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Re: orion-list DSS and the Pharisees

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Dear Anthony Becker,

    Your recent posting presents a reasonably comprehensive picture of the 
conventional case for reading the Pharisees in the Dead Sea Scrolls.  You 
might also consider the argument that 4QMMT contains legal positions opposed 
to those of the Pharisees, which has been generally taken to corroborate the 
opposition of the scrolls authors to the Pharisees.  Also, you might be aware 
that the reference to the "dominion of the Seekers of Smooth Things" at 
4QpNah 3+4 ii 5 is usually taken to refer to the shared government of Salome 
Alexandra and the Pharisees in 76-67 BCE.
    The equation of Ephraim with the Seekers of Smooth Things based solely on 
the 4QpNah 3+4 ii 2, though almost universally accepted, is somewhat 
problematic.  In the Nahum Pesher, Ephraim appears as a major group that has 
been misdirected by the Seekers of Smooth Things and eventually escapes their 
evil influence, and thus on the surface appears to be distinct from the SST 
    The forthcoming dissertation by G. Doudna of the University of 
Copenhagen, titled "4Q Pesher Nahum:  a Critical Edition" (to be published 
out of Sheffield in 2001) brings out some examples where the Ephraim, 
Manasseh and Judah cannot represent the three major sects as commonly held.  
In CD several references show Judah in a negative light. At 4QpHos(b) 2:2-4 
the Lion of Wrath smites both Ephraim and Judah. In the Psalms Pesher, there 
is a reference to the "wicked ones of Ephraim and Manasseh" at 4QpPs(a) 1-10 
ii 18, and to the "ruthless ones of the covenant [w]ho are in the house of 
[J]udah" at 4QpPs(a) 1-10 ii 14-16 (cf. the "ruthless ones of the [covenant, 
the wi]cked ones of Israel" at 4QpPs(a) 1-10 iii 12).  Are we to imagine that 
all three sects are categorized among the wicked?  In the Habakkuk Pesher, 
the "doers of the law" are twice associated with Judah (1QpHab 8:1; 12:4), 
which has sometimes been taken to corroborate their identification with the 
Essenes, but at 1QpHab 12:7-10 the "cities of Judah" are referred to 
alongside Jerusalem as locations in which the Wicked Priest conducted his 
evil activities.  This last clearly uses Judah as a simple geographical 
     Rabinowitz ("The Meaning of the Key (Ô^└^ěDemetriusÔ^└^┘)-Passage of the Qumran 
Nahum-Pesher", JAOS 98 (1978) 397-98 n. 16), argued that the "city of 
Ephraim" of 4QpNah 3+4 ii 2 must refer to Samaria under the Hellenists.  
     Doudna's thesis also questions whether the crucifixions at 4QpNah 3+4 i 
7 allude to the by-gone crucifixion of Pharisees by Jannaeus in 88 BCE, as 
commonly held, or whether they represent a genuine prophecy regarding 
expected Roman actions.  He argues (persuasively in my opinion) that the Lion 
of Wrath, usually taken as Alexander Jannaeus, refers to a coming Roman 
general (i.e. to one of the "chiefs of the Kittim" of 4QpNah 3+4 i 3).  
Doudna proposes the coming Lion of Wrath referred to Pompey.  Some of 
Doudna's arguments are summarized in a recent issue of Qumran Chronicle 
(which I seem to have misplaced).  

     Russell Gmirkin
For private reply, e-mail to RGmyrken@aol.com
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