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Nābî', Pesher, and predictive prophecy in the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter, all the uses of nābî' in the Dead Sea Scrolls in reference to prophets from Israel's biblical heritage are treated. Perhaps the most well-known characterization of the prophets in the Dead Sea Scrolls is as foretellers of future events. Indeed, with the publication of Pesher Habakkuk and the recognition of its genre and unique interpretive model, this role of the classical prophets was clarified. Pesher Habakkuk assumes in the chapter that Habakkuk delivered an oracle directed toward some future eschatological time without any awareness of the full meaning of his prophetic pronouncement. The Qumran sectarians, similar to various prophetic strands in the Hebrew Bible and later Judaism, envisioned the biblical prophets as foretellers of future events. The particular manner in which this was conceptualized among the Qumran community, however, marks the distinctly sectarian model.

Keywords: biblical prophets; Dead Sea Scrolls; Hebrew Bible; Judaism; nābî'; Pesher Habakkuk; Qumran community



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