[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
orion Hasidim, Sadducees, Essenes & Qumran
Now that Ian is off-list and Greg Doudna has retreated from a 63 BCE
deposit of the scrolls, I appear to be the sole Orion defender of this idea:
which, however, I am forced to modify in light of the C14 and archaeological
(1) I recently argued at the Jerusalem Congress that several major texts
including 1QM, CD, 1QS, 1QSa were originally composed during the
Hasidim/Maccabean revolt. This Hasidim literature was probably used in later
times by both Sadducees and Essenes who claimed the Hasidim as spiritual
(2) Yizhar Hirschfeld demonstrated at the Congress that layout of Qumran
strongly resembles numerous other fortified manors, with a fortified tower,
rectangular living quarters, and adjacent industrial complex. So in my model
I am compelled to downgrade Qumran from a fortress to a cleruchy, a
quasi-military colony loosely connected to the fortress system, with royal
land awarded the aristocratic commanders whose relatives/subordinates served
as soldiers when required, especially in times of crisis, and otherwise
farmed, conducted business, etc.
(3) The Hymn to King Jonathan and other Sadducean texts at Qumram
indicate the fortified estate was occupied by Sadducean aristocratic
partisans of King Jonathan (Jannaeus) from 76-63 BCE, as per Jos., Ant.
(4) But under Herod, royal and private estates were seized from his
opponents (e.g. Sadducees) and awarded to his friends (e.g. Essenes). I
therefore now propose that an Essene occupation of Qumran began under Herod,
and admit the possibility of later Essene documents after 63 BCE, i.e. late
copies of revered Hasidim texts.
This model now accomodates both C14 data and Pliny's account on the
Essenes below Jericho. Let me solicit Steve Gorenson's opinion in
particular, what evidence exists of Essenes at Qumran in pre-Herodian times?
-- Russ Gmirkin