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One of the etymologies proposed for Essene was a form
found in some Aramaic dialects of
plural XSY' (presumably something like Xassaya (but
who knows the vocalization at that time.
The word means "pious" like Hebrew Xsyd and is comparable
to a couple of Greek words.
The argument against it as an etymology of Essene was
first and foremost the fact that it did not occur in
Western Aramaic. I can now inform that in 4QLevi b ar
Greenfield and I read this word in fragms 2-3. This
material has appeared/will appear in the current issue
of Le Musen.
The phrase is
wl' mtmx' s^m xsy' mn kwl cmh' lclm
and the name of the righteous wil not be wiped out from all her
people for ever
While this occurrence does not DEMONSTRATE an etymology of
Essene, it does show that the form xsy' is plausible in pre-
Qumran and Qumran Literary Aramaic which must be a factor
in the discussion.