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Wisdom And Halakhah: 4qways Of Righteousness (4q420-21)

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Chapter Summary

4QWays of Righteousness is a wisdom text that is interested in the Torah and halakhah. The importance of the Torah in 4Q420-21 is compatible with attitudes held by the sectarian community associated with the Dead Sea Scrolls. 4Q420-21 is also reminiscent of this rulebook since it contains both instruction that evokes the sapiential tradition, particularly in CD 2, and halakhic regulations. The image of tire yoke in both Ben Sira and 4QWays of Righteousness to describe the Torah indicates that they have traditions in common. 4Q420-21 includes practical advice on moderation and deliberation that resonates with traditional wisdom. The text has an overtly instructional and ethical focus, to inculcate righteousness in the life of its addressees. It is reasonable to consider 4Q420-21 a wisdom text, as was traditionally the case among Qumran scholars. This text, along with 4Q298, illustrates that members of the yaḥad could write and redact sapiential compositions.

Keywords: 4Q420-21; 4QWays of Righteousness; Dead Sea Scrolls; halakhah; Qumran; sapiential tradition; Torah; wisdom text; yaḥad



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