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Marriage And Marital Life In The Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the evidence of the scrolls with regard to three aspects of marriage at Qumran: matchmaking, weddings and marital life. The picture is fragmentary and impressionistic but it fits our general impression of the world of the scrolls as being situated between the biblical worlds and rabbinic worlds, not just in terms of chronology but in terms of sociology, theology and law. In particular we might note that as opposed to the Bible, but not quite as fully realized as in rabbinic sources, the scrolls begin to attend to females, relating to women and prospective wives as subjects with a certain degree of agency. There is no explicit reference in the halakhic material from Qumran to the legal aspects of the creation or dissolution of marriage. The scrolls, usually following the Bible, describe men simply taking wives or divorcing them.

Keywords: Bible; Dead Sea Scrolls; marital life; marriage



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