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From The Damascus Covenant To The Qumrancommunity: The Emergence Of The Yahad

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Chapter Summary

This chapter shows that what became ultimately the Qumran community arose initially as a separatist community from within the Damascus covenant. It uses the term yaḥad or "community" rather than "Qumran community" to refer to the community in its earliest years, since the term "Qumran community" brings to mind the settlement at Khirbet Qumran. The chapter demonstrates that the yaḥad emerged from the Damascus covenant. In order to prove this, it also shows first that the earliest polity of the yaḥad stands in continuity with the Damascus covenant, but that it also developed into a distinctive discipline in the yaḥad. Then, the chapter examines that the halakah of the yaḥad also stands in continuity with that of the Damascus covenant. It also demonstrates that the yaḥad went through an intermediate period before completely cutting itself off from the rest of the Damascus covenant and from mainstream Judaism.

Keywords: Damascus Covenant; Judaism; proto-Pharisaic halakah; Qumran community; yaḥad



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