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orion Re: Cemeteries and Celebacy



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CELIBACY?
^”The better information about women at Qumran will come from materials
such as
spindles and/or spindle whorls at the main Qumran site, as well as
reanalysis of
the sectarian texts. The celibacy model seems to be based on Josephus
etc^‘ - Sigrid Peterson

The evidence for celibate sectors in Essene society is compelling:
stated in no uncertain terms by Josephus and Pliny. The lack of
mentioning the separate purity needs for women members in the Community
Rule (1QS) would seem to infer that, in the Yahad, at least, there were
no female participants. On the other hand the Rule of the Congregation
(1QSa) and the Damascus Covenant (CD) specifically provides for the
needs of sectors of society which have female participants (as Josephus
clearly spelled out). This segregation within society led to separate
settlements. It is not surprising to find a segregation of these groups
in burial grounds composed of the deceased from more than one
settlement. 

The form of the celibacy implied by Josephus does not necessarily imply
that celibacy was life-long for all male members. In fact the the camp
of married volunteers described in 1QSa: its male participants are
married at the age of 20, serve the Yahad at 25 and actually join the
council of the Yahad at the age of 30 (perhaps leaving their families
either temporarily or permanently).

By the way there were no spindle whorls or loom weights found during the
excavations of Kh. Qumran.

Stephen Pfann