Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

4QMMT - The Problem of the Epilogue

Hanne von Weissenberg

Doctoral dissertation, April 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Theology, Department of Biblical Studies.

The main focus of this study is the epilogue of 4QMMT (4QMiqsat Ma'aseh ha-Torah), a text of obscure genre containing a halakhic section found in cave 4 at Qumran. In the official edition published in the series Discoveries of the Judaean Desert (DJD X), the extant document was divided by its editors, Elisha Qimron and John Strugnell, into three literary divisions: Section A) the calendar section representing a 364-day solar calendar, Section B) the halakhot, and Section C) an epilogue.

The work begins with text critical inspection of the manuscripts containing text from the epilogue (mss 4Q397, 4Q398, and 4Q399). However, since the relationship of the epilogue to the other sections of the whole document 4QMMT is under investigation, the calendrical fragments (4Q327 and 4Q394 3-7, lines 1-3) and the halakhic section also receive some attention, albeit more limited and purpose oriented. In Ch. 2, after a transcription of the fragments of the epilogue, a synopsis is presented in order to evaluate the composite text of the DJD X edition in light of the evidence provided by the individual manuscripts. As a result, several critical comments are offered, and finally, an alternative arrangement of the fragments of the epilogue with an English translation. In the following chapter (Ch. 3), the diversity of the two main literary divisions, the halakhic section and the epilogue, is discussed, and it is demonstrated that the author(s) of 4QMMT adopted and adjusted the covenantal pattern known from biblical law collections, more specifically Deuteronomy. The question of the genre of 4QMMT is investigated in Ch. 4.

The final chapter (Ch. 5) contains an analysis of the use of Scripture in the epilogue. In a close reading, both the explicit citations and the more subtle allusions are investigated in an attempt to trace the theology of the epilogue. The main emphases of the epilogue are covenantal faithfulness, repentance and return. The contents of the document reflect a grave concern for the purity of the cult in Jerusalem, and in the epilogue Deuteronomic language and expressions are used to convince the readers of the necessity of a reformation. The large number of late copies found in cave 4 at Qumran witness the significance of 4QMMT and the continuous importance of the Jerusalem Temple for the Qumran community.

The title page of the publication

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Last updated 04.04.2006

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