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Whom Does The Term Yahad Identify?

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Chapter Summary

This chapter seeks to find clarity regarding the identity and organizational structures of the groups behind the Dead Sea Scrolls, and more specifically, regarding the identity of the yaḥad. The special impetus for this chapter was given by John Collins?s recent article ?Forms of Community in the Dead Sea Scrolls.? The chapter focuses the question of how the term yaḥad should be understood in relation to the groups of ten mentioned in 1QS 6:3, the maḥanot of at least ten members mentioned in CD 13:1, and the community council mentioned in 1QS 8:1, described as consisting of ?twelve men and three priests.? Scholars have tended to think that the Community Rule describes the life of the community at Qumran, identified with the yaḥad, whereas the Damascus Document was addressed to the members of the larger Essene movement living in the maḥanot, or camps, in towns and villages throughout Palestine.

Keywords: Community Rule; Damascus Document; Dead Sea Scrolls; Essene movement; maḥanot; Qumran; yaḥad



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