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Re: Calendar, MMT

On Mon, 25 Nov 1996, Greg Doudna wrote:

> Voluntary separation of priests from non-priestly people 
> seems a well-attested issue.  Didn't you see David Suter's 
> post with the Philo quote on priestly intermarriage
> issues (which seems to be the issue in the immediate 
> context of the MMT "separation" phrase, so far as the 
> broken words can be read [at least the editors of MMT
> so interpreted the meaning of the surrounding lines])?  
> Suter also referred to his article in the _Hebrew Union 
> College Annual_ (50 [1979]:115-135) which expands on these 
> themes much more.  

Thanks for the plug, Greg.  I would however have you note that in the 
post you are referring to my comment is that both kinds of separation may 
be contemplated (separation from the people for purity's sake and 
separation within the priesthood over the interpretation of purity 

In response to Ian in a subsequent post (who has obviously 
read the HUCA article), the HUCA article argues that the myth of the 
fallen angels in the Book of the Watchers is a sectarian critique of 
establishment practices, on the other hand, sectarian does not 
necessarily imply non-priestly, as I argued subsequently in a paper 
entitled "The Priesthood and Apocalyptic" read at a national SBL 
meeting.  My guess is that the intellectuals of that society are also 
likely to be priests, and the factions that show up in the literature are 
possibly representative of different segments within the 
priesthood--the power elite and the cultural elite (who write the myths 
that legitimate the exercise of power) for example.  I'm resorting the 
material out at present and don't want to make any final commitments at 
the moment, but my tendency up until now has been to see the 
ultraconservatives as reflected in the Book of the Watchers, CD, and for 
that matter MMT as coming from the cultural elite (the ones who tell the 
myths) and criticizing the power elite.  At some point I think that there 
is a parting of the ways, but at present I don't think that has happened 
yet in the Book of the Watchers, which I would date to the third century BCE.

To Moshe, in a yet subsequent post, if one follows the use of zenuth in 
places like CD and the Testament of Levi (I made this argument originally 
on the basis of the Greek version of the latter and need to revisit it), 
the issue is not visiting prostitutes but marrying the wrong women 
according to someone's interpretation of the Levitical marriage 
rules--note the HUCA article mentioned above.  The example in CD is 
marriage with a niece, while so far I think the Q and S are correct in 
seeing MMT as opposed to marriages between priests and Israelites.

David Suter
Saint Martin's College