The Zadokite Fragment

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This notion is also present in the NT documents.

There is no reason to assume that only one personage was in view. The notion that the true remnant will be led by the true law and their teacher into exile in Damascus is a central theme of the admonition. The historic situation behind this assertion is not yet clear. The similarity between the expectations of the fragments and those of the War Scroll 1 Q M is quite striking.

The organization and mission of the sect is to be the same as the Israelites in their sojourn in the desert after the Exodus but prior to the conquest. Joshua plays an equal if not greater part than Moses in the quotations from the OT. The conclusion that the world of thought of the fragments was the last cent. The admonition or exhortation is free from purely mythological material and although heavily interspersed with allusions to the Apoc.

In the manner and form of its Biblical material the text source is much closer to that represented by the DSS than the MT. Undoubtedly the original was a round script VS brought from Pal. The question as to what meaning such unique documents had for the Jews of the Diaspora may only be speculated.

It is clear that after the collapse of the Second Commonwealth and the final destruction of the Jerusalem rite the somber views of the sectaries must have gained popularity only to be subsequently lost in the ages after the fixation of the MT and the formation of the Talmud. The rules of obedience to the Torah are strict, but without the long additions and midrashic interpretations familiar from the Talmud. The results are not greatly variant from the way of life taught by the Pharisaic party.

It is a mistake, however, to assume that the rule of the sect was identical to the later halachah way of life of the medieval rabbis.

Zadokite Priests : Center for Online Judaic Studies

If for no other reason, the sect was strongly and centrally eschatological and this was the purpose for which the Torah was strictly observed. The quotations from the Torah are mixed and without any underlying schematization. The Fragments continually refer to the period of wickedness in which they were written and against which they warned.

The attitude toward the Torah is set over against the particular evils and iniquities widespread in their times. Of special interest is the position regarding the sacrifices of the Temple. Since the Temple service was not true to the OT instruction and the priests and Levites were not those legitimately appointed, the sect was to shun the Temple in Jerusalem. The key rearrangement was necessitated by the fact that the Temple was no longer fit for sacrifice, while no other location would fulfill the demands of the Torah.

The sect thus proposes a spiritual-figurative interpretation of the Torah requirements demanding sacrifices.

Damascus Document

The prayers and possibly other spiritual exercises of the sectaries were to be equivalent to the required sacrifices. This statement is based on Proverbs Yadin proposes that the sect held their communal meal in a sacrificial sense. The sins proscribed in the Rules of Conduct are mostly concerned with the Temple service and the keeping of the Sabbath.

There are included a long list of regulations regarding individual purity and ceremonial cleanliness. Although concerned with the moral aspects of the Jewish religion the ordo salutis of the Fragments is both legalistic and autosoteristic, and so varies widely from the discourses of Jesus Christ and the writings of the NT. There is every reason to suspect that the Fragments represent the latter portion of the first section of the original.

Some introductory material undoubtedly preceded the present text while a much longer catalogue of rules must have followed the rules contained therein. The problems arising from the Fragments are even larger than the questions answered. It may be hoped that parallel texts from Egypt and Israel may supply more exact data as to locality and time of the originals.

Some attempts have been made to divide the text into sources and to try to identify the unknown author or authors with one of the sources defined by the documentary or fragmentary hypotheses, e.


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The text does present the views of the anti-establishment minority in the late Hel. It may have been not merely the religious interpretation of the sectarians alone, but may also have been widely held by the common people of the southern and Galilean areas of Pal. The unanimity of opinion between the fragments, the DSS and certain of the Talmudic sources lends credence to the argument that the messianism, eschatology and pietism of the fragments was not limited to an esoteric sect.

The mass of Jews was prob. The paganism and immorality of the Rom.


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The expectation was for a supernatural activity of God which would bring forth one or more political messiahs who would reestablish the house and sovereignty of David. The fragments are in the standard folio or book form while the originals were undoubtedly in the scroll or roll form of all ancient Heb.

The state of corruption in which both texts are extant is prob. In transliterating the round to square script and the obscure references of the scroll to the later era, such difficulties were certain to arise. But why should they have been preserved that long if only to be ultimately cast into the de facto censorship of the genizah? The answer is that for many centuries after the collapse of the second commonwealth and the rise of Christianity the popular notions of the sectaries were kept alive by small E European sects such as the Karaites.

Sectarian Jewish scholars like Abraham Firkowich, following this line of descent in the 19th cent. The Old Synagogue in Cairo like those in Bukhara and the Crimea had been centers of sectarian Judaism for nearly a millennium before the fragments were found. Solomon Zeitlin of the Dropsie College has demonstrated that themes and phrases from this lit. The text can be dated only by indirect means, but the discovery of certain fragments of the same text from Qumran has placed it in the last cent. Thus any chronological considerations applicable to the DSS are also applicable to the fragments.

Although the terminus a quo cannot be stated any more precisely than the second half of the 1st cent. The terminus ad quem must be understood as the date when the scrolls were hidden in the caves and this can be no earlier than a. Their removal to Egypt may not have been accomplished in the 1st cent. There are references in both patristic and rabbinic lit. There is a high degree of probability that some of the sectarian texts were carried off to the Jewish communities of the Diaspora of which the Egyp. A definite resurgence of Jewish lit.

Since small fragments of the Zadokite document have turned up among the DSS they were obviously part of the sectarian library if not a production of the sect. When and if the DSS are ever fully collated and edited it will be possible to tell if more extensive material of the ancient source has been recovered. The mention of Damascus, however, is still mysterious.

Citation Tools

As it has come down to us, two columns have been mislocated: Fragments of this text from Qumran include material not found in CD. The document divides into two parts, commonly called Admonition and Laws. Davies divides the Admonition into four sections: History, Legal, Warnings, a Supplement which Wise refers to as exhortations. The Damascus Document can be divided into two separate sections of work, The Admonition and the Laws. The Admonition comprises moral instruction, exhortation, and warning addressed to members of the sect, together with polemic against its opponents; it serves as a kind of introduction to the second section.

Essenes History(Sons Of Zadok), Eat No Flesh

Meanwhile, the Laws looks at this new covenant community expressed to them through the Teacher of Righteousness. It goes into great detail of the different social arrangements that were taking place at the time. This part is divided into four subsections that each outline different parts of information that were especially relevant to the new covenant community.

Meanwhile the people in this community are drawn together by the covenant, and strict laws they follow together. It is said that people who follow this law will attain salvation. Introduction the new laws, priests, and overseer.

Rules about priests and disqualification 3. Diagnosis of Skin disease 4. Impurity from menstruation and childbirth. Levitical laws pertaining to harvest. Gleanings from grapes and olives 7. Fruits of the fourth year. Measures and Tithes 9. Impurity of Idolators metal, corpse impurity, and sprinkling. Wife suspected of adultery Integrity with commercial dealings and marriage Overseer of the camp Oath to return to the law of Moses be those joining the covenant Exclusion from the community on the basis of a physical defect.

Oath to enter the community, as well as laws concerning the taking of other oaths and vows.

Book Review: The Zadokite Fragments and the Dead Sea Scrolls

Death to the one responsible for the death of a Jew using gentile courts of justice. Laws about reproof and vengeance Laws about oaths, lost articles and testimony and judges. This was found in Qumran. The document contains prominent reference to a cryptic figure called the Teacher of Righteousness , whom some of the other Qumran scrolls treat as a figure from their past, and others treat as a figure in their present, and others still as a figure of the future.

Some of these other scrolls where he is mentioned are the Habakkuk Pesher numerous times , Micah Pesher once , Psalms Pesher and also 4Q