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The King, His Guard, And The Royal Council In The Temple Scroll

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the various regulations regarding the king, his bodyguard, and his council in the Temple Scroll. The Jewish status of the king was taken as required by all interpreters in view of its explicitness in the text of Deuteronomy. The requirement that a king be appointed is most likely a critique of the early Hasmonean rulers who, while serving as high priests, arrogated to themselves the temporal powers of the king. The elaborate arrangements for the royal guard presented in the Law of the King can only be understood against the background of the last days of Jonathan the Hasmonean. The Law of the King, and specifically the prescriptions studied in the chapter, represent a rewriting of and supplement to the Torah's legislation concerning the king. The Law of the King concludes with an adaptation of the treaty curses of Deut 28.

Keywords: Deuteronomy; high priests; Jews; Jonathan the Hasmonean; Law of the King; royal council; royal guard; Temple Scroll; Torah's legislation



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