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Re: orion-list 4Q448

     Stephen Goranson makes some interesting comments about Psalm 154, noting 
that it occurs in one context on the same scroll as a sectarian calendar, on 
another with 4Q448 (Hymn to King Jonathan).  J.A. Sandars notes its Essene 
affinities in terminology, but considers it to predate the Essenes.  "Its 
affinities to known ideas and practices of the Qumran Essenes suggest that it 
may have originated in Hasidic or proto-Essenian circles, perhaps in the 
second quarter of the second century BC"  (The Dead Sea Psalms Scroll, p. 
109).  Sandars suggestion that the Hasidim may have authored the text (which 
Goranson omitted in his otherwise informative posting) is doubtless related 
to the phrase "qehal hasidim" ["assembly of the pious" or "assembly of the 
Hasidim" (line 12).  This is the same phrase in Ps. 149:1 which is the basis 
for the phrase "company of Hasideans" at 1 Macc. 2:42 to describe the initial 
army of [Mattathias and] Judas Maccabaeus.  Some scholars earlier in the 
century believed Ps. 149 and others (including Ps. 154, known from the 
Syriac) derived from the Hasidim in Maccabean times.  This view is now 
discredited (largely due to Oesterly); rather, the Hasidim took their name 
from Ps. 79 and 149 around 166 BCE.  It is possible that Ps. 154 was 
pre-Maccabean but came to be viewed with special favor by the Hasidim after 
166 BCE.  
     Certainly the phrase "qehal hasidim" ["assembly of the pious"] came to 
be specially and specifically applied to the Hasidim after the Maccabean 
period.  This raises the interesting question:  why do lines from Ps. 154 
appear on the same scroll as 4Q448?  As I argued in "The War Scroll and Roman 
Weaponry Reconsidered" (DSD 3 [1996] 89-129) and "Historical Allusions in the 
War Scroll" (DSD 5 [1998] 172-214), all evidence points to the War Scroll 
being the war manual of the Maccabean army of 163 BCE, i.e. the Hasidim.  
Elsewhere I have argued (including on this list) that both the Sadducees and 
Essenes revered the older literature of the Hasidim, and that the Qumran 
scrolls may be a Sadducee library containing a large proportion of older 
Hasidim texts. It seems to me that by the time of Alexander Jannaeus, such 
texts as Psalms 154 must have been taken to refer to the Hasidim.  The use of 
Ps. 154 at Qumran shows the sectarians held literature referring to the 
assembly of the Hasidim in high regard.  The authors of 4Q448, by also 
copying Ps. 154 on the same scroll, also show their Hasidean affinities:  
that is, they probably considered themselves descendants and spiritual heirs 
of the Hasidim.  (I hold that 4Q448 was written by Sadducee partisans of 
Alexander Jannaeus, but if it is insisted that 4Q448 was written by Essenes, 
would this not suggest a linguistic as well as historical connection between 
the Hasidim and Essenes?)
    I do not at all follow Goranson's logic that the (rather incidental) 
condemnation of the wicked in Psalm 154 somehow supports the proposition that 
Jonathan is a wicked figure in 4Q448.  If parallels must be drawn, why not 
compare the "assembly of the Hasidim" in Psalm 154 with the "assembly of your 
[God's? Jonathan's?] people Israel" in 4Q448?  However, all such analogies 
are speculative.  The fact that a "qehal Hasidim" psalm is associated with 
the Hymn to King Jonathan, however, is undeniably an important clue to the 
spiritual affinities of the authors of 4Q448.
    Regarding the date of Philo's essay on the Essenes, "Every Good Man is 
Free," thank you for the references, which I will read with interest.  If 
this treatise predates 37 BCE, then the disturbances at Alexandria become 
irrelevant to that treatise, as you say:  however, one must see the dating 
arguments first.  "The Contemplative Life" (on the Therapeutae near 
Alexandria) postdates the Essenes, but the Loeb introduction proffers no 
suggested date.

    Best regards,
    Russell Gmirkin
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