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orion Re: Kingdom of God at Qumran

Sigrid Peterson (petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu) wrote on 20-MAY-1997 21:26:54.63

According to Hmanhoff@aol.com:
> Friends,
> In Wise, Abegg and Cook's The Dead Sea Scrolls:  A New Translation, Wise
> translates 1QSb col. 4, lines 25-26 as:  [. . . may you] serve in the temple
> of the kingdom of God, . . .  (p. 149).
> I have checked all other available translations, and the Hebrew text as it
> appears in Lohse's Die Teste Aus Qumran, and I can not figure where this
> translation comes from.  (Compare Martinez, p. 433 and Vermes, p. 237.)  I am
> in the process of writing my dissertation on the Kingdom of God/Heaven and
> this would be a significant factor.

  Reading translations of midrashim, they all seem pretty
similar, I think because they are all descended from the same
English translation (Soncino). The following comparison table
shows that Garcia Martinez's translation into Spanish, with
Watson's translation into English, has chosen very different
equivalences from those of Verme<^s>. In this case, I don't
think they have seen the manuscript differently, but rather they
have each "imagined" the text somewhat differently, and therefore
translated differently.

Each line in the following table represents my guess that a
similar Hebrew construction lies at its base; I don't necessarily
know exactly what the Hebrew form is, but in most cases could
guess at roots and morphology.

> In Wise, Abegg and Cook's <<W>> The Dead Sea Scrolls:  A New Translation,
> Wise
> translates 1QSb col. 4, lines 25-26 as:  [. . . may you] serve in the temple
> of the kingdom of God, . . .  (p. 149).

Is the Hebrew, which I don't have, read <oveid bavodat> (<hb>(BYD (BDT</>)or
similar use of two roots? If so, Wise (et.al.) may have dropped the first as
dittography, or because a literal translation would produce the redundancy
"serve in the Service"  --see my note to lines 1 and 2, below.

But the critical question is, as my daughter once asked, "Who made God?"
I would suppose that Wise did, supplying an explanatory gloss without putting
it in parentheses. For a dissertation, though, you should examine the ms(s)
to make sure to exclude the possibility of an abbreviation or a blank space
indication that someone else was to have come along and inserted the
Tetragrammaton--or even the same person after immersing. Perhaps someone else
could suggest mss where these representations of the Tetragram have been


VERMES (3d ed.), p. 237 	GARCIA MARTINEZ, p. 433		WISE, p. 149
1.  May you attend upon,        1.  You shall be around      	1. [May you]
2.  the service                 2.  serving 			2. serve	
3.  in the Temple		3.  in the temple		3. (ditto)
4.  of the Kingdom		4.  Of the kingdom,		4. (ditto)
								   of God
5.  and decree destiny		5.  sharing the lot
6. in company with the Angels 	6.  with the angels
7. of the Presence 		7.  of the face (=presence)
9.  in (8.) council		8.  and the Council
8.      ^ common		9.  of the Community
10. [with the Holy Ones] 	10. [. . .]
11. for everlasting ages 	11. for eternal time
12. and				12. and for all
13. time without end;		13. perpetual periods.
14. for [all] His judgements	14. For [all] your judgments
15. are [truth]!		15. [are truth.]

line 1. Both imply the endless standing around done by those who
     wait upon a king or a King.

line 5. Other Qumran texts (e.g., CD) indicate that decision-
     making of position and influence and tasks in the YaHad
     (=Community), wherever it may have been, were determined by
     casting lots--perhaps (<h>PWRYM</> in the original Hebrew.
     To `decree destiny' suggests an eschatalogical sense to the
     blessing, of sharing judgment with God and the Angels in the
     coming world. Other literature suggests that this was the
     privilege of martyrs.

lines 6-8. I would guess that the root YXD occurs twice in the
     underlying Hebrew. Garcia Martinez (GM) translates it in
     lines 5 and 9, while Vermes (V) has it in ll. 6 and 8. It is
     the usual word used for the (Qumran?) Community, as you and
     most of the rest of us know, and can mean `together',
     `joined', `together with', perhaps `sharing', `in company
     with', and so forth.

lines 11 - 13. Are these translating more than L(LM W(D, `for a
     world (without end), and time'? Both may be attempting to do
     everything necessary to translate a poetic concept based on
     words that overlap in meanings (<olam> can be world, or
     eternity; <eid> can be `aeon' or `time' or `time period.'

Note that lines 3 and 4, as well as 13 and 14, in the above
arrangement are essentially the same except for the pronouns
"your" and "His," for which there are several possible

> Harry A. Manhoff
> ABD University of California, Santa Barbara
> (hmanhoff@aol.com)

Sigrid Peterson    UPenn      petersig@ccat.sas.upenn.edu
Finkelstein Fellow
University of Judaism

I find the above fascinating. I have Lohse's _Die Texte aus Qumran_, and it
was very interesting to compare Sigrid Peterson's guesses with the original
Hebrew. Some of her guesses are quite sharp, others remind me of the famous
translation of "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak". It's a very
convincing illustration of why one should always try and use the original
texts. For what it's worth (not much; after all, I'm only an interested
layman, not an expert on any area of Judaism) I'll write down my own translation
of l.25, which seems to be the main one that the original poster is interested
in, and which is easier to translate than l.26. I include the last word of
l.24, and the first one of l.26. Here goes:
"And you like an angel of face in a dwelling of holiness to the honour of God
of hosts will work forever and be around a servant in a temple of kingdom".

I tried to be as literal as I could. Does "and you" mean "may you"? It's very
plausible, especially as the text begins "Words of blessings", but it's an
interpretation, not a literal translation. The phrase "kingdom of God"
definitely does not occur, though again it's a plausible interpretation,
what other kingdom could it be? The expression "and you will be around"
puzzles me.
                                                            Avinoam Mann