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Is the Temple Scroll a Sixth Book of the Torah—Lost for 2,500 Years? Hartmut Stegemann, BAR 13:06, Nov-Dec 1987.

Dead Sea Scrolls - test chart

The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Temple Scroll is the longest and, in my view, clearly the most important of the preserved Dead Sea Scrolls. It was composed, I believe, as an addition or, still better, a supplement to the Pentateuch, as a sixth book of the Torah, on the same level of authority as Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

The 27-foot-long Temple Scroll has been brilliantly published with minute commentary in a handsome three-volume set by the late Professor Yigael Yadin of Hebrew University.1 His edition of the Temple Scroll is the finest publication of any Dead Sea Scroll that has yet appeared, a masterpiece that will be the basis for all further work on this scroll.a

Yadin almost assumed, however, without seriously discussing the matter, that the Temple Scroll was a sectarian composition belonging to the Jewish group that inhabited the settlement at Qumran near the cave where the scroll was found by Bedouin tribesmen. This group, by extensive scholarly consensus, formed part of the Essenes.

In assuming that the Temple Scroll was an Essene document, Yadin has been followed by nearly all scholars who have considered the Temple Scroll—until very recently.

In my view, the Temple Scroll is not an Essene document. It was composed by other Jews, Jews in the mainstream of Palestinian Judaism in their own time. But it was simply one of the “books,” if I may use that term for a scroll, in the Essene library at Qumran, hidden like the others in the caves near their settlement. Its composition had no specific connection whatever with the Essene community at Qumran.

Before explaining the basis for this conclusion, let me set forth several fundamental respects in which I agree with Yadin-

First, the Temple Scroll is, as Yadin emphasized, a Sefer Torah, a book of the authoritative religious law, in the strict sense of that term. It is not simply a collection of material pertaining to a particular area of religious life.

Second, like the canonical books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), this Torah, as Yadin also emphasized, was believed to have been given by God himself on Mt. Sinai.2

Third, the text of the Temple Scroll is, in Yadin’s words, an “additional” Torah to the Pentateuch, although on the same level as the Torah. It is not a Torah superior to the Pentateuch,3 nor a substitute for the Pentateuch. The convincing evidence for this is the fact that the Temple Scroll does not cover such subjects as the creation of the world (Genesis), the Decalogue (Exodus 20-1–11; Deuteronomy 5-6–21), the Aharonite Blessing (Numbers 6-22–21) or the Shema‘ (the basic monotheistic affirmation- “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one”—Deuteronomy 6-4–9), which were basic to all of the various Jewish religious orientations of the Second Temple period (515 B.C.–10 A.D.). The Temple Scroll’s author only added further materials to the given Pentateuch; he did not render the given Pentateuch itself unnecessary or in some way of inferior quality.

Where I differ with Yadin is in his conclusion that the Temple Scroll was a central Torah of the Essene community. Yadin believed that the Temple Scroll may even have been written by the Essene community’s revered founder, the Teacher of Righteousness himself.

If the Temple Scroll was indeed the central Torah of the Essene community at Qumran, we could expect it to have been widely used by this community in all its affairs. But that was not the case.
Only two copies of the Temple Scroll have been found among the approximately 800 manuscripts recovered from the 11 Qumran caves. One of these copies is Yadin’s Temple Scroll itself, which comes from Cave 11—lying about two kilometers north of the central building at Qumran—and which was written about the turn of the era. The second copy is a mere fragmentary scroll, also from Cave 11, but written about 50 B.C. Not a single copy of the Temple Scroll was found in the main library recovered from Cave 4, which held fragments of about 580 different manuscripts.4

The Temple Scroll is a very impressive document by its sheer bulk, and it may seem natural to attribute great significance to it in understanding the Essenes among whom it was found. But we must remember that it was only by sheer chance that the main body of this large scroll survived, while most of the other Qumran scrolls are much more fragmentary. It may become less impressive within the Essene community when we consider the fact that only two copies of it were found at Qumran, as compared, for example, with 25 different copies of Deuteronomy, 18 of Isaiah and 21 of the Psalter. Of the non-Biblical manuscripts composed by the Essenes or highly esteemed by them, we have at least eleven copies of the Community Rule, nine of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice, eight of the Thanksgiving Hymns and seven of the War of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness.

In light of these numbers, we would hardly expect to find only two copies of the Temple Scroll if it was the central law of the Qumran community. Moreover, there is not a single quotation from the Temple Scroll in all of the specifically Essene documents, such as the Community Rule, the Damascus Documents or the Thanksgiving Hymns. The Pentateuch is often cited in these writings, from Genesis to Deuteronomy, but not one quotation is from the Temple Scroll. This clearly demonstrates that, regardless of what the members of the Qumran community could learn from copying and reading the Temple Scroll, this text was no legal authority for them, neither a canonical nor an extra-canonical one.

When the Essene scrolls quote from the Pentateuch, they often cite the text as coming from the “Book of the Torah” (Sefer ha-Torah) or the “Torah of Moses” (Torath Moshe). We may conclude that when the community used these terms they were referring to the Pentateuch as it is known to us, and never to the Temple Scroll.

Another important factor that demonstrates that the Temple Scroll was not part of the authorized law of the Essene community at Qumran is that the religious law (halakhah) reflected in the Temple Scroll often differs from the Qumran community’s known halakhah.

At Qumran, every new interpretation of religious law based on an inquiry into the Torah had to be acknowledged by a central body called “The Council of the Community.” Thereafter, all members of the community were obliged to follow the new law. In this way, the uniformity of religious law within the group was guaranteed, and no differences in understanding of the Torah could result.
It is true that some religious laws (halakhot) reflected in the Temple Scroll agree with specific religious laws of the Qumran community. But these examples simply demonstrate that some of the halakhot of the Qumran community come from the same tradition as represented also in the Temple Scroll. There is no direct dependence, however, and the Temple Scroll’s text is never quoted. An example of such a correspondence is the concept that the specific holiness of the Temple includes the whole “Holy City” (‘ir ha-qodesh), that is, the whole city of Jerusalem, an interpretation demanded by the Temple Scroll as well as by the “Laws” of the Damascus Documents5 (see “The Gigantic Dimensions of the Visionary Temple in the Temple Scroll,” by Magen Broshi, in this issue).

But there are also basic halakhic differences between the Temple Scroll and the strictly Essene documents found at Qumran. For example, according to the Temple Scroll, the king is permitted to marry only one wife during her lifetime, but he is allowed a second wife after the death of his first wife. But the “Admonitions” of the Damascus Documents in all probability prohibit a second marriage to all Jews “in their own lifetime.”

Another example of halakhic differences between the Temple Scroll and Qumran law concerns the death penalty. The Temple Scroll demands the death penalty for a particular crime, even if there are only two witnesses; Essene law (the “Laws” of the Damascus Documents), however, requires three witnesses in all cases. Here we have a direct contradiction, as Lawrence Schiffman has noted.6 It is difficult to imagine a Jewish community or group whose members differ internally on main points of halakhah; the halakhah is something like God himself. Yet we would have such differences within the Qumran community if we were to conclude that the Temple Scroll was a central Qumranic document. The differences I have cited are, at the very least, difficult to explain if one adheres to the theory that the Temple Scroll played a normative role for the Qumran community.

As other scholars have noted, from a literary and philological perspective, there is a broad range of differences between the Temple Scroll and the specifically Essene texts. For example, the Temple Scroll refers to the high priest by his traditional title ha-kohen ha-gadol (the great priest); this title never occurs, however, in other texts from the Qumran caves. There his title is kohen ha-rosh (the high priest) or, perhaps, ha-kohen ha-mashiah (the annointed priest).7

Another example- In the Temple Scroll, Israel is often called ha-‘am (the people), and sometimes ‘am ha-qahal (the people of the assembly). These expressions never occur in specifically Essene texts, which prefer ‘edah (congregation) or yahad (community). The term ‘edah rarely occurs in the Temple Scroll; and the term yahad never occurs there.

It would be easy to produce a long list of such examples, the upshot of which would be to show that the language and the style of the Temple Scroll are much more traditional—that is, nearer to the Biblical books—than the equivalents in the specifically Qumranic texts.

The laws prescribing the construction of the Temple and its courts consume almost half of the Temple Scroll.

But the specifically Essene scrolls reflect no interest whatever in this subject. The specifically Essene texts indeed contain considerable polemic against some conditions at the Jerusalem Temple. But this entire polemic is aimed against the illegitimate priesthood and the sacrifices they offered there, against people who participate in their cult and against some specific cultic customs. Never are the temple building or its courts criticized as being at variance with God’s commandments. Nor is there any hint in any of the specifically Essene texts of any desire to change the Jerusalem Temple building or its broader architectural features.

In summation- There is not one mention of the Temple Scroll’s text in any of the other specifically Essene writings from Qumran. There is not one quotation from the Temple Scroll in the many Qumran scrolls that otherwise, time and time again, cite all the books of the Pentateuch as their unique law. Further, there are clear differences between the Temple Scroll and the specifically Essene texts in matters of religious law, style, terminology and other linguistic and literary traits. There is also a quite different approach to the Temple buildings in the Temple Scroll, on the one hand, and in the specifically Essene texts on the other. And last but not least, only two copies of the Temple Scroll’s text were found in the Qumran caves, both only in Cave 11.

The result is unequivocal in my opinion- Whatever the Temple Scroll was, it was not the specific law of the Qumran community, but only some kind of traditional text copied by them once or twice for reasons unknown to us.

But since, as we noted at the outset and as Yadin also observed, the Temple Scroll was composed as a book of the Torah like the other books of the Pentateuch and was regarded as having been given by God himself on Mt. Sinai, we must conclude that the Temple Scroll was an essential part of the Torah for another group of Jews.

But who, where and when?

The argument that I have already given—that the Temple Scroll was not regarded as part of the Torah by the Essenes at Qumran—has been presented to my colleagues at several scholarly meetings and has met with widespread agreement and approval. The argument I am about to make—as to who, where and when, and under what circumstances—has not met with such widespread agreement. It is in fact a matter of great controversy. What the outcome of this scholarly discussion will be, no one can say for sure—but the discussion will be heated and interesting. Nevertheless, it seems permissible to present my views, controversial though they are, to BAR readers and to observe that, so far, no one has come up with a better suggestion.

I believe that the Temple Scroll is an early expansion of the Torah—a kind of sixth book to be added to the Pentateuch as it has come down to us. Expanded Torah scrolls are nothing new, although it is certainly unusual to find a whole book representing such an expansion. But even before the discoveries at Qumran, we had both the Samaritan Pentateuch,b with its smaller expansions within the text of the traditional five books of the Pentateuch, and the Greek Septuagint,c with its similar expansions.8 Now we also have expansions of a similar kind in the fragments of Torah scrolls from the Qumran caves.9

In my opinion, most of these early expansions to Torah scrolls represent the initiative of priests at the Jerusalem Temple from the period during which the Judaean exiles returned from Babylonia and rebuilt the Temple (the Second Temple), from the latter third of the sixth century B.C. onwards. The crucial point is that these expansions developed at the Second Temple before the canonization of the Pentateuch, that is, before an official textual version of the Torah was authorized and finally established there.

According to the Bible, Ezra the scribe established the canon of the Pentateuch in Jerusalem when he returned from the Babylonian exile, some 50 or 15 years after the Second Temple was built by earlier returnees. The Biblical text gives us enough information to fix the precise date for Ezra’s return and canonization of the Pentateuch—458 B.C. As we read in the Book of Ezra, “During the reign of Artaxerxes [465–424 B.C.] … Ezra [whose ancestry is here traced back to Aaron the high priest] came up from Babylon, a scribe expert in the Teaching of Moses” (Ezra 1-1–6). In the next verse, we learn that Ezra arrived with other returnees during the seventh year of Artaxerxes’ reign (458 B.C.). According to the letter of authority that Artaxerxes gave to Ezra, “The Law of your God … in your care” (Ezra 7-14). The letter continues-

“Ezra, [you are to] appoint magistrates and judges … who know the Law of your God … to judge and to teach those who do not know. Let anyone who does not obey the Law of God … be punished” (Ezra 7-25–26).

That is precisely what Ezra did, establishing the Pentateuch as the central authority in Jerusalem.
From form-critical studies of the Pentateuch, we know that when the Pentateuch first took shape, the editors (or redactors, as they are called) used older sources. In the final edition of the Pentateuch, these older sources were combined, augmented and updated, according to the needs and perspectives of a later day. I believe this process occurred in Mesopotamia during the Babylonian Exile. In my opinion, Ezra himself brought this version from Mesopotamia to Jerusalem; he intended it for the future as the only authoritative Torah, proclaiming it the Book of the Torah (Sefer ha-Torah), and established it in Jerusalem through the authority of the Persian government. Whether compiled in Jerusalem or Babylonia, however, the consequence of Ezra’s actions was necessarily that all other Torah scrolls used at the Temple of Jerusalem up to Ezra’s time were no longer in force. Every new scroll with books of the Pentateuch had to conform now to the version Ezra proclaimed as authoritative.

But what of the many expanded and different versions of Torah scrolls that had developed up to that time, Torah scrolls that contained additions such as survived in the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint? After all, such traditional expansions had been formulated at the Temple by Jerusalem priests based on the authority of God himself. Could they be invalidated by a human decision—that is, by the authority of the pagan king Artaxerxes I, who stood behind the deeds of Ezra the scribe?

The way out of this dilemma is reflected in the text of the Temple Scroll. Many of the traditional expansions of the hitherto existing Torah scrolls were taken over into this new book, which we now refer to as the Temple Scroll.

At this point, I must explain that the Temple Scroll is itself, like Genesis, for example, a composite document. In a brilliant article by Andrew M. Wilson and Lawrence Wills, with an assist from their mentor, Professor John Strugnell of Harvard,d the authors clearly demonstrate that there are at least five different sources in the Temple Scroll. In different parts of the Temple Scroll, for example, God is referred to in the first person and in the third person, the people are addressed in the singular and in the plural, etc. These five distinct sources were not only combined in the Temple Scroll, but were superficially revised by a final editor, or redactor, who added some further material here and there and created the framework of the final text—the same process that is reflected, for example, in Genesis. In my judgment, Wilson and Wills are basically correct about the different strands of texts combined in the Temple Scroll. On only a few minor points would I favor a solution other than the one they have proposed.

When we examine the setting or Sitz im Leben of these five sources of the Temple Scroll, we must conclude that they are all shaped by specific priestly interests. Even the final redaction reflects these priestly interests. And there is nothing other than the practice of the priestly cult at the Temple in Jerusalem that is reflected in this setting.

For this reason, it seems clear that the composition of these five sources occurred sometime during the first century of the Second Temple period, and their redaction occurred in reaction to, and not too long after, Ezra’s canonization of the Pentateuch in 458 B.C. Once Ezra had established what was essentially a shorter, canonical Pentateuch, in effect outlawing all these former additions and expansions, such additions and expansions were collected and edited to form what we know as the Temple Scroll.

The authority of these old additions and expansions of the Pentateuch was now assumed by the new book as a whole- God himself spoke directly to his people, through this book, as in the Pentateuch, even if all its parts did not conform perfectly to the overall style of direct address. In this way, through the compilation of the Temple Scroll, a sixth book of the Torah was created—the only true Hexateuch that has ever existed historically!

This sixth book of the Torah not only gathered together many of the traditional Torah additions and expansions, but, by the adoption of the five sources, it also brought into the supplemented Torah other materials in which God had spoken to the Fathers in an authoritative way regarding matters of the Temple, its cult, the purity of the participants and the many revised halakhic laws.
Yadin himself noted the tendency of the Temple Scroll to combine and harmonize divergent commandments found in the Pentateuch and in the books of the prophets. This in effect illustrates the process of collection and combination out of which the Temple Scroll was created. (A similar method, I might add, can be traced through almost all ages of Jewish tradition and is found not only in the Mishnah and in the Talmuds, but even as late as the Shulhan ‘Arukh, a 16th-century collection of laws that remains authoritative to this day for observant Jews.)

My basic thesis depends, I realize, on establishing the date of the sources in the Temple Scroll to the early Second Temple period (from the latter third of the sixth century to the fifth century B.C.), and its redaction to the second half of the fifth century B.C. The most important element in establishing this dating has already been discussed—the priestly Sitz im Leben of the sources and the historical context of Ezra’s canonization of the Pentateuch. No other set of later historical circumstances fits these aspects of the text of the Temple Scroll and its final editing. Moreover, quite apart from all the other arguments, it is difficult to imagine that a supplementary sixth book of the Torah could have been compiled and acknowledged by at least some Jewish priests much later than the fifth—or the fourth—century B.C.

Nevertheless, this is a somewhat radical redating of the Temple Scroll and will not be easily accepted by a scholarly community already accustomed to arguing about dates for the Temple Scroll ranging between about 200 B.C. and 50 B.C. Possible later historical allusions, philology, grammar, etc., will be adduced by my scholarly colleagues to support a particular dating later than my proposed dating. But I have examined all of the arguments adduced thus far, most of them quite technical, and I can say with some degree of confidence that none presents any particular problem for the dating I have proposed.

True, the extant copies of the Temple Scroll that survived at Qumran are much later, from about 50 B.C. onwards, but this says nothing about the sources’ date of composition or about the date of their combination and final redaction.

Let me give an example of the kinds of issues involved in this dating debate. One of the sources of the Temple Scroll consists of a reworking of the laws in Deuteronomy 12–26, arranged in a new way, with many additions and alterations as compared with the Biblical text. This source runs from column 51, line 11 of the Temple Scroll to the lost end of the scroll, but is interrupted in columns 57 to 59 by the so-called Statutes of the King. Deuteronomy 21-22–23 requires that a man who has been executed and then publicly exposed by talah ‘al ha-‘es—literally, hanging on a pole—be buried the same day. Otherwise the land will be defiled. In the Temple Scroll, the crimes for which talah ‘al ha-‘es is required is expanded to include, for example, an Israelite who “passes on information about my people and betrays my people to a foreign people.” Here the death of the evil-doer will be caused by this “hanging on a pole”—not by killing him before and then “hanging on a pole,” as in Deuteronomy. Some scholars have argued that this passage in the Temple Scroll refers specifically to the time of Alexander Jannaeus (first century B.C.), who crucified 800 Jews alive, most of them Pharisees. This is reported by Flavius Josephus and is alluded to in the Pesher Nahum from Qumran. But there is no reason whatever to connect the discussion of talah ‘al ha-‘es in the Temple Scroll to this historical incident in the first century B.C. Hanging of people alive by talah ‘al ha-‘es was familiar to the people of Israel, at least as a gentile punishment, from as early as 701 B.C., when Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, conquered the Israelite town of Lachish. The reliefs portraying this conquest show three nude Israelites from Lachish being impaled on stakes. This kind of talah ‘al ha-‘es would thus have been usual from as early as the eighth century B.C.
All other indications of a later date for the Temple Scroll can be shown to be inconclusive in this same way, although perhaps less dramatically.

Accordingly, we may conclude that the Temple Scroll was composed from previously existing sources as a sixth book of the Torah. This occurred soon after Ezra’s canonization of the “shorter” Pentateuch, the Pentateuch as we know it. If Ezra canonized this “shorter” Pentateuch in 458 B.C., the text of the Temple Scroll would have been redacted some time after this, in the second half of the fifth century B.C.

In the early Second Temple period (beginning in the latter third of the sixth century B.C.), there must have been priestly families, or perhaps priestly “schools,” in Jerusalem, that composed the expansions and additions that provided the Temple Scroll with its sources. Ezra’s “reform”—his canonization of the Pentateuch—stopped this process of further creating expansions and additions. He established the “original” version of the Pentateuch, known to him, I believe, from Mesopotamia, as the only authorized one in Jerusalem as well.

The Temple Scroll incorporated many of the Palestinian “additions” from expanded Torah scrolls and used them to create a new Sefer Torah, a new Book of the Law. The editor of this text represents the end of this kind of creativity in Scripture as far as the Torah is concerned. He used these additions and supplementary sources to compose a sixth book of the Torah. The authority behind this new book, however, was still on the same level as the authority of the Pentateuch itself and of its priestly traditions, that is, God himself. The editor did not have to resort to any other source of authority for his new book. He did not intend to replace the traditional Pentateuch; rather, he intended to complete it.

Somehow, at least two copies of this sixth book of the Torah found their way to the ancient libraries of Qumran. With what authority the Essenes of Qumran regarded it, we do not know. But we have no reason to believe that for them it was a central document of law. But for many mainstream Jews in Jerusalem, it probably was such a document during the mid-Second Temple period (from the end of the fifth century through the fourth, or even third, century B.C.).10
The text of the Temple Scroll will now shed new light on that still rather shrouded period of Jewish life in Jerusalem following the return of the first exiles from Babylonia.

a. Yigael Yadin was a good friend of mine and always supported me in my research. I only wish he had lived to criticize the views I express here that diverge from his own.

b. The Samaritan Pentateuch is the Torah in the form canonized by the Samaritans.

c. The Septuagint is the Greek version of the Hebrew Bible, as translated by Jews in Alexandria from the third century B.C. onwards.

d. “Literary Sources of the Temple Scroll,” Harvard Theological Review, vol. 75 (1982), pp. 275–288.

1. See in addition, Yigael Yadin, “The Temple Scroll—The Longest and Most Recently Discovered Dead Sea Scroll,” BAR 10-05.

2. The question of Mosaic authority in the Temple Scroll is still much debated. Indeed, the name of Moses does not appear in the extant text of the Temple Scroll. Compare this with Deuteronomy 12–26. For this reason, Baruch Levine (“The Temple Scroll- Aspects of its Historical Provenance and Literary Character,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 232 [1978], pp. 5–23, especially pp. 17–21) denies any Mosaic authority for the Temple Scroll. His conclusion was challenged by Yadin (“Is the Temple Scroll a Sectarian Document?” in Gene M. Tucker and Douglas A. Knight [ed.], Humanizing America’s Iconic Book- SBL Centennial Addresses 1980 [Chico, CA- Scholar’s Press, 1982], pp. 153–169), who relies on Temple Scroll 44-5 and 51-5–7, where Moses is indeed indirectly addressed. But Levine correctly demonstrates the tendency of the Temple Scroll to replace the traditional authority of Moses with God himself. Probably, this is to be interpreted as polemical—against any human authority in Jewish legal matters.

3. In this Ben Zion Wacholder is wrong. See his book The Dawn of Qumran (Cincinnati, OH- Hebrew Union College Press, 1983), where he claims that the Temple Scroll “may have been intended to supersede not only the canonical Pentateuch but the other books of the Hebrew Scriptures as well” (p. 30).

4. Yigael Yadin believed that fragments of a document from Cave 4 (Rockefeller Museum No. 43.366, published in Yadin, The Temple Scroll [Jerusalem- Israel Exploration Society, 1983], supplementary plates 38 and 40) belonged to a copy of the Temple Scroll. As Professor John Strugnell has correctly pointed out, these fragments are from “a Pentateuch with frequent non-biblical additions” [4Q364 and 365] (quoted in Wacholder, The Dawn of Qumran, p. 206), not from the Temple Scroll. In this same reference, Strugnell refers to other unpublished Cave 4 fragments that might quote from, or actually be the text of, the Temple Scroll. The true nature of this text can be discussed, however, only after its publication by Emile Puech. He has kindly shown me the fragments of this scroll, which are unfortunately in very poor condition. They probably come from a late second-century B.C. copy of an expanded text of Deuteronomy, evidently differing from the text of the Temple Scroll. At this time, it is at least very uncertain that even a single Cave 4 manuscript of the Temple Scroll’s text exists.

5. The so-called “Damascus Documents” include two different books, the “Admonitions” represented by columns 18 and 19–20, and the “Laws” represented by columns 15–16 and 9–14. Both books were composed separately by the Essenes, and fragments of both of them were also found in the Qumran caves.

6. See Lawrence H. Schiffman, Sectarian Law in the Dead Sea Scrolls- Courts, Testimony and the Penal Code (Chico, CA- Scholar’s Press, 1983), p. 77.

7. Yadin recognized this problem and tried to resolve it with the suggestion that in other scrolls from Qumran we are always dealing with high priests who are mentioned in contexts relating to the End of Days, with specific titles for them. But this is, at least, disputable- In those scrolls, the high priest at the End of Days is called ha-kohen, ha’aharon or sometimes meshiah ’Aharon, while kohen ha-rosh seems to be the more usual title used by the Qumran community, but strange to the Temple Scroll.

8. The Cambridge edition of the Septuagint by Allen E. Brooke and Norman McLean, The Old Testament in Greek According to the Text of Codex Vaticanus (Cambridge, UK- Cambridge Univ. Press, 1906–1911), Vol. 1, Part I–III.

9. Yadin mistakenly thought these were references to other copies of the Temple Scroll. They were not that, but were simply fragments of scrolls of the same genre, or expansions within the Pentateuchal books themselves. Unfortunately, some of these are still unpublished, so they can not be treated very thoroughly, even by scholars. In regard to the failure to publish the Dead Sea Scrolls, see the following BAR articles by Hershel Shanks- “No Theological Reasons for Failing to Publish Dead Dea Scrolls- Syrian Authorities Commended,” Queries & Comments, BAR 11-01; “BARview- Failure to Publish Dead Sea Scrolls Is Leitmotif of New York University Scroll Conference,” BAR 11-05; and “BARview- Israel Authorities Now Responsible for Delay in Publication of Dead Sea Scrolls,” BAR 11-05.

10. Dating the composition of the Temple Scroll to the second half of the fifth century B.C. results in some provocative suggestions for further research-

First- The Pentateuch as we know it from our Bible must have been finally redacted at least a century before the composition of the Temple Scroll; at least a century would be needed to develop all the additions and alterations of the text used in the Temple Scroll.

Second- Some scholars already noticed that specific aspects of the Temple Scroll are closely related to the Biblical Books of Chronicles—for example, the status of the Levites. The stage of development of the Hebrew language is similar in both Chronicles and in the Temple Scroll. These relationships and similarities are much easier to explain if both Chronicles and the Temple Scroll are contemporaneous compositions, but they would be puzzling if the Temple Scroll was composed about three centuries later as supposed by Yadin and those who agree with him.

Third- Over the centuries, even Palestinian Jews no longer continued to regard the Temple Scroll as a canonical book, as the sixth book of the Torah, as it was in the mind of its author. Nevertheless, the preserved text of Yadin’s Temple Scroll demonstrates the way in which some priestly families at the Jerusalem Temple interpreted, augmented and used the canonical Pentateuch during the first century of the Second Temple period. This insight will enable us to understand much better the way priestly teaching developed at the Jerusalem Temple before Ezra returned there.

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