The Linguistic Study of the Damascus Document: A Historical Perspective

S.E. Fassberg
Hebrew University of Jerusalem

The analysis of the language of the Damascus Document, in particular the vocabulary and phraseology of the text, has served as the basis for the differing views on the identity, customs, and beliefs of the sectarian community mentioned in the Cairo Geniza manuscripts of the work (CD). Consequently, today, a century since the discovery of the document, it is only fitting that attention be given to the history of linguistic research into the Damascus Document. There have been several surveys of the scientific literature on the Damascus Document, for example, that of J.A. Fitzmyer in his prolegomenon to the 1970 reprint of S. Schechter's editio princeps of the document,1 or that of P.R. Davies in his book on the Damascus Document.2 The paper presented here will trace the study of the language of the Damascus Document from the initial publication of the manuscripts by Schecter in 1910 through the publication of the first of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1950-1951, the publication of the Damascus Document fragments from Qumran Caves 5 and 6 in 1962 by J.T. Milik, to the recent publication of the Cave 4 Qumran fragments in 1996 by J.M. Baumgarten. I shall concentrate on grammatical studies, since vocabulary and phraseology have been treated in almost every study that deals with with the Damascus Document, whereas the grammar has been, to a large extent, neglected. I shall conclude with some observations on the language of the recently published Qumran Cave 4 fragments of the Damascus Document, as well as remarks on certain features of the Cairo Geniza manuscripts in the light of the orthography and language of the 4QD fragments and other Dead Sea Scrolls.

1. The Years 1910 - 1949 The first stage in the history of linguistic research into the Damascus Document began with the editio princeps of Schechter in 1910. In the introduction to his Documents of Jewish Sectaries, Schechter succintly summarized the language of MS A: "The language of the MS. is for the most part pure Biblical Hebrew. The first three pages rise even to the dignity of Scriptural poetry, though a good deal of it is obscured by the unfortunate condition in which the text is at present. But there are in it terms and expressions which occur only in the Mishna or even only in the Rabbinic literature dating from the first centuries of the Middle Ages..."3 He went on to list the following lexical items and expressions: ÂÙ¯Â, Á·Â, ÂÈÒ ·¯Èý, ¯Âý ý Ì Ê·, Ú¯ÈÂ, ÊΠϷ, ÏÏ Ó, ÏÓÎÈÌ, ÓÂÎÔ, ·Ó·, ÂÈ and ÂÈÌ (with the meaning "Gentiles"), ϯÂÂ, Á·Â¯ ȯýÏ, ·ÓÓÂÔ, ÓÂ, Ó¯ ¯, ·È ÁÂ, Ò¯Í, the introductory formulae for citing a biblical passage Îý¯ ýÓø, åàùø à', ëàùø ëúåá, ëëúåá, and ëúåá áéã, the absence of the Tetragrammaton and the use of àì "God." On the difference between the biblical citations and their appearance in the Damscus Document, he wrote: "deviations from the Massoretic text are mere textual corruptions of a careless scribe and not to be explained by the variae lectiones suggested by any known verson, or quotation by any ancient authority."4 Elsewhere in the introduction Schechter noted the unusual terms Ó·¯, ÒÙ¯  (which today is taken as äâé),5 ÓÚÓ, and ÒÙ¯ ÓÁÏ ÚÈÌ (Book of Jubilees). In the notes accompanying the text, he compared the Hebrew of the documents to the Hebrew of biblical, rabbinic, and Karaite writings, and also to expressions in intertestamental literature. Schechter's linguistic comments consist of comparison to biblical and rabbinic passages and numerous emendations in the text, which made better linguistic sense. The importance he assigned to Rabbinic Hebrew can be seen in his terse and frequent remark: "see Rab. dict."

Reaction to Schechter's publication of CD was swift. Of the many articles and comments which immediately appeared, one should note especially I. Lévi's "Un écrit sadducéen anterieur a la destruction du Temple,"which consisted of different readings of the text with translation and notes.6 In his introduction to the text, he included a section on the language of the manuscripts in which he compared the Hebrew of the document to that of Ben Sira with its borrowing and reworking of biblical elements and presence of Aramaic.7 Surprisingly, Le(vi did not find evidence of Rabbinic Hebrew in the document.: "La langue est déja par elle-meme un témoin instructif d'une époque ancienne. C'est de l'hébreu pur, enrichi d'éléments araméens, comme c'est le cas pour l'Ecclésiastique; en outre, et comme en cet ouvrage, certains termes ou locutions nouvelles qui se retrouvent dans la littérature postbiblique y ont une acception différente. Il est surtout digne de remarque qu'on n'y sent pas l'influence ni de l'hébreu de la Mischna et du Midrasch, ni de l'araméen scolastique ou populaire du Talmud... La langue de Ben Sira est bourrée de centons bibliques. Il semble que telle était alors la mode."

Neither Schechter nor Lévi, however, attempted to describe aspects of the language apart from certain lexical items. The first to comment on the grammar, in addition to the lexicon, was M.H. Segal in notes on Schechter's publication in JQR in 1911-12,8 which he expanded upon in a lengthy Hebrew article published in 1912 in Haschiloah.9 Segal like Lévi, also presented the text and offered many emendations (both scholars did so without actually seeing the mansucripts and on the basis of Schecter's transcription and the two photographs in his book). Segal pointed out several salient grammatical phenomena found in the documents:10 the use of the waw conversive (the imperfect consecutive and the perfect consecutive) ( he noted that in MS A the imperfect consecutive occurs where the simple perfect is used in MS B; the common use of the infinitive construct, which, among other things, functions as a verbal noun (e.g., the Pi>el forms _÷åí å_éèåø 8:5) and also expresses obligation (e.g., àéï òåã ìäùúôç 4:10); the genitive is expressed by the construct chain as well as by lamedh (e.g., äî÷áø ìîç_ä 13:7); the relative pronoun is àùø, only once -ù; iterative action is expressed by the use of ùåá as an auxiliary verb (e.g., åùá åäåãéò 9:19); the pronominally suffixed forms àçéäå and ôéäå occur as opposed to àçéå and ôéå; numerals are placed after the counted noun (e.g., ù_éí òùøéí 1:10). He also presented what he considered to be a complete list of lexemes and expressions, which are either unattested in the Old Testament, or are rarely attested in the Old Testament but occur in the Mishna and Midrashim. In his English article he summarized: "The Mishnic usages found in this document may, however, be very old. They are certainly anterior to the Christian era. The general purity of the author's style and grammar, the facility with which he writes in flowing Biblical Hebrew, and his adroitness in twisting round biblical phrases and adapting them for his purpose, all prove him to have belonged to a whole circle of writers who cultivated the composition of books in an early and archaic style in imitation of the earlier canonical literature. In other words, the author belonged to the school of writers from which emanated the Palestinian apocalyptic and pseudepigraphical literature which was certainly composed in a tolerably pure Biblical Hebrew, with a more or less large admixture of Mishnic expressions and forms. The language of the present work affords us, therefore, an excellent illustration of the character and style of the Hebrew originals of such works as the Book of Jubilees, the Testaments of the Twelve patriarchs, and even of the Apocalypses of Baruch and Ezra."11 He added later: "Our text is then entirely free from all direct Aramaic influence."12 In 1913, R.H. Charles added his voice in general agreement as to the character of the language of the Damascus Document in his edition of the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha:13 "It is good Hebrew enriched by a few Aramaisms like the Book of Daniel and Sirach, though in a less degree. It contains also a few Mishnaic and Talmudic expressions, but in certain cases the phrases in question bear a different meaning in post-Biblical Jewish literature. The language, as has been generally recognized, is not that of the Mishnah, the Midrashim, or the Talmud. Like Sirach, our author makes constant use of O. T. diction, but, unlike him, he quotes its text frequently in the name of the writer..." Note that he, too like Lévi, stressed the similarity to Ben Sira.

An important and comprehensive linguistic treatment of the vocabulary and orthography (but not grammar) of the Damascus Document was presented by L. Ginzberg in a series of articles in Monatsschrift fur Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums 55-58 (1911-1914), which were later republished in 1922 as Eine Unbekannte jüdische Sekte. Ginzberg was the first to describe the orthography of the Damascus Document14 and he did so since, as he stated, some of his suggested emendations presupposed the special orthography of the document.15 He commented on the considerable use of scriptio plena in marking the vowels o and i, and the scriptio defectiva of ÈÓÂ 10:9 "his days" and ÁÙÂ 11:2 "his desires" (= "his work"). In a lengthy chapter entitled "Zur Textkritik, Sprach- und Sacherklärung," Ginzberg analyzed in detail many lexical items and expressions.

Ginzberg also devoted a special chapter to the language of CD, which, according to this son, was completed before the outbreak of World War I, but was only published posthumously in 1976 in an expanded English version of the German original.16 In this chapter Ginzberg presented a list of 144 lexical items, which he divided into "new words and idioms which occur neither in biblical nor in Talmudic-midrashic literature" (23 items), "rabbinisms" (31 items), and "biblical purisms" (15 items). He limited himself to one grammatical comment: "A prominent feature of our document's style is the employement of the imperfect with the WAW consecutivum."17 Like Le(vi and Charles, he stressed the linguistic parallels in lexicon between Ben Sira and CD. He noted the mosiac patchwork of the document, and yet at the same time believed that the document reflected a linguistically unified composition: "Though our document is amorphous, featuring excerpts from various sources which are arranged without system and relationship, yet one can detect a certain uniformity with regard to diction and grammar."18 He concluded the chapter with: "Our investigations of the language of the document have thus completely confirmed the conclusions reached in the previous chapters: our document presents a work of the first century B. C. E. 19

Most, but not all scholars, however, concurred with the view of the Hebrew as expressed by Schechter, Segal, or Ginzberg. Note, e.g., the dissenting voice of A. Büchler:20 "The most striking feature of the language, however, is the continuous employment of whole phrases and sentences of the Bible the like of which we find in none of the literary productions of the pre-Christian, pre-Talmudic, and Talmudic times (except the Hebrew Ben-Sira which should not be used as evidence owing to its contentious character)...Besides this, the very hard, clumsy, sometimes almost impossible Hebrew in the halakic part which is not merely due to the style of the author, strikes one as late." A concise survey of differing opinions on the Hebrew of CD can be found in H.H. Rowley's The Zadokite Fragments and the Dea Sea Scrolls.21 Of those arguing that the Damascus Document was a late, medieval composition, the name of S. Zeitlin stand out.22 The translation and commentary of F. F. Hvidberg23 and the edition of L. Rost24 also merit attention. The upper apparatus provided by Rost contains previously suggested scholarly emendations, the bottom apparatus includes references to biblical, rabbinic, and intertestamental literature. Unlike the editions of Segal and Le(vi, the readings of Hvidberg and Rost were based on an examination of photographs.

2. The Years 1950-Present

The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1948 and the publication of the first scrolls from Cave 1 in 1950-1951 (1QIsaa, 1QpHab, and 1QS) marked a dramatic turning point in the study of the Damascus Document. The similarity in language and phraseology between the Qumran material and the Cairo Geniza manuscripts removed all doubt that the Damascus Document was indeed composed during the Second Temple period, notwithstanding the vociferous protests of Zeitlin, who continued to maintain that CD, as was the Qumran material.25 From this point on, most works dealing with the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls refer also to the Geniza manuscripts of the Damascus Document, and all subsequent works on the Damascus Document relate the language of the document to the finds from Qumran. Mention should also be made of A.M. Habermann's 1952 edition containing 1QS, 1QpHab, and CD, not only because of the concordance he supplies for these three works, but rather for his complete vocalization of the documents and the linguistic interpretation that the vocalized text reflects.26 C. Rabin's 1954 edition of CD,27 based on an examination of the manuscripts and new photographs, was an important step forward in the study of the language of the document. Rabin's new readings, his erudition in Hebrew, Semitics, and biblical studies, and his references to the Dead Sea Scrolls provided students of the Damascus Document with a firm basis for study. The edition is replete with linguistic and philological notes and references to the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew, and Medieval Hebrew, as well as other languages and sources. In addition to new readings, Rabin's greatest contribution is his attention to grammatical forms and syntactic uses, not only lexical items. He related phenomena to parallel features of Classical Biblical Hebrew, Late Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew; he also noted the many instances of linguistic hypercorrections. See, for example, his remarks on the periphrastic genitive with anticipatory pronoun, which is representative of Late Biblical Hebrew in ÷öéäí ìëì äåé òåìîéí 2:9 "their ages of all those who exist;" the Late Biblical Hebrew usage of òîã "arise" as attested in áòîåã àéù 1:14 vs. the use of Classical Biblical Hebrew ÷åí; the verb ÷åõ governing with the preposition î- as in Mishnaic Hebrew åé÷åõ îòùåú 20:2 vs. Biblical Hebrew ÷õ á-; the Mishnaic Hebrew infinitive ìéøåù 1:7 vs. Biblical Hebrew ìøùú; áòåì 14:9 as Qal passive participle with active sense as is common in Mishnaic Hebrew; the inverted word order for emphasis in áãáø îåú ò_ä áå 9:6-7 "it was in a capital matter that he testified against him"; the Aramaic form with preserved nun in ìä_öéìí 14:2 ""so as to save them," which according to Rabin "throws light on the scribe's mother tongue." Rabin was fully abreast of the state of research into the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as evidenced by his frequent comparisons to grammatical features and lexical items in the Dead Sea Scrolls. His references to and comments on Late Biblical Hebrew and Mishnaic Hebrew also reveal his knowledge of recent advances in both areas, as can be seen, for example, in his mention of Mishnaic manuscripts, whose importance for the study of Hebrew had been demonstrated by J.N. Epstein, H. Yalon, and S. Lieberman.28

In 1956, two years after the appearance of Rabin's edition, M. Baillet published the fragments of the Damascus Document from Qumran Cave 6 (6QD),29 and among other things, compared the orthography of the Geniza passages to the parallel passages in 6QD. The publication of Qumran fragments of the Damascus Document conclusively proved that the CD reflected a medieval copy of an older work. In 1957 A. Rubinstein30 contributed a discussion of irregular uses of tenses in MS B of CD. The same year Rabin touched on the language of CD, among other topics, in his Qumran Studies.31 In 1958 Rabin revised his edition, The Zadokite Documents, and also had occasion to discuss further the language of CD in an influential article on the historical background of Qumran Hebrew, in which he argued that "in the period preceding the formation of the Qumran sect there was in common use in Palestine a literary language in which BH and MH elements coexisted upon a mainly MH grammatical foundation;"32 in this important study he presented involuntary Mishnaisms in the lexicon and grammar of the Damascus Document as well as biblical hypercorrections of Mishnaic expressions.

In 1962 Qumran fragments of the Damascus Document from Cave 5 (5QD) were published by J.T.Milik in DJD III,33 and M. Baillet presented the official publication of the fragments from Cave 6 (6QD) in the same volume.34 Four years later a fragment from Cave 4 (4QDa ) appeared35 followed by another in 1972.36

The most important contributions to the linguistic study of the Qumran documents in the 1970's and 1980's were two grammars and one dictionary. The 1976 doctorate on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls by E. Qimron37 constituted the first comprehensive grammar (orthography, phonology, and morphology) of the Qumran material; in 1986 Qimron published an English version of his doctorate, which updated and supplemented the 1976 thesis (he included a chapter on syntax and on vocabulary).38 In both versions of the grammar Qimron excluded the Geniza manuscripts of the Damascus Document, but included the 5QD and 6QD fragments. All of the Hebrew from the Geniza manuscripts, on the other hand, together with the 5QD and 6QD material, were included in the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language 200 B.C.E. - 300 C.E., which appeared in microfiche form in 1988.39 Perusal of the Damascus Document material in the dictionary demonstrates its organic linguistic link to other documents from the same period.

In addition, the 1970's and 1980's witnessed the appearance of new grammatical studies devoted to specific linguistic phenomena. In 1973 G.W. Nebe40 analyzed some problematic uses of ý in the Damascus Document. and a year later J. Carmignac41 discussed the morphology and syntax of the negative ýÈÔ in the Old Testament and Qumran, including the Damascus Document, comparing features to Later Biblical and Mishnaic Hebrew: the syntagm ýÈÔ + infinitive; the lack of pronominal suffix on ýÈÔ as in ýÈÔ Ì Ó·ÈÏ CD 5:6-7; the distancing of ýÈÔ from the noun it negates with intervening elements as in ýÈÔ ·Ì ·È CD 5:17. M. Bar-Asher,42 in an article in 1981 on misunderstood spellings in Tannaitic manuscripts, suggested that ÓÂÚË in 1QS and CD was unrelated to the participial ÓÂÃÚ»Ë in Tannaitic sources; the CD and Qumran form developed from Ó¿Ú«Ë > ÓÂÃÚ«Ë (assimilation of the ¡#wa to the labial mem), whereas the participial ÓÂÃÚ»Ë in Tannaitic manuscripts either was the result of haplography from Ó¿ÓÂÃÚ»Ë or possibly an old internal Qal passive participle. T. Thorion-Vardi43 discussed at length the use of the tenses in the Zadokite documents in 1985 and the same year Y. Thorion 44 presented a comprehensive analysis of the use of the preposition ·- in Qumran documents, of which one was the Damascus Document. The next year Carmignac45 published an investigation of the uses of the infinitive absolute in Ben Sira and in Qumran documents, including the Damascus Document.

This decade has witnessed several important publications that bear directly on the linguistic analysis of the Damascus Document. In 1990 J.M. Baumgarten published fragments of 4QDd,g,h.46 Two year laters E. Qimron presented a new transcription of CD with an apparatus that contains comments on what should have been written in the manuscripts (i.e., Qimron corrects the errors in the manuscripts47), variant readings from the Qumran documents, and short philological notes and references; the volume includes high quality photographs of the two Geniza manuscripts.48 This edition is an indispensable aid for further linguistic analysis of the Damascus Document. In 1995 Baumgarten and D.R. Schwartz presented in the Dead Sea Scrolls series edited by J.H. Charlesworth an edition of CD, a passage on skin disease from 4QDa,d,g,h, 5QD, and 6QD with translation and notes.49 A noteworthy addition to this edition of the document is the appendix by Y. Ofer on the use of the vocalization (Babylonian and Tiberian) and other signs (erasure, the single grapheme sign for ýÏ, also possible emendation sign) in the Geniza manuscripts;50 Ofer believes that the concentration of vowel signs in the first pages of the Geniza manuscripts and the mixed use of Babylonian and Tiberian signs indicates that both systems of vowel signs were probably inserted by a single redactor.

The most significant contribution to the study of the Damascus Document, however, is the publication in 1996 (DJD XVIII) of all the 4QD material by Baumgarten based on material provided by Milik,51 These long awaited fragments provide scholars with the necessary information for the challenge of piecing together all the different material from the Geniza and Qumran toward the goal of reconstructing a single text. On the relationship of the 4QD fragments to the text in the Geniza manuscripts, Baumgarten notes "The 4Q manuscripts tend to enhance the general reliability of the text extant in the Genizah versions of the Damascus Document. This is a pleasant surprise, in view of Schechter's rather dim view of the scribal quality of his manuscripts....the 4Q manuscript readings turn out to be, by and large, quite compatible with those of Text A."52

I should like to complete my survey with a few remarks on some features in the 4QD fragments as well as comments on certain phenomena in the Cairo Geniza manuscripts in the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The plene orthography of the 4QD fragments come as no surprise in the light of other Dead Sea Scrolls, In retrospect, however, what is interesting is the extent of plene orthography still preserved in the Geniza manuscripts, which was noted by Ginzberg almost 90 years ago.53

No less surprising in the 4QD fragments is the existence of long forms of the pronouns (e.g., äåàä 4Q266 7 iii 7, àåæ_îä 4Q268 1 7) alongside shorter forms, (e.g., äåà 4Q266 6 i 8, îäå_í 4Q267 9 iii 2) in 4QD. In the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one sees that the medieval CD preserves two examples of long pronouns: H.L. Ginsberg noted that áîä in ìäúäìê áîä 6:10 is a long pronominal suffix as in Qumran;54 another example is 10:12 ýÏ È˯ ·Ó55 (cf. Ú Ó È·Âý ·Ó 4Q268 1 8). CD also possesses the forms of the long suffixes on àçéäå (14:5) and ôéäå (13:4), as attested in 4QD (e.g., àçéäå 4Q267 9 v 8; ôéäå 266 9 ii 14); note that these long forms are the rule in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Ginzberg also noted that the orthography of the 3 m.s. suffix on pl. nouns with waw as against Masoretic waw and yodh, which is attested in the 4QD fragments, occurs already in the Geniza manuscripts in the words éîå 10:9 "his days" and çôöå 11:2 and 10:20 "his desires." The similarity to the Dead Sea Scrolls in the use of plene orthography and the defective spelling of the 3 m.s. pronominal suffix on pl. nouns with waw (realized as o [SEF1]< åw in the Dead Sea Scrolls) as opposed to Masoretic -ÈÂ, is obvious today in the light of the Dead Sea Scrolls56 and Samaritan Hebrew and Aramaic.57 though Ginzberg could not have known at that time that the defective orthography reflected a contracted diphthong o.

The 4QD fragments exhibit a pausal-looking verbal form in ÈÓÂÏ 4Q271 5 i 18 (ÈÓÏ CD 12:2); such pausal-looking forms are well known in the Dead Sea Scrolls. They are also attested in CD: åéùîøå 3:3, whose Babylonian vocalization reflects wayyi¡mør¥, åéçôåøå 6:3, and possibly éùôåëå 10:18 (unless one reads éùôåè along with Rabin and Qimron). According to Qimron in his transcription of CD, another example occurs in åéòáåøå áøéú 1:20, as against other scholars, who read the Hif>il åéòáéøå. It has been argued that the orthography with waw demonstrates general penultimate stress, as in Samaritan Hebrew, Western Aramaic dialects, and also Mishnaic Hebrew.58 Others have maintained that the waw merely represents a reduced u/o-vowel and that stress was ultimate.59 The 4QD fragments do not reveal examples of the syntagm ȯ ¯Ú, ÏÂÔ ¯Ú, i.e., expressions in which only the adjective has the definite article and not the noun that is modified. This syntactic phenomenon, which is attested infrequently in Biblical Hebrew, is more common in Mishnaic Hebrew.60 The Geniza material, however, does possess this syntagm: ·¯È Á 20:1261 and perhaps Ó¯ ÈÁÈ 20:1 "the unique teacher" (if it should not be emended to îåøä äéçã "the teacher of the Community") and also éåøä äéçéã 20:14.62 Unfortunately, these passages are not preserved in the 4QD fragments.

Two lexical items deserve special mention. The realization of both depends upon the reading of a waw or yodh. The first is Â/È. The widely cited Geniza form  in the expression ·ÒÙ¯  in 10:6, 13:2, and 14:8, shows up in 4QD fragments with yodh:63 266 8 iii 5 ·ÒÙ¯ È; ÂÈ 267 9 v 12 and ·ÒÙ¯ [È] 270 6 iv 17. The realization hágª now seems certain (see also äâé 1QSa 1 7 and äâéà 4Q491 11:21) ,64 though the surpralinear waw in 4Q267 does suggest a reading of h((gª.65

The second lexeme is ÙÁ, which is found in 4Q 266 12 7 and 4Q270 4 14, and according to the transcription in DJD XVIII, ÂÙÁ. Qimron has argued that yodh "is extremely rare"66 as a mater lectionis for short i in closed syllables in the Dead Sea Scrolls67 and in such cases prefers to read waw, e.g., ¯ÂÓ instead of ¯ÈÓ 1QM 5:6,9,14. This interpretation of Qumran orthographic practice may underly the decision of the editor of DJD XVIII to read waw in ùåôçä. As is well known, however, it is difficult, even impossible, in many manuscripts to distinguish between waw and yodh. If the reading with waw is correct, then the o/u vowel results from the assimilation to the following labial pe. The regressive assimilation of a to o before labials and re( is a phenomenon that is attested in the Dead Sea Scrolls, in Mishnaic Hebrew, and frequently in Palestinian Aramaic dialects.68 It is not found elsewhere in in this lexeme, in Hebrew, however, whereas the orthography with yodh is, e.g., in reliable manuscripts of Mishnaic Hebrew as demonstrated in the Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language.69

And finally, 4Q266, unlike other 4QD fragments and Qumran fragments in general, contains examples of what appears to be the Aramaic 3 m.s. pronominal suffix -eh: One finds ýÙ 2 ii 21 "his anger" (as against ýÙ in the corresponding passage Ú ý¯ Á¯ ýÙ ·Ì CD 2:21); ìçììä áèîàúí 5 ii 6 "to profane him with their uncleanliness"; áãøùä àåúå 8 i 2 "when he examines him" (áãøùå àúå CD 15:11); åìôé ãòúä 8 i 6 "according to his knowledge" (åìôé ãòúå CD 15:5); øòä 8 ii 6 "with his neighbor" (ò]í øòäå 4Q270 6 iii). This apparent Aramaism is not all that surprising since both Hebrew and Aramaic were spoken and written at this period. The use of the Aramaic 3 m.s. pronominal suffix on nouns is possibly attested also in 1QpHab ëáåãä 10:11,70 unless the he is the archaic biblical orthography for the Hebrew suffix o, which does not seem to be attested elsewhere in the Dead Sea Scrolls.71 Note that the Aramaic form of the 3 m.s. pronominal suffix on pl. nouns, -ÂÈ, appears to be found a number of times at Qumran, unless the examples should be read as the Hebrew pronominal suffix ÈÂ-.72


In conclusion, the study of the Hebrew of the Damascus Document has made tremendous strides in the 100 years since the discovery of the Geniza manuscripts. Although many words and expressions aroused immediate interest and were discussed in the light of parallels to biblical, rabbinic, and medieval literature, the study of the grammar, on the whole, lagged behind the study of the vocabulary, with the notable exceptions of the contributions of M.H. Segal before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and C. Rabin and E. Qimron since the publication of the Scrolls. The relationship of phenomena in the Damascus Document to features in Late Biblical Hebrew, Mishnaic Hebrew, and the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls has been proven beyond doubt. Moreover, the Geniza manuscripts of the Damascus Document, once disparaged linguistically, are now recognized as medieval copies that still possess features of an earlier authentic type of Hebrew.73

1 S. Schechter, Documents of Jewish Sectaries (New York, 1970) 19-37.

2 P.R. Davies, The Damascus Covenant: An Interpretation of the "Damascus Document" (JSOTSup 25; Sheffield, 1982) 3-47.

3 S. Schechter, Documents of Jewish Sectaries (Cambridge, 1910) 1:xi.

4 Ibid., xii.

5 See below.

6I. Levi , "Un ecrit sadduceen anterieur a la destruction du Temple," REJ 61 (1911) 161-205; 63 (1912) 1-19.

7 It is ironic that Schechter, who first published the Hebrew version of Ben Sira from the Geniza in 1899, did not notice this, though he does cite a passage in Ben Sira in the notes (p. xxxiii at 2:10 n. 16).

8 M.H. Segal, "Notes on 'Fragments of a Zadokite Work,'" JQR N.S. 2 (1911-1912) 133-141, especially pp. 139-140; idem, "Additional Notes on 'Fragments of a Zadokite Work," JQR N.S. 3 1912-1913) 301-311.

9 Idem, ÒÙ¯ ·¯È-Ó ÚÌ Ó·Âý ÂÚ¯Â, Haschiloah. Litterarisch-wissenschaftliche Monatsschrift 26 (Januar-Juni 1912) 390-406, 481-506.

10 Ibid., 391-393; JQR 2 191-141.

11 JQR 2 140-141.

12 JQR 3 311 n. 10.

13 R.H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English (Oxford, 1913) 2:786.

14 L. Ginzberg, Eine unbekannte jüdische Sekte (New York, 1922) 3-4.

15 He described MS A, not MS B, because he felt that the latter agreed on the whole with Masoretic orthography.

16 L. Ginzberg, An Unknown Jewish Sect, tr. R. Marcus et al, (New York, 1976) 274-303.

17 Ibid., 282.

18 Ibid., 282.

19 Ibid., 303.

20 A. Büchler, review of S. Schechter, Documents of Jewish Sectaries by S. Shechter, JQR N.S. 3 (1910-1913) 467-469.

21 H.H. Rowley, The Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Oxford, 1952) 1-3.

22 S. Zeitlin, Review of R.T. Herford, The Pharisees, JQR N.S. 16 (1925-1926) 385-386.

23 F. F. Hvidberg, Menigheden af den nye Pagt i Damascus (Kobenhavn, 1928).

24 L. Rost, Die Damaskusschrift (Berlin, 1933).

25 He did so repeatedly. See "'A Commentary on the Book of Habakkuk' Important Discovery or Hoax?" JQR 39 (1948-1949) 235-247; idem, "The Hebrew Scrolls: Once More and Finally," JQR N.S. 41 (1950-1951) 35-53; idem, "The Hebrew Scrolls: A Challenge to Scholarship," JQR N.S. 41 (1950-1951) 255-264; idem, The Zadokite Fragments: Facsimile of the Manuscripts in the Cairo Genizah Collection in the Possession of the University Library, Cambridge, England (Philadelphia, 1952) 1-32. Zeitlin was not alone, however. See also P.R. Weis, "The Date of the Habakkuk Scroll," JQR N.S. 41 (1950-1951) 125-154.

26 A.M. Habermann, 'Edah we-'Eduth. Three Scrolls from the Judaean Desert. The Legacy of a Community Edited with Vocalization, Notes and Indices (Jerusalem, 1982) [Hebrew]. He published an expanded version in 1959, incorporating newly published manuscripts: Megilloth Midbar Yehuda: The Scrolls from the Judean Desert Edited with Vocalization, Introduction, Notes and Concordance (Jerusalem, 1959) [Hebrew]. Similarly, the vocalization presented in E. Lohse, Die Texte aus Qumran. Hebräisch und Deutsch mit masoretischer Punktation. Übersetzung, Einf(hrung und Anmerkungen (Darmstadt, 1964), is interesting for the linguistic and philological analysis underlying the vocalization. A fourth edition of Lohse's book was published in 1986. See also the inclusion of the vocabulary of CD in K.G. Kuhn, Konkordanz zu den Qumrantexten (G(ttingen, 1960).

27 C. Rabin, The Zadokite Fragments (Oxford, 1954).

28 See in the Zadokite Fragments, 43 note to l. 28 on ý»Âà with qameß in pointed Mishnaic manuscripts vs. ýÂà in printed editions; p. 68 note to l. 2 on the consistent assimilation of nun verabs I-n in Mishnaic manuscripts. E.Y. Kutscher's pathbreaking article on the importance of reliable manuscripts to the study of Mishnaic Hebrew (Henoch Yalon Festschrift, Jerusalem, 1963) had not yet appeared at the time Rabin's edition was published.

29 M. Baillet, Fragments du document de Damas. Qumrân, Grotte 6," RB 63 (1956) 513-523.

30 A. Rubinstein, "Notes on Some Syntactical Irregularities in Text B of the Zadokite Documents," VT 7 (1957) 356-361.

31 C. Rabin, Qumran Studies (Oxford, 1957).

32C. Rabin, "The Historical Background of Qumran Hebrew," Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. C. Rabin and Y. Yadin (Scripta Hierosolymitana 4 [1958]), 156.

33 M. Baillet, J.T. Milik, and R. de Vaux, Les 'Petites Grottes' de Qumrân (DJD III; Oxford, 1962).

34 A preliminary publication of 6QD appeared in M. Baillet, "Fragments du Document de Damas. Qumrân, Grotte 6," RB 63 (1956) 513-523.

35 J.T. Milik, "Fragment d'une source Psautier (4QPs89) et fragments des Jubiles, du Document de Damas, d'une phylactère dans la Grotte 4 de Qumrân," RB 73 (1966), 104-105.

36 J.T. Milik, "Milkª-ßedeq et Milkª-re¡a> dans les anciens ecrits juifs et chretiens," JJS 23 (1972) 135-136

37 E. Qimron, A Grammar of the Hebrew Language of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Ph.D. thesis, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1976) [Hebrew].

38 E. Qimron, The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls (HSS 29; Atlanta, Georgia, 1986).

39 The Historical Dictionary of the Hebrew Language: Materials for the Dictionary Series I: 200 B.C.E. - 300 C.E. (The Academy of the Hebrew Language; Jerusalem, 1988). The Hebrew of CD is included also in the most recent dictionaries of Biblical Hebrew: L. Koehler, W. Baumgartner et al. Hebraisches und aramaisches Lexikon zum Alten Testament3, 6 vols. (Leiden, 1967-1996); W. Gesenius, Hebraisches und aramaisches Handw(rterbuch (ber das Alte Testament18, ed. R Meyer - H. Donner (Berlin, 1987- ); D.J.A. Clines, The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew (Sheffield, 1993- ).

40 G.W. Nebe, "Der Gebrauch der sogenannten 'Nota accusativi' ý in Damaskusschrift XV, 5-9 und 12," RQ 8/30 (1973) 257-263.

41 J. Carmignac, "L'emploi de la negation ýÈÔ dans la Bible et a Qumran," RQ 8/31 (1974) 407-413.

42 M. Bar-Asher, "Misunderstood Spellings," Lé¡onenu 45 (1981) 91-92 [Hebrew].

43 T. Thorion-Vardi, "The Use of the Tenses in the Zadokite Documents," RQ 12/45 (1985) 65-88.

44 Y. Thorion, "Die Syntax der Präposition B in der Qumranliteratur," RQ 12/45 (1985) 17-63.

45 J. Carmignac, "L'infinitif absolu chez Ben Sira et a Qumrân," RQ 12/46 (1986) 252-261.

46 J.M. Baumgarten, "The 4Q Zadokite Fragments on Skin Disease," JJS 41 (1990) 153-165.

47 E.g., in 3:1 the manuscript clearly shows ÚÈ, and in the appartus one finds "Read ÚÂ," which is more grammatical. Many of the corrections involve confusion of waw and yodh.

48The Damascus Document Reconsidered, ed. M. Broshi (Jerusalem, 1992).

49J.M. Baumgarten and D.R. Schwartz, "Damascus Document," 4-79, in The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek Texts with English Translations, 2: Damascus Document, War Scrolls, and Related Documents, ed. J.H. Charlesworth (Tübingen/Louisville, 1995).

50 Ibid., 10-11.

51 J.M. Baumgarten, The Damascus Document 4Q266-273 (DJD XVIII; Oxford, 1996).

52 Ibid., 6.

53 See n. 14 above.

54 In a footnote to the English translation of L. Ginzberg, Unknown Jewish Sect, 28 n. 73 and 53 n. 152. Qimron writes in the note to his transcription: = áí, áäí.

55 Qimron has the same note here as in 6:10.

56 Qimron, Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 33.

57 Z. Ben-Óayyim, Studies in the Traditions of the Hebrew Language (Madrid/Barcelona, 1954) 79; idem, "Traditions in the Hebrew Language with Special Reference to the Dead Sea Scrolls," Aspects of the Dead Sea Scrolls, ed. C. Rabin and Y. Yadin (Scripta Hierosolymitana 4 [1958]) 202.

58 E.g., Kutscher and Ben-Óayyim. For a discussion and bibliography on the subject, see Qimron, Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 40-41.

59Ibid. See also I. Yeivin, "The Verbal Forms ÈËÂÏÂ, ÈÂËÏÂ in DSS in Comparison to the Babylonian Vocalization," 256-276 in Bible and Jewish History: Studies in Bible and Jewish History Dedicated to the Memory of Jacob Liver, ed. B. Uffenheimer (Tel-Aviv, 1971) 256-276 [Hebrew].

60 For a survey, see G.B. Sarfatti, "Definiteness in Noun-Adjective Phrases in Rabinic Hebrew," 153-167 in Studies in the Hebrew Language and the Talmudic Literature Dedicated to the Memory of Dr. Menaem Moreshet, ed. M.Z. Kaddari and S. Sharvit (Ramat-Gan, 1989) [Hebrew].

61 Only the (eth is preserved in 4Q269 4 ii 1. Baumgarten reconstructs ·¯È ]Á[.

62 See Rabin, Zadokite Documents, 37 n. 1 to 20:1. Qimron, for example, prefers ÈÁ.

63 But in 1 QSa 1 7 with yodh.

64 See M. Goshen-Gottstein, "'Sefer Hagu,' ( The End of a Puzzle," VT 8 (1958) 286-288, who believes that  should be read È and was realized as hahege. Rabin ( Zadokite Documents, 50, note to 10:6) suggested that the orthography reflected hágª, a borrowing from Aramaic. Qimron (Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 21,66) also interprets the orthography to reflect hágª, but implies that the form reflects the Hebrew ì"ä noun pattern (like ëÌÀìÄé, áÌÀëÄé). See also DJD XVIII, 67.

65 See DJD XVIII, 110.

66 Qimron, Hebrew of Dead Sea Scrolls 19 n. 5. See also idem, "The Distinction between Waw and Yod in the Qumran Scrolls," Beth Mikra 18 (1973) 112-122 [Hebrew].

67 Note, however, that it is attested in CD (Ginzberg, Eine unbekannte j(dische Sekte, 3-4) ìúéúå 1:6, åâéáåøéäí 3:9, åä_éöì 4:18, _éúôùéí 4:20, _éîåì 16:6, and it can also be found in reliable manuscripts of Mishnaic Hebrew (J.N. Epstein, îáåà ì_åñç äîù_ä [Jerusalem, 1948] 2:1273-1241),

68 E.Y. Kutscher, The Language and Linguistic Background of the Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa) (Leiden, 1974) 496-497 ( = Jerusalem, 1959 [Hebrew]); Qimron, Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls 39-40 who argues that the sound shift occurs not only before labials and re( but also liquids.

69 See MS Kaufmann Qiddushin 3:13 and MS Vatican 66 Sifra 'Aare 8:3.

70 Qimron, Grammar of the Hebrew Language 78-79, 237.

71 An unusual orthographic practice is found in one Aramaic document, an Aramaic deed of sale from Kefar Baro published by Milik in "Un contrat juif d'an 134 apr(s J.-C.," RB 61 (1954), 182-190, in which he seems to represent final ( in ¯ "authority" (l. 9).

72 See Qimron, "Waw and Yod," 107; idem, Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 61. -ÈÂ is rare in Biblical Hebrew on plural nouns (5x); -ÂÈ is attested once in Biblical Hebrew (Psa 116:12).

73 And as such, merit linguistic investigation. Research on the grammar of the Dead Sea Scrolls and CD proceeds unabated. For example, see the recent article of M.F.J. Baasten on nominal clauses in which CD is investigated alongside 1QS, 4QSa-j, 1QSa, 1QSb, 1QpHab, 11QT, and 1QM: "Nominal Clauses Containing A Personal Pronoun in Qumran Hebrew," 1-16 in The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira. Proceedings of a Symposium held at Leiden University 11-14 December 1995, ed. T. Muraoka and J.F. Elwolde (Leiden, 1997).

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