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Re: orion-list Prof. Goranson has it right - Essenes = Observers

Jack G. gives me a chance to clarify a subtle thought:
I did not mean to say that "osey" should be literally translated
as "observer" as in "to look".  Secondly, my point is that 
part of my thought involved a "pun" in the Suda entry on 
the Essenes.

The Greek professor who helped me translate the Greek of the
Suda was a little puzzled at what was the "obvious" pun in
why the Essenes were called Essaioi.  The pun had something
to do with the Greek term "theoretikoi".

My immediate thought was that if Prof. Goranson was right
about the Essenes being "doers", then maybe the Greek writer
was making a pun/joke about Essaioi being translated as
SITTERS (which it can be - as in "hessai" ).

And then when Prof. Goranson started to emphasize the
sense of "doers of the law" as "OBSERVERS of the law",
I only recently noticed that the sense of "observer" (or "watcher")
is also reproduced in the Hebrew word for 'asah (per Strong and
the www.blueletterbible.org):

 06213 `asah {aw-saw'}  
               AV - do 1333, make 653, wrought 52, deal 52, commit 49,
               offer 49, execute 48, keep 48, shew 43, prepare 37,
	      work 29, do so 21, perform 18, get 14, dress 13, maker 13,
                maintain 7, misc 154; [Count = 2633 uses ]

               1) to do, fashion, accomplish, make
               1a2d) to make (an offering)
               1a2f) to observe, celebrate

The Samaritans were "Watchers", "Observers", "Keepers"
of their faith or "laws" .... whatever that happened to be.  And this
immediately brought to mind the surprising use by Epiphanius
of the term "Essene" to describe one of the Samaritan sects.

Liddell Scott Jones also has a fascinating entry in Greek:

hosi-ots, tos, h, disposition to observe divine law, piety,
Plat. Prot. 329c, ti=Plat. Euthyph. 14d sq., Xen. Cyrop. 6.1.47,
SIG654ti=SIG B10 (Delph., ii B. C.), etc.; pros then ho. piety
towards them, Plut. Alc. 34 ; pros tous theous IDEM=Plut.
Alc. 2.359f; also, like Lat. pietas, h pros goneis ho. D.S.7.4;
pros tn tekousan IDEM=D.S.31.27. 

"Hosio..." certainly has more than a passing similarity
to "hessaioi", but I'm probably "stretching" on this one.

While I am not very experienced in the potential for
inter-relationships between Greek and Hebrew at the
time of the scrolls, I think the potential overlay between
"doing" and "observing" and "watching" in the Hebrew
alone is more than enough to give the modern
researcher something to think about.

George Brooks
Tampa, FL
For private reply, e-mail to George Brooks <george.x.brooks@juno.com>
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