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

Pesher Psalms is represented in three manuscripts. Because these manuscripts do not overlap, we cannot be sure that they represent the same text, although it is most likely they do. Pesher Psalms from cave 1 includes scattered verses from Psalms 57 and 68. From cave 4, Pesher Psalms A covers parts of Psalms 37, 45, and 60, and Pesher Psalms B preserves material on Psalms 118, 127, and 129. The text did not cover the entire Book of Psalms, at least not in the present order, as is apparent from the fact that it moves directly from interpretation of material from Psalm 37 to Psalm 45. The manuscripts of Pesher Psalms can be dated to the Roman period.

Pesher Psalms A reads the controversy of the sectarians with their opponents into the biblical Psalm 37, which itself discusses the destiny of the righteous and the wicked. This text also mentions the familiar dramatis personae- the Teacher of Righteousness, termed “the priest”; the Wicked Priest; and the Man of Lies. The Wicked Priest persecuted the teacher and sought to kill him. The Man of Lies led people astray. The groups designated as Ephraim and Menasseh have both opposed the sect.
This text describes the destruction of the wicked at the End of Days and the peace that the righteous will enjoy in the soon-to-dawn final age. We should also call attention to the mention of the same “nets of Belial”—temptations to transgress—cited in the Zadokite Fragments (4-15), indicating the common sectarian character of these compositions.

Pages 228-229

Posted in: Biblical Poetry

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