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orion Why here?
Assuming that a sect or group with a particular theological viewpoint occupied
the site of Qumran, I asked why would they have located at this site. I
assume we excluded cable TV as the answer. SG has provided some of his
insight. I still wonder if the best answer is simply a process of
elimination. For example, assuming a continuous occupation by the same
evolving sect (or perhaps by a sect not evolving but frozen in its theology)
from the second century BCE until about 68 CE (with a gap sometime about 31
BCE associated with an earthquake), perhaps an answer would go something like
this: (1) the Hasmoneans did not gain control of the Negev until John Hyrcanus
(134-104 BCE) - so the likelihood of this sect being established in the Negev
was not strong, (2) the coastal plain south of Ashkelon was not under the
control of Hasmoneans until Alexander Jannaeus so west and south of Jerusalem
would not have been a good place to locate, (3) Samaria to the north would not
have welcomed such a sect, (4) the coastal plain north of Ashkelon was too
Hellenized (?), (5) until after Herod the Great, the Galilee was too
vulnerable to the Parthians and other foreign influences, (6) the sect would
not have been welcome in Judea proper, etc. In other words, one deduces by
elimination that a conservative sect such as depicted would be compelled to
move east and would not be comfortable too close to Jericho.
The site at Qumran had existing aqueducts, reservoirs, decantation basin,
water sources, look out tower and living quarters. It must have had some
capacity to produce the basic food stuffs for a fairly large contingent. It
was probably vacant when the sect first settled there. Why was vacant or
abandoned at that time? I assume there was no political or military in the
area at the time of occupation sufficient to discourage occupation. On the
other hand, I assume that the area was not so plagued by robbers, or killers
that it was too dangerous for occupation. This relative balance between a
vacuum of political or military opposition to occupation by such a sect and
yet it had some degree of security until Herod the Great in about 37 BCE.
After that, in order to continue occupation it would have been incumbent on
the sect to achieve some favor with Herod and his successors? If all this is
true, why wasn't there an apparent temple or place of worship constructed
during 250 years or so of occupation by this sect?
Do these sound like reasonable assumptions? Are there suggested answers to
these questions, particularly a reason for no temple being constructed?