The Earthly Essene Nucleus of 1Qsa

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This article makes the case that the regulations for communal life in the central portions of 1QSa are much more closely related to the Damascus Document than to the Rule of the Community to which the text was physically attached. In particular, attention is drawn to shared characteristics such as, an all-Israel perspective; the presupposition of family life; a proliferation of congregation terminology in both 1QSa and D in contrast to the Community Rule; references to the Book of Hagi; and prescriptions for exclusion from the congregation of members with physical or mental disabilities. I conclude that 1QSa 1:6-2:11a comprises communal legislation that originated with the parent movement of the Yaḥad – also attested in the communal legislation in the Damascus Document – which was secondarily inserted into its present eschatological context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-269
JournalDead Sea Discoveries
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • Qumran Dead Sea Scrolls Community Rule


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