By April 14, 2008 Read More →

Paqid, Lawrence H. Schiffman, Reclaiming the Dead Sea Scrolls, Jewish Publication Society, Philadelphia 1994.

The Dead Sea Scrolls
Rule of the Community places an official known as the paqid (appointed one) at the head of the community. It was the job of the paqid to administer the initial test for those wishing to join the sect-

And whoever volunteers from Israel to join the council of the community, the one who is appointed (as paqid) at the head of the community shall investigate him as regards his understanding and his deeds . . .

A passage in the Zadokite Fragments, which can now be correctly and definitely restored with the aid of the fragments from cave 4, mentions the same official, there called the “priest who musters at the head of the community”-

And the priest who shall muster at the head of the community shall be from thirty to sixty years old, learned in the Book of Hagu/i and in all the regulations of the Torah to pronounce them according to their regulation. (ZADOKITE FRAGMENTS 14-6–8 = Db 11 II 10–13)

The Book of Hagu is probably the Torah, and the regulations are the sectarian laws that emerged from the sect’s interpretation of the Torah. This priest, whatever his functions—and we are not really certain what they were—had to be from thirty to sixty years old. Because the upper age limit differs from that of the examiner, it is not possible to suggest that they are the same official. It is also difficult to speculate further on the role of this priest, for our information is too scanty.

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