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Wisdom For The Yaḥad: 4qwords Of The Maśkîl To All Sons Of Dawn (4q298)

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Chapter Summary

4QWords of the Maśkîl is a wisdom text. It is characterized by paraenetic statements designed to instill a desire for knowledge and ethics in its intended audience. The core issue in the study of 4Q298 is not its content but rather its place in the Dead Sea sect. This work contains exhortations from a Maśkîl. “Instructor” is an appropriate designation for any teacher, whether he is part of the Yaḥad or not. In contrast to the Community Rule, the authority of the Maśkîl in 4Q298 is not explicitly based on his possession of divinely revealed knowledge, although this is reasonably presumed. The most important designation for the original audience of 4Q298 is “sons of dawn.” The Damascus Document uses the term “sons of dawn” in a way that indicates that they are members of a sect. This is not explicitly the case in 4QWords of the Maśkîl.

Keywords: 4Q298; 4Qwords; Community Rule; Damascus Document; Dead Sea sect; Maśkîl; sons of dawn; wisdom text; Yaḥad



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