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Re: orion-list guilty corpses
There seems to be a common notion that there was an elevated level of
purity in the _camp_ due to the presence of angels (perhaps under influence
of 1QSa 2:8-9 and CD 15:17 where it is stated that there are angels in the
congregation [edah]). However, in the War Scroll it is said that those with
an impurity should not go out to battle because "the holy angels are with
their _armies_" (1QM 7:6); more specifically, "the holy angels are together
with their _rows_" (4QMa 1-3 10). The angels are thus in the military
formations during battle, but are not said to be in the stationary camps.
(Your reference to the "camp of the saints" comes from Rev. 20:9, I believe
-- I don't think this precise idea is found in the scrolls, but please
correct me if I'm wrong.)
A higher purity level in the camps is often inferred from 1QM 7:3-4 where
it is said that no young boy or woman should enter the camps from the time
the army leaves Jerusalem until they return. My question is, what military
function was ever envisioned for young boys or women? I note that in the
Mishnah both underaged boys and women were allowed to administer the
sprinkling of the red heifer. But in 4QTorohot 1 9 the sprinkling must be
done by a priest, while in 4QD(f) 2 13 the red heifer may not be administered
by "[Any youth who is not] of age to be mu[stered]" (Baumgarten's numbering
and translation in Qumran Cave IV vol. XIII). That it, women and youths are
excluded from sprinkling, the same categories excluded from the armies in the
field. I consider 4QD(f) 2 8-13, combining the impurity of metals that had
been in possession of the Gentiles (or clothes or other items) with the age
qualifications for the red heifer ceremony to have a military context. These
topics all belong together in the specific context of looting the fallen
enemy on the battlefield, IMO. The phrasing "of age to be mustered" I
therefore find significant.
Finally I note special requirements for purity of the priests who go out
to war. The priests are to keep a distance from areas of bloodshed to avoid
pollution (1QM 8:7-9). 4QM(c) 4-6 contains the same idea, adding that the
priests should locate themselves on either side, with the catapults and
ballista, some distance from the actual lines of battle. I imagine that even
in the camp the war engines were kept separate from the other weaponry (cf.
weapon stores at 1QM 7:2) in order to protect them from potential contact
with blood, but this last is speculation on my part.
> Le retour des combattants au camp (mahane) dans 1QM pose un autre probleme
> rapport avec les lois de purete :
> comment expliquer que les soldats passent la nuit en etat d'impurete (meme
> mineure) *a l'interieur* du camp-mahane ?
> Le camp-mahane est saint, sanctifie par la presence de la divinite;
> Any idea ?
> Christophe Batsch EPHE Paris
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