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Room For Interpretation: An Analysis Of Spatial Imagery In The Qumran Pesharim

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Chapter Summary

Within the theme of "Texts and Context" this chapter investigates whether there is any information in the Qumran pesharim that might indicate where they were created and used. The principal concern, then, is to reconsider most of the obvious spatial language in the pesharim to discern what sense of space and place they might disclose. The chapter briefly explains how spatial language is used in one particular genre of sectarian texts found in the caves at and near Qumran. The widespread metaphorical use of the term "house" makes the identification of a specific location with the "house of Judah" virtually impossible. The Israelite tribal designations encourage the close association of people with particular places or regions.In the late Second Temple period these are transferred to Israel as a whole. In sectarian texts the assumption is that the promises made to Israel are the inheritance of the sectarian movement alone.

Keywords: Qumran pesharim; second temple period; sectarian texts; spatial language



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