4QInstruction by Matthew J. Goff

By Matthew J. Goff

The knowledge culture of historic Israel, represented within the Hebrew Bible by way of Proverbs, activity, and Ecclesiastes and within the Apocrypha by way of Ben Sira and the knowledge of Solomon, is usually well-attested within the texts from Qumran. 4QInstruction (1Q26, 4Q415 418, 4Q423), the most important knowledge textual content of the lifeless Sea Scrolls, is taken into account a sapiential textual content essentially due to its particular and insistent pedagogical nature. To make this crucial knowledge textual content extra largely to be had, this quantity bargains a serious variation, translation, and observation at the major fragments of 4QInstruction. It examines specific texts of 4QInstruction in addition to broader concerns, together with its date, style, major issues, and position in moment Temple Judaism. eventually, on the way to contextualize this pivotal paintings, 4QInstruction s courting to the sapiential and apocalyptic traditions is additionally explored.

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Extra info for 4QInstruction

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In the Treatise on the Two Spirits. the phrase “eternal joy” (with ‫ עולם‬in the plural) is allocated to the elect, and denotes eternal life (1QS 4:7). In a wordplay in the Hebrew, this text describes one of the punishments established for the wicked as the “eternal pit” (‫שחת‬ ‫)עולמים‬, a reference to their death and subsequent transfer to Sheol (4:12). 4QInstruction uses this same language to assert that the wicked will go to the eternal pit (4Q418 69 ii 6; with ‫ עולם‬in the singular). The wisdom text does not describe the nature of the eternal life which the addressee can acquire.

The knowledge of what was, is, and will be is obtainable by the mebin through this revelation (4Q417 1 i 3–5 [2x]; 4Q418 123 ii 3–4). The mystery that is to be is not the only indication of influence from the apocalyptic tradition in 4QInstruction. 61 Two judgment scenes are preserved in 4QInstruction, in 4Q416 1 and 4Q418 69 ii. Both texts describe judgment in theophanic terms, with elements of the natural order, such as the seas and sky, quaking before the overwhelming power of divine judgment.

2, 3, 6). Since the composition stresses the elect status of the 8. Collins 1997c, 63–72; Camp 1991, 1–39; Trenchard 1982. See also Balla 2011. For a general survey, consult Schuller 2011, 571–88. 9. The parade example of Ben Sira’s misogyny is 42:14: “Better a man’s wickedness than a woman’s goodness” (cf. 25:24). 10. This is the case whether one understands the female addressee as the wife or the daughter of the mebin. The latter option would also indicate that he is married. 4Q415 2 II 35 male mebin, the insistence that the wife is a virtual extension of his body should not be understood solely in terms of patriarchal oppression but also as another indication of the wife’s elect status.

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