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Moving mountains: From Sinai to Jerusalem

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that in terms of its religious outlook the sect behind the sectarian scrolls found in the eleven caves at and near Qumran was oriented towards Jerusalem more than towards Sinai, towards Mount Zion more than towards Mount Horeb. This perspective can be compared creatively with the outlook of Philo or with the tendenz of later rabbinic compilations in which the locus of revelation is clearly less significant than either what was revealed there or the one to whom the revelation was given. What the Qumran movement seems to share with both Philo and the rabbinic tradition is a concern to pay attention to Moses, and what is mediated through him, moving the focus of attention away from the locus of revelation itself. The chapter describes and analyses some of the reasons why Mount Sinai is left behind in the movement towards Jerusalem.

Keywords: Jerusalem; Moses; Philo; Qumran; rabbinic compilations; rabbinic tradition; revelation; sectarian scrolls; Sinai



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