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Document Details :

Title: Who Separated from whom and why?
Subtitle: A Philological Study of 4QMMT
Author(s): BAR-ASHER SIEGAL, Elitzur A.
Journal: Revue de Qumran
Volume: 25    Issue: 2   Date: numéro 98, 2011   
Pages: 229-256
DOI: 10.2143/RQ.25.2.3206362

Abstract :
The incomplete phrase ] פרשנו מרוב הע [ from 4QMMT is often read as פרשנו מרוב העם . Translated as 'we have separated ourselves from the multitude/majority of the people', this line stands at the heart of many discussions concerning the composition of 4QMMT and is allegedly the Qumran community’s self-perception of their relationship with the other Jewish fractions, specifically referring to their schism with the rest of the nation. Based on a philological study of the components of this line I propose the following alternative reading: פרשנו מרוב הע[מים [. I argue that considering the intertextual relationships between 4QMMT with the relevant passages from Deuteronomy and Ezra, and examining the uses of the root פרש in the relevant contexts in the Targumin and in rabbinic texts that this alternative reading should be the default one, or at least as plausible as the common one. Consequently, I examine how this reading should influence our understanding of the nature of 4QMMT.

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