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Priestly prophets at Qumran: Summoning Sinai through the songs of the Sabbath sacrifice

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Chapter Summary

Why would members of the Qumran Yaḥad participate in a liturgy describing angelic priestly praise and activity, a liturgy that never reveals the words offered to God by the angelic figures themselves? The unique genre of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice suggests a unique use within the Qumran community. The answer this chapter proposes is because a remnant of Jacob was indeed no longer rooted in the concerns of fleshly existence but, over the course of the first quarter of the solar year of Sabbaths, was enacting its own telos as a purified "sanctuary of men," and in performing the heaven-on-earthly, temple-tabernacle liturgy, provided a model and inspiration for continuing revelation by the angelic-priests in the community who served among them. The chapter considers their sequential structure as reflected in some particular features of language as a progressive movement in liturgical time, space, and energy.

Keywords: angelic figures; Jacob; priests; Qumran; Sabbaths; Sinai; Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice; tabernacle liturgy; Yaḥad



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