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The Traditional Roots Of Priestly Messianism At Qumran

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Chapter Summary

It is well known that some of the sectarian documents from Qumran express the expectation of the arrival of a priestly messiah in the end of days. According to 1QS 9:11, the locus classicus for the discussion of Qumran messianism, the "messiah of Aaron," was to be accompanied by two additional eschatological figures: a quasimessianic prophet and a lay, presumably royal, messiah. This chapter primarily seeks to shed light on the traditional roots of Qumranite representations of priestly messianic figures. It discusses several examples of the tendency of Second Temple literature to craft ideal patterns of priestly conduct and exemplary priestly figures. 4QApocryphon of Levi contains the only straightforward reference to a priestly messiah in a non-sectarian text. This exception is of utmost importance for it indicates that the notion existed before the formation of the Qumran community.

Keywords: 4QApocryphon; priestly messianic figures; Qumran; Second Temple literature



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