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Re: Re MishC and Dating the DSS deposit
Russell Gmirken wrote:
>Your dating the Salome ref [in MishC] to year 2 is based on the Eisenman-Wise
>translation. There is no real textual basis for this dating, as the Salome
>reference and the year 2 priestly courses are on two different fragments.
> The more recent Wise-Abegg-Cook translation properly considers the Salome
>reference undated. Hence many of your arguments are unnecessary.
Given the nature of the Mishmarot it would seem quite difficult, if the
fragment concerned actually belongs to MishC as both Eisenman/Wise and
Wise/Abegg/Cook (the only ones to have made any comment) assert, to conclude
other than that the Shelamzion references were either to the first or second
years of the particular course.
>the incident at AJ 14.29-33 = 14.2.3 doesn't support a
>description, "Aemilius [Scaurus] kills."
Yes, I had actually read the quote as well, and never claimed anything
directly from the Josephus reference. I wanted to show AEmilius Scaurus's
presence in the area in 64 bce, which you also accept. Josephus actually
tells us very little of the events in the three years of Aristobulus's reign
other than the initial agreement between him and Hyrcanus as well as the
siege of Jerusalem by Hyrcanus & Aretus. However, from everybody's reaction
to the presence of AEm. Scaurus, he scared the strength out of all parties
preventing them from continuing their previous bellicose activities, Aretus
shooting back to Petra and the two rivals trying to pay the Roman off. Why
were they so fast at changing their actions?
>It seems to me the "Aemilius [Scaurus] kills" phrase is satisfied instead by
>Wars 1.159 = 1.8.1
As JW I.VIII.1 refers to a post-"temple siege" operation, I obviously would
argue that it is irrelevant to the "AEmilius kills". You yourself accept the
notion that the texts were depositied before the temple siege.
>This incident is related after the fall of Jerusalem
>by Pompey in autumn 63, but it is likely this military action began around
>the start of the Jerusalem seige (three months earlier), to forestall Arab
>intervention. Hence this invasion may have begun before the fall of
>Jerusalem to Pompey.
So, then, when *were* the texts deposited, given that MishC talks of the
killing being done in the sixth month (of the sixth year, according to
Eisenman/Wise) and the document probably was finished before being
deposited, ie another six months passed. You've got the last writer of MishC
writing his register during the siege of Jerusalem in order to perhaps
include some activity of AEmilius Scaurus while Pompey is attacking the
temple. This just doesn't work. Besides, Aretus shot out of Judaea like a
flash and wasn't coming back.
No, I feel that AEmilius Scaurus's first visit to Judaea doesn't get full
coverage in Josephus. But we can see its effect.
>With this modification of your theory, you still have the Scaurus reference
>before the reduction of Jerusalem by Pompey, which was your main point.
> However, it throws a wrench in the works, in that this event is extremely
>close to the start of Pompey's seige, which in my opinion probably does not
>allow time for your "temple hierarchy" safeguarding the Jerusalem scrolls at
Naturally I'm not bound by your problems.
>> After having seen the implications of Pompey's harbinger, AEmilius Scaurus,
>> the temple hierarchy sensed the grave danger and desired to save their cache
>> of treasured texts. Given that Aristobulus had control of various
>> strongholds around the country , a plan was developed to send the texts to
>> some of these strongholds in order to save them (other caves findings have
>> been noted in history). One such stronghold was Qumran. Documents were
>> hurriedly sent there in order to be wrapped and stored in jars, being first
>> placed in storage caves like #4 so that they could be systematically dealt
>I find it really hard to believe several aspects of this scenario. First, on
>a physical level, the Jerusalem temple hierarchy wouldn't know about caves at
>Qumran. The people at Qumran knew about the caves at Qumran.
Who were these people at Qumran? We both accept that they were Aristobulus's
supporters, of whom there would have been people with temple connections.
However, you must understand that Qumran was not the only place where
scrolls ended up. Note that Eusebius tells us that scrolls were found in a
cave at Jericho, and a 10th century letter known among the Nestorians tells
of another discovery of documents in caves near Jericho. Qumran was not the
only destination for these documents. There were caves up and down the
place. And a number of caves were sut for the purpose as well. So, I
wouldn't play on the uniqueness of the Qumran situation.
>Jerusalem hierarchy had the resources to wrap and store scrolls. They
>wouldn't send them unwrapped, hoping the fortress had jars to store them in.
Had we but World enough, and Time,
This coyness Lady were no crime.
>The scrolls came from Qumran and hence were stored in Qumran jars.
Naaa. Wishful thinking. It is obvious from the archaeological remains that
the process that was started was never finished. The Qumran jars, ok, they
were being made expressly for the job of protecting the scrolls. But the
scrolls themselves were heavily related to actual temple cultic practice
right to the very end.
>the idea that Jerusalem priests sent scrolls to fortresses to preserve them
>from Pompey just seems ad hoc. Where is the evidence?
Obviously, as this is still a hypothesis, the evidence is not there; if it
were, it wouldn't be a hypothesis.
> The Copper Scroll
>suggests a rich temple hierarchy was more concerned with hiding valuables
I'm glad you can make sense of the significance of the copper scroll, noone
else has made much of a dent in the problems it imposes.
>Also, on a historical level, according to the account in Josephus Aristobulus
>didn't believe he had a problem with Pompey. Even when Pompey had him
>trapped at Alexandrion, Aristobulus was confident he didn't have a serious
"Confident"? This is an interesting reading of Josephus. However, the
gravity of the situation had already been signaled by the reactions to
AEmilius Scaurus. Aristobulus had a kingdom to lose and didn't want to leave
it to the whim of Pompey. This doesn't make him confident.
>As for the partisans of Aristobulus in the temple, they were so
>confident of their ability to withstand a seige that they turned Pompey away
>after Aristobulus had already negotiated a surrender.
Listening to the call of the wild in a particular situation doesn't
necessarily reflect what one might do in a calmer moment. I'd guess that the
decision to save the texts was somewhat earlier than the actual siege.
> So your assumption
>that the temple partisans of Aristobulus were so worried about Pompey that
>they started caching scrolls flies in the face of their militancy and
You have created the optimism. (Was the fighting at Masada optimism?)
Militancy doesn't conflict with the desire in a more rational moment to
protect copies of the texts.
>> There were no temple priests left to write anything about these events.
>> Besides, the documents were already hidden in the caves in which they were
>> found this century.
>There were no temple priests anywhere?
Well, the temple was in Jerusalem and that's where one would expect temple
priests to be. Pompey killed everyone in the temple.
>There were no pens left?
>The Sadducees were obliterated?
Decimated. They don't participate in any serious way in history after the
temple siege. The best that Josephus can do to describe his Sadducees is in
AJ XVIII.I.4. Not particularly useful if you wanted to know anything about
the Sadducees, is it?
>Ian, though I can't buy your specific proposal on the scrolls deposit, I will
>however give you credit for suggesting they were put in the caves prior to
>Pompey's conquest of Jerusalem. However, there is a far more plausible model
>of how they arrived in Jerusalem and how they wound up in the caves.
Russell, you are still flogging this sectarian donkey, and it's unnecessary
for your thesis here. The mishmarot are straight from the temple. The Songs
of the Sabbath Sacrifices are probably directly from there as well. I accept
the idea that MMT is from the temple hierarchy.
>Second, there is the purported Hymn to King Jonathan. If Jonathan is
>actually a reading here (and I understand this is still debated) and if
>we further accept this as a reference to Alexander Jannaeus (again,
>debated), then this argues for the sectarians specifically having political
>allegiance to Jannaeus, and thus again having pro-Sadducee anti-Pharisee
Given the same ifs, it seems much more likely that the writer of the Paeon
was a Sadducee or a Sadducee supporter. After all, a lot of the dss talk
about the sons of Zadok, which is basically what Sadducee means. If they
call themselves Sadducees, why can't you?
>when the former Jannaeus
>partisans went into voluntary exile manning the fortresses of Judea under the
>arrangement negotiated between Aristobulus II and Salome Alexandra
This is quite reasonable, given the fact that those people the Pharisees
acted against were Sadducees and the other temple priesthood.
>At Qumran we have a remarkable phenomenon of a one-time fortress being
>by a sectarian community.
Uh-huh. Seeing as this one-time fortress was only built -- say -- forty
years previously, why couldn't it still be one? -- even manned by Sadducees?
>And in the exile of the Jannaeus partisans we have
>those with a particular sectarian/political orientation (Sadducean) of known
Get this straight, Russell: the temple elite at the time was not a sect in
any sense of the word. They might have been a minority, but they were the
mainstream. The Sadducees and their supporters were that temple elite. The
mishmarot shows that the priestly families were performing their duties in
the temple up to and beyond, when "AEmilius killed".
>affinity with our sectarians (per MMT) exiled to Judean fortresses apparently
>including Qumran. It seems to me the two facts are related.
This is pretty tiring, Russell. Yes, you have a connection between the
Judaean fortresses and the Sadducees. The sectarian stuff I'll leave as
still totally unsubstantiated.
>If you want a historical (not hypothetical) incident to explain scrolls
>coming from Jerusalem to Qumran, the appointment of Sadducee religious
>leaders from Jerusalem as garrison commanders is that incident. This
>explains the arrival of Jerusalem scrolls to Qumran without ad hoc
Yeah, sure, Russell. Over 700 documents being carried to a small fortress by
the Salt Sea for local use. How many people do you assume were going to use
all those texts? And how did that nice little temple roster, MishC, end up
That temple people may have been at Qumran doesn't make your deposit idea
any more historical than the hypothesis I put forward. You've just come up
with another hypothesis.
>Aristobulus did this, then withdrew to Jerusalem to prepare for war. The
>Sadducean fortress commanders, meanwhile, turned over the various fortresses
>to Pompey's troops. It is this event that occasioned the deposit of the
>scrolls, in my opinion.
This we can agree on.
>The Sadducean commander of Qumran, forced to vacate
>the fortress, first had the scrolls at Qumran wrapped and put in jars in
It would have been nice if he'd finished the job.
>then left, probably for Jerusalem, where he intended (along with the
>other fortress commanders) to join Aristobulus and put up a fight. After
>they won, they intended to return to the fortresses, including Qumran. They
>were, however, as you pointed out, defeated at Jerusalem. It is not
>necessary to hypothesize that every last Sadducee in Jerusalem or Judea
Just every last one of them in the temple. But then, the Sadducees don't
seem to have been a particularly Judaean phenomenon, just Jerusalem (temple)
>The main thing is, the fortress never returned to Sadducee
>control, due to Pompey's victory.
There weren't enough of them left to have any control. All historical
sources go silent on the activities of the Sadducees.