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Balaam In The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

According to Martin Abegg's Concordance, Balaam appears once in the non-biblical Qumran scrolls in Hebrew, in Q175 1:9, and another time in an Aramaic text, in Q339, on a list of the false prophets who arose in Israel, among whom 'Balaam, son of Beor, the old man from Bethel' is the first. This chapter explores the biblical texts of Numbers 22-24 found at Qumran in order to see if the development found in the LXX is already present. It discusses the well known messianic interpretation of the fourth oracle, i.e. Num 24:17, found in different non-biblical texts from Qumran. The longest of the three quotations of the fourth Balaam oracle in the sectarian texts from Qumran is found in 4Q175, the so-called Testimonia, a unique sheet with four quotations on messianic figures, separated by vacat.

Keywords: Balaam; biblical texts; Hebrew; Israel; messianic figures; Qumran scrolls



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