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Re: orion-list guilty corpses

Dear Christophe,

    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.

Best regards,
Russell Gmirkin

> Le retour des combattants au camp (mahane) dans 1QM pose un autre probleme 
> en
>  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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