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Re: Various random dss related questions
Russell Gmyrken wrote:
The reference to the "queen's residence" near Jericho at 6.11 surely carries
chronological significance. This may refer to a royal residence of a
Herodian or Hasmonean queen [see Bargil Pixner's article, Unravelling the
RevQ 11 p. 349] or (a less likely long shot) one of the Ptolemaic Cleopatra's
who occasionally controlled portions of Palestine.
Your right, it may refer to the residence of a Queen. The Cleopatra who was a
buddy of Onias IV would be a possibility. The Ptolemies probably remained in
control of, or at least in influence over, portions of the East until well
after the Hasmoneans took power. The possibility that they might have had
property there is not unreasonable. However, I doubt that this passage refers
to a Palace or anything like that. The descriptions may simply refer to names
of places and are symbols. The Ford of the High Priest in the next line
appears to be just that. I doubt that the HP took pride in owning this
crossing (or the Car, those Essenes were a modern bunch).
All three possibilities are later than your proposed 159 BCE dating.
No. The Cleopatra who was a buddy of Onias IV is in the right time period and
the possibility of the name being solely a symbol is still possible.
Pixner also points out a series of locations in Transjordan in the Copper
Scroll that only came under Judean control under Hyrkanus and Jannaeus.
Actually, Judean control would be completely irrelevant to my theory. The
Ptolemies were in control of those territories for a long time. Remember that
Hyrcanus Tobiad lived there. Hyrcanus and his branch of the Tobiads, assuming
the Tobiad split theory is true, would have supported the pro-Ptolemaic
Oniads, Onias IV. Even as late as 159 BCE, after the death of Hyrcanus, there
was likely support for the pro-Ptolemaic Oniads in the region formerly tied
to Hyrcanus. I don't think that hiding money in the Transjordan would have
been much of a problem.
Likewise the reference to Beth-Hakoz (the estate of Hakos) near Jericho at
7.9 seems inconsistent with your 159 date. As Kyle McCarter ("The Mystery of
the Copper Scroll" in Herschel Shank's book, Understanding the Dead Sea
Scrolls) notes on p. 239, the priestly House of Hakkoz owned property near
Jericho (cf. Neh. 3:2, 4, 22-23) and were in charge of the temple treasury
(Neh. 3:4 cf. Ezra 8:33). Eupolemus the historian and diplomat was also of
the Akkos family
(1 Macc. 8:17). The problem with your scenario is that Eupolemus was clearly
a Maccabean partisan in 159 (between his diplomatic mission to Rome for Judas
Maccabaeus in 162 and his writing his pro-Maccabaeus history in 158/57),
whereas you evidently propose the temple treasures were hidden on the Hakkoz
estate on behalf of the rival (in your scenario) Onias clan, further based on
your hypothesis that Alcimus was an Oniad.
Not so quick. Eupolemus was the son of John, son of someone named Akkos. Now,
it is a jump to assume that this man was a priest, much less related to the
family that lived near Jericho. Moreover, you assume that the entire Akkos
clan sided with the Hasmoneans simply because Eupolemus did, if he
represented that faction of priests to begin with. It may well have been, if
Eupolemus was a priest of the family Akkos, that he represented the minority
position in the family and could be the reason why he spoke so vehemently in
favor of the Hasmoneans. However, the text of the Copper Scroll may again
provide an out. The treasure was not buried in the House of the Akkos family,
but in a cave near it. "Near" might refer to the closest cave, or even a
close cave, and may have been at some distance from the site. Why do we
connect all of the caves 1-11 to Qumran? Some were located at some distance
from the site, were they not?
I don't think that this theory on the Copper Scroll is impossible. I wouldn't
bet my life on it, but I don't think that such a possibility may be ruled
out. I haven't decided between this and a couple of later dates. One of the
later dates is not post destruction of Jerusalem, but post destruction of
Leontopolis, only a few years later. This is why the question of how
accurately we may date the deposition of the scrolls in the caves. Can we
date the deposition to 68 CE, prior to 68 CE, or possibly to circa 73-74 CE
when the Romans went after the Oniads in Egypt.
Just a few thoughts,
-David Jay Kaufman