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Re: orion 1st BCE generation
Thanks, Russell Gmirkin, for your comments. Here, some brief responses.
I haven't yet seen J. VanderKam's Calendar book, which I expect
will be good, so I'll wait on it. There is, in any case, a difference
between when calendar disputes first arose and how they continued, as
Qumran texts attest.
On 4Q468g, I'm open to suggestions, but the visible
spelling--second letter waw--is not a point in favor of "Peitholas."
On 4Q448, the issue at hand is not whether some early readings were
"sensible." Rather, the question is, with all available relevant
observations, which reading is most persuasive. The article, e.g., by E.
Main makes a very good case, IMO. (And it could be relevant to recall that
the wicked priest [Alexander Jannaeus being a fine candidate] was seen to
have fallen from the truth.) There is more than one relevant text negative
about Alexander Jannaeus.
I have no date fixed for the various versions of M. (Your
penultimate sentence lacked the word "than," I assume.) I have some more
reading to do on M, but so far, it doesn't readily accord with Maccabees,
as far as I've seen. Dierk Vanderberg claimed there was no Roman army
imitation so early. I will be interested to hear what other military
historians say. Have you archaeological evidence of Maccabee usage of Roman
implements? But, so far, the worldviews of M (as well as Daniel) and
Maccabees remain quite different.
Hanukkah--can't we agree--celebrates the rededication and cult
restoration of the Jerusalem temple, the temple which was the center of
Jewish religion. How can this *not* be a religious occasion?! Of course it
cannot be described fully as "on a par with those in the HB [Hebrew
Bible]"! That's an impossible, irrelevant requirement, since 1, 2 Macc
aren't in HB! I need show no such impossible thing. (And some rabbis gave a
different emphasis by quoting Zechariah, "Not by might nor by power, but by
my spirit...") In any case, Hanukkah, even with its political aspects (as
A. Baumgarten recently discussed--in M.Hengel FS?) is ineluctably religious.
Your declaration that pesharim must follow your analysis of Animal
Apocalypse is just that, a "declaration"--and a circular one when applied
to 4QpNahum, in which the identity of the lion with Alexander Jannaeus (or
another) is the question at hand--not something to be ruled out a priori.
There are three groups to account for here--as in the calendar texts. The
converging lines of evidence for an Alexander Jannaeus identification in
4QpNah are substantial, not liklely to disappear before your insistance of
what symbols can and cannot appear in pesharim.
Remember when early announcements of MMT said a 50 or so year lag
till we have copies is usual (or some such words), even though no such
thing necessarily obtains. Now, if you date MMT, M, D, S, etc. as early as
you do, and we have many copies, would you expect at least one of them to
be older than what paleographers estimate? Or do you throw that out, for
your early dates, as some others do for middle-bunched or late dates? You
mused whether a Qumran copy of M might give a C14 date of second century
BCE (another reason my comments on more than one generation were not out of
the blue)--do you expect such a date?
As is well known, there are very few historically-identifiable
personal names in the Qumran mss. E.g., Aemilius [Scaurus] is there, but
not (so far) Julius Caesar or Pompey. So there is little statistical case
that, e.g., Qumranites never heard of Julius Caesar or Pompey (or any other
individual). On the other hand, religious festivals and observances are
mentioned much more frequently. Therefore, the absence of Hannukah is
significant, and accords with other anti-Hasmonean sentiment. Proposals
that all temple disputes noted refer to many decades or over a century
earlier than all the copies--nostalgic but oblivious--strains credulity.
On MMT your post today switched from "4QMMT, while not
pro-Hasmonean..."; three days ago, you called it (and 4Q448) "clearly
pro-Hasmonean." It is sometimes difficult to keep up with the current
The Qumranites evidence precious little affection for Maccabees and
Hasmoneans. Perhaps that disappoints you. But it is what these historical
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