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The Essenes and War

I regret that I deleted instead of replied to an earlier message which posed
the question:
"How do you know the Essenes did not fight in the Jewish war?"

Let me reply with 2 presuppositions:

1) the word "essene" is the anglicized form of "hasid".
2) The hasid of the Qumran documents describe themselves in their documents.

With these 2 presuppositions in mind I will simply point to those places in
the DSS where the putative Essenes (not because so called by Josephus, but
because they describe themselves as Hasidim) discuss their own view of War.
>From this it is quite easy to extrapolate their views concerning
participation in the Jewish War. 

4pIsa(c) 25.1.3
4QM6 32.1.6
11QT 57.6
11QT 62.8
and of course the entirety of the War Scroll, which according to ALL
accounts is a description of an eschatological war, which YHWH himself
(sorry Judith) will wage in the manner of the ancient "Holy War".  i.e.,
"YHWH will fight for you".  Cf  1QM 13.9, 12-13; 14.3, 4QM5 frg. 21.1, 1QM
1.10, 3.7-8, 11.8, 13.14-16, 15.1,3, 12, 17.5, 18.10, 14.

If, on the other hand, one were to suggest that the Essenes DID participate
in the Jewish War, one must present evidence of the fact.



Jim West
Professor of Biblical Languages, CCBI
Adjunct Professor of Bible, Quartz Hill School of Theology