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A New Suggestion for the Reconstruction of 4Q370 1 i 2 and the Blessing of the Most High (Elyon) in Second Temple Judaism

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This article offers a new suggestion for restoring a lacuna in the Dead Sea Scroll manuscript 4Q370 (Admonition Based on the Flood) and discusses its implications for the liturgical blessing of God in the Second Temple period. The first two lines of 4Q370 recount the expectation of human gratitude for the antediluvian agricultural abundance described in the text. Paraphrasing Deut 8:10, 4Q370 exhorts humans to eat, be sated, and bless. The extant text provides part of the direct object of the blessing—”the name of…”—followed by a short lacuna. Based on paleographic and comparative literary evidence, this article proposes that the lacuna should be reconstructed with the divine name “Most High” (). This paraphrase of Deut 8:10 in 4Q370 is part of a larger tradition of exegetical reformulation of Deut 8:10 in Second Temple period post-meal thanksgiving prayers, in which the divine epithet “Most High” (). replaces the Tetragrammaton as the object of blessing.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies 216 Pillsbury Dr SE, 245 Nicholson Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA, Email:


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