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The Two Historical Layers Of Pesher Habakkuk

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Chapter Summary

Pesher Habakkuk (1QpHab) is the longest and most complete of the so-called Continuous Pesharim (commentaries) recovered from Qumran. Upon examining its pesharim, the author proposes that two historical layers are apparent in the scroll. The first layer includes commentaries from the lifetime of the Teacher of Righteousness, who joined the sect in the middle of the second century BCE, and apparently died before the end of that century. The second involves the Kittim, identifiable in 1QpHab as the Romans, who took over Judaea in 63 BCE. With this in mind, the author presents a proposal having to do with the literary evolution of 1QpHab, premised on the notion that the core of the work was composed in the second half of the second century BCE, but that it was modified and new segments were added to it in the middle of the first century BCE.

Keywords: 1QpHab; Continuous Pesharim; Judaea; Kittim; Pesher Habakkuk; Qumran; Teacher of Righteousness



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