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Re: Are 1000 scribes too many? was Re: DSS S

On Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:38:44 GMT +100, FC@teol.ku.dk writes:
>With respect to the suggestions by Moshe Schulman and others as to 
>the putative "high turnover" of residents in Qumran:
>What we are witnessing here is a classical example of the ad hoc 
>embroidery on an hypothesis that has no other function than to "save 
>the appearances", 

   [... snip, snip ... already related material omitted ...]

>At every turn, new information makes this view 
>increasingly problematical--not, I hasten to say, impossible. But at 
>the moment it is astonishingly complex, and I urge scholars to ponder 
>whether it is worth adhering to, or whether it might not be a better 
>idea to rethink the basic model.
   Prof. Cryer, I agree with your point and its argument.  I smelled a rat for
   a somewhat different reason, namely the size of the Jewish group at
   Abu/Elephantine.  The number of surviving texts tells us two things: the
   Jews there had good relations with the Chiliarch in Jerusalem who apparent-
   ly had great influence with the Satrap of Egypt; literacy in Egypt was
   better than that in Elizabethan England.  The second point is not news. 
   The first point was.  The name of the Chiliarch shows the influence of
   eunuchs at the court of the Great King.  Bagoas or "god given" spared the
   gelded ones the shame of their condition - at last according to Eduoard
   Meyer.  This made them highly dependent on the favor of the King.  Their
   advice therefore was often of more value to their patron than that of
   ungelded advisors, at least until Darius III made one drink his own poison
   and took the other, his nephew. to bed.

   Given the small size of the Temple at Aswan from the archaeological record,
   the size of the Jewish congregation certainly could not have been large. 
   Frankly, it appears only the influence they had in Jerusalem gave them
   Temple status.  (And for that they had not to put forward that they offered
   burnt offerings to Yahu.  Profaning fire was an abomination to Persians!) 
   Certainly the native Egyptians didn't think much of them.  So any com-
   parisons with the community at Qumran are likely at hazard.  The hypothesi-
   zers were straining at gnats, as you suggest for perhaps more valid

>Fred Cryer
>Assoc. Prof./Research
>Univ. of Copenhagen

Tom Simms