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“Spiritual People,” “Fleshly Spirit,” And “Vision Of Meditation”: Reflections On 4qinstruction And 1 Corinthians

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Chapter Summary

The most famous section of the Qumran sapiential text 4QInstruction is undoubtedly 4Q417 1 i 13-18, the unit which, for the sake of convenience, has sometimes been referred to as the Vision of Hagu pericope. The exegetical question for the author(s) of 4QInstruction is: what does it mean that a book of remembrance was written for those who keep His words? Their explanation is: the verse is actually dealing with insight into this book of remembrance, which insight is given to Enosh/humanity and the Spiritual people, but not to the "fleshly spirit". This chapter presents the Hebrew text and a translation which reflects the majority understanding of the text. It then comments on some interpretations of this passage, and considers the possibility of an alternative understanding of the crucial terms found in this pericope. Finally, it draws some comparisons with 1 Corinthians 2.

Keywords: 1 Corinthians; 4QInstruction; book of remembrance; Enosh/humanity; fleshly spirit; pericope; Qumran; spiritual people; vision of meditation

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