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Re: 4Q394 Gentile Gifts/Sacrifices
Vernon Chadwick asked concerning 4QMMT (4Q394):
> Part II of the referenced text concerns itself with Temple regulations and
> makes several references to the issue of Gentile gifts/sacrifices in the
> Temple. As Josephus records that this was indeed an issue that may have
> precipitated the Jewish revolt against the Romans [Wars 2.17], is it
> possible/probable that this document could refer to this period? Was this a
> relevant issue during the Maccabean era?
Some broken words at 4Q394 B8-9 (Qimron and Strugnell numbering) or
1 i 11-12 (Martinez numbering) are reconstructed on what look like
good grounds to read as a negative reference to accepting offerings
from Gentiles. It seems to be the same issue. But your question is
one of dating a text based on correspondence of an issue. In the
same Josephus passage, Wars 2.17, reference is made to offerings
to Gentiles having "always" been accepted in the temple. MMT,
whenever it was written, presents itself as opposing practices
which "they" do. That is, to the authors of MMT, this would be
an issue _whenever_ the practice was occurring, and according to
Josephus the practice went back--who knows how far back--but was
not a recent innovation. Therefore MMT cannot be dated to
c. 66 CE on the basis of this point.
Hanan Eshel has an article somewhere (sorry I do not know the
bibliographic reference) arguing for a dating of MMT in the
mid-second century BCE. As part of that article Eshel
argues, I believe, that offering sacrifices on behalf of
Seleucid kings was a practice at that time and that that
may be the referent of the MMT passage.
In the era of the Hasmonean rulers, I don't know if
any form of evidence exists to answer the question of whether
sacrifices were routinely accepted from or offered on
behalf of Seleucid or Roman allies or overlords. Just on
grounds of realpolitik one might guess the answer might
be something like "yes", when they were allies, and "no"
when they weren't.