Sects and Sectarianism in Jewish History

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  1. Jewish Sects
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  3. Matthew within Sectarian Judaism | Yale University Press

Skip to main content. Search Term. Link to Publisher's Website. Matthew within Sectarian Judaism. John Kampen. New Haven, CT:. Yale University Press. ISBN Halpern and D. Dimant and U. Dimant and L. Chazon, D. Terms and vocabulary in communities and in languages change rather quickly during the history of humanity.

Archaeology proves that the secluded site was established in the middle of the second century. These writings are the products of a preceding period when the site of Qumran had not yet hosted members of the group. History, and history of the texts in the library must be taken into consideration when discussing Qumran as a sect. Results can be reached only by a complex method using the results of historical, philological, literary and sociological analyses.

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Works taken as non-sectarian—like the Temple Scroll25—were pres- ent in the Qumran library continuously, and often in several copies. They were known, cited, and paraphrased; the Temple Scroll was an authoritative basis for sectarian halakhah. The same is for some works and R. Clements Leiden: Brill, , pp. See also: D.

Stone, pp. Schiffman and VanderKam, pp. Remnants of fragments issuing from various ages show that these works were copied and trans- mitted during the history of the religious group which left behind the library in the caves of Qumran. The reason for keeping and transmitting such traditions is that the work transmitted represents some special value, and it was important for the transmitters.

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The Enochic collection is a writing with one of the oldest and longest traditions which can be traced in the manuscript tradition of the Qumran library. Biblical books were not represented by an equal number of copies in Qumran: Psalms and Isaiah were represented in more copies than any other book. The number of the cop- ies of the book of Daniel indicates a strong interest in the book; besides, the presence of a rich Pseudo-Danielic literature among the fragments of Cave 4 attests in Qumran the presence of a wider literary tradition related to Daniel.

See F.

Jewish Sects

Boccaccini Leiden: Brill, , pp. The oldest part contains the story of the Watchers 1 En. The story reports about the relation of a group of heavenly beings with earthly women produc- ing giants, originators of violence and destruction. The Flood smiting mankind is considered as a punishment of their sins. Later pieces of the Enochic collection seem to be well-acquainted with the tradition shaped in the story of the Watchers. See also E. Eshel and H. Milik dated the earliest manuscript to the end of the third century BCE ibid.

Milik also supposes that the writer of the text followed the Northern Syrian or Mesopotamian scribal customs; this may also indicate the origin of the tradition. The fragments also prove that besides chapters 6—36, chapters 1—5 already belonged to the so far known earliest Enoch tradition.

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For a separate edition, see L. Their union results in the birth of wild animals who re-appear in the follow- ing parts of the narrative as representing foreign peoples, enemies of Israel represented by sheep , and attacking the elect time and again with a demonic fervor. The nar- rative of the story of the Watchers is augmented with an Introduction 1 En. The introduction introduces the story as a revelation, for an elect group. See C. The bulk of the tradition is contained in the Shemihazah story 1 En.

The women were impregnated by them and bore children, who became giants. The sins of the Watchers are their transgres- sion of the cosmic order and mixing with earthly women. The writer sets out that they became impure by mixing with the women 1 En. These are the sins of the Watchers and their offspring which made the earth impure. The deeds of the Watchers mentioned in the story have special importance not worded openly in the text.

The story has thorough meaning in the light of the biblical system of impurities.


Besides physical impurities there are also ethical impurities. Eerdmans , , pp. A special case in the list is kilayim, the prohibition of mixing together different kinds of animals, plants, and materials in human clothing Lev. Observe my charge, therefore. Initiators of the sins in 1 Enoch are the heavenly beings who descend to the earthly women, driven by their desire. The Watchers are con- scious of the nature of their deeds. They even agree to commit the sin collectively. The narrative does not mention human responsibility. The authors and agents of the deeds are the Watchers.

The Giants, the beings born from the cosmic dysfunction, start further anomalies in the world.

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Although the story of the Watchers does not mention any demons, the motifs of the story are related to the realm of the demonic. They are born from the relation of heavenly and earthly beings, considered in the Enochic story to be impure. The motif of the punishment of the Watchers, their binding, also has demonic connotations: in magical arts demons are made ineffective by binding them. The land is the Land of Canaan which the people were about to enter.

Matthew within Sectarian Judaism | Yale University Press

Thus 1 En. This picture differs basically from that known from Genesis on the same subject, the origin of evil. Genesis claims that evil is the result of free will, in particular of the fact that Adam and Eve disobeyed the divine prohi- bition. The Enochic collection never refers to the Biblical tradition of the Fall.


Sin was brought to the earth by heavenly beings, according to the Shemihazah narrative. Humans had a passive role in originating sin, even in the Asael tradition where it is Asael who teaches men to make weapons means of bloodshed and women to use cosmetics 47 David J. Heavenly beings are responsible for human sins. The theology of the Priestly redactor P and that of the author s of 1 Enoch are diametrically opposed.

Enoch and Genesis There are indications that the author of 1 En. Con- versely, the theme of the Watchers appears in Gen. It is gen- erally assumed that the story of the Watchers is an exegesis of Gen. However, considering Gen. Similarly S. Brooke Oxford: Oxford University Press, , pp. Reihe ]. For a different view see P. Knibb, ed. Lieu Leiden: Brill, , pp. At the time when this happened, the npylym lived on earth; they i. The comment following the story—i. On the problems of the interconnections see C.

Similarly Matthew Black, in M. Black and J. The second is that their appearance has no continuation or consequence in human history.