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The Yaad—What is in a Name?

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What does the noun Yaad in 1QS and related documents mean, and to what does it refer? In this article, which focuses on 1QS, it is suggested that the term Yaad is best understood against the background of the expression “sitting together” as attested in 11QTa 57:13 (about a council in session). Furthermore, regarding the question to what kind of organization the term refers, it is argued that two patterns are to be distinguished in 1QS, the first of which is comparable to the demos, the national assembly, as attested in 1 Maccabees, whereas the second one is marked by the emphasis on leading priests as guardians and interpreters of the Law. The conclusion is drawn that in 1QS the noun Yaad does not refer to the movement at large, but to the community of the fully initiated (male) members who lived at several localities.

Affiliations: 1: Instituut voor Godsdienstwetenschappen, Universiteit Leiden P.O. Box 9515, 2300 RA Leiden the Netherlands, Email:


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