sorry, please put a parenthesis after Jubilees!) earliest and
late second century (by the paleography of the Ms) at the latest.
Aramaic Levi is, therefore, pre-Qumran. Qahat bears no sectarian
However, Aramaic Levi uses the 364 day calendar and also has
language of two spirits and other such features, as Jonas Greenfield
and I showed in our article in JBL a couple of years ago.
Milik pointed out such dualistic language also in 4QVis Amram.
This seems to indicate that in a sacerdotal wing of Judaism,
in the third century or early second century, there were people
who held a 364 days' calendar, dualism of light and dark, two
spirits etc. The particular range of sectarian language of the
undisputedly Qumran documents is missing. These documents are
all three in Aramaic.
I would appreciate any other evidence net members may have
about this pre-Qumran sectarianism.
Now, having posed my question may I make a personal request,
not connected with being Director of the Orion Center. I
have found a couple of the last lines of discussion to be
too speculative and unbased. They are also repetitive and, I
think, do not take us anywhere. I have finished an endless
discussion about shelves none the wiser, even about the
questions posed. I have heard the arguments about whether
Qumran was a fort or not, whether the caves are related or
not, whether they boated on the Dead Sea or not, what the
water level was, etc. and, frankly, at this point I just
wipe the messages out. The questions often seem to be
well raised, but often could be answered by consulting a
reference book. So, I do not really know what I want to
say here. Anyone can write anything they want on the net
which is not offensive to other presons or groups, but please
be kind to others and, once a string seems to have become
repetitive, let it go and move on to something else.
Seasons greetings for Pesach (Jewish and Samaritan) and all
the various Easters (good for whoever mentioned the