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Other Cave 4 Manuscripts

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Chapter Summary

Located only 200 meters from the site of Khirbet Qumran, Cave 4 contained over 15,000 fragments from nearly 600 manuscripts. His chapter presents a brief description of each of the Cave 4 manuscripts containing material on ritual impurity. Published in a preliminary edition in 1961 and officially in the DJD series in 1968, 4Q159 has been dated by Strugnell to somewhere between the early Herodian period and the late first century BCE. Containing a total of twenty-six fragments written on leather, 4Q251, also known as 4QHalakha A, has been dated to the early Herodian period based on palaeographic considerations. As for the presence of material on ritual impurity, all five of the major categories of impurity are represented in the documents from Cave 4. Any attempt to discuss the significance of ritual purity in the documents from Cave 4 is highly problematic.

Keywords: 4QHalakha A; Cave 4 manuscripts; Herodian period; Qumran; ritual impurity



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