Dr. Bilhah Nitzan
Tel-Aviv University

4Q291, 4Q292 and the Traditional Prayer for Peace

4Q291-4Q292 consist of fragmented texts from two separate works containing prayers, in which conclusions of prayers and a blessing for peace are preserved. The fragmentary condition of these scrolls does not allow us to suggest complete data concerning these specific prayers. But the topic of peace, expressed differently in these prayers, justifies the investigation of the prayer for peace in Qumran, and other Jewish prayers.

Blessings and prayers for peace are written in the Bible, Second Temple literature, including many texts from Qumran, and the traditional book of prayer of Israel. Thus, an investigation of the characteristics of the motif of peace in these poetical and liturgical compositions may be beneficial for the research of traditional motifs in the liturgy of Israel. Meanwhile, some data concerning the history of the prayer of Israel may be clarified. As for the research of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it is interesting to examine the use of the motif of peace in sectarian and non-sectarian compositions.

Apart from 4Q291-292, the paper deals with the motif of peace in the daily blessings, 4Q503, the blessing of peace to the king and the people of Israel in 4Q448, and the blessing for peace in explicit sectarian writings, such as the Rule Scroll, the Rule of the Blessings (1Q28b), and others.

The motif ùìåí òìéëä éùøàì in the liturgical set of the daily blessings, 4Q503, is dealt with in comparison with the use of the priestly blessing for peace in m. Tamid 5:1. It seems that both texts reflect an ancient type of priestly liturgy, which are possibly related to later elaborated prayers for peace, such as ùéí ùìåí of the `Amida. As the prayer for peace is considered a priestly liturgy, it is interesting to clarify if the traditional prayer for peace for the king, as reflected in 4Q448, belong to priestly liturgy as well. The blessings for peace in the Rule Scroll and the Rule of the Blessings are based on the priestly blessing, but nevertheless elaborated to express sectarian ideas.