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Exodus in the Dead Sea Scrolls

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Chapter Summary

The book of Exodus is a very important text among the Dead Sea Scrolls, especially in the collection found in the eleven caves in the vicinity of Khirbet Qumran ("the Qumran collection"). This chapter draws some conclusions concerning the status and use of Exodus in the Qumran collection. Eighteen fragmentary manuscripts of the book of Exodus itself were found in caves, 2, and 4 at Qumran. The first group of texts reworking the book of Exodus for exegetical purposes is the group known as Reworked Pentateuch. The Temple Scroll was found in three, possibly four copies at Qumran. The Testament of Qahat and the Visions of Amram are both parabiblical compositions built around figures mentioned in Exodus. The Qumran caves contained several extremely fragmentary compositions that concern, in one way or another, the figure of Moses. Exodus' importance in the Qumran collection lies first in its scriptural status.

Keywords: dead sea scrolls; Exodus; Khirbet Qumran; Parabiblical texts; Reworked Pentateuch; Temple Scroll



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