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Sacred Space: The Land Of Israel In The Temple Scroll

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Chapter Summary

The Temple Scroll, compiled from a number of sources in the second half of the second century B.C.E., presents an ideal vision of Israel as it should build its Temple, worship its God, maintain ritual purity to the utmost degree, be governed by its king, and observe the laws of the Torah. The author, like the compilers of the "halakhic letter," 4QMiqṣat Ma'aśe Ha-Torah (4QMMT), carried on a sustained polemic against both the Hasmoneans and the Pharisees. This chapter examines his concept of the Land of Israel, beginning with the Temple complex, and extending out from this center of holiness to the tribal allotments, the cities of Israel, and the houses in which the people dwelled. The author is informed by a notion of concentric spheres of holiness, as well as by distinct concern for the sanctity of the entire land as sacred space.

Keywords: 4QMiqṣat Ma'aśe Ha-Torah (4QMMT); God; Israel; ritual purity; Temple Scroll; Torah



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