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orion Re: 4QpesherNahum and crucifixion
Many readers of 4QpesherNahum--not all readers, certainly, but many,
including me--agree with the following:
1) The Lion is identified as Alexander Jannaeus.
2) Ephraim, the Pharisees.
3) Manasseh, the Sadducees.
4) The author is an Essene.
5) The crucifixion account is paralleled in Josephus.
There is somewhat less agreement (in publications) on the attitude
of the author toward Alexander Jannaeus. That the author apparently was
not mourning the deaths of those who were crucified does not necessarily
mean, based on what text we have, that the author--at that time--approved
of Alexander Jannaeus. In other pesharim, divine instruments of wrath are
not admired per se. Further, because the author may have allowed that
crucifixion was an appropriate punishment in some cases does not
necessarily mean that he regarded it as having been properly administered
in this case.
After all, 4QpNah associated Jannaeus with Manasseh, a group the
author disapproved. (The trend to call Qumranites Sadducees has faded among
scholars, now that it has been critiqued by many scholars, including Joseph
Baumgarten and Yaakov Elman.) Further, the use of a widely-debated text,
4Q448, to attempt to clarify 4QpNah is an iffy procedure. Also, please note
that the lacuna in 3-4 i 8--which, if we had that text, might have been
important for characterizing the author's attitude to this specific
instance of crucifixion--has been filled in in differing and contradictory
ways by different editors.