The Apotropaic Function of the Final Hymn in the Community Rules

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Recent scholarly engagement with this new cache of literature has shed fresh light on the apotropaic significance of blessing and praise. This nalysis of the Final Hymn in light of these recent advances emphasizes the recognition of the prominent role of blessing and praise in the Hymn. In addition, we considered the shared penchant for self-abasement both on the part of the speaker of the Final Hymn and the apotropaic Songs of the Maskil. Such a self-abasement constitutes a kind of inverted praise that highlights the chasm between community members and the supreme divine glory. Attention is drawn, furthermore, to the evidence of 4QIncantation (4Q444) which suggests a conviction that divine statutes and, by implication, the regulations that facilitate appropriate conduct found in several copies of the Community Rules, are not devoid of apotropaic significance. The blending of divinely mandated conduct and paying emphatic liturgical homage to God and His power ensures members could feel safe within the bounded community


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPetitioners, Penitents, and Poets
Subtitle of host publicationOn Prayer and Praying in Second Temple Judaism
EditorsAriel Feldman, Timothy Sandoval
Publication statusPublished - 26 Oct 2020