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The Jubilee At Qumran

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Chapter Summary

Given that Jubilees, 1 Enoch, and the book of Daniel were popular works in the Qumran community, it is not surprising to find several references to the jubilee scattered throughout the Dead Sea Scrolls. The jubilee as a division of time is put to use in the Scrolls for roughly three purposes: historiographical, i.e. for charting the chronology of past events; cultic-calendrical, i.e. for calculating cultic activities such as the rotation of priestly service; and eschatological, i.e. for predicting the arrival of the final era of history. These three uses of the jubilee are inter-related. This chapter examines the examples of each use sequentially. A few Qumran texts date events in biblical history based on jubilee cycles. For the author of 4Q319, the counting of sacred calendrical cycles begins with creation and is part of the divinely ordained natural order.

Keywords: 1 Enoch; Dead Sea Scrolls; Jubilees; Qumran community



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